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From the collection of the 
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San Francisco, California 

San Francisco Cinematheque 
2000 Program Notes 

San Francisco Cinematheque 

145 Ninth Street 

Suite 240 

San Francisco, California 


Telephone: 415.552.1990 

Facsimile: 415.552.2067 


cover image © Greta Snider: Flight, 1 997 



Staff. 2000 


Steve Anker 
Artistic Co-Director 
Irina Leimbacher 
Office Manager 

Steve Polta 

Library and Archive 

Christine Metropoulos 
Cynthia Arnott- White 

Oona Nelson 

Program Note Book Producers 

Dennis Hanlon 
Kim Miskowicz 

Guest Curators and Co-Curators 

Claire Bain 
Bill Berkson 
Charles Boone 
Christian Bruno 
Nathaniel Dorsky 
Kathy Geritz 


Lyn Hejinian 

Ken Paul Rosenthal 

San Francisco Art Institute 8 Millimeter Film Festival 

Leslie Scalapino 

Konrad Steiner 

Astria Suparak 

Acustica International SF 2000 
Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 
City Lights Bookstore 
Film Arts Foundation 
New Nothing Cinema 
Other Cinema 
Pacific Film Archive 

Program Note Writers 

Poetry Center 

Pro Helvetia, the Arts Council of Switzerland 

San Francisco Art Institute 

San Francisco International Film Festival 

San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 

Walter/McBean Gallery, SFAI 

Claire Bain 
Charles Boone 
David Connor 
Kathy Geritz 

Program Note Editors/Coordinators 

Irina Leimbacher 
David Michalak 
Smith Patrick 
Konrad Steiner 

Steve Polta 
Jenny Rogers 

Board of Directors. 2000 

Alison Austin 
Kerri Condron 
Elise Hurwitz 
Julia Segrove-Jaurigui 

Mary Tsiongas 
Kathleen Tyner 
Richard Winchell 




RITES OF PASSAGE: Final Short Film And Video Program Of Bay Area Now 2000 1 


SMALL WINDOWS: A Celebration of Regular 8mm Films, Program One 2 

SMALL WINDOWS: A Celebration of Regular 8mm Films, Program Two 4 

EXCAVATING SPACE TO REDEEM TIME: The Films of Richard Dindo, Program One 5 

MAESTRO OF POVERTY ROW: Two by Edgar G. Ulmer 6 

EXCAVATING SPACE TO REDEEM TIME: The Films of Richard Dindo, Program Two 7 

EXCAVATING SPACE TO REDEEM TIME: The Films of Richard Dindo, Program Three 8 

DISQUIETING EPIPHANIES: Jay Rosenblatt's King of the Jews + Erin Sax' Jerusalem Syndrome 8 


ARTICULATED IMAGES: Recent Films by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill 1 1 

WORD TO IMAGE: Cinema Inspired by Poems 12 


by Recoder and McClure 

ELLIPTICAL TALES: Recent Work by Stephanie Barber and Naomi Uman 19 

LAWRENCE JORDAN: A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program One 21 

LAWRENCE JORDAN: A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program Two 22 

LAWRENCE JORDAN: A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program Three 22 

LAWRENCE JORDAN: A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program Four 23 

DYED LIGHT: New by Stan Brakhage 24 


'66 FRAMES: Life in the Sixties Underground 28 




3 rd ANNUAL TEXTURE OF THE GESTURE: A Celebration of Hand-Processed Films 35 

FROM DARKNESS LIGHT: The Transfigured Spaces of Jim Jennings 36 

BREAKING POINTS: New Experimental Films 38 

WHEN THE SPIRIT MOVES: Live Music for New Films 40 

DE PROFUNDIS: An Evening with Lawrence Brose 4 1 


ARTISTS AT WORK: The Day Job 43 

RITUAL OBSESSIONS: Three Nights of Luther Price, Program One: Home, Sweet Home 44 

RITUAL OBSESSIONS: Three Nights of Luther Price, Program Two: Body Fluid 47 

RITUAL OBSESSIONS: Three Nights of Luther Price, Program Three: "Tell me a secret..." 48 

ETHER/ORE: An Evening with Phil Solomon 50 

SOUNDS OF ALL KINDS: From Dada to Now 5 1 

BLOOD SAUSAGE: A Rooftop Screening/Reception 52 

CENTER FOR THE ARTS SEASON OPENER: New Film and Video by Local Makers 53 

REANIMATOR: The Videos of Rodney Ascher 54 

MOTIVES FOR MAYHEM: The Kinetic World of Abigail Child, Program One 56 

MOTIVES FOR MAYHEM: The Kinetic World of Abigail Child, Program Two 57 

MOTIVES FOR MAYHEM: The Kinetic World of Abigail Child, Program Three 58 



Art Institute 61 



VERY HARD WORK YOU'RE ASKING ME TO DO: The Cinema of Gregg Biermann 64 

JUST GET ME OUT OF HERE: New Films and Videos by Timoleon Wilkins and Jeremy Coleman 65 

SOME KIND OF LOVING TOUR: All Night Long with Miranda July and Astria Suparak 66 



FROM TITO-MA TERIAL TO ANDY HARDY: Recent Films from Austria 70 


BODY PARTS: A Multi-Screen Performance by Victor Faccinto 72 

BETWEEN VISIONS: An Intermedia Commentary 73 




THE PERSONAL LANDSCAPE: New Films by Peter Hutton, Mark Lapore and Jeanne Liotta 79 




San Francisco Cinematheque 

James Benning In Person 

Sunday, January 30, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

For over twenty-five years, James Benning has been making films of the American landscape which 
simultaneously explore issues of representation, meaning, geography and ideology. A film of great subtlety and 
precise formal construction, 11x14 fuses the impulses of narrative convention with formal exploration, revealing, 
through meticulous photography and elegant rhythmic construction, the paradoxical interrelationship between these 
generally competing strains of cinematic expression. One of the top ten films of the seventies according to J. 
Hoberman, James Benning' s 11x14 is "a laconic mosaic of single-shot sequences, each offering some sort of 
sound/image pun or paradox. At once a crypto-narrative with an abstract, peekaboo storyline and fractured, 
painterly study of the midwestern landscape, 11x14 points toward the creation of a new, nonliterary but populist 

11x14 (1976); 16mm, color, sound, 83 minutes, print from the maker 

"At last, the first Midwest film. With a brilliant eye, formed by the past ten years of pop and minimalist 
painting and by the experience of the Midwest which is the source of the iconography of much of that painting, 
Benning has made an American landscape film, a landscape first dominated, then submerged, by the highways and 
powerlines which connect it. Its characters are cars, trains, and planes. They take their fix at the filling station; 
their reading matter is billboards and signs. 

"The film was shot with a camera fixed on a tripod. There are a few pans, a few shots from moving 
vehicles. Benning used a wide-angle 10mm lens throughout, which produces a flattened space in which one is, 
paradoxically, more aware of depth. The color (the stock is Ektachrome commercial) was very carefully controlled 
in the lab and is incredibly vivid: blues, reds, yellows, greens. Shots take anywhere from a few seconds to 1 1 
minutes. The film was nearly completely scripted and choreographed before the shooting. The sound is 
meticulously post-synced so that gradually one becomes aware that it is more than 'true.' Most of the framings are 
symmetrical with the camera at a 90-degree angle to the horizon line. The space is remade in some way within each 

"The time is traveling time, that peculiarly slowed down and distanced time, slowed down regardless of 
the speed at which one is moving, when there is nothing to do but look and listen, when images and sounds are 

"Benning calls 11x14 a narrative. It is, in the sense that a narrative is a kind of traveling. There is a 
complex of connections between the shots and also a group of people who appear sporadically throughout. But 
with the kind of cool, goofy irony which shapes all of the film, Benning allows almost no information about the 
people to reach us through the space. Their faces are blocked by window frames; their voices are covered with 
noises. Even their sex is ambivalent. And this ambivalence — an ambivalence about how images are to be 
read — pervades every aspect of the film. A loading and then vacuuming out of meaning occurs in almost every 
shot. Almost every shot has some unexpected turning. There's a lot to look at, and it's really something to see." 
(Amy Taubin) 

Hopefully, the film teaches you how to watch the film. (JB) 

2000 Program Notes 


A Celebration of Regular 8mm Films! 
Program One 

Saturday, February 5, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Regular 8mm filmmaking has truly been an underground activity since Kodak terminated the production of 8mm 
film stock in 1993. Recently, however, with the "discovery" of film manufacturers in the Czech Republic and 
other European countries, revived American availability through John Schwind, and the easy access to high-quality 
equipment in the format, Regular 8mm filmmaking is currently enjoying an international rebirth. The San 
Francisco Art Institute's 8mm Film Festival was juried by students from Total Small Gauge classes taught by 
Janis Crystal Lipzin and Steve Anker and includes two eclectic programs which demonstrate the importance of 
Regular 8mm as a site of historical documentation (sides of history which would otherwise be unseen) as well as a 
medium for artistic expression. Included in both nights are films made especially for this festival, other recent 
works and newly discovered vintage films made decades ago. All films will be shown in their original Regular 
8mm format 

Song 1 (1964) by Stan Brakhage; 8mm, color, silent, 4 minutes 
A portrait of a beautiful woman. (SB) 

Song 4 (1964) by Stan Brakhage; 8mm, color, silent, 4 minutes 

A round-about three girls playing with a ball... hand-painted over photo image. (SB) 

Song 13 (1965) by Stan Brakhage; 8mm, color, silent, 4 minutes 
A travel song of scenes and horizontals. (SB) 

