Re: The Question About Space, Domestic and Otherwise.

From: Caroline Koebel (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Nov 20 2007 - 19:06:04 PST

Some more grist for the mill: here's a program I curated last year that
resonates with your activities. I'd say all the titles are worth
considering, but perhaps especially the Hammer-Klutinis, Thornton, Mangolte,
Keller, & Deren-Hammid, Caroline

The Inventing Space of Cinema
Films by Lana Lin, Barbara Hammer & Barbara Klutinis, Janie Geiser, Leslie
Thornton, Joyce Wieland, Storm De Hirsch, Babette Mangolte, Marie Menken,
Marjorie Keller, Maya Deren & Alexander Hammid

Maya Derenıs first film experiment Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) ignited
the American avant-garde film movement at mid-century, and for decades now
has been screened continuously in cinema studies classrooms. At one point
the filmıs protagonist (played by Deren) strides in a space that only cinema
makes possible: close-ups show the womanıs alternating feet against sand,
grass, pavement, and rug, creating the effect that she actually exists
simultaneously in these ordinarily disjointed environs.

Of this sequence, Deren has written, ³It was like a crack letting the light
of another world gleam through. I kept saying to myself, ŒThe walls of this
room are solid except right thereŠThereıs a door...Iıve got to get it open
because through there I can go to someplace instead of leaving here by the
same way that I came in.ı²

In a like-spirited displacement, The Inventing Space of Cinema re-posits
Meshes of the Afternoon within a frame of works‹including live action,
animation, and re-purposed footage‹that use experimental means and
investigatory techniques to pose questions about objective and subjective
space, gendered spatiality, and filmic architectonics. The frame is intended
to open a necessary entrance to Meshes, one enabling the pre-canon filmıs
flux and indeterminacy to sneak past into the present.
Through the Door (1992) 16mm, color, sound, 3 min.
A mock travel film composed of archival footage that comments on narrative
conventions. A woman is heard, but not seen. Visual and aural narratives
unfold independently, reinforcing and countering each other.
Pools (1981) 16mm, color and b&w, sound, 6 min.

"POOLS is a pictorially and technically impressive sampling of spectacular
swimming pools at W.R. Hearst's San Simeon and manages to validate itself
from within, or at least within its own frame of identification." -- Richard
T. Jameson

Our aesthetics in co-making POOLS was to bring an experiential and
physiological sense of the body to the members of the audience watching the
film in terms of the locations, the swimming pools designed by the first
woman architect to graduate from the School of Beaux Arts in Paris, Julia
Morgan. We want the viewers to have the experience of swimming in
architectural space for two reasons. First and foremost, we want to activate
our audience, we want them to come alive, not be passive through watching
cinema, and then to extend that "aliveness" into their lives through
conscious expansive living and responsible politics. The second reason we
swam and filmed in those pools was to break a taboo. No visitors are allowed
to swim in these gorgeous examples of Morgan's work. At least by getting
permission to swim there ourselves with an underwater camera we could extend
through vision this extraordinary physical experience.

Terrace 49 (2004) 16mm, color, sound, 5 1/2min.
Images of impending disaster- slamming doors, a truck careening down a hill,
and a frayed, almost snapping, elevator rope collide with the repeated image
of a woman - body, cycling toward ephemerality as the woman disappears into
the texture of the film itself. In my recent films, I have been exploring
the possibilities found in merging video texture with film, creating a lush,
disorienting, ambiguous film space, and an atmosphere a temporal suspension.
In Terrace 49, I further break up this space, dividing the film frame into
shards, as fractured as memory and as fragile as glass.
Jennifer, Where are You? (1981) 16mm, color, sound, 10 min.
Young girls use lipstick over-liberally and thus block out unwanted noises.
1933 (1967) 16mm, color, sound, 4 min.

