Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Showing February 4th

The films of your curator Saul Levine

Program includes:

1974, 5 minutes, 8mm-to-16mm blow-up, silent.
"Opens with a short portrait of Marjorie Keller that I made while she met Coleen Fitzgibbon and I on a corner in New York City. The rest of the film is a note to Coleen, a continuation of conversations about portraiture, public and private art, love, friendship and loneliness."S.L.

1969, 8 minutes, 8mm-to-16mm blow-up, silent.
"Note on snowstorms in February-March '69. The restoration of the landscape. Begun to show friends on west coast violent beauty of this period. Childhood memories, snowball fights, sleddings, etc., and how I felt about Medford where I live kept entering into the film. The principal birds in the film are the blue jay and the crow, both beautiful, smart and ruthless." S.L.

1973, 12 minutes, 8mm-to-16mm blow-up, silent.
"Beginning in 1967, with roughly a dozen short films under his belt, Levine spent six years reediting 8mm prints of the Chaplin shorts EASY STREET (1917) and IN THE PARK (1915), incorporating television images of an antiwar protest in which the Boston filmmaker participated. The result was THE BIG STICK / AN OLD REEL, his self-tutorial in montage, the ascesis of narrative, and the beauties of caustic rhythms." –P. Adams Sitney

1968-82, 28 minutes, 8mm-to-16mm blow-up, silent.
"Levine's rapid fire cutting has never found a more appropriate subject than in NEW LEFT NOTE, his film on the anti-war, anti-racist, and women's liberation movements of the early 1970s in America…. At the time of shooting, Levine was the editor of New Left Notes, the national newspaper of SDS (Students for a Democratic Society). He was unilaterally committed to the movements he filmed but beleaguered by the leadership of the organization for his non-sectarian views. … [A] study of radical politics in radical film form." –Marjorie Keller

1991, S8mm and 16mm, color/si, 3m
A portrait of a mother with her arms full in the backyard bathing her twin babies. As if the early spring light sings and dances. Later the father cooks a fish.

1989, S8mm and 16mm, color/so, 15m
"In title and content NOTES AFTER LONG SILENCE directly alludes to Levine's '60s protest film, NEW LEFT NOTES, as well as to the SDS newspaper of the same name he once edited. It's also a startling companion piece to Oliver Stone's Born on the Fourth of July. If Stone is ultimately ambivalent about Vietnam, Levine is not. A nameless vet in Fourth of July greets Tom Cruise's paraplegic Ron Kovic with 'Just what we need, another limp dick.' In NOTES AFTER LONG SILENCE, ugly, ruddy close-ups of a flaccid penis begin to dominate the blitzkrieg montage; the limp dick isn't innocent bystander to America's Fall, but guilty witness. Yet the final images are of bouncy shtupping, a make-love-not-war, antiheroic corrective to Stone's mythic posturing." - Manohla Dargis, The Village Voice