The Movie Movie Show - 21st March 1969

Submitted by root on Mon, 07/29/2013 - 18:03

The Movie Movie Show (The Pneuwritten) was a collaboration between the artist John Latham and the Event Structure Research Group led by Jeff Shaw from Holland.  The thinking behind the show, their influences and the approach of ERG is explained in some detail in the leaflet at the bottom of this which acted as a programme for the audience.  The following is an extract from the programme which set out how the collaboration worked.

"The basic theme for the event was conceived by John Latham who uses books, paper and air as the idiom to express himself. Geoff Shaw, Sean Worsley Miller, and Theo Botsthuiper who performed at the Knokke film festival, have incorporated their work into the Latham framework.

The show is identical to the ERG show at Knokke, but this time woven into Latham's theme. The type of theatre you have seen tonight has no definition, but was intended to contradict any definition that does exist. The Moviemovie  Show, as conceived at Knokke,  was basically a cinematic proposition - to do with the environmental set-up of cinema using stock films. The purpose behind it was to get away from the set relationship of film image and audience. The screen used is a kinetic structure which allows the image to be directly and physically worked with and modulated. Coupled with the physical modulations of the image there is the story of the film coming into interaction with the story of the event so that there is an interplay between film time, film scale and film environment and immediate local environment. This is an attempt to bridge the gap between the fantasies of the possible film and the possibilities of everyday living."

What Happened

It was the kind of event that is difficult to describe but there was a script ( which follows) plus a few pics.












Supertube  performers enter  as

Lights come up: technicians Enter as performers find  supertubes : inflation of tubes

Houselights. Cut house lights. Fade up white light





Supertubes inflated : Technicians leave area :

Supertube activity begins : MovieMovie very slowly Inflated to height of dais

Fade out white light into lightshow


Electronica Musica Viva (tape



Approx 5/7 mins



Exit supertube performers  (poss. assisted by technicians ) Enter  John Latham + retinue : start sawing books +Distribution. MovieMovie does not rise

Fade up white light on dais + pulpit;  lightshow continues


Fade to contact microphone

5/10 mins




John + performers blowing paper  (cue taken from John who decides when to introduce  this activity : MovieMovie starts to rise  again (but still relatively low)


Cut lightshow: White light continues on Pulpit + dais : coloured  light on MovieMovie


Fade out contact mike go Bob Cobbing tape



5/10 mins



Cue begun by visual signal from Jeff/Theo  : Performers enter MovieMovie & explore(including use ropes & dislodging of paper)  : MovieMovie continues to rise


Fast fade to new colour  (maybe  slow crossfading of colours during this sequence



Cut tape go to Manic Depression

10 mins From here to end of cue 7



John & performers rest

Fade white lights on dais and pulpit





John + performers  'float' hydrogen balloons with attached paper : MovieMovie continues to rise, and performers to  explore

White light pulpit (prob. excluding dais) : cut colours on MovieMovie  FILM BEGINS

Add BBC speech tape(intermittently)




White balloon over balcony MovieMovie continues to rise, and performers to 'play'

Mix changing colours : lightshow : films : & blackness : lights on back of organ

Mix tapes : p.a. voice : Manic Depression

5/7/10 mins



Red balloons tossed on top of MovieMovie :  performers respond

Strobes on cut ALL other  light activity

Manic Depression LOUD

3/4/5 mins



MovieMovie inner (white skin) deflate : performers exit. Outer (transparent skin) fully inflated . Smoke introduced into MovieMovies

Continue strobes (or change the colours)

Manic Depression continues

1/2/3 mins



Fully inflated smoke-filled outer skin of MovieMovie

Film ( same film from 3 projectors)

Soundtrack from film (or pre-recorded tape

10 mins


Cut MovieMovie outer skin : fast deflation

Cut  film, and low white or coloured  light on MovieMovie (?) Warm up UV light

Manic depression QUIET + voice or speech tape

1/2 mins


Activity from pulpit :  blown 'snow'

Into strobe lights (through blackout)

Cut Manic depression Go Musica Electronica Viva (tape)

1/2 mins


Snow continues

Cut strobes go UV

Cont EMV tape

1/2 mins


Blow polythene from organ

Light on organ (int +ext)

Bach tape

1/2/3 mins


Polythene continues : coffee served to audience  - hand out Programme

House lights slowly up

Bach tape continues  (quiet)

1/2/3 mins

     John Latham in rehearsalJohn Latham sawing booksJohn Latham sawing books in half  John Latham, Les Roberts and Dave Bassi in rehearsal and John Latham, wigged and gowned, sawing books in half during the performance which were then thrown into the audience.  

shredding paper to be blown into the auditoriumBlowers on top of the pulpit

John and Les setting up shredding the paper and the blowers on the pulpit which were used to blow the 'snow' at the end of the performance.

Performers inside the MovieMovieperformers inside the MovieMovie




Performers inside the MovieMovie. This performance is shown in part at the end of  the Granada Film 'On The Eighth Day'  which can be seen at the Black-E 


Cast List

MOVIEMOVIE SHOW (The PneuWritten) - GREAT GEORGES  Liverpool

Friday 21 March 1969  8.00pm

Events by John Latham and Event Structure Research Group

Performers:  John Latham, Jeff  Shaw, Theo Botschuyver,
Klaas De Poel with David Bassi, Tom Burke, G. Burton, Vanda Clarke, Michael Clarke, Julie Collins, Dai Davies, Sue Daborn, Val Evans, Bob Gomm, Susan Harris, Leslie Roberts, Terry Tran, Helen Visser.

Liquid Slides: Explosive Spectrum Light Shows

Film Projectionists: Chris Culshaw,  Robert Clark.

Light and sound control:  Don  McKie,  Brian  Jones,  Bill Harpe.

Group:  Manic Depression.

Sounds: Musica Electronica Viva (tape), Concrete Poetry by Bob Cobbing (tape), Collage by Don Henshilwood (tape).
Voice: Robert Clark.

Film: Cosinus Alpha (Kurt Kren), Speak (John Latham),
Widepoint (Alan Power) Fluxus Anthology, and Ivanhoe, Water Frolics (New York Film Co-op).

Staging:   David Cope, Barbara Harkin, Wendy Harpe, Dave Stringer, Pedro and John Watts with Bobby Nyahoe, Steve Bennett, Jeff  and Dave Mount

Sound Equipment:  Alpha Sound.

Lighting Equipment:  Strand Electric.

Catering:  Barbara Harkin, Sue Hayes, Viv Layzell, and Peter Sourire

Thanks are due to the Liverpool Daily Post and-Echo.

The  Show  was commissioned by the Bluecoat Arts Forum as part of the Liverpool 69 Festival. . It was not a public event (possibly because we did not have a performing licence at that time) but was open to all member societies of the Forum.  

It was the first event to take place in the old auditorium.

The Programme

Front cover of programme

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