Thursday, October 1, 2015

10/14/15 Vanessa Renwick

Renwick will screen a 80-min. program of her work that begins with early experimental films and concludes with her latest experimental documentary video on the migration of swifts.  These short, personal constructions demonstrate a wide range of formal approaches and subjects that include nuclear power, hitchhiking, Toxic Shock and a taste of the wild west, be it a horse fighting a bear, a homoerotic rodeo or the gentrification of Portland.    Renwick's  films share a restless spirit, an interest in outlaw art-making, and an unflagging sense of wanderlust. Her films, videos and installations reflect an interest in place, urban transformation, and relationships between bodies and landscapes. Her diaristic "CROWDOG" was shot on super-8 during a 9-month barefoot hitchhiking trip across the US.  The film records her visit to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota to investigate the remnants of the FBI's "Reign of Terror" on the American Indian Movement.   On daily walks to the river with her wolf dog she meditates on her experiences as a barefooted person in a shoe-wearing world.
Toxic Shock 16mm print  2.5
Britton, South Dakota      9
Crowdog                          7
red stallions revenge        7
The Yodeling Lesson       3
9 is a secret                      6
mighty tacoma                 9
westward ho                     2
SF HITCH                        5
cascadia terminal              6   
Trojan                               5
House of Sound               11
layover                              5

10/7/15 Guest Curator Frankie Symonds

programmed by Frankie Symonds
A two- part program that travels through happy and sad visions of hopes and dreams of belonging.
Successes and failures of applied childhood fantasies and sentiments clash and culminate in death. 

Featuring films and videos by Saul Levine, Richard Fedorchak, JooYoung Choi, Brandi Diaz, Duncan Browne, and Frankie Symonds.


part 1

Dream Lover Dream- Saul Levine- 11:47

carnivals- Brandi Diaz- 2:20

Fresh Grass- Richard Fedorchak- 3:30

the place i live- Trevor Powers and Phillip Fryer- 5:00

Echo- Brandi Diaz- 4:05

Wanting and Getting- Frankie Symonds- 7:22

Cancer- Duncan Browne- 10:30

Pleasure Vision- JooYoung Choi- 4:09

Buddha’s Daydream- Richard Fedorchak- 4:39

part 2

Victim-Frankie Symonds- 67:00

Fall 2015 Schedule

09/02 Mark Lapore 
09/09 Mark Lapore, Daniel Barnett, Joseph Cornell + Mark and Saul
09/16 Steven Cossman
09/23  Films By Maya Deren and Oscar Micheaux
09/30 Tooth: Blackhole Cinematheque

10/07 Guest Curator: Frankie Symonds
10/14 Vanessa Renwick
10/21  Stephen Broomer
10/28 Rashin Fahandej

11/04  Akosua Adoma Owusu
11/18  Ephraim Asili 

12/02  Karen Johannesen
12/09  Kelly Gallagher

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

9/30/15 Tooth: Blackhole Cinematique

lights of unknown origin - films by tooth 
The impulse when writing an introductory paragraph like this for a program of works made over a certain span of time may often be to cast a unitary net over a disparate collection of moving images as a simple device to decipher and package. I'd like to resist that impulse as best I can, despite its potential benefits and failures, to both respect the heterogenous nature in which each film may or may not have been constructed, and to suggest that these fusions and cross-pollinations of meaning might be work that is better left in the hands of the viewer, to construct as they see fit. I could offer suggestions as to the various material and surface elements that each work appears to occupy itself with: political action/struggle, performed ritual, divination practices, mathematics, linguistics, astronomy, organic decay, the weather, the impulse (and often failure) to chronicle one's own life - and surely there are conceptual arcs which may continue throughout the works: a preoccupation with fragmented and imperfect memory, the perceptual investigations afforded through trance induction, and so on. This seeming disjunction of forms is not exactly the point though. It is not particularly unique or even an especially pronounced aspect to the program. So, I mention it here and in this form of address to slightly complicate, however annoyingly, the nature of smoothly offering a descriptive paragraph to one's own films, but mostly to suggest that if the work has a unitary concern it might lay in using material elements to investigate immaterial states over which one must never assume too much control/authorship and to which some mystery must always remain.
tooth is an artist that works in film, sound, performance and other time-based disciplines. His work primarily concerns itself with the phenomenon of trance states and their function within a collision of cultural, political and personal realities. His film, performance and installation work has been presented at, The Lab (SF), San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, Berkeley Art Museum/Pacific FIlm Archive, San Francisco Cinematheque's CROSSROADS Film Festival, Nightingale Microcinema (Chicago), Mindpirates Gallery (Berlin), NDSM Treehouse Gallery (Amsterdam), and others. Since 2009 he has been operating Black Hole Cinematheque in Oakland, a microcinema and archive which since 2011 has held free weekly screenings focusing on international experimental/avant garde moving images. Check him our on:   Vimeo

