This week [February 3 - 11, 2007] in avant garde cinema (part 2 of 2 - corrected)

From: Scott Stark (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Feb 03 2007 - 14:08:38 PST

This week [February 3 - 11, 2007] in avant garde cinema (part 2 of 2 -


Chicago, Illinois: Chicago Filmmakers
7:00pm social hour; 8:00pm screening, Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)

   An early Valentine's Day treat. We're cooking up something romantic to
   get you in the mood for the V-day. Make certain to join us for the
   Social Hour before the film. With Cupid on the prowl, you never know
   what might happen.

Houston, Texas: Aurora Picture Show
8pm, 800 Aurora St.

   Storytelling meets the sampling culture. Live video, sharp narration,
   and a stream of vintage movie stills interweave to create a universe of
   runaway nanobots, psychic anarchists, and frustrated cyborgs. An
   immersive evening of strange tales and startling imagery from The
   Psychasthenia Society, bringing you the finest in satire, beats, and

New York, New York: Anthology Film Archives
5:00 & 7:00, 32 Second Avenue (at Second Street)

   See Feb. 9.

New York, New York: Anthology Film Archives
6:00, 32 Second Avenue (at Second Street)

   Dir: Lawrence Jordan. Long considered an experimental animator, Lawrence
   Jordan has made over 60 films in all genres and styles. A high-school
   friend of Stan Brakhage and a one-time assistant to Joseph Cornell, he
   quickly became entrenched in the vibrant San Francisco art/poetry scene
   after settling there in the mid-50s. This program includes works made in
   collaboration with and featuring faces from this vital scene. Many of
   these brand-new prints are the product of a recent preservation project
   undertaken by Anthology with the cooperation of Pacific Film Archives.
   Preservation of Jordan's films at Monaco Film Lab supported by the
   National Endowment for the Arts, the National Film Preservation
   Foundation and Sony Pictures Entertainment. VISIONS OF A CITY
   (1957-1978, 8 minutes, 16mm, sound). "The protagonist, poet Michael
   McClure, emerges from the all-reflection imagery of glass shop and car
   windows, bottles, mirrors, etc., in scenes which are also accurate
   portraits of both McClure and the city of San Francisco in 1957. I don't
   think of this as an 'early film' anymore, since it never came together
   until 1978. Now it's tight." -L.J. TRIPTYCH IN FOUR PARTS (1958, 12
   minutes, 16mm, sound). Featuring appearances by Berman, his wife
   Shirley, and their baby son, Tosh, TRIPTYCH is a report from the North
   Beach San Francisco scene of the late-50s. Poets Philip Lamantia and
   Michael McClure are seen, as is painter John Reed. "A spiritual drug
   odyssey seeking religious epiphany, a thing which many people believed
   in at that time." -L.J. HYMN IN PRAISE OF THE SUN (1960, 8 minutes,
   16mm, sound). New preservation print. A celebration of the filmmaker's
   daughter's birth. The blazing garden as a metaphor for the cycle of
   minutes, 16mm, sound). New preservation print. A 24-frame-per-second
   tour of the collages of the masterful Jess Collins. JEWEL FACE (1964, 6
   minutes, 16mm). New preservation print. Sculptor George Herms remains
   one of the premiere assemblage artists of our times. Jordan's portrait
   of his friend Herms has rarely been screened. THE DREAM MERCHANT (1965,
   3 minutes, 16mm, sound). New preservation print. "A dance of eclectic
   objects. A play of demented dolls, wheels and geriatric clocks." -L.J.
   ORB (1973, 5 minutes, 16mm, sound). New preservation print. "A compact,
   full-color cut-out animation as ephemeral as the colors swimming on the
   surface of a soap bubble." -L.J. FINDS OF THE FORTENIGHT (1980, 9
   minutes, 16mm, silent). New preservation print. "This is a very
   different animation. A series of surreal titles are rapidly alternated
   with the cut-out animation movements. The titles are often simple and
   the words and images combine easily into an eerie flickering
   superimposition. But I also was interested in pressing this technique to
   the limit of informational overload. Sometimes the eye is lost in the
   flashing barrage of words and pictures. Sound would have been too much,
   so I left it silent. The titles are by collage artist and painter, Jess
   Collins." -L.J.

New York, New York: Anthology Film Archives
9:00, 32 Second Avenue (at Second Street)

   See Feb. 9.

