Experiencing Interruptions?


From the live euphoria of football, to homosexual desire and the macho body in action, Lee Campbell explores “Balls and sports, men in shorts. Football with Dad both happy and sad. Dad watching one way, me quite the other”. The pitch is a patchwork of memory. The Beautiful Game is beginning. Roll up and take your seats.'Ink, Sweat andTears

'A highly experimental film focusing on the director's look back at time spent with his father while watching past sports matches, particularly those that illuminated the director's burgeoning sexuality’

'A layering of different images mixed with the memories of a father/son bonding moments - and then kind of leaving us with the homoerotic imagery of the rugby players'

'Brought back my childhood watching rugby league games in Sydney with my father in the 80s. You both liked the tackles you had that in common. Maybe not the same definition of tackle. My interest in the players at the time was a bit confusing but I definitely knew I loved looking at them.'

'A Dad and Son conversation exploring what one is seeing and what the other is seeing about the same action of men in football with one person viewing it one way and the other a different way'

SUMMARY: As a gay teenager growing up in 1990s suburban Britain, I had to come to terms with my homosexuality and the realisation of finding men attractive. Whilst Dad could be open back then about how he experienced us enjoying football together, it is only now, as this film reveals, can I be honest and open about my preoccupations; that I found football a means to explore homosexual desire in secret.

This film was made with vintage footage of a 1996/1997 football match between Coventry City and Aston Villa, vintage footage of rugby matches in 1999, sound and moving image recordings made on a Sony Ericsson Cybershoot K800i mobile phone between 2005-2006, drawings and paintings made between 2005-2007 and 2018-2020 and photographic stills and moving image recordings made between 2011-2020 on various iPhones

LET RIP: The Beautiful Game (2020) made shortly after LET RIP: A Personal History of
Seeing and Not Seeing (2019) continued the tradition of me employing rips and ripping and employed an arguably more complex narrative structure by incorporating two voices in its storytelling, that of mine and that of my dad’s.

Football is often called ‘The Beautiful Game’. Football players are seen as the epitome of male body beautiful. The ‘beauty’ of the game could be described as these physical demonstrations of the macho body in action. Juxtaposing my experience with my dad’s, this short film speaks about huge differences in memory about one or more football matches that me and my dad watched live in a stadium/listened to live on the radio whilst driving in the 1990s. Not overly confessional but relaying frank autobiographic details of me and my dad’s actual lived shared experience, the film reveals how our own versions of events are so contrasting. The ‘rip’ in this film could also be said to be in effect in two ways; me not just using my own personal archival material (a cassette tape recording of a radio broadcast I made that me and my Dad listened to in the car of a 1996/1997 football match between Coventry City and Aston Villa) but me ‘ripping’ someone else’s archival video footage of the same match I found on YouTube, plus vintage footage of rugby matches in 1999. Conceiving of a rip as a form of disruption relates to my continued interest in both theory and practice (mine and that of others) of the power of interruption/interruptive processes within art and performance . A disruption takes place at the start of the film. The film begins with footage I shot on my mobile phone of a car journey with my dad in 1996/1997 listening to aforementioned Coventry City and Aston Villa match. Green screen effect employed shows football players running across the screen. Everything gets flipped upside down, turned on its head, presented sideways suggesting another (non-conventional) narrative or point of view in operation (mine, as being different to that of my dad). Whilst the many upside-down and sideway angles draw particularly inspiration from my love of the work Georg Baselitz, the German Abstract Expressionist painter who painted bodies upside down, these specifically reference my love of the work of François Truffaut and particularly the scene in Truffaut’s Les Quatre Centre Coups (1959) where the main character Antoine Doinel experiences a human version of a zoetrope known as a Rotora at a Parisian amusement park. The upside-down and sideway angles in The Beautiful Game draw upon Truffaut’s ability to use the camera in this scene to take both the character and viewer through a bodily disorientation, in most dramatic effect when he films the spectators peering into the amusement ride and seeing the riders (Antoine included) upside down. Throughout the film, ‘interruption’ can be characterised by disruption in terms of action related to the production of stops, pauses and breaks within the otherwise smooth running operations of an event or action in motion at the time of the interruption. Defining these stops, pauses and breaks as surprise moments that derail expectation in terms of what is pre-supposed to occur in the logical narrative of something, word play puns and double-entendres i.e. in my humorous usage of the term ‘tackle’, ‘rip’ into my Dad’s version of events but more importantly rip into not just the climate of homophobia that I was living in in 1990s Britain at the time but also what remains taboo even now, 30 plus years later, that the homosexuality of the homosociality of football is writ large.

