Friday, April 29, 2016

Spring 2016 Schedule

1/20 Joe Gibbons: SPYING  AND OTHER PROVOCATIONS
1/27 Joe Gibbons: DEADBEAT + CONFIDENTIAL PART 2
2/3 THE EXILE by Oscar Michaulx + RAGE IN HARLEM by Bill Duke
2/10  BLOOD OF JESUS by Spencer Williams + CABIN IN THE SKY by Vincent Minnelli
2/17 ON COPPER WINGS by Dave Fischer
2/24 Jean Rasenberger
3/2  Sustainability Incubator + Rob Todd
3/16 MOOLAADÉ
3/23 Kate McCabe
03/30 Julianna Schley
4/6  Rapture curated by Saul Levine
4/13 Ana Vaz
4/20 Jennifer Reeves
4/27 John Price
5/4 Amy Halpern

Thursday, April 28, 2016

5/4/16 Amy Halpern



THREE-MINUTE HELLS 14 minutes, sound, 2012















PALM DOWN 7 minutes, silent, 2012









AMY HALPERN: FALLING LESSONS

















Program


INVOCATION, 2 minutes, silent, 1982

THREE-MINUTE HELLS, 14 minutes, sound, 2012
In seven movements.

PALM DOWN, 7 minutes, silent, 2012
Two palindromes; no happy ending.
Demonstration of film’s dangerous qualities of emotional deception;
anticipation & the experience of release

BY HALVES, 7 minutes, silent, 2012
By-product of commercial film production, re-purposed for further transformations and distillation.
FLICKER WARNING:
If you are susceptible to seizures, or
epileptic or are just uncomfortable
with flashing lights, please close AND
cover your eyes AND also turn away
for the length of this film.








Saturday, April 23, 2016

2/27/16 Blood Poet Kiss

Kiss (1963 54min bw 16MM)
Andy Warhol’s Kiss is probably the artist’s earliest film work that was screened in public. Harkening back to the time when Hayes Office censors would not allow lips to touch and linger for more than three seconds in Hollywood films, with Kiss, Warhol decided to shoot male/female, female/female and male/male snogs that went on for three minutes. The concept was likely also influenced by a 1929 Greta Garbo film called The Kiss which apparently was screened at Amos Vogel’s influential Cinema 16 experimental film society right around the time that Warhol bought his first Bolex film camera.The Kiss films were started in 1963 and shown in installments during weekly underground film screenings organized by Jonas Mekas. Eventually a 55-minute long version of Kiss was assembled. Among the participants were Ed Sanders of The Fugs, actor Rufus Collins from the Living Theatre, sculptor Marisol, artist Robert Indiana, as well as several of the outcasts and doomed beauties who would come to comprise the Factory’s “superstars.” The woman who you see kissing several guys, is Naomi Levine, who probably also came up with the concept (many of the kisses were also shot in her apartment). Andy Warhol referred to Levine as “my first female superstar.” Dangerousminds
Le Sang d'un Poète // The Blood of a Poet
(1930 55min bw / digital projection)
“Poets . . . shed not only the red blood of their hearts but the white blood of their souls,” proclaimed Jean Cocteau of his groundbreaking first film—an exploration of the plight of the artist, the power of metaphor and the relationship between art and dreams. One of cinema’s great experiments, this first installment of the Orphic Trilogy stretches the medium to its limits in an effort to capture the poet’s obsession with the struggle between the forces of life and death." Criterion

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

4/20/16 Jennifer Reeves

DREAMS & DISORDERS:
The Films of Jennifer Reeves

Program:
FEAR OF BLUSHING 2001 6 minutes, 16mm
FEAR OF BLUSHING bursts forth with irrepressible hand-painted color, corroded emulsion and a menacing soundscape of looped voices, distorted instrumentals, samples & rhythm. Fleeting visions and voices erupt out of the ominous abstraction in unusual juxtapositions, suggesting a cinematic free-association marked by anxiety, pleasure and shame. Best appreciated in the immediate; the 7200 painted frames fly by at an average of 12 per second.



