Los Angeles Filmforum - Facebook, Treasures, and Orphans!

From: Adam Hyman (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Apr 26 2009 - 12:45:23 PDT

Hi all,

First, please come become a fan of Los Angeles Filmforum on Facebook! We'll
send out some notices, post photos and more.

Next, reminders of our great upcoming events. First, tonight's show features
six restored classics of experimental film. And next weekend is the Orphan
Film Symposium West!

Sunday April 26, 2009, 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Treasures from American Film Archives IV ­ Six experimental film classics
from the DVD box, screened on film, in honor of its release

With Jeff Lambert, Assistant Director of the National Film Preservation
Foundation, and Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive in person.

At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. (at Las Palmas), Los Angeles
CA 90028. Park at the Hollywood & Highland complex city lot, $2 for 4 hours,
with validation (bring your ticket!). Street meters now active until 8 pm on

This March brought the long-awaited release of the National Film
Preservation Foundation's glorious 2-DVD box set, TREASURES IV: AMERICAN
AVANT-GARDE FILM, 1947-1986, the home-video debut of 26 classics of American
experimental filmmaking. TREASURES IV showcases the preservation work of
America's foremost avant-garde film archives: Anthology Film Archive, the
Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the
Museum of Modern Art, the Donnell Media Center of the New York Public
Library, and Pacific Film Archive. In honor of its release, Filmforum
tonight brings you six of the restored films from the set, on film, in all
their glory, the better to whet your appetite for all the glories of the box

TREASURES IV is made possible through generous grants from the Andy Warhol
Foundation for the Visual Arts and the National Endowment for the Arts, with
additional support from Film Technology, Inc. Net proceeds from sales will
support further film preservation. A two-page brochure with the complete
line-up of films can be downloaded from the NFPF Web site:

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the independent, nonprofit
organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America's film
heritage. Working with archives and others who appreciate film, the NFPF
supports activities that save films for future generations, improve film
access for education and exhibition, and increase public commitment to
preserving film as a cultural resource, art form, and historical record.
Established in 1996, the NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National
Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress. www.filmpreservation.org

Tonight we'll be screening:

FOG LINE by Larry Gottheim (1970, 11 min., 16mm, color, silent)
Restored print courtesy of the New York Public Library for the Performing

"It is a small but perfect film." -- Jonas Mekas
"The metaphor in FOG LINE is so delicately positioned that I find myself
receding in many directions to discover its source: The Raw and the Cooked?
Analytic vs. Synthetic? Town & Country? Ridiculous and Sublime? One line is
scarcely adequate to the bounty which hangs from fog & line conjoined." --
Tony Conrad
"FOG LINE is a wonderful piece of conceptual art, a stroke along that
careful line between wit and wisdom -- a melody in which literally every
frame is different from every preceding frame (since the fog is always
lifting) and the various elements of the composition -- trees, animals,
vegetation, sky, and, quite importantly, the emulsion, the grain of the film
itself -- continue to play off one another as do notes in a musical
composition. The quality of the light - the tonality of the image itself --
adds immeasurably to the mystery and excitement as the work unfolds, the fog
lifting, the film running through the gate, the composition static yet the
frame itself fluid, dynamic, magnificently kinetic." -- Raymond Foery

NECROLOGY by Standish Lawder (1969-1970, 12 min., 16mm, b&w/so)
Restored print courtesy of Academy Film Archive, with thanks to Canyon

"In NECROLOGY, a 12-minute film, in one continuous shot he films the faces
of a 5:00 PM crowd descending via the Pan Am building escalators. In
old-fashioned black and white, these faces stare into the empty space, in
the 5:00 PM tiredness and mechanical impersonality, like faces from the
grave. It's hard to believe that these faces belong to people today. The
film is one of the strongest and grimmest comments upon the contemporary
society that cinema has produced." - Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice

"Without doubt, the sickest joke I've ever seen on film." - Hollis Frampton
Collection: Museum of Modern Art, NY

GO! GO! GO! by Marie Menken (1964, 11.5 min., 16mm, color, silent)
Restored print from Filmmakers Coop

Taken from a moving vehicle, for much of the footage. The rest uses
stationary frame, stop-motion. In the harbor sequence, I had to wait for the
right amount of activity, to show effectively the boats darting about; some
sequences took over an hour to shoot, and last perhaps a minute on the
screen. The "strength and health" sequence was shot at a body beautiful
convention. Various parts of the city of New York, the busy man's
engrossment in his busy-ness, make up the major part of the film ... a
tour-de-force on man's activities.