  • Lee Campbell
  • Project Type:
    Experimental, Short
  • Runtime:
    4 minutes 57 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    April 1, 2020
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
  • MIcroMania Film Festival 2020
    Buffalo, NY
    United States
  • OUTStream Film Festival

    May 29, 2020
    Official Selection
  • Vesuvius International Film Festival

    May 31, 2020
    Official Selection
  • MicroActs International Artist Film Festival
    July 1, 2020
    Official Selection
  • States of Desire
    Puerto Rico
    December 18, 2020
    Official Selection
  • QueerBee LGBT Film Festival 2021

    Official Selection
  • Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival 2021
    Official Selection
  • Birkenhead International Film Festival
    United Kingdom
    June 4, 2021
    Official Selection
  • SPLICE Film Festival
    Brooklyn, NYC
    United States
    June 17, 2021
    Honorable Mention
Director Biography - Lee Campbell

Dr Lee Campbell is an artist, performance poet, experimental filmmaker, writer, Senior Lecturer at University of the Arts London (UAL) and curator/founder of Homo Humour, the first of its kind project on contemporary queer male film and moving image practices that explore humour and LGBTQ+ storytelling and has screened all over the world since 2020. His experimental performance poetry films have been selected for many international film festivals since 2019. 
Recent selected film accolades in 2024 include ‘Periscope’, ‘Proper Shave’ and ‘Press Eject’ nominated for Best Experimental Film for ‘Periscope’, Fisheye Film Festival, Bucks, U.K. In 2023, ‘ Michael in the Mountains’ was Nominee for Best Experimental Short at Appalachian Queer Film Festival, Huntington, West Virginia, USA, ‘Rufus’ and ‘Slang Bang’ were selected as Finalists at the Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Cardiff, Wales.,‘Bears with Bananas and Bubbles in Their Boxers’ was a Finalist in The Artists Spoken Word Competition, NYC, USA and 'Rufus' won Best Animated Short at The Rooster Film Festival, Portland, USA. His film SEE ME: A Walk Through London’s Gay Soho 1994 and 2020 (2021) has won numerous accolades including winning Best Experimental Film at Ealing Film Festival, London 2022, shortlisted for BEST POETRY FILM at the Out-Spoken Poetry Prize 2023, Southbank Centre, London and receiving Honorable Mentions at Los Angeles Underground Film Forum and Experimental Forum, Los Angeles both in 2023. Other film accolades include his films ‘Periscope’ and ‘Apple of my Eye’ (2022 version) as finalist in the Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize 2022 and 2023 and an Honorable Mention for 'Let Rip: Teenage Scrapbook' at REELPOETRY INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2023, Houston, Texas, USA and for 'Juniper Park' at Experimental Forum, Los Angeles in 2023.
Lee had his first solo exhibition in North America of his poetry films, See Me: Performance Poetry Films at Fountain Street, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A in July 2022 and a solo exhibition of poetry film, Bona Polari! at The Margate School, Margate and Wimbledon College of Arts Library, UAL in February 2022. In September 2023, a solo retrospective of Lee’s recent film work SEE ME: Lee Campbell Recent Poetry Film Works was held at Raum für Kunst, Paderborn, Germany.