WE ARE GOING HOME 1998 10 minutes, 16mm
Solarized, tinted, and optically-printed, this is a surreal portrait of desire, ghosts and pursuit of the sensual. Rhythmic color shifts in the emulsion bring life to the rural landscape, which seems to embody the terrain of the subconscious. Three women seek pleasure and the beyond in parallel universes, which never quite intersect. When one finds another, she is either buried in the sand or asleep under a tree.
WE ARE GOING HOME was shot at Philip Hoffman’s film retreat in rural Ontario. The film was made in the memory of Marian McMahon, an experimental filmmaker who died of cancer in the fall of 1996.

TRAINS ARE FOR DREAMING 2009 7 minutes, 16mm
Eight super-8 film years condensed into seven eye-popping minutes. A dreamer moves through landscapes to far seas -over tracks, winding roads, skies and waters- a journey of flight and fancy. The animals are watching, the chicks are chasing sunsets and dancing with sharks. A 98-year old grandmother reflects on life, while the 38-year old director looks back on her own. Dedicated to my late grandmother and to my late father, whose trumpet playing and voice enter the free-associative collage soundtrack.

COLOR NEUTRAL 2014 3 minutes, 16mm
A color explosion sparkles, bubbles and fractures in this hand-crafted 16mm film. Reeves utilized an array of mediums and direct-on-film techniques to create this boisterous, psychedelic morsel of cinema as material. Reeves' soundtrack mixes samples from rusty, dusty old machines, records and electric waves to suggest an aural passage through technological progress.
STRAWBERRIES IN THE SUMMERTIME 2013 15 min,pro-res
A two-year-old boy revels in all things tiny and huge on and around a farm. His father nurtures his exuberant and insatiable curiosity of new experiences– from climbing a crumbling wall to discovering the natural world. As a father-son bond grows, the mother with camera observes, gets lost into a solitary landscape and returns. The fleeting and glowing visual field evokes the delicate tension between distance and intimacy. Richly toned black and white positive, negative and solarized images, combined with snippets of voice, suggest the texture of memory. Reeves shot, hand-processed, solarized and colored Strawberries in the Summertime in rural Ontario at the “Film Farm” Independent Imaging Retreat run by filmmaker Philip Hoffman.

LIGHT WORK MOOD DISORDER 2007, 26 minutes, dual-projection SIDE BY SIDE 16mm WITH SOUND ON CD
Made from the original sewn and painted 16mm film

Jennifer Reeves (b. 1971, Sri Lanka) is a New York-based filmmaker working primarily on 16mm film. Reeves was named one of the “Best 50 Filmmakers Under 50” in the film journal Cinema Scope in the spring of 2012. Her films have shown extensively, from the Berlin, New York, Vancouver, London, Sundance, and Hong Kong Film Festivals to many Microcinemas in the US and Canada, the Robert Flaherty Seminar, and the Museum of Modern Art. Full multiple-screening retrospectives of her work have been held at Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, Kino Arsenal in Berlin, Anthology Film Archives in New York, and San Francisco Cinematheque. Currently, her 2014 film COLOR NEUTRAL has been making the rounds of the international film circuit. A new collaboration with Composer/Performer Marc Ribot premiered at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York in August 2015. Ribot and Ikue Mori perform a live score to Reeves' SHADOWS CHOOSE THEIR HORRORS, LANDFILL 16, and HE WALKED AWAY. Marc Ribot performed his original score to the program of Reeves' films at DIA: DETROIT for their Day of the Dead Celebration in 2015.
Reeves has made experimental films since 1990. She does her own writing, cinematography, editing, and sound design. Her subjective and personal films push the boundaries of film through optical-printing and direct-on-film techniques. Reeves has consistently explored themes of memory, mental health and recovery, feminism and sexuality, landscape, wildlife, and politics from many different angles.

Since 2003 Reeves has worked with some of the finest composer/ performers, including Marc Ribot, Skúli Sverrisson, Elliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Burr and Eyvind Kang. As the daughter of a trumpeter, gravitating toward film and music collaborations was quite natural for Reeves. Her most ambitious film and music performance, the feature-length double-projection WHEN IT WAS BLUE (2008), premiered at Toronto International Film Festival with live music by composer/collaborator Skúli Sverrisson. Her multiple-projection films with live music have been performed internationally, from the Sydney Opera House and the Berlinale to RedCat in Los Angeles and the Wexner Center in Ohio.

