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John Smith

John Smith

United Kingdom


John Smith (born 1952, Walthamstow, England) is an award winning avant garde filmmaker noted for his use of humour in exploring various themes that often play upon the film spectator's conditioned assumptions of the medium. Noted works include The Girl Chewing Gum (1976), Om (1987), The Kiss (1999) and Blight (1996). John studied film at the Royal College of Art. After graduating in 1977 he became involved in the activities of the London Filmmakers’ Co-op. Strongly influenced by the Structural Materialist ideas which dominated British artists’ filmmaking at that time, but also fascinated by the immersive power of narrative and the spoken word, John Smith has developed a body of work which reworks and transforms reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema. Since 1972 John Smith has made over forty film, video and installation works that have been shown in cinemas, art galleries and on television throughout the world and awarded major prizes at many international film festivals. His solo exhibitions include Ikon Gallery, Birmingham (2006), Kunstmuseum Magdeburg (2005), Open Eye Gallery, Liverpool (2003) and Pearl Gallery, London (2003). He regularly presents his work in person and in recent years it has been profiled through retrospectives at the 2007 Venice Biennale and film festivals in Oberhausen, Cork, Tampere, Uppsala, Bristol, Regensburg, Glasgow and La Rochelle. John Smith lives and works in London. He teaches part-time at the University of East London where he is Professor of Fine Art.


Triangles (3´, UK, 1972)
Someone Moving (5´, UK, 1972)
The Hut (5´, UK, 1973)
Words (7´, UK, 1973)
William and the Cows (6´, UK, 1974)
Faces 1 (11´, UK, 1975)
Faces 2 (3´, UK, 1974)
Associations (7´, UK, 1975)
Leading Light (11´, UK, 1975)
Nine Short Stories (3´, UK, 1975)
Subjective Tick-Tocks (11´, UK, 1975)
The Girl Chewing Gum (12´, UK, 1976)
Summer Diary (30´, UK, 1976-77)
Hackney Marshes - November 4th (15´, UK, 1977)
Gardner (6´, UK, 1977)
Hackney Marshes-TV version (30´, UK, 1978)
7P (7´, UK, 1978)
Blue Bathroom (14´, UK, 1979)
Celestial Navigation (10´, UK, 1980)
Spring Tree (3´, UK, 1980)
Shine So Hard (32´, UK, 1981)
Light Sleep (6´, UK, 1981)
Shepherd's Delight (35´, UK, 1980-84)
Om (4´, UK, 1986)
The Black Tower (24´, UK, 1985-87)
Dungeness-3 films for theatre production (12´, UK, 1987)
Slow Glass (40´, UK, 1988-91)
Gargantuan (1´, UK, 1992)
Home Suite (96´, UK, 1993-94)
Blight (14´, UK, 1996)
The Kiss-in collaboration with Ian Bourn (5´, UK, 1999)
The Waste Land (5´, UK, 1999)
Regression (17´, UK, 1999)
Lost Sound-in collaboration with Graeme Miller (28´, UK, 2001)
Frozen War (11´, UK, 2001)
Worst Case Scenario (18´, UK, 2001-03)
T in the Park (UK, 2004-06)
Hotel Diaries (80´, UK, 2002-07)
Flag Mountain (8', UK, 2010)
Demo Tape (5', UK, 2010)
unusual Red cardigan (12', UK, 2011)
The Man Phoning Mum (12', UK, 2011)
Soft Work (37', UK, 2012)
Dad's Stick (5', UK, 2012)


Hotel Diaries 1 - Frozen War

Hotel Diaries 1 - Frozen War (Orig.) / 2001 / United Kingdom / 11 min

A disorientating experience while attempting to watch the TV news in an Irish hotel room triggers a spontaneous response to the bombing of Afghanistan.


museum piece_4

Hotel Diaries 2 - Museum Piece

Hotel Diaries 2 - Museum Piece (Orig.) / 2004 / United Kingdom / 12 min

While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.


Throwing Stones_2

Hotel Diaries 3 - Throwing Stones

Hotel Diaries 3 - Throwing Stones (Orig.) / 2004 / United Kingdom / 11 min

As the camera looks out through a barred window and the clock strikes four in a Swiss city, the death of Yasser Arafat provides the starting point for a journey back in time.



Hotel Diaries 4 - B & B

Hotel Diaries 4 - B & B (Orig.) / 2005 / United Kingdom / 6 min

The perception of an Anglo-American hotel room is coloured by new revelations about 'The War on Terror' and 'The Special Relationship' that exists between Britain and the USA.



Hotel Diaries 5 & 6 - Pyramids / Skunk

Hotel Diaries 5 & 6 - Pyramids / Skunk (Orig.) / 2007 / United Kingdom / 16 min

Hamas have just won the Palestinian elections and a chocolate bar in a Rotterdam hotel room eventually reminds the filmmaker that there are more important things going on in the world outside. Exactly one year later he returns to the same city and checks in at a very different hotel.



Hotel Diaries 7 - Dirty Pictures

Hotel Diaries 7 - Dirty Pictures (Orig.) / 2007 / United Kingdom / 14 min


six years later_1

Hotel Diaries 8 - Six Years Later

Hotel Diaries 8 - Six Years Later (Orig.) / 2007 / United Kingdom / 9 min

The filmmaker returns to the city where he made the first video in the series and looks back at the events of the past six years.





“My work has two strands: the first one deals with direct political images of violence, aggression and protest, mostly in Israeli-Palestinian context. It’s critique of news media, researching the complex, both realistic and surrealistic aspects of these images. The second strand of videos is more abstract and universal, dealing with cognitive, environmental and existential issues,” says the director about his works.

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- 16.1.2017 -

Charter 77

Charter 77

We commemorate the 40th anniversary of the founding of Charter 77 by presenting documentary profiles of the signatories to this important initiative of anti-communist resistance. Learn more about the context of this historical event by means of an authentic film experience.

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- 10.1.2017 -

Merry and Cinematic Christmas from DAFilms!

Merry and Cinematic Christmas from DAFilms!

A bonus subscription to DAFilms.com is a present you will never get tired of thanks to its diversity. You can get it for your close ones or just for yourself.

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- 14.12.2016 -

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