ICO Essentials: Play

Dir: Various

FranceGermanyUnited Kingdom (UK)AustriaUnited States of America (USA)

79 mins


Essentials: Play honours the irreverent, impudent, subversive and fun in artists’ film. Ranging from Dada to Postmodernism this programme is a playground for unconventional ideas and approaches, with work that mocks and parodies a cinema that takes itself seriously for all the wrong reasons. These playful works cast aside pretensions and freely celebrate life and art in all its forms. Featuring work by Hans Richter, John Smith and George Kuchar.

Programme curated by James Harding.

This title is no longer available for booking from the ICO



Hans Richter | Germany | 1926 | 3min 30sec

Richter’s pioneering Dada work Filmstudie is a seminal piece of early avant-garde cinema.


René Clair | France | 1924 | 22min

Originally conceived to be shown in the interval of Francis Picabia’s radical Dadaist ballet Relâche.


John Smith | UK | 1975 | 7min

Combining a wry sense of humour with word and visual games.

Hold Me While I'm Naked

George Kuchar | USA | 1966 | 15min

A film seen through the eyes of a frustrated director who is attempting to realise his ‘vision’.

Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy

Martin Arnold | Austria | 1998 | 15min

A radical example of found footage filmmaking, Alone is a meticulously re-edited compilation of scenes from the Andy Hardy series of MGM Hollywood Musical Comedies.

Little Stabs At Happiness

Ken Jacobs | USA | 1963 | 15min

Six short episodes, loosely linked by Brooklyn slum locations and the intermittent presence of Jack Smith.

Sacrificial Mutilation And Death In Modern Art

Dinos Chapman & Jake Chapman | UK | 1999 | 5min

The mythology of modern art reenacted through puppets.

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