presented in association with The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University
Poetics & Process: Super-8 Films of Stephanie Gray
Stephanie Gray In Person
A two-part screening series presented in association with the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University, the Hearts Desire Reading Series and Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs
Gorgeous, searching and defiant, the Super-8 films of Flushing-based poet and cinema-artist Stephanie Gray urge us to look anew at subjects to which filmmakers have often attached sentiment: abandoned buildings, neon signs, shop windows, balloons in the wind, beloved businesses on the day they’re shuttered. Gray’s shorts have romance in them, a love for city blocks, for scraps of poster layered over scraps of poster, for odd fringes of wind-tickled plastic, for those overlooked places where beauty and trash edge into each other.
—Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice
Her relationship with the city is intimate; her ability to capture the subtle whispers amidst the chaos allows one to see the invisible.
—Mono No Aware
NYC filmmaker/poet Stephanie Gray has been making mostly film (and some video) since 1998, working largely in the format of Super-8mm. Her vibrant work reflects passionate engagement with the symphonic motions of ever-changing city landscapes filtered through an interlocked awareness of working-class feminism and disability advocacy while engaging playfully with queer pop-cultural icons and poetry. With references to Metallica, Eileen Myles, E.B. White, Kristy McNichol, Laverne & Shirley and more, worlds collide as Gray pries open the everydayness of the city and peers through hand-processed emulsive layers. On the occasion of two new publications of her poetry (by Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs and Argos Books), Gray visits the Bay Area (fresh from an Anthology Film Archives retrospective) to present a career-spanning, two-program survey of this expansive body of work and a live reading of recent writings.
PROGRAM TWO includes: Dear Joan, a film letter to that heroine of butch dykeness Joan of Arc (which ends in a hissyfit at the library); I Can’t Stop Thinking About Eileen Myles’ School of Fish Poem, a bicycle tour of Buffalo NY—plenty of blue but no dogs—presented with a live reading of the poem; Kristy, portrait of cynical, working class Little Darling McNichol that is “a gorgeously glitched-out examination of queerness;” and Never Heard the Word Impossible, a Laverne & Shirley remix—what did the infamous L really stand for?
ALSO SCREENING: Seeing Thru Buffalo(s); Balloons Tied (up) Your Sky; Satanic Bible on Inter-Library Loan; five films—What You Thought You Knew/What You Knew You Thought, Mountains and Dresses Into Windows, Gertel’s Galore Lore Ore, Storefronts B4 Other Storefronts and You Know They Want to Disappear Hell’s Kitchen as Clinton—depicting aspects of New York City at various stages of gentrification; and the never-before-screened Towers Under the Bridge.
Post-screening discussion will be moderated by local author Julian Talamantez Brolaski: Julian Talamantez Brolaski is the author of Advicefor Lovers (City Lights 2012), gowanus atropolis (Ugly Duckling Presse 2011), and co-editor of NO GENDER: Reflections on theLife & Work of kari edwards (Litmus Press / Belladonna Books 2009). Julian lives in Oakland and is the lead singer and rhythm guitar player in the country band The Western Skyline.
NOTE: This screening is the first of two screenings. The second screening will be presented on Friday, February 12 at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts. Complete details available here. Stephanie Gray will read from recent publications as part of the Hearts Desire Reading series at Omni Commons, Oakland on Saturday, February 13. Information available here.
IMAGE ABOVE from You Know They Want to Disappear Hell’s Kitchen as Clinton by Stephanie Gray.