Jul 12

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Elemental Dispositions

Recent Films by Stratman, Stark, Rebello, Pryce, Takashi and Kitchen

This program of new and recent short work by local and international film and video artists delves into the tactile, the meditative and the provocative. Relationships to our environs – natural, terrestrial and constructed – are explored and re-configured, evoking and provoking impressions that negotiate, delve into and transcend the surface. Featuring Deborah Stratman’s It Will Die Out in the Mind, Samantha Rebello’s the object which thinks us: OBJECT I, Scott Stark’s Speechless, Charlotte Pryce’s The Parable of the Tulip Painter and the Fly, Makino Takashi’s Elements of Nothing (featuring the music of Jim O’Rourke) and Diane Kitchen’s Ecstatic Vessels. (Vanessa O’Neill)

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Jul 12

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Joseph Strick: The Savage Eye & Muscle Beach Restored

Uniquely intersecting the realm of documentary and narrative cinema, The Savage Eye pairs three innovative filmmakers (Joseph Strick, Ben Maddow and Sidney Meyers) with three stellar cinematographers (Haskell Wexler, Helen Levitt and Jack Couffer) to create a snapshot of late-1950s American life in transition. This masterpiece of vérité filmmaking, culled from discordant materials yet remarkably unified in a fictive context, remains as compelling today as the year of its initial release. We present The Savage Eye with Joseph Strick’s earliest documentary short, Muscle Beach, both beautifully restored by the Academy Film Archive. (Jonathan Marlow)

Prints courtesy of the Academy Film Archive.

Download program notes

Jul 12

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Wednesday, February 25, 2009

@ Artist's Television Access


Episodes of Anomie

Recent Films by Gatten & Stead, Marias & Natkin, Price, Robinson and Worden

In response to the ceaselessness of the contemporary media deluge, many are merely subsumed. Some daring artists find ways to surf the transmitted waves and carve out spaces of connection and tranquility within the barrage in order to send out messages of hope. Hold Me Now continues Michael Robinson’s project of exploring the poetics of loss and the dangers of mediated experience: daring to find emotion in the cold world of pop songs and televisual melodrama, he squeezes sentimentality from the mundane, prompting an agonizing response between pain and laughter. Equally maudlin, Eli Marias and Amos Natkin’s Daddy —a bathetic scene of holiday domesticity recalling the familial nightmares of Luther Price—features an answering machine-bound dead beat dad baring his soul on a cold Christmas morning. Drawing on similar sources of pop-cultural pabulum Fred Worden’s When World’s Collude plays like a structural re-edit of Baywatch, complete with jet skiing blondes, hi-speed chases and gratuitous explosions. Finally, David Gatten and Jessie Stead’s sublimely intermittent epic Today! plays as episodes in an open-ended and wide-eyed adventure series, accumulating meaning even as it becomes increasingly mysterious. Just added: a reprise screening of Luther Price’s nature documentary/tv melodrama mash-up The Mongrel Sister! (Steve Polta)

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Jul 12

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Wednesday, March 11, 2009

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Encounters with Contemporary French Film

curated and presented by Sandra Davis in association with the Consulat général de France

Early French avant-garde film explored visual abstraction, lyricism, futurism and surrealism. French filmmakers today reveal their legacy and the influence of American counterparts in the collective practice of “hands-on,” hand-painted and direct manipulation of surface, lyrical personal forms, echoes from French filmic philosophic essay, as well as direct engagement with culture and politics. Others reflect a generation moving easily between European and North African influences, exposing internal conflicts that such meetings imply. This program of recent works includes Patrick Bokanowski’s Éclats d’Orphée, Frédérique Devaux’s K (Rêves/Berbères), Cécile Fontaine’s Holy Woods, Olivier Fouchard’s Nûr: Cosmos Spiritus/Nûr Version 1, Rose Lowder’s Cote Jardin, Vivian Ostrovsky’s Fone Für Follies, Marc Plas’ Peribole, Martine Rousset’s Mer, Marcelle Thirache’s Fenice and Jean Painlevé’s 1978 crystal-growth classic Cristaux Liquides. (Sandra Davis)

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Jul 12

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Saturday, March 14, 2009

@ Sundance Kabuki Cinemas


Observer Observed: Film/Video Works by Takahiko Iimura

Program One: ‘60s Experiments & Early Conceptual Videos

Working in film since the early 1960s and in video since the early 1970s (as well as significant forays into performance, installation and computer-based work), Takahiko Iimura has long been a pioneer artist of Japanese experimental media art. His body of work has deeply explored the material and conceptual foundations of each medium with robust intellectual rigor and flashes of playful humor. In the wake of a recent Microcinema International DVD release (the first volume of The Collected Films of Takahiko Iimura) and a related book (The Collected Writings from Wildside Press), this two-part mini-retrospective represents an overview of this artist’s rich and remarkable body of work.

Takahiko Iimura’s earliest films, including Kuzu (Junk), Ai (Love) and A Dance Party in the Kingdom of Lilliput No. 1, were largely inspired by the work of the 1920s French surrealists and were produced in relative isolation in Japan. Created using 8mm cameras or abandoned and distressed found footage, they retain the intimacy of the home movie and a taboo-breaking joyousness, exploring abstraction and eroticism with charming candor and a whimsical sense of the absurd. These early films are screened with a sampling of video works from the 1970s and ‘80s which investigate the temporal and spatial paradoxes of presence and absence inherent in the electronic medium, including A Chair, Blinking, Time Tunnel, Man and Woman, Visual Logic (and Illogic), Double Portrait and I Love You.

Download program notes

Jul 12

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Sunday, March 15, 2009

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Observer Observed: Film/Video Works by Takahiko Iimura

Program Two: On Time in Film

Working in film since the early 1960s and in video since the early 1970s (as well as significant forays into performance, installation and computer-based work), Takahiko Iimura has long been a pioneer artist of Japanese experimental media art. His body of work has deeply explored the material and conceptual foundations of each medium with robust intellectual rigor and flashes of playful humor. In the wake of a recent Microcinema International DVD release (the first volume of The Collected Films of Takahiko Iimura) and a related book (The Collected Writings from Wildside Press), this two-part mini-retrospective represents an overview of this artist’s rich and remarkable body of work.

Iimura is perhaps best known for his work exploring the temporality of cinema – the various ways the film viewer’s elemental sense of time can be “played” by the filmmaker. Frequently using the most basic of film elements – white light, black leader and the projection environment, Iimura’s work in this area is among the most abstract and elemental in all of cinema, postulating time and the interval as ground for deeply engaging cinematic experience.(Steve Polta)
Screening: 2 Minutes 46 Seconds 16 Frames and Timed 1, 2, 3 (both from the series Models, Reel 1), 24 Frames Per Second, One Frame Duration, + & - and the video I Am (Not) Seen.

Download program notes

Nov 05

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Monday, December 31, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS 2013

call for entries...

San Francisco Cinematheque announces
CROSSROADS 2013, April 5–7, 2013
CALL FOR ENTRIES

San Francisco Cinematheque seeks submissions of recent films and videos for CROSSROADS 2013, the fourth manifestation of our annual film festival. Occurring in April at in San Francisco’s Victoria Theatre, CROSSROADS 2013 will showcase new film/video works by emerging and established filmmakers, including performance and works of “live cinema.” Cinematheque seeks submissions of compelling non-commercial, artist-made work of all genres and durations.

ENTRY GUIDELINES
• Submitted works must have been completed after January 1st, 2011.
• Include one submission form with each entry.
• Submissions are accepted on DVD and in the form of streaming online video. DVD submissions must be clearly labeled with the film title, filmmaker name(s), contact telephone number and email. Online video links must be provided via email to festival@sfcinematheque.org; please include film title, filmmaker name(s), contact telephone number and email address in this email as well as any necessary passwords required to view the work(s)
• Please include a pre-paid, SASE with your submission if you would like items to be returned.
• Entry fee: $10 for each individual film (postmarked by Dec. 31, 2012)
$15 for each individual film (postmarked by Jan. 30, 2013)
*Entry fee is waived for Cinematheque members.
• Please make checks or money-orders payable in U.S. currency to: SAN FRANCISCO CINEMATHEQUE; electronic payments can be sent via Paypal to festival@sfcinematheque.org
• All entrants will be notified on the receipt of their work.
• CROSSROADS 2013 will (potentially) screen work in the following film/video formats: 8mm, Super-8mm, 16mm, 35mm, QuickTime ProRes and Blu-ray. Please contact festival@sfcinematheque.org with inquiries concerning additional exhibition formats.

