Wednesday, September 28, 2011

10/5/11 Multi Projector Experiments by Roger Beebe

Films for One to Eight Projectors

Experimental filmmaker Roger Beebe, whose films have shown around the globe from
Sundance to the Museum of Modern Art and from McMurdo Station in Antarctica to the
CBS Jumbotron in Times Square, brings a program of his recent mutli-projector films to
the Northeast for a fall 2011 tour. In these films Beebe explores the possibilities of
using multiple projectors—running as many as 8 projectors simultaneously—not for a
free-form VJ-type experience, but for the creation of discrete works of expanded cinema.
The show builds from the relatively straightforward two-projector films “The Strip Mall
Trilogy” and “TB TX DANCE” to the more elaborate three-projector studies “Money
Changes Everything” and “AAAAA Motion Picture” on finally to the eight-projector
meditation on the mysteries of space, “Last Light of a Dying Star.”
"[Beebe’s films] implicitly and explicitly evoke the work of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand
and Lee Friedlander, all photographers of the atomic age whose Western photographs
captured the banalities, cruelties and beauties of imperial America."
--David Fellerath, The Independent Weekly
“Beebe’s films are both erudite and punk, lo-fi yet high-brow shorts that wrestle with a
disfigured, contemporary American landscape.”
--Wyatt Williams, Creative Loafing (Atlanta)
"Beebe's work is goofy, startling, and important." --Daniel Kraus, Wilmington Encore
Roger Beebe is a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida. Beebe
has screened his films around the globe with recent solo shows at the School of the Art
Institute of Chicago, Anthology Film Archives in New York, and dozens of other venues.
He has won numerous awards including a 2009 Visiting Foreign Artists Grant from the
Canada Council for the Arts, a 2006 Individual Artist Grant from the State of Florida, and
Best Experimental Film at the 2006 Chicago Underground Film Festival. In addition to
his work as a filmmaker, he is also a film programmer: he ran Flicker, a festival of small
gauge film in Chapel Hill, NC, from 1997-2000 and is currently Artistic Director of FLEX,
the Florida Experimental Film Festival. He also owns Video Rodeo, an independent video
store in Gainesville, FL.
Last Light of a Dying Star (2008, 4 X 16MM, 3 X VIDEO, 1 X SUPER 8MM, 22 min.)
A multi-projector meditation on the passage from film to video, from abstraction to
representation, and from the technological wonder of space exploration to the banality of
the digital snapshot. Originally made for an installation/performance in a planetarium at
the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, GA, the film attempts to recapture some of
the excitement of the early days of space exploration and the utopian aspirations of
expanded cinema. Made as an orchestration of a number of different elements, made
and found: handmade cameraless film loops by Beebe and Jodie Mack; 16mm
educational films about eclipses, asteroids, comets, and meteorites; and a super 8 print
of the East German animated film “The Drunk Sun.”
AAAAA Motion Picture (2010, 3 X 16MM, 12 min.)
The Manhattan phone book has 14 pages of companies jockeying to be at the start of the
alphabetical listings. Capitalism triumphs over linguistic richness yet again. Our
challenge: to learn how to write poetry when there’s only one letter left.
Money Changes Everything (2009, 3 X 16MM, 5 min.)
Three days in Las Vegas, Nevada, and three different visions of the discarded past and
the constantly renewed future. A three-part portrait of a town in transformation: a
suburban utopia in the desert, a cancerous sprawl of unplanned development, a
destination for suicides.
TB TX DANCE (2006, 2 X 16MM, 3 min.)
A cameraless film made on a black & white laser printer with an optical soundtrack made
of dots of varying sizes provides the backdrop for revisiting Toni Basil’s appearance in
Bruce Conner’s 1968 film “Breakaway.” Commissioned as part of Mike Plante’s
Lunchfilm series, where filmmakers are asked to make films for less than the price of the
lunch they’ve just been treated to. (This film’s budget was $32.37 worth of pulled pork
sandwiches and peach cobbler.)
The Strip Mall Trilogy (2001, 1 X SUPER 8MM/1 X VIDEO, 9 min.)
A look straight into the heart of the most postmodern of architectural forms, the strip
mall, shot in a mile-long parking lot that could be Anywhere, USA. “He has actually
managed to bust apart the mind-controlling code of relentlessly commercial space and
reconfigure it into a landscape of beautiful colors and forms. It is a remarkable piece of
Super 8 alchemy." --David Finkelstein, Film Threat