Untitled #6 (1975) by Greg Sharits; 8mm, color, silent, 10 minutes 

Nothing But... Part 1 (1979) by Phil Weisman; 8mm, b&w, silent, 10 minutes 

Go Home Movie (1999) by Chun-Hui Wu; 8mm, b&w, 10 minutes 

Go Home Movie is a tribute to home movie making without any filming in a home environment; an 8mm 
film without using an 8mm camera. (CHW) 

Corners (1988) by Scott Stark; 8mm, color, silent, 4 minutes 

Corners was made by spooling 6-7 foot sections of Regular 8mm movie film into 35mm still camera 
cartridges, and then shooting it with a still camera. The images, which originally covered the width of the entire 
16mm (unslit) original, were split in half and were viewed twice. (SS) 


Found in Auto (1999) by Susan Barron; unslit 8mm, b&w, 3 minutes 

A 10-year friendship spawned many a road trip, which was to us a beacon for an inexpensive freedom. 
The photographs were taken by Regina, given to me undeveloped after her funeral. (SB) 

Jamie's Portrait (1999) by David Heatley; unslit 8mm, color, silent, 3 minutes 
Rhythmic portrait of a friend working in 4/4. (DH) 

Windy (1980s- 1999) by Bill Baldewicz; unslit 8mm, color, 4 minutes 

Windy combines my interest in alternative energy with my interest in photography. (BB) 

9 Cats When I Was 7 (1999) by Robbie Land; 8mm, color, 6 minutes 

9 Cats When I Was 7 is a transition from one thought to another. (RL) 

News From North Carolina (1985) by Tom Whiteside; 8mm, color, 3.5 minutes 

News is an original 50 ft. Kodachrome reel hand-printed from stills of television "static," with the 
horizontal scan turned on its side. (TW) 

San Francisco Cinematheque 

Psychic (1999) by Hans Michaud; 8mm, color, 6.5 minutes 

The rhythms of Psychic are brought to the forefront due to the extremely slow shoot/project frame-rate. 
Another rhythm is at work: the relatively quick darkening of the light due to it being shot during late dusk. 

Inversion (1999) by Steve Polta; 8mm, color, silent, 10 minutes 

This film contains residue of an uncontrolled test of a new camera bought under dubious circumstances. 
Years later the representational product of this encounter was disregarded in favor of the worlds and spaces between 
(many the product of mistrust or misuse of the new machine). (SP) 

1933 (1999) by Brian Frye; 8mm, b&w, sound, 10 minutes 

...and yet our place in this grand and terrible theatre is that of the humblest spectator, participants only 
insofar as the spectacle demands its audience. If men speak and act in the most wonderful satire, yet their gods are 
ironical in their silence, and the laughter which hails this bitterest irony is our own. (BF) 

Amerika (1937) anonymous; 8mm, b&w, silent, 6 minutes 

A found home movie shot at several Nazi rallies in New York. 


A Celebration of Regular 8mm Films! 
Program Two 

Sunday, February 6, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 
see above for series overview 

Note One (1968) by Saul Levine; 8mm, b&w, 6.5 minutes 

A study in grey and white of my parents. An evening film. (SL) 

Note to Pati (1969) by Saul Levine; 8mm, color, 8 minutes 

Note on snowstorm in February-March '69. The restoration of the landscape. Begun to show friends on 
west coast violent beauty of this period. . . The principal birds in the film are the blue jay and the crow, both 
beautiful, smart and ruthless. (SL) 

Lost Note (1969-1974) by Saul Levine; 8mm, color, 10.5 minutes 

Walk (1985) and Train Ride (1986) by Michael Mideke; 8mm, color, 6 minutes 
Camera rolls masterfully composed using multiple exposures. (MM) 

Taka and Ako (1966) by Takahiko Iimura; 8mm, b&w, 13 minutes 

A rapid cutting of images from Taka and Ako's photo albums from birth to youth which were shot 
separately and superimposed with their live images. The film was made to commemorate the occasion of their 
marriage and was shown at the celebration party. (TI) 

By 2's and 3's: Women (1974) by Marjorie Keller; 8mm, color, 9.5 minutes 

American landscape with women. A tense portrait of one friend and one not. (MK) 


Home Movie Reel #1 (ca. 1950s) anonymous; 8mm, color, 25 minutes 

The first of three amazing found home movie reels. This reel documents the lives of a Chinese-American 
family in the Bay Area during the 1950s. 

Untitled Cameraroll (1999) by Jamie Peterson; 8mm, color, sound, 4 minutes 
Three weeks in Italy condensed into four minutes. (JP) 

2000 Program Notes 

Vermont Wedding (1999) by David Heatley; 8mm, color, 5 minutes 

I feel more comfortable saying that I discovered this film rather than saying that I created it. It was shot 
originally as a home movie using a single frame process usually reserved for my unslit 8mm work. After slitting 
the film and projecting it, I found its qualities to be surprisingly artistic. (DH) 

Home Movie Reel #3 (circa 1 960s) anonymous; 8mm, color, 4 minutes 

Home Movie Reel #2 (circa 1960s) anonymous, 8mm, color, 6 minutes 

Reels two and three come from the Orgone Film Archive in Pittsburg, PA. These two films both show 
birthday parties believed to be shot around the same time period in this country. There is, however, a stark 
contrast between the two reels. 

Print of the Zapruder Film (1964) by Abraham Zapruder; 8mm, b&w, 40 seconds 

This is NOT the original film of President Kennedy's assassination. It is a black and white home movie 
which reproduces a segment of the historical home movie shot by Abraham Zapruder. For comprehensive notes on 
the actual Zapruder film, please see Keith Sanborn's article in the Big as Life MOMA catalogue. 


The Films of Richard Dindo 

Program One: Griiningers Fall 

Presented with Pro Helvetia, the Arts Council of Switzerland and the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival 

Thursday, February 10, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

"I don 't try to immortalize the present, I try to draw memories into the present. Again and again my films focus 
on people who are already dead... My films revolve around absence. That is my subject " — Richard Dindo 

Cinematheque, in conjunction with Pro Helvetia, the Arts Council of Switzerland, presents three recent films by 
Richard Dindo, one of Europe's best-known documentary filmmakers. Marked by his interest in the intersection of 
individual and social histories, his films explore the reconstitution of the past through the use of historical texts 
and an almost obsessive exploration of space. Using testimony, written or spoken, as his point of departure, his 
camera insistently investigates and fixes the actual spaces of events, seeking invisible scars to reveal and redeem a 
past now buried in the wake of time's passage. Dindo has said that his films often focus on "politically 
committed people and rebels who have experienced repeated defeats. Grieving is an integral part of remembering." 
The three films selected here each focus on extremely different figures, each of whom lost a battle waged against an 
unjust or repressive society: the Swiss police chief Griininger who saves a number of Jews and is subsequently 
tried and condemned for his actions; the revolutionary Che Guevara who returns to Bolivia to fight his last guerilla 
war; and the poete maudit Arthur Rimbaud who rejects his family, the social order and ultimately his own writing 
and Europe. 

Griiningers Fall (The Griininger Case) (1997); 35mm, color, sound, 100 minutes 

As Police Chief of the small Swiss city of St. Gallen, Paul Griininger followed his conscience and 
falsified the papers of several hundred Austrian Jews who were fleeing Austria after Switzerland had officially 
closed its borders. Set in the very courtroom where, in 1940, Griininger was tried and condemned for his "illegal" 
actions, Griininger 's Fall interweaves the testimonies of policemen, border guards and many former refugees, who 
came from various parts of Europe, the United States and Latin America to participate in the film. A strong 
indictment of Swiss policies during the war, the film explores the legacy of and contemporary reactions to the 
former Police Chief who died a broken man in 1972 for having placed his convictions above his official duties as 
representative of the State. 

Today considered Switzerland's most important documentary filmmaker, Richard Dindo was born in 
Zurich in 1944, the fifth child of second-generation Italian immigrants. He left school at the age of fifteen, and 

San Francisco Cinematheque 

four years later tried to apply to the Berlin Film School. Because he didn't meet the admission requirements, he 
wasn't allowed to take the entrance exam. In 1966 he moved to Paris where he spent most of his time attending 
screenings at the Cinematheque Francaise and reading books on cinema, literature and history — it was there that he 
educated himself in the history of film and filmmaking. In 1970 he returned to Zurich and made his first film, 
Repetition. Most of his early films deal with specifically Swiss subjects, though always from the point of view of 
those who are political or social outsiders. He now lives and works between Zurich and Paris and has seventeen 
films to his credit. 

Richard Dindo Filmography: 

Repetition (1970); Dialogue (1971); Naive Painters in Eastern Switzerland (1972); The Swiss in the Spanish 
Civil War (1973); The Execution of the Traitor Ernst S. (1976); Raimon (1977); Songs Against Fear (1977); 
Hans Staub, Photojournalist (1978); Climent Moreau, Commercial Artist (197 S); Max Frisch, Journal I-IIJ 
(1981); Max Haufler, The Mute (1983); 'El Suizo' (1985); A Love in Spain (1985); Dani, Michi, Renato & 
Max (1987); Arthur Rimbaud, A Biography (1991); Charlotte (1992); Life or Theatre (1992); Ernesto Che 
Guevara: The Bolivian Diary (1994); The Griininger Case (1997); Genet in Chatila (1999) 


Two by Edgar G. Ulmer 

Sunday, February 13, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

"Nobody ever made good films faster or for less money than Edgar G. Ulmer. . . That Ulmer could communicate a 
strong visual style and personality with the meager means so often available to him is close to miraculous." (Peter 
Bogdanovich, Kings of the B 's) 

"I really am looking for absolution for all the things I had to do for money's sake." (EGU) 

For the first time in a decade, we pay tribute to low-budget cross-genre king, Edgar G. Ulmer. Whether working 
on Yiddish musicals (Green Fields), horror star-vehicles (The Black Cat) or Bargain Basement noir quickies 
(Detour), this former assistant to Murnau invested all of his films with visual style and wit. Bluebeard (1944), a 
noir period piece, stars John Carradine as a crazed woman-strangling puppeteer in 19 th century Paris; St. Benny the 
Dip (1951) is an upbeat melodrama about three con men who masquerade as priests. 

