Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Enjoy the summer and stay tuned for shows in late June and July

Schedule or Posts will be put up when shows are scheduled, so check back frequently.
Thank You!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Spring 2014 Schedule

1/22/14 Neil Henderson
1/28/14 Rian Brown
2/5/14  No Show due to Snow
2/12/14 Michael Snow: Standard Time & Back and Forth
             Joyce Wieland: Cat Food
2/19/14 Abigail Child 
2/26/14 Jane Gillooly
3/5/14  Space is the Place-Sun Ra, Edward Bland-Cry of Jazz
3/12/14 Spring Break-no screening
3/19/14 The Murder of Fred Hampton directed by Mike Gray
             Black Naches by Ed Pincus
3/26/14 Dani Leventhal
4/2/14 Soft Fiction by Chick Strand
           Blue Moses by Stan Brakhage
           HEREIN Marjorie Keller
4/9/14 Extreme Private Eros Love Song 1974 by Kazuo Hara
4/16/14 Stom Sogo
4/23/14 Andy Warhol films
4/30/14 Automated Futures directed by Ulysses Pascal
5/7/14 Talena Sanders

Monday, May 5, 2014

A Peculiar People: Work by Talena Sanders

Tokens and Penalties, 2012, USA, 3:58, color, sound, HD

1. If the same dream occurs three times, then count it as a personal revelation, an individual prophecy.

2. Mysteries Of The Temple–Fearful Oaths And Secret Ceremonies–Saintly Privileges–Shocking Doings In Days Gone By–Whisperings Of Terrible Deeds–How The Mormons Mind Their Own Business–A New Name-Terrible And Revengeful Oaths–The Punishment Of The Apostate–Pains And Penalties Of Betrayal–The Mysterious Mark–Secret And Significant Signs–Eight Hours Of "Mystery”–I Justify Myself.

3. Besides this, every Mormon’s mouth was closed by the oath of that same temple—the penalty for breaking this oath was worded in the most startling and impressive way, a penalty which no one doubted would be sternly enforced. The throat of the traitor was to be cut from ear to ear; his heart and tongue to be cut out; and his bowels were—while he was yet living—to be torn from him. In the world to come, everlasting damnation would be his portion.

Liahona, 2013, USA, 69:30, black and white and color, sound, in English with Deseret Alphabet subtitles, 16mm transferred to HD

Liahona is an experimental documentary examining the culture, history, and lived experience of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, often referred to as the Mormon faith. The film creates a portrait of Mormonism through documentation of LDS cultural dominance in Utah, the suppressed history of folk magic in the early church, landmark Mormon life experiences, and Sanders’ personal history and connection to the church. Found media with the voices of outsiders and insiders illuminate a religion that intrigues many, but is seen as mysterious or inaccessible. Liahona shifts through perspectives on the faith – from reverence to questioning, presenting the complexities of the vast institution of Mormonism contrasted with tenuous individual faith.
Liahona is an examination of how mysticism becomes mundane, the balance and the tension in Mormon life experience between the illogical and the pedestrian, the public face of Mormonism and gaps in accessibility. What is it about the Mormons that make them so distinctively different? Mormon history and theology makes for a thick material, not easily reduced to straightforward evaluation. Recorded on 16mm film, Liahona traverses Utah, Nauvoo and Carthage, Illinois and Independence, Missouri to piece together this portrait of a faith.
“Talena Sanders returned with an accomplished experimental feature…The wide-ranging Liahona is neither a straightforward indictment, nor a reconciled embrace, but a story inextricable from its artists’ own.” -Genevieve Yue, Reverse Shot

“…an arresting, deceptively low-key indictment of Mormonism…” -Tony Pipolo, ArtForum

Talena Sanders is a filmmaker and interdisciplinary artist interested in the development of individual and collective senses of identity in the context of religious and affinity groups. Through examining the influences of visual and material culture, dress and adornment, and geographic place, her work seeks to understand the ways in which people produce their self-worth within and against social institutions. A recent graduate from Duke University’s MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts program, her work has been screened, exhibited, and collected internationally, including at the New York Film Festival Views from the Avant-Garde, Crossroads, Media City Film Festival, Black Box at Edinburgh International Film Festival. She is a proud Kentuckian, lives in Durham, NC and is teaching at Duke University. 

