Thursday, November 4, 2010

After Dark


McBean Theater (at the Exploratorium)

presented in collaboration with Exploratorium’s After Dark Program
[free with museum admission]

What are you afraid of? Is it things that go bump in the night or a particular night something bumped? Death? Spiders? Earthquakes? Monster movies and scary scenes?

Experience life After Dark, a cutting edge evening series exclusively for adults that mixes cocktails, conversation, and playful, innovative science and art events. Not a theater, cabaret, or gallery, After Dark contains aspects of all three. Tonight through film, activities and exhibit experiences we will explore fear–the line between it and anxiety, its effects on our brains and the manipulation of our fears for good and ill. We’ll explore the relationship between fear and pleasure, phobias, fright, flight and what heightened stress of fear and anxiety might be doing to our bodies and brains. After a night of Fear at the Exploratorium you might have a different take on what you are afraid of. (Melissa Alexander)

As part of tonight’s After Dark program, Cinematheque in collaboration with the Exploratorium’s Cinema Arts Series, presents films that explore the territories of fear.

While the horror genre is a long-revered revered staple of cinema, the films on tonight’s program go deeper, addressing the genre’s common tropes while stabbing into the collective forebrain to explore deeper psychological states of unease. Following the startling revelations of subliminal messaging found in the semi-anonymous trailer, A Date with Death, Jay Rosenblatt’s Afraid So meditates on the varieties of fear while Kerry Laitala’s The Adventure Parade conjures ghosts from cinema’s past to haunt the present. And while Luther Price’s Inside Velvet K picks apart ’70s TV to produce a disturbing meditation on death and morbidity, Peter Tscherkassky explodes the 1981 feature The Entity into glittering shards of light and sound in his Outer Space. Similarly ecstatic, if ultimately dark, Stan Brakhage’s silent and hand-painted Paranoia Corridor sees the artist confronting his ultimate existential horror. Finally, In Absentia by the Brothers Quay (in collaboration with Karlheinz Stockhausen) evokes German expressionism and creeping paranoia in a claustrophobic portrait of madness and obsession. (Steve Polta)

(unknown): A Date With Death (c. 1960’s) 10 min. / Peter Tscherkassky: Outer Space (1999) 10 min. / Jay Rosenblatt: Afraid So (2006) 3 min. / Kerry Laitala: Adventure Parade (2000) 5 min. / Luther Price: Inside Velvet K (2009) 10 min. / Stan Brakhage: Paranoia Corridor (1995) 3 min. / Brothers Quay:In Absentia (2000) 20 min.

Download program notes