Bluebeard (1944); 16mm, b&w, sound, 75 minutes, print from Kit Parker Films 

St. Benny the Dip (1951); 16mm, b&w, sound, 90 minutes, print from Em Gee Films 

"Ulmer worked on the lowest depths of Poverty Row, far beyond the pale of the B film into the seventh 
circle of the Z picture, shooting his films in dingy studios on makeshift sets, on lightening-swift schedules 
(Detour is rumored to have taken a mere four days). If it is possible that severe limitation of means can stimulate 
poetry, or that adversity might breed a tenacious reserve of inner feeling... then neither Piet Mondrian nor 
Alexander Solzhenitsyn have anything on Edgar G. Ulmer. Ulmer transformed his camera into a precise instrument 
of feeling, and his convulsive abstractions of screen space intensify that feeling by investing it with particular 
gestures of light, shadow, form, and motion that define his own director's soul, and none other. 

"Far more than any other film director, Ulmer represents the primacy of the visual over the narrative, the 
ineffable ability of the camera to transcend the most trivial foolishness and make images that defy the lame literary 
content of the dramatic material." (Myron Meisel, Kings oftheB's) 

2000 Program Notes 

Edgar G. Ulmer Filmography: 

People on Sunday {Menschen am Sonntag) (with Robert Siodmak, 1929); Mister Broadway (1933); Damaged 
Lives (1933); The Black Cat (1934); Thunder Over Texas (1934); From Nine to Nine (1935); Natalka Poltavka 
(1937); Green Fields {Greene Felde) (with Jacob Ben-Ami, 1937); The Singing Blacksmith (Yankel Bern 
Schmidt) (1938); Cossacks Across the Danube (Zaporosh Sa Dunayem) (1939); The Light Ahead {Die 
Klatsche) (1939); The Marriage Broker {Americaner Schadcheri) (1939); Moon Over Harlem (1939); 
Tomorrow We Live (1942); My Son the Hero (1943); Girls in Chains (1943); Isle of Forgotten Sins (1943); 
Jive Junction (1943); Bluebeard (1944); Strange Illusion {Out of Sight) (1945); Club Havana (1946); Detour 
(1946); The Wife of Monte Cristo (1946); Her Sister's Secret (1946); The Strange Woman (1946); Carnegie 
Hall (1947); Ruthless (1948); Tfte P/rates of Capri (1949); Captain Sirocco (1949); Tfce Man From P/a/irt X 
(1951); St. Benny the Dip (1951); Babes in Baghdad (1952); Murder Is My Beat (1955); The Naked Dawn 
(1955); Daughter of Dr. Jekyll (1957); 7%e Perjurer (1957); Hannibal (1960); TAc Amazing Transparent Man 
(I960); Beyond the Time Barrier (1960); Z. 'Atlantide (1961); TAe Caverw (1965) 


The Films of Richard Dindo 

Program Two: Ernesto Che Guevara, The Bolivian Diary 

Richard Dindo In Person 

Presented in collaboration with Pro Helvetia, the Arts Council of Switzerland 

Thursday, February 17, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

see February 10 for series overview, 

Ernesto Che Guevara: The Bolivian Diary (1994); 35mm, color, sound, 94 minutes, print from Winstar 
Taking Che Guevara's diary during his Bolivian campaign (1966-67) as his starting point, Dindo places his camera 
in the very spaces where Che traveled, fought and ultimately died. Juxtaposing the mute and virtually empty 
landscapes with the moving and sometimes bitter testimony of the diary (read in voiceover by the late filmmaker, 
Robert Kramer), Dindo also intercuts bits of recently discovered archival footage and interviews with colleagues and 
Bolivian villagers. The film is both a testament to Che Guevara's tenacity and a demystification of the failure of 
someone who would become a legend for an entire generation. 

San Francisco Cinematheque 


The Films of Richard Dindo 

Program Three: Arthur Rimbaud, A Biography 

Richard Dindo In Person 

Presented in collaboration with Pro Helvetia, the Arts Council of Switzerland 

Sunday, February 20, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

see February 10 for series overview 

Arthur Rimbaud, A Biography (1991); 35mm, color, sound, 145 minutes, print courtesy of Pro Helvetia 

Rimbaud is unique in Dindo' s oeuvre, for here he incorporates actors as his witnesses to the life and death 
of the great poet. We see and hear his mother and sister, his school mentor, the poet and lover Verlaine, an 
employer in Aden and a Swiss business associate speak of their relationships with Rimbaud in the very places 
where they shared his life (his homes in Charleville, Paris, London, Marseille, Aden, Harare). Rimbaud himself is 
present only through the wound of his absence, made visible through the images of the places he inhabited, the 
voices of those who knew him, and excerpts from his poems and letters. 


Jay Rosenblatt's King of the Jews + Erin Sax' Jerusalem Syndrome 
Jay Rosenblatt and Erin Sax In Person 

Thursday, February 24, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Tonight San Francisco Cinematheque presents the Bay Area premieres of two unusual new works examining 
religious convictions and spiritual epiphanies. King of the Jews, Jay Rosenblatt's newest work, is a lyrical, 
provocative and deeply personal film which examines both Rosenblatt's uneasy relationship to Christ as a Jewish 
child growing up in Brooklyn — a relationship based on terror and mistrust — and the roots of Christian anti- 
Semitism. Using home-movies, found footage, and excerpts from films depicting the life of Christ, it explores 
inter-religious misunderstanding and hatred, as well as their transcendence. Erin Sax returns to Cinematheque to 
present Jerusalem Syndrome, a complex documentary portrayal of this holy city and the extreme expressions of 
religiosity and mystical experience to which it sometimes gives rise. Each year numerous visitors have spiritual 
experiences resulting in personality changes and convictions that they are, or are in direct contact with, God. The 
film examines this phenomenon labeled the Jerusalem Syndrome by the Israeli psychiatric community from the 
perspective of those in the midst of its "spell" and in the context of the city's long history of mystical accounts. 

King of the Jews (2000) by Jay Rosenblatt; 16mm, color, sound, 18 minutes, print from the maker 

In what has become his multi-textural signature style, Rosenblatt combines home-movies, educational 
and historical found footage, and religious imagery from varying film sources to create a highly stylized 
meditation on the equal profundity of fear based in a religious context and of spiritual transcendence. 

Three distinct sections evolve into a broad thematic scope. Beginning with a personal narration over 
home-movie and educational footage is an exploration of the socio-cultural context of Rosenblatt's fear, as a young 
Jewish boy, of Jesus Christ. Part two employs a reflexive documentary strategy including academic and historical 
texts with disturbing holocaust imagery for an examination of the roots of anti-Semitism. Finally, a barrage of 
"arcane religious footage" culminates in an extended montage which beckons a reflection from the viewer on 

2000 Program Notes 

This finale of ambiguous, reappropriated imagery comes to have "a specific meaning as opposed to if it 
were shown first or second. [The viewer] comes to see Jesus as a Jew being crucified, not Jesus as a Christian." 
This open-ended "reappropriation of Jesus" intends to evoke "spiritual feelings for the viewer and his/her own 
relationship to Jesus." 

The inspiration for this film, Rosenblatt said, came from "not being afraid of Jesus anymore, and getting 
to his teachings, getting past the filters. I wanted to go back to who Jesus was, not what he became... [he was] 
used in such destructive ways... words were put in his mouth. I wanted to go back to the basic ideas of his 
teachings which I think are right on — love and forgiveness being the centerpiece. I say this at the risk of sounding 
born again." (quotes from an interview with Jay Rosenblatt by Smith Patrick) 

Jay Rosenblatt Filmography: 

Doubt (1981); Blood Test (1985); Paris X2 (1988); Brain in the Desert (co-directed with Jennifer Frame, 1990); 

Short of Breath (1990); The Smell of Burning Ants (1994); Period Piece (co-directed with Jennifer Frame, 


Human Remains (1998); a pregnant moment (co-directed with Jennifer Frame, 1999); drop (co-directed with 

Dina Ciraulo, 1999); RESTRICTED (1999); King of the Jews (2000) 

Jerusalem Syndrome (1998) by Erin Sax; video, color, sound, 52 minutes, tape from the maker 

"Each year about a hundred tourists and pilgrims visiting Jerusalem suffer from a bizarre psychiatric 
disturbance. Individuals report having powerful mystical and religious experiences which cause extreme changes in 
their personality, behavior and lifestyle. Some acquire super-human strength, begin speaking in unknown tongues, 
or run naked through he streets of the city in order to purify themselves from all physical attachments. Many 
become convinced that they are the Messiah, the Virgin Mary or King David, and as a result are hospitalized in 
psychiatric institutions. Diagnosed in 1980, this phenomenon has come to be recognized by the Israeli psychiatric 
community as the Jerusalem Syndrome. 

