Friday, April 21, 2017

5/3/17Dicky Bahto & Friends

 What's a life? Films by Dicky Bahto & friends
Los Angeles based artist Dicky Bahto presents a program in two parts. The first part features his own works in small gauge film and video, centered around his newest project, Concert Diary (what’s a life?). This project takes the form of an archive mixing material made with musicians and personal diary recordings. Featuring portraits and performances of Carmina Escobar, Julia Holter, Sepand Shahab, Laura Steenberge, Tashi Wada, and his cat Katouche, the work is edited anew for each presentation. For this screening the work will take the form of a multiple projector performance for two Super 8 projectors, video projection, and cassette tape playback. The project is currently on view as a three-screen, eight-channel audio installation at the Sweeney Art Gallery in Riverside, California as part of the UC Riverside MFA thesis exhibition. His other works on the program include projects for Super 8 and 16mm that are related to this project, including a silent unslit 8mm portrait of the composer Ashley Bellouin (The Bellouin Sequence [2008]), a Super 8 “music video” for Julia Holter’s Finale (2013), the multiple projector work Twelve Bagatelles (for Janis Crystal Lipzin) (2015), and the sonata for ink and shadows Suicide Notes (2016). The second half of the program will feature brand new Super 8 and 16mm films from Los Angeles artists, including Ny Sol Andas In (New Sun Breathing In) by Chloe Reyes, Hour of Pearl, by Andrew Kim, and works by Penelope Uribe-Abee, Walter Vargas, and more! Bahto will introduce the program and have a conversation with the audience after.

Monday, February 20, 2017

2/22/17 Daniel Hui

Snakeskin 1hr 45min, 2014
A Singaporean filmmaker and film writer, Daniel Hui made a dramatic impression as soon as his first remarkable feature, Eclipses, was released in 2011. Garnering comparisons to filmmakers—such as Chris Marker, Lav Diaz and Matt Porterfield—who meditatively work within the realm of the docu-fictive hybrid, Hui studies Singapore through what appear to be limitless mirrors, reflecting the many facets of truth told by myth, memory and recorded history. Actively and successfully fostering the unique voice of a new Singaporean cinema, Hui also founded the independent film collective 13 Little Pictures, which produced his second, immediately acclaimed feature Snakeskin. We are excited to welcome Daniel Hui here for an evening to screen and discuss his free-associative revision of history by way of both nonfiction and science fiction.
Daniel Hui is a filmmaker and writer. A graduate of the film program in California Institute of the Arts, his films have been screened at film festivals in Rotterdam, Yamagata, New York, Lisbon, Bangkok, and Vladivostok. He is also one of the founding members of 13 Little Pictures, an independent film collective whose films have garnered critical acclaim all around the world. His second feature film, Snakeskin, has won several awards, including the Special Jury Award at the TFFDoc section of the Torino Film Festival. 

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

2/15/18 LIGHT PLAY: Stan Brakhage & Marie Menken

Anticipation of the Night by Stan Brakhage
16MM, 1958, 40min
A seminal film for Brakhage and for film history, where the psychodramas of this filmmaker’s early work transformed into a wholly new kinaesthetic vocabulary. Anticipation of the Night builds off the lyricism of Marie Menken, the poetic vocabulary of exact and nuanced yet repetition found in Gertrude Stein. And perhaps unconsciously the morbid – celebratory runaway chase of Rene Clair's Entr’acte which ends with magical self annihilation followed by the contradiction of a coda that calls the bluff. This film is a rapturous idyll, a lamentation, an exorcism and a death wish. It traces the mortal trajectory of our visual experience from Edenic optical ecstasies into a descending tilt towards the eclipsing “night” of vision arrested and crucified by the process of socialisation. Everything in Anticipation of the Night is seen in a multiplicity of aspects, changing velocities, crucial shifts of light and granular structures.

Moonplay by Marie Menken
16MM, B/W 1964, 5min
'An expansion upon an idea put forward in Marie Menken's film Notebook; single-frame footage of the moon shot on various nights, blinking and darting around within Menken's field of vision. --David Lewis, All Movie Guide
'A lunar fantasy in animated stop-motion.
16MM, 1961, 4min
Filmed at the Alhambra in Spain in just one day, according to Marie MENKEN. Arabesque for Kenneth Anger concentrates on visual details found in Moorish architecture and in ancient Spanish tile. The date 1961 refers to the addition of Teiji Ito's soundtrack and its subsequent completion, but the film was likely shot in 1960 or earlier. - D. Lewis

by Marie Menken
16MM, 1963, 10.5min

Monday, February 6, 2017

2/8/17 SMITH: The films of Harry Smith & Jack Smith


# No. 11: Mirror Animations

by Harry Smith, (1956–57) 16MM, Color, 3:35min / 12min.

