Thursday, December 17, 1998

In Memorium: Kurt Kren

Films Inspired and Loved by Kurt Kren

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

We sadly note the deaths of two great filmmakers, Kurt Kren and Joyce Wieland, whose presences enlivened many evenings at the Cinematheque over the years. Austrian Kurt Kren, who will be honored tonight, appeared in person in 1978 (twice), 1980, 1984, 1994, and finally, in March of 1998. Deceptively unassuming, Kren was easily one of Europe’s most influential and revered avant-garde filmmakers, whose work includes 50 short films beginning in 1957 and continuing through 1998. Kurt’s films create a unique blend of formal rigor and playful spontaneity, exulting in his and his subjects’ humanity while exploring the mechanistic nature of cinematic illusion. Tonight’s program extends a tribute organized by Ralph McCay and Mark McElhatten for the Anthology Film Archives on Kren’s Birthday, September 20, in New York City. Tonight will include 30 minutes of lesser-known films by Kren and surprise films by Kurt’s friends from around the world. “In the disputed histories which build the house of film, he was momentarily, but unforgiveably denied. Now he haunts the house with rude and playful shadows.” (Mark McElhatten)