"Looking from the inside out, the film Jerusalem Syndrome examines this phenomenon from the 
perspective of six individuals in the midst of its 'spell.' The work questions the possible causes for the epidemic, 
the treatment of the Syndrome as a modern day psychosis in the face of Jerusalem's long history of mystical 
accounts, and ultimately the criteria society uses to determine if a holy experience is real. In combination with a 
full force immersion into the heart of the city's mania in its many form of religious expression, Jerusalem 
Syndrome is a complex portrayal of one of the world's most holy landscapes and the curious lines that divide 
religion and science, faith and madness." (ES) 

The subjects of Erin Sax' Jerusalem Syndrome are so deeply entwined in religious experience, as to 
maintain that they are incarnations of Biblical figures. Sax's study goes into the heart of Jerusalem, to the Old 
City and its infamous components, including the Western Wall and the Dome of the Rock, to explore the sacred 
sites of three major religions — Judaism, Islam, and Christianity — and to the worshipers who find themselves 
inextricably connected to these surroundings. Interviews with international believers who have relocated to the 
holiest of cities attest to the omnipotent power of religion and its boundless reach, and to the extremes of 
conviction. Observations extend beyond the walls of Jerusalem to the surrounding countryside and to the Jordan 
River where euphoric worshippers are baptized in the holiest of waters. 

Equally engaging are the segues between interviews of ambient imagery, including historical sites, 
vendors, ceremonious devotees, tourists, and local inhabitants engaged in the mundane, deftly edited to create a 
dynamic collage of the city. These segments capture the quality of frenetic energy which permeates the city and 
impacts the psyches of its people. 

Erin Sax Filmography: 

Receiving Sally (1993); Each Evening (1993); Seven of Worlds (1994); Jerusalem Syndrome (1998) 

Program Notes written by Smith Patrick 

San Francisco Cinematheque 


Bill Berkson and Nathaniel Dorsky In Person 

Sunday, February 27, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

"The great filmmaker, photographer and painter Rudy Burckhardt died on August 1, 1999, in Maine at 85 years of 
age. Bom in Basel, Switzerland, he came to New York in 1935 and made it his home as well as the hero of most 
of his works. Burckhardt filmed what he liked and let you see it that way, too. The power is formal and 
sympathetic, never editorialized — though the films are as much edited as shot. Sensations of the obvious or 
commonplace are lifted sky high. With what Edwin Denby called 'a visual grandeur he keeps as light as it is in 
fact,' Burckhardt shows what's livable and true in everyday life." (Bill Berkson) 

"Rudy Burckhardt showed his first two films in 1937. He has made more than fifty since, few longer than half an 
hour, all minimal budget. From the start they have been personal, unmistakably his. Their influence on other 
filmmakers has been described as mainly toward unpretentiousness. Unpretentious they are. Their subject matter is 
like that of amateur 'family' movies — short documentaries of unimportant sights anyone could find, or silent- 
screen type comedies with friends for actors. The photography is objective, the images are ordinary facts, the style 
is direct and clear. The films look simple, but they are not elementary for a moment. The great pleasure they offer 
is to see with Burckhardt's eye. The difficulty is seeing the large, unexpected image fast enough — the subject, the 
environment, the light that unites and spreads so to speak beyond them. The images are full of fun, wit, and 
humor; they also catch live people and places during moments of unconscious beauty and even grandeur. The live 
light in them is memorable. Burckhardt keeps catching the personal grace of young women, each a different 
individual; children, men, animals, plants, landscapes, buildings — he keeps catching their individuality, both 
beautiful and funny in their own unconscious gestures. Burckhardt improvises all this with a very light touch. The 
films look as if anybody could have done it; gradually you discover the sophisticated variety, the wealth of 
imagination and sympathy." (Edwin Denby) 

"Rudy was a natural cosmopolitan. Wherever he found himself he disappeared effortlessly into the crowd, wearing 
his inbred sophistication like a suit off a rack. Blending high-born European manners with a streetwise democratic 
spirit, Rudy was a constellation of oxymorons: a Swiss Walt Whitman wired into the free-flowing electric charge 
of the metropolis, but incapable of overstatement; a multitalented artist, connected to virtually every major figure 
of the New York School, but curiously indifferent to the fate of his own work." (Robert Storr, Artforum, 
November 1999) 

Tonight's program, curated by Bill Berkson and Nathaniel Dorsky, will also include slides of Burckhardt's still 
photography and paintings. 

On Aesthetics (1999); 16mm, color, sound, print from The Film-Makers' Cooperative 

What Mozart Saw on Mulberry Street (1956); 16mm, b&w, 6 minutes, print from The Film-Makers' 

Filmed with Joseph Cornell, edited by Burckhardt to the slow movement of a Mozart piano sonata. A 
plaster bust of Mozart in a small shop surveys the goings-on in the street — children playing, an old man wrapped 
in thought, a cat slinking by in a parking lot. The mood is melancholy. 

Eastside Summer (1959); 16mm, color, sound, 11 minutes, print from Jacob Buickhardt 

Avenues A, B, C, D between Houston and 14 th Street, before the poets moved there. Small shops, 
storefront churches, teeming life in the street and on fire escapes, Tompkins Square Park and shopping for bargains 
on 14 th Street. With piano music, Functional, by Thelonius Monk. 

Millions in Business as Usual (1961); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes, print from Jacob Burckhardt 

A piano sonata by Josef Haydn and New York City. The first, allegro movement is choreographed by 
midtown crowds, crossing every which way, often barely avoiding collision. For the long, slow second movement 
we see quiet, stately buildings, their columns, cornices, portals and ornaments, with only the camera providing 
movement at times. The very fast, final part is in color, around Times Square, the movement speeded up and 


2000 Program Notes 

Caterpillar (1973); 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes, print from The Film-Makers' Cooperative 

Looking down at nature's small works in the woods and fields of Maine, then up at the sky, and down 
again at the goings-on of a caterpillar that turned out to be an inchworm. Bird sounds recorded on a summer's 
dawn by Jacob Burckhardt. 

Julie (1980); 16mm, b&w, sound, print from Jacob Burckhardt 

Night Fantasies (1990); 16mm, color, sound, 23 minutes, print from The Film-Makers' Cooperative 


Recent Films by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill 
Arthur and Corinne Cantrill In Person 

Thursday, March 2, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Australian filmmaking team Arthur and Corinne Cantrill return to our shores for the first time in five years to 
present a selection of their recent work. The Cantrills have been making films for over thirty-five years and for 
the last thirty have published Cantrill 's Filmnotes, Australia's premiere journal of international experimental film 
and video. Tonight's program features North American premieres of films completed in the last decade which 
combine rigorous formal investigation with sensual appreciation of the world and of film. The program includes 
examples of rotoscoped works, recent small format nature studies, and a quartet of lush three-color separation 
films which pointilistically manipulate conventions of color, motion and filmic registration. 

This program has four new 3 -color separation films (three of which are shot on high-contrast black and white 
negative which results in high color saturation), a rotoscoped/optical printer work, and some of our recent Super 8 
work enlarged to 16mm. (Arthur & Corinne Cantrill) 

Myself When Fourteen (1989); 16mm, color, sound, 19 minutes, print from the makers 
A collaboration with Ivor Cantrill, son of the filmmakers. He rotoscoped two shots of himself running, filmed in 
Oklahoma in 1974 on high contrast black and white negative. The highly colored rotoscoped footage was reworked 
on the optical printer, intermingling it with negative and positive of the original footage. On one level, it is an 
analysis of movement in found footage, and on another it is an investigation of the ways the human face is read and 
recognized. The sound is Ivor speaking about being fourteen, and commenting on the making of the film, with an 
electronic music composition by Chris Knowles. 

Ivor Cantrill has autism, and the film benefits from his pre-occupation with repetition, detail and color. 

Articulated Image (1996); 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes, print from the makers 

A discontinuous frame-by- frame film of a banana palm lit by a decorative lead-light window, "articulated" 
by black frames alternating with the image. 

Airey's Inlet (1997); 16mm, color, stereo sound on audio cassette, 6 minutes, print from the makers 

A discontinuous frame-by-frame film (mainly two frames image/two frames black) of a coastal scene with 
a lighthouse, intercut with a painting of the same landscape by Ivor Cantrill. 

City of Chromatic Dissolution (1999); 16mm, color, stereo sound on audio cassette, 17 minutes, print from the 

Melbourne cityscapes — the separation and superimposition of the three colors is evident in the pedestrian 
and motor traffic activity, and also in the moving clouds reflected in the mirror-facaded "invisible" office 
buildings. The film is accompanied by layers of city sounds and glass played with a violin bow, electronically 


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Ivor Paints ArfArf (1998); 16mm, color, sound on audio cassette, 6 minutes, print from the makers 

In the garden, Ivor Cantrill paints a group portrait of the Melbourne abstract sound poetry group, Arf Arf. 
A white canvas fills with colors and the faces of the group, looking more substantial than the artist who is 
rendered in transparent primary layers. The sounds are Arf Arf performing on an occasion when the artist 
participated with vocalization and violin improvisation. 

Garden of Chromatic Disturbance (1999); 16mm, color, stereo sound on audio cassette, 15 minutes, print from 
the makers 

Does color exist where there is no light? The garden as site for color research — chromatic aberrations, 
measured against a Kodak color card, play around repeated shots of brick walls, objects on a table, paintings and a 
female figure. As if the camera is recording color in the absence of light, zones of the image readily incline to 
blackness, as shots are repeated with varying color balances and densities. Stark black and white negative 
fragments from the original separations are intercut with the color. 

