Wednesday, November 11, 2015

11/18/15 Ephraim Asili


Excerpts from "Points on A Space Age" (2009, video, approx. 15 min.)

"Forged Ways" (2011, 16mm on video, 15 min.)

"American Hunger" (2013, 16mm on video, 19 min.

Many Thousands Gone" (2015, 16 mm on video, 9 min)
Ephraim Asili is an African American Artist, Filmmaker, DJ, Radio
host, and traveler. "One of the points of focus of Ephraim Asili's
work is the African Diaspora as a cultural force—a lineage of years
and miles that influences contemporary African-American identity and
the cultural identity of North America in general. His work often
weaves together the near and the far as a way of revealing linkages
across history and geography." Through audio-visual examinations of
societal iconography identity, geography, and architecture Asili
strives to present a personal vision which could be described as an
amalgam of pop, African American and “moving image” culture filtered
through an acute sense of rhythmic improvisation and compositional
awareness. Asili's films have screened in in festivals and venues all
over the world including  The New York Film Festival, Toronto Film
Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Milano Film Festival and the
International film festival of Trinidad and Tobago. Currently Asili
serves as Technical Director and faculty for the Film and Electronic
Arts Department at Bard College and hosts a radio show on WGXC 90.7 FM
Hudson, New York.

Friday, October 30, 2015

11/4/15 Akosua Adoma Owusu

Artist Bio:
Akosua Adoma Owusu is a filmmaker and producer with Ghanaian parentage whose films have screened worldwide in prestigious film festivals, museums, galleries, universities and microcinemas since 2005.
One of ArtForum‘s Top Ten Artists and one of The Huffington Post‘s 30 Contemporary Artists under 40, Owusu has exhibited worldwide, including at the Museum of Modern Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Rotterdam, Centre Pompidou and London Film Festival. She is a 2013 MacDowell Colony Fellow and a 2015 Guggenheim Fellow.
Her company Obibini Pictures produced award winning films including Afronauts, and Kwaku Ananse, which received the 2013 African Movie Academy Award for Best Short Film and was nominated for the 2013 Golden Bear prize at the Berlinale. The French Cesar Film Academy Golden Nights Panorama program included Kwaku Ananse in Best Short Films of the year. Focus Features Africa First, Art Matters and The Sarah Jacobson Film grant supported Kwaku Ananse in 2012. She was a featured artist at the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar in 2010 and received the Africa First award sponsored by Focus Features in 2011.
 Owusu’s film Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful received the Tom Berman Award for Most Promising Filmmaker at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2013.
Her most recent exhibitions include Prospect.3: Notes for Now in New Orleans, America Is Hard to See at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and The Art of Hair in Africa at the Fowler Museum in Los Angeles.
Various universities and museums hold Owusu’s work for their research and permanent collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Fowler Museum, Yale University Film Study Center and Indiana University Bloomington, home of the Black Film Center/Archive.
She has M.F.A. degrees in Film/Video and Fine Art from California Institute of the Arts and received her BA degree in Media Studies and Art with distinction from the University of Virginia, where she studied under the mentorship of prolific avant-garde filmmaker, Kevin Jerome Everson. 

Intermittent Delight
Split Ends, I Feel Wonderful

Bus Nut
Kwaku Ananse

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

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

Wednesday, October 21, 2015


Rashin Fahandej is a transdisciplinary artist and filmmaker. Her projects engage social, political and cultural issues through conceptual, psychological and aesthetic explorations. She works in a diversity of media, including feature film documentary, video and sound installations, performance, relational art, photography and painting.

Rashin’s work, solo and collaborative, has been exhibited internationally at numerous venues including The Western Front, Vancouver; Organhaus Gallery, Chongqing/China; Normale Supérieure, Paris; UCLA’s Wight Gallery, LA; Southern Exposure, Intersections for the Arts, San Francisco; Big Screen Plaza, Alwan for the Arts, NYC, Boston International Film Festival, and Saint Botolph Foundation, Boston.

Rashin was born and raised in Iran and currently lives in Boston, MA. She received her BFA in painting from the Massachusetts College of Art and Design; and her MFA in Film from San Francisco Art Institute.


160 Years of Pressure, a collaboration series with Krista Dragomer:

Sorkh-ab, 3 min, 2008

Parion II, 5 min, 2009

Panj-ab, Waters Meet, 10 min, 2010

Sahyeh Sorkh / Red Shadow, 14 min, 2010

From Baku to Belmont, 50 min, 2013/2015
From Baku to Belmont, 50 min, HD, 2013/2015. Portrait documentary, part of an ongoing transdisciplinary project "Marginalia"
A seemingly ordinary visit with Mr. Khaze, a hospitable elderly Iranian Baha’i living in Belmont, becomes a gripping journey through his vivid memories and visceral stories. Mr. Khaze calmly prepares lunch and serves tea, while his storytelling compels the audience to become a witness to exile, persecution, revolution, and murder; interweaving past and present.

