Avant-garde SOLID GOLD @ The SHOW CAVE, LA Sept 6th

From: michelle silva (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Sep 04 2007 - 13:36:54 PDT

The SHOW CAVE presents...


Thursday, SEPTEMBER 6th @ 8:30pm

Admission: $8

*Refreshments will be served*

1218 1/2 Temple
Los Angeles, 90026

Presenting a selection of prominent short titles in
Canyon Cinema’s historic collection of avant-garde
cinema, this program of pioneering filmmakers made an
indelible mark on film culture, redefining the medium
itself. Ranging from camera-less masterpieces to the
lurid color and cleavage of trash cinema, the audience
will feast on retinal and rhythmic delights.

(originally programmed at the Aurora Picture Show,
Houston, TX)

Oskar Fischinger

“Composition in Blue”

"COMPOSITION shares the same jolly atmosphere as the
commercials, but whereas each of Fischinger's previous
films had utilized only one basic animation technique,
COMPOSITION IN BLUE bursts forth with half a dozen
different new techniques - mostly involving pixilation
of three-dimensional forms ....

"The basic format of the film centers around solid
objects moving about in an imaginary blue room.
Fischinger delights in setting up conditions so that
the audience makes associations with probable or
'real' everyday happenings, and then extending the
analogy beyond the limits of possibility, bursting the
bubble of the audience's credibility. In the opening
scene, Fischinger is careful to show the red cubes
entering the 'room' through a door, so we will
identify with this as a plausible situation. Then he
subtly introduces a mirror as the 'floor' to the room,
again gaining our confidence in this special but
logical reality. Then, at the climax of the film, a
cylinder pounds on the mirror-floor and creates
circular ripples as if the floor had suddenly turned
to water, something that pushes us, with a rush of
delight, out of the realm of reality into a joyous
world of sheer, absurd fantasy." - Dr. William Moritz,
Film Culture

1935, 16mm, color/so, 4m

Len Lye

“Particles in Space”

PARTICLES IN SPACE (1979) grew out of the same
calligraphic material as FREE RADICALS. As with its
companion film, PARTICLES is concerned with the energy
of movement - of shaping light in darkness, by
scratching on the film surface. In this film, Len Lye
focuses on "a smaller, more compact zizz of energy
than I'd ever got before on film." The rhythms of
African drums again provide the musical counterpoint.
"I thought FREE RADICALS as 'definitively revised' an
almost unbelievably immense masterpiece (a brief epic)
and that PARTICLES IN SPACE was its contemplative
equivalent. COLOR CRY as great as I remembered it
...." - Stan Brakhage

1979/1980, 16mm, b&w/so, 3m

Stan Brakhage

“Commingled Containers”

This "return to photography" (after several years of
only painting film) was made on the eve of cancer
surgery - a kind of "last testament," if you will ...
an envisionment of the fleeting complexity of worldly

1997, 16mm, color/si, 5m

Peter Kubelka

A reel of two prints.

My films give the greatest pleasure to those who know
them by heart. All my films may be projected several
times, in a row, but I would request you to project
twice. ADEBAR and SCHWECHATER are available in reels
containing the films twice and in reels containing the
films five times.

Note: Reels containing the films five times available
only from Film-Makers' Cooperative, NY.

"Peter Kubelka's films move with the rhapsody of
precision. Nowhere else in cinema have I been so stuck
to a sense of everything being just right; a unique
pleasure to say the least. There are at present a
multiplying number of films which use techniques
similar to Kubelka's, and which attempt similar
effects; but for all the experiment rampant now, his
visions of absolute time transcend and show up all
that is merely modern." - Ken Kelman

"The world he gives us is comprehensive and lucid
...." - P. Adams Sitney

"Kubelka's cinema is like a piece of crystal, or some
other object of nature: it doesn't look like it was
produced by man ...." - Jonas Mekas

1957-1958, 16mm, color/so, 1m

Robert Nelson

“Hot Leatherette”

“A kinetic film sketch designed to involve the viewers
muscles. The rocky seaside cliffs near Stinson Beach,
California, hold the wrecked carcass of a ‘52 pickup
that is a rusting monument to Hot Leatherette.”
- Robert Nelson

1967, 16mm, b/w, so, 5m

Bruce Conner


"COSMIC RAY seems like a reckless collage of fast
moving parts: comic strips, dancing girls, flashing
lights. It is the dancing girl - hardly dressed,
stripping or nude - which provides the leitmotiv for
the film. Again and again she appears - sandwiched
between soldiers, guns, and even death in the form of
a skull positioned between her legs. And if the
statement equates sex with destruction, the cataclysm
is a brilliant one, like an exploding firecracker, and
one which ends the world with a cosmic bang. Of
course, the title also refers to musician Ray Charles
whose art Conner visually transcribes onto film as a
potent reality, tough and penetrating in its ability
to affect some pretty basic animal instincts. But if
such is the content of the film - that much of our
behavior consists of bestiality - the work as a whole
stands as insight rather than indictment." - Carl
Belz, Film Culture