CHUMLUM by Ron Rice (1964, 26 min., 16mm, color, sound)
Print from Filmmakers Coop

With Jack Smith, Beverly Grant, Mario Montez, Joel Markman, Frances
Francine, Guy Henson, Barry Titus, Zelda Nelson, Gerard Malanga. Music by
Angus McLise. Sound Technician: Tony Conrad.
"It's not unlike a bizarre dream, in riotous color.." New York Herald
"Ron Rice's only color film, Chumlum depicts Jack Smith and some of his cast
during the making of Normal Love, which includes Beverly Grant, Mario
Montez, Francis Francine, and Tiny Tim. Rice offers glimpses of them in
between set-ups at Normal Love's locations, as well as shots of the players
lying in hammocks and rocking lazily after they were back in Rice's New York
City loft. Throughout Chumlum, he utilizes superimpositions to turn his
subjects into fields of texture, rhythm, and color. The title is derived
from the score by composer/musician Angus MacLise, which he played on
cembalo." -- Nicole Gagne, All Movie Guide

PEYOTE QUEEN by Storm De Hirsch (1965, 9 min., 16mm, color, sound)
Restored print from Anthology Film Archive

A further exploration into the color of ritual, the color of thought; a
journey through the underworld of sensory derangement.

"Among my favorites ... beauty and excitement." -- Jonas Mekas, The Village

7362 by Pat O'Neill (1965-1967, 10 min., 16mm, color, sound)
Restored print courtesy of Academy Film Archive, with thanks to Canyon

Sound: Joseph Byrd, Michael Moore; Picture: Pat O'Neill. A bilaterally
symmetrical (west to east) fusion of human, biomorphic and mechanical shapes
in motion. Has to do with the spontaneous generation of electrical energy. A
fairly rare (ten years ago) demonstration of the Sabattier effect in motion.
Numbered after the film stock of the same name. "Fetishistic. " - Isabella

Jeff Lambert is the National Film Preservation Foundation's Assistant
Director, he oversees the grant programs, which have more than tripled in
size under his direction. He worked at the San Francisco Cinematheque before
joining the foundation in 1998. Mr. Lambert initiated the Avant-Garde
Masters Grants, the NFPF collaborative effort funded by The Film Foundation
to rescue outstanding examples of postwar avant-garde cinema. He also served
as the project manager for Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film,
1947-1986. Mr. Lambert has taught film history at San Francisco State

Mark Toscano is a preservationist at the Academy Film Archive, where he
specializes in independent and avant-garde cinema. In addition to a major
focus on Los Angeles experimental films, Mark's preservation activities also
have extended to work by Stan Brakhage, Robert Nelson, Will Hindle, Ray
Harryhausen, Satyajit Ray, and the Maysles.

Reviews of the box set:

****TICKET PRICE & RESERVATIONS: Admission is $10 general, $6
students/seniors, free for Filmforum members, cash or check only.

We will take reservations until Saturday night, and hold reservations
until 15 minutes before the show time.

Parking on the streets. Validated parking is available in
the big city lot at Hollywood & Highland, $2 for 4 hours with a
validation from the Egyptian Theatre. Or take the Metro red Line to
Hollywood & Highland.
Are you interested in rare old films, educational, space exploration, found
footage, archives, sex ed films, film preservation, and more? Have we got
the event for you!

It's time for the first
Orphan Film Symposium West!
Saturday May 2 and Sunday May 3, 2009

At the Silent Movie Theatre,
611 N. Fairfax Avenue (at Melrose), Los Angeles, CA

Presented by Los Angeles Filmforum, Cinefamily, NYU Tisch School of the Arts
and the MIAP program


The Orphan Film Symposium has had six incarnations since its start in 1999
at the University of South Carolina. Founder Dan Streible has since
developed the symposium into a favorite of AMIA members, filmmakers, and
historians. The event is now held at NYU as a project of their Moving Image
Archiving and Preservation program, and draws sold out crowds from around
the world (18 nations were represented at the last symposium).

For the uninitiated, "orphan" works are those which are outside of the
mainstream and often have no known origin or copyright, or were at one point
considered "lost" and without a formal repository to preserve it. These
include home movies, amateur and educational films, industrial and sponsored
films, experimental films, and newsreels. According to Dan Streible, the
founder of the Orphans Film Symposium,

Three dictionary connotations of orphan [are] analogous to what film
archivists mean by the label: 1) One deprived of protection (orphans of the
storm); 2) an item not developed because it is unprofitable (an orphan
drug); and 3) a discontinued model (an orphan automobile) ... we can fairly
say that in the twenty-first century, all film (celluloid) is becoming an
orphaned technology.

