Saturday, March 28, 2015

4/1 Devon Damonte’s A Field Guide to the Endangered Experimental Motion Graphics (in-person)

Since 1989 Devon Damonte has made, taught, and shown handcrafted direct animation all over, including: REDCat Theater at Disney Hall in LA; New York Film Festival Views from the Avant Garde; Ottawa International Animation Festival; Pacific Film Archive at Berkeley Art Museum; Quickdraw Animation Society in Calgary; and McMurdo Station, Antarctica. He is featured in “The Animation Bible” by Maureen Furniss, and the forthcoming “Experimental Filmmaking: Break The Machine,” by Kathryn Ramey. Damonte is currently adjunct faculty at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA teaching a summer visual music 16mm & 35mm direct animation intensive, he’s also a ringleader of the Crackpot Crafters collective, and he believes we are now all smack dab in the Golden Age of Adhesive Tape.


Auroroborous Washialis, 16mm sound
Dreamy mashup of my fixations with snakeskin and glitter washi tape

Catcycle – 3 min, 16mm silent
The righting reflex is explored via Marey’s sequences and exploded beyond the frames of reference materials.

Stalking the Wild Washi – 10-13 min, multi-projector: Begins with Carousel slide-show  w/narration & eye yoga exercises, then 16mm w/sound
A whirlwind AV cinesafari slide-film tour through the wild kingdoms of animal-printed graphic tapes, and beyond.

Buster Balls – 2 min, 16mm w/sound
Follicles from my now-dearly-departed kitty, plus a few blues from Peter Miller, made at Jo Dery’s 24-Hour-Moviemaking-Experiment, Dirt Palace, Olneyville, RI, June 2002.

The Artifacts of Life – 7 min, 16mm w/sound
A group film made entirely of parts left behind by formerly living plants and critters, created by the Crackpot Crafters – Caryn, Devon, Dory, Jason, Jim, Kelsey, Kevin, Linda, and Meesh in 2011.

To Lust for Lacecraft – 3 min, 16mm, silent
Because decorative polyethelene lace doilies are an endangered species too! Presented in loving memory of Kodak’s extinct #7363 hi-con film stock, may the world’s remaining supply roll-in-peace.

Aurouroborous: Lance & Helsing – 7-10 min, multiprojector: 16mm slotload w/ slide overlays, silent w/ acoustic ambient noises
Like the ancient ouroborous snake-eating-its-tail, like a continuous movie film loop, like supercharged electrical harmonies hovering above our atmosphere, like the light amongst us - bouncing, reflecting, bending, refracting, transmitting, absorbing.

Time Current Characteristics – 6 min, 16mm w/sound
Off the grids, out of the box, up on the wrack line is where the beachglass meets the light.

Starrlight Starrbright Starrshine – A Cecile Starr Tribute-in-progress (all are invited to make cinemaStarrs to add in) -2 min.

and more!


Sunday, March 22, 2015

3/25 Mock Up on Mu (Craig Baldwin in-Person)

MOCK UP ON MU (2008) 110 minutes
Directed by Craig Baldwin

A radical hybrid of sci-fi, spy, Western, and even horror genres, Craig Baldwin’s Mock Up On Mu cobbles together a feature-length "collage-narrative" based on (mostly) true stories of California's post-War sub-cultures of rocket pioneers, alternative religions, and Beat lifestyles. Pulp-serial snippets, industrial-film imagery, and B- (and Z-) fiction clips are intercut with newly shot live-action material, powering a playful, allegorical trajectory through the now-mythic occult matrix of Jack Parsons (Crowleyite founder of the Jet Propulsion Lab), L.Ron Hubbard (sci-fi author turned cult-leader), and Marjorie Cameron (bohemian artist and "mother of the New Age movement"). Their intertwined tales spin out into a speculative farce on the militarization of space and the corporate take-over of spiritual fulfillment and leisure-time.


Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker and curator whose interests lie in archival retrieval  and recombinatory forms of cinema, performance, and installation. He is the recipient of several grants, including those from the Rockefeller Foundation, Alpert Award, Creative Capital, Phelan, AFI, FAF, and California Arts Council. Over the last two decades, his productions have been shown and awarded at numerous international festivals, museums, and institutes of contemporary art, often in conjunction with panels, juries, and workshops on collage and cultural activism. His own weekly screening project, Other Cinema, has continued to premiere experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century, recently expanding into DVD publishing.