Reeves has also made a number of experimental narratives, most notably her highly acclaimed feature THE TIME WE KILLED. The Village Voice Film Critic’s poll (2005) honored THE TIME WE KILLED with votes from six film critics for categories including: Best Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Performance.

Reeves also teaches animation part-time at The Cooper Union.


Thursday, April 7, 2016

4/13/16 Near the Wild Heart: The Films of Ana Vaz

Filmmaker will be present!
Ana Vaz (b. 1986, Brasília) is an artist and filmmaker whose films and other expanded works speculate upon the relationships between history and representation through a cosmology of signs, references and perspectives. A graduate from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology and Le Fresnoy Studio National, Ana was also a member of SPEAP (School of Political Arts), a project conceived and directed by Bruno Latour. Recent screenings include the New York Film Festival – Projections, TIFF Wavelenghts, CPH:DOX, Videobrasil and Lux Salon. In 2015, she was awarded the Grand Prize for the international competition at Media City Film Festival as well as the Main Prize at Fronteira Experimental and Documentary Film Festival for her film “Occidente”. Ana was the recipient of the Kazuko Trust Award presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center in recognition of artistic excellence and innovation in her moving-image work. 

Sacris Pulso, Ana Vaz 2008 | 16-8mm transfer DVCAM | ST
Sacris Pulso departs from the dismemberment of another film, "Brasiliários", a filmic adaptation of Clarice Lispector's chronic "Brasília", a visionary text that looks at the inaugurated capital as a ruin of or from the future. Through the assemblage of "Brasiliários" with a body of 8mm found footage depicting rituals of travel and family, “Sacris Pulso” takes the form of a voyage of memory and fiction, of a past and future time calling upon the ghosts of Lispector, upon the spectral ghost of Brasília and sewed through the ties of a family fiction.

Les Mains, Négatives, Ana Vaz and Julien Creuzet 2012 | 15' | HD | color | ST
A postcard, flee markets of St. Ouen, Paris, 2012.
A Idade da Pedra (The Age of Stone), Ana Vaz 2013 | 29' | 16mm/HD | color | 5.1 sound
"As artificial as the world must have been when it was created"
A voyage into the far west of Brazil leads us to a monumental structure - petrified at the centre of the savannah. Inspired by the epic construction of the city of Brasília, the film uses this history to imagine it otherwise. "I look at Brasília the way I look at Rome : Brasília began with a final simplification of ruins". Through the geological traces that lead us to this fictive monument, the film unearths a history of exploration, prophecy and myth.
Occidente, Ana Vaz 2014 | 15' | 16mm/HD | color | 5.1 sound
A film-poem of an ecology of signs that speaks of colonial history repeating itself. Subalterns become masters, antiques become reproducible dinner sets, exotic birds become luxury currency, exploration becomes extreme-sport-tourism, monuments become geodata. A spherical voyage eastwards and westwards marking cycles of expansion in a struggle to find one's place, one's sitting around a table.

Monday, April 4, 2016

4/6/16 RAPTURE curated by Saul Levine

Program:

RAPTURE, by PAUL SHARITS, 1987 Video 20MIN

TOUCHING, 1968 by PAUL SHARITS, 16MM 12 MIN

FLY by YOKO ONO, 1970, VHS 27MIN

NEAR THE BIG CHAKRA by ANNE SEVERSON/PARKER 1972, DVD 17MIN

RAPTURE, by Paul Sharits, 1987 video 20MIN

A pseudo "rock video" which will never be shown on MTV. There are often visual resemblances between grief and joy and between mystical experiences and the varieties of body contortions of convulsive psychotic states (just as there can be a fine line between the "beautiful" and the "repulsive"--some of Goya's late monster paintings are an example) . "Rapture" is defined as a state of being ecstatically carried away. There is a thin line which I attempt to portray in these tableaux, the border line between the sublime and the repulsive. I wish to have the viewer respond to the tape in an intense but very ambiguous way. One interesting example of the relation of convulsive and ecstatic states is found in the similarities of brain waves of advanced Zen monks, at satori peak levels, and epileptics having grand mal seizures . At the onset of both the satori and seizure states there are greatly amplified alpha waves, which, at certain points of intensity, shift to high amplitude theta waves. The difference between these nearly identical patterns is that all of the epileptic's brain waves become synchronized and his/her mind is flooded while
the Zen monk is trained to allow only one region of the brain to move into a deep theta state and the monk will not visually exhibit any body convulsions. Also, aside from Christian literature stating such things as St.Theresa lifting off the ground in ecstasy, it is well known that shamans, voodoo practitioners, et al . are known to self-induce physical states which resemble convulsions and who for purposes of religious ecstasy/catharsis/insight often collapse after muscular spasms . Perhaps the notion of catharsis is applicable in some of these rites. At the technical level, the chief post-production tool was the ADO (Ampex Digital Optics), a 2-channel digital video synchronizer which digitizes the entire screen image, allowing one to control size, shape, direction, movement, etc. of the whole picture . This is a device often used in T .V . commercials but is an "effect" which is used as one gimmick among many other electrogimmicks. I've tried to use it as a creative device and to articulate it in a more extensive and meaningful way .
"A fierce vision of Dionysian ecstasy"--C .E .P .A., Buffalo
T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G 1968 by Paul Sharits, 16MM 12MIN
Made in collaboration with poet David Franks, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G uses flickering of pure color frames juxtaposed with positive and negative still images of Franks threatening to cut off his tongue with glitter-covered scissors and being scratched across the face by fingernails that leave a sparkling trail. Other rapidly alternating still images of eye surgery and a couple in the midst of intercourse are used to heighten the underlying violent, erotic and psychological undertones of the film and are recurrent themes that Sharits would repeatedly pursue in many of his films. The soundtrack is a continuous looped recording of Franks speaking the word “destroy” over the entire length of the film, which eventually becomes unrecognizable as it mutates in the viewer’s ear into other words or phrases. The first of Sharits’ mandala films to utilize sound in a powerful way, T,O,U,C,H,I,N,G was an attempt by the filmmaker to reconnect and come to terms with both his mother’s suicide and the birth of his son, events that would have a profound impact on his future films as well.
'merges violence with purity.' - P. Adams Sitney. 'Surrealist tour de force' - Parker Tyler. On the '10 best films of 1969'

FLY by Yoko Ono, 1970, VHS 27MIN
Filmed in a New York attic in two days. John and Yoko asked New York actress Virginia Lust to lie down naked whilst they filmed a fly exploring her body. Approximately 200 flies were used and each had to be stunned with a special gas. The film showed a fly traversing the girl's body from her toes to her head, exploring every part. It was claimed that Virginia Lust also had to be sedated during the filming.

NEAR THE BIG CHAKRA by Anne Severson/Parker, 1972, DVD 17MIN
An unhurried view of 37 human female vaginas – ranging in age from three months to 56 years.
“The impression made by this film, its impact – has been enormous. … This film is a new approach to our femininity.” – Agnes Varda, Image and Sound


Tuesday, March 29, 2016

3/30/16 Julianna Schley


Julianna Schley is a director, screenwriter, and performance artist residing in New York City. With humor and a penchant for cross-dressing, her video work resides somewhere between unadulterated truth and erosive satire. In 2014, Schley wrote and directed her first feature film, The "Don't Be Like Roy" Campaign, which will be released in mid-2016. She graduated from the Massachusetts College of Art with a BFA in Film in 2009.



Julianna's show will feature exciting new work that is not currently available to the public. Her previous works can be found at her website juliannaschley.com. 