Forthcoming and recent screenings include Cauldron International Film and Video Festival, Salt Lake City, USA, Festival ECRÃ, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, MicroActs 18, London, Queer Visions, Vienna, Post Pxrn Film Festival, Warsaw, Porn sur Mars, Marseilles, France, Brecon Beacons Film Festival, Brecon, Wales, Fisheye Film Festival, High Wycombe, PFF Vienna 2024, Austria, Terrible Fest Toronto, Toronto, Canada, Kino Short Film Open Mic, London, FetFilms, Stockholm, Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize 2023, NSFW Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA, Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Cardiff, Wales, Queer Shorts Vienna, PORN Film Festival, Barcelona, Persian Experimental Film Festival, Gay Binge Film Festival, Gay Binge TV, Homography/Homografia, Brussels, Festival Fotogenia, Mexico, Kinoclub Goes Sompasauna, Helsinki, Finland, Wal Goch Football Film Festival, Cardiff, Wales , Failed Films Festival, Media Pollution, Los Angeles, USA, The Artists Spoken Word Competition, NYC, USA, Appalachian Queer Film Festival, Huntington, West Virginia, USA, Filmfest Paderborn, Paderborn, Germany,  Squish Movie Camp, Rotterdam, Post Pxrn Film Festival, Warsaw, The West Virginia Mountaineer Short Film Festival, Morgantown, USA, Hacker Porn Film Festival, Italy, Brighton Rocks International Film Festival, Brighton, Hastings Rocks International Film Festival, Printworks, Hastings, New York City Independent Film Festival  New York, TEASR Film Festival, Tucson, USA, The Rooster Film Festival, Portland, Oregon, USA, Lynchian Film Festival, Global Fest, Kino Club Helsinki with global Impro ensemble from The Sibelius Academy, University of the Arts Helsinki, Musiikkitalo Finland, Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize 2022,Down East Flick Fest, North Carolina, USA, PFFB Porn Film Festival Berlin, Berlin, WIPE Film Festival, Berlin, Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Cardiff, Wales, Ealing Film Festival, London, Monologues and Poetry International Film Festival, CINEM’aMOSTr, Teatro Municipal de Vila do Conde, Porto, Portugal, VIDEOAKTION #3, Raum für drastische Maßnahmenm, Berlin, SECS FEST, Seattle, USA, Hombres Video Poetry Award (Finalist) for ‘SEE ME’, SlamContemporary, Italy, (de)construction,, Kino Club Helsinki, Finland, SF Queer Film Festival, San Francisco, CA, USA, Failed Films Season 5,Los Angeles, U.S.A, Feminist Border Arts Film Festival, New Mexico State University, U.S.A,TRANÅS AT THE FRINGE - International Screening of Experimental Films and Videopoems, Sweden, Post Pxrn Film Festival, Warsaw, Living with Buildings II, Coventry, REELpoetry/HoustonTX 2022 International Poetry Film Festival, The Football Art Prize, UK-touring exhibition to Touchstones Rochdale, Millennium Gallery, Sheffield and Sunderland Museum & Winter Gardens,NFSW Film Festival, Los Angeles, USA,Miami Performance International Festival, EdgeZones, Miami, FilmPride Brighton & Hove Pride's official LGBTQ+ film festival, Brighton, UK, Festival ECRÃ Edition 5, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Wicked Queer Film Festival, Boston, USA, Fisheye Film Festival, UK, Southampton Film Week, UK, The Gateway Film Festival, UK, STATES OF DESIRE: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination, Casa de Duende, Philadelphia, USA. Darkroom Film Festival, Deptford Cinema, London, The Gilbert Baker Film Festival, USA, HOMOGRAFÍA/HOMOGRAPHY, Brussels. Visions 2020 selected by Hetain Patel, The Nunnery, Bow Arts Trust, London, Porn Film Festival Vienna, Satyrs and Maenads: the Athens Porn Film Festival, SPLICE Film Festival, OUTStream Film Festival and Queerbee LGBT Film Festival. 