"The repeated images are such that they appear to be different every time;
to be expanding. 1933 has a machine-mechanical-doll-rhythmic-like
structure." -- Robert Cowan, Take One

"1933. The year? The number? The title? Was it (the film) made then? It's a
memory! (i.e., a Film). No, it's many memories. It's so sad and funny: the
departed, departing people, cars, street! It hurries, it's gone, it's back!
It's the only glimpse we have but we can have it again. The film (of 1933?)
was made in 1967. You find out, if you didn't already know, how naming tints
pure vision." -- Michael Snow
Peyote Queen (1965) 16mm, color, sound, 9 min.
A further exploration into the color of ritual, the color of thought; a
journey through the underworld of sensory derangement.

"A very beautiful work! The abstractions drawn directly on film are like the
paintings of Mir‹ moving at full speed to the rhythm of an African beat." --
D. Noguez, La Nouvelle Revue Fran?aise

"Among my favorites ... beauty and excitement." -- Jonas Mekas, The Village
There? Where? (1979) 16mm, color, sound, 8-3/4 min.
An essay on displacement and disjointed spaces in Southern California, the
film presents a series of questions. Where are the voices, here or over
there? And what we see is it near or far? Are the voices a commentary on
what we see, or vice-versa? Illustrating the ambivalence of perception
without referent, the film is also a documentary on Southern California.
Moonplay (1962) 16mm, b&w, sound, 5 min.
Sound by Teiji Ito.

A lunar fantasy in animated stop-motion.
Six Windows (1979) 16mm, color, sound, 6-1/2 min.
A pan and a dissolve make a window of a wall on film. A portrait of the
filmmaker in a luminous space, synthetically rendered via positive and
negative overlays.

... I lived in some rooms by the sea and watched the inside and the view as
well as the window panes that divided and joined them. I was often lost in
thought. The birds would come and make a racket, reminding me I shared that
space and sky with them. The film is a moody record of that place and my
peace of mind.
Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) 16mm, b&w, sound, 14 min.
Collaboration with Alexander Hammid.
This film is concerned with the inner realities of an individual and with
the way in which the sub-conscious will develop, interpret and elaborate an
apparently simple and casual occurrence into a critical emotional
experience. It is culminated by a double-ending in which it would seem that
the imagined achieved, for the protagonist, such force that it became
reality. Using cinematic techniques to achieve dislocations of inanimate
objects, unexpected simultaneities, etc., this film establishes a reality
which, although somewhat based on dramatic logic, can exist only on film.
(Note that this description comes not from the Coop site, but from a 1945
brochure written by Deren republished in Essential Deren).

Total Running Time: Approx. 73 mins.
All films are from the Film-Makers' Cooperative

On 11/19/07 10:15 PM, "BR" <email suppressed> wrote:

> Dearest Frameworkers,
> Hello again. While I'm at it, I was wondering if I could pick your collective
> brain about films/videos that deal with the representation and alteration of
> domestic space (physical, emotional, etc). I'm putting together a program of
> films for a gallery screening in the City of Broad Shoulders, and while I've
> got a program picked out already, I was curious as to what else might be
> circling the A/V atmosphere. To give you a better sense of what I'm asking,
> here's the constellation of films that I've gathered thus far:
> Wait by Ernie Gehr (7:00, 16mm, 1968)
> Table by Ernie Gehr (16:00, 16mm, 1976)
> House by Ben Rivers (6:00, 16mm, 2007)
> Old Dark House by Ben Rivers (4:00, 16mm, 2007)
> Dani Houses by Karl Heider (16:00, 16mm, 1963)
> Footnotes to a House of Love by Laida Lertxundi (13:00, 16mm, 2007)
> Babobilicons by Daina Krumins (16:00, 16mm, 1982)
> The Fourth Watch by Janie Geiser (10:00, 16mm, 2000)
> Red Swing by Leighton Pierce (8:00, 16mm, 1986)
> Chinese Firedrill by Will Hindle (25:00, 16mm, 1968)
> I'd be especially excited to hear the titles of whatever ethnographic films
> might be on the tips of your tongues...
> Thanks In Advance,
> Ben Russell

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