The Electric Palace cinema offered the chance to see a projection of handmade 8mm cine films by local filmmaker Ben Barton last week.
The short, nostalgic films revealed a world of Hollywood glamour, fairytales, undead brides, dancing insects and lost home movies from the British seaside and to hear about Barton’s ‘connection’ to David Bowie.
Barton has spent a lot of time in Hastings and many of his films have been shot around Hasting and Dungeness.
‘Camera Obscura’ collects together Barton’s films made over the past seven years. They’ve screened at festivals and events both in the UK, such as the Edinburgh Festival and London Independent Film Festival, as well as America, Australia and the Far East.
“Camera Obscura is – a little insight into my filmmaking world,” says Barton. “I just love the Electric Palace cinema, it’s my favourite venue in Hastings. So, inspired by vintage cinemas, my films ere interspersed with old movie trailers, ads for popcorn, things like that. So it was really the setting that inspired me.”
For Barton’s most recent project, he hired an authentic NASA spacesuit. Just before the film was due to be shot the spacesuit company rang to say that a ‘big star’ needed the suit urgently for a pop video. “It was all very cloak and dagger. This ‘big star’ actually ending up paying for my hire so they could have the suit first. I have very limited funds so this was good news to me!”
Since then, Barton discovered the person in question was apparently David Bowie, and the NASA suit is believed to have been used in his upcoming music video ‘Blackstar’. http://www.benbarton.co.uk