Marginalia is an ongoing project started in 2012. The title, Marginalia, refers to the personal side notes added to the established content of a book. Likewise, this work intends to collect personal histories of marginalized groups and to bring their invisible stories and histories to the foreground. Each documentary film is created as an invitation into the intimate space of one character’s home and his or her life-story, opening a window to the past and how it unfolds in the present.

The project consists of but not limited to, a series of portrait documentary feature films, audio recordings, photos, and personal belongings collected from different individuals, and an online database. The project is and will be presented in various venues from TV stations to gallery installation and online platform.

Sahyeh Sorkh / Red Shadow, 14 min, HD video, 2010. accompanied by musical composition, String Quartet No.2: "One Day; Tehran", by Sahba Aminikia.

Sahyeh Sorkh / Red Shadow is a poetic examination of the state of bearing witness.

Following the Iranian turmoil and demonstrations of 2009, a young woman living in San Francisco, attempts to make sense of the disparity between the mundane tasks of her daily life and the turbulence imposed upon those who challenge socio-political structures. The visuals move the character through a series of rituals, weaving between the reality of the present moment and the anxieties of her imaginings. Simple daily activities in one’s apartment take on symbolic meaning, reflecting the inner workings of a character caught between emotional and geographical poles.

160 Years of Pressure, 2007-2011, series of video and sound installations in collaboration with sound artist, and graphic essayist Krista Dragomer

“In 1848, Tahirih, a woman in Iran unveiled her face in a group of men in a proclamation of undeniable equality. In the same year a group of women in Seneca Falls, United States met for tea and began the women’s suffrage movement. 160 Years of Pressure parallels that wavelike motion now set in the intimate, personal space of one woman. The works in 160 Years of Pressure explore isolated moments of self-reflection, repulsion, confusion, outrage, and desire, and the building pressure of that tumult.“

Sorkh-ab, 3 min, 2008, single channel video and stereo sound

Parion II, 5 min, 2009, single channel video and stereo sound

Panj-ab Waters Meet, 10 min, 2010, 5 channel video and 6 channel sound

The series of work in 160 Years of Pressure both welcome and resist the impulse to narration, exploring the moments of struggle as transformative junctures for both the characters as well as the viewers. The viewer is not granted direct access to the bodies visually represented, but is instead required to view the bodies through a medium, in some cases water. The water becomes a subjective lens, its motion disrupting and abstracting the cohesion of the image. The pairing of audio and visual, each operating within its own structure of tension allows for perceptions of power to shift between the two elements and subvert the cohesion of images as primary sources of information. The sounds and images continuously modify each other, in a poetic structure more empathic than explanatory.

“Born in Iran and the United States, our artistic collaboration is a sociopolitical position. It embodies our purpose in creating artworks: physically bringing together bodies, cultures, and artistic mediums to create a moment of encounter where the preconceptions we hold about each other and ourselves collapse. Collaboration is a practice and praxis that actualizes the types of connections we seek to investigate in our work and establish with our audience."

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

10/21/15 A Breathing Passage: The Films of Stephen Broomer

Part 1: Short Films 2010-2015
Manor Road (2010), 16mm, silent, 3:25
Queen’s Quay (2012), 16mm, sound, 1:12
Bridge 1A (2015), 16mm, colour, silent, 1:45
Memory Worked by Mirrors (2011), 16mm, silent, 2:20
Balinese Rebar (2011), 16mm, sound, 3:32
Conservatory (2013), 16mm, silent, 3:32
Snakegrass (2012), 16mm, sound, 1:08
Bridge 1B (2015), 16mm, silent, 1:18
Serena Gundy (2014), 16mm, silent, 3:32
Wastewater (2014), 16mm, sound, 1:18
Landform 1 (2015), 16mm, silent, 2:26
Wild Currents (2015), 16mm, sound, 6:22
Bridge 1C (2015), 16mm, silent, 1:05
Order of Ideas at the Leslie Street Spit (2012), 16mm, sound, 3:32
Gulls at Gibraltar (2015), 16mm, silent, 3:32

Part 2: "The Spirit Series" and other works
Jenny Haniver (2014), 16mm, silent, 15:31
Ravine (2013), video (from Ultrapan-8), sound, 4:31
Blue Guitar (2013), video (from Ultrapan-8), sound, 5:10
Dominion (2014), video, silent, 8:00
The Spirit Series:
Christ Church - Saint James (2011), 16mm, sound, 6:47

Brébeuf (2012), 16mm, sound, 10:32
Spirits in Season (2013), 16mm, sound, 12:17

In the past half-decade, Toronto-based Stephen Broomer has established himself as one of the most prolific and poetic experimental filmmakers of the day. His works seamlessly traverse the mediums of photochemical film and digital video, exploiting the particularities of each and bringing them together to create densely-layered, highly textural moving canvases. Not content to fall into formulaic practice, he continues to expand upon his cinematic vocabulary with each work, informed by greats such as Brakhage yet distinct in approach and methodology. Balagan and MassArt Film Society are pleased to co-present a near complete retrospective of Stephen Broomer's films to date.