Download an entry form below or use our online form here.
Pay the submission fee here using Paypal.
Contact us at festival@sfcinematheque.org for more information.

Oct 16

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Thursday, November 8, 2012

@ Artists' Television Access


Bruised Jewels: Films by Luther Price, program II

Luther Price in person

presented in association with the California College of the Arts
[members: $5 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.

In pre-millennial times filmmaker Luther Price was infamous for deeply personal and aggressively visceral super-8 films (Sodom, Meat, Eruption Errection, Bottle Can) which enacted primal domestic psychodramas and/or probed the psychosexual extremes of physical experience. Moving ever onward, the 21st century 16mm films and dazzling hand-made slide work of the stridently defiant filmstrip fetishist continues to confront. Based on abjected found footage—variously looped (hideously), attacked (viciously), and over-painted (gloriously) to the point of delirium—Price’s works are dazzling bruised jewels, overwhelming to viewers in their brutal physicality, their profane beauty and their disjointed, almost limbic, narrative fragmentations. Following major screenings in 2012 at the Whitney Biennial and the New York Film Festival, CCA and Cinematheque are proud to host Luther Price for two screenings—his first in-person appearance in the Bay Area in over a decade. (Steve Polta)
NOTE: Each screening in this two-part series will feature Luther Price in person presenting a different selection of films each night. Slide wrorks will screen on Wednesday, Nov. 7 only. Film titles to likely to screen in the series include fancy; The Biscuit Day; Deaf for Chicken Lip; Kittens Grow Up; Dipping Sause; September Song; Inside Velvet K; selections from the Ink Blots series, possibly including Aqua Woman, Sleep, Shelly Winters and The Biscuit Song; and chapters from the ongoing insectoid Christ saga Sorry, possibly to include Horns and Walking the Cross “Quatch”.

Oct 16

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Wednesday, November 7, 2012

@ California College of the Arts


Bruised Jewels: Films and Slide Works by Luther Price, program I

Luther Price in person

presented in association with the California College of the Arts
[admission is FREE—Wednesday night only]

In pre-millennial times filmmaker Luther Price was infamous for deeply personal and aggressively visceral super-8 films (Sodom, Meat, Eruption Errection, Bottle Can) which enacted primal domestic psychodramas and/or probed the psychosexual extremes of physical experience. Moving ever onward, the 21st century 16mm films and dazzling hand-made slide work of the stridently defiant filmstrip fetishist continues to confront. Based on abjected found footage—variously looped (hideously), attacked (viciously), and over-painted (gloriously) to the point of delirium—Price’s works are dazzling bruised jewels, overwhelming to viewers in their brutal physicality, their profane beauty and their disjointed, almost limbic, narrative fragmentations. Following major screenings in 2012 at the Whitney Biennial and the New York Film Festival, CCA and Cinematheque are proud to host Luther Price for two screenings—his first in-person appearance in the Bay Area in over a decade. (Steve Polta)
NOTE: Each screening in this two-part series will feature Luther Price in person presenting a different selection of films each night. Slide wrorks will screen on Wednesday, Nov. 7 only. Film titles to likely to screen in the series include fancy; The Biscuit Day; Deaf for Chicken Lip; Kittens Grow Up; Dipping Sause; September Song; Inside Velvet K; selections from the Ink Blots series, possibly including Aqua Woman, Sleep, Shelly Winters and The Biscuit Song; and chapters from the ongoing insectoid Christ saga Sorry, possibly to include Horns and Walking the Cross “Quatch”.

Sep 25

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Monday, October 15, 2012

@ Roxie Theater


Vampyr with Live Score by Steven Severin

Steven Severin in Person

presented in association with the Roxie Theater
Order advance tickets here.

Acclaimed solo artist and founding member of the legendary Siouxsie and the Banshees, Steven Severin, presents a mesmerizing synthesis of sound and image, heightening appreciation of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s iconic work,Vampyr. Dreyer’s unsettling tale of fear and obsession finds its aural counterpart in Severin’s highly textured score, an atmospheric soundscape drawing the viewer rhythmically into the oneiric imagery on screen. During their reign, Siouxsie & the Banshees established themselves as one of the foremost alternative bands and were the only survivors of the London punk scene to evolve, innovate and succeed until their final demise in 2002. Severin has since committed himself almost exclusively to scoring for film & TV.Vampyr, loosely based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s genre-defining, 1872 vampire tale, Carmilla (which preceded Bram Stoker’s Dracula by 25 years), follows the fortunes of Allan Gray, a young student of the occult, who takes a room at a village inn, unaware that the region is cursed by vampires. Shot in the sound era but with a striking silent film aesthetic, Vampyr is an alternative take on the cinematic vampire, creating an intense, nightmarish atmosphere that haunts the mind long after the lights go up.

Sep 25

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Monday, October 15, 2012

@ Roxie Theater


Vampyr with Live Score by Steven Severin

Steven Severin in Person

presented in association with the Roxie Theater
Order advance tickets here.

Acclaimed solo artist and founding member of the legendary Siouxsie and the Banshees, Steven Severin, presents a mesmerizing synthesis of sound and image, heightening appreciation of Carl Theodor Dreyer’s iconic work,Vampyr. Dreyer’s unsettling tale of fear and obsession finds its aural counterpart in Severin’s highly textured score, an atmospheric soundscape drawing the viewer rhythmically into the oneiric imagery on screen. During their reign, Siouxsie & the Banshees established themselves as one of the foremost alternative bands and were the only survivors of the London punk scene to evolve, innovate and succeed until their final demise in 2002. Severin has since committed himself almost exclusively to scoring for film & TV.Vampyr, loosely based on Sheridan Le Fanu’s genre-defining, 1872 vampire tale, Carmilla (which preceded Bram Stoker’s Dracula by 25 years), follows the fortunes of Allan Gray, a young student of the occult, who takes a room at a village inn, unaware that the region is cursed by vampires. Shot in the sound era but with a striking silent film aesthetic, Vampyr is an alternative take on the cinematic vampire, creating an intense, nightmarish atmosphere that haunts the mind long after the lights go up.

Aug 20

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Friday, December 14, 2012

@ Roxie Theater


Songs for the Animals: A Benefit for Cinematheque!

presented in association with the Roxie Theater
[sliding scale admission: $15–40]

Join us this evening at our annual benefit in celebration of Cinematheque’s 50+ years of innovative film programming for a once-in-a-lifetime cinematic spectacle featuring video/sound performances by an incredible lineup of local luminaries. Working this evening entirely with samples of animal voices, experimental electronicist Wobbly provides a live score to SUE-C’s More Animals, a recent example of her sublimely handmade live cinema. Tommy Becker—crafter of menacing synth-pop performance art presents excerpts from Tape Number One, a collection of ambivalently joyous video/performance greeting cards. Finally, Suzy Poling (a 2012 SFMOMA/SECA nominee), drawing inspiration from hypnotic realms, natural phenomena and ecological oddities, will create multi-dimensional live image/sound environments in collaboration with her own aural alter-ego Pod Blotz. As if this were not enough, MC for the evening is none other than the inimitable musician/comic/curator and all-around man-about-town, Mr. George Chen! Extended event information to come! (Gina Basso & Steve Polta)

Aug 20

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Thursday, December 6, 2012

@ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Shifting Geographies/Special Relativity: Butler/Mirza’s Deep State and other works

presented in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
[members: $7 / non-members: $10]

In its examination of international artistic communities, SFMOMA’s exhibition Six Lines of Flight (Sept. 15–December 31) highlights acts of collaboration, collective art practice and cultural intervention which, while based in regionalism and the locality, act as inspiring nodes within contemporary transglobal cultural networks. Similarly concerned with the possibilities and problems of collective action and political intervention is Brad Butler and Karen Mirza‘s Deep State (scripted by science-fiction author China Miéville). Taking its title from the Turkish term “Derin Devlet” (“state within a state”), the film examines the push and pull of transnational political networks (official and unofficial), analyzing the invisible flows of power circulating beneath enactments of individual expression and state oppression. Deep State screens with Crossings, Robert Fenz’ examination of the US/Mexico border wall; Jonathan Schwartz’ A Preface to Red, documenting an encounter during a European/Asian border crossing; newsreel number one: day and night (october 25th/26th), Moyah Pravda Newsreel’s documentation of one battle in an ongoing struggle for the reclamation of public space in Oakland; and, in celebration of Six Lines… participant Futurefarmers’ publication of A Variation on the Powers of Ten, the classic work of micro/macro perspective, Powers of Ten, by Charles and Ray Eames. (Steve Polta)

