TWELVE SPELLS: TRASH FILMS (2023-2024)   |     BY:  Marc Hardman
In the late 1990s I made a series of Super 8mm films using audio gathered on a hand-held dictaphone. They were meant to be disposable, throw-away films and were collected onto a tape that I optimistically titled "This Tape Gets Better". It was a tape that I amusingly sent out to television and film production companies around London in 1999. After recently re-discovering the tape (twenty four years later) I found that rather than being completely inconsequential pieces of garbage, the films were actually little windows into my life as it was over twenty years ago. What I then realised was that, at the time of finding these films again, I was forty-eight years old. I was twenty-four years old when I had finished them. These 'Trash Films' had been made half a life-time ago, by a half-life version of myself that felt like an altogether different person. It became clear that I must make another collection of trash films. Another twelve films that would in some way connect with, or answer, the original twelve films made all those years ago.​​​​​​​
The new set of twelve films are, in the order that they appear: New Ways, Twenty Four, Void at the End of the Street, Ja, Under the Pier, Brothers, Shangri-La, Chaos Magick, The Little Cloud, Space, Sunday Morning and Night Night People.
This Tape Gets Better: Trash Films (1997-1999)
I used to walk about London with an old Super 8mm camera and a cassette dicta-phone in my bag. In this way I would gather random sounds and images into what would eventually become this collection of 'Trash Films'. You can view the original collection right here and, as you will become immediately aware, they are incredibly lo-fi. At the time I suppose I could have had access to better video equipment (if I had a few extra quid in my pocket) but I think I really did just love the feeling of shooting on film. I loved the unpredictability of it. I loved the immediacy of my grungy scratch recordings. I could shoot anywhere I liked. By experimenting with fast black and white 8mm stock I could even shoot on the London Underground. Today these films seem to represent a freedom and a scrappy attitude that welcomed failure. It's an attitude that (as a now middle aged man) I greatly admire and maybe even miss.
Films like New Toy were amongst the very first of my short films to screen publicly, at the infamous underground cinema nights at Exploding Cinema.
The films (that I answer to in 'Twelve Spells') were (in order): Marc's Keyboard Repair, On a Train, Rock and Roll, My Mate Chris, New Toy, Skate Film, Platform Song, Pop Garden / Mysticism (This Is Brian Beletic), London In-between, Dead President, Being A Tourist and Grandad / Dead Forest.

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