Monday, April 28, 2014

4/30/14 Automated Futures

Automated Futures traces 825 miles of fiber optic cable through the cities and townships of the rust belt. The cable was engineered to be shortest telecommunication line between Chicago and New York, and is a key piece of the material infrastructure used for algorithmic high-frequency trading. Assembled from video and audio recordings captured while traveling the route of the cable in summer of 2013, 
Automated Futures embeds the technology of high finance within its physical context -- the decaying landscape of the midwest's once-thriving industrial economy.
Director: Ulysses Pascal
Cinematographer: Brian Echon
Sound: Matthew Joseph Xavier Doyle

Sunday, April 20, 2014

4/23/14 two films by ANDY WARHOL

Blow Job is a silent film, directed by Andy Warhol, that was filmed in January 1964. It depicts the face of an uncredited DeVeren Bookwalter as he apparently receives fellatio from an unseen partner. While shot at 24 frame/s, Warhol specified that it should be projected at 16 frame/s, slowing it down by a third.

Despite the salacious title, the film shows only the expression on the young man's face; the implied sexual act itself is not seen. It is not stated whether it is a male or a female performing the act, and the viewer must assume that fellatio is occurring. It has also been speculated that the salaciousness is entirely in the title, and that no fellatio was actually being performed.

The Life of Juanita Castro (1965) is an American underground film directed by Andy Warhol, filmed in March 1965.
A playwright (Tavel) taunts a number of actresses into improvising a play on Fidel Castro and his family, at a time when the revolution was bringing back disquieting stories of executions and imprisonments and, particularly, virulent hatred and torture of homosexuals in Cuba.
Ronald Tavel as on-screen director
Marie Menken as Juanita Castro
Mercedes Ospina as Fidel Castro
Elektrah (Lobel) as Raul Castro
Aniram Anipso as Che Guevara
and as members of the Castro family: Harvey Tavel, Waldo Diaz-Balart, Ultra Violet, Jinny Bern, Amanda Sherrill, Bonny Gaer, Isadora Rose, Elizabeth Staal, and Carol Lobravico.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

4/16/14 Stom Sogo

SLOW DEATH (2000, 15:30 minutes, Super 8mm)

(DIARY PT. 3) Part of a cycle of Super 8 diary films that Sogo titled I HAVEN’T DONE ANYTHING YET. Dated 1995 but likely spanning a few years, this series contains footage shot while still a student at SVA, images captured on the streets and at home featuring friends and strangers in the flow of life. Sogo rarely screened his intricately detailed, exquisitely photographed diaries in public, but when he did they left a lasting impression on all those who saw them. Dizzying in their breakneck speed, these works demonstrate Sogo’s incredible eye and preternatural ability to compose in-camera.

GUIDED BY VOICES (2000, 10:30 minutes, video)

PERIODICAL EFFECT (2001, 9:30 minutes, video)

SILVER PLAY (2002 minutes, 16 minutes, video)

PS WHEN YOU THOUGHT YOU ARE GOING TO DIE (2003, 18 minutes, video)

REPEAT (2006, 9:30,video)

SYNC-UP ELEMENT (2007, 23 minutes, video)

"A dynamo whose thunderous potential was cut short by his premature death, Japanese moving-image artist Stom Sogo (1975-2012) remains a romantic rebel if ever there was one. For over two decades he created a hair-raising body of aggressively beautiful films and videos. His distinctive, psychically charged work revels in optic and aural jolts just as much as it attempts a sincere connection with the viewer. While he mastered numerous approaches, his primary technique involved heavy amounts of re-photography, a process that allowed him to fashion multiple electrified layers of strobing imagery. Other pieces demonstrate his uncanny editing prowess in their startling juxtaposition of home movies with materials taken from an expansive array of unlikely sources.

