Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Of Heaven & Earth

Films of Tom Chomont

San Francisco Art Institute

curated and presented by Kyle Stephan
presented in association with Frameline and the SFAI Department of Film
with thanks to Tom Chomont, Outfest Legacy Project for LBGT Film Preservation, the National Film Preservation Foundation and the UCLA Film & Television Archive.
[members: $5 / non-members: $10/ SFAI students & faculty: free]

Since 1961, Tom Chomont — avant-garde master, New York provocateur, leather fetishist, HIV survivor — has created over sixty experimental films that capture the beauty of everyday encounters and illuminate the transcendental possibilities of the physical world. While his early impressionistic film portraits of friends and lovers evoke the erotic lyricism and trance-like rhythms of early Kenneth Anger and Gregory Markopoulos, his later videos, raw and hard-edged, use similar montage techniques to mine darker territories of ritual and sadomasochism. These meditative and formally innovative films are at once intimate and intense, otherworldly memory poems of a daring and examined life. This survey of Chomont’s pioneering aesthetic includes nine newly restored early 16mm films created between 1967 and 1971 — Jabbok, Mirror Garden, Phases of the Moon: The Parapsychology of Everyday Life, Epilogue/Siam, Oblivion, Ophelia/The Cat Lady and Love Objects — and a selection of later film and video work, including The Heavens/Earth, Razor Head, Slash Portrait for Clark, Sadistic Self Portrait and [Self] [Portrait] (with Mike Hoolboom). (Kyle Stephan)

The restoration of Chomont’s films by the Outfest Legacy Project for LGBT Film Preservation (a collaboration between Outfest and the UCLA Film & Television Archive) was funded in part by the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant.

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