In Person: Michael Betancourt, Stephen Broomer, Paul Clipson, Simon Liu and Warren Ng
presented in association with Canyon Cinema Foundation, Center for New Music, Oddball Film + Video and Shapeshifters Cinema
sponsored by LUNA, MUBI, Ninkasi Brewing and Vimeo
technical sponsor San Francisco Film Society
An explosive festival opener, rich in sight and sound. Concrescent, color-saturated landscapes fragment and reform anew under the vision of all-seeing Cosmic Eye! (Steve Polta)
The Liquid Casket / Wilderness Of Mirrors (2014) by Paul Clipson; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes, from the maker
Music by Lawrence English.
A restless, traveling consciousness spies across lands vast and small, taking anxious note of metabolic futures, and reflecting repetitions of expansion and alienation. (Paul Clipson).
“In The Liquid Casket, Clipson, like some reckless traveller driven by a Mabusian force, takes us on a journey, hypnotically guiding us through a realm of dreams that seems to consist solely of light, shapes and colours.” (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
Pepper’s Ghost (2013) by Stephen Broomer; digital video, color, sound, 19 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
How we may see in a Chamber things that are not! Here, mutations of light, through fabric, glass, and colored gel, make bodies and objects transparent. Let there be a chamber wherein no other light comes but by the door or window. Let pictures be set over against this window. For what is without will seem to be within, and what is behind the spectator’s back, he will think to be in the middle of the room, as far from the glass inward as they stand from it outwardly. Clearly and certainly, he will think he sees nothing but truth. (Stephen Broomer)
Harbour City (2015) by Simon Liu; double projected 16mm, color, sound, 14 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
Soundtrack performed live by Warren Ng.
A view through cracks between fish markets and high-rise buildings; urban imagery of Hong Kong and the indulgence of domestic life. Massage parlors, dim sum parlors, nail parlors—its Parlor City, baby! Hyperactivity: a sausage dog chews on a rib-eye bone while a Filipino family prepares a dinner of three to four different ethnic cuisines.
Incited by the airy weight of digital platforms and their approaches, I imagined ironing flat potentially conflicting 16mm negatives via an industrial contact printer. Views thicken; detail lost over generations. A dream of turning two images into one, a density of information reserved for the modern cloud. (Simon Liu)
upCycles (2016) by Ariana Gerstein; digital video, b&w, sound, 10 minutes, from the maker world premiere
Cycling from super 8mm to 16, 35mm, down again to 16mm, optically printed, hand processed and then optically printed again using a digital still camera to end on digital video. Images from Chicago elevated train, Museum of Science and Industry, and nature surrounding Lake Michigan are collected and combined frame by frame. The title refers to cycles in time (repetition), nature, and in the art making process (recycling/revising/rethinking/etc). The film process began in 1993 (Cycles) and was remembered and re-conceived digitally in 2015. (Ariana Gerstein)
The Dark Rift (2015) by Michael Betancourt; digital video, color, sound, 2 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
Music by Dennis H. Miller.
The Maya believed the Dark Rift, a group of interstellar dust clouds that divide the bright band of the Milky Way galaxy lengthwise and whose alignment with the Sun marks the winter solstice on Earth, was the road to the underworld. It is a reference point for apocalyptic fantasies prompted by the end of a cycle in the Mayan long count calendar on December 8, 2012. (Michael Betancourt)
Engram Of Returning (2015) by Daïchi Saïto; 35mm, color, sound, 19 minutes, from the maker bay area premiere
The figure of the jig-saw / that is of picture, / the representation of a world as ours / in a complex patterning of color in light and shadows, / masses with hints of densities and distances, / cut across by a second, discrete pattern / in which we perceive on qualities of fitting and not fitting / and suggestions of rhyme / in ways of fitting and not fitting – / this jig-saw conformation of patterns / of different orders, / of a pattern of apparent reality / in which the picture we are working to bring out appears / and of a pattern of loss and of finding / that so compels us that we are entirely engrossed in working it out, / this picture that must be put together / takes over mere seeing. (Robert Duncan: Kopoltus)
Engram of Returning (“engram,” also called “memory-trace,” is a physical alteration thought to occur in living neural tissue in response to stimuli, postulated to account for the persistence of memory) is a film about memory and recollection. A metaphysical travelogue, the film explores visual expression that invokes emotional situations through formal and aesthetic approaches akin to collage and semi-abstract painting. Transforming anonymous found footage into powerful, expressive and painterly imagery, Engram of Returning attempts to give form to a constellation of the introspective mirages of what the filmmaker left behind, reconstructed through interwoven backward glances at the real, the imagined and the remembered. (International Film Festival Rotterdam)
Above still taken from Harbor City by Simon Liu
CROSSROADS 2016 receives generous support from: Grants for the Arts/San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Zellerbach Family Foundation, The Owsley Brown III Philanthropic Foundation and The Willow Foundation.