Aug 20

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Friday, November 30, 2012

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Natural Forces: Films of Gunvor Nelson

Gunvor Nelson In Person

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive
Gunvor Nelson In Person
[members: $6 / non-members: $10]

The films of Gunvor Nelson are saturated with a restless, offhand elegance. (James Irwin)

Endlessly exploratory, the films of Gunvor Nelson stand as some of the most ineffably striking visual and aural statements created in the history of the young medium. Combining a meticulous mastery of materials with a youthful sense of wonder and play, Nelson’s films are rich and sensuous experiential puzzles filled with ambiguous yet uncannily resonant imagery, always embodying an aesthetic of inquiry and of seeking. A Bay Area resident for over thirty years (and teacher at SFAI for twenty), she has been sorely missed since her return to her native Sweden in 1993. On this special visit she will present three works: Light Years (1987), an evocative collage-film journey through the Swedish landscape; Before Need Redressed, a 1994 re-edit (with Dorothy Wiley) of their 1979 film Before Need, a reflection on absurdity, retrospection and memory; and her first video work Tree—Line (Trädgräns) (1998), a complex combination of rhyme and locomotion. (Steve Polta)

NOTE: Gunvor Nelson will appear at Pacific Film Archive on Wednesday, November 28 for a completely different screening of her works. Click here for more details.

Aug 20

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Thursday, November 29, 2012

@ Ninth Street Independent Film Center


Locative Media: The Projected Edifice

Ben Wood and others In Person

presented in association with the Ninth Street Independent Film Center
[members: $5 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.

In his work with “locative media” and large-scale public projection events, British-born visual artist Ben Wood combines cutting-edge media technology with historical subject matter, enlivening architecture and public space while evoking voices and stories from submerged and forgotten persons, histories and cultures. Recognized worldwide for these spectacular interventions in space and time—and locally for large-scale public displays on Coit Tower and within Mission Dolores—tonight Wood, in collaboration with his SFAI course on Locative Media, creates an architectural video installation at the site of Cinematheque’s home at the Ninth Street Independent Film Center. Using the building’s screening room, façade and frosted front windows, the group will present a one-night-only collaborative video installation/event also to include live performance and other visual experiments intended to transform the building’s edifice with projected narratives both within and without. This event is part of a series of such stagings by Wood planned at various Bay Area locations including the Internet Archive and the Mozilla Foundation. (Steve Polta & Ben Wood)

Aug 20

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

@ Artists' Television Access


Alain LeTourneau & Pam Minty: Empty Quarter

Alain LeTourneau and Pam Minty In Person

Alain LeTourneau and Pam Minty In Person
[members: $5 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.

For over a decade, the duo of Alain LeTourneau and Pam Minty—working together under the name 40 Frames—have been tireless advocates for the vitality of 16mm exhibition and production, maintaining a comprehensive directory of filmmaker resources, managing a film archive and curating regular screenings of independent and underground film in their native Portland, Oregon. Their first feature-length film, Empty Quarter, is a subtle and complex portrait of the lives, landscapes and industry of southeastern Oregon, a seemingly remote region that, while comprising one third of the state’s landmass, holds only 2% of its population (a surprisingly diverse population, including East Indian and Japanese families, ancestors of Basque sheepherders, Paiute tribes people and Latinos who have come to help work the land). Placing local voices describing the region’s history and daily life in counterpoint to stunning black-and-white cinematography and an ambient rural soundscape, Empty Quarter emerges as a complex and subtle study—in the tradition of Benning’s California Trilogy and Barbash & Castaing-Taylor’s Sweetgrass—of a seemingly mundane yet highly politicized landscape. (Steve Polta)

Aug 20

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Friday, November 9, 2012

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Constancy of Change: Films of John Smith

John Smith In Person

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive
John Smith In Person
[members: $6 / non-members: $10]

Inspired by conceptual art and British “structural materialist” filmmaking, but also fascinated by the power of narrative and the spoken word, the films of London-based artist John Smith deftly subvert the perceived boundaries between documentary and fiction, representation and abstraction. Drawing upon the raw material of everyday life, Smith’s meticulously crafted films rework and transform reality, playfully exploring and exposing the language of cinema. A highly prolific filmmaker since 1972, we welcome John Smith in his first-ever San Francisco appearance to present a sampler of his works created between 1975–2012, including: Associations, a complexly humorous send-up of visualized linguistic theory; Gargantuan, a quick riff on pictorial framing and verbal description, starring an amphibian; Slow Glass, a rambling, wise and witty examination of memory, perception and change, of life in East London and the art of glass-making; two entries in Smith’s multi-part Hotel Diaries series—Frozen War and Throwing Stones—which find the filmmaker delivering late night monologues in response to Western media coverage of the ongoing conflicts in the Middle East; and two recent HD video works—Flag Mountain, a view across the border of the divided city of Nicosia, Cyprus; and Dad’s Stick, an oblique portrait of the filmmaker’s father. (Steve Polta & John Smith)

NOTE: John Smith will appear at Pacific Film Archive on Wednesday, November 7 for a completely different screening of his works. For details click here.

John Smith’s visit is presented with support from Los Angeles Filmforum. Special thanks to Adam Hyman.

Aug 19

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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Avant-Garde Masters: A Decade of Preservation

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive
Program introduced by Jeff Lambert
[PFA Admissions Apply] Order advance tickets here.

For the last ten years, the Film Foundation and National Film Preservation Foundation have overseen the Avant-Garde Masters program, which provides funds to preserve American experimental films; to date the program has helped save over one-hundred films. Tonight we commemorate this anniversary with a screening of three films that portray San Francisco—Ernie Gehr’s vertiginous vertical panorama Side/Walk/Shuttle, Abigail Child‘s fast-paced urban study Pacific Far East Line and Frank Stauffacher’s history of the city, Notes on the Port of St. Francis, featuring narration from an essay by Robert Louis Stevenson, read by Vincent Price. (PFA)

Aug 19

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

@ Artists' Television Access


Fragile Memories: Images of Japan

Ute Aurand In Person

presented in association with the Intersection for the Arts
Ute Aurand In Person
[members: $5 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.

September 3–November 3, in its galleries at 925 Mission Street, Intersection for the Arts presents Lost and Found: Family Photos Swept by 3.11 East Japan Tsunami, a massive display of personal photographs recovered in the city of Yamomoto during post-tsunami clean-up in 2011, collectively displayed in an overwhelming testament to loss and perseverance. In homage and reference to this exhibition Cinematheque tonight screens Ute Aurand‘s 2011 film Young Pines (Junge Kiefern), an engaged, stately and patient observance of the urban landscape, a quiet consideration on harmonious overlap between nature and culture. Filmed throughout Japan before the disasters of the tsunami and Fukushima, but edited after, Young Pines’ carries an uncanny and inspiring grace. Also screening are three recent films by Japanese filmmakers which consider similar themes, including Tomonari Nishikawa‘s Tokyo—Ebisu a fragmented collage of that vibrant city’s life and motion; Makino Takashi‘s Generator (with a soundtrack by Jim O’Rourke), a study in accumulation and dissolution, which, created as a response to the disaster in Fukushima, visualizes Tokyo in a toxic state of decay; and Rei Hayama’s Emblem, a quiet meditation on the fragility of landscape and life. (Steve Polta)

Aug 19

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Wednesday, October 10, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Couleurs Mécaniques: Films of Rose Lowder I

Rose Lowder In Person

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive, the Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France in San Francisco and the French American Cultural Society
Rose Lowder In Person
Program introduced by Greta Snider
[PFA Admissions Apply] Order advance tickets here.

