Sunday, October 5, 1997

Films of Gregory Markopoulos: Seconds In Eternity

San Francisco Art Institute

Co-sponsored The Speros Basil Vryonis Center for the Study of Hellenism
Organized by Temenos, Inc.

The Cinematheque and Pacific Film Archive provide the long-awaited opportunity for Bay Area audiences to see the films of pioneering Greek-American filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos (1928-1992). A contemporary of Anger, Brakhage and J. Smith, he has been described by P. Adams Sitney as “the American avant-garde’s supreme erotic poet.” Markopoulos was one of the key influences on American independents during the fifties and sixties, both in terms of the impact of his films, and as a leading advocate and theoretician of the avant-garde. His complex, sensual films range from landscape and portraiture to works inspired by literature and mythology. Markopoulos’s nuanced visual palette and his radical use of montage created a unique sense of the mysterious–what he called “a landscape of emotion”. In the late sixites, Markopoulos left the United States for residence in Europe, withdrawing all of his films from U.S. distribution. His films will now be presented for the second time in this country following the Whitney Museum’s major retrosepctive in 1996. During the last years of his life, Markopoulos’ devotion to filmmaking continued, and he produced a monumental yet still unprinted series of over one hundred films in the form of 22 cycles, Eniaios. Robert Beavers, Markopoulos’ liftime companion, himself a noted filmmaker, will introduce the series. For information on the Pacific Film Archive programs October 7, 9, 21 & 23, call (510) 642-1412.

October 5 – Swain (1950), a personal rendering of the Hyacinthus myth; Twice A Man (1963), an intricately structured imagining of the homosexual love of Asclepius for Hippolytus, both before and after the latter’s death, considered one of the key films of the decade; Ming Green (1966), “a loving souvenir of an apartment in which Markopoulos was living, and a tour de force…that fuses jeweled color to music through a complex, flickering rhythm…” (Krstin M. Jones, Artforum)

October 12 – Through A Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill (1966), a portrait employing Markopoulos’ remarkable in-camera superimpositions and complex editing; Eros, O Basileus (1967), an intimate revelation depicting the loneliness of Eros himself.

October 19 – Sorrows (1969), a subtly rendered landscape film; The Mysteries (1968), in which a young man struggles with memories of love and intimations of death.


Oct 12
31/75: Asyl (1975), 32/76: An W & B (1976, both by Kurt Kren); Adebar (1956-57), Schewachter (1957-58), Arnulf Ranier (1958-60, three by Peter Kubelka); I’ll Walk With God (1994, Scott Stark); Home Stories (1991, Matthais Mueller).