832 Shotwell Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
notes \ films \ bio \ distribution
I've discovered in found-footage the means to examine subjects that might be elusive in conversation, such as childhood confusion and what it means to "grow up." A Different Kind of Green (1989) was the first film that lead in this direction. By mixing specific "match" cuts with more a more open form of collage, I tried to keep the viewer reaching for meaning and therefore more part of the process. The remembered terror of high school peer pressure served as a backdrop in the simple Thine Inward-Looking Eyes (1993). The fear that comes from the gaze of a group of humans fueled this film and I'm happy to find that many viewers can relate, as it's the film that's closest to my center. This film and three related films; The Sweetest Sandwich, Learning to Slump, and On Any Given Thursday use source footage that is primarily found camera outtakes from the 1970's. This previously discarded footage miraculously captures the awkward moment before the command "action", where spoken words seem to have no place.
Media Darling (1991), which looks at the media coverage of the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake through the device of a horror film, was my first foray into the use of cameras, actors, and just a little narrative. It was shot with two Super-8 cameras in sync and optically printed as 16mm split screen. Its screenings at the Sundance Film Festival provided me with a frightening glimpse of the independent scene outside of San Francisco, but also has motivated me towards more "obtained-footage" films (my term for non-found footage films). With Duermete Niñita (1994), a lullaby for my grandmother on her 101st birthday, I edited footage that I shot as if it were found-footage to allow the poetry of the moment to steer the film, rather than following a pre-conceived path or script. This same technique is used in Under A Broad Gray Sky (1996), a visual counterpoint to the Charles Baudelaire prose piece, Chacun sa Chimère.
Somber Accommodations (1990) was a 15 minute labor of love and naive recklessness that required too many years to finish. Filmed at the Exploratorium's Wave Organ, the film was a collaboration between myself and Joe Bini. The two of us, along with cinematographer Rob Jakubik, and composer Mark Degliantoni, I formed the collective called The Chalk Circle, which finished a short musical video, Bottom Buck (1994). Mark Degliantoni's current band Soul Coughing provided the impetus for me to form a workshop project called The Scratch Film Junkies to pursue the many aspects of camera-less filmmaking. The first film by the group is called St. Louise and has been on tour with Soul Coughing since fall of 1998.
With music by Soul Coughing
1998 Five minutes 16mm, color, sound
The Scratch Film Junkies is a workshop/collaboration that I've started to explore the possibilities of handmade/camera-less/digital filmmaking. "Digital" means we use our digits (fingers). We congregate once a week in a dank hole in the Mission District of San Francisco to manipulate film one frame at a time and inhale solvents and paint fumes. We are driven to scribble, inclined to dribble, and we'll rub on whatever sticks. Depending on the weather, other members include Vivian Dwyer, Kitty Hutton and Kathleen Fernald, Rane Halloran, Colleen Silva, and Susan Dory. All films are handmade for your optical pleasure -- do not take with other medications.
On-tour with Soul Coughing as part of their live stage projections.
Sprocket Ensemble performance with live musical score, San Francisco, CA. February 22, 1999.
Squeaky Wheel at Cybele's Lounge, Buffalo, NY. March 21, 1999.
The Other Cinema at the ATA Gallery, San Francisco. May 29, 1999.
Preview: 1997 Four minutes 16mm, color, sound
Episode 1: 1998 Five minutes 16mm, color, sound
This experimental narrative comedy is envisioned as a series of 10 short episodes to be completed individually, but eventually available as a coherent whole. The inspiration for the two main characters comes from Amelia Earhart (the well-known aviatrix) and the last of the Yahi Indians, Ishi (the sole survivor of the California Indian massacres who gave himself up to modern society in 1911). I've been interested in the fact that, for society, Ishi's origins are a mystery and Amelia's destiny a mystery. This tale imagines the possibility that the two archetypes briefly meet on their arcs through history.
Selected screenings (Preview):
The Other Cinema, San Francisco. December 27, 1997.
The Fine Arts Cinema, Berkeley, CA. February 18-21, 1998.
With music by Soul Coughing
1998 Five minutes 16mm, color and b/w, sound
In the wrong place at the wrong time, a thumbtack finds itself stuck in the sole of Death's boot stalking the streets of Paris. Started in 1992 on my virgin visit to Paris and finished years later after acquiring a bit of every film technique that wandered through my studio.
37th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan. March 20, 1999.
The Humboldt Film Festival, Arcata, California. April 9, 1999.
Scratch Projection, Paris, France. May 4, 1999.
1998 Five minutes 16mm, color, sound
An info-tone-poem. A character study composed at the tomb of the unknown failure. Featuring a lead character described by Alfonso Alvarez as "Eric Idle on the set of Meshes of the Afternoon"
The Other Cinema at the ATA Gallery, San Francisco. May 30, 1998.
Peripheral Produce, Portland, OR. August 1, 1998.
1997 Seven minutes 16mm, color, sound
Kind of a David and Goliath situation, where they're very big, very tall, very muscular, oh and before we go any further, can any of you tell me what the word "direction" means?
Cinematheque, San Francisco, CA. October 2, 1997.
36th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan. March 20, 1998.
Golden Shower Video Festival, San Antonio, TX. March 27, 1998. (Second Place)
The Humboldt Film Festival, Arcata, California. April 10, 1998.
1998 Onion City Film Festival, Chicago, Illinois. May 2, 1998. (Honorable Mention)
1996 Five minutes 16mm, color, sound
A warm spring day, a subtle shift, and light and time seem to freeze during the reading of a poem by Baudelaire. A mundane moment in an ordinary day is briefly transformed, but the participants, caught up in their tasks, miss the epiphany.