Sogo was a standout in MoMA’s landmark 8mm BIG AS LIFE survey, the 2002 Whitney Biennial, multiple editions of the New York Underground Film Festival and many other exhibitions. Born and raised in Osaka, he came to the United States for high school and eventually landed in New York City where he started working at Anthology. Truly a catalyst in every sense of the word, Sogo’s inexhaustible energy and inspiration helped kick open the doors of this staid institution to a younger generation of artists and fellow travelers. He moved to San Francisco in the early 2000s before returning to Brooklyn, and eventually Japan where he remained until his death in July 2012.

A prolific creator and a devoted experimentalist, Sogo often began with Super 8 or mini-dv and constantly renewed his works with hybrid electronic remixes. With each step the material achieved a higher level of intensity, sometimes to the point of self-destruction. As overtly poetic and autobiographical as they are often fiercely abstract, Sogo’s works do not shy away from exploring visual and sonic extremes. From his speedy and spectacular early diaries to his painstakingly rendered late digital manipulations, this posthumous survey features a wide selection of works from his extensive personal archive which now resides at Anthology. The programs remain open to the inclusion of additional titles as new discoveries are still being made in the many boxes and hard drives that Sogo left behind for us to uncover.
“[A] movie’s reality should be as nasty and fucked up as possible, so we want to get fuck out of the theater and hope for something better in life…. I try not to have a message or even word in my movie. But I usually have some sick stories behind each of the movies. Those are just mental eye candy that it taste sweet first, seizure second.” – Stom Sogo

Special thanks on behalf of the Anthology Film Archives to Yukiko and Ai Sogo, Kari and Luke Watanabe, Tomonari Nishikawka, Moira Tierney, Raha Raissnia and Tanya Small."

Special Thanks on behalf of MASSART FILM SOCIETY to Andrew Lampert.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

4/9/14 Extreme Private Eros Love Song 1974

98 min, b&w
"Hara’s second film, and without doubt his most outrageous, personal and masochistic work. Shot over several years, mostly in handheld black-andwhite and often with out-of-synch sound, this raw confessional has Hara following his ex-wife, 26- year-old radical feminist Miyuki Takeda. The two lived together for three years and share a child, as this documentary captures their post-break-up relationship and her new life without him. This was a brutal dose of reality for Japanese viewers, as it matter-of-factly tackles heartache, sex, insecurities, gender politics, and even on-camera childbirth. This is an extraordinarily intimate portrayal of the ideology, philosophy, and lives of radicals in the Vietnam era, revolving around the postwar relationship of Japan, Okinawa, and the United States. " Anthology Film Archives

Friday, March 28, 2014

4/2/14 The works of Keller, Strand, and Brakhage

Soft Fiction by Chick Strand 1979 16mm bl&wh
"Chick Strand's SOFT FICTION is a personal documentary that brilliantly portrays the survival power of female sensuality. It combines the documentary approach with a sensuous lyrical expressionism. Strand focuses her camera on people talking about their own experience, capturing subtle nuances in facial expressions and gestures that are rarely seen in cinema. The title SOFT FICTION works on several levels. It evokes the soft line between truth and fiction that characterizes Strand's own approach to documentary, and suggests the idea of softcore fiction, which is appropriate to the film's erotic content and style. It's rare to find an erotic film with a female perspective dominating both the narrative discourse and the visual and audio rhythms with which the film is structured. Strand continues to celebrate in her brilliant, innovative personal documentaries her theme, the reaffirmation of the tough resilience of the human spirit." -- Marsha Kinder, Film Quarterly

Blue Moses by Stan Brakhage1962 16mm bl&wh
A meat enigma spoken in eternal language of director, con man, and magician. It's about the sham flesh that men create to dam the streaming of the truth from their muscles and senses... a molecule of revelation in the shape of a drama thrown off by the artist between ANTICIPATION and DOG STAR MAN. -- Michael McClure. A manifesto of film epistemology in the form of an actor n conflict with the camera eye. -- Brussels catalogue. Brussels International Film Festival, 1964.

