Ian Breakwell: British Artists’ Films

A selection of moving image works by the artist, drawn from 30 years of filmmaking.

“Breakwell’s was an art of retrieval, absorption and contrariety. His video pieces are subtle enactments of an individual praxis that compel our attention, again and again, to the uneasy comity of lived life.” Will Self

The third release in the BFI’s British Artists’ Films DVD series features Ian Breakwell (1943-2005), an artist who worked in many different mediums, with the moving image a constant part of his art-making.

Over 30 years of Breakwell’s filmmaking is surveyed. Included are his earliest to-camera readings from his written diaries, Excerpts From The Diary; the film Repertory; his hilarious parody of broadcast television The News; and the episodes Growth and The Walking Man from Annalogue’s Channel Four Television series Ian Breakwell’s Continuous Diary. Also included are two works that reflect his love of the alternative theatre traditions of variety, spectacle and illusion – Auditorium, and his brilliant response to a residency at the BFI National Archive, Variety.

The British Artists’ Films DVD series is produced in partnership with arts documentary producers Illuminations and Arts Council England. It features a wide selection of important film and video work by British artists from the last 30 years. Previous releases are William Raban and Chris Welsby.

Special features

  • theFrame — Ian Breakwell (2007, 32 min).
  • Extensive illustrated interview recorded shortly before his death.
  • Illustrated 20-page booklet with a fully annotated filmography and a bibliography.
  • Sleeve notes featuring a specially commissioned introductory essay by Will Self.

Product information

    • Certificate


    • Colour


    • Sound


    • Running time


    • Original aspect ratio


    • DVD region

      • 2 Europe (except Russia, Ukraine, and Belarus), Middle East, Egypt, Japan, South Africa, Swaziland, Lesotho, Greenland, French Overseas departments and territories

    • Catalogue number


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