Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 10:00 pm

CRATER-Lab: We Live in Cities/Life Without Buildings
Films by Steve Polta

Barcelona, Spain


Carrer de Sant Guillem 17

08006 Barcelona

Steve Polta in person

CRATER-LAB presents a double program from San Francisco curated by Steve Polta: the films of the filmmaker and a selection of the CROSSROADS Festival.

WE LIVE IN CITIES / LIFE WITHOUT BUILDINGS is the disturbing program that brings us  filmmaker Steve Polta, director of the CROSSROADS Festival and the SAN FRANCISCO CINEMATHEQUE. A selection of his films, a corpus of films difficult to see, since they are only projected in their original analog format. We will also have the presence of Steve himself to present the session.

A neighborhood undone. A ghost town in reverse. A vague orange glow and a dawn. A bird chirp and a chirp and a chirp. One more tweet and he wakes up. It is not the dream of what emerges, but rather of an unthinking and boring possible fantasy when finally dejected thought and accelerated panic spiral and give up before this furious body, dissipating in a murmur of empty nerves, so Sensitive as a street lamp in an eternal street of a town. An angry eye cracks open. Nebulous and misleading fog. A chill accompanies the breaking of dawn and this eye closes quickly, a retreat from the dazzling day to the drowsy rose inside. From where we came, through this night and this life. The emptiness becomes a pink / gray plain, a plain closer to his eyes, Closer than his brain. Fearing this investment, knows for what is done. The dream will not come now and of course I would never have come. Memories those looped memories come back when the blood pumps slowly. 

"Back in Paris they had happy moments together, like snapshots of a perfume advertisement (running along the steps of Montmartre, or suddenly revealed in a still embrace on the Pont des Arts by the lights of a bateau-mouche when spinning ). There were also in the afternoon of Sunday half discussions, the moments of silence when the bodies huddled under the sheets in the long shores of silence and apathy, where life is going to sink. Annabelle's study was so dark they had to turn the lights on at four in the afternoon. Sometimes they were sad, but mostly they were serious. They both knew that this would be their last human relationship, and this feeling lacerated every moment they spent together. They felt great respect and deep sympathy for each other, and there were days when, Trapped in a sudden magic, they knew moments of fresh air and of burning and invigorating sun. For the most part, however, they could feel a gray shadow moving over them, in the earth that held them, and in everything they could glimpse the end. "

 Michel Houllebecq, The elementary particles

Red Sketch (1997c)
1997, super 8, 6 min.

Interval Oakland 99
2000, super 8, 3 min.

Departure (1997c)
1997, super 8, 7 min.

Picture Window (1996a)
1996, super 8, 8 min.
"In the dying sighs of Steve Polta's Super-8 movie technology, Steve Polta's Picture Window is a rare and subtle assertion of the purest cinematic pleasures. The long sections of the film are in black, a grainy darkness surrounded by rich, ambient sounds in two-channel stereo, creating a mysterious cinematic space that is slowly, almost imperceptibly revealed. The images that the mind-eye creates during the process of revelation suggest the unlimited power of the imagination. "(Scott Stark:" The Top Ten Experimental Film of 1997. " Film Threat , February 9, 1998)

Minnesota Landscape
1997, 16mm, 12 min.

Estuary #1
1998, super 8, 10 min.

The Berries
2000, super 8, 4 min.

Summer Rain for LMC, side A
2007/2011, super 8, 3 min.

Summer Rain for LMC, side B
2007/2011, super 8, 3 min.

A House Full of Dust
2007, super 8, 10 min.

Besides being the artistic director of the San Francisco Cinematheque (and having been a taxi driver in that same city), Steve Polta has his own filmography, that he has constructed between the middle of the 90s and principles of this decade. Almost secret films, which many people have heard of (wonders) and few have actually been able to see: hence this occasion, the first time they are projected in this continent, is almost like a solar eclipse or the passage of a comet. Just to create interest before this light event, it must be said that these are mostly super 8 films, in which sometimes light seems to slip on tiptoe through the lens of the camera and through the emulsion, while other times seems to burst into by surprise. From abstraction to minimal figuration, they seem to reflect on everything that is only possible to see through the “eyes” of a camera, and on what only a film strip can do with photosensitive material. A set of movies that turn the ordinary into extraordinary, light phenomena from across the ocean that caress our screen.

In collaboration with AC/E Acción Cultural Española , S(8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico and CRATER-Lab