Friday, November 9, 2012

Constancy of Change: Films of John Smith

John Smith In Person

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

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.