Presenters at the symposium speak about orphan restoration and research
projects, their processes of discovery for these films and videos, followed
by screenings of the works.

Undoubtedly, latecomers to the Orphans phenomenon are curious as to what
stories and treasures the early incarnations of the symposium uncovered. For
those curious parties who have missed some or all of the symposia, Los
Angeles organizations LA Filmforum and Cinefamily have worked with NYU and
Dan Streible to coordinate a two-day retrospective event on May 2 and 3 at
the historic Silent Movie Theatre at 611 N. Fairfax. The event will feature
five shows; each featuring selected presentations and screenings from all
six previous symposia. Orphans founder Dan Streible will be present along
with an amazing lineup of presenters and films.

Admission is $13 per show. For $65 you will receive a pass to all five shows
in the symposium, free soda and popcorn AND a dinner and wine reception on
Saturday night between the first and second shows!

Filmforum members can get a pass for $50 (email us to reserve one) or
individual show tickets for $9 each.

Please visit the Cinefamily site to purchase a symposium pass or individual

The Lineup (scroll down for details):

Saturday May 2, 6:00pm
Selections from Orphans 1: Saving Orphan Films in the Digital Age
and Orphans 2: Documenting the 20th Century

Saturday May 2, 9:30pm
Selections from Orphans 3: Listening to Orphan Films; Sound, Music, Voice

Sunday May 3, 2:00pm
Selections from Orphans 4: On Location: Place and Region in Forgotten Films

Sunday May 3, 4:30pm
Selections from Orphans 5: Science, Industry and Education

Sunday May 3, 8:00pm
Selections from Orphans 6: The State

Saturday May 2, 2009, 6:00 pm
Selections from Orphans 1: Saving Orphan Films in the Digital Age
and Orphans 2: Documenting the 20th Century

Dedication of 'Park Row' (1928)
A very early synch-sound newsreel shot in January 1928 on the backlot at the
Fox studios, Movietone cameras and microphones record speakers dedicating a
new building for writers. Will Hays pontificates; Tom Mix and other Fox
stars speak off the cuff, with a cameo appearance by Leon Trotsky.
PRESENTER: Dan Streible
SCREENING: Dedication of 'Park Row' (1928)

Contemporary Filmmakers Use Orphan Films - Carolyn Faber's Iota (1998)
The filmmaker uses 8mm home movie footage and actually alters the space and
time it represents, by closing in on portions of the frames, and slowing
down the speed of the original 8mm film, so as to bring out imperfections,
flaws and anomalies (i.e. splice lines, grain, dirt, emulsion flaws, etc.),
therefore making the original film into something completely different than
the original, yet the original still being recognized as such. -- Ryan
PRESENTER: Dan Streible
SCREENING: Carolyn Faber's Iota (1998)

Ed Emshwiller's Project Apollo (1968)
Ed Emshwiller was an influential figure in the experimental film movement
that helped expand the horizons of American filmmaking in the 1960s. He was
an abstract expressionist painter and science-fiction illustrator before he
turned to film and video. Project Apollo was made for the USIA and could not
be shown in the US until 30 years had passed. Emshwiller made it in 1968 a
year before the actual flight to the moon and the July landing. It focuses
on the machines of rocket flight, not the ultimate accomplishment because
that was in the future. The film features many of Emshwiller's moving camera
shots, which give a sense of depth and involve the spectator in the
penetration of space.
PRESENTER: Dan Streible
SCREENING: Project Apollo (1968)

Making The Movie Queen
Itinerant filmmaker Margaret Cram traveled New England in the 1930s, making
Movie Queen films starring local townspeople. The films were shot over the
course of a week, processed and then screened at the local cinema, where
townsfolk would attend to see themselves in pictures. Andrea McCarty will
present clips from the surviving Movie Queen films, along with clips from a
remake shot and screened before community members in Bucksport, Maine in
2000. The Movie Queen films reside in the collections of Northeast Historic
PRESENTER: Andrea McCarty
SCREENING: clips from Bucksport Movie Queen

Click here to buy tickets:

Saturday May 2, 2009, 9:30 pm
Selections from Orphans 3:
Listening to Orphan Films; Sound, Music, Voice

Found Home Movies Meet the Avant Garde
Scott Stark presents a collection of mostly 16mm home movie oddities from
the 1940s and 50s, some with sound, as well as one or two of his own short
PRESENTER: Scott Stark
SCREENING: Films of singing families, halloween costuming, first communions
and drunken revelry.