palms (2011, 3 minutes, super 8mm)
A california portrait. Obscured investigation of the myth of “paradise”. Palm trees are a non-native plant species to california, and their roots span equal parts as far underground as the trees tower above the earth. Within this, an overlapping symbology.
year of the rabbit (2011, 3 minutes, super 8mm)
A new year's ritual, in night and rain.
moyah pravda newsreel (2011. 11 mins, dual channel super 8mm)
Fragments of overlapping struggle in oakland, ca
the arc of the sun (2014, 3 mins, 16mm)
An in-camera study of the Sun Ra Arkestra under the direction of Marshall Allen, bending light and space with spectral cameos illuminated in the void.
every second has been dreamed of many times before (2014, 3 mins, triple-channel 16mm)
A projector/sound performance born out of several collaborations with movement artists; Sophia Wang and Brontez Purnell - and poet; Bernadette Mayer. made in conversation with Mayer's epic writing experiment, Studying Hunger Journals.
no translation (2009/2015, 15 mins, super 8mm)
tracing a constellation of untranslatable occurrence and disparate, persistent memory through Berlin, New York, Mexico City and the mountains of San Luis Potosi.
hexagram (2015, 5 mins, dual channel 16mm)
Using 64 xeroxed hexagrams of the I Ching as point of departure for filmic divination.
tetradic moons (2015, 5 mins, dual channel 16mm)
Xeroxed printed stroboscopic study of the lunar form, born of occult numerology and obscured biography.
light of the tulpa (2015, 5 mins, 16mm)
An investigation based on the mystical study of color undertaken in Besant and Leadbeater's 1901 book Thought Forms.
blood signs (2015, 5 mins, 16mm)
"we don't want rosy films — we want them the color of blood."-Jonas Mekas
"Red is the most joyful and dreadful thing in the physical universe; it is the fiercest note, it is the highest light, it is the place where the walls of this world of ours wear the thinnest and something beyond burns through."-G.K. Chesterton

Thursday, September 17, 2015

9/23/15 Maya Deren and Oscar Micheaux

1hr 19min (1925)16MM by Oscar Micheaux
with Paul Robeson in his motion picture debut.

AT LAND 15min (1944) 16MM Silent experimental film written, directed by, starring MAYA DEREN.

Choreographic collaboration with Frank Westbrook and Rita Christiani, featuring Anaïs Nin and Gore Vidal.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

9/2/15 The Sleepers...Films of Mark Lapore

A Depression in the Bay of Bengal
Mark LaPore | 1996 | 28 minutes |16MM
"A DEPRESSION IN THE BAY OF BENGAL is a 28-minute color film shot while on a Fulbright Scholars Fellowship to Sri Lanka in 1993-1994. I went to Sri Lanka with the idea that I would remake Basil Wright's and John Grierson's 1934 documentary Song of Ceylon. After spending three months there I realized just how impossible that would be. Wright's film was formally innovative and visually brilliant but his experience was not to be revisited. Each of the places he filmed still exist, but thirteen years of ethnic war have colored the way in which those places can be portrayed. I have made a film about travelling and living in a distant place which looks at aspects of daily life and where the war shadows the quotidian with a dark and rumbling step."...- Mark LaPore

The Sleepers
Mark LaPore | 1989 | 16 minutes | 16MM
Memory, as well as the residue of information in text and film from Sudan, led me to make THE SLEEPERS in order to resolve the impression that the third world is present in the first world as an idea and a condition. THE SLEEPERS is a film about how notions of culture are often defined by information received indirectly - information that frequently violates the particulars of people and place and makes questionable one's ability to portray specific individuals as representatives of culture. THE SLEEPERS concludes with a description of an African girl cleaning up after a meal being read over the image of a red storefront in New York's Chinatown. Time and space contradict, then collapse to suggest a new third world city; a city of the imagination, where rural Sudan, China and Manhattan exist simultaneously.- Mark LaPore

