Tuesday, January 8, 2019

5/16/18 MAYHEM


MAYHEM (1987, dir. Abigail Child, 20 min.)

Through a catalogue of looks, movements, and gestures, Mayhem presents a social order run amok in a libidinous retracing of film noir conventions. Sexuality flows in an atmosphere of sexual tension, danger, violence, and glamour; antagonism between the sexes is symbolized in the costuming of women in polka dots and men in stripes. Censored in Tokyo for its use of Japanese lesbian erotica, this tape creates an image bank of what signifies the sexual and the seductive in the history of imagemaking, pointing to the way we learn about our bodies, and how to use them from images.

BOTH (1988, dir. Abigail Child, 2 min.)

A beautifully ambiguous study of the nude in light and movement, this short silent film focuses on the dimly lit bodies

of two women shot from Child’s distinctly non-male perspective.

CHINESE TYPEWRITER (1983, dir. Daniel Barnett, 28 min.)

As a reflection on culture and language this film occupies a space somewhere between film essay and visual poem. Images and sounds of everyday life - in the street, the classroom, the theatre and the print shop - were recorded in China in 1978 and woven into a multi-layered construction on the optical printer. The filmmaker sees an analogy between the Chinese typewriter (invented shortly after his visit to China) which is used to manipulate thousands of ideograms and the optical printer on which he manipulated thousands of images.

Total Run Time: 50 Minutes

5/9/18 Ephraim Asili

Forged Ways (2011. 16mm film transferred to video. 15 min.)
Photographed on location in Harlem,and various locations throughout
Ethiopia the film oscillates between the first person account of a
film maker, the third person experience of a man navigating the
streets of Harlem, and day to day life in the cities and villages of

American Hunger (2013. 16mm film transferred to video. 19 min.)

Oscillating between a street festival in Philadelphia, the slave forts and capitol city of Ghana, and the New Jersey shore, American Hunger, explores the relationship between personal experience and collective histories. American fantasies confront African realities. African realities confront America fantasies. African fantasies confront American realities. American realities confront African fantasies…

Many Thousands Gone (2015.16mm film transferred to video. 8 min.)

Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York ( an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to use an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of
the score.

Kindah (2016.16mm film transferred to video. 12 min.)

The fourth film in an ongoing series of 16 mm films exploring my
relationship to the African Diaspora . This one was shot in Hudson NY and Accompong, Jamaica. Accompong, Jamaica was founded in 1739 after rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British leading to the establishment of a treaty between the two sides. The treaty signed under British governor Edward Trelawny granted Cudjoe’s Maroons 1500 acres of land between their strongholds of Trelawny Town and Accompong in the Cockpits and a certain amount of political autonomy and economic freedoms. Cudjoe, a leader of the Maroons, is said to have united the Maroons in their fight for autonomy under the Kindah Tree—a large, ancient mango tree that is still standing .The tree symbolizes the common kinship of the community on its common land.

Fluid Frontiers (16mm film transferred to video. 2017. 23 min.)

Fluid Frontier is the fifth and final film in an ongoing series of films exploring Asili’s personal relationship to the African Diaspora. Shot along the Detroit River border region, Fluid Frontiers explores the relationship between concepts of resistance and liberation exemplified by the Underground Railroad (the Detroit River being a major terminal point), and more modern resistance and liberation movements represented by Dudley Randell's Detroit based Broadside Press, as well as the installation,sculptural, and performance works of local Detroit Artists. All of the poems are read from original copies of Broadside Press publications and all of the recordings are one take only without ant rehearsal prior to the recordings. All of the readers are natives of the Detroit Windsor region and where approached to read while the film was in production.

TRT : 77 minutes

Bio: Ephraim Asili is a Filmmaker, DJ, and Traveler whose work focuses on the African diaspora as a cultural force. His films have screened in festivals and venues all over the world, including the New York Film Festival, NY; Toronto International Film Festival, Ann Arbor Film Festival,San Francisco International Film Festival, Milano Film Festival,International Film Festival Rotterdam, MoMA, MoMA PS1, LAMOCA, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, and the Whitney Museum,. As a DJ, Asili can be heard on his radio program In The Cut on WGXC, or live at his monthly dance party Botanica. Asili currently resides in Hudson, NY, and is a Professor in the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College.

