Previously at the ICA - Films

© 1982 Babette Mangolte

Essay Film Festival 2017: Three Landscape Films by Babette Mangolte + Filmmaker in Conversation

26 Mar 2017

Filmmaker Babette Mangolte is in conversation with Laura Mulvey (Birkbeck) and Lucy Reynolds (Central Saint Martins) following this screening.

This second programme devoted to the work of Babette Mangolte focuses on her trilogy of films about landscape: There? Where? (1979), The Sky on Location (1982) and Visible Cities (1991). These essay films are both studies of specific locations and a sustained reflection about the art of landscape cinematography.


  • There? Where?, dir. Babette Mangolte, USA 1979, 16mm, 8 mins

    The filmmaker describes the first film, There? Where?, as “a naive look at Southern California by an outsider, and/or an essay on displacement through the disjunction of Californian images and off screen voices. Where is the location of these voices, here or there? Are the images near or far in relation to the voices? Are the images commenting on the images or vice versa?”

  • The Sky on Location, dir. Babette Mangolte, USA 1982, 16mm, 78 mins

    Documenting seasonal changes across the American West, from Wyoming to Oregon, the second film, The Sky on Location, is an affecting meditation on untamed nature and the atmospheric effects of climate on the landscape. Weather and ambiance, the wilderness and the Sublime, Mangolte articulates the shifting ways of looking at Nature from the nineteenth to twentieth centuries, and her keen cinematographer’s eye captures an awe and reverence for the American wilderness. The Sky on Location confronts us with a vision of the natural world, translated into a palette of ambient colour and visceral mood.

  • Visible Cities, dir. Babette Mangolte, USA 1991, 16mm, 31 mins

    Finally, in Visible Cities, two women looking for a home in Southern California realise, in Mangolte’s words, that “the single-family home [is] the locus of the exclusion of the other. It is also unaffordable. They both feel as if they are invisible citizens. They witness how the architectural landscape imposed on the California desert appears as a reversal of nature, where exclusive living, gated communities and segregation go hand in hand. They dream of escape.”

With the support of Open City Documentary Festival.

We are offering a special multibuy offer for Essay Film Festival 2017:

- if you purchase tickets for 3-4 screenings pay £9 (full price) / £7 (concessions) / £6 (ICA Members) per ticket
- If you purchase tickets for 5-6 screenings pay £8 (full price) / £6 (concessions) / £5 (ICA Members) per ticket


E.g., 31-07-2021
E.g., 31-07-2021