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New Beginnings inaugurates a recurring curatorial endeavor oriented to the presentation of historic works of international artist-made cinema in the contemporary context. This new seasonal series intends to open space for new cinematic encounters, revive interest in forgotten (or not forgotten) classics, to problematize canons through the unearthing of unsung cinematic oddities, to provide fresh insights to well-known works, and to offer opportunities for guest curatorial input and experiment. Watch this space for further development and send hot tips and suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New Beginnings kicks off Larry Gottheim’s Mnemosyne, Mother of Muses (1987), a dense and swirling cinematic palindrome and tour de force of sound/image collision. “As his patterning principle becomes clear, the pleasures multiply: the anticipation of its logical carry-through, the satisfaction of repetitions and the discovery of patterns within patterns, the effort of recalling and identifying sources […] as disparate elements are brought together, an increased awareness of the associative power and potential of sound/image relationships, indeed, of the cinema.” (Kathy Geritz, Pacific Film Archive). Mnemosyne is followed by Su Friedrich’s Sink or Swim (1990), a landmark work of personal cinema exploring inherited generational trauma and the toxicity of the gendered nuclear family in mid-century America. Recognized as a feminist classic, Sink or Swim fuses elegant film formalism and an analytical method of exposition with sensuous photography and deeply personal narrative—“a collage of extraordinary richness, a portrait of a persona that is somewhat less than unified.” (Fred Camper). A Child Goes Burying Dead Insects, Rei Hayama’s 2009 rumination on play, death and regeneration concludes the program.
Image Credit: Rei Hayama: A Child Goes Burying Dead Insects (2009)