New York, New York: Anthology Film Archives
8:00, 32 Second Avenue (at Second Street)

   Dir: . This show highlights the extended circle of filmmaker friends
   floating around the Berman scene. Listed below is a taste of what will
   be screened. Expect many more movies in all formats and some very
   special, rarely-if-ever screened surprises. Program will include: Bruce
   Conner BREAKAWAY (1966, 5 minutes, 16mm, sound). Choreographer, singer,
   and Berman-circle regular, Toni Basil is the luminous star of Bruce
   Conner's groundbreaking BREAKAWAY. She sings and dances in this strobing
   forwards-and-backwards tribute to beauty and grace in motion. Bruce
   Conner THE WHITE ROSE (1967, 7 minutes, 16mm, sound). Jay De Feo's
   massive painting, THE ROSE, took more than eight years to complete. In
   THE WHITE ROSE, Conner records the removal of this 2,300-plus pound
   painting out the window of De Feo's studio. We are screening a brand new
   print for this occasion. Stan Brakhage TWO: CREELEY/MCCLURE (1965, 5
   minutes, 16mm, silent). Portraits of poets Robert Creeley and Michael
   McClure. Russel Tamblyn RIO REEL (1968, 8 minutes, 16mm, silent).
   Preservation print courtesy of Academy Film Archives. Actor/artist
   Russel Tamblyn is better known as Riff in WEST SIDE STORY and Dr. Jacoby
   on TWIN PEAKS than as an avant-garde filmmaker. In the 60s, however,
   Tamblyn did shoot and create experimental shorts with his 8mm film
   camera. This film is an unpretentious example of his lyrical style and
   sensibility. Jonas Mekas HARE KRISHNA (1966, 4 minutes, 16mm, sound).
   Mekas was a long-distance friend of Berman. This short documents a
   Sunday afternoon with another longtime Berman comrade, Allen Ginsberg.
   Plus much more!.

New York, New York: Millennium Film Workshop
8pm- Saturday evening, 66 East 4th Street (Between Bowery and Second Ave.)

   SAVE AND BURN (80 min.-2004) "Julian Samuel, a Montreal-based filmmaker
   born in Pakistan, continues his exploration of the contemporary world of
   libraries in this 80 minute documentary. By cuting back and forth from
   Irish and English library events to the history of the Library of
   Alexandria, Egyptian public libraries, and current programs in the
   Bibliotheca Alexandrina, like one on unemployment and youth, the viewer
   is counter-conditioned to reject Western racism. Samuel wants to show
   the West that we are the inheritors of the great Arab-Asian tradition of
   libraries going back thousands of years- not its enemy. The facts are
   piled on, not using the standard Ken Burns-style of slow discourse, but
   rather throwing the facts at us, using optical printing, aiming to
   create a much more com[lex gestalt in our minds. This is extremely
   refreshing to someone who has watched a thousand such films, and found
   them boring. His style is more like the Hong Kong master Wong Kar-Wai or
   Godard, demanding that the viewer has a universe of imaqes already in
   his mind, waiting for someone to link them together in new ways."- Steve

Seattle, Washington: Northwest Folklife
1pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm , Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at Marion Oliver McCaw
Hall at Seattle Center

   CROSSING BORDERS Northwest Folklife Documentary Film Festival
   Friday-Sunday, February 9-11 and 16-18, 2007 Nesholm Family Lecture Hall
   at Seattle Center Northwest Folklife puts a human face on some of
   today's hot issues with the Crossing Borders theme of the first
   Northwest Folklife Documentary Film Festival. Films and speakers examine
   the experiences of ordinary people who straddle, challenge and transcend
   the boundaries separating us from one another. Topics range from
   immigration tales to gender stereotypes, from unlikely peace movements
   to cross-border musical traditions. The program even includes a
   family-friendly session of animation and music. Visit
   for schedule, film descriptions and tickets. Saturday, February 10 1:00
   PM: Spirit Wrestlers PLUS Discussion with Doukhobor scholar Andrei
   Bondoreff 3:30 PM: Linda & Ali CO-SPONSORED by Arab Center of Washington
   7:30 PM Busting Out PLUS Filmmaker Q&A with Laurel Spellman Smith

Toronto, Ontario, Canada: Pleasure Dome
8 pm, 129 Spadina Ave.

   Israeli artist Guy Ben-Ner visits Toronto for the first time to
   introduce a survey of videos from 1999 to present. Ben-Ner is a
   go-for-broke storyteller whose art recuperates the underappreciated
   comedy quotient from early performance and video art, with nods to Chris
   Burden, Vito Acconci, Dennis Oppenheim, Martha Rosler, William Wegman,
   Roman Signer, Richard Serra and Joan Jonas, among others. He
   intersperses deft tributes to avant-garde artists into longer pantomimes
   that are fantastically inventive, imaginative and economical, conjuring
   the cinema spirit of both pioneering Hollywood, embodied in Buster
   Keaton, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith, and the American underground,
   exemplified by Ron Rice, the Kuchar Brothers and Jack Smith. Ben-Ner's
   Moby Dick collapses Herman Melville's epic novel into a robust 12-minute
   silent abridgement entirely played out in the kitchen of the artist's
   apartment. In Elia – A Story of an Ostrich Chick the family takes a walk
   in the park dressed in backward fitting bird costumes; the little
   adventures of their day are narrated in the manner of a 1950s-period
   Disney nature short. Other works on the programme include Berkeley's
   Island, House Hold and Wild Boy.


Houston, Texas: Aurora Picture Show
3pm, 800 Aurora St.

