David Curtis

David Curtis

Retired research fellow, Central Saint Martins
Voted in the critics poll

Voted for:

2 into 1 Gillian Wearing
Assumption 1997 Peter Gidal
Bliss 1967 Gregory J. Markopoulos
Dimensions of Dialogue 1982 Jan Svankmajer
Mothlight 1963 Stan Brakhage
Place of Work & Tailpiece 1976 Margaret Tait
Reel Time Annabel Nicolson
Screen Tests 1965 Andy Warhol
Short Film Series Guy Sherwin
Trade Tattoo 1937 Len Lye


I love big films, but I love little films such as these even more – works made by a single author, as writers write and painters paint. These are films that I can watch happily in the cinema with a crowd, or in someone’s living room with a group of friends, or on my laptop. I also carry them around in my head. Some are the product of intense planning, calculation and manual dexterity (Lye, Brakhage, Markopoulos, Gidal, Svankmajer), while the Warhol couldn’t be more hands off. The others lie somewhere in between – more a case of ‘an image seized’ (Tait and Sherwin) or a single concept elegantly expressed (Wearing). They’re all great and universal in appeal, but another day I might give a completely different list.