“The most memorable of Lowder’s films are experiments in creating distinct visual experiences that, in their reduction of day-long phenomena into brief, precise, intense cinematic moments, sing the potential of an ecological film aesthetic.” (Scott MacDonald)

Hailing from the south of France, filmmaker, curator and archivist Rose Lowder has created, since 1978, a remarkable body of 16mm films which explore visual perception and the mechanics of the cinematic apparatus while absolutely exploding with ecstatic color and vibrant kineticism. Inspired largely by the rhythms of nature and rural life, Lowder’s films joyously celebrate the textures of the natural world with an impassioned, impressionistic eye. This two-part series, presented on the occasion of her first visit to the Bay Area since 1987, represents a brief overview of Lowder’s extraordinary body of work, 1978–2011. (Steve Polta)

Program to include: Certaines observations (a double-projector work); Les tournesols colorés (Colored Sunflowers); Quiproquo; Voiliers et coquelicots (Poppies and Sailboats); Habitat, Batracien (Batrachian); Jardin du soleil (Sun Garden); Rien d’extraordinaire (Nothing Special Beau-site); and Fleur de sel (Sea Salt Flower).

Aug 14

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

@ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


The Lighted Field: Beings and Relations

presented in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
[members: $7 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.

SFMOMA’s Field Conditions exhibit (on view September 1–January 6), presents graphic works which, in the words of the exhibit’s curator Joseph Becker “redefine the relationships between figure and ground, […] place and non-place, finite and infinite.” Similarly, the film/video works in this program imagine the cinematic frame as a locus of diffuse and vibrant energy, as a ground from which figures may (or may not) emerge. Len Lye‘s Free Radicals and Particles in Space use the simplest of graphic film techniques to enter the third-dimension. Jodie Mack‘s Unsubscribe #1: Special Offer Inside, flickering and flocking, goes postal on the picture plane while her Untitled (for R.) finds foreground and background playfully (and profoundly) confounded. Nathaniel Dorsky’s 1983 film Pneuma—a glorious arrangement of color film stocks, unexposed and imageless—celebrates the cinematic understructure, the material and spiritual essence of the cinematic ground. Finally, Andrew Noren’s Imaginary Light, described as “intuitive conjuring and orchestration of retinal phantoms, refined by abstraction into music for light and mind,” an exhilarating and vertiginous plunge into the dematerialized dramas of light and shadow revealed in everyday views. Also screening: 20Hz by Semiconductor, a sculptural visualization of a high atmosphere geo-magnetic storm; and Mamori by Karl Lemieux, a kinetic study of the Amazon rain forest, created in collaboration with composer Francisco López. (Steve Polta)

Aug 14

20121014 - Rose Lowder sfc_event_image2
Sunday, October 14, 2012

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Couleurs Mécaniques: Films of Rose Lowder II

Rose Lowder In Person

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive, the Cultural Services of the Consulate General of France in San Francisco and the French American Cultural Society
Rose Lowder In Person
[members: $6 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.
Please note special start time!

“The most memorable of Lowder’s films are experiments in creating distinct visual experiences that, in their reduction of day-long phenomena into brief, precise, intense cinematic moments, sing the potential of an ecological film aesthetic.” (Scott MacDonald)

Hailing from the south of France, filmmaker, curator and archivist Rose Lowder has created, since 1978, a remarkable body of 16mm films which explore visual perception and the mechanics of the cinematic apparatus while absolutely exploding with ecstatic color and vibrant kineticism. Inspired largely by the rhythms of nature and rural life, Lowder’s films joyously celebrate the textures of the natural world with an impassioned, impressionistic eye. This two-part series, presented on the occasion of her first visit to the Bay Area since 1987, represents a brief overview of Lowder’s extraordinary body of work, 1978–2011. (Steve Polta)

This program includes: Roulement, rouerie, aubage, a study of paddle wheels on the River Sorgue; Rue des Teinturiers a longitudinal exploration of an urban landscape via intricate focus-pulling; Les Coquelicots (Poppies), a fusion of fishing boats and a field of red poppies; Jardin du sel/Salt Garden, a series of six poetic pictures, based on the sun, the wind and the sea, a strangely dark documentation of a sea-salt harvest; Bouquets 11-20, ten tightly structured, intricately woven, single-frame floral flicker films; and Beijing 1988, in which the ancient traditional philosophies and social practices of Chinese culture confront the ideological ambitions of the State. (Steve Polta)

Download program notes (PDF)

Jun 26

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Saturday, July 14, 2012

@ Castro Theater


The Overcoat (Shinel)

Co-Presented with San Francisco Silent Film Festival

[San Francisco Silent Film Festival Admission Apply] Order advance tickets here.
For Cinematheque members discount, please contact Cinematheque for members code.

USSR 1926, approximately 71 minutes
Directed by Grigori Kozintsev and Leonid Trauberg
Cast: Andrei Kostrichkin, Antonina Yeremeyeva, Sergei Gerasimov

The fourth film production by the avant-garde company FEKS (Factory of the Eccentric Actor), The Overcoat was crafted as “a cinematographic novel in the manner of Gogol,” a conscious determination to break away from conventional literary adaptation. Excoriated at the time for taking too many liberties with classic literature, The Overcoat today stands as a superb piece of modernism. Andrei Kostrichkin’s gives a brilliant performance as the meek bureaucrat whose greatest ambition is for a new overcoat. Print from BFI.
Accompanied by the Alloy Orchestra.

For more information about this year’s San Francisco Silent Film Festival and ticketing please visit www.silentfilm.org

Jun 07

Papirosen (7-30-12) sfc_event_image2
Monday, July 30, 2012

@ Roda Theatre at the Berkeley Rep


Papirosen

Co-Presented with San Francisco Jewish Film Festival & 32

[SFJFF Admission Apply] Advance ticket information here.

The title Papirosen comes from a forgotten Russian song about a young orphan, a street vendor, pleading with passersby to purchase his cigarettes. The memory of this plaintive melody, popular in the Jewish ghettos during World War II, brings tears to the eyes of aging patriarch Victor Solnicki years later in a Florida restaurant. A sense of the past pervades his son’s hypnotic family memoir, a home movie that tears apart the very notion of the genre as it moves from one vivid tableau to the next. Victor was an infant at the war’s end when his Jewish mother and father made their way from war-ravaged Eastern Europe to distant Argentina. Eventually he settled down and had three children. His youngest, Gastón, picked up a camera at an early age and captured his family’s sometimes humorous interactions and dysfunctions. After the birth of his nephew Mateo in 2000, Gastón began sifting through the hundreds of hours of footage that editor Andrea Kleinman masterfully whittled down into this compelling chronicle. Most memorable is Solnicki’s striking camerawork which manages to achieve a startling intimacy that often seems closer to fiction than documentary.—Thomas Logoreci

Jun 07

Papirosen (7-28-12) sfc_event_image2
Saturday, July 28, 2012

@ Jewish Community Center of San Francisco


Papirosen

Co-Presented with San Francisco Jewish Film Festival & 32

[SFJFF Admission Apply] Advance ticket information here.

The title Papirosen comes from a forgotten Russian song about a young orphan, a street vendor, pleading with passersby to purchase his cigarettes. The memory of this plaintive melody, popular in the Jewish ghettos during World War II, brings tears to the eyes of aging patriarch Victor Solnicki years later in a Florida restaurant. A sense of the past pervades his son’s hypnotic family memoir, a home movie that tears apart the very notion of the genre as it moves from one vivid tableau to the next. Victor was an infant at the war’s end when his Jewish mother and father made their way from war-ravaged Eastern Europe to distant Argentina. Eventually he settled down and had three children. His youngest, Gastón, picked up a camera at an early age and captured his family’s sometimes humorous interactions and dysfunctions. After the birth of his nephew Mateo in 2000, Gastón began sifting through the hundreds of hours of footage that editor Andrea Kleinman masterfully whittled down into this compelling chronicle. Most memorable is Solnicki’s striking camerawork which manages to achieve a startling intimacy that often seems closer to fiction than documentary.—Thomas Logoreci

Jun 05

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Sunday, June 24, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Afterimage: Three Nights with Nathaniel Dorsky

Films of Nathaniel Dorsky: Devotional Songs (2002-06)

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive

Order advance tickets here.

Nathaniel Dorsky in person

Local filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky’s unique, exhilarating 16mm films relish in the possibilities of image making—to borrow his concept, they obey cinema’s own materiality. Or, as Paul Arthur observed, “A formalist with a brimming, elegiac soul, Dorsky will gently rock your attitude toward cinematic landscape. His world is a sublime mystery measured by patience and unmatched visual insight.”