City of Chromatic Intensity (1999); 16mm, color, stereo sound on audio cassette, 5 minutes, print from the 

Will color exist when there is no one left to see it? The high-contrast color separation, which, unlike 
regular color film, is not attempting to reproduce human color perception, renders the city in stark, saturated hues, 
contrasting with deep shadow zones. Fragments of black and white negative indicate the source of the color. The 
sound suggests audio relics of past demolitions, driving of massive foundations, the juggernaut of modem 
construction practice. 

Illuminations of the Mundane — Spring (1997); 16mm, color, silent, 17 minutes, print from the makers 

Brief, ambiguous details of obliquely lit objects and patches of textured light, with wind-blown shadows, 
in the house and garden. 

Program Notes written by Arthur and Corinne Cantrill 


Cinema Inspired by Poems 
Curated and Presented by Konrad Steiner 

Sunday, March 5, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Cinema is used here in a response to poetry. These tapes and films were chosen out of the American experimental 
tradition to exemplify various techniques of marrying the two arts. Poetry as the art of utterance and cinema the 
art of showing, both whole in their own, don't easily make a good couple. But these film and videomakers have 
taken up the challenge anyway by responding to the spirit and letter of the poet, creating an original cinematic 
writing. Cinema and language meet head on, not unified as in conventional film, but remaining distinct and 
dancing, stepping on toes, wooing each other with the charms of mouth and eye and mind. You'll see images' 
own syntax shuffled, blended, chafing and dovetailing with language; you'll hear and read poets' work while 
seeing and hearing filmmakers' work. It's like having two extra senses! 

"To write 'purely visual perception' is to write a meaningless phrase. Obviously. Because every time we want to 
make words do a real job of transference, every time we want to make them express something other than words, 
they align themselves in such a way as to cancel each other out. This, no doubt, is what gives life so much 
charm. Because it is by no means a matter of awareness, but of vision, of simply seeing. Simply! And the only 
field of vision that occasionally allows one merely to see, that doesn't always insist on being misunderstood, that 
sometimes allows its followers to ignore everything in it that is not appearance, is the inner field." (Samuel 
Beckett, Le Monde et lepantalon, 1945) 

How can you possibly combine film and poetry? Films are chosen here that solve the problem in various ways. 
Many of the pieces tonight started as poems. Some ended up as one. Some use a recording of the author's 


2000 Program Notes 

reading. Others use text on screen and modulate your reading through its presentation are images that can 
illuminate aspects of a poem, but not be the poem, and have their own integrity. What is their relationship? 

Either, Or, But, Not, Both 

One motive for these works is the challenge of making verbal language and visual gesture hang together 
organically. These films respect the integrity of their medium by avoiding pat equivalences and the 
conceptualization that results from too-literal renderings. The interest here is in bringing the separate realms of 
word and image into contact. What's evoked, what readings are motivated that would otherwise not occur, taking 
place as illustration, irony, counterpoint, mood, metaphor, rhythm, etc? These are the modes of interaction 
between the poem aspect and the film aspect of the poem-films shown in this program — there are two things, and 
the experience of the two is one thing. 

Most of the films in this program took existing poems as their starting point. The integrity of the text in a film 
distinguishes it from montage and acts to acknowledge the independence of the two. We can see that these are 
images that can illuminate aspects of a poem, but not the poem, and have their own integrity. What is their 

"The poem-film is showing what the filmmaker thought the poem meant?" 

"It provides a reading of the poem." 

"It shows the artist interpreting the poem." 

"It shows a response to the poem." 

"The tape affects the meaning of the poem." 

"It means what the poem means." 

"The tape is a completely new work." 

I think the highest success of this form depends on showing the possibilities of meaning instead of the determined 
meaning. Interpreting the poem happens, so it is very tricky. The idea is to keep caught up to experience. The 
poet Robert Grenier said at a reading of his I attended years ago that a translation has to be as real as the original, 
and the original, if it is worth translating, has to be as real as experience, which is a moving among the potentials 
for significance and symbolism without translation. (Well, okay, I don't know if he said all that, but that's what I 
got out of it.) This logic only works if you see that reading as experience, though the conventional wisdom is that 
the text you read is a kind of delivery system for a message. Conversely, experience is reading. Think about it. 
Watching these films is like watching someone reading, but of course, you too are reading. Watch yourself read 
the city landscape as you go home tonight. 

Anyway, how can a film present the "facts" of the poem without distorting them to present a favored message? If 
you were the filmmaker how could you begin with something that's already complete? Do you parallel or 
complement the text? How do you add without taking away? 

Songs of Degrees: With a Valentine and As to How Much (1990) by Peter Herwitz; 16mm, color, sound on 
cassette, 5 minutes, print from the maker 

Poetry and cinema are too different to work together without music. Of course "music" meant in the 
broadest sense, not just the acoustic sense. Whenever we talk about melody, rhythm, harmony, dissonance, 
phrasing, cadence, tempo: these are musical concepts and perceptions. These kinds of intuitions and distinctions 
manifest in both words and image work, and serve as the basis for the joinery in the films and tapes shown here 
tonight. The existence of music makes it possible for images and words to communicate with each other. Peter 
Herwitz speaks directly to this in what he says about his films to readings by Louis Zukovsky: 

"The first work is a repetition of the words 'Hear her clear mirror care his error. In her care is clear' each 
time presented with different line breaks and different emphasis. It is ambiguous and very precise at the same time 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

and above all strikes me as music — like a thoroughbass in baroque music. The images and other sounds I added 
seemed like an upper voice — more open and more melodic in relation to this basic repetition. 
"The second poem is a bit more 'atmospheric' but seems to me to be above all about degrees, limitations in 
describing an image — tentative yet again very precise, which is what I sought to achieve in similar 'possibilities' 
for creating an image on film. 

"...I find Zukovsky to be above all about music and the choice of words almost meant to work in terms 
of musical structure first and foremost. He almost always uses very specific language despite the fact that the 
meanings are 'indeterminate.' 

" The miracle of so-called 'objectivism' is that very specific words and images are used by the poets to 
create an endless series of possibilities for seeing the world.... And as a filmmaker I find this kind of writing to 
be truly a mirror of the way montage works — the space between Zukovsky 's words creates the meaning as it does 
in montage — the challenge of a filmmaker is both to present and attempt to answer a series of questions raised by 
his/her choice of imagery and the spaces between them." (PH) 

Under a Broad Gray Sky (1995) by Thad Povey; 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

Thad Povey takes the prose poem by Baudelaire ("We've Each Our Own Chimera") but (in this version) 
rendered into spoken English, a description of toil, and in Under a Broad Gray Sky puts it next to images of rustic 
labor and repose. Does the poem describe what we're seeing or not? Do the images belie exaggeration in the 
lyric? The bold grotesqueness of the description is at odds with the handsome people, the quotidian scenes, 
almost. Are these people not within reach of that futility Baudelaire describes? The film is so efficient in making 
you wonder about these questions, using very conventional means. There is a gentle weaving of three strands: the 
images shown, the text heard, and the images of the text seen in the mind. Notice also beneath this are the sounds 
that also play with a sense of illustration and echo, a cut sometimes changing the meaning of a sound. 

Waterworx (1986) by Rick Hancox; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

Rick Hancox 's film Waterworx gives us some pictures to wonder about. You have a chance to make up 
something or not. Then you see them again, with the subtitles and subtleties of Wallace Stevens' enigmatic 
poem, "A Clear Day and No Memories." The images as you saw them are now torqued by your having to read 
and by what you read. As they move towards one another, watch what happens to your mind. 

"What I find most impressive about Waterworx is Hancox's ability to fuse Stevens' poem and his own 
imagery and sound, not only without doing damage to the poem, but so that the film provides an effective reading 
of it.... The clear, empty vistas of the film (empty of action, of people) reflect those of the poem, and yet both are 
haunted by the presence of the poetic mind in its process of forming what we are experiencing." (Scott 
MacDonald, Afterimage) 

Video Haikai by Marcus Nascimento; video, 8 minutes 

Brazilian Marcus Nascimento has borrowed from my beloved Japanese linked poetry form haikai to create 
his enigmatic sequence of virtuoso video effects woven among the words of his short verse statements. Video 
Haikai 's text hovers around inside its images coming from and receding into them, teasing the highly processed 
imagery and sound to answer the meaning of the poems. The images respond coyly and remain delightfully 

What Happened to Kerouac? (excerpts) by Nathaniel Dorsky; video transfer, 8 minutes, tape from Nathaniel 

Anytime we look at a shot of something we can consider how explicitly showing something is implicitly 
pointing out how to view it, showing what to see about it. Similarly, the diction, rhyme, intonation of a phrase 
implies an attitude to take towards the subject or speaker or what aspect of that is in focus. This double 
(implicit/explicit) expression of what is said and how it is said can be the basis of a contrapuntal relationship 
between image and word. The poem and the montage induce implicit and explicit readings of each other. 

In the feature length documentary What Happened to Kerouac? Nathaniel Dorsky edited three sequences 
to recordings of Kerouac reading his poems. The first sequence is somewhat illustrative of the text, as if just 
getting to know the poet. Each successive interpolation reaches deeper into the source of the poems. The final 
poem is a perfect example of "counterpoint-illustration." The montage floats along with the voice together and 
independent, not in illustration of the words, but the meanings. 



