@ SAN FRANCISCO MUSEUM OF MODERN ART
151 Third Street (between Mission & Howard Streets)
San Francisco, CA 94103 – MAP
CROSSROADS program 7
the end and the beginning were always there
presented by San Francisco Cinematheque and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art
Community Partner: Canyon Cinema Foundation
anticipated artists in person: Vasilios Papaioannu and Charlotte Pryce
pictured above: Pwdre Ser the rot of stars (2019) by Charlotte Pryce
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Single Screening Admission: $12 general/$10 Cinematheque and SFMOMA members with member code. Single Screening advance tickets available here.
CROSSROADS festival day pass (Saturday & Sunday only): $25
CROSSROADS festival day pass provides admission to all daily CROSSROADS screenings and general admission access to SFMOMA galleries (including Pat O’Neill: Three Answers).
Sunday, June 9 CROSSROADS festival day pass available here.
NOTE: Admission to the special exhibition Andy Warhol: From A to B and Back Again is not included with the festival day pass but can be purchased here.
This program is dedicated to the memory of filmmakers Jonathan Schwartz (1973–2018) and Robert Todd (1963–2018). Memorials to departed friends. Life is in the light; we pass through it, unevenly, but beautifully. Lines of force, spanning generations; the garden seems unchanged. Speculative science and speculative magic. Where are you, systems of planets? Thank you for your presence in this life.
A Leaf is the Sea is a Theatre (2018) by Jonathan Schwartz (US); digital video, color, sound, 17 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema bay area premiere
Facts are perceptions of surfaces. (Susan Howe)
You cannot describe a house on fire until the actual event takes place. Perhaps there will be no fire. Either you’ll have to deny the description as a fiction, or burn the house in accordance with the script. (Dziga Vertov)
You cannot put a fire out;
A thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a fan
Upon the slowest night.
Jonathan has left us something rich and rare that we are only just beginning to parse. (Michael Sicinski: “What’s Good.” MUBI, December 10, 2018)
LightFall (2016) by Robert Todd (US); digital video, color, sound, 16 minutes, exhibition file from Canyon Cinema bay area premiere
Glorious idealizations of reality: the fall of light onto our world as it crashes into the spectacular forms and formulas of ending. A series of in-camera harmonies. (Robert Todd)
Light Licks: Pardes: Counting Flowers on the Wall (2018) by Saul Levine (US); 16mm, color, silent, 13 minutes, print from the maker bay area premiere
Light Licks are a series of films I began in 1999. The films are made frame by frame, often by flooding the camera with enough light to spill beyond the gate into the frame left unexposed. Light Licks are ecstatic flicker films inspired by jazz and mystic visionary practice, and extend my interest in the ways film can be a medium of visual improvisation.
“Pardes” is the ancient Persian word for walled garden. In Hebrew and Aramaic it means paradise, heaven, the garden of Eden, the peak or terminus of ecstatic visionary, trance, flight.
Wild flowers, morning glories, an urban jungle an eden for a petite Tyger. (Saul Levine)
Lines of Force (2018) by Dan Browne (Canada); digital video, color, silent, 2 minutes, exhibition file from the maker U.S. premiere
The law of general relativity states that all matter is condensed energy. In its purest form, energy is light. Perhaps matter cannot go faster than light because all matter consists of light. (Dan Browne)
Two (2018) by Vasilios Papaioannu (US); digital video, color, sound, 8 minutes, exhibition file from the maker bay area premiere
Two filmmakers set out to create an audio archive for possible use in future projects. She records ambient sounds, vocally annotating them with a brief description; he films the environments through which they pass. The time frame is indeterminate, but wintry branches stripped of their leaves give way to summer greenery, a rain-soaked stretch of highway yields to an overgrown lawn drenched in sunlight, observed by a motionless cat. The woods and rivers feel primeval, long predating the construction of an abandoned house that has fallen into ruin. A passing truck rumbles from the past through the present and into the future. Years later, will her outstretched arms still be reminiscent of the naked tree branches, the way they were that day? Will they discover missed clues about their future in the muffled sound of their footsteps and the footprints, single file then side-by-side, imprinted in the moss? In this archive of sound and image, love is a series of moments made sacred by the present. While nothing is resolved, perhaps in the hushed interplay between the woman and the man, between her sounds and his images, “the end and the beginning were always there.” (T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets; Vasilios Papaioannu)
Gathering Moss (2018) by Erin Espelie (USA); digital video, color, silent, 5 minutes, exhibition file from the maker U.S. premiere
In homage to the F. Percy Smith films of the 1920s, this film considers the brevity of most wildlife encounters, often mediated, obstructed, or contextualized by anthropogenic locations, such as Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania. (Erin Espelie)
Pwdre Ser the rot of stars (2018) by Charlotte Pryce (UK/US); digital video, color, sound, 7 minutes, exhibition file from the maker bay area premiere
The film depicts an encounter with a mysterious, luminous, electrical substance. Inspired equally by medieval accounts of visionary experiences and by 19th century photography of the invisible, Pwdre Ser joins Kirlian photography with hand-processed images.
Pwdre Ser is the Welsh name for a mythical substance that has been observed by many since the 1400s. (Charlotte Pryce)
CROSSROADS 10 is generously supported by the George Lucas Family Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Fleishhacker Foundation, San Francisco Hotel Tax Fund/Grants for the Arts, the Willow Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and Cinematheque’s Members and Donors.