A collage animation from 1956 that Smith later expanded into a longer version. Iimagery of occult and religious symbolism—alchemy, the Kabbalah, Buddhism, Eliphas Levi’s Baphomet, and more—soundtrack by "Misterioso" by Thelonious Monk 


Directed by Jack Smith, 1963, 16MM B/W, 45 min.
Nothing short of notorious, Flaming Creatures marked a significant moment in the history of postwar American film and culture. The film was banned and seized, caused theaters to be shut down, and was the subject of an obscenity case that reached the US Supreme Court. And yet Flaming Creatures was, according to Smith, ultimately meant to be a comedy. On a rooftop above one of New York’s oldest extant (now demolished) movie houses, characters disrupt gender and sexual “norms” as they act out carnal fantasies on a set resembling an Arabian harem. Excerpts from Sternberg’s The Devil is a Woman contribute to Tony Conrad’s assembled soundtrack as Smith’s creatures dance and chase one another about the bacchanal.

[“Harry Smith with Flowers and Cigarette in the kitchen 437 East 12th Street NYC, apple juice & file Folder of his designs on table, Portrait of first Cheka head propped on Piano in guest room, August 3, 1986. (Ginsberg caption)] c. Allen Ginsberg Estate]

Harry Smith (May 29, 1923 in Portland, Oregon – November 27, 1991 in New York City) was a visual artist, experimental filmmaker, record collector, bohemian, mystic, and largely self-taught student of anthropology. An important figure in the Beat Generation scene in New York City.

Jack Smith (November 14, 1932 – September 25, 1989) was an American filmmaker, actor, and pioneer of underground cinema. He is generally acclaimed as a founding father of American performance art, and has been critically recognized as a master photographer, though his photographic works are rare and remain largely unknown.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

2/1/17 Shirley Clarke and Bruce Conner


THE CONNECTION by Shirley Clarke
1961, b/w, 1hr 50min.

When Jack Gelber’s play “The Connection” opened in New York, Shirley Clarke discovered the perfect vehicle to question the idea that cinéma vérité was a reliable replacement for traditional documentary filmmaking. The Living Theatre produced Gelber’s play in 1959 play to audiences and critics who were at first bewildered and/or upset by it. Set in a squalid Greenwich Village apartment, a group of drug addicts are waiting for their connection to bring their fixes. Many of them are jazz musicians, who perform during the play.

And thus begins a play within a play within a jazz concert — a drug-addled crossing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Waiting for Godot.” The director and author are said to be there in the apartment to guide the junkies in a series of improvisational themes to reveal their lives and inner thoughts. The play was a blessing for jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean, as his drug arrest in 1957 had cost him his cabaret license, barring him from performing in clubs. The play gave him two years work on stage and he went on to perform in Clarke’s film version as well.

In adapting Gelber's play into a film, he and Clarke decided to have a film director and cinematographer as the main instigators of the action so that they could break through the film proscenium. To further the illusion of reality, the filmmakers intentionally left in artifacts of filmmaking — film rolls suddenly end in black leader; sound sync beeps are heard, and light flairs, dust, scratches and out-of-focus moments are preserved. This roughness led many critics to assume that the film was improvised. However, like the camera movement and the choreography of the actors, Clarke carefully planned everything in The Connection.
REPORT by Bruce Conner
1967, b/w, 13 min.

Haunted by JFK’s assassination, Conner obsessively filmed television coverage of the killing, funeral and miscellaneous contemporary programming, repurposing the footage into both a sorrowful portrait of a lost hero—NB: Conner’s use of blank “leader”—and a blistering critique of postwar consumerism.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

1/25/17 Eve's Bayou

directed & written by Kasi Lemmons
Eve's Bayou, 1997, 1hr 49min, DVD
The story is set in 1962 Louisiana. The Batiste family is headed by charming doctor Louis. Though he is married to beautiful Roz, he has a weakness for attractive female patients. One night Louis trysts with married and sexy Metty Mereaux, not knowing that he is observed by his youngest daughter Eve, who is there by accident. Eve can not forget the traumatic incident and shares a secret with older sister Cisely. Lies start to roll...

Kasi Lemmons (born Karen Lemmons; February 24, 1961[1]) is an American film director and actress, most notable for her work on the films Eve's Bayou, The Caveman's Valentine and Talk to Me.She was described by film scholar Wheeler Winston Dixon as "an ongoing testament to the creative possibilities of film".

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

1/18/2017 Oscar Micheaux

by Oscar Micheaux
Body and Soul, 1925, 79min
A direct critique of the power of the cloth, casting Robeson in dual roles as a jackleg preacher and a well-meaning inventor.
Ten Minutes to Live, 1932, 55min
A movie producer offers a nightclub singer a role in his latest film, but all he really wants to do is bed her. She knows, but accepts anyway. Meanwhile, a patron at the club gets a note saying that she'll soon get another note, and that she will be killed ten minutes after that.

Oscar Devereaux Micheaux (January 2, 1884 – March 25, 1951) was an African American author, film director and independent producer of more than 44 films. Although the short-lived Micheaux Book & Film Company produced some films, he is regarded as the first major African-American feature filmmaker, the most successful African-American filmmaker of the first half of the 20th century[1] and the most prominent producer of race films.[2] He produced both silent films and sound films when the industry changed to incorporate speaking actors.