2000 Program Notes 

Prefaces (1981) by Abigail Child; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

Prefaces, Abby Child's intense sound- image-shrapnel, inaugurates her Is This What You Were Born For? 
series. Child's film is unique in this collection. It's a film in which you might say, "There's no poem there." 
But consider it the simplest: the poem is the soundtrack, which makes it the most extreme: the film tracks the 
poem exactly. Child is also a published poet associated with the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E group. 

Kino Da! (1981) by Henry Hills; 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

Henry Hill's film Kino Da! starts with the simplest relation of word to image, the "talking head" shot. 
In this case a portrait of a San Francisco poet Jack Hirschman. The "poem" is composed of the speech of the man, 
that speech emerges as poetry in a continuum from street sounds to language(s) through nonsense as the sound and 
image slip and skip. It exists somewhere between a document and a created event. 

What's On? (1997) by Martha Colbum; 16mm, color, sound, 2 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

What's On? is a list poem. It's like Martha Colburn's sarcastic TV Guide. The sound and image run 
parallel and lead each other and alternate that lead so quickly that you only ever get about one in three of the jokes 
in there. 

"A Hyper-Fire Telespazzumentary rendered in orgiastic collage animation, Media Mush and freaky live 
chunks. Brats, Boobs, Snot-Based Game Shows, First Lady Baboon attacks, cross-dressing amputees, stress, 
estrogen and more spew and mutate. With Telesmashing Chaos poetry soundtrack by 99 Hooker and video game 
samples by Naval Cassidy. Blasting you into HELL-A-VISION!" (MC) 

Photoheliograph (1997) by Jim Flannery; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes, print from the maker 

In Jim Flannery's Photoheliograph, film splits the poem into text and sound. Harry Crosby's 
originating poem from 1928 is a non-linear graphic poem, and Flannery takes what is an instantaneous poem and 
projects it into time. This "translation" might just as well be considered a "rendition" as a response. Here's his 

"If I describe the poem, perhaps this will indicate what I considered 'adaptable' in it: it is a 5X10 grid of 
the repeated word 'black', in the center of which, (actually, replacing what would have been the twenty-third 
'black' and reducing the number of 'blacks' to forty-nine) is the word 'SUN.' As to the title: a (photo)heliograph is 
variously: (a) a signaling device by which a coded message may be sent via the reflected image of the sun; (b) a 
photoengraving (lithograph); (c) a 'sun print' or 'Rayogram'; (d) a telescope adapted for solar photography. In 
short: either a device for observing or reflecting the sun, or the matter resulting from exposure to the sun. 

"A great deal of what (I think) 'goes on' in this poem is included by allusion, assembled in the mind of 
the reader as a 'rationale' for the juxtaposition of these three words, in this arrangement. Crosby relies on the 
reader's knowledge of: (a) his other work and (b) sotericism in general to give it some meaning beyond the simple 
visual pun of 'an image of the sun' (itself a rather simpler, naive/folk-etymological reading of the title); in 
adapting the poem, I attempted to use materials and processes which would point an allusive reading in roughly 
the same directions as (I believe) Crosby's intentions were (for example, the original color image which was 
manipulated throughout the film was a photograph of the planet Saturn, one of several 'black suns'), but I am 
equally dependent on the viewer's participation/previous knowledge — and I equally intended for it to be 'readable' 
in a closely analogous fashion as 'the same' visual pun. There are forty-nine instances of my voice saying the 
word 'black' (those separate recordings having been put through a variety of manipulations)... and there are forty- 
nine instances if the initial visual image (again, having been put though an analogous series of manipulations).... 

"The words that make up the poem, as one would speak them — 'black SUN' — semantically connote the 
'negative' image, the black/circle/eclipse/inversion/nigredo image which is usually invoked by the phrase. As one 
experiences the poem 'visually,' however, one sees SUN surrounded by black — that is, the 'positive' image of the 
light-bearing sun against a black field. The second half of the film reflects this oscillation between two views in 
the flicker of the black matte: it should be noted that the composite image in the second half is produced in the 
perceptual apparatus of the viewer, not in the production of the image — the black is 'always' there, the color is 
'always' there, the combination of color/color is 'never' actually on the filmstrip. At a larger structural level, the 
film is again split in two parts, one 'positive' and one 'negative': in the first half, the black matte obscures the 
colored image; in the second, the colored image obscures the matte. 

"One characteristic of the poem which interested me was its rejection of the temporal vector. Poetry, in 
its assumption of being embodied in a speaking voice, is based upon progress through time; but Crosby's poem is 
perceived in its entirety, in a single moment. To make a film of this poem is to (perversely) restore the temporal 
dimension to it. It was important to me, first, to maintain the two-dimensional quality of the poem, to make a 
screen which — at one level of detail, at any rate — insists upon the surface of the screen as the medium, avoiding 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

any hint of illusionistic depth (how much more perverse it would have been to add 'two' dimensions to the 
poem!). So the film concentrates, at the larger scale, on what might be considered 'still' images (the black screen, 
the unmoving circle) on a 'flat', two-dimensional surface. And second, to somehow maintain the 'all-at-onceness' 
of the poem, given the constant shifting of small details, and the determinate duration of the film." (JF) 

First Hymn to the Night — Novalis (1994) by Stan Brakhage; 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes, print from Canyon 

Brakhage' s First Hymn to the Night — Novalis reaches for the root of the language of the poet. Not whole 
poems, only phrases are etched between hand-painted sections. Etching alternated with painting, in a call and 
response form. The poet's words chosen evoke also Brakhage's well-known sense of closed-eye vision, or perhaps 
that inner vision to which Beckett referred. 

"This is a hand-painted film whose emotionally referential shapes and colors are interwoven with words 
(in English) from the first Hymn to the Night by the late 18 th century mystic poet Freidrich Phillip von 
Hardenberg, whose pen name was Novalis. The pieces of text which I've used are as follows: 'the universally 
gladdening light ... As inmost soul ... it is breathed by the stars ... by stone ... by sucking plant ... multiform 
beast ... and by (you). I turn aside to Holy Night ... I seek to blend with ashes. Night opens in us ... infinite 
eyes ... blessed love.'" (SB) 

Program Notes written by Konrad Steiner 


Lee Flynn and Caitlin Manning In Person 

Thursday, March 9, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Producer/Director Lee Flynn and Co-Director/Cinematographer Caitlin Manning present the premier of their new 
documentary shot in Haiti in 1998 and 1999. Lafanmi Selavi (The Family is Life) is a center for street children 
started by former President Aristide in the capital, Port-au-Prince. As five children tell of their lives on the streets, 
a narrative emerges of their personal voyages from the streets to the center where they have found shelter and, 
often, new hope. Using interviews and footage shot in Port-au-Prince, Aristide' s home and in rural areas, the 
children, their teachers and Aristide tell a moving story of the complexities of living in a country deeply affected 
by colonization, military rule, and the global economy. This beautifully filmed documentary shows Haiti and its 
people living in a culture of resistance and hope — a perspective rarely explored by the media. 

Lafanmi Selavi (2000) by Lee Flynn and Caitlin Manning; video, color, sound, 60 minutes, tape from the makers 
Lafanmi Selavi tells of the lives of five former street children who now live at the center and juxtaposes 
these lives with current street children. The children at the center, most of whom are politically sophisticated and 
articulate, tell their stories in poignant, poetic words. Out of the mouths of these children, their teachers, and their 
families, one can hear a multi-dimensional narrative emerging about contemporary issues in Haiti, including the 
economy, politics, class discrimination and the experience of living with extreme poverty. The children also 
describe their former lives before coming to Lafanmi, as we accompany them to the slums where they lived as 
street children and learn about their means of survival. One girl at Lafanmi, Nerland, visits her mother who was 
unable to feed and educate her. As Nerland arrives at her mother's house, she sees that her mother is using her last 
five pieces of coal to cook the day's beans and rice — the end of her food supply. Nerland's pain of separation and 
concern about her less fortunate brothers and sisters is obvious. Jeremie, a young journalist interested in children's 
rights, takes us to the penitentiary where young children are imprisoned simply because they were alone on the 
streets. Monique tells her story of losing her parents on the "Jeremie" ferry when she left for a few minutes to go 
to the bathroom and returned to find the ferry left without her, eventually capsizing. Her parents were among the 
1000 drowned. She survived during the coup for four years living in the "cafeteria," the headquarters of the most 
violent leaders of the coup. Lolo explains how his growth was stunted while he lived on the streets, not only 
because he couldn't eat but also because he was so unhappy. Now tall, healthy, and robust, he takes us back to his 
old street haunts and interviews his pals who are still on the streets. 


2000 Program Notes 

Lafanmi Selavi informs the viewer of the difficulty of progress as violent interruptions set back the 
"project" at Lafanmi. A teenage boy, Ti Frere, describes a terrifying ordeal during the coup when the military set 
fire to the center, resulting in the death of seven children. When the fire department arrived eight hours later, the 
children were told, "you set the fire, you go back inside." Ti Frere and the director of Lafanmi describe the 
precariousness of existence because of the always present threats of violence, and, sadly, another attack on Lafanmi 
in July 1999. The attack by opponents of Aristide was designed to discredit Aristide's work with the children. 
After the attack, in September 1 999, Lafanmi was forced to suspend its live-in program, though the Montessori 
school is still intact, thereby allowing the children to remain in residence at the center. Also intact is Radyo 
Timoun, a children's radio station which broadcasts to all of Haiti's nine provinces. 