Lee has been interviewed numerously about his current film/performance work including interviews on BBC Radio Ulster with WIlliam Crawley, BBC Radio Sussex and Surrey with Kathy Caton for Out with Kathy, KMTV (local Kent-based TV station) interview feature about Bona Polari! solo exhibition, interview with Jane Glennie, Moving Poems Magazine in July 2022, Daniel Hess for To Tony Productions, Tim Kirk, Matt Skallerud for I Love Gay Today/PinkMedia LGBT, Hamish Downie’s Five Questions With – Lee Campbell (March 2021) BBC Radio Kent- Interview with Dominic King for The Dominic King Show January 2021. His film work has received critical acclaim with recent review features of his film work by Francesca de Luca in Cut Frame Magazine and James Clark in Lost Creatives. In 2008, he was interviewed by Libby Purves for BBC Radio 4 where he discussed his solo performance for Whitstable Biennale that year. 
Lee’s poetry has received critical acclaim and was mentioned in a Summer 2022 edition of London’s Islington Tribune. His poem ‘Clever at Seeing without being Seen’ was recorded for Sometimes, The Revolution is Small, Disarm Hate x Poetry project by Nymphs & Thugs Recording Co. UK.Publications of his poetry include Hakara: A Bi-Lingual Journal of Creative Expression, The Atticus Review, Ink, Sweat and Tears, Untitled. Voices, Gob Jaw Anthology 2019-2022, Issue Two: Wasteland, Powders Press, Issue One: First Times, Powders Press, Otherwise, You Are Here - The Journal of Creative Geography, Queerlings – A Literary Magazine for Queer Writing, New Note Poetry, Streetcake Experimental Writing Magazine, The New Normal and Step Away Magazine. is first chapbook ‘Slang Bang’ will be published by Back Room Poetry in November 2024 and debut poetry collection ’See Me: An (Almost) Autobiography’ is forthcoming with London Poetry Books.


2024 Nominee for Best Experimental Film for ‘Periscope’, Fisheye Film Festival, Bucks, U.K
2024 Nominee for Best Experimental Film for ‘Proper Shave’, Fisheye Film Festival, Bucks, U.K
2024 Nominee for Best Experimental Film for ‘Press Eject’, Fisheye Film Festival, Bucks, U.K
2023 Finalist for ‘Periscope’, Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize 2023
2023 Nominee for Best Experimental Short for Michael in the Mountains’, Appalachian Queer Film Festival, Huntington, West Virginia, USA
2023 Finalist for ‘Slang Bang’ and ‘Rufus’, Iris Prize LGBTQ+ Film Festival, Cardiff, Wales
2023 Finalist for ‘Bears with Bananas and Bubbles in Their Boxers’ The Artists Spoken Word Competition, NYC, USA
2023 WINNER of Best Micro Short for 'The Colour of His Eyes', Under Appreciated Film Festival 2023
2023 Semi-Finalist for 'Head Boy', Neum Underwater Film Festival, Neum, Bosnia
2023 Honorable Mention for 'SEE ME', Los Angeles Underground Film Forum, Los Angeles, USA  
2023 Honorable Mention for 'SEE ME' and 'Juniper Park', Experimental Forum, Los Angeles
2023 Shortlisted for BEST POETRY FILM for ‘SEE ME’, Out-Spoken Poetry Prize 2023, Southbank Centre, London
2023 WINNER of BEST ANIMATED SHORT for ‘Rufus’ at The Rooster Film Festival, Portland, USA
2023 Honorable Mention for 'Let Rip: Teenage Scrapbook' at REELPOETRY INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL 2023 Houston, Texas, USA
2022 WINNER of BEST EXPERIMENTAL FILM for ‘SEE ME’, Ealing Film Festival, London
2022 Finalist for ‘Apple of My Eye’, Deanna Tulley Multimedia Prize 2022
2022 Finalist for ‘See Shells’, Drumshanbo Written Word Weekend Poetry Film Competition, Drumshanbo, Ireland
2022 Juan Downey International Contest (Finalist), Chile 
2022 Hombres Video Poetry Award (Finalist) for ‘SEE ME’, SlamContemporary, Italy  
2022 Finalist for ‘Rufus’, MicroMania Film Festival 2022, Buffalo, NY, USA
2022 Finalist for ‘The Perfect Crime: A Doggy Whodunnit’, Absurd Art House Film Festival 2022
2022 Finalist for ‘Reclaiming my Voice’, Vesuvius International Film Festival
2022 Honorable Special Mention Award, Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival
2021 Best Psychedelic Fantasy film winner for 'See Me' (2020), Retro Avant Garde Film Festival NYC 
2021 Semi-Finalist, Serbest International Film Festival 2021
2021 Honorable Mention, Splice Film Festival, New York
2021 Nominee for Best Original Concept and Best Atmosphere Independent Horror Movie Awards 2021
2021 Honorable Mention Award for 'See Me' (2020), Screener Short Films  
2021 Best Kent Film nominee for ‘Peer’ (2020), Margate Bookie Film Festival
2021 Honorable Special Mention Award, Athens International Monthly Art Film Festival
2020 Semi-Finalist (3rd place winner), Splice Film Festival, New York
2019 Special Mention Award, London-Worldwide Comedy Short Film Festival


