This week [August 11 - 18, 2019] in avant garde cinema

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This page is updated every Sunday.
  • Sunday, August 11, 2019
  • Monday, August 12, 2019
  • Tuesday, August 13, 2019
  • Thursday, August 15, 2019
  • Saturday, August 17, 2019
  • This week's programs (summary):

    Sunday, August 11, 2019

    Oakland: Shapeshifters Cinema
    7:30-10PM, Temescal Art Center, 511 48th St.
    Shapeshifters Cinema presents Eric Leiser with Jeffrey Leiser
    Eric Leiser will be presenting a combination of experimental animation, laser-illuminated analog pulse holography and an improvised light show along with original music by his brother Jeffrey Leiser. Eric Leiser is an experimental filmmaker, animator, puppeteer, writer and holographer, born in California, currently working in New York. He is an alumni of CalArt’s Experimental Animation program and creates animated and live action feature films and shorts as well as intricate works integrating animation, puppetry, painting, holography, live performance and installation.

    Monday, August 12, 2019

    Brooklyn, New York: Microscope Gallery
    7:30pm, 1329 Willoughby Ave
    Scrapbook Performances: Morrison Gong & J. Shih / M. Lamar
    An evening of new live performances by Morrison Gong & J. (Jialing) Shih and by M. Lamar as the 8th of 10 performances events taking place as part of our exhibition “Scrapbook (or, Why Can’t We Live Together)”. Morrison Gong and J. (Jialing) Shih’s “The Phoenix Lament” is an expanded cinema performance — combining 16mm film, video and overhead projection — about personal emancipation from cultural and social stereotypes and restrictions, including the concept of familial shame. The artists are also interested in the trope of female madness as presented in Eastern and Western literature, especially as portrayed in Charlotte Brontë’s “Jane Eyre” and Su Tong’s “Wives and Concubines”. In his live sound and video opera “The Lynching Suite”, which will be making its debut, M. Lamar performs a symphonic dirge for male soprano and synthetic strings devoted to “the legacy of lynching in the United States”. Inspired by the thought of black liberation theologian James Cone and in particular his 2011 book “The Cross and the Lynching Tree”, the composition references spiritual and symphonic black metal music, while the visual component — a video projection mixed live — centers around an illustration of a 1863 lynching at the time of the New York City Draft Riots. Both image and music, the artist writes, attempt to “provide spaces for mourning, grieving, catharsis, contemplation and resurrection to cause transfigurations of our guttural cry.” Morrison Gong uses film, video, performance and photography to dissect eroticism and confront their cultural taboos of sexuality. Their work often deals with exposure, viscerality and transformation: through recounting personal experiences, or re-interpreting literature and mythology with body movements, cinematic and spoken languages. Gong received their BFA from Parsons School of Design. Their work has been showed at Microscope Gallery, Vox Populi Gallery, Manhattan Independent Film Festival, and Hong Kong Arthouse Film Festival. Gong currently lives and works in Queens, NY. M. Lamar is a composer who works across opera, metal, performance, video, sculpture and installation to craft sprawling narratives of radical becomings. Born May 29th 1984, Lamar holds a BFA from The San Francisco Art Institute and attended the Yale School of Art, sculpture program, before dropping out to pursue music. Lamar’s work has been presented internationally, most recently at The Cloisters at The Metropolitan Museum Of Art, Funkhaus Berlin Germany, Kunstgebäude Stuttgart, The Meet Factory in Prague, National Sawdust New York, The Kitchen New York, MoMA PS1’s Greater New York, Merkin Hall, New York, Issue Project Room New York, The Walter and McBean Galleries, San Francisco; Human resources, Los Angeles; Wesleyan University; Participant Inc., New York; New Museum, New York; Södra Teatern, Stockholm; Warehouse9, Copenhagen; WWDIS Fest, Gothenburg and Stockholm; The International Theater Festival, Donzdorf, Germany; Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, New York; Performance Space 122, New York; and African American Art & Culture Complex, San Francisco; among others. J (JiaLing) Shih is a musician and multimedia artist currently living and working in NYC/Tel Aviv/Taipei. Shih has performed at venues including the Strathmore, Knockdown Center, Nublu and Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre. Originally from Baltimore Maryland, Shih began a classical music education at the age of 4. Continuing her visual arts and music studies at the University of Sydney, New York University and Parsons School of Design (2019), Shih combines analog and digital instruments in their audiovisual language that fuses elements of Eastern/Western cultures to promote awareness and coexistence. Admission: $8, Members & Students: $6. More info :, tel: 347.925.1433. Jefferson L (exit Starr St).