   Storytelling meets the sampling culture. Live video, sharp narration,
   and a stream of vintage movie stills interweave to create a universe of
   runaway nanobots, psychic anarchists, and frustrated cyborgs. An
   immersive evening of strange tales and startling imagery from The
   Psychasthenia Society, bringing you the finest in satire, beats, and

London, England: Tate Modern
3pm, Bankside, SE1

   PALINODE (1970/2001, 21 min) In Palinode, a disk-shaped matte
   continually shifting in and out of focus alternately blocks part of the
   image or contains it. Its respiratory rhythm matches operatic fragments
   of Wladimir Vogel's 'Wagadu', as the camera studies a middle-aged male
   singer in Zurich, singing, eating, window shopping, meeting a young
   girl. The filmmaker told himself, "Don't let yourself know what that
   film is about while you are making it." (P. Adams Sitney, Film Comment)
   DIMINISHED FRAME (1970/2001, 24 min) There is in Diminished Frame a
   balance between a sense of the past seen in the views of West Berlin,
   filmed in black & white and a sense of the present in which I film
   myself showing how the colour is being created by placing filters in the
   camera's aperture. It is the space of the city and of the filmmaker. I
   searched for signs of war's aftermath and a few moments of ordinary
   existence. (Robert Beavers) THE PAINTING (1972/1999, 13 min) The
   Painting intercuts shots of traffic navigating the old-world remnants of
   downtown Bern, Switzerland, with details from a 15th-century altarpiece,
   "The Martyrdom of St. Hippolytus". The painting shows the calm,
   near-naked saint in a peaceful landscape, a frozen moment before four
   horses tear his body to pieces while an audience of soigné nobles looks
   on; in the movie's revised version, Beavers gives it a comparably
   rarefied psychodramatic jolt, juxtaposing shots of Gregory Markopoulos,
   bisected by shafts of light, with a torn photo of himself and the
   recurring image of a shattered windowpane. (J. Hoberman, The Village

New York, New York: Anthology Film Archives
6:00, 32 Second Avenue (at Second Street)

   While not necessarily known outside of their immediate circles, Dion
   Vigne and Edward Silverstone Taylor each left behind a small body of
   remarkable moving images. This program features recently preserved
   examples of their works courtesy of Pacific Film Archives. While Vigne
   documented his neighborhood and environment using experimental film
   techniques, Taylor created his own optical projector machine, the
   Lucitron, which allowed him to create varied colors and patterns. In
   addition, we are screening an impressionistic documentary about Vigne's
   life, times and movies as well as a short by the incomparable
   Christopher MacLaine. Special thanks to Kathy Geritz and Mona Nagai at
   PFA for their assistance with this program. Christopher MacLaine SCOTCH
   HOP (1959, 5.5 minutes, 16mm, sound). Preserved by Anthology Film
   Archives. A tribute to Scottish culture; the joys of bagpipes. Edward
   Silverstone Taylor. LUCITRON (3 minutes, 16mm, silent). COSMOSIS (4
   minutes, 16mm, silent). SOL (5 minutes, 16mm, silent). Preservation
   prints courtesy Pacific Film Archives. David Sherman TO RE-EDIT THE
   WORLD (2002, 32 minutes, VHS). Assembled from the contents of four boxes
   of films shot in the 50s and 60s by San Francisco filmmaker Dion Vigne,
   spinning through a lost history, a disappearance of names and faces and
   works and words of the characters who comprised one of the great
   chapters in American Underground filmmaking. At the center of this San
   Francisco re-history is the unknown Beat filmmaker - Dion Vigne - a
   character who we never see but rather feel through the influences of his
   more renowned contemporaries - Christopher MacLaine, Jordan Belson, the
   Whitney Brothers, Alfred Hitchcock, Kenneth Anger and Anton LaVey. Dion
   Vigne. NORTH BEACH (SHORT VERSION) (1958, 5 minutes, 16mm, sound)
   Preservation print courtesy Pacific Film Archives. . STROBOSCOPIC IMAGES
   1 (1964, 6 minutes, 16mm, sound) Preservation print courtesy Pacific
   Film Archives.

New York, New York: Anthology Film Archives
5:00 & 7:00 & 9:00, 32 Second Avenue (at Second Street)

   See Feb. 9.

San Francisco, California: San Francisco Cinematheque
7:30 pm, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 701 Mission st. at 3rd st.

   "Looking back, it seems that all my films have been explorations of
   corporeal and sensual being—in the world, in the self, even if each was
   engendered by different event, and periods of life." The work of San
   Francisco-based Sandra Davis contrasts exacting editing structures with
   lush, even abstract, photographic imagery. Intended to appeal to the
   body as much as the mind, Davis' work bravely manifests a fusion of
   interior subjectivity and the external world. Featured tonight is the
   Bay Area premiere of Ignorance Before Malice, "a true story—and the
   aesthetic sequel of the filmmaker's recovery process following an auto
   accident. Parallel voices of narrativized testimony describing a woman's
   struggle to heal within the American medical system, and a personal
   rumination on the journey through a sudden rupture of health into
   disability." Also screening are Davis' An Architecture of Desire, Une
   Fois Habitee, and Crepescule: Pond and Chair.

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