Herein Marjorie Keller 1991 16mm color sound
Keller's final film, charts the movement from political activism to filmmaking through the metaphor of a dwelling.
An FBI film obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Emma Goldman's autobiography, the making of films on the Lower East Side, street prostitution & drug addiction, all inflect the sense of place, space & history.
Experimental filmmaker, author, activist, film scholar, and cultural worker Marjorie Keller (1950-1994) created a uniquely personal and feminist body of work for twenty years beginning in the early 1970s.
Keller also served on the board of directors of the Collective for Living Cinema, was the founding editor of their journal, Motion Picture from 1984 to 1987 and was Director of the New York Filmmakers Cooperative in the late 1980s. Writer J. Hoberman called her "an unselfish champion of the avant-garde." Her films deftly combine home movie and diary styles through a potent politicized lens.

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

3/26/14 Dani Leventhal



In Dani Leventhal’s Platonic, geometric spectors twirl in space; pet cats foam at the mouth; a little boy mistakes his junkie father for a superhero; and a confused adolescent worries he has sired a centaur. Platonic references both the ancient philosopher’s metaphysics of ideal Forms, which simultaneously exist outside our perceptions and yet give rise to them, and the related meaning in common parlance of non-romantic love. Leventhal trains her searching lens on the distance separating bodies, moments, and perspectives. The result is a study in the awkward gaps between appearance and reality, seeing and understanding, desire and its object. – Anneka Harre


Dani Leventhal is an assistant professor of drawing at The Ohio State University. In 2009 she received an MFA in film/video from Bard College. She has screened her single-channel videos at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Gene Siskel Film Center, PS1, Cine Cycle, the Chicago Underground Film Festival, Union Docs, VIEWS of the Avant Guard and Anthology Film Archives. Leventhal is a recipient of the Kuzuko Trust, Wexner Center Film/Video Residency, the Milton Avery Fine Arts Award and the Astraea Visual Arts Grant. Her drawings and videos are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art, Vassar, UIC, Earlham College and Yale University.

Monday, March 17, 2014



1971 dir. Mike Gray and Howard Alk

1967, dir. Ed Pincus and David Neuman
The Murder of Fred Hampton began as a film portrait of Hampton and the Illinois Black Panther Party, but half way through the shoot, Hampton was murdered by Chicago policeman. In an infamous moment in Chicago history and politics, over a dozen policeman burst into Hampton's apartment while its occupants were sleeping, killing Hampton and fellow Panther Mark Clark and brutalizing the other occupants.

Filmmakers Mike Gray and Howard Alk arrived a few hours later to shoot film footage of the crime scene that was later used to contradict news reports and police testimony. Recently restored and reworked by Gray, The Murder of Fred Hampton is a chilling slice of American history.

"The Murder Of Fred Hampton illuminates the magnetic fervor, militant eloquence, and sheer infectious ideological energy of 'living high on the people,' that Chairman Fred embodied, much like Malcolm. And it was that threat to the state and the status quo, a combination of political rage transcending fear and the passionate pursuit of broad popular unity against social and economic injustice, that invoked Hampton's valiant iconic immortality and also abrupt victimhood. Rendering The Murder Of Fred Hampton a visual and oral blueprint of cautionary wisdom and mass inspiration." -- Prairie Miller, WBAI Film Critic
"In 1965, the second year of intense voter registration drives in Mississippi, we decided to make a film in the southwest corner of the state. Little civil rights work had been done there because of the danger in the region. Our approach was to seek out several story lines and then continue with the most interesting. A car bombing of a civil rights leader while we were there changed everything. The event emphasized the rifts in the black community around the demands for equality. Rifts between teenagers and women on the one hand and the black business community on the other. Rifts between black males forming armed protection groups and the call for non-violence by the major civil rights groups. And rifts between grassroots organizations and more traditional leadership organizations such as the FDP (Freedom Democratic Party) and the NAACP (National Association for the Advancement of Colored People)."