Personal interviews with Aristide are intertwined throughout the documentary and reveal his unwavering 
passion and devotion for all of Haiti's children. His optimism is even more remarkable as it is juxtaposed with 
scenes of overt poverty and military violence: as he states, "When they talk about Haiti it's too often 'Oh, a sad 
country, misery.' When as a matter of fact it's one of the richest countries in the world from the cultural point of 
view, in the sense that our culture brings the fact of human being, of hope, of resistance, of dignity." Aristide also 
speaks of the challenges of creating a self-sufficient environment for the future of the children and all of Haiti's 
poor within the parameters of accepting aid without giving away Haiti's natural resources. 

Lafanmi Selavi is important and timely. Former President Aristide will soon be announcing his intention 
to run for president in the elections held in November 2000 and, if elected, he will begin his term in January of 
2001. The documentary offers an insight to the Haitian people and their remarkable spirit as well as the 
complexities of progress. 

In spite of colonization, brutalization, military rule, corrupt leaders, violence, and abject poverty, Lafanmi 
Selavi tells the story of the spirit, dignity, and sense of hope of the Haitian people; in particular, the children of 
Haiti and the desire and intent of many Haitians to create a better world for all children. Aristide's love and 
devotion for all of Haiti's children and his extreme optimism against all odds show the viewer a side of Aristide 
the media has largely left unexplored. The people in the documentary are complex and multi-dimensional. The 
documentary's perspective is counter-hegemonic as a form of resistance to negative images typically produced 
about Haiti, especially in the United States. Lafanmi Selavi will deeply affect the viewer's often unexamined 
relation to the images of poverty and victimization and enable them to see beyond media misinformation into the 
complexity and contradictions of this remarkable country. (LF) 

Lee Flynn, Producer and Director 

Lafanmi Selavi is Flynn's second documentary. Her first documentary See Me — Five Young Latinas examines the 
lives of five young, poor Latina immigrants as they discuss discrimination, gang life, and their hopes and dreams 
for the future. It dispels the assumptions that only the poor immigrate and that the "new" life in the United States 
is always superior. See Me was shown at all the major Latino Film Festivals in the U.S., as well as the Havana 
International Film Festival in Cuba. It won the best female filmmaker award at the Marin Latino Film Festival in 
1998. Lee is an anthropologist whose interests are in foregrounding power imbalances, racism, and de-exoticizing 
the other. 

Caitlin Manning, Cinematographer and Co-Director 

Manning received her MFA in film production from San Francisco State in 1990. She has worked as Director of 
Photography on a number of award-winning films and documentaries. Manning teaches at Film Arts Foundation, 
the Academy of Art College, and the SF State Cinema Department. She has lectured and screened her work at 
Stanford University, UC Santa Cruz, and UC Berkeley. In 1987 she produced and directed Stripped Bare, a 
controversial documentary on striptease dancers addressing issues about the sex industry from the perspectives of 
the workers. Other work includes Brazilian Dreams (1989), a video documentary on social movements in Brazil, 
and Noah's Ark (1994), a documentary about the Zapatista convention held in the Mexican jungle in August 1994. 
In March 1995, the Center for the Arts held a retrospective of Manning's work. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


Sound Film Propositions by Recoder and McClure 
Luis A. Recoder and Bruce McClure in Person 

Sunday, March 12, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

In the in between of the instants that constitute the movies, Recoder and McClure have chosen to demonstrate that 
the experience of both the optical and audio surface of the sound film stubbornly defies the project of limits. The 
shutter blankets the room in darkness, but vision persists; the ear, meanwhile, is served an uninterrupted stream of 
energy. The evening's program is presented as a series of "propositions," a form adopted by Recoder for this 
edition of "Cine-Povera." McClure's "Cine-Spolverare" suggests the reprise of or return to the themes of the recent 
past, dusty but not totally jejune. Like a taffy pull they seek to transform the material from a "somewhat sticky, 
side-whiskered affair to a glistening crystal ribbon" composed of stripes of different colors. Facing the sea these 
custodians of cinema would be back to back, but their work will not be presented in that way. Instead, Recoder 
and McClure have decided to propose a series of sound film documentaries to be positioned on a table criss- 
crossed by a weaving of adjectival rubrics: Conceptual Films, Process Films, Appropriation Films, Performance 
Films, Accumulation Films, Readymade Films, Film Nouveaux... positioned provisionally for the appreciation of 
the senses of hearing and seeing. 

Indeterminate Focus (1999) by Bruce McClure; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes, from the maker 

Four hundred feet is what it measures, but not without a few spins; and in this way I have laid it 
out — aiming it — putting down the emulsion of colored inks. The single perforated ribbon with a rhythm of 
sprocket holes implying frames is the solid substance to be bored by the rotating cutting instrument. Projected, 
the shutter minces its way through time making succotash (fr. Narragansett, msiquatash, lit. fragments). The 
nascent still life, colored vegetables to be arranged on a table top turned on edge, are, however, stopped by border 
guards, two stainless steel sentinels who insist on still another private screening. Their presence within the 
trajectory of light defines four intervals where the plane of focus can be positioned all of them casually referred to 
as being out-of-focus. Their influence is called upon to liberate light from the tyranny of the rectangle freeing the 
vegetable still life to levitate from the screen. 

Silver Recovery (2000) by Luis Recoder; 16mm, b&w, sound, 12 minutes, from the maker 

Concept of "silent cinema": only after the emergence of "sound cinema" is there something like a prior 
history of cinema characterized in and through its muteness. The task is to recover the supposed "silent cinemas" 
as the muffling of cinematic sonority. What becomes "silenced," though not completely inarticulate, is thus 
displaced within the picture: silent pictures picturing sounds. The residual projected frame, evidence of cinema's 
sonorous dislocation. 

Superincumbent (2000) by Bruce McClure; 16mm, color, sound, approx. 36 minutes, from the maker 

Genetically speaking, some species are said to be better suited for survival; genotypes in the context of 
the cellular milieu give rise to the phenotype, remembering always that, regardless of the dominant or recessive 
nature of the gene, blending inheritance does not occur. Sudden inheritable changes, gene mutations, represent 
modifications at specific sites along the deoxyribonucleic acid. These alterations lead to the origin of alleles, 
alternative forms of a gene, changing the actual morphology of the chromosome by modifying its size or shape. 
The most common cause of congenital defects in humans can be attributed to chromosome anomalies, and an 
understanding of the nature of chromosome aberrations and their genetic consequences in a variety of plant and 
animal species can lead us to approach intelligently the problems which they present for human society. The 
centromere is identified, and its drift is observed as inversions, both paracentric and pericentric, 
translocations — shifts and reciprocal, duplications and deletions occur. An unplanned change in a complex system 
is certainly more apt to produce a harmful effect than one which shows foresight or planning. And spontaneous 
mutation is a random, unplanned event which leads to a genetic alteration without any regard for the consequences. 

Variable Density (1999) by Luis Recoder; 16mm, b&w, sound, approx. 12 minutes, from the maker 

What the picture doesn't show — and perhaps never will — is located some twenty-six frames prior to its 
appearance on the screen: sound. The picture/sound separation is a technical factor to be technically reconstituted 
as a synch-event. But let us take up this technological determinism in an unanticipated commentary of an unseen 


2000 Program Notes 

sight towards a sight seen. Sound: prior to, a priori, in advance of — sound as always already liberated from the 
picture precisely (thanks to) the blindfold/earfold of an interval wedged in the apparatus. 

Heterogene (2000) by Bruce McClure; 16mm, b&w, sound, 14 minutes, from the maker 

Centaurs, griffins, sphinxes — various animals in combination, grotesque deviants so ugly as to frighten 
people; exciting horror by their wickedness and cruelty take shape in the darkness. Reviewed at 24 fjps, found 
footage provides the time and place for the convening of an optical soundtrack and drafting ink. The ambassador, 
however, is noticeably absent, leaving the voice of the moralist waving from behind the obscurant's attempt to 
sweep things under the rug. 

Program Notes written by Luis A. Recoder and Bruce McClure 


Recent Work By Stephanie Barber and Naomi Uman 
Stephanie Barber and Naomi Uman In Person 

Thursday, March 16, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Tonight Cinematheque brings together two of the most original and provocative young women filmmakers 
working in the United States today. Stephanie Barber, who lives and works in Milwaukee, uses manipulated 
found footage and sounds, animation and hand-processing, to make delicate puzzle-like films which intrigue and 
delight, pieces which, "like music, function as emotional landscapes, implied occurrences or scantily clad stories." 
(sb) Her work was recently featured in the New York Museum of Modem Art's Cineprobe series, metronome just 
won a Juror's Choice award at the recent Black Maria Film Festival and Cinematheque and the Pacific Film 
Archive have included her work in their 1999 and 2000 programs of new experimental work at the San Francisco 
International Film Festival. Naomi Uman lives and works in Los Angeles and Mexico City where she shoots, 
hand processes and edits her hand-made films as well as teaching filmmaking. Ranging from poetic documentaries 
to intricately manipulated found footage, her work has also won several awards: Leche won a Golden Spire at last 
year's San Francisco International Film Festival, and removed received a Juror's Citation award this year's Black 
Maria Film Festival. 

