Thursday, June 7, 2018, 11:00 am


Trains & Flags: Locomotion and American Iconography


151 Third Street (between Mission & Howard Streets)

San Francisco, CA 94103

Thursday, June 7–Sunday, June 10

SFMOMA White Box Program 2
Trains & Flags: Locomotion and American Iconography
Curated and presented by San Francisco Cinematheque at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art as part of CROSSROADS 2018
pictured above: Crowning Glory (2008) by Alee Peoples

This screening is presented in SFMOMA’s White Box Gallery on a recurring basis (alternating with A World of Images) June 7–10, 2018 during regular Museum hours. Screening is FREE with general Museum admission and is accessible to those holding a CROSSROADS festival day pass. Information on CROSSROADS day passes can be found here.

Avant-Garde cinema’s conceptual and mechanical relationship with trains can be traced back to one of the very earliest films—L’arrivée d’un train en gare de La Ciotat (The Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station) by Auguste and Louis Lumière. Trains & Flags, presented in dialog with SFMOMA’s exhibition The Train: RFK’s Last Journey skims the surface of this long relationship by including three films looking at locomotion, speed and landscape. Also in this program are three films playfully visualizing various icons of American with Warholian irony and performative reinterpretation.


9214 (2010) by Takahiro Suzuki (USA); digital video, color, sound, 6 minutes
A film observing a passing train from a different perspective. (Takahiro Suzuki)
NOTE: Takahiro Suzuki’s Schrödinger's Cat Part I screens in CROSSROADS, program 8: the universe has its ways on Sunday, June 10 at 2:15pm. Full details here.

There (2016) by Jesse Malmed (USA); digital video, color, sound, 1 minute
The flag. Still. There.

LET THERE BE WHISTLEBLOWERS (2005) by Ken Jacobs (USA); digital video, b&w, sound, 18 minutes
A train passes through a tunnel and hurdles on to a station. Time and space are toyed with, things enter an impossible state of ongoing movement while going nowhere. Soundtrack: Drumming, part 1 (1970–71) by Steve Reich. (Ken Jacobs)

Playing Possum (2013) by Jamilah Sabur (Jamaica/USA); digital video, b&w, sound, 12 minutes
A love letter to death. When a possum is under threat, it plays dead to avoid death. (Jamilah Sabur)
An ironic dance performance in homage to a familiar icon. (Steve Polta)
Soundtrack includes Sinew by Jon Forshee.

Crowning Glory (2008) by Alee Peoples (USA); double projected Super-8mm screened as digital video, color, sound, 5 minutes
A rock-and-roll mash-up of American symbolism and youth culture rebellion in the conceptual spirit of Jimi Hendrix’ victorious feedback anthem. (Steve Polta)
NOTE: Alee Peoples’ Decoy screens in CROSSROADS, program 5: inside the machine (demolition of a wall) on Saturday, June 9 at 4:30pm. Full details here.

RR (2015) by James Benning (USA); digital video, color, sound, 10 minutes
Views of ten steam trains in contemporary China selected from anonymous online sources. (Steve Polta)

CROSSROADS 2018 is generously supported by: the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fleishhacker FoundationSan Francisco Hotel Tax Fund/Grants for the Arts, the Willow Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Cinematheque’s Members and Donors.