Little Stabs At Happiness

In December 1997 Mark Webber, alongside his former Siegfried's Magick Box bandmate, now Electric Sound of Joy vocalist Greg Kurcewicz and Ben Wallers, vocalist of Country Teasers, set up "Little Stabs at Happiness" a monthly film screening event at the ICA.

The name coming from a Ken Jacobs' short film, "Little Stabs" promised according to its flyers (which featured screenshots from cult films specially handpicked by Mark) an evening of "Quiet Music. Films. Loud Music. Dancing."

This was not the first time that Mark had experimented with hosting a club night as in the late eighties, he and some friends ran the specatacularly named "Groovy Fish Tank" at the now defunct "Take Two" club in Attercliffe, Sheffield, where they DJ'ed and played host to live bands. According to an interview with in 2000, when Mark moved to London in the early nineties, he wanted to set up something similar:

I suppose it was during going out to loads of parties and premieres and all that other nonsense you get invited to that I realised I wasn't enjoying the places I was going to and there weren't any clubs I wanted to go to. I didn't have a girlfriend... I didn't like the look of the girls I was more commonly meeting at this point either! So, out of all this, I just decided to do a club that I liked and wanted to see if there was anyone else interested in what it was all about.

"Little Stabs at Happiness" ran monthly predominantly at the ICA(with one date at the newly reopened Scala in King's Cross and another date in Shanghai) until December 2000, when the last screening, due to celebrate the third birthday of the event, was inexplicably cancelled.

On the 24th May 2012, "Little Stabs" was revived for a one-off show to celebrate the LUX/ICA Biennial Festival. A Q&A with Mark about the event can be found here:

Film Info and Screening Dates

The information below is copied from the former official Pulp Online site (now offline).

Saturday, 13th December 1997

The Beast (Walerian Borowcyk, 1975)

Plus three forgotten shorts

Saturday, 10th January 1998

Deep End (Jerzy Skolimowsky, 1970)

Plus: St Therese (Piero Heliczer, 1970); Fuzz Against Junk (Rubington, 1960's); Straight And Narrow (Tony & Beverly Conrad, 1970)

Friday, 6th February 1998

Vampyres (Jose Ramon Larraz, 1974)

Plus: Legend At Big Sur (Walter Chappell, 1974); That's All (Simon Hartog (1965); The Trag-Comedy Of Marriage (Robert Pike, 1957)

Saturday, 21st March 1998

Putney Swope (Robert Downey, 1969)

Plus: Winter (David Brooks, 1964-66); T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G, (Paul Sharits, 1968); Science Fiction (Stan VanDerBeek, 1959)

Saturday, 18th April 1998

Two Lane Black Top (Monte Hellman, 1972)

Plus: Peaches And Cream (Charles Levine, 1969); Circles Of Confusion (Bill Brand, 1974); Duo Concertantes (Larry Jordan, 1962-64)

Saturday, 9th May 1998

Andy Warhol's Bad (Jed Johnston, 1976) (replaced the advertised film "Twisted Nerve" (Roy Boulting, 1969), which was unavailable)

Plus: Ai (Love) (Taka Iimura, 1962); Synchromy (Norman McLaren, 1979); Grey Butterfat Rainbow (Bill Cote, 1967)

Saturday, 6th June 1998

Blue Sunshine (Jeff Lieberman, 1978)

Plus: ------ (Thom Anderson & Malcom Brodwick, 1966); Plumb Line (Carolee Schneeman, 1970's); A Lion's Tale (Walter Ungerer, 1968)

Saturday, 11th July 1998

The Tenant (Roman Polanski, 1976)

Plus: Little Stabs At Happiness (Ken Jacobs, 1959-63); Award Presentation to Andy Warhol (Jonas Mekas, 1964); An experiment In Meditation (Storm De Hirsch, 1971)

Saturday, 5th September 1998

Myra Breckinridge (Michael Sarne, 1974)

Plus: Now (Dennis Irving, 1969); Unsere Afrikareise (Peter Kubelka, 1966); The Girl Chewing Gum (John Smith, 1976)

Saturday, 14th November 1998

Greetings (Brian De Palma, 1968)

Plus: Perfect Film (Ken Jacobs, 1986); Uptight...LA Is Burning...Shit (Ben Van Meter, 1969); New Improved Institutional Quality (Owen Land, 1976)

Saturday, 23rd January 1999

Electra Glide In Blue (James William Guercio, 1973)

Plus: Meatdaze (Jeff Keen, 1968); The Itch-Scratch-Itch-Cycle (Manuel De Landa, 1977); Incontinence (Manuel De Landa, 1978); A Report (Bruce Connor, 1963-67)

Saturday, 27th February 1999

Secrets of Sex (Anthony Balch, 1970))

Plus: The Serpent (Scott Bartlett, 1971); The Petrified Dog (Sidney Peterson, 1948); Desistfilm (Stan Brakhage, 1954)

Saturday, 13th March 1999

The Wicker Man (Robin Hardy, 1973)

Plus: Fog Line (Larry Gottheim, 1970); Rubber Cement (Robert Breer, 1975); On The Marriage Broker Joke (Owen Land, 1980)

Saturday, 17th April 1999

Bonnie And Clyde (Arthur Penn, 1967)

Plus: Defense D'Afficher (Hy Hirsch, 1955); Raw Nerves (Manuel De Landa, 1979); Lapis (James Whitney, 1963-66)