Tuesday, March 22, 2016

3/23/16 Kate McCabe

Kate McCabe will be showcasing a decade's worth of her moving image work combining humor in experimental film and premiering her latest 16mm work, You and I Remain. A film inspired by the Anthropocene, You and I Remain is an apocalyptic lullaby, a landscape film mediating on the end of the world. Shot in Big Sur, the Salton Sea and in McCabe’s own neighborhood of Joshua Tree, the film shows us a portrait of the world askew with subtle and moving sound design by Jason Payne of Nitzer Ebb.
Kate McCabe (American b. 1972) lives in the desert near the rock-n-roll heaven known as Joshua Tree, California where she founded the art collective Kidnap Yourself. In Philadelphia, her youth was dominated by dance and art where she allegedly danced out of the womb. She is a graduate of Girls’ High, the University of the Arts and she obtained her MFA in Experimental Animation from the California Institute of the Arts under the innovative Jules Engel. She is an award winning independent filmmaker who has shown films globally since 1995 in both film festivals and galleries and the occasional guerrilla drive-in. She is most re-known internationally for Sabbia, her first feature film, a visual album for stoner rock prince, Brant Bjork. Her current work includes paintings, photography, short fiction, and art books. Her popular sketch comic book “Mojave Weather Diaries” has produced 4 books in the series and counting. McCabe has taught film at CalArts and UC San Diego and has worked with some of Los Angeles’ most prolific independent filmmakers including Eli Roth and Pat O’Neill. You can listen to her on radiofreejt.org every Friday night with her kitchen dance party show “Mojave Kitchen Dance Diaries.”
Program:
Milk and Honey ( 16mm color, sound, 15mins, 2004)
award winning 2004 short 16mm: An experimental ‘home
movie’, the film exposes the nature of light, love and moon
landings in the Promised Land of Southern California.
Kate: Moving to Los Angeles seemed to me like traveling to a
remote planet and we were astronauts hovering within its
borders isolated in a strange sanctuary. Milk and Honey allows
you to drift into that twilight world and dream of home.

Darling (16mm on video, color, sound 4 mins, 2011)
The first in the 3 part Love Letter Series, Darling is a letter
from a woman to her paramour where she describes her flaws,
hoping they will bring them closer together.
Music by J. R. Martin
Narration and Translation by Isa Loveless

Lies and Mendacity (video, color, sound, 1:30 min, 2006)
This is a gallery installation originally from film projections
done for a Devendra Banhart curated music festival at El Cid in
Los Angeles. Our emotions are bigger than us, uncontrollable like the sky and inevitable like the sunset.
Music by Bugs Salcido.

Growgirl (video animation, color, sound, 1:15min, 2011)
The book trailer for Heather Donahue's incredible memoir
"Growgirl".

Sabbia (Excerpt, 16mm on video, color, sound, 80 min, 2006)
A 15 minute excerpt from the feature length visual album, a
collaboration with desert rock musician Brant Bjork.

My Sweet (16mm on video, color, sound, 4 mins., 2013)
'My Sweet' is the second film in the Love Letter series
following 'Darling'. In this short film, a woman writes to her
lover in a sincere attempt to clear up an argument.

Song for Pickles (Super8 on video, black and white, sound, 3
mins. 2013) Testing a camera, fell in love, oh yea and oh yea.

You and I Remain (16mm, color, sound, 15mins, 2015)
In this portrait of a world askew, filmmaker McCabe composes
an apocalyptic lullaby, a landscape film meditating on the end
of the world and subtly the end of film as a medium.
Incorporating timelapse cinematography shot at the Salton Sea,
Big Sur and Joshua Tree, the film provides a canvas of empty
and beautiful spaces with narration about the benefits of
radiation with a plea to the viewer to preserve the message for
the future.

My Friend (16mm on video, color, sound, 7 mins., 2015)
The 3rd and final installation of the Love Letter Series. This
film is the break up letter, where our dear French protagonist must lay it all on the table for a partner that "does not respect
my bacon."
(bonus 16mm print Portraits (16mm, color sound, 8 min, 2001)
Total running time 75 minutes

“Kate McCabe’s works are funny and sweet personal observations of our twilight worlds.Worlds where portraits of places and emotions are the kinetic sublime- where we as viewers are transported betwixt and between, hovering – our feet grounded on earth, our heads in the clouds. The everyday scene, a moving lyrical event functioning as a tribute to beauty and our lucid spirit. These short films are like private conversations sharing a secret and a dream.”