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

3/5/14 Space is the Place

Space is the Place:


Michael Snow, Ed Bland Sun Ra, Free Jazz, and more next month at Film Society!

CANCELLED: New York Eye and Ear Control by Michael Snow(1964, 16mm, 34 minutes) features a free jazz score by Albert Ayler and Don Cherry and Snow's "walking woman."
"New York Eye and Ear Control prefigures the experiments with perspective and duration that Michael Snow would develop more fully in his later work. Its two-part structure reflects the theme of duality which runs throughout the film both structurally and visually. In the first part, cut-out figures from his Walking Woman Works series of painting and sculptures are placed in various landscapes whose depths contrast with the flat figures. In the second, numerous people pose in a loft with the same figures. The overall calmness of the imagery finds its opposite in the free jazz soundtrack that accompanies it. New York Eye and Ear Control brings together the worlds of jazz and visual art that fed Snow’s creativity, but its bluntly obvious structure seems primitive when compared to the more complex structural variations of Wavelength and Back and Forth." —IMDb

POSTPONED: Cry of Jazz by Ed Bland (1959, 34 min) With music by Sun Ra and Julien Priester.
Cry of Jazz is a film by Ed Bland documenting Chicago's black neighborhoods. It includes interviews with artists and intellectuals and performances by Sun Ra and John Gilmore. In 2010, this film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The Library of Congress had this to say of the film and its significance: " Cry of now recognized as an early and influential example of African-American independent filmmaking. Director Ed Bland, with the help of more than 60 volunteer crew members, intercuts scenes of life in Chicago’s black neighborhoods with interviews of interracial artists and intellectuals. "Cry of Jazz" argues that black life in America shares a structural identity with jazz music. With performance clips by the jazz composer, bandleader and pianist Sun Ra and his Arkestra, the film demonstrates the unifying tension between rehearsed and improvised jazz. "Cry of Jazz" is a historic and fascinating film that comments on racism and the appropriation of jazz by those who fail to understand its artistic and cultural origins." wikipedia

POSTPONED: Space is the Place (1974, 82 minute directors cut) This cult classic is presented in it original uncut form. Sci-Fi, Cosmic Free Jazz and radical race politics combine with special effects and an outrageous plot line in this film as an intentional homage to the low-budget science fiction films of the 50's and 60's.

Friday, February 21, 2014

2/26/14 Jane Gillooly

Suitcase of Love and Shame

Tender, erotic, and pathetic, this reconstructed narrative examines the obsession to chronicle the details of an adulterous affair. Suitcase of Love and Shame is a mesmerizing collage woven from 60 hours of reel-to-reel audiotape discovered in a suitcase purchased on eBay. Recorded in the1960’s, a Mid-western woman and her lover become reliant on recording devises to document and
memorialize their affair. The film suggestively foregrounds the tape recorder as the confidant, witness, and participant that the couple come to depend on--always omnipresent, the recorder creates a welcomed ménage-à-trois.
The film uses this rare audio example to critically examine a time in the United States when it was
exceptional to listen to the contradictory words of those who secretly and exuberantly lived a lie while publicly constraining their passion. Mirroring the compulsion to confess ones indiscretions in today’s virtual world and illuminating the impact that new technology-portable recording devises, had on their lives.
Suitcase of Love and Shame aims at a cross-generational consciousness about exhibitionism, privacy and voyeurism. Focusing on the aural and experiential nature of the audio the imagery in the film is restrained-abstract, evocative and expectant, so that the audience will see with their ears. The listener/viewer is variously located within and outside of the events-complicit and voyeuristic. The “eavesdropping viewer” compelled despite feeling embarrassed and uncomfortable with the knowledge and access they have been given and the transgressions they imagine they see.