    Tuesday, August 13, 2019

    Mexico City: Filmforum
    10AM-6PM, Tuesday-Sunday, Museo Tamayo, Paseo de la Reforma 51, Col. Bosque de Chapultepec, México
    Ismo Ismo Ismo--"Mirada Foránea"
    A traveling shot, in which the camera moves horizontally and smoothly through space, is a basic element of film language. This program takes traveling shots as its point of departure: the sensation of movement, displacement, exile, as well as not understanding what’s being said, being out of place, and entering into foreign exchanges. Leandro Katz takes a rigorous and deceptively simple approach to a roll of Super 8 film shot on the periphery of an archaeological site in Guatemala. This modest short film joins the concerns of structural film—the fundamental tension between still photography and the illusion of cinematic movement, and the complex calendric calculations of the ancient Maya architects of the nearby ruins of Quiriguá. Edgar Jorge-Baralt travels through Southern California, finding echoes of his home country, Venezuela. Macarena Cordiviola takes the writings of French modernist poet Blaise Cendrars on a road trip enacting multiple and simultaneous displacements. Felipe Esparza explores the journey of the spirit outside of the body in a black and white translation of the Quechua’s Ayahuasca experience. Louise Botkay uses Vertières as a portal to time travel to the battle that gave Latin America its first independence from European colonialism. Dalia Huerta follows the circulation of commodities around the globe, especially the archetypal Latin American export, the banana, and weaves together an idiosyncratic essay about the values associated with these objects. El travelling, recurso básico del lenguaje cinematográfico, es una toma en la que la cámara se desliza horizontalmente y fluidamente por el espacio. Este programa toma la idea del travelling como punto de partida para señalar cuestiones relacionadas a la sensación de movimiento, el desplazamiento, el exilio, la confusión y disonancia, el dislocamiento y el contacto con lo foráneo.

    Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: RISCO Cinema
    19h, CineMaison
    Derrubada, não! - yann beauvais
    Screening of yann beauvais' new film, Derrubada, não! at CineMaison, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Derrubada não! is a film essay deploying a reflection through an experiment whose objective is to measure the impact of an artistic gesture crystallizing a set of questions relating to what can be defined as belonging: an ethnic group, a history, a language, a culture. This project is located in the Sertão in Brazil's northeast, and more precisely in Pernambuco.

    Thursday, August 15, 2019

    Brooklyn, NY United States: Light Industry
    7:00 PM, 155 Freeman St
    Lis Rhodes: Whose History?
    Dresden Dynamo, Lis Rhodes, 1971-2, 16mm, 10 mins. Light Reading, Lis Rhodes, 1978, 16mm, 20 mins. Pictures on Pink Paper, Lis Rhodes, 1982, digital projection, 35 mins. + Readings by Mary Helena Clark.