5/2/18 FREE JAZZ


THE CRY OF JAZZ (1959, dir. Ed Bland, 34 min)

THE CRY OF JAZZ is 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. The film 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. THE 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.

MIRROR ANIMATIONS (1956, dir. Harry Smith, 4 min)

"If, (as many suppose), the unseen world is the real world and the world of our senses but the transient symbols of the eternal unseen, ad limiting ourselves to the aesthetic experience's well-known predilection for the eyes and ears, we could logically propose that any one projection of a film is variant from any other. This is particularly true of MIRROR ANIMATIONS. Although studies for this film were made in the early 1960s, the non-existence of suitable printing equipment until recently, my inability to locate the original camera footage until 1979, and particularity, the lack of an audience ready to evaluate L. Wittgenstein's "Ethics and Aesthetics Are One and the Same", in the light of H.C. Agrippa's earlier, "there is no form of madness more dangerous than that arrived at by rational means' have all contributed to delaying until now the availability of a print in the full mirror-reverse from originally envisioned. I hope you like it." - Harry Smith

SPACE IS THE PLACE (1974, dir John Coney, 85 min)

Sun Ra - space-age prophet, Pharaonic jester, shaman-philosopher and avant-jazz keyboardist/bandleader - land his spaceship in Oakland, having been presumed lost in space for a few years. With Black Power on the rise, Ra disembarks and proclaims himself "the alter-destiny." He holds a myth vs. reality rap session with black inner-city youth at a rec center, threatening "to chain you up and take you with me, like they did you in Africa" if they resist his plea to go to outer space. He duels at cards with The Overseer, a satanic overlord, with the fate of the black race at stake. Ra wins the right to a world concert, which features great performance footage of the Arkestra. Agents sent by the Overseer attempt to assassinate Ra, but he vanishes, rescues his people, and departs in his spaceship from the exploding planet Earth.

Total Run Time: 123 Minutes

Monday, April 30, 2018

4/25/18 Adam Paradis


Damage Control (2010, 4min)
This film began as an experimental restoration of a hypothetical parody; Jay Wards’ Bullwinkle does Peter Kubelka. Re-spliced and rebuilt several times, this film at times becomes more of a restoration process than a creative one. In a sense, the film represents a work of experimental archiving.

Random Acts of Provocation: Part One (2013, 2.5min)
Unintellectual nonsense or something. Fuck it. Whatever.

Fire in the Fireplace (2012, 12 min) Anarchy, robots, Cat Stevens and job related trauma. A power struggle at hand and what we face when our history catches up with us.

Everything You Do Will Be Recorded (2013, 6min.)
Wake up from a dream and try to figure out where you are. Scramble history to compose a pop single that finds out it is the butt of its own joke. Or, better yet, lets have history exist on multiple plains and try to connect the dots.

Something Along The Way (2014, 7min.)
A memory, a hallucination, regrets and looking back through time. One life lived, and maybe your dreams did not come true.

Lack of Action (2018, 9min) Sometimes there are so many choices we choose nothing. Sometimes the choices are difficult, so we move on anxious and uneasy, knowing we are part of the problem.       

ZAMA (2013, 2.5min)
A ponderance on loneliness. Two films slit come together. A somber contemplation on being alone in a strange place. Split 35mm found footage and hand processed 16mm.

The year of the Tooth (2017, 3.5min)
As I look towards the sky and try to give it all a deeper meaning. Calling insurance companies and fighting with receptionists, seriously, this has to have some kind of higher purpose.
(Untitled) Endless, Nameless (2006-Present, 18min)
Originally made as a live projection for the band Prince Rama, this film has taken on many variations over the years. After being shelved for some time, I’ve recently started screening

Total Run Time: 65 min.

Bio: Adam Paradis brings together an eclectic mix from his own body of work created over the past fifteen years. These selections represent Adam Paradis' fascination with found footage and the range of material that you can come across in search of your own cinematic vision. Collecting and curating films became part of Adams arsenal as he dove head first into the wormhole that working with found materials has become for him. From tangential to didactic – sometimes presented as a tirade, other times as an elaborate thought, essay or simply a mood – these films explore a variety of processes, techniques and ideas that Adam has uncovered along his way.

Adam Paradis (1980) is a Boston-raised, Chicago-based independent filmmaker, moving image curator, skateboarder, and repairman. His work focuses on topics of film materiality, media archaeology and archival process (or lack thereof). He received a Studio Diploma from The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston in 2007 and an MFA at The School of The Art Institute of Chicago in 2013. His film and video work has been screened worldwide at festivals and venues such as Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Institute of Contemporary Art Boston, the Museum of Contemporary Photography Chicago, Museum of Fine Art Boston, Palace De Tokyo Paris, and featured on Pitchfork.com.

4/18/18 Marjorie Keller


Misconception (1977, dir. Marjorie Keller 43 min.)
"MISCONCEPTION is a film structured on juxtapositions: indoors/outdoors; redecoration/destruction; exercises/actual birth; male opinion/female opinion; preparation/pain. Its montage structure of both image and sound balances MISCONCEPTION on the precarious moment, like birth, between these counterposed positions: conception/misconception, point/counterpoint." – Anne Friedberg "MISCONCEPTION is composed of six parts that together chronicle the experience of one woman and her husband during the course of her natural childbirth. The film communicates the precision and care with which it has been assembled. (The) structure lends the film a pacing rhythm that has less to do with traditional cinema-verit & eacute; documentary or film journalism than with the pacing and rhythm of poetry." – B. Ruby Rich

Herein (1991, dir. Marjorie Keller 35 min.)
"If you put it on tape, you can't erase it." HEREIN 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 in New York, street prostitution and drug addiction, all inflect the sense of place, space and history.

IS AS IS (1991, dir. Saul Levine, 3.5 min.)
A portrait of a mother with her arms full in the backyard bathing her twin babies as the early spring light sings and dances. Later the father cooks a fish. Marjorie Keller is the mother.

Total Run Time: 82 Minutes

Bio: Marjorie Keller (1950–1994) was an experimental filmmaker, author, activist, film scholar. J. Hoberman called her "an unselfish champion of the avant-garde.”

4/11/18 Bruce Posner


ORGASAMATIC (1983/1994/2015)
8/16/35mm, color/bw, sound stereo re-mix 2015 Gustavo Matamoros, 4.5 mins
The content has the following origins, with the story behind the film being quite strange. It relates back to Mary Abbott’s young nephews, niece and their babysitter who all sadly died in an early morning house fire in St. Albans, VT in 1982. The bw images of the weird boy’s face that flashes by were contact printed several months beforehand, right next to the chimney that caught fire and killed them. The weird boy is Avy, a friend from college days (c. 1974-76), whose father photographed him in poses each year of his life
through adulthood and each year in a different costume. The grinning girl with bangs pictured in oval frame is about 5 years old, the same age as one of the nephews who died in the fire. The footage is from a 1930s mental health film, “The Feebleminded,” that grouped persons of mental and physical challenges-handicaps who the film promotes should be sterilized. Among which the little girl was an epileptic; and the filmmakers were subjecting her to stroboscopic flashes to induce a seizure, for which she responded with a silly smile. Meanwhile, Mary Abbott as “Florence nightingale” with candelabra waifs into and out of the frame.

3GGP2, color, sound, 42 mins.
A digital meditation on the parade through 2017 mostly shot in a 3 mile-radius around Hanover, NH. Since 2002, each year I produce a year’s worth of low-res Motorola Razr cellphone movies in pixelated color fields with authentic synch-sound audio. This edition somewhat gracefully glides along my daily path to town and back (and other places) illustrating sonic adventures and visual encounters... glimpses of Jodie Mack, Saul Levine, Alvin Lucier, and flowers, lots of flowers!

SEXODUS: A JOURNEY 1989-2004 (2011)
JEPG in slideshow, color, silent, 10 mins.
My wild drawing phase... sketchbook drawings made incessantly during the ‘90s Miami-Cambridge years with a later bit of New Hampshire thrown in for good measure. Like the title infers, my personal sex journey during those years through the Animal House of Miami and Harvard, very colorful (and insightful too).

AO804.1 (1976-2017)
8/16mm, 4 screens, color, sound, mix 1997 Joel Haertling Architect’s Office, 11 mins.
Summer of 1976 (as opposed to the summer of love) just drifting around Miami. Before the Cubans were thrown out of Cuba, so town still cracker white for the most part. And the University of Miami campus art buildings play some role. Also Miami Beach, Coral Gables, South Miami, Homestead, and the Everglades. The inspiration was seeing the incredible Super8-screen diary cinema made by German-American photographer Will McBride, who several years earlier had visited the Wilson Hicks Communications Conference at UM. He got Leica to donate the cameras and projectors and filmed everything at his hippie-artists-commune in Italy. Music track by a variety of persons; last performed, edited and re-mixed by Joel Haertling of Architect’s Office from several live performances with the films in Boulder during the 1990s. He worked on most of Brakhage’s later sound films during the 80s-90s period.

35mm, color, sound remix 2015 Carlos Dominguez, 15 mins.
From my first scraps of professional film animation to the latest wonders of digital editing, this raucous bit of 3-screen mayhem encompasses most of my filmmaking career and adult life, left in pieces in the projection booth. With Maggie Cheung, Charles Recher, and Avram Goldstein, again.

memories of long ago (2018)
JPEG in slideshow, color, silent, 40 secs.
I place myself in his shoes while wandering around his room; I fly away in many pieces... a joyous lament.

Reg 8mm, 3 screens, color, silent, audio added 2018, 28 mins.
Made on my father’s 8mm Kodak Cine, these gentle baby steps led to my first optically printed film, “Hamaca” (1975). Years later in 1978, I readdressed the 8mm camera rolls into a series of “Hamaca Supplements,” the much longer originals strung together into a 2-screen “Virgin Version,” and then in 2009, the last roll, “I Was There,” added into this final form as a 3-screen projection. The new 2018 audio track-compilation mix was inspired by the accidental recovery of a 90 minute-long audiotape recording of a 1970 acid trip on “The Hill,” a place located in Fallowfield Township, Pennsylvania, and much depicted in the 8mm footage, going up and down and rolling around. Five friends having a jolly old time chasing lobsters, trying to get the car started and just laughing an awful lot at nothing in

Total Run Time: 112 Minutes

Bio:Bruce Posner is an artist, scholar, curator, and creative filmmaker whose projects have been cited as “provocative, insightful, and significant to the history of motion pictures,” garnering awards for excellence from the National Society of Film Critics, Los Angeles Film Critics Association and Boston Society of Film Critics. His many works in film, over 350 titles to date, are currently represented in digital editions published by Filmstruck, Turner Classic Movies, Kino Lorber, Flicker Alley, Light Cone, Kanopy, Lobster Films, VHX and Netflix DVD.

Films made by Posner and restored under his care are held in the permanent collections of the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center (Culpepper), Centre national d'art et de Culture Georges Pompidou (Paris), EYE Film Institute Netherlands (Amsterdam), British Film Institute National Archives (London) and numerous other museums, film archives and cultural institutions around the world.

In 2001, The Whitney Museum of American Art premiered his film preservation retrospective, “Unseen Cinema: Early American Avant-Garde Film 1894-1941,” with a 3-month exhibition at the old Madison Avenue museum prior to commencing its worldwide tour that continues to the present day. The films are now being featured in San Francisco at the de Young Museum’s exhibition, “The Cult of the Machine,” and at a special screening at the 23rd San Francisco Silent Film Festival in May. On the home front during the past twenty-one years, Posner has organized the Monday evening film discussion series, “Ciné Salon: Impressions on the Art of the Cinematograph,” at the Howe Library in Hanover. Guests have ranged from international renowned celebrities Thierry Frémaux, director of the Cannes Film Festival, and John Bailey, Hollywood cinematographer and president of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, to local visual artists working in cinema Ria Blaas, Steve Bissette, Ted Degener and John O’Brien.

Since 2004, Posner in collaboration with Rich Fedorchak, Sukdith Punjasthitkul and John Tariot have sponsored “Home Movie Day” in the Upper Valley, where anyone can bring in their amateur home movies for inspection and projection. The New Hampshire State Council for the Arts has designated him a Lifetime Arts Fellow.

4/4/18 Jennifer Saparzadeh


Nu Dem (2017, 9 min)
Nu Dem traces Europe's borders in Spring 2016 when new laws were passed denying previously instated freedom of movement, and barring people seeking refuge from entering. People, mostly from Syria, Afghanistan, Iran, and Iraq, waited directly on a heavily policed border between Greece and Macedonia in hopes of eventually entering Northwestern Europe.
Lebanon Street (2016, 5 min)
Lebanon Street documents the stop and go, the frantic stagnation, of lives lived without the freedom to move. Named after a street in Los Angeles, the title scrutinizes the arbitrary nature of borders and geographical renaming.
Shabe Sher (2014, 13 min)
Algerian born Frenchman, Philippe Jacq, embodies a psychological journey through exile and loneliness. Traditional and contemporary Iranian poems resound against a bleak black and white landscape as he travels through the material of imagination and longing.
Autoportrait (2012, 2 min)
A traveling confrontation to a disintegrating sense of unity and to questions of homeland, togetherness, and separation.
Desespero Magnanima (2013, 6 min)
The wind and rhythm of Lisbon animate the mythological origins of Fado, a music tradition that gives form to the feeling of saudade. The Fado origin story depicts a windless night on the open sea; there, in darkness, stillness, and silence the human voice can access profound emotion- and desperation.
Slowly (2011, 10 min)
Slowly is a film about shame, separation, desire, and imagination. Inspired by the poem "The Nymph Complaining for the Death of Her Faun" by Andrew Marvell.

Three Portraits: Jackson, Bridges & Balloons, Laaron (2006-2007)
Three super 8 portraits of my friends I made as a teenager; made in the mid 2000s.

Total Run Time: ~60 Minutes

Bio: Jennifer Saparzadeh makes films that focus on the physical and emotional borders between humankind. Currently she resides in Los Angeles, CA.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

RESCHEDULED 3/28/18 Mary Filippo and Nina Fonoroff

Due to a past storm, this program has been rescheduled to March 28th, 2018. 


WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE (dir. Mary Filippo, 1987, 10 min.)

“In WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE I talk about wanting to be a hero and show myself passive and inactive. I've used cigarette smoking and the "heroes" presented in cigarette commercials to suggest that advertising has transformed my desire to act heroically into cigarette consumption. That this particular consumption is self destructive and addictive is important since I want to suggest a link between self destructive behavior and my inability to "be a hero." The film is a collage of my own footage, "found" cigarette commercials and images filmed from television.” - Mary Filippo

DEPARTMENT OF THE INTERIOR (dir. Nina Fonoroff, 1986, 8.5min)

I had been thinking about the nature of "echo," as both an acoustical and visual phenomenon. I had hoped to defamiliarize material which seemed to adhere to the demand for wholeness. My aim was not to "represent" or "express" a particular state of mind or emotion, but to endeavor to generate a set of possibilities for new connections between sensory experience and the experience of meaning.” - Nina Fonoroff
THE ACCURSED MAZURKA (dir. Nina Fonoroff, 1994, 40 min.)

Obsessive journal entries, clinical reports, varied sources of music, and a series of watercolors depicting a pierced and bleeding brain are among the many elements that make up a narrative around the occasion of mental breakdown. Instruments of electrical transmission are metaphors for the diseased brain, as reconstructed by a woman who has lost her reason, her body, and her foothold in personal identity. The unseen protagonist at first attributes her illness to repeated hearings of a Chopin mazurka on the radio. Radio static, a telephone switchboard gone awry, a woman imagistically redoubled playing the accordion become points of departure for a rant situated in the remembrance of a mental state so extreme as to make impossible any attempt at representation. Like an overwound mechanism, her account is eclipsed by images and sound that derail the story's trajectory. The reports of a series of practitioners on the patient's symptoms and "progress" reveal the ineffectuality of conventional mental health treatment while the patient offers hyperbolic excesses in describing her experience. On the road to recovery, she searches for possible causes for the lapse of sanity. Her provisional understanding makes reference to a 1963 home movie of her family dancing on the lawn of their house: "It is not for me to ransack scenes of the past for clues or explanations ... so, let these people dance in place ... they have done nothing wrong ... there is no culpability to be found among these shadows."

Total Run Time: 58.5 minutes