"I saw this at Orphans Midwest and rarely have been so affected by a work. In many ways I hated it, felt I should not be watching (or hearing!) it. I rarely wonder if a film is immoral, but i did wonder about this one. Let me be clear: I think the filmmaker is entirely honest and brave in its making. It never cheats or exploits. But it truly gets uncomfortably under one's skin. The line between public and private is truly breached here and it troubles me. But I am sure it troubles the filmmaker too. I also felt it was an anthropological document of unquestionable worth. I admire and perhaps dislike it. I truly don't know if I can say "see it" (again hear it or overhear it is more proper). I wanted to take a bath, or make a confession after it (to whom?) I think it has less to do with shame (shame is public) than guilt and pain." Thomas Gunning

JANE GILLOOLY is a non-fiction and narrative film/video maker whose work is inspired and informed by a century of non-fiction filmmaking, silent and vintage cinema, and activism. Gillooly consistently surprises as she crosses new boundaries and confronts new subjects with a distinctive vision. Her current work, Suitcase of Love and Shame, repurposes historical material for use in time-based media collage and is the culmination of an evolving filmography. Gillooly uniquely balances a commitment to emotional authenticity with a sensorial, textural style driven by striking images, sounds, and a musical approach to editing. Gillooly has an enormous capacity for capturing the complexities of real characters on film. As in her previous works, Today the Hawk Takes One Chick, (2008) and Leona’s Sister Gerri, (1995), Gillooly demonstrates a compassion for and instinctive understanding of the nuances of human emotion.

Projects include: Today The Hawk Takes One Chick (2008) an observational film shot in a rural Swaziland which premiered at the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston and selected to screen at the Margaret Meade and Full Frame Documentary Film Festivals and toured internationally winning a Jury Prize at Kinoteatr.doc Festival in MOSCOW. The Not Dead Yet Club (2006) a Rockefeller-nominated experimental feature film script. Dragonflies, The Baby Cries (2000) which premiered at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and official selection of; San Francisco International Film Festival, Contemporary Film Festival of Mexico City, with broadcasts on PBS and SUNDANCE Channels. Leona’s Sister Gerri (1995) was featured at the Museum of Modern Art New Directors, New Films, Robert Flaherty Seminar, PBS, and the SUNDANCE Channel and included in the Best of P.O.V. released 2007. She was also co-producer of Theme: Murder (1998), selected to screen at Full Frame Documentary Festival, and INPUT. A recent recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, Gillooly is a member of the graduate faculty in Film / Animation at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

2/19/14 Abigail Child

Experiments in Narrativity: DARK DARK (2001) and UNBOUND: Scenes from the Life of Mary Shelley (2013)
  “I created imaginary home movies of scenes from the life of Mary and Percy Shelley. I was attracted to these authors—their life of poetry, politics and sexual invention—and inspired by my previous fictionalizing of home movies in Covert Action and The Future is Behind You. I worked with non-actors, the seasons and the extraordinary architecture and landscapes of Italy where the Shelleys were in exile for six of their eight years together. The result was a feature film A Shape of Error, gorgeous, emotional and harnessed to the narrative. I wanted to go further and, abetted by digital technology, I have ‘exploded’ this feature film. The result is UNBOUND, digressive, looped, unpredictable, symphonic, spontaneous, messy—much like life and memory.” Also screening: Dark Dark (2001, 15 min.): a ghost dance of narrative gesture melding four found story fragments: Noir, Western, Romance and Chase. The music of Ennio Morricone provocatively interacts with the images, tantalizing the audience with webs of memory, meaning and elusive folly.” AC  [Child’s]…editing slays the syntax bound progression that makes narrative film so dull… The edit is a creative act that makes revisiting the work ever appealing and distinct from meal based media. Bravo! Willie Le Maitre, Montreal 

Monday, February 10, 2014

2/12/14 Standard Time in America

STANDARD TIME by Michael Snow
8:20min. / 1967 / sound / colour
"In Snow's ‘Standard Time’ a waist-high camera shuttles back and forth, goes up and down, picking up small, elegantly-lighted square effects around a living room very much like its owner: ordered but not prissy. A joyously spiritual little film, it contains both his singular stoicism and the germinal ideas of his other films, each one like a thesis, proposing a particular relationship between image, time and space.” - Manny Farber, Art Forum