Saturday, 15th May 1999

The Hardcore Life (Paul Schrader, 1978)

Plus: Versailles (Chris Garratt, 1976); Standard Time (Michael Snow, 1967); The Candidates (Richard Preston, 1964)

Saturday, 19th June 1999

The Last Detail (Hal Ashby, 1973)

Plus: Ciao Bella (Betzy Bromberg, 1978); A History Of Motion In Motion (Stan VanDerBeek, 1966); 24 Frames Per Second (Taka Iimura, 1975-78)

Saturday, 24th July 1999

Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975)

Plus: Number 7 (Harry Smith, 1951); Nitsch (Irm & Ed Sommer, 1969); Valse Triste (Bruce Conner, 1977)

Saturday, 14th August 1999

Out Of The Blue (Dennis Hopper, 1980)

Plus: San Francisco (Anthony Stern, 1968); Scorpio Rising (Kenneth Anger, 1963); Oblivion (Tom Chomont, 1969-70)

Saturday, 18th September 1999

Fahrenheit 451 (Francois Truffaut, 1966)

Plus: Speak (John Latham, 1968-69); The Autumn Feast (Piero Heliczer, 1967); Remedial Reading Comprehension (George Landow, 1970)

Saturday, 16th October 1999

The Last Picture Show (Peter Bogdanovich, 1971)

Plus: Threshold (Malcolm Le Grice, 1972); Film Form 1 (Stan Vanderbeek, 1970); We Shall March Again, (Lenny Lipton, 1965)

Saturday, 20th November 1999

Harold and Maude (Hal Ashby, 1971)

Plus: Surfacing The Thames (David Rimmer, 1970); In Quest Of Meat Joy (Carolee Schneeman, 1968-69); Visions Of A City (Larry Jordan, 1957)

Saturday, 18th December 1999

Night Of The Hunter (Charles Laughton, 1955)

Plus screenings of short videos and films by Webber (the first two), Wallers (the second two) and Kurcewicz (the last two Super 8 films).

Saturday, 18th January 2000

Silent Running (USA, 1968)

Not a Little Stabs At Happiness night as such, just Mark and BR Wallers in the ICA Bar followed by the feature film.

Saturday, 19th February 2000

The Parallax View (Alan J Pakula, 1974)

Plus: Shower Proof (Fred Drummond, 1968, UK); Serious Remembered (Stan Brakhage, 1959, UK); The Film That Rises To the Surface Of Clarified Butter (Owen Land, 1968, USA)

Saturday, 18th March 2000

Star 80 (Bob Fosse, USA 1983)

Plus: La Premiere Nuit (Georges Franju, 1957, France); Gyromorphosis (Hy Hirsch, 1955, USA); I, An Actress (George Kuchar, 1977, USA)

Saturday, 22nd April 2000

Kid Blue (James Frawley, USA, 1973)

Plus: River Of Stars, Bruce Wood, 1975, USA; Little Dog For Roger, Malcolm Le Grice, 1968, UK; Valentin De Las Sierras, Bruce Baillie, 1967, USA

Saturday, 20th May 2000

Taking Off (Milos Foreman, USA, 1971)

Plus: Globe, Ken Jacobs, 1973, USA; Tantra 1, Gordon Payne, 1969, USA; High Stepping, Roger Hammond, 1974, UK

Saturday, 10th June 2000

Mickey One (Arthur Penn, USA, 1965)

Plus: A & B In Ontario - Joyce Wieland, 1984, Canada; What's Wrong With This Picture - Owen Land (formerly known as George
Landow), 1972, USA; Piece Touchee - Martin Arnold, 1989, Austria

Saturday, 15th July 2000

Days of Heaven (Terrence Malick, 1978, USA)

Plus: Migration - David Rimmer, 1969, Canada; Barn Rushes - Larry Gottheim, 1971, USA; 3/60 : Baum in Herbst - Kurt Kren, 1960, Germany

Saturday, 12th August 2000

Theorem (Pier Paolo Pasolini, 1969, Italy)

Plus: Shutter - Taka Iimura, 1971, Japan ; X - Vincent Grenier, 1976, Canada; Tung - Bruce Baillie, 1966, USA
flyer Saturday 9 September 2000

Saturday, 9th September 2000

Christiane F. (Ulrich Edel, 1981, Germany)

Plus: Kino Da! - Henry Hills, USA, 1981; Epileptic Seizure Comparison - Paul Sharits, 1976, USA; An Aesthetic Quality - Vaughn Obern, 1967, USA

Saturday, 21st October 2000

Witchfinder General (Michael Reeves, UK, 1968)

Plus: Le Sexe Enrage - Roland Lethem, 1970, Belgium
The Visible Compendium - Larry Jordan, 1991, USA
The Dead - Stan Brakhage 1960, USA

Thursday, 2nd November 2000

Clockwork Orange (Stanley Kubrick, UK, 1971)

Plus: Boobs A Lot - Aggy Read, 1968, Australia
Marilyn Times Five - Bruce Conner, 1968-73, USA
Flak - Graeme Ewens, 1970, UK

Thursday 24th May 2012 (ICA/LUX Biennial Festival)

The Machine That Kills Bad People (Roberto Rossellini, 1952)

Plus: Nitsch - Irm & Ed Sommer, 1969
Straight and Narrow - Tony & Beverly Conrad, 1970
Incontinence: A Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches - Manuel De Landa, 1978

Page last modified on May 31, 2012, at 12:51 PM