    Saturday, August 17, 2019

    Brooklyn, NY United States: Light Industry
    7:00 PM, 155 Freeman St
    Early Films by Phil Solomon
    Light Industry presents an evening dedicated to the early works of Phil Solomon, who passed away this year. Lauded as “the greatest filmmaker of his generation” by Stan Brakhage, Solomon emerged in the 1980s as part of a new wave of artists who eschewed the calcified formulas of structural film in favor of the fresh possibilities to be found in montage and at the edges of narrativity. Tom Gunning, in his era-defining 1989 essay “Towards a Minor Cinema,” noted how young filmmakers like Solomon, Peggy Ahwesh, Lewis Klahr, and Mark LaPore embraced the marginal status of the late avant-garde in order to “probe the hieroglyphics of imagery rather than the depths of self.” For Solomon, this often meant locating a private iconography in found footage, which he would meticulously re-edit, chemically treat, and rephotograph with an optical printer. The original materials are thereby transformed—coruscating surfaces that flicker uncannily between legibility and abstraction, suffused with a potent and mysterious new emotional life. Nocturne, Phil Solomon, 1980, 16mm, 10 mins “Nocturne strongly evokes one of Brakhage's most exquisite films, Fire of Waters (1965). Its setting is a suburban neighborhood populated by kids at play and indistinct but ominous parental figures. A submerged narrative rehearses a type of young boy's nighttime game in which a flashlight is wielded in a darkened room to produce effects of aerial combat and bombardment. A sense of hostility tinged with terror seeps into commonplace movements…Fantasy merges with nightmare, a war of dimly suppressed emotions rages beneath a veneer of household calm…In Nocturne, found footage is worked so subtly into the fabric of threat that its apperception comes as a shock ploughed from the unconscious.” - Paul Arthur What's Out Tonight Is Lost, Phil Solomon, 1983, 16mm, 8 mins “Adopting its title from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, What’s Out Tonight Is Lost is an elegiac film sifting through the unrecoverable. The film is a reflecting pool where vision breaks up. The home we recognize is swallowed in the brume, the light barely penetrates; and the yellow school bus steals us away, delivering us into new clouds, embracing fear. The film has a surface of cracked porcelain and intaglio: the allergic childhood skin of cracks and bruises. This is a film of transubstantiations, the discorporation of human forms into embers. Air looms and blossoms into solidity and nearness…I hear it breathing…” - Mark McElhatten The Secret Garden, Phil Solomon, 1988, 16mm, 17 mins “No filmmaker reveals the faith in the multiple layers of visual images that the eighties have re-affirmed more than Phil Solomon. Solomon continues the Brakhage tradition of creating a succession of images whose logic comes from a number of sources, rhythmic, formal, and associational, and whose coherence constantly switches from one source to another. As with Brakhage, one must abandon oneself to the trance-like authority of a Solomon film, and be sure-footed enough to follow a structure that relies on overtones as well as melody, on sudden flashes of metaphor as much as narrative line. The Secret Garden is one of Solomon's most exquisite films. As with Thornton and Klahr there is the shadow of a story here, one which deals with the passage from innocence and experience and invokes equally terror and ecstasy…” - Tom Gunning Remains to Be Seen, Phil Solomon, 1989, 16mm, 17 mins “In the melancholic Remains to Be Seen, dedicated to the memory of Solomon's mother, the scratchy rhythm of a respirator intones menace. The film, optically crisscrossed with tiny eggshell cracks, often seems on the verge of shattering. The passage from life into death is chartered by fugitive images: pans of an operating room, an old home movie of a picnic, a bicyclist in vague outline against burnt orange and blue…Solomon measures emotions with images that seem stolen from a family album of collective memory.” - Manohla Dargis Clepsydra, Phil Solomon, 1992, 16mm, 14 mins “Solomon has evolved his technique so that in his latest work (‘Clepsydra’ - ‘waterclock’) the textures are constantly changing and are often appropriate to each figure in metaphoric interplay with each figure's gestural (symbolic) movement. He has, thus, created consonance with thought as destroyer/creator - a Kali-like aesthetic ‘There is a light at the end of the tunnel’ (Romantic); and it is a train coming straight at us: … (and, to balance such, perhaps, with a touch of Zen) … it is beautiful!” - Stan Brakhage Tickets - $8, available at door. Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 6:30pm.

    New York, NY: Anthology Film Archives
    7:30 PM, 32 Second Avenue
    SINK OR SWIM + MARTINA'S PLAYHOUSE - Filmmakers in person!
    by Su Friedrich + Peggy AhweshShare +Twitter. Su Friedrich SINK OR SWIM 1990, 48 min, 16mm Su Friedrich's film about her father speaks both about her growing independence and the ways in which her childhood shaped her identity. Structured in 26 chapters, one for each letter of the alphabet but in reverse order, and narrated by a young girl, SINK OR SWIM incorporates found footage, home movies, and Friedrich's own optically-printed images to analyze the traumas of her upbringing while trying to unlearn the myth of the perfect family. With: Peggy Ahwesh MARTINA'S PLAYHOUSE 1989, 20 min, Super 8mm-to-16mm. Preserved by Bard College with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation. Exploring the notion of learned femininity, Peggy Ahwesh shows Martina in turn narrating the film, (mis)reading Lacan, and performing for the camera. "The work is not regulated by the formal devices of modernism - but what better way to address sexuality, girlhood, desire, and mothering than in a provocative home movie?" -Peggy Ahwesh, in Scott MacDonald's A CRITICAL CINEMA 5Su Friedrich will be here in person for both screenings, and she'll be joined by Peggy Ahwesh on Sunday, August 4!

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