visitations, dreams of falls (watch them collapsing)

CROSSROADS 2015 Touring Program 1

Curated by Steve Polta


…it’s a reminder of our human weakness for wanting to hold what will not be held. (Max Goldberg on Vanessa Renwick’s layover). Films of aspiration, growth, striving and collapse (personal, global, financial and spiritual). Figures in transit adrift across this world. A program of end points, spiritual transitions, attempts at psychic transformation, speculations on possible futures.

Highlighted film titles link to preview videos—full previews of all work available on request. Highlighted names link to artists’ websites. original format of all works is digital video unless otherwise noted. Artist bios and full text program notes provided with program package.

For inquiries please contact tour@sfcinematheque.org.

Vanessa Renwick: Layover

layover (2014) by Vanessa Renwick; color, sound, 6 minutes

A swan song for the factory age. A vortex of swirling Vaux’s Swifts which layover for three weeks in Portland OR each fall on their migration to South America. Birds swoop over our demise, their relentless choreography signaling a new start. (Vanessa Renwick)


Figure—Ground (2013) by Jean-Paul Kelly; color, sound, 5 minutes

[…] Derived from photographic sources, each illustrated scene depicts the aftermath of a death associated—tangentially or directly—with the 2009 global financial crisis. (Jean-Paul Kelly)


A Field Guide to the Ferns (2015) by Basma Alsharif; color, sound, 10 minutes

A horror nature film. Cannibal Holocaust (1980), “Ruggero Deodato’s timeless slice of visceral horror,” is revived deep in the New Hampshire woods where apathy and violence are blurred. (Basma Alsharif)

Tommy Becker: Song for Awe & Dread

Song for Awe & Dread (2015) by Tommy Becker; color, sound, 10 minutes

Using performance and music, Song for Awe & Dread is a contemporary take on the vanitas paintings of the 17th century and an investigation into the emotional duality of existence. Through its symbolic meditation on mortality, this work attempts to find meaning between the fleeting flavors of bubblegum and cultural programming that entrenches us in our denial of death. (Tommy Becker)

Pablo Mazzolo: The Quilpo Dreams Waterfalls

The Quilpo Dreams Waterfalls (2012) by Pablo Mazzolo; color, sound, 11 minutes

“…a diary of my days at the Quilpo River. According to the Comechingones natives, Quilpo River dreams of big falls at least once a year. Whoever is near the river at the time will be part of its dreams forever. (Pablo Mazzolo)

Jon Behrens: a Beginning a Middle and an End

a Beginning a Middle and an End (2013) by Jon Behrens; color, sound, 5 minutes

A hand-painted and optically-printed found-footage film. (Jon Behrens)

Ben Russell: Greetings from the Ancestors

Greetings to the Ancestors (2015) by Ben Russell; color, sound, 29 minutes

Set between Swaziland and South Africa, […] Greetings to the Ancestors documents the dream lives of the territory’s inhabitants as the borders of consciousness dissolve and expand. Equal parts documentary, ethnography and dream cinema, Greetings to the Ancestors presents a world whose borders are constantly dematerializing. (Ben Russell)
The final film of The Garden of Earthly Delights, Russell’s  trilogy examining the ecstatic limits of utopia in the present.

Total Program Runtime: 76 minutes
Program Format: Digital Video

Programs are available for single exhibition, multiple screenings or as a three-part series.
Variable rates available.

Program packages include:

PLEASE NOTE: CROSSROADS touring programs provide financial compensation to artists—filmmakers receive payment from Cinematheque for each and every screening.

For additional information or to inquire about CROSSROADS exhibitions at your venue, please contact SAN FRANCISCO CINEMATHEQUE at tour@sfcinematheque.org.