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

3/16/16 MOOLAADÉ



MOOLAADÉ ("magical protection") 120min 2004
 Moolaadé is a film by the Senegalese writer and director Ousmane Sembène. It addresses the subject of female genital mutilation, a common practice in a number of African countries, from Egypt to Nigeria. The film was a co-production between companies from several Francophone nations: Senegal, France, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Morocco, and Tunisia. It was filmed in the remote village of Djerrisso, Burkina Faso. The film argues strongly against the practice, depicting a village woman, Collé, who uses moolaadé (magical protection) to protect a group of girls. She is opposed by the villagers who believe in the necessity of female genital cutting, which they call "purification".

Thursday, February 25, 2016

3/2/16 Rob Todd HUMAN NATURE

Emerson professor and acclaimed experimental filmmaker Robert Todd will present 3 films from his HUMAN NATURE series. Nature is what we make of it, right? These films poke at the Western notion that nature exists in service to humanity.
Emerald Necklace positions “natural” elements as spiritual commodities. Over Water explores mastery over water through looking at scattered pieces of an archaic water-related infrastructure in the Northeast. Artificial Atmospheres, made in collaboration with Deb Todd Wheeler, looks at the membrane between us and other, the air we breathe and out, contributing to the transformation of the planet in our own small ways.

Robert Todd 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, Les Rencontres Internationales, Black Maria Film Festival, Festival de 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 has taught film production at Boston College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Art Institute of Boston, University of Massachusetts, and the Boston Film and Video Foundation.
He has also worked as editor, sound designer/editor, post-supervisor or music producer on various award-winning broadcast and theatrically-released media programs.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2/24/16 Jean Rasenberger



Film Description

Jean Rasenberger’s On These Grounds, (72 min, 2015) is an essay film about a prison in Northern Ireland -- what led to its construction, what occurred there, and what happened to it in the aftermath of a war that came to define a nation. Its history is told by surviving Irish Republican ex-inmates who are tasked with remembering a war that some say succeeded and others see as otherwise. Screening On These Grounds in 2016 is in recognition of the Easter Uprising of 1916 in Ireland.
Bio

Jean Rasenberger has screened her work in exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, the Renaissance Society, and the Long Beach Museum, and screen her videos at film festivals such as the Atlanta Film & Video Festival and the AFI Film & Video Festival. She has curated video exhibitions including the internationally traveled "Into The Lapse.” Her performance work has been shown at LACE Angeles and the Rosamund Felsen Gallery. She has given lectures on video, photography and her work at the Society for Photographic Education, Los Angeles, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. She has been awarded several awards including a NEA Regional Fellowship, a Brody Arts Fund, and several ACCD Faculty Grants. Rasenberger was awarded a Great Teacher Award from Art Center College where she has taught since 1994. She is honored to be teaching at Mass College of Art this year.

 

Thursday, February 11, 2016

2/17/16 Dave Fischer

ON COPPER WINGS
a 103 minute abstract film
ON COPPER WINGS  is a film made by insects. No individual insects are listed in association with it - it is thought that hundreds of millions of insects worked on this production. The movie tells the story of the insect creation myth, which involves the insect development of science and technology, insects time traveling to 450 million years ago to rescue the early proto-insects from the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event, and genetically modifying them to be more competitive. 

The film is very difficult to follow for a human audience. Some sequences are thought to represent the perspective of an insect hive, rather than an individual insect. Much of the film also respresents idealized versions of things, which, since we have no idea what ideals insects possess, are completely abstract and mysterious to the human viewer.

Dave Fischer is a filmmaker from Providence RI. He works algorithmically, editing video via mathematical equations, using software he writes in C, on old computers he rescues from scrap yards. On Copper Wings was primarily shot with a still camera and microscope lenses. More info at cca.org

