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Has the Feature Started Yet? (12A*) + Pre-recorded Intro

Splash, Scratch, Dunk! Films Made by Hand

an array of pink and grey shapes

In this hugely influential handmade film the artist’s interventions on the filmstrip constitute an act of destruction aimed at the material of film itself. 

Maurice Lemaître never wants us to forget we are watching a film, an artificial construction. He disorients with jump-cuts, inserts single-frames of blank white, doodles;the footage, and makes the filmstrip’s black frame borders visible. All this strenuously thwarts our expectations of how a film can be watched and understood.

We are poles apart here from Len Lye and his joyous colourful abstractions, and yet for their example of ‘creative destruction’* Lemaître and fellow filmmaker Isidore Isou are often credited as key influences on the handmade filmmakers who have worked since.

The screening includes a specially filmed intro about the Lettrist movement, created by Professor Nicole Brenez and Othello Vilgard.

France 1951 Dir Maurice Lemaître 61 min digital sound 

*Gregory Zinman, Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts (University of California Press, 2020)

The ideas and selection of films for this programme were informed by Gregory Zinman’s seminal book: Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts (University of California Press, 2020) and Process Cinema: Handmade Film in the Digital Age, by Scott MacKenzie and Janine Marchessault (McGill-Queen's University Press, 2019).

Please note: this programme contains flashing light and is not suitable for people with certain types of epilepsy. 

Barbican Cinema has been supported by the Culture Recovery Fund for Independent Cinemas in England which is administered by the BFI, as part of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sports £1.57bn Culture Recovery Fund supporting arts and cultural organisations in England affected by the impact of Covid-19. #HereForCulture.

The words 'Here for Culture' in caps, with an outline of a square, corner point roughly north-facing, that ends once it meets the writing
The b&w logo for the BFI Film Audience Network

See more film for less

Get 20% off tickets and pay no booking fees. Plus, enjoy priority booking and £6 Members’ Screenings of the latest films every Sunday (T&Cs apply)

Cinema Summer Special

Throughout July and August, on Thursdays and Fridays, you can book a film and enjoy a beer, wine or soft drink for the combined price of £13, plus 60p booking fee per online transaction. 

How to redeem

  • Select any film showing on a Thursday or Friday in June, July and August valid for this deal (excludes 3D films, ScreenTalks, Festivals and Event Cinema)
  • When purchasing your ticket, select 'Summer Drinks Offer' when prompted to select your ticket type
  • Present your e-ticket at the Cinema Cafe and Bar on Beech Street or Cinema 1 bar in the Centre to redeem


1) Bookable online only (not available at Barbican Cinema Box Office or over the phone).

2) Drink must be redeemed on the same day as the film is attended.

3) Not available for 3D films, ScreenTalks, Festivals or Event Cinema, Cinema On Demand or film screenings held outside of Cinema 1, 2 or 3. 

4) One drink (glass of house red or white wine, bottle of beer or soft drink) per ticket.

5) Cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer.

6) Non-transferable and has no equivalent cash value.

7) Valid from Thu 1 Jul 2021 until Fri 27 August 2021 . 

8) £13 price excludes a 60p booking fee per transaction.

Barbican Cinema 1