Sonic Oddities from the San Francisco Media Archive
Sonic Oddities is Stephen Parr's cinematic and auditory collision of film
shorts, clips, fragments and reprocessed sounds. Drawn from his company,
Oddball Films' 50,000-film archive, this short program features rare
commercials colliding with silent scenes of sunken jetliners and audio test
tones. Expect to see and hear disturbingly entertaining reconfigurations of
cinema including jar-headed GI's listening to beatnik poetry, ethnographic
devil-dancing, and sex camp trash trailers.
PRESENTER: Stephen Parr
SCREENING: First Americans and Their Gods (1969, Philip Stapp); GTE Sylvania
(1967, Commercial), Glas (Excerpt)l Magi Ride With Chevrolet (Color, 1961);
The Challenge of Tomorrow (1964, RCA Excerpt); The Web of Love (1966,
Scopitone w/Joi Lansing)

Superocheros: Mexico's Super8 Film Movement
Super 8 in Mexico existed largely as movement, a collective effort closely
identified with the counterculture and with radical politics. A series of
festivals, competitions and manifestos helped maintain a group identity for
those involved, who labeled themselves with the format in which they
worked--superochero s, or "super-eighters. " Luz Externa is a product of
precisely this Aquarian-age communal ethos. Its director is José Agustín,
novelist, playwright and the premiere chronicler of the Mexican
counterculture. This particular film has a special relevance for a
discussion of sound and small-format (semi-) amateur film production, for it
is a film whose soundtrack was not completed at the time made. Lerner will
discuss the "superochero" movement, as well as his role in the
historiographic process of reconstructing the film's soundtrack almost 30
years later.
PRESENTER: Jesse Lerner
SCREENING: José Agustín's Luz Externa (1973) presented with a restored

Click here to buy tickets:

Sunday May 3, 2:00pm
Selections from Orphans 4:
On Location: Place and Region in Forgotten Films

Space Explorations: Scott Stark
Three works spanning three decades by film and video artist Scott Stark
explore urban spaces both interior and exterior, mapping and reconfiguring
architecture and design through time, space and movement. Hotel Cartograph
(1983) puts the spectator on a movable cart, looking down at the floor,
passing over a seemingly endless succession of gaudy carpets and surfaces in
a single shot through a major hotel. Under a Blanket of Blue (1996) grafts a
sweet, romantic melody onto images of dehumanizing architectural structures
in central and northern Spain. Slow (2001) uses a simple cinematic device -
the wipe - to interweave human and mechanical movements through fixed spaces
over time, revealing potent absences and reflected presences.
PRESENTER: Scott Stark
SCREENING: Hotel Cartograph (1983, 16mm) [above right]; Under a Blanket of
Blue (1996, Super 8mm); SLOW (2001, mini-DV)

Building the Hollywoodland Sign (1923)
A short silent piece of footage shows an extraordinary view of the Hollywood
landmark in mid-construction, with shots distant and intimate. Print
courtesy of the University of South Carolina Newsfilm Library.
PRESENTER: Dan Streible
SCREENING: Building the Hollywoodland Sign (1923)

Early Middle Eastern Films
Early glimpses of life in the Middle East, preserved by Technicolor Creative
Services, Film Technology and Fotokem. Prints courtesy of the University of
South Carolina Newsfilm Library.
PRESENTER: Dan Streible
SCREENING: Jewish Children Donate Toys to Jerusalem Orphans (Chicago, 1920);
Bagdad, Turkey: The City of Bagdad (1924); Cairo Street Scenes (1928);
Jerusalem Street Scenes (1929)

Click here to buy tickets:

Sunday May 3, 4:30pm
Selections from Orphans 5: Science, Industry and Education

Sex Mis-Education: The Sex Ed Film in the Moving Image Archive
This presentation argues for the scholarly value of sex ed films, and for
their special case in the world of archives and academics. The tendency is
to view most of these films, from menstruation films to biology films to VD
films, as kitschy relics, but in fact they represent very specific
viewpoints on social history and customs. Analyzing their message, what is
both said and not said, as well as the reasons for their creation, sheds
light on the struggle over definitions of sex and bodies in America.
PRESENTERS: Christopher Lane and Amy Sloper
SCREENING: Linda's Film on Menstruation (1974) by Linda Feferman [right]

Science in Action (CAS 1952 - 66): Spectral Uses of Kinescopy
An audio-visual discussion about kinescopes, science films, science museums,
the California Hall of Science, the Science in Action series, and a
particular scientist who died in the line of duty, snorkeling for fish, Dr.
Earl Herald.
PRESENTER: Craig Baldwin
SCREENING: Spectres of the Spectrum kinescope (from the Science in Action

Click here to buy tickets:

Sunday May 3, 8:00pm
Selections from Orphans 6: The State

Censorship in the Arts: Selections from the Fales Library
A selection of unique short pieces that were selected from a digitization
project undertaken between Fales Library, NYU, and SAMMA Systems. By
utilizing Media Matters' System for the Automated Migration of Media
Archives (SAMMA), NYU was able to digitize a large portion of 3/4" Umatic
tapes from their Downtown Collection. These are some of the more interesting
and unique clips that were uncovered, all revolving around the theme of arts
PRESENTER: Dan Streible
SCREENING: Selection of shorts, including "Graffiti Program" from The
Fashion Moda Archive; "Lee Breuer Interview" from The Mabou Mines Archive;
"20 Years of Art in Unexpected Places featuring Karen Finley - excerpt" from
The Creative Time Archive; "Greg Mehrten Interview" from The Mabou Mines
Archive; "Ballad of the Skeletons (excerpt) from The Bob Holman Audio/Video
Poetry Collection

Martyn See Protest Videos
Speakers Cornered is the third documentary made by Martyn See, a Singaporean
video editor and filmmaker. His first two films, Singapore Rebel and
Zahari's 17 Years, were banned under the 1981 Films Act by the Singapore
board of film censors. Speakers Cornered was Martyn's first film to be
passed by the censors and is about a public protest in Singapore led by
opposition politician Dr Chee Soon Juan and the police reaction to it.
Courtesy of the Asian Film Archive and Martyn See.
PRESENTER: Dan Streible
SCREENING: Speakers Cornered

A Meeting of Church and State:
Television's Paulist Twilight Zone: Insight (1963-1980)
The frequently outré religious anthology Insight (1960-1983) long occupied
the shadowy airtime between Indian head test patterns and national anthem
sign-off films. Dan Einstein and Mark Quigley of the UCLA Film & Television
Archive will discuss conservation efforts for the series, present a
highlight reel (including frighteningly weird animated title sequences) and
screen the preserved episode, Locusts Have No King (1965. D. Ted Post),
starring William Shatner
PRESENTERS: Mark Quigley & Dan Einstein (UCLA)
SCREENING: Locusts Have No King (1965)

This symposium was organized by Stephanie Sapienza and Adam Hyman of Los
Angeles Filmforum, Hadrian Belove of Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre,
and Dan Streible from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts and the Moving Image
Archiving and Preservation Program (MIAP).

Thanks also to the following individuals and organizations for providing
assistance to the Orphans West symposium:

Peter Oleksik
Elizabeth Hesik
Mark Toscano
Asian Film Archive
UCLA Film and Television Archive
University of South Carolina Newsfilm Library
NYU Tisch School of the Arts
Filmforum is selling memberships! They get you into shows for a big
discount! $60 single/$95 double. Cash or check only. Inquire at
the door, or send us an email at (address suppressed)

Coming Soon to Filmforum:

May 17 - Los Angeles Filmforum presents Descent: Three Stories of Family.
"Folk Songs," by LeAnn Erickson; "Images of Flying and Falling," by Ariana
Gerstein; "No Man is an Island," by Sonja Lindén
Curator and Filmmaker LeAnn Erickson in person!

May 27 - Restoring the Los Angeles Avant-Garde: Thom Andersen and Morgan
Fisher. With Andersen, Fisher, and Mark Toscano in person. At the Billy
Wilder Theater at the Hammer Museum, co-presented with UCLA Film &
Television Archive and the Hammer Museum. Free! http://www.cinema. ucla.edu/

May 29 - Restoring the Los Angeles Avant-Garde: Things Are Always Going
Wrong. IN PERSON: Pat O'Neill, Grahame Weinbren, Fred Worden, David Wilson,
Roberta Friedman, Mark Toscano. At the Billy Wilder Theater at the Hammer
Museum, co-presented with UCLA Film & Television Archive and the Hammer
Museum. Free! http://www.cinema.ucla.edu/public/calendar/calendar_ f.html

May 31 - "Dialogues" by Owen Land, Los Angeles Premiere, Owen Land in
person! Egyptian Theatre.

**For full and up-to-date information, please visit our website at
http://lafilmforum.wordpress.com/ or email us at email suppressed **

***For a complete listing of alternative films in Los Angeles, check

This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County
Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission
and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization
dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries,
and video art. This is our 33rd year!

Filmforum is also raising funds. Sponsor a whole season for only
$5000, or become a member for $60, or anything in between. We're also
looking for a Sony J-30 video deck, which plays Beta SP and DigiBeta,
PAL and NTSC tapes. Filmforum is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization
which means your fiscal donations are fully tax deductible

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.