The Glass System
Mark LaPore | 2000 | 20 minutes | 16MM
"THE GLASS SYSTEM, made from images shot in New York and Calcutta, looks at life as it is played out in the streets. Every corner turned reveals activities both simple and unfamiliar: a knife sharpener on a bicycle; a tiny tightrope walker; a man selling watches in front of a department store on Fifth Avenue; a hauntingly slow portrait of the darting eyes of schoolgirls on their way home; the uncompleted activities of a young contortionist. The sound in the film (which is from a Bengali primer written by British missionaries) is a meditation on how the English language teaches ideas about culture which are often incongruous. The disjunction between what you hear and what you see evokes reflections about the impact of globalization and the hegemony of Western-style capitalism. - Mark LaPore

Mark LaPore | 2002 | 10 minutes | B&W | SILENT
Shared intimacy mingles with unabashed voyeurism in a distilled, complex rumination on the pleasures and problems of gazing. Mark LaPore had intended to create a soundtrack for this film, but never did. However, it was initially shown and circulated as a silent work, so it was decided to release MEKONG into regular distribution as-is. - Mark Toscano

Kolkata Mark LaPore | 2005 | 35 minutes | 16MM
A portrait of North Kolkata (Calcutta), this film searches the streets for the ebb and flow of humanity and reflects the changing landscape of a city at once medieval and modern." - Mark LaPore

Joseph Cornell | c. 1940s | 6MIN | 16MM

Mark LaPore was an experimental ethnographic filmmaker who made several films in the Sudan, India and Sri Lanka, as well as various parts of the U.S. over a period of nearly thirty years. A dedicated iconoclast and personal artist, LaPore strove to document and portray the cultures with which he connected in ways that were true to his experiences as a traveler as well as being honest reflections of people and scenes that he was witnessing. LaPore worked against conventions of ethnographic narrative, using cinema at its most fundamental level as an objective tool that could also be harnessed for personal response and expression. He was also an influential teacher at the Massachusetts College of Art, and many of his students have gone on to become significant filmmakers in their own right. LaPore's tragic and premature death on September 11, 2005, robbed American independent cinema of one of its most original and dedicated talents. - Steve Anker


Joseph Cornell | 1957 | 9 minutes | 16MM
A meditation on an ephemeral day in the the life of a park shared by birds, the young and the old.
THE CHINESE TYPEWRITER  Daniel Barnett | 1978 | 27 minutes |16MM
The Chinese Typewriter is about education and language, and the way a society is shaped by them. Exemplifies the politically committed film that defies the strict rubric of avant-garde. Barnett seems less interested in challenging traditional form than in exploding his own occidental vision. He transforms cyclonic cutting among a character-filled Chinese printing shop, a school, and street life into a visual poem that extracts the country's fierce mechanistic energy while leaving the fragrant residue of humanity. The film is compositionally meticulous and rhythmically arresting, as Barnett goes beyond facile, formalist, dehumanization of post-Mao China imagery. Contrasting a stop action view of a schoolgirl doing a cartwheel with contemplating, pointillist, high-angle shots of sidewalk life. The repeated sloganeering of public-school apologists, spiced with oriental music and street beat forms a soundtrack with the haunting quality of a Davis Byrne/Brian Eno experiment. Red objects, from scarves around necks to newsstands draped with crimson like a shroud-pull the eye to what become found object vanishing points. despite the multitude of images-over 3000 on 28 minutes, the film never seems capricious or ostentatious. -- Gregory Solman ; BOSTON PHOENIX 2/26/85.

FIVE BAD ELEMENTS  Mark LaPore | 1997 | 32 minutes 16MM
NEW PRINT from Academy Film Archive - 2014!
A filmic Pandora's Box full of my version of "trouble" (death, loss, cultural imperialism) as well as the trouble with representation as incomplete understanding. - Mark LaPore

WAYWARD FRONDS  Fern Silva | 2014 | 13 minutes | 16MM

Mermaids flip a tale of twin detriments, domiciles cradle morph invaders,
crocodile trails swallow two-legged twigs in a fecund mash of nature's outlaws... down in the Everglades.
Wayward Fronds references a series of historical events that helped shape the Florida Everglades today, while fictionalizing its geological future and its effects on both native and exotic inhabitants. Guided by recent talks in the Florida legislature to finally disburse billions of dollars in restoration funds, events in this film unfold by giving way to a future eco-flourished Everglades. Nature begins to take over, en-gulfs and tames civilization after centuries of attack, and even guides it into its mysterious aqueous depths, forcing humans to adapt and evolve to its surroundings.

SUBMISSION  Saul Levine + Mark LaPore | 1988 | 5 minutes | 16MM
A confrontational rant addressed to the judges of the films entered in a Super 8 competition at No Exit. Both Mark and I were surprised when not only was it shown at the festival but it generated much laughter and angry conversation. -Saul Levine