By Our Selves, directed by Andrew Kötting @ The Swedenborg Society

Source: The Swedenborg Society

Friday 23 October 2015 | Doors open from 6.00 pm. | Swedenborg House | 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, London WC1A 2TH


By Our Selves (2015, 83 mins, cert. 15)

Andrew Kötting’s film channels and retraces the 1841 odyssey of the Romantic ‘peasant poet’ John Clare when he tramped 80 miles from Epping Forest, on the outskirts of London, to his home village of Northborough in Nothamptonshire. Clare was fleeing from an asylum where he had been interned for many years, and heading in pursuit of the ghosts of lost loves. In By Our Selves, Clare is played by a silent and tortured Toby Jones, haunted by memories, and by the voices of his own poems and journals (read by Toby’s father, Freddie Jones, who himself played John Clare in a 1970s television drama). Clare is accompanied on his journey by a man dressed as a shamanic straw bear (Kötting) and the pair are also joined along the way by the writer-oracles Alan Moore and Iain Sinclair, whose book Edge of the Orison (2005) was the launching pad for the film, successfully brought to fruition by a popular crowdfunding campaign.

Mysterious, sometimes tense, sometimes comic, Kötting has said that By Our Selves brings to the fore the dualities of life: the relationships of father and son, nature and human, and heaven and earth. After a preview at the Hackney Picturehouse, and world premiere at the International Film Festival in Marseille, this represents a rare early chance to see the film at ‘one of London’s most atmospheric venues’ (Guardian).

This special screening, as part of the 2015 Bloomsbury Festival, will see the director Andrew Kötting and writer/performer Iain Sinclair in attendance and it will be introduced by executive producer Gareth Evans. The evening will also serve as the launch for the companion By Our Selves book edited by Kötting, with chapters by Sinclair, Alan Moore, Toby Jones and others.
To book tickets, please go to the Bloomsbury Festival website:

(You will be a sent a confirmation email–remember to print this out and bring it with you on the evening!)

By Our Selves: screening of a unique film project about the poet John Clare

By Our Selves: screening of a unique film project about the poet John Clare

Friday, 31 October 2014, 18:00 to 19:00

By our Selves

Who this event is for

  • Everyone


JHB Lecture Theatre, John Henry Brookes Building, Headington Campus



2014 marks 150 years since the death of arguably England’s most significant poet of the natural world, John Clare, in an asylum in Northampton.

Talks and performances will accompany the showing, responding to the poet’s 80-mile walk, reimagined by the film, from an Essex asylum, back to his home village of Helpston, Cambridgeshire.

Hosted by Professor Simon Kövesi of the Department of English and Modern Languages.

About the speakers


Andrew Kötting’s films include ‘Gallivant’, ‘This Filthy Earth’ and ‘This Our Still Life’. He is Professor of Time Based Media for the University of Creative Arts.

Iain Sinclair’s 2005 memoir Edge of the Orison: In the Traces of John Clare’s ‘Journey Out of Essex’, is the inspiration for ‘By Our Selves’. Other works include Ghost Milk and American Smoke.

Jem Finer was one of the founding members of The Pogues, cowriting many of their songs. He has been artist in residence at the Universities of Oxford and Bath.

Kirsten Norrie is an artist and musician. Her live art pieces engage with metaphysical and physical mass.


More information and how to book

Please follow the link below to book your place

Phone: +44 (0) 1865 484864


Notes from location: nr. 01

We have received a note from Iain sent from location while shooting the new movie – and did I mention that you could contribute to making this movie happen by taking part to the kickstarter campaign?

“Amazed to discover character of ‘Norton’ on the cover of the latest gathering of ‘The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen’, while visiting Northampton, where the magus Moore delivered a spellbinding account of the town’s relationship to John Clare (and the ultimate black hole).

Norton, looking more than ever like a Nazi dentist, is on rear cover, next to the spine.”
— Iain Sinclair