Chick Strand tribute screenings in Philadelphia @ International House

From: Robert Cargni Mitchell (email suppressed)
Date: Sat Sep 12 2009 - 15:03:02 PDT

Film @ International House

S.A. Ibrahim Theater

3701 Chestnut Street

Philadelphia, PA 19104




Thursday, December 10, 2009 at 7pm

Chick Strand Tribute


Born Mildred Strand in Northern California she was given the nickname Chick by her father. Strand studied anthropology at Berkeley, and in the early 1960s organized film happenings with Bruce Baillie. Later she edited with Baillie and Ernest Callenbach Canyon Cinema-News, which became a focal point for the West Coast independent film movement. She taught for 24 years at Occidental College. For over thirty years she made regular trips to Mexico with her second husband Neon Park and made films about the people she met there. Strand's ethnographic films are distinctive for their complex layering of sound and image, and the juxtaposition of found footage and sound with original images.


Cartoon le Mousse

dir, Chick Strand, USA, 1979, 16mm, 12 min, B&W

"Chick Strand is a prolific and prodigiously gifted film artist who seems to break new ground with each new work. Her recent 'found footage' works such as CARTOON LE MOUSSE, are extraordinarily beautiful, moving, visionary pieces that push this genre into previously unexplored territory. If poetry is the art of making evocative connections between otherwise dissimilar phenomena, then Chick Strand is a great poet, for these films transcend their material to create a surreal and sublime universe beyond reason." -- Gene Youngblood



dir, Chick Strand, USA, 1979, 16mm, 8 min, B&W

Dedicated to the memory of Anne Frank, and the tenacity of the human spirit.


Soft Fiction

dir, Chick Strand, USA, 1979, 16mm, 55 min, B&W

"Chick Strand's SOFT FICTION is a personal documentary that brilliantly portrays the survival power of female sensuality. It combines the documentary approach with a sensuous lyrical expressionism... The title SOFT FICTION works on several levels. It evokes the soft line between truth and fiction that characterizes Strand's own approach to documentary, and suggests the idea of soft-core fiction, which is appropriate to the film's erotic content and style ... Strand continues to celebrate in her brilliant, innovative personal documentaries her theme, the reaffirmation of the tough resilience of the human spirit." -- Marsha Kinder, Film Quarterly


Coming up for Air

dir, Chick Strand, USA, 1986, 16mm, 26 min, color

A "new narrative" film based on the visions of magic realism in an Anglo context. This is a gothic mystery that explores a reckless pursuit of interchangeable personalities and experience. Whether experience is first hand, read, remembered from a conversation during a chance encounter, heard of from all possible sources of information, whether fact or fiction, the "experiences" become ours; reinterpreted, reconstructed, and restructured, finally becoming our personal myths, and the source of our poetry and dreams. The sources for this film include night dreams, the idea of holocaust, the exoticness of the Mid-East, the sensuality of animals, the explorations of Scott in Antarctica, and a film ...entitled The Son of Amir Is Dead.




dir, Chick Strand, USA, 1967, 16mm, 3 min, color

A film poem using found film and stock footage altered by printing, home development and solarization. It is a film using visual relationships to invoke a feeling of flow and movement with Japanese Koto music.


Mujer De Milfuegos

dir, Chick Strand, USA, 1976, 16mm, 15 min, color

A kind of heretic fantasy film this is an expressionistic, surrealistic portrait of a Latin American woman, not a personal portrait so much as an evocation of the consciousness of women in rural parts of such countries as Spain, Greece and Mexico; women who wear black from the age 15 and spend their entire lives giving birth, preparing food and tending to household and farm responsibilities. MUJER DE MILFUEGOS depicts in poetic, almost abstract terms, their daily repetitive tasks as a form of obsessive ritual. Through experiences of ecstasy and madness we are shown different aspects of the human personality. The final sequence presents her awareness of another level of knowledge.


Mosori Monika

dir, Chick Strand, USA, 1970, 16mm, 21 min, color

An expressive documentary about women in the Third World, this is an ethnographic film about two cultures that have encountered one another. The Spanish Franciscan Missionaries went to Venezuela in 1945 to "civilize" the Warao Indians, who live in the swamps on the Orinoco River Delta. The relationship between the Indians and the missionaries is simple on the surface, but it is manifested in a complex change of techniques, values and life style which have indelibly altered the Warao vision of life. The acculturation is presented from two viewpoints. A nun tells how the Indians lived when the missionaries arrived and what the nuns have done to "improve" conditions, both spiritually and materially. An old Warao Indian woman tells what she feels has been the important experiences in her life.


Robert E. Cargni
Film Program Curator
Ibrahim Theater @ International House
International House Philadelphia
3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 USA
p) 1.215.895.6555| (f) 1.215.895.6562


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