<-> (Back and Forth) by Michael Snow
52 min. / 1969 /sound / colour
Experimental Canadian film, Snow’s classic Back and Forth (<->), in which the various movements of a camera pan take on multiple meanings, uses, and identities, including the sculptural.
"... his sternest film, titled with a sign for back and forth motion. A specially rigged camera swings right-left, left-right, before a homely, sterile classroom wall, then accelerates into an unbearable blur (the same frenzied scramble, as though the whole creative process was going berserk, that occurs three quarters of the way through ‘Abbey Road’)... In such a hard, drilling work, the wooden clap sounds are a terrific invention and, as much as any single element, created the sculpture. Seeming to thrust the image off the screen, these clap effects are timed like a metronome, sometimes occurring with torrential frequency." - Manny Farber, Art Forum

"Not only did ‘Back and Forth’ expand the possibilities of cinematic framing as postulated in ‘Wavelength’; it actually expanded the parameters of movie narrative as we'd previously recognized them, expanded them even beyond Godard's bold effects in such films as ‘Weekend.’ For in ‘Back and Forth,’ Snow was able to completely suffuse form with content, while not relinquishing the traditional elements of characterization and acting. The relentless back and forth pan stresses similar concepts which Snow had engaged in his sculptures and carries still further the experiments with perception and illusion which began in ‘Wavelength.’" - Gene Youngblood, L.A. Free Press

CAT FOOD by Joyce Wieland,
3:30 min. / 1967 / sound / color
“In Catfood Wieland shows a cat devouring fish after fish for some ten minutes. There seems to be no repetition of shots, but the imagery is so consistent throughout–shot of the fish, the cat eating, his paw clawing, another fish, the cat eating, etc.–that it is just possible the shots are recurrent. There is no question that Wieland has a unique talent.”- P. Adams Sitney

Thursday, January 23, 2014

1/29/14 Rian Brown

5 FILMS BY RIAN BROWN from 1999-2014

Presence of Water (1999) 16mm sound, 27 minutes

A visual diary of a young woman's estrogen induced memory of the last few months of pregnancy.
A luscious blend of collage and memoir, it takes place in Northern Italy when she is eight months
pregnant. Time compresses into the finite, and the woman becomes a stranger to herself as she
physically becomes "two people". Formally it is a hybrid, a grafting of two genres, a crossroads
between the experimental film and the autobiographical essay, gracefully defying the boundaries of
any particular genre. Two voices; an Italian father and American mother guide the viewer through
multi-layered optically printed surfaces and vibrant saturated colors in a personal documentary
about taking detours, loss and rediscovery. Shot with her baby in one arm and the camera in the
other, the film speaks directly about the interference between life and the camera's 24fps
documentation. The presence of water reflects time, eternally in motion, and mirrors the ebb of
tides as a central metaphor to this sensuous story of one woman's voyage to Italy.

Death of the Moth (2003) BluRay, 14 minutes

It is based on the symbol of the “moth”, which not unlike Icarus is a frivolous creature that is drawn
towards the light, but will inevitably burns its wings and fall. Death of the Moth is a visual and aural
meditation on mankind's "falling from grace" and his out-of-balance relationship with nature. It
was made in the wake of the US bombing in Afghanistan, and premiered on the day the bombing
began in Iraq. The piece is built upon on a central metaphor of a falling figure, which falls through
a vertigo-like madness, lands and dies, to be reborn out of the decay.

Into the Scrum (2012), BluRay, 19 minutes

A film about women’s rugby—and is a physical and psychological portrait of a group of young
women as they explore newfound, often provocative, roles and rituals of power, aggression, and
sexual identity in such an extreme sport. I shot the players both on and off the field in a first-person
perspective on 16mm film and DVCAM, a body-cam and use extensive hand-painted animation to
increase the gestural movement in the piece. The film reaches the root of rugby’s fierce poetry as it
reveals the physical, emotional, and psychological contours of these young women’s personal and
shared towards the adulthood.