Add Director Biography
Director Statement

‘Campbell’s work oscillates between memory and everyday life, as well as between private, public and pop-cultural history.’ Curator Alexander Schultz speaking about my exhibition SEE ME, Raum fur Kunst ,Paderborn, September 2023

My work broadly explores vision, visuality, and the politics of seeing and not seeing and has a long historied body of practice since 2000. As both the writer, director and performer within the experimental films and poetry performances I create, I view my practice as me performing an autoethnography; using these media forms and the chosen themes within their narratives to help me self-reflect and (better) understand myself in relation to acts of looking, seeing and being seen and the difficulty in terms of not seeing/not being seen and my own subjectivity and experiences as British, working class, male, and gay. Themes of masculinity and desire underpin many aspects of my work.
Comedy historically comes from a queer identity defence, when it was harder to be gay in public, to be funny like Kenneth Williams who used gay slang known as Polari to communicate with other gay men covertly. Extending these ideas, underpinning my work are the mechanisms of comedy and humour to create a form of autoethnographic storytelling that subverts and challenges through a sophisticated usage of camp, innuendo and double-entendres to speak of personal narratives often raw, often painful but always generous and authentic.
Applied humour as a tactic to subvert and challenge a issues of homosexual identity and representation in relation to themes addressing seeing/not seeing etc. My practice presents a personal archaeology and revolves around my own autobiographical perspective, using the mechanisms of comedy and humour to engage, disarm, and highlight the gay male subcultural milieu which needs critique as it creates such stereotypes.
With a background in Painting and then Performance Art, my current artist moving image film practice brings together personal drawing, painting, photography and performance. Collage has become a major tool in this recent film practice, reinvigorating paintings and drawings that I produced nearly twenty years ago which are juxtaposed throughout my films with current photographic and performance for camera work. These films are often made with reusing / repurposing personal archival material and sound and moving image recordings. Things insist, in a spiral, nothing’s wasted. In my current practice, I use all my capacities, from theatre to drawing to painting to language to the comic to the affective to the relational, to painting and performance and film. Excavating (fine art) work I made long ago and resuscitating it, I bring it back to life through the medium of film and moving image. Integrating my fine artwork into my film work, my films create an arresting palimpsest effect by recycling pieces from previous bodies of work and placing them within my current context to see how their meanings may now differ from when they were first conceived. Whilst what is presented through my films can be read as one person’s (my) narrative, so too can it easily be read as lots of different voices layered to talk about wider levels of experience with various references to cultural context that (any)one can relate to.