Film Arts Foundation at 111 Minna Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA. June 1996.
Cine-Poetry Fest, San Francisco, CA. November 1996.
South by Southwest, Austin, TX. March 7, 1997.
Maryland Public Television broadcast, April 23, 1998.
Cinematheque at Center for the Arts, San Francisco, CA. June 11, 1998.
With music by Soul Coughing
1995 5 minutes 16mm, color, sound
Dry and crusty on the ends, full of chicken, tomatoes, honey, and corn in the middle. Kinda Neo-Norman Rockwell. Amidst the perpetual chaos, life occasionally opens up and says, "Right now, things are just fine." I tried to grab this feeling before it slipped by.
34th Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan. March 1996.
Northwest Film Center, Portland, Oregon. October 1996.
Cameraless film made in collaboration with Seattle artist, Susan Dory.
1994 3 minutes 16mm, color, sound
Cobain had just made his exit, we felt trapped by the rain -- what to do? Grab onto a handmade film. Susan's first contact with celluloid. This project led to formation of the Scratch Film Junkies in 1998.
Film Arts Foundation at 111 Minna Street Gallery, San Francisco, CA. February 25, 1999.
Sprocket Ensemble performance with live musical score, San Francisco, CA. March 22, 1999.
As a member of The Chalk Circle (a film/video collective)
1994 Six minutes 3/4" video, color, sound
The story of a young man, besotted by love and down to his last dollar, who wanders into a Veterans of Foreign Wars lodge hoping to find camaraderie amongst the other possessors of "Purple Hearts." A stale old bar joke told as a song and dance cabaret piece.
Rotterdam International Film Festival. January 1995.
The San Francisco International Film Festival, April 1996. (Silver Spire, Bay Area Shorts Category. 1996 Golden Gate Awards Competition.)
1994 Six minutes 16mm, color, sound
"Go to sleep, little darling, I have things to do. Wash your little diapers and sit me down to sow." A lullaby for a grandmother on the first birthday of her second century.
The Other Cinema, San Francisco. February 19, 1994.
The Humboldt Film Festival, Arcata, California. April 11, 1994.
1993 Two minutes 16mm, color, sound
"A talk-show for the telepathic" Rock Ross
"The Sphinx in a confessional booth" Mark McElhatten
To paraphrase something Lao Tzu didn't say: This film's an empty cup -- You fill it up.
Onion City Film Festival, Chicago, Illinois. (Will Hindle Award)
Filmmakers Co-op at Exit Art, New York, NY. June 1994.
Semana de Cine Experimental de Madrid. Madrid, Spain. April 1995.
33rd Ann Arbor Film Festival & Tour, Michigan. March 1995. (Old Peculiar Award)
Scratch Projection, Paris, France. May 1996.
12th International Hamburg Short Film Festival, Hamburg, Germany. June 1996.
Stuttgart Filmwinter, Stuttgart, Germany. January 1997.
Super 8 printed split-screen to 16mm
With music by Mark Degliantoni.
1991 Eight minutes 16mm, b&w, sound
A macabre post-quake reflection on the American Media Machine as vampires in search of a bloody sound bite. Filmed in and around San Francisco after the 1989 earthquake.
The New York Expo of Short Film and Video. November 1991. (Jury Award)
The Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah. January 1992.
The US Super 8mm Film/Video Festival, Rutgers Film Co-op, New Jersey. February 1992. (Third Place)
Celluloid, Lyon, France. February 27, 1996.
Impakt, Utrecht, Netherlands. May 15, 1996.
Close Encounters of the 8th Kind, Tours, France. March, 1997.
Made in collaboration with Joe Bini.
1990 Fifteen minutes 16mm, b&w, sound
The dark waters of a fountain part to reveal a hidden world within. A stone enclosure, a forlorn figure, and a horde of vicious children.
The New York Expo of Short Film and Video, New York. November 1990.
The Humboldt Film Festival, Arcata, California. April 1991. (Emerging Filmmaker Award)
The Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, Michigan. March 1991.
The San Francisco International Film Festival, April 1991. (Special Jury Award - Short Subject category. 1991 Golden Gate Awards Competition.)
The Athens International Film and Video Festival, Athens, Ohio. May 1991.
1989 Six minutes 16mm, b&w and color, sound
Gazing back at the child watching me
I glimpse a sense
of the nonsense
that defines me currently
Cinematheque, San Francisco, California. September 1990.
The Collective for Living Cinema, New York. November 1990.
The Pacific Film Archive, Berkeley, CA. June 1992.
Anthology Film Archives, New York, NY. May 1993
Working somewhere in-between the commercial and the academic worlds, Thad Povey works in film, both "found" and "obtained" as a means to explore the peculiarities of the human animal. The things which makes our species both ridiculous and terrifying may lie between the mumbled lines and off-camera moments, or possibly it's as his 11 year-old niece Melanie once rhetorically asked, "It's just a bunch of pictures, right?" He is recipient of the 1996 Phelan Award for California-born filmmakers.
All films listed above (except Bottom Buck video):
2325 Third Street
San Francisco, CA 94107
27 rue Louis-Braille
75012 Paris, France
46 28 1121
Compilation video tape purchase available from the filmmaker at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Includes the following films:
Thine Inward-Looking Eyes
The Sweetest Sandwich
Under a Broad Gray Sky
On Any Given Thursday
Learning To Slump
A Different Kind of Green
The Adventures of AARGH-X (Wildman of Mystery) preview