Four Corners

40 years of film in East London

  • Ron Peck & Paul Hallam, Nighthawks, 1978

    Ron Peck & Paul Hallam, Nighthawks, 1978

Past Event

This event was on Sat 2 Jul, 1.30–6pm

** This event will now be held at Four Corners – for further information contact **

For four decades, Four Corners has supported film production, skills and exhibitions from its base on Roman Road in Bethnal Green.

Join an afternoon showcasing films from the first ten years of the organisation, alongside discussion with special guests Ron Peck, Joanna Davis, Wilfried Thust, Paul Hallam and Mandy Rose.

Hear from some of the founder members of Four Corners:

“Looking back the most exciting part of setting up and running Four Corners was the establishment of a public independent cinema, the creation of an audience, particularly a women’s audience, to look at and talk about films that would never have made it to the mainstream.” Joanna Davis 

Four Corners Books founder members in 1970s

Four Corners Books founder members in 1970s

“I was brought up in Germany, and at 30 I topped up my art, philosophy and teaching practices with studies at The London International Film School. This was an expansion away from established art work, art teaching and career expectations. I searched for something closer to “the real”.  What I intended was to undercut misleading authority, privilege and importance.  The co-creation of the group Four Corners in 1974 with the aim to influence changes in society through working in film led me to achieve some of my ambitions.” Wilfried Thust

“When ‘Four Corners’ started in the late seventies, I was living & working in the East End.  I have brilliant memories of the early years, as Mary Pat Leece and Joanna Davis brought feminism, as well as film, to a socially & culturally neglected area.  I was squatting at the time, and was excited by the arrival of ‘the four’ – and completely identified with their vision, being a filmmaker & community activist myself.” Bev Zalcock


1.15pm – Tea/coffee arrival

1.30pm – Introduction

1.40pm – Joanna Davis, Mary Pat Leece, Ron Peck, Wilfried Thust, Railman, 1976, excerpt, 10 minutes

1.50pm – Joanna Davis, Mary Pat Leece, Ron Peck, Wilfried Thust, On Allotments, 1979, 31 minutes

2.20pm – Panel discussion and Q&A: Four Corners and the cultural politics of the time. With special guests Joanna Davis, Ron Peck, Wilfried Thust, Paul Hallam, Mandy Rose. Chair: Gareth Evans

3.00pm – Ron Peck & Paul Hallam, Nighthawks, 1978, 109 minutes / extract 20 minutes. Discussion: Ron Peck and Paul Hallam

3.30pm – Break

4.00pm – Joanna Davis & Mary Pat Leece, Bred and Born, 1983, 75 minutes / extract 30 minutes. Discussion: Joanna Davis, Mandy Rose, Bev Zalcock, Loraine Leeson.

4.50pm – Wilfried Thust, Is That It?, 1985, Parts 5 & 6…, 28 minutes.
Introduction: Wilfried Thust 

5.30pm – Ruhul Amin, A Kind of English, 1986, 75 minutes / extract 20 minutes. Discussion: Paul Hallam

6.00pm – Finish

About the speakers

About Paul Hallam

Paul Hallam was involved in Four Corners’ early years, writing and co-writing the screenplays for the films A Kind of English, and Nighthawks, as well as Caught Looking (Constantine Giannaris), Strip Jack Naked (Ron Peck) and Cannes Critics’ Prize winner Young Soul Rebels (Isaac Julien). His play, The Dish, was performed in London, New York and Toronto, and a BBC Radio 4 adaptation broadcast in 1998. He collaborated on short films, Soho, (Ron Peck/Paul Hallam), King’s Cross, (Kate Boyd/Paul Hallam), and The Last Biscuit (Paul Hallam/Andrea Luka Zimmerman).   A former cultural studies tutor at Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, he moved to Istanbul in 2008, and taught at Istanbul University. His publications include The Book of Sodom, and If you look at it long enough.  He is working on a new book, and Turkish feature film, provisionally titled The Turkish Dormitory.

About Loraine Leeson

Loraine Leeson is a visual artist particularly known for her 1980’s cultural campaigning in support of the communities of London’s Docklands and subsequent collaborative and participatory work in East London. She is currently Senior Research Fellow at University of Westminster and is soon to launch a new MA in Art and Social Practice at Middlesex University. Loraine is also director of the arts charity cSPACE where her work with young people has attracted a Media Trust Inspiring Voices award and Olympic Inspire Mark, while her public artwork The Catch was voted a London 2012 Landmark. Current projects include Active Energy, an arts/engineering collaboration with Bow based seniors’ group The Geezers, developing tidal technology along the River Thames.

About Ron Peck

Ron Peck studied filmmaking at the London Film School 1972-74. There he met Joanna Davis, Wilfried Thust and Mary Pat Leece and together they created Four Corner Films. Ron Peck worked on Four Corners’ early documentaries and then initiated the feature film NIGHTHAWKS with Paul Hallam, which he made along with the documentary EDWARD HOPPER through Four Corners.  In the mid-1980s he set up Team Pictures in Mile End with Mark Ayres, and made several East London films:  EMPIRE STATE, FIGHTERS and REAL MONEY. More recently he has worked in Russia and France and made the independent feature film CROSS-CHANNEL.  His current projects include further East London work and more international projects.

About Mandy Rose

Mandy Rose is Director of UWE Bristol’s Digital Cultures Research Centre and Co-Director of i-Docs. Her practice-based research looks at emerging documentary practices. An award-winning producer of participatory and interactive media,  she was co-producer of BBC 2’s Video Nation project (1994-2000) and Executive Producer of the Capture Wales digital storytelling project (2001-2008). Mandy became involved with independent film in London in the late 1970s, was one of the founders of the feminist distribution group Cinema of Women (COW Films), and worked at Four Corners in the early 80s. Her recent writing appears in The Journal of Documentary Studies (Intellect Books 2013) and DIY Citizenship; Critical Making and Social Media (MIT Press 2014). @CollabDocs