 1961, 16mm, b&w/so, 4m
 (print courtesy of the filmmaker)

Peter Tscherkassky

“Outer Space”

"A young woman, night, an American feature film. She
enters a house, a dark corridor, a thriller. While she
forces her way into an unknown space together with the
viewer, the cinematographic image-producing processes
go off the rails. The rooms telescope into each other,
become blurred, while the crackling of the cuts and
the background noise - the sound of the film material
itself - becomes louder and more penetrating.

"The pace becomes frenetic, the woman is being pursued
by invisible opponents, pushed against a mirror, walls
of glass burst, furniture tilts and the
cinematographic apparatus which the heroine begins to
attack in blind fury also collapses. The images jump
and stutter, the perforation holes tilt into the
picture, the sound track implodes in a will o' the
wisp destruction scenario - something which only film
can do so powerfully. In ten minutes OUTER SPACE races
through the unsuspected possibilities of
cinematographic errors - a masterpiece." - Stephan

Award: Diagonale (Innovative Film Prize), Austrian
Nat'l Film Festival, 1999

1999, 16mm (1:1, 33), b&w/so, 10m


Curt McDowell


"Just as outrageous is Curt McDowell's CONFESSIONS.
McDowell, a graduate student at San Francisco Art
Institute, opens his film with a confession to his
mother and father, listing in exhausting detail his
sins of the flesh."

1971, 16mm, b&w/so, 12m

Owen Land (also known as George Landow)

New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment
of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes

A reworking of an earlier film, Institutional Quality,
in which the same test was given. In the earlier film
the person taking the test was not seen, and the film
viewer in effect became the test taker. The newer
version concerns itself with the effects of the test
on the test taker. An attempt is made to escape from
the oppressive environment of the test - a test
containing meaningless, contradictory, and
impossible-to-follow directions - by entering into the
imagination. In this case it is specifically the
imagination of the filmmaker, in which the test taker
encounters images from previous Land films .... The
test taker is "initiated" into this world by passing
through a shoe (the shoe of "the woman who has dropped
something") which has lost its normal spatial
proportions, just as taking the test has caused the
test taker to lose his sense of proportion. As he
moves through the images in the filmmaker's mind, the
test taker is in a trance-like state, and is carried
along by some unseen force .... At the end of the film
the test taker is back at his desk, still following
directions. His "escape" was only temporary, and thus
not a true escape at all.

1976, 16mm, color/so, 10m

Martin Arnold

passage à l'acte

Given context: a Hollywood text from the early
sixties; a family breakfast with husband, wife, son
and daughter.
Inscribed: a re-petition of what is diminished, set
apart and alien; a symptom.

Four people at the breakfast table, an American
family, locked in the beat of the cutting table. The
short, pulsating sequence at the family table shows,
in its original state, a classic, deceptive harmony.
Arnold deconstructs this scenario of normality by
destroying its original continuity. It catches on the
tinny sounds and bizarre body movements of the
subjects, which, in reaction, become snagged on the
continuity. The message, which lies deep under the
surface of the family idyll, suppressed or lost, is
exposed - that message is war.
"The first shock, the first flight, the fear at the
beginning of the film: The son jumps up from the table
and throws open the door, which sticks in an Arnoldian
loop of hard, hammering rhythm. He is compelled to
return to the table by a mechanically repeated
paternal order, 'Sit down.' And at the end, when the
two children spring up, finally released from their
bondage, Arnold is again caught at the door; at the
infernally hammering door, as if it were completely
senseless to try to leave here - this location of
childhood and two-faced cinema."
- Stefan Grissemann

Exhibition: Oberhausen Film Festival; Semaine de la
Critique, Cannes Film Festival; Rotterdam Film
Festival; Melbourne Film Festival; Sydney Film

1993, 16mm, b&w/so, 12m

George Kuchar

Hold Me While I'm Naked

"A very direct and subtle, very sad and funny look at
nothing more or less than sexual frustration and
aloneness. In its economy and cogency of imaging, HOLD
ME surpasses any of Kuchar's previous work. The odd
blend of Hollywood glamour and drama with all-too-real
life creates and inspires counterpoint of unattainable
desire against unbearable actuality." - Ken Kelman

"This film could cheer an arthritic gorilla, and
audiences, apparently sensitized by its blithely
accurate representation of feelings few among them can
have escaped, rise from their general stupor to cheer
it back." - James Stoller, The Village Voice

1966, 16mm, color/so, 15m


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