presented in association with the Cinema Department at San Francisco State University
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Let the dreams you have forgotten equal the value of what you do not know…
—Andre Breton and Paul Eluard: The Original Judgement
Working for over three decades, filmmaker Lewis Klahr is known for an extensive body of films based in collage, associational montage and cut-out animation grounded in elements of 20th Century popular culture, including advertising imagery, comic books, catalogs and ephemeral artifacts. While referring evocatively to collective American history, Klahr’s oblique, obsessive and idiosyncratic approach to this history and its material culture—suggestive of the hermetic personal yearnings of Joseph Cornell and the dreaming wander of the surrealist flâneur— belies a unique nostalgia and sense of personal mythology all his own. Appearing in person for two screenings, Klahr will present a selective mini-retrospective focusing on two important aspects of his work. Join us on February 19 for films which grapple with Memory—including False Aging, Daylight Moon, Engram Sepals and Helen of T—and, on February 20—a survey of films on lives in The City, including his newest film, The Occidental Hotel.
People usually think my films are about remembering, but they’re really all about forgetting...
Dreams on the threshold of recollection; memories at the moment of departure. In their survey of the American pop margins, the films of Lewis Klahr evoke worlds of barely remembered encounters, lost loves and lives only glimpsed in the detritus of days past. Memories replace memories in a soft fade of forgetting. For the first of two in-person retrospective presentations, Klahr presents a selection of films (on 16mm and digital video) dealing with memory and its opposite, based largely on cutout and object animation. Screening to include: False Aging (2008), “from innocence to experience, three periods of life lived in a three-act melodrama;” Engram Sepals (2000), “a Buddhist noir, the dead body remembers;" Helen of T (2013), “a mythopoetic splice of classic Greek Mythology onto the pop art 1960s” and the wondrous and masterful Daylight Moon (2003), “Of all the films I’ve made using collage… this one gets the closest to what I’m after.” Additional films—to be selected—will screen. (Steve Polta, quotes: Klahr)