angus mustang (1996) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes, print from the maker 

angus mustang is a film paralleling different travels, the physicality of travel pointed to most clearly in 
the soundtrack and the pacing of the film, the whooshing by of images and then, also, i am playing with the travel 
of ideas, the parallels which connect the women in this film (Japanese women picking cherry blossoms, women by 
niagara falls, ubiquitous sleeping beauty) as counter-balanced by the (torn) male doctor and all serenaded by a song 
of parallel travels, (sb) 

woman stabbed to death (1996) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, b&w, sound, 4 minutes, print from the maker 

taking its title from a headline on the kitty genovese murder, woman stabbed to death is an all too jovial 
trot through the paranoia infested waters of radio, the warnings and hilarity, caustic with a sing-a-long lure — set 
against a loop of familiar (and frightening) images, the film is fairly straight forward, it treats blithely the theme of 
fear, in which i am more interested here than genocide or communal alienation, (sb) 

a little present (for my friend columbus the explorer) (1996) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, color, sound, 4 
minutes, print from the maker 

though obviously a pun on Christopher columbus, fireworks, and exploration, a little present is actually a 
gift for my friend theresa columbus, the playwright and explorer, (sb) 

pornfilm (1998) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes, print from the maker 

something like how easily intimacy is dissuaded, i am interested here in the stuttering, clumsy pacing — a 
shaky toy on last legs which is released and exalted by even more toy-like revelry, (sb) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

they invented machines (1997) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes, print from the maker 

they invented machines is for me a very complicated film, the film is thinking about colonialism, 
entertainment (their inherent connection to each other) and love, the images are mostly taken from disney (land, 
world?) rides where one is shown people from far away lands, the soundtrack about halfway through suggests the 
idea of love ("they have love here") which can (must?) then be thought of in the context of this same wonder and 
possession, amusement, the film ends with a series of flights, (sb) 

flower, the boy, the librarian (1997) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes, print from the maker 

this is a classic love story with the soundtrack changing from a subterfuge of mantra-esque chanting, to a 
sensible narrator in a matter of minutes, (sb) 

metronome (1998) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, color, sound, 1 1 minutes, print from the maker 

metronome is a film about the loss of love, possible loss of limbs, the radio play soundtrack is off-set by 
the intractable images of "spaces." the former seems to balance between kitsch and true heart-rending emotion and 
the latter references the asceticism of seventies minimalism (in film) with the impenetrable intellectualism 
becoming increasingly moving as the film progresses, (sb) 

shipfilm (1998) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, b&w, silent, 4 minutes, print from the maker 

this is probably the most heartbreaking film i have made, the pacing is romantic and simple, haiku-esque 
pauses and inclusions, with the words contrasting this poetry with their factual, disinterested narration, and that 
narration is a simple statement of failure, one which lies, not in any action, but in the pre-thought to that action, 
in the hope or faith one holds in oneself, one's knowledge or abilities, (sb) 


Leche (1998) by Naomi Uman; 16mm, b&w, sound, 30 minutes, print from the maker 

Made with the most rudimentary tools of filmmaking, Leche is a black and white film which examines 
details of the lives of a rural Mexican family. The film was hand-processed in buckets to dry on the clothesline. 

Private Movie (2000) by Naomi Uman; 16mm, b&w, sound, 5 minutes, print from the maker 
Private Movie is a few stops along the journey home. (NU) 

removed (1999) by Naomi Uman; 16mm, color, sound, 6.5 minutes, print from the maker 

Using a piece of found porn from the seventies, bleach and nail polish, the filmmaker has made a new 
film in which the woman is present only as a hole, an empty animated space. (NU) 


2000 Program Notes 


A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program One 

Lawrence Jordan In Person 

Co-presented with the San Francisco Art Institute and Film Arts Foundation 

Sunday, March 19, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

"Larry Jordan's animated films are among the most beautiful short films made today... His content is subtle, his 
technique is perfect, his personal style unmistakable." (Jonas Mekas) 

"A dream of buzzing spheres that resonate in a universe of colliding time zones... The Disney Dimension is many 
light years away from the Dark Matter illuminated by the Metaphysical Magician of Petaluma." (George Kuchar) 

Lawrence Jordan retired from the Faculty of the San Francisco Art Institute last May after thirty years of 
distinguished teaching. Jordan inspired literally hundreds of aspiring filmmakers, and he has been a pivotal figure 
in the blossoming of Bay Area personal or avant-garde cinema since relocating here in 1955. San Francisco 
Cinematheque celebrates the life work of this unique artist with four programs drawn from his body of 40 films, 
selected by himself, his long-time colleague George Kuchar and Cinematheque curator Steve Anker. 

The Old House, Passing (1967); 16mm, b&w, sound, 45 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

A young man, a woman and their daughter become magnetically involved with the past life and tragedy 
of a woman whom they have never met before but at whose house they arrive. They spend the night, while the 
ghost of the house walks. The actions of the young couple and their child on the following day parallel events in 
the old woman's past: the death of her own daughter and the unexplained disappearance of her husband. The 
climax is reached when the young couple finds evidence that the woman's husband died by accident in the attic of 
the old house years ago. 

A requiem sequence: the young family in a graveyard, observed by the released ghost of the dead man. 
Generally speaking, the plot is of secondary importance to the mood of the film, and the emotions of the 
characters. This mood is not intended to scare, but to deal with a theme of spirit-drama — in actuality, and as nearly 
as possible to render the feeling of the filmmaker on the subject of supernatural events. 

I send this film into the world with my love and blessings to those who will 
really find it, as we who conspired and labored in it did. The film is but a fragment 
of our story, destroyed and reborn in the cutting. It is the memory of a time when 
four of us entered the gyre that is the making of a film, and this 'memory' keeps 
shifting. (LJ) 

"If you want to be entertained, and if poetry bores you, then The Old House, Passing is not for you. This 
is a difficult non-entertainment film that will only offer itself to those who are willing to give themselves. It is 
pure cinematic poetry. The powerful evocations of the dark forces in our lives are unfolded and displayed with 
absolute surety and absolute artistry. . . and the word for that is 'masterpiece.'" (Robert Nelson) 

The Apparition (1976); 16mm, color, sound, 50 minutes, print from the maker 

My exact intention is to present an imaginary story against a background of reality. This is somewhat 
different from "shooting on location." Locations in many films are often doctored to suit the purposes of the 
script. I hoped to present a picture (in the background) of how things really looked in the early or mid-70s in San 
Francisco and Northern California (narrowed, admittedly, to the dimension of the foreground story). I believe the 
film achieves this purpose; at least its directness does not have the feel of "sameness" that so many Hollywood 
"location" films have. My intention with the story is simple in content, more complex in structure of presentation: 
I am interested in a man struggling to place himself in love and in commercial filmmaking, while at the same time 
suffering the affliction and discovery of being haunted by a former incarnation of himself. Structurally, this 
film — like about one-fifth of the films now coming from the studios — is a film cut elliptically because it did not 
work in a straight line as called for in the script. (LJ) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program Two 

Lawrence Jordan In Person 

Co-presented with the Pacific Film Archive and Film Arts Foundation 

Tuesday, March 21, 2000 — Pacific Film Archive — 7:30 pm 

see March 19 for series overview 

Duo Concertantes (1964); 16mm, color, sound, print from the maker 

Our Lady of the Sphere (1969); 16mm, color, sound, print from The Pacific Film Archive 

Orb (1973); 16mm, color, sound, print from the Pacific Film Archive 

Once Upon A Time (1974); 16mm color, sound, print from the maker 

Masquerade (1981); 16mm color, sound, print from the maker 

The Visible Compendium (1991); 16mm color, sound, print from the maker 


A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program Three 

Lawrence Jordan In Person 

Co-presented with the San Francisco Art Institute and Film Arts Foundation 

Thursday, March 23, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

see March 19 above for series overview, 

Visions of a City (1957/1978) 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes, print from the maker 

I resurrected this film from neglected oblivion because, on viewing it in 1978, I found that it was one of 
those rare films that I have always deplored the scarcity of: documents of how it really looked in a certain place in 
a certain year. I also liked the mirror imagery and the subtle increase in tempo of the film to its conclusion. All 
images were taken from the various reflective surfaces of the city, and the original intention — the trapping of man 
on this impersonal surface — seems both relevant and at the same time unimportant to me, in perspective. I am 
also pleased that there exists this filmic portrait of the poet McClure as he really looked in 1957, in San Francisco. 

Sophie's Place (1986); 16mm, color, sound, 86 minutes, print from the maker 

A culmination of five years' work. Full hand-painted cut-out animation. Totally unplanned, unrehearsed 
development of scenes under the camera, yet with more "continuity" than any of my previous animations, while 
meditating on some phase of my life. I call it an "alchemical autobiography." The film begins in a paradisiacal 
garden. It then proceeds to the inside of the Mosque of St. Sophia. More and more the film develops into 
episodes centering around one form or another of Sophia, an early Greek and Gnostic embodiment of spiritual 
wisdom. She is seen emanating light waves and symbolic objects. (But I must emphasize that I do not know the 
exact significance of any of the symbols in the film any more than I know the meaning of my dreams, nor do I 
know the meaning of the episodes. I hope that they — they symbols and the episodes — set off poetic associations in 
the viewer. I mean them to be entirely open to the viewer's own interpretation.) (LJ) 

"The use of moving balloons and the way in which Jordan's objects are continually transforming 
themselves suggest that the film can be seen as a journey. Not, however, a linear journey across space... Rather, a 
journey that progresses spatially and temporarily in all directions at once: sideways, up and down, outward and 
inward, and also forward and backward in time. Movements within one tableau frequently change direction and 


2000 Program Notes 

type; an object drifting across the frame suddenly alternates with another object in a rapid-fire flicker. The 
inevitable march forward in time is frequently framed by a background of old engraving, which evokes a past so 
idealized and so utterly other than the life we know that it