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Since at least the 1940s, the San Francisco Bay Area has been one of the world’s epicenters of personally expressive filmmaking and community-focused non-mainstream film culture. At the close of a tumultuous and even traumatic year, Cinematheque culminates its 2020 exhibitions with Commingled Containers: Echoes from a Bay, two guest-curated programs highlighting recent works by Bay Area filmmakers and celebrating the continuously-renewing, ever-evolving traditions of the region’s vibrant artist communities. Representing the very tip of an iceberg, these programs provide contemporary (sliver-like and subjective; by no means comprehensive) snapshot perspectives as we close the 21st Century’s second decade. 


program one

traveling thru with eyes closed tight

November 19, 2020–January 10, 2021

Curated by outgoing Cinematheque staffer Alix Blevins, traveling thru… is a subtle, mini-retrospective of re-discovered works made 2001–16, representing 21st Century manifestations of the Bay Area’s long and proud traditions of filmic lyricism, light study and contemplative reverie. Combining personal introspection with oblique approaches to landscape and travelogue, these lovingly hand-crafted and intimate works revel with the joy of tactile abstraction.

Real and imagined landscapes traverse a through line of past, present and future tenses. A catalogue of memory’s texture, decay and afterimages. Location and geography expressed through a repository of shared images. Images without sound, sound without images. (Alix Blevins)

full program and details here


program two

covalences: works from black hole collective film lab

December 10, 2020–January 10, 2021

As capitalist nay-sayers have touted this decade as the end of the era of photochemical filmmaking, an defiant international network of artist collectives has emerged, dedicated to repurposing analog technology, re-imagining filmmaking workflows and continuing traditions of the tactile in the digital era. Founded in 2014, Black Hole Collective Film Lab represents a bright local node in this burgeoning and anarchic international network. Collectively curated, covalences shares work by collective members and celebrates the strength of grassroots community art-making in increasingly precarious times.

full program and details here