LET RIP: THE BEAUTIFUL GAME (2020)
*FINALIST, MICROMANIA FILM FESTIVAL 2020*
'Balls, sports, and men in shorts! A father and son reflect on a game that they remember quite differently' OUTSTREAM FILM FESTIVAL 2020
'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’ Alycia Ripley
'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'
‘The homosexuality of the homosociality of football is writ large’
'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.
Football is often called ’The Beautiful Game’. Football players are seemed 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. 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 'ripping' is so visceral, it’s on your skin. It hits you on an intuitional level and its inarticulable but really supports this going back in time and reconstructing something in the present time.
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.
Project Type:Experimental, Short
Runtime:4 minutes 57 seconds
Completion Date:April 1, 2020
Country of Origin:United Kingdom
MIcroMania Film Festival 2020Buffalo, NY
OUTStream Film Festival
May 29, 2020
Vesuvius International Film Festival
May 31, 2020
MicroActs International Artist Film FestivalLondon
July 1, 2020
States of DesirePuerto Rico
December 18, 2020
QueerBee LGBT Film Festival 2021
Thessaloniki Queer Arts Festival 2021Thessaloniki
Birkenhead International Film FestivalLiverpool
June 4, 2021
SPLICE Film FestivalBrooklyn, NYC
June 17, 2021
Dr Lee Campbell trained in Fine Art at the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London in 2005 and received his doctorate in 2016. His recent experimental performance poetry films have been selected for many international queer film festivals including Queerbee LGBT Film Festival, The Gilbert Baker Film Festival, Kansas 2020, HOMOGRAPHY, Brussels and STATES OF DESIRE: Tom of Finland in the Queer Imagination, Casa de Duende, Philadelphia, USA, WICKED QUEER 202,Boston, USA, 2021 Film Vault Presents, Manchester, UK, 2021 FilmPride Brighton & Hove Pride's official LGBTQ+ film festival, Brighton, UK,Splice Film Festival 2021, Brooklyn, USA Festival ECRÃ Edition 5, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, SPHERE Festival, and Queer Life, EdgeZones, Miami, USA 2021.
He has a solo exhibition of his film work at The Sidewalk Video Gallery, Fountain Street, Boston USA in late 2021. His films have been selected for prestigious awards/nominations including:
2021 Honorable Mention, Splice Film Festival, New York
2021 Nominee for Best Original Concept and Best Atmosphere Independent Horror Movie Awards
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
Dr Lee Campbell describes himself as 'a Londoner who makes experimental films and performance poetry about being gay and working class using barbaric wit and humour’. He uses poetry and experimental film as a form of autoethnographic storytelling/sharing of personal narratives often raw, often painful but always generous and authentic.
I am interested how the medium of film and photography (that particularly include collage-methods) considers how male body image/self-representation particularly from a gay male perspective has been coded, performed, and socially constructed from the 1960s to the present day. Applied humour as a tactic to subvert and challenge issues of representation, my current film work presents a personal archaeology and revolves around my own autobiographical perspective, using the mechanisms of comedy and humour as an integral part of my work to engage, disarm, and highlight.
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 this new exciting phase of my 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.