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The Eclipse & Re-Emergence of the Oedipus Complex 41 mins, 2004.
This was made while I was in Melbourne as visiting artist at the Victorian College of the Arts in May 04. In the movie avant-garde techniques and the avant-garde obsession with death interweave with reflections on the life and death of my mother Julia Callan-Thompson. Images of my mum working as a fashion model and club hostess during the sixties are cut against an at times deliberately dissociated soundtrack that uses stories about her to explore the limits of documentary cinema. This is simultaneously an expression of love and loss and an attempt to draw out the ways in which the avant-garde Lettrist cinema of the early fifties in France was commercialised in the later work of Godard, Marker and Resnais.

Has The Litigation Already Started? Approx. 70 mins. 2002.
This is a loose remake of Maurice Lemaitre's "Has The Film Already Started?" mainly using copyright notices from DVDs which are made to dance before the audience's eyes with bits of the 1922 Nosferatu cut in. Nosferatu was suppressed by Bram Stoker's window for infringing the copyright on Dracula. The soundtrack consists of different realisations of a piece I did called "The Bethnal Green Variations: Turning Silence Into Noise (Cage Caged)" which was created specifically to stimulate debate around the issues of plagiarism and copyright. The piece was realised on 31 July 1999 by placing a beat box programmed to repeat play Wayne Marshall's version of John Cage's 4´ 33´´ on a windowsill of my flat on the Avebury Estate in Bethnal Green. I had the window open so that the noises of the inner city drifted in (youths arguing and later a thunder storm), and I recorded the results with a Sony MZ-R50. 4´ 33´´ is, of course, the famous silent piece for which the pianist sits at his instrument without playing a note. Rather than taking the little sound that was on the Wayne Marshall CD (silence being notoriously difficult to record) directly from it in digital form, I wanted to drown this out with the noises of the city. In a way I was invoking Cheap Imitation, the piece of deconstruction Cage did to bypass the extortionate fee demanded for use of Satie's Socrate. I recorded 32 versions of 4´ 33´´ being drowned out by urban noise with the intention of superimposing them over each other. In the event I've created different montages from this recording for the soundtrack of my film. Obviously, I did this with Cage and published my intention to commercially realise it (with a little help from Combined Arts at the Arts Council of England) before the court case about 4' 33'' involving Wombles producer Mike Batt. As well as my anti-realisation of 4'33'', the film also incorporates the sound of the audience's movements into the soundtrack a la 4'33'' but actually Lemaitre did this quite intentionally in the film I'm remaking well before Cage (and even Debord).

Screams In Favour Of De Sade - Approx. 72 mins. 2002.
English language colour remake of Guy Debord's avant-garde classic from 1952. Like the original this film has no images, but whereas Debord's consisted of black with silence and white with dialogue in French, mine has black with silence and TV colour bars with dialogue in English. The original dialogue is translated and in a number of places also rewritten. However, while Debord had five voices reading his script, I have one voice with an additional spoken indication of which voice is speaking The periods of blackness and silence in Debord's film are strictly adhered to, with the final twenty four minutes being entirely black and silent. Although Debord never explained his original film in this way, I believe his intention was to transform cinema in theatre, turning the audience into actors rather than treating them as passive spectators. If this is the case, then it should matter little to viewers whether they watch Debord's original or my remake, what's important is what happens amongst the audience, not what is on screen (which in a classical gesture of avant-garde iconoclasm is essentially nothing).

The Golem Running time approx 100 mins. 2002.
This is Sergei Eisenstein's 1928 silent "October" with the intertitles taken out and replaced with those from Paul Wegener's silent version of "Der Golem". There are fewer intertitles in The Golem than October, which enables me to use repetition to good effect. This piece was partially inspired by my liking for Rene Vienet's "Can Dialectic Break Bricks?" in which a Hong Kong kung fu film of the seventies was redubbed to give the story a revolutionary spin. However, I'm also aware that Debord and Wolman theorised the most effective forms of detournement as being those that showed their contempt for all existing forms of sense and culture, whereas those that simply inverted pre-existing messages (in Vienet's case Hong Kong cinema's obsession with Manchu against Ming conflicts) are somewhat weak. So if this detournement of October is a homage to Vienet, it is simultaneously a critique of him - and even more obviously a critique of the reactionary anti-working class politics of the bolsheviks. A blazing rock soundtrack by Finnish punk act The Dolphins has been dubbed onto my detournement of "October" - although it is also my intention that at some screenings very different live realisations for the sound might be achieved (which is why I used a live recording of The Dolphins on the dubbed soundtrack).

Litigation, Screams and Golem were all realised during a one week residency at John Moores University in Liverpool in April 2002. Basically they emerge from an interest in montage and detournement. I've long been interested in how little you can do with something to make a work. Also, of course, I share the avant-garde obsession with "boredom" (not punk rhetoric about it, I'm into the real thing, which is actually rather interesting). Something that played a role in the development of my desire to make these films (it took several years from idea to realisation) was seeing the Hollywood remake of Godard's "Breathless" - I wanted to show how you can really push the remake concept, which Hollywood just doesn't know how to do.

"Last Cannibal On Skid Row". Stewart Home short film 2008.

Oxum: Goddess of Love (2007 abstract film by Stewart Home)

Stewart Home exhibition Ruins of Glamour/Glamour of Ruins



Julia Callan-Thompson in big flares London 1966

Julia Callan-Thompson in white T-shirt and Paco Rabanne ear-rings London 1966

Julain Callan-Thompson fashion model London 1966

Julia Callan-Thompson models her own psychedelic hippie gear in India in 1968

Julia Callan-Thompson working as hostess at Churchill's club London 1964

These and other still shots of Julia Callan-Thompson form the visual basis of Stewart Home's anti-documentary "The Eclipse & Re-Emergence of the Oedipus Complex" (2004). Home only uses stills in this movie, with voice over, although there is film footage of his mother Julia Callan-Thompson who died in 1979.

Stewart Home toplesss photo by Chris Dorley-Brown

The film-maker Stewart Home in 2004, imitating the pose held by his mother in the top picture on this page.