In his beautiful, compact book, Devotional Cinema, Dorsky discusses, “shots and cuts,” and elucidates how, working together, images and edits can “unite the viewer to what is seen.” Dorsky’s films are purposefully silent, projected at the slower speed of silent cinema; nothing distracts from our being in the moment of seeing. He often carries his camera, a 16mm Bolex, with him; his imagery is of the everyday world, both city life and nature. Yet, his shots are often mysterious, ambiguous, equally “about” what he sees as how he sees it. A store window is a collage of objects and reflections. The focus on a tree overflowing with blossoms shifts, and becomes a swirl of abstract colors. Thus we move from one shot to the next, continually reawakening to the poetry of the visuals. As Dorsky’s titles—Threnody, Compline, Pastourelle—suggest, his films are songs, poems, prayers, dances, expressing his devotion to the world and to cinema. (Kathy Geritz, Pacific Film Archive)

Read Manohla Dargis’s April 13, 2012 New York Times article on Dorsky.

Learn more about Nathaniel Dorsky here.

Dorsky’s films continually reawaken us to the poetry of visuals, as can be seen in Song and Solitude, Threnody, and The Visitation.

Song and Solitude (2006)

Threnody (2004)

The Visitation (2002)

• Total running time: 64 mins

Jun 05

The Films of Nathaniel Dorsky: The Quartet (2008-10) sfc_event_image2
Sunday, June 17, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Afterimage: Three Nights with Nathaniel Dorsky

The Films of Nathaniel Dorsky: The Quartet (2008-10)

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive

Order advance tickets here.

Nathaniel Dorsky in person

Local filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky’s unique, exhilarating 16mm films relish in the possibilities of image making—to borrow his concept, they obey cinema’s own materiality. Or, as Paul Arthur observed, “A formalist with a brimming, elegiac soul, Dorsky will gently rock your attitude toward cinematic landscape. His world is a sublime mystery measured by patience and unmatched visual insight.”

In his beautiful, compact book, Devotional Cinema, Dorsky discusses, “shots and cuts,” and elucidates how, working together, images and edits can “unite the viewer to what is seen.” Dorsky’s films are purposefully silent, projected at the slower speed of silent cinema; nothing distracts from our being in the moment of seeing. He often carries his camera, a 16mm Bolex, with him; his imagery is of the everyday world, both city life and nature. Yet, his shots are often mysterious, ambiguous, equally “about” what he sees as how he sees it. A store window is a collage of objects and reflections. The focus on a tree overflowing with blossoms shifts, and becomes a swirl of abstract colors. Thus we move from one shot to the next, continually reawakening to the poetry of the visuals. As Dorsky’s titles—Threnody, Compline, Pastourelle—suggest, his films are songs, poems, prayers, dances, expressing his devotion to the world and to cinema. (Kathy Geritz, Pacific Film Archive)

Read Manohla Dargis’s April 13, 2012 New York Times article on Dorsky.

Learn more about Nathaniel Dorsky here.

Dorsky’s imagery is of the everyday world, both city life and nature. Yet his shots are often mysterious and ambiguous, equally “about” what he sees as how he sees it. Tonight’s screening features the quartet Sarabande, Compline, Aubade, and Winter.

Sarabande (2008)

Compline (2010)

Aubade (2010)

Winter (2008)

• Total running time: c. 67 mins

Jun 05

Films of Nathaniel Dorsky: Recent Films (2010-12) sfc_event_image2
Sunday, June 10, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Afterimage: Three Nights with Nathaniel Dorsky

Recent Films of Nathaniel Dorsky

In Conversation: Nathaniel Dorsky and Mark McElhatten

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive
Order advance tickets here.

Local filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky’s unique, exhilarating 16mm films relish in the possibilities of image making—to borrow his concept, they obey cinema’s own materiality. Or, as Paul Arthur observed, “A formalist with a brimming, elegiac soul, Dorsky will gently rock your attitude toward cinematic landscape. His world is a sublime mystery measured by patience and unmatched visual insight.”

In his beautiful, compact book, Devotional Cinema, Dorsky discusses, “shots and cuts,” and elucidates how, working together, images and edits can “unite the viewer to what is seen.” Dorsky’s films are purposefully silent, projected at the slower speed of silent cinema; nothing distracts from our being in the moment of seeing. He often carries his camera, a 16mm Bolex, with him; his imagery is of the everyday world, both city life and nature. Yet, his shots are often mysterious, ambiguous, equally “about” what he sees as how he sees it. A store window is a collage of objects and reflections. The focus on a tree overflowing with blossoms shifts, and becomes a swirl of abstract colors. Thus we move from one shot to the next, continually reawakening to the poetry of the visuals. As Dorsky’s titles—Threnody, Compline, Pastourelle—suggest, his films are songs, poems, prayers, dances, expressing his devotion to the world and to cinema. (Kathy Geritz, Pacific Film Archive)
SCREENING: August and After (2012); The Return (2011); Pastourelle (2010)

Read Manohla Dargis’s April 13, 2012 New York Times article on Dorsky.
Learn more about Nathaniel Dorsky here.

Apr 18

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 8

Voices for New Atlantis

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

SCREENING:
9214 (2010) by Takahiro Suzuki; The Voice of God (2010) by Bernd Lützeler; Sounding Glass (2011) by Sylvia Schedelbauer; FF (2010) by Deborah Stratman; River Rites (2011) by Ben Russell; Slow Action (2010) by Ben Rivers

Apr 18

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 7

California Dreaming: Films by Laida Lertxundi

Laida Lertxundi In Person
Program sponsored by the Cultural Office of the Consulate General of Spain, San Francisco

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
this program is co-presented by the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

Laida Lertxundi (b. Bilbao, 1981) makes films with non-actors that evoke external and internal spaces of intimacy. Through intricate arrangements of actions and sounds, her work explores how filmic moments can be imbued with emotional resonance. As her cinema questions how viewers’ desires and expectations are shaped by cinematic forms of storytelling, it also searches for alternative ways of linking sound and music with found locales, constructed situations and quotidian environments. Shot within and around Los Angeles, her films map out a geography of landscapes transformed by affective and subjective states. Program includes a selection of Lertxundi’s recent films and three short films which have been an inspiration.

Farce Sensationelle! (2009) by Laida Lertxundi; Lemon (1969) by Hollis Frampton; Footnotes to a House of Love (2007) by Laida Lertxundi; My Tears Are Dry (2009) by Laida Lertxundi; All My Life (1966) by Bruce Baillie; Llora Cuando Te Pase/Cry When It Happens (2011) by Laida Lertxundi; A Lax Riddle Unit (2011) by Laida Lertxundi; and Picture and Sound Rushes (1973) by Morgan Fisher

Gratitude for assistance in this program is extended to Garbiñe Ortega and to Alba Costa and Ana Morán of the Cultural Office of the Consulate General of Spain.

Apr 18

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Sunday, May 20, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 6

...for there our captors demanded songs of joy

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

Man Is Always on the Stairs Between the Pleats of Matter and the Fields of the Soul (2011) by Jing Niu; L’eau, l’air et les songes (Water, air and dreams) (2009) by Cécile Ravel and Jean-Marc Manteau; Their Bird (2010) by Rei Hayama; Crusts (2011) by Alexander Stewart; Last Time (2011) by Julia Shirar; Light Licks: By the Waters of Babylon: This May Be the Last Time (2011) by Saul Levine; A Child Goes Burying Dead Insects (Kodomo ga Mushi no Shigai wo Umeni Iku) by Rei Hayama

Apr 18

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 4

Contemplation is a monstrous task...

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
this program is co-presented by the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

Don’t Look Directly into the Sun (2010) by Kathleen Rugh; Dark Enough (2011) by Jeanne Liotta; …These Blazeing Starrs! (2011) by Deborah Stratman; End Transmission (2010) by Yin-Ju Chen and James T. Hong; Landfill 16 (2011) by Jennifer Reeves; Curious Light (2011) by Charlotte Pryce; Valleys of Fear (2010) by Erin Espelie

Apr 18

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 5

APPARENT MOTION: Projection Arts!