Bio: Stephen Broomer (b. 1984) is an experimental filmmaker, film preservationist, and independent scholar. His films have screened throughout North America and Europe, at venues such as the Art Gallery of Ontario, the San Francisco Cinematheque, and Lincoln Centre. In 2015, his films were the subject of a retrospective and anthology, The Transformable Moment: The Films of Stephen Broomer (Ottawa: Canadian Film Institute, 2015). His first book, Hamilton Babylon: A History of the McMaster Film Board, will be published in January 2016. He recently completed his PhD on the subject of difficult aesthetics in the origins of the Canadian avant-garde film.
Total Runtime: 1h43m (with pause)

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

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.

Friday, August 21, 2015

9/16/15 Steve Cossman RITUALS OF RESTORATION

A program of moving image work by Steve Cossman
Running time : 47 minutes 

" The world, on both the micro and macro level, is constantly moving within a framework of units this irrepressible flux of time is the nexus of human experience and perception. Investigating the quantification of this motion through a reordering of various elements, I employ universally recognizable imagery within a patterned visual language. Often using time as a structure, the ‘natural’ rhythm of life is altered to create a resonating interval. This visual discord allows the viewer to reconsider established perceptual relationships.  Materials for these works have been sourced from refuse and re-organized to speak to their own degradation. " - SVC

5 min / 16mm color / optical sound / 2007-2009 
Sound element by Earthen Sea (Jacob Long, Imminent Frequencies/Lover’s Rock)

The work presented is a reflection on humanity’s ecological relationship.  The violent pulse speaks with a sense of urgency and chaotic struggle while the hypnotic arrangement keeps us in blinding awe us to its condition. The collage films are composed of 7,000+ single frames, which were appropriated from view-master reel cells. Each frame was hand-spliced to create a linear film-strip using musical and numerical patterns to compose visual rhythms. WHITE ROUGHAGE (below) is the raw optically printed footage used to create the companion piece to TUSSLEMUSCLE, entitled  W H I T E C A B B A G E .

12 min / 16mm color / optical sound / 2010 
Sound element by Daniel Caldas (ex. Black Eyes, Dischord Records) 

To expedite the transfer/loading speed of representational images online they are assigned a low resolution of 72 dpi. In the “de-res” process, a considerable amount of visual information is labeled unimportant and discarded by software. I worked with a programmer to create PHP code in order to read a thumbnail image from left to right, top to bottom, placing each pixel’s color as a full frame of the same color along the timeline. The sequence of frames plays out at 24 frames per second. In the same way that the persistence of vision creates the illusion of smooth linear movement in frame-by-frame animation, the mind is able to re-instate some of the lost visual/color information. Concurrently, the static composition of the photographic image dictates a pattern in time. A vertical line will appear at the same place in time repeatedly creating a “beat” while horizontal lines and forms become an undulation. Composition of form creates visual rhythm.  

12 min / Super 8mm color negative to DV / digital field recording sound / 2014
Sound performance element by Ei Wada, (Sony Music, Japan) 

A document of the environment created by artist Ei Wada.   Wadasan re-wires obsolete Braun-tubed TVs to function like a theremin. Performing in the dark, he creates a unique audio/visual experience using VHS cassette tapes with distorted image output to control frequency and uses his own hands to control amplitude.  I conducted an interview with Wadasan and filmed two performances; one in Germany, the other in Japan. Based on our conversations, I created this short piece that emphasized his grassroots approach to instrument making and reflected his own concepts about performance as art.  The footage shot in Japan was captured during the last hour of signal broadcasting in Tokyo. 

5 min / 16mm color / digital sound / 2013 
Sound element by Ryan Marino (Remnants, Imminent Frequencies) 

3 min / 16mm color / silent / 2013

Silent motion studies.
10 min / 16mm color / digital sound / 2013 
Sound element by Jahiliyya fields (Matthew Morandi, L.I.E.S.)

Steve Cossman is founder and director of Mono No Aware (est. 2007); a non-profit cinema-arts organization whose annual event exhibits the work of contemporary artists that incorporate live film projections and altered light as part of a performance, sculpture or installation. In 2010 he helped the organization establish a series of analog filmmaking workshops that has grown to include an equipment rentals program, a film stock distribution service, an in-person screening series entitled Connectivity Through Cinema and the New York Library of Cinema (NYLoC).  Steve’s first major work on film, TUSSLEMUSCLE, earned him Kodak’s Continued Excellence in Filmmaking award at F.L.E.X. and has screened at many festivals and institutions internationally.  In 2013, he completed residencies at MoMA PS1’s Expo 1 and the Liaison of Independent Filmmakers of Toronto. In 2014, Brooklyn Magazine named Steve Cossman one of the ‘Top 100 most Influential persons of Brooklyn Culture.’ He has been a visiting artist at Brown University, Dartmouth, the New York Academy of Art, Yale, SAIC, and UPenn. Steve’s recent work on film, W H I T E C A B B A G E (2011-2014), a collaboration with Jahiliyya Fields of L.I.E.S., had its U.S. premiere at Anthology Film Archives. He currently lives and works in Brooklyn as a director, curator, visual artist, educator and activist.

Thursday, August 20, 2015


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

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