Monday, April 30, 2018
4/11/18 Bruce Posner
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).
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.
MONA LISA SMILES (AGAIN AND AGAIN) (1975-2015)
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.
I WAS THERE: HAMACA SUPPLEMENTS (1968-2009)
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.