BLUE DESERT ~ Towards Antarctica, (2010) BluRay, 16 minutes –FRONT VIEW

Directed Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree and with sound by Peter V. Swendsen
A multi-channel video installation projected onto the gallery’s walls and accompanied by an original
soundtrack, BLUE DESERT surrounds the observer with spectacular views of Antarctica’s vast,
haunting, and fragile landscape. More akin to a moving painting or chapel of frescos than to a nature
documentary, the project builds a dramatic environment that encourages audiences to contemplate
and meditate upon the fleeting light, grand scale, and striking majesty of this distant and largely
uninhabited part of the earth. While any depiction of the Antarctic is, in some sense, futile — an
attempt to represent the unrepresentable — BLUE DESERT, shot during a three week expedition
to Antarctica using high-resolution cameras and audio equipment, offers one rendering of a world
that is at once overwhelming and alien, deeply felt and unfathomable, immediate and unreachable.

The Foreigner’s Home – (2014) Work in Progress, 20 minutes

Directed Rian Brown and Geoff Pingree
A documentary film that explores the world and work of Toni Morrison through
“The Foreigner’s Home”, the 2006 exhibition she guest-curated at the Louvre. In the Paris
exhibition, Morrison drew connections among diverse figures, works, and events – from painter
Theodore Gericault’s The Raft of the Medusa to filmmaker Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, from jazz
to hip-hop, from the U.S. Civil Rights movement to Hurricane Katrina – to conjure a shareable
world whose well being depends on the never-ending public conversation that is art. This
documentary, directed and produced by Geoff Pingree and Rian Brown and executive produced by
Jonathan Demme, extends that vision. Using extensive visual material on critical topics and events
in the American – and especially African-American – experience, the film will further illuminate
the ongoing human struggle for liberation, identity, and community to which this unique artist and
thinker in “The Foreigner’s Home” and in her larger body of writing.
Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Rian Brown is a
filmmaker, video artist, and Associate Professor
of Cinema Studies and New Media at Oberlin
College. She grew up in a family of artists and
as a child lived in many different parts of the
U.S., studied art at the Massachusetts College
of Art and received her Masters of Fine Arts in
film from the University of California, San
Diego. Brown’s work spans a variety of film
genres – including experimental, personal
narrative, documentary and video installation –
and explores notions of motherhood, identity,
landscape, memory, and nostalgia in both narrative structure and visual style.
Reflecting Brown’s background in painting, her films also deploy rich, visually
dynamic imagery, hand-painted animation, and experimental techniques. Presence
of Water, a short 16 mm film Brown shot in Northern Italy, is a visual diary and
memory of the last few months of pregnancy that has shown widely in festivals,
including the Independent Film Channel, the New York Shorts Festival, the Ann Arbor
Film Festival, the Nashville International Film Festival, and the Women in the Director's
Chair. Recently she completed Into the Scrum, a short documentary that takes an
intimate look at the complex and physical world of women’s rugby that has
shown at The Portland International Women’s Film Festival, and won a prize at the
Athens International Film Festival. In 2009 she travelled to Antarctica with
filmmaker and frequent collaborator Geoff Pingree to film BLUE DESERT ~
Towards Antarctica, a multi-channel video installation that premiered at Boston’s
Laconia Gallery and has since shown at Oberlin’s Baron Gallery and Cleveland’s
Ingenuity Festival. Her work has shown around the world at film festivals and
museums including the The Wexner Art Center, L.A. Hammer Museum of Art, the
Harvard Film Archive, Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland, The Allen Art
Museum and the Milano-Athenia in Athens. Brown was an artist in resident at the
Headlands Center of the Arts, and in 2011 she was awarded an Ohio Arts
Council Individual Excellence Award. With Pingree she also founded and directs
the Apollo Outreach Initiative, a media education and community outreach
program housed in Oberlin’s historic Apollo Theater. She is currently codirecting
a documentary film with Pingree about the Nobel Prize winning
author, Toni Morrison called The Foreigner’s Home which will be completed in
2014. She lives in Oberlin Ohio with her husband and two sons.