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
this program is co-presented by ME’DI.ATE and The Lab
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

APPARENT MOTION celebrates the art of projection, the cinematic exhibition apparatus exposed as a primal light and sound machine, an invention without a future, ripe for rediscovery. Evening includes performances by…
Myth of Persistence (2012) by Gerritt Wittmer and Paul Knowles; The Color Red Bleeds Blue (2011–12) by Kerry Laitala with live score by John Davis; Cipher Screen (2010–12) by Greg Pope with live score by John Hegre

Apr 18

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Saturday, May 19, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 3

Woman with Flowers: Celebrating Chick Strand

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
this program is co-presented by the San Francisco International Women’s Film Festival
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

To leave out the spirit of the people presents a thin tapestry of the culture, easy to rent, lacking in strength and depth. I want to know really what it is like to be a breathing, talking, moving, emotional, relating individual in the society.—Chick Strand (1931–2009)

In the early 1960s, with co-conspirator Bruce Baillie, Chick Strand was instrumental in the foundation of both Canyon Cinema and San Francisco Cinematheque, presenting guerilla-style underground film screenings across the Bay Area for much of that decade. As a filmmaker known for a sensuous lyricism (frequently seen, paradoxically, in her “experimental ethnographies”) Strand’s films epitomized “west coast” American filmmaking at its very best, with a matter-of-fact folk wisdom, humor and profound sensitivity embodied in all of her varied works.

SCREENING: Cartoon Le Mousse (1979); Kristallnacht (1979); Soft Fiction (1979); Angel Blue Sweet Wings (1966)

PLEASE NOTE THAT CHICK STRAND’S Woman with Flowers IS NOT AVAILABLE FOR SCREENING AT THIS TIME.

Apr 18

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Friday, May 18, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 2

Awe Shocks: Illusion Reigns

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

SCREENING:
rites of alchemy (2011) by Moyah Pravda Newsreel; Village, silenced (2012) by Deborah Stratman; Penumbra Blind (2012) by Christina McPhee; Snakes and Ladders (2011) by Katherin McInnis; movement (2011) by Moyah Pravda Newsreel; Awe Shocks (2011) by Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy; Seeking the Monkey King (2011) by Ken Jacobs

Apr 18

scott-stark-oneway sfc_event_image2
Friday, May 18, 2012

@ Victoria Theatre


CROSSROADS program 1

There is a presence lingering...

Admission: $5 members / $10 non-members
Order advance tickets for this program here
Festival Pass: [$25 members / $50 non-members] available here

CROSSROADS 2012 is sponsored by Ninkasi Brewing
this program is co-presented by The Exploratorium
special thanks to promotional partner Oddball Film+Video

SCREENING:
Remote (2011) by Jesse McLean; Love Rose (2010) by Bobby Abate; Leonora (2011) by Eliane Lima; With-Me-Not-Me (2011) by Olivia Ciummo; Song for the Collectors (2011) by Tommy Becker; Craig’s Cutting Room Floor (2011) by Linda Scobie; One Way to Find Out (2012) by Scott Stark; The Pool (2011) by Christine Lucy Latimer; Araneae (Compound Eyes No. 4) (2011) by Paul Clipson and Jefre Cantu-Ledesma; The Ape of Nature (2010) by Peggy Ahwesh

Feb 27

20120323 EXPERIMENTA sfc_event_image2
Friday, March 23, 2012

@ Oddball Film & Video


EXPERIMENTA India

presented in association with Oddball Films
EXPERIMENTA India Festival Director Shai Heredia In Person
[Oddball Films Admission Apply] The price of a single admission ticket allows access to both shows. They will run back to back with a 15min intermission. Total run time for both programs is 125min.

Founded in 2003, EXPERIMENTA is the first film festival for experimental cinema in India. It serves as a forum for both classic and contemporary films from around the world and is also a vital showcase for relatively unknown Indian film artists. These EXPERIMENTA programs highlight contemporary works as well as trace a history of Indian experimental film beyond Bollywood and the industrial system and introduce the non-Western perspective on artists’ film as an alternative to the dominant US and Eurocentric histories. From experiments in animation, found footage and stylised montage in the late 60′s and early 70′s to the most recent innovations in experimental narrative, this selection of films and videos offer an important perspective on the aesthetic and socio-political complexities of filmmaking in India.

PROGRAM 1: Retrospective

And I Make Short Films (S.N.S.Sastry, 1968, B&W, sound, 16 min, 35mm on dvd)
Trip (Pramod Pati, 1970, B&W, sound, 4 min, 35mm on dvd)
Abid (Pramod Pati, 1972, color, sound, 5 min, 35mm on dvd)
Explorer (Pramod Pati, 1968, B&W, sound, 7 mins, 35mm on dvd)
Claxplosion (Pramod Pati, India, 1968, B&W, sound, 2min, 35mm on dvd)
Child on Chess Board (Vijay B. Chandra, India, 1979, B&W, sound, 7.46min, 35mm on dvd)

PROGRAM 2: Contemporary Works
Jan Villa (Natasha Mendonca, India, 2011, color & b&w, sound, 20min, 16mm on dvd)

City Beyond (Shreyasi Kar, India, 2011, color, sound, 10min, DV)

There is Something In the Air (Iram Ghufran, India, 2011, color, sound 29min, DV)

Feb 27

Deborah Stratman: In Order Not To Be Here sfc_event_image2
Thursday, March 29, 2012

@ Liminal Space


As Against the Fevered Distance: Landscape Film and the Poisoned Sublime

presented in association with Liminal Space and One Loves Only Form
[ contribution $10 ] Contribute in advance here.

…The direct star-blast from vectors and signals, from the vertical and the spatial. As against the fevered distance of the cultural gaze. Joy in the collapse of metaphor […]. The exhilaration of obscenity, the obscenity of obviousness, the obviousness of power, the power of simulation. As against our disappointed virginity, our chasms of affectation. Sideration. Star-blasted, horizontally by car, altitudinally by the plane, electronically by television, geologically by deserts, stereolithically by the megapoloi, transpolitically by the power game, the power museum that America has become for the whole world. (Jean Baudrillard, America)

The wide open spaces of the American West, banality born of extreme distance. Inspired by America, Jean Baudrillard’s infamously Continental adaptation of the freewheeling Karouacian beatnik jaunt, this program exalts the lure and love of American spaces, laments the end of adventure on the open road, and presents troubled fantasies of freedom made impossible within our Google-mapped, GPS-ed, infinitely surveilled landscape. Program begins with Deborah Stratman’s In Order Not to Be Here—”images of suburban surveillance and violence that push up against the limits of the real”—and concludes with Steven Matheson’s Apple Grown in Wind Tunnel, a masterful mystery narrative of environmental illness and truck stop subcultures with pirate radio broadcasts wafting across the poisoned planes of the American west. The films between: Landscapes in Alphabetical Order by Katherin McInnis, the map and the territory, rationalized; Trypps #7 (Badlands) by Ben Russell, crystalline depiction of desert dissolution; SHU (Blue Hour Lullaby) by Philipp Lachenmann, in which the stars shine bright over the old carceral home; Olivo Barbieri’s site specific_LAS VEGAS 05, the desert oasis rendered as a micro-panoptic toy; and the final “lost film” by Will Hindle, the lyrical road film Trekkerriff. (Steve Polta)

Feb 22

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Monday, March 12, 2012

@ Sundance Kabuki Cinemas


Space in Back of You (2011)

Co-Presented with SFIAAFF 30

[SFIAAFF Admission Apply] Order advance tickets here.

“When I first started performing classical and modern dances in New York, I felt I was two halves. In Japan I felt I could fuse the two. They became one,” says Suzushi Hanayagi in The Space in Back of You, a film as compelling as the avant-garde dancer and choreographer it pays tribute to. Director Richard Rutkowski intersperses Suzushi’s quotes with footage of her performances and interviews with her many collaborators, including dance pioneer Anna Halprin, filmmaker Mollie Davies, musician David Byrne, and long-time collaborator Robert Wilson, who simply calls Suzushi “my teacher.” As in Suzushi’s work, the film’s beauty and strength lies in the simplicity with which it handles a complex life, one punctuated by powerful performances, a transnational career, the loss of a child and, eventually, a debilitating disease. Robert Wilson finds her in a home for the elderly in Osaka, suffering with an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. There is much meaning to glean from The Space in Back of You about dance, loss, renewal and memory, yet it also remains abstract, allowing viewers to understand the purity of a life’s movements on its own terms. (Claudia Leung)

Directed by Richard Rutkowski (USA, 2011, 66 min, English, Color, HDCAM)

Feb 22

Space In Back of You sfc_event_image2
Sunday, March 11, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Space in Back of You (2011)

Co-Presented with SFIAAFF 30

[SFIAAFF Admission Apply] Order advance tickets here.