Friday, February 5, 2016

2/10/16 Spencer Williams


BLOOD OF JESUS by Spencer Williams 

Spencer Williams, who had been an actor and screenwriter since 1929, was one of the most important African-American filmmakers of the 1940s, producing dramas with all-black casts that found a ready audience in all-black movie houses. Williams made his directorial debut with this low-budget drama, for which he was also the producer, screenwriter, and lead actor. Highly religious Martha (Cathryn Caviness) is married to Razz (Williams), a ne'er-do-well who has trouble supporting his family and rarely goes to church. Razz accidentally shoots Martha while tending to his hunting rifle, and her fellow parishioners pray over her as she hovers between life and death. Her spirit leaves her body, transported to the Crossroads between Heaven and Hell. There, Martha is tempted from the path of righteousness by Judas Green (Frank H. McClennan), a smooth-talking demon sent by Satan (James B. Jones) who introduces her to the pleasures of liquor and dancing and tries to talk her into a new career as a nightclub hostess, before she realizes that she has begun to travel the path of sin and degradation. Shot in Texas on a budget of only $5000, The Blood of Jesus uses both ethereal gospel music and down-and-dirty blues on the soundtrack is an effective metaphor for the film's battle of sacred and profane influences. Williams would direct seven more films before the decade was over, and in the 1950s he gained fame as Andy on the Amos 'n' Andy TV series.
~ Mark Deming, Rovi


Monday, February 1, 2016

2/3/16

THE EXILE by Oscar Michaulx
RAGE IN HARLEM by Bill Duke

Thursday, January 21, 2016

1/27/16 Other Provocations Part 2

Joe Gibbons: DEADBEAT + CONFIDENTIAL

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Welcome to Spring 2016 1st screening 1/20/16

SPYING AND OTHER PROVOCATION

Works of Joe Gibbons
SPYING 1978 35 min. Super-8
“One of the ten best films of the year. A silent exercise in applied voyeurism, Spying is a hilariously perverse ‘Man with a Movie Camera’ in which the filmmaker secretly observes his neighbors (and their pets) sunbathing, gardening, or gazing out of their windows.”. --J Hoberman, Village Voice

CONFESSIONS OF A SOCIOPATH
2002 41 min. Video
“Scary and hilarious...Mr. Gibbons has assembled bits and pieces of super-8 films to compose a chronicle of petty larceny, drug abuse and general irresponsibility, all of which he characterizes as research. Mr. Gibbons’s persona, if not his actual personality, is at once guileless and entirely untrustworthy, as if the distinction between lying and telling the truth had never occurred to him.”
– NY Times 

about:
Joe Gibbons is a singular figure in the history of American experimental cinema. He is widely regarded for the incomparable, dryly humorous works that he began making in the mid-1970s. At the time, Gibbons was considered a pioneer of Super 8 filmmaking, however he left this intimate home movie format behind in the late 1980s to work in 16mm and video. His dynamic output has been featured in four Whitney Biennial exhibitions (1995, 2000, 2002, 2006) and he is the recipient of fellowships and awards from the New York Foundation for the Arts, the NY State Council on the Arts, the Creative Capital Foundation, The LEF Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts and Humanities, and the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation. Over the years Gibbons has taught at the Massachusetts College of Art and Design, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Pratt Institute and most recently at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

The majority of Gibbons’ films and videos center on a protagonist named Joe Gibbons. This guy looks, speaks and even behaves like the filmmaker, however you might say that he is an intensified, more performative and fictionalized version of the artist. Existential, megalomaniacal, paranoid and ultimately doubtful of the direction that life is taking him, Joe tends to live on the margins of society. He hates working and instead makes ends meet through less legitimate means. Whether avoiding parole officers, dreading the day ahead or contemplating another scheme, Joe’s self-reflective monologues break the fourth wall by being addressed directly to the camera. Critic J. Hoberman noted that Gibbons “invented a new mode of psychodrama which might be termed the ‘confessional’". Possessing a razor sharp sense of comic timing and an uncanny improvisational imagination, Gibbons miraculously turns his distressing self-indulgence into something compelling and deeply amusing. His slippery sense of narrative and faux-diaristic leaves one wondering if Joe is simply documenting his life on camera or instead living his life for the camera. Discussing his approach to filmmaking, Gibbons comments that:

I guess in most drama there’s some kind of flaw that drives the drama and I think by exaggerating things—I mean, I play pretty messed up characters, but there are aspects that everybody to a greater or lesser degree exhibits, especially the psychopathic ones; people can identify with that. So many movies are made involving these characters. I started out making more abstract films or structural films and it wasn’t until I discovered using myself as material that I thought I had something. But I had to keep making more—I needed content. By finding flaws and working on those—that was a goldmine.
-Andrew Lampert, Anthology Film Archives