Craig Baldwin attended the University of California at Santa Barbara, University of California at Davis, and San Francisco State University (Masters, 1986). In the Cinema Dept. there, he studied under Bruce Conner and became increasingly drawn to collage film form.  His interest in the re-contextualization of "found" imagery led him to the theories of the Situationist International and to various practices of mail art, zines, altered billboards, and other creative initiatives beyond the fringe of the traditional fine-arts curriculum. After three short films, his first to be commercially released was Tribulation 99, a satirical collage rant on conspiracy theory, xenophobia, apocalyptic thinking, and US covert interference in Latin America. 

His first feature-length production, Sonic Outlaws, was an experimental documentary on the emerging "electronic folk culture", exploring the legal, political, and artistic implications of the audio-collage work of culture-jamming collectives like Negativland, Tape-beatles, Emergency Broadcast Network, and the Barbie Liberation Organization. Mr. Baldwin then completed Spectres of the Spectrum, a 90-min. sci-fi spoof utilizing early educational kinescopes to criticize the corporate control of electronic-communications technologies. His latest ‘collage-narrative’ feature, Mock-Up On Mu, parodies the impending militarization of space by means of allegories drawn from urban myths of post-War California subcultures. 

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Film Society Schedule SPRING 2015

1/21 Shirin Mozzafari (in-person)
2/04 Soon-Mi Yoo (in-person)
2/11 Matías Piñeiro (in-person)
2/18 Maxim Pozdorovkin (in-person)
2/25 João Pedro Rodrigues (in-person)
3/04 Single Stream by Wojtasik, Lee, & Ernst Karel (in-person)
3/18 Robert Todd (in-person)
3/25 Craig Baldwin 
4/01 Devon Damonte 
Ben Rivers (in-person)
4/15 Mati Diop 
4/22 Betsy Bromberg (in-person)
4/29 Jonathan Schwartz (in-person)

5/06 Gretchen Skogerson (in-person)

Monday, March 16, 2015

3/18 Robert Todd (in-person)


Rescheduled due to one of our blizzards. Now that we have officially broken the record for the most snow ever in Boston (108.6 inches), Local Filmmaker Robert Todd has re-assembled a special collection of his snow, ice and frost themed 16mm film for an exciting Mass Art Film Society screening. Come in from the cold and join us in the warm glow of his lyrical films while we dream of the coming spring.

Robert Todd is A lyrical filmmaker as well as a sound and visual artist, Robert Todd continually produces short works that resist categorization. In the past twenty years he has produced a large body of short-to-medium format films that have been exhibited internationally at a wide variety of venues and festivals including the Media City Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Le Rencontres Internationale, Balagan Film Series, Nouveau Cinema in Montreal, Cinematheque Ontario, the Harvard Film Archive, Pacific Film Archive, the Paris Biennial, Slamdance Film Festival, and others. His films have won numerous festival prizes, grants, and artist’s awards. He teaches film production at Emerson College in Boston.

Program subject to change:

Trembling Palace (7:00) 2013

Winter Present (6:00) 2014

Threshold (19:00) 2013

Shades of Gray (16:30) 2014

Thunder (11:00) 2004

LoveSong (6:00) 2014

Missing Boy (14:00) 2012

Monday, March 2, 2015

3/04 Single Stream & Other Aural Affairs - Ernst Karel in-person

Ernst Karel makes experimental nonfiction sound works and electroacoustic music.  His recent projects are edited/composed using unprocessed location recordings; in performance he sometimes combines location recordings with analog electronics to create pieces which move between the abstract and the documentary. Recent nonfiction vilms on which he has done sound work include Detour de Force, The Iron Ministry, Manakamana, and Leviathan.  He  is a Lecturer in the Anthropology Department where he teaches a production course in sonic ethnography, as well as managing the Sensory Ethnography Lab and the Film Study Center at Harvard University. Karel's work has been exhibited in the 2012 São Paulo Biennial, MIT List Visual Arts Center, the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, New York, and in the 2014 Whitney Biennial.

Morning and Other Times (2014) 37 minutes
by Ernst Karel
is a 5.1-channel sound composition which was recorded over the course of a month in early 2014 in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The piece takes as its starting point the voices of nonhuman participants in the urban environment, shortly before the Thai military coup of May 2014. 

Single Stream (2014) 23 minutes
by Pawel Wojtasik, Toby Kim Lee, and Ernst Karel

Single Stream takes a close look at the problem of waste, through a visual and sonic exploration of a recycling facility. The title refers to the “single stream” method of recycling in which all types of recyclables are initially gathered together, and sorted later at a specialized facility. With Single Stream, viewers enter one of the largest of these materials recovery facilities in the US. Inside a cavernous building, a vast machine complex runs like clock-work, sorting a steady stream of glass, metal, paper and plastic carried on conveyor belts criss-crossing the space, dotted with workers in neon vests. The interwoven movements of human and machine produce sounds and images that are overwhelming, but also beautiful, and even revelatory. Blurring the line between observation and abstraction, Single Stream is a meditation on our society's culture of excess and its consequences.

Installation version (50' x 8' image, four horizontal audio channels, 2013): Museum of the Moving Image, July-Nov. 2013

Cinematic version (4K CinemaScope, 5.1 surround sound, 2014):
2014 Whitney Biennial
Ann Arbor Film Festival
Festival del film Locarno
Festival Internacional de Cine de Valdivia

Paweł Wojtasik creates poetic reflections on cultures and ecosystems in the form of short films and large-scale installations. His investigations into the overlooked corners of the environment have led him to pig farms, sewage treatment plants, wrecking yards and autopsy rooms. His work has shown in venues such as PS1/MoMA, Reina Sofia Museum, Berlinale and New York Film Festival.

Toby Lee is an artist and scholar based in New York, working across video, installation, drawing and text. She holds a PhD in Anthropology and Film & Visual Studies from Harvard University, and she is Assistant Professor of Cinema Studies at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts.  

Monday, February 23, 2015

Wed 2/25 The Liminal Cinema of João Pedro Rodrigues (in-person)

João Pedro Rodrigues is a Portuguese filmmaker based in Lisbon. His work explores human desire in all its guises—and disguises—reflecting the multifarious history of film, from classic genres to experimental film. His fourth and most recent feature film, The Last Time I Saw Macao (2012), co-directed with João Rui Guerra da Mata, confronts fiction and documentary, metamorphosing film noir into autobiography and all the shades in between.

After studying biology at Lisbon University João Pedro Rodrigues attended the Lisbon Film School, where he obtained his diploma. His film career began with the short PARABÉNS! which won the Special Jury Prize at the Venice IFF 1997. In 1998 he made ESTA É A MINHA CASA and VIAGEM À EXPO, a two-part documentary. In 2000, he directed his first fiction feature, O FANTASMA, which was screened in competition at the 57th Venice IFF. His 2005 feature ODETE won several awards, among them a Special Mention at the Directors’ Fortnight in Cannes. His feature project TO DIE LIKE A MAN was selected in 2007 by the Cinéfondation for L’Atelier in Cannes and premiered at Un certain regard in 2009.


Morning of Saint Anthony’s Day (2011) 25 minutes
Directed by João Pedro Rodrigues 

Tradition says that on June 13th, Saint Anthony's Day, Lisbon's patron, lovers must offer small vases of basil with paper carnations and flags with popular poems as a token of their love.

At the ball where everybody dances
Someone's left out.
It is better not to go
Where one will not be. 
-Fernando Pessoa

O Fantasma (2000) 90 minutes, 35mm on video
Directed by João Pedro Rodrigues

The first feature film by João Pedro Rodrigues which premiered at the Venice Film Festival. 

No one can live without love . . . By day, brooding, lonely Sergio works as a trash collector in the streets of Lisbon. By night, Sergio embarks on an increasingly intense odyssey of random, anonymous sexual encounters. Quickly, Sergio becomes fixated on a hot, young stranger and begins to retreat further and further into his dark dream life, blurring the lines between fantasy and reality, love and obsession.

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Wed. 2/18 THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT (2014) by Maxim Pozdorovkin

The Notorious Mr. Bout (2014) 95 minutes
directed by Maxim Pozdorovkin (in-person)

Viktor Bout was a Russian entrepreneur, a war profiteer, an aviation magnate, an arms smuggler and, strangest of all, an amateur filmmaker. Until three days prior to his 2008 arrest on charges of conspiring to kill Americans, Bout kept the camera running, documenting a life spent in the gray areas of international law. Dubbed the "merchant of death" and portrayed by Nicolas Cage in LORD OF WAR, Viktor Bout can justifiably be called the world's most famous arms dealer. With unprecedented access to Bout's home movies and DEA surveillance material gathered during the sting operation to bring him down, THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT is a portrait of a life much mythologized but little understood.

Maxim Pozdorovkin is an award-winning filmmaker, writer and media curator based in New York City. He is the director of three feature-length documentaries and numerous short films. His documentary PUSSY RIOT: A PUNK PRAYER premiered at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival where it won a Special Jury Award. Released theatrically around the world, the film was shortlisted for an Academy Award. Maxim holds a PhD from Harvard University and is currently an artist fellow at Harvard's Society of Fellows. Maxim's most recent film, THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT, about the Russian arms dealer Viktor Bout, premiered at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival and has been shown at festivals around the world. Maxim's first feature film, CAPITAL, is a modern-day city symphony about the construction of Astana, a utopian city in the center of Kazakhstan. Recent curatorial work includes designer Julia Ramsey's knitwear installation PELT as well as Flicker Alley's Landmarks of Early Soviet Film box-set.

Monday, February 9, 2015

Wed. 2/11 Matías Piñeiro in person

by Matías Piñeiro (2012, 65 min)

Based on William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night (also known as Kings’ Night) Viola (2012) delves into the Shakespearean path traced by Rosalinda (2011), a medium-length film with which director Matías Piñeiro —El hombre robado (2007), Todos mienten (2009— started a series of films inspired in Daughters of Fire (Les Filles du feu), by Gérard de Nerval, a set of stories each titled after a woman’s name. Piñeiro dazzles in his contemporary adaptation of situations drafted more than 400 years ago in the key of a comedy of errors. If in Kings’ Night the scenery was Illyria or Albania’s ancient coastline, in Viola a wintry Buenos Aires contains the lives of Viola and her boyfriend Javier, with whom she dispatches packages of pirated movies through their company, Metrópolis.

Displayed in a choral range, a women’s theater company, headed by Cecilia, rehearses their staging of Kings’ Night, from which different fragments are rehearsed, even in the midst of everyday life, interacting with Viola, Javier, and the women themselves. Here, the relations between characters are ruled by a certain sensuality that is dictated by the camera itself. Suggestive and refined, the language used by Piñeiro outlines a style of his own, a style of deep aesthetic and intellectual preoccupations. Shakespeare is here, all things aside, a fruitful land. As if it were an orchestra, Piñeiro directs a framework of dramatic artifices that revolve around courtship and love, solitude and existential angst, art and the joy of living. -Maximiliano Cruz

Born in Buenos Aires, Argentina, in 1982, Matías Piñeiro studied at the Universidad del Cine, where he went on to teach filmmaking and film history. In 2011 he received the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship from Harvard University for his new film project, Sarmiento, Translator. He currently lives in New York on a New York University scholarship in creative writing. His films include El hombre robado (2007), Todos mienten (2009), Rosalinda (2010), Viola (2012), and The Princess of France (2014).

The Spring 2015 edition of Film Society is being taught and programmed by visiting professor and Balagan Film Series co-programmer Jeff Silva.

MASSART FILM SOCIETY is a screening class for MassArt film students open to those who are interested.
We hope to provide access to films and videos not often shown at other venues. 4$ donation, free for MassArt students and community.
Enter to MASSART through the South Building, Admissions on Huntington Ave. FILM SOCIETY shows are held in Screening Rm 1 in East Hall in the FILM Department.

Founder and programmer Saul Levine is currently on sabbatical.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Feb 4th Songs from the North by Soon-Mi Yoo (in-person)

Wed. Feb 4th @ 8PM
Screening Room 1(FM 1)
Facebook event page

Songs from the North
by Soon-Mi Yoo
72 Min. 2014

Songs From the North
is an essay film which looks differently at the enigma of North Korea, a country typically seen only through the distorted lens of jingoistic propaganda and derisive satire. Interweaving footage from my three visits to North Korea together with songs, spectacle, popular cinema and archival footage, Songs from the North tries to understand, on their own terms, the psychology and popular imaginary of the North Korean people and the political ideology of absolute love which continues to drive the nation towards its uncertain future. To look closely and objectively at North Korea, a country that challenges our most fundamental assumptions about the human condition, is ultimately to question the meaning of freedom, love and patriotism.

Soon-Mi Yoo Biography
Born in South Korea, Soon-Mi Yoo studied German Literature at Yonsei University before earning an MFA in Photography at the Massachusetts College of Arts where she is currently a member of the Film/Video faculty. Yoo's films embrace and expand avant-garde and essayistic modes of non-fiction cinema, reopening forgotten, often suppressed, chapters of modern history in order to explore the still unresolved conflicts and collective memories that continue to haunt and define the Korean Peninsula. In short works such as DANGEROUS SUPPLEMENT and SSITKIM: TALKING TO THE DEAD Yoo defines a lyrical mode of essay film that uses poetic forms to mine the deeper archaeological and emotional levels that standard histories are unable to engage. 

Yoo's films have screened at major international film festivals, including Locarno, DocLisboa, the Viennale, Rotterdam, Oberhausen as well as the the Harvard Film Archive, the Centre Pompidou and Museum of Modern Art. SONGS FROM THE NORTH won the prestigious Golden Leopard for Best First Feature at the 2014 Locarno Film Festival, and the prize for Best First Feature at DocLisboa 2014.  

Recent Reviews:
Village Voice (Danny King)
Indiewire (Eric Kohn)

Film Stills from Songs From the North