“When I first started performing classical and modern dances in New York, I felt I was two halves. In Japan I felt I could fuse the two. They became one,” says Suzushi Hanayagi in The Space in Back of You, a film as compelling as the avant-garde dancer and choreographer it pays tribute to. Director Richard Rutkowski intersperses Suzushi’s quotes with footage of her performances and interviews with her many collaborators, including dance pioneer Anna Halprin, filmmaker Mollie Davies, musician David Byrne, and long-time collaborator Robert Wilson, who simply calls Suzushi “my teacher.” As in Suzushi’s work, the film’s beauty and strength lies in the simplicity with which it handles a complex life, one punctuated by powerful performances, a transnational career, the loss of a child and, eventually, a debilitating disease. Robert Wilson finds her in a home for the elderly in Osaka, suffering with an advanced stage of Alzheimer’s. There is much meaning to glean from The Space in Back of You about dance, loss, renewal and memory, yet it also remains abstract, allowing viewers to understand the purity of a life’s movements on its own terms. (Claudia Leung)

Directed by Richard Rutkowski (USA, 2011, 66 min, English, Color, HDCAM)

Jan 09

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Thursday, May 10, 2012

@ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Seconds of Eternity IV: The Films of Gregory J. Markopoulos

Galaxie

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
[members: $7 / non-members: $10]

In March and April of 1966, Markopoulos created Galaxie, a unparalleled work of cinematic portraiture, documenting writers and artists from his New York circle, including Parker Tyler, W.H. Auden, Jasper Johns, Susan Sontag, Storm De Hirsch, Jonas Mekas, Allen Ginsberg and George and Mike Kuchar, most filmed in their homes or studios. Filmed in vibrant color, Galaxie presents an encyclopedic elaboration of the single-frame photography and complex superimpositions found in Ming Green, Through a Lens Brightly and other works and stands as a vibrant response to Andy Warhol’s contemporary series of black–and-white machine-eyed Screen Tests. With the portraits presented in the order created, the film affords its viewer the opportunity to observe the rapid development of Markopoulos’ technique over the weeks of its creation. Indeed, Galaxie pulses with life and stands as a masterpiece of in-camera composition, editing and economy. (Steve Polta)

Jan 09

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Sunday, April 8, 2012

@ Artists' Television Access


Texts of Light III: A Mid-Career Retrospective of Fourteen Films by David Gatten

Silent Mountains, Singing Oceans, and Slivers of Time

series curated by Chris Stults, Film/Video Curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts and presented in association with the San Francisco Center for the Book and the Prelinger Library
David Gatten In Person
[members: $5 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here

This program features three pairs of films from David Gatten‘s other ongoing non-Secret History series. The Continuous Quantities series is structured on a Leonardo Da Vinci proposition to divide an hour into 3000 equal parts. The series offers the most kinetic exploration yet of Gatten’s inquiries into the relationship between text and image. The Invisible Ink series, as the title implies, employs the most minimal imagery to be found Gatten’s films, but this minimalism belies the powerfully emotional content underpinning the works. (Chris Stults, Wexner Center for the Arts) Program to include: Film for Invisible Ink, Case No. 71: Base-Plus-Fog; What the Water Said, Nos. 1–3; Journal and Remarks; Shrimp Boat Log; What the Water Said, Nos. 4–6 and Film for Invisible Ink, Case No. 142: Abbreviation for Dead Winter [Diminished by 1,794].

Jan 09

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Saturday, April 7, 2012

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Texts of Light II: A Mid-Career Retrospective of Fourteen Films by David Gatten

Four Films Toward Part V of Secret History of the Dividing Line, A True Account in Nine Parts

series curated by Chris Stults, Film/Video Curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts and presented in association with the San Francisco Center for the Book and the Prelinger Library
David Gatten In Person
[members: $6 / non-members: $10]

This constellation of four films, a program created expressly for this retrospective, provides a unique glimpse at the still-in-progress fifth film of the Secret History project. The works comprise studies for (or intact stand-alone sections of) the epic, years-in-the-making feature-length film (which, taking its title from a volume in William Byrd’s library, will be called Gadbury’s Doctrine of Nativities, Containing the whole Art of Directions and Annual Revolutions: Whereby any man (even of an Ordinary Capacity) may be enabled to discover the most Remarkable and Occult Accidents of his Life, as they shall occur to him in the whole Course there of, either for Good or Evil). This program provides the fulcrum of this retrospective, a taking stock (and culmination) of David Gatten‘s current practice at a crucial moment before unveiling a new phase of his career. (Chris Stults, Wexner Center for the Arts) Program to include: The Mater Propounded, Of Its Possibility or Impossibility, Treated in Four Parts; How to Conduct a Love Affair; So Sure of Nowhere Buying Times to Come and Film for Invisible Ink, Case No. 323: Once Upon a Time in the West.

Jan 09

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Thursday, April 5, 2012

@ San Francisco Museum of Modern Art


Texts of Light I: A Mid-Career Retrospective of Fourteen Films by David Gatten

Secret History of the Dividing Line, A True Account in Nine Parts—Parts I–IV

series curated by Chris Stults, Film/Video Curator at the Wexner Center for the Arts and presented in association with the San Francisco Center for the Book and the Prelinger Library
screening presented in association with the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
David Gatten In Person

[members: $7 / non-members: $10]

David Gatten has been producing a cycle of films that take inspiration from the library of William Byrd II, an American colonial writer, planter and government official. Sweeping in scope, Byrd’s collection of about 4000 volumes was one of the largest in early 18th century North America and a conduit for introducing important works of European philosophical and political thought to the continent. Since happening upon Byrd’s little-known title The Secret History of the Dividing Line, along with its better-known companion History of the Dividing Line, Gatten has delved into the Virginian’s life in four films thus far (eventually the project will encompass nine films under the overall title Secret History of the Dividing Line, A True Account in Nine Parts). Focusing on specific volumes from the library, letters and personal papers, Gatten’s series probes the relationship between printed words and images, philosophical ideas, historical records and biography. Throughout, his thematic concerns are realized in an array of cinematic processes and techniques, constituting a parallel survey of the medium’s history. (Henriette Huldisch, 2006 Whitney Biennial Catalogue) Program to include: Secret History of the Dividing Line; The Great Art of Knowing; Moxon’s Mechanick Exercises, or, The Doctrine of Handy-Works Applied to the Art of Printing; and The Enjoyment of Reading (Lost and Found).

Jan 09

20120316 Jennifer Reeves sfc_event_image2
Friday, March 16, 2012

@ Artists' Television Access


Jennifer Reeves’ When It Was Blue

Jennifer Reeves In Person
[members: $5 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.

“Drawing as much from the feminist surrealism of Peggy Ahwesh, the interior psychological exploration of Stan Brakhage, and the globalized interiority of Warren Sonbert as from the Vertovian heritage, Jennifer Reeves turns the screen into a materialist writing-pad that moves at the speed of private thought.” (Michael Sicinski)

Presented by Cinematheque as a work-in-progress in 2008, Jennifer Reeves‘ now-completed When It Was Blue is a work of incredible ambition and scope. Described by Chris Stults as “an overwhelmingly powerful achievement on a truly epic scale,” the dual-projected, feature-length, 16mm work is a dazzling, deliriously immersive and visceral sound/image experience. Shot over three years in Iceland, New Zealand, Costa Rica and North America, in documentation of our fragile natural world, the film—fiercely overpainted, spectacularly edited—explodes with color and an overpowering sense of nowness, a rushed sense of urgency. In its attempt at maximal expression and globalizing vision, in its fusion of simultaneously micro- and macroscopic views of nature with a blurred sense of subjective visuality and interiority, When It Was Blue is a filmic achievement on par with the most ambitious works of Stan Brakhage, Jack Chambers and Michele Smith, an ecstatic work of complex visual philosophy which aspires (tragically) to nothing less than the reconciliation of objective and subjective realities. Other short works by Reeves will screen. (Steve Polta)

Jan 09

20120309 Jaap Blank sfc_event_image2
Friday, March 9, 2012

@ Yerba Buena Center for the Arts


Jaap Blonk: Soundtracks, Scores, Interactive Animations

Jaap Blonk In Person
presented in association with sfSoundSeries
[members: $6 / non-members: $10] Order advance tickets here.

Dutch artist Jaap Blonk is a self-taught composer, performer and poet who has worked since the early 1980s almost exclusively in the realm of improvised vocal performance and Dada inspired concrete poetry. Known for his powerful stage presence and exuberant approach to improvisation, Blonk has, over the years, created a rich body of original work while consistently elaborating the repertoire of seminal avant-garde poets and performers, including Antonin Artaud, Hugo Ball, Tristan Tzara, with his various masterful interpretations of Kurt Schwitters’ epic Ursonate being perhaps the best known. Recently, a renewed interest in mathematics has led the artist to explore the possibilities of algorhythmic composition in the creation of works which fuse music, visual animation and poetry. Appearing throughout the Bay Area in early March on an extended U.S. tour, Blonk tonight presents a very rare performance/projection program including live presentations of original graphic scores (possibly to include Rhotic, Proxim and Homage to Antonin Artaud); live tracks to silent films Forest Views (1999, by Bart Vegter) and Emak-Bakia (Man Ray, 1926); an interpretation of Man Ray’s composition Lautgedicht (1924) and examples of Blonk’s solo videos and “interactive animations,” including Song for the Cubists, flababble 1, Traces of Speech and Viceregal Impressions. (Steve Polta)

Note: Jaap Blonk will appear throughout the Bay Area March 4–9. For events listings see www.sfsound.org.

Download program notes (PDF)

Jan 06

F. Leger and D. Murphy: Ballet Mechanique sfc_event_image2
Tuesday, March 6, 2012

@ California College of the Arts


The Filming of Modern Life: Cinema, Modernity, and the Avant-Garde

A lecture by Malcolm Turvey

presented in association with the California College of the Arts’ Visual Studies Program
Malcolm Turvey In Person
[members & students: $5 / non-members: $10 / free to CCA students, faculty and staff] Order advance tickets here.

In the 1920s, the European avant-garde embraced the cinema, experimenting with the medium in radical ways. Painters including Hans Richter and Fernand Léger as well as filmmakers belonging to such avant-garde movements as Dada and surrealism made some of the most enduring and fascinating films in the history of cinema. Malcolm Turvey is a Professor of Film History at Sarah Lawrence College. In his recent book, The Filming of Modern Life (published by MIT Press, 2011), he analyzes five films from the avant-garde canon: Rhythmus 21 (1921) by Hans Richter, Ballet mécanique (1924) by Dudley Murphy and Fernand Léger, Entr’acte (1924) by Francis Picabia and René Clair, Un chien andalou (1929) by Salvador Dalí and Luis Buñuel, Man with a Movie Camera (1929) by Dziga Vertov. All exemplify major trends within European avant-garde cinema of the time, from abstract animation to “cinema pur.” Turvey closely examines their formal and stylistic innovations. He also argues that these films share a concern with modernization and the rapid, dislocating changes it was bringing about while he challenging the standard view of the avant-garde as implacably opposed to modern life. In fact, Turvey shows, all five films embrace and resist different aspects of modernity. Tonight’s lecture will include screenings of and/or clips from these five classic works. (Malcolm Turvey)

Jan 05

216_Gregory_Markopoulos-The_Illiac_Passion sfc_event_image2
Thursday, February 16, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Seconds of Eternity III: The Films of Gregory J. Markopoulos

The Illiac Passion and Ming Green (1964–67)

presented in association with href="http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/">Pacific Film Archive
[PFA Admission Apply] Order advance tickets here.

A loving and deftly orchestrated color study of an apartment, Ming Green is one of the filmmaker’s most sensuous films about place. Studded with art stars from the New York scene, The Illiac Passion, a contemporary Odyssean journey, is the most elaborate of Markopoulos‘ completed films and has been compared to Kenneth Anger’s Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome. Markopoulos considered numerous plans and aesthetic strategies before arriving at the film’s final form. The central character is inspired by Aeschylus’s Prometheus Bound, which had fascinated Markopoulos since his teens. “For a viewer seeing this extravagant ode to creation some thirty years after its making, the film’s most plangent moments involve Markopoulos’ affectionate casting of friends as mythical figures—Andy Warhol’s Poseidon pumping on an Exercycle above a sea of plastic, Taylor Mead’s Demon leaping, grimacing and streaming vermilion fringes, and (Jack) Smith’s bohemian Orpheus, spending a quiet afternoon at home with Eurydice.” (Kristin M. Jones) We hear Markopoulos reading from Thoreau’s translation of Prometheus Bound, but instead of straightforward oration, Markopoulos “selects words for repetition as he reads, making the literal sense of the text thoroughly abstract.” (P. Adams Sitney) (Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive)

Jan 05

Gregory Markopoulos: Twice a Man sfc_event_image2
Saturday, February 11, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Seconds of Eternity II: The Films of Gregory J. Markopoulos

Eros and Myth (1950–63)

presented in association with href="http://www.bampfa.berkeley.edu/filmseries/">Pacific Film Archive
[PFA Admission Apply] Order advance tickets here.
Introduced by filmmaker Robert Beavers.

Markopoulos‘ ability to improvise with his surroundings and to develop techniques of rapid cutting and subjective treatments of narrative time remain among the greatest contributions he made to cinema. Reminiscent of Maya Deren’s work, Swain is an early psychodrama trance film that uses single-frame clusters of images as a recapitulation device to restate poignant themes. The multilayered Twice a Man (which features a young Olympia Dukakis), inspired by the myth of Hippolytus and Phaedra, demonstrates Markopoulos’ masterful handling of sound design: he structured the soundtrack as a monologue of truncated syllables spoken by Phaedra juxtaposed with music, sound effects and silence. (Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive)

Swain  1950. With Markopoulos, Mary Zelles. 24 mins, Color, 16mm
Flowers of Asphalt  1951. With John Markopoulos, Maria Markopoulos. 7 mins, Silent, B&W, 16mm
Eldora  1953, 8 mins, Silent, Color, 16mm
Twice a Man  1963. With Paul Kilb, Olympia Dukakis. 48 mins, Color, 16mm

Jan 05

Gregory Markopoulos: Psyche sfc_event_image2
Thursday, February 9, 2012

@ Pacific Film Archive


Seconds of Eternity I: The Films of Gregory J. Markopoulos

Early Films (1940–49)

presented in association with Pacific Film Archive
[PFA Admission Apply] Order advance tickets here.
Introduced by filmmaker Robert Beavers.

One of cinema’s great colorists, early in his career Markopoulos achieved a palette worthy of Delacroix or Redon. (Kristin M. Jones, Artforum)

Psyche, the first film of Markopoulos‘ trilogy Du Sang, de la volupté et de la mort, demonstrates Markopoulos’ great talent for color, composition, and graceful camera movements. Made under conditions of incredible austerity, the trilogy is radical in its use of narrative form and sound/image disparity. Psyche was inspired by an unfinished novella by Pierre Louÿs, and expresses “various viewpoints on an encounter, in which the heroine experiences great difficulty in giving voice to her sensuality.” (Yann Beauvais) Markopoulos called Lysis “a study in stream-of-consciousness poetry of a lost, wandering, homosexual soul” and felt that the film foreshadowed The Illiac Passion. “I have only once worked in black-and-white…a film called The Dead Ones, which I dedicated to Jean Cocteau back in 1949…”. In most films today, certainly in the commercial field, they make films so quickly that the technicians aren’t patient enough to try to register these various greys, blacks, and whites the way the great Stroheim and the magnificent Sternberg did in their work.” (Gregory J. Markopoulos, Film Culture)
(Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive)

A Christmas Carol  1940, 5 mins, Silent, Color, 16mm
Psyche  1947–48. With Ann Wells, George Emmons. 25 mins, Color, 16mm, PFA Collection
Lysis  1947–48. With Markopoulos. 30 mins, Color, 16mm, PFA Collection
Charmides  1947-48, 15 mins, Color, 16mm, PFA Collection
Christmas USA 1949, 8 mins, Silent, B&W, 16mm
The Dead Ones 1949. With Markopoulos, Elwood Decker. 28 mins, Silent, B&W, 35mm

Followed by:
The Suppliant Robert Beavers (2010, U.S./Switzerland) Bay Area Premiere!
“An exquisitely wrought, five-minute portrait, both of the small statue of the title and of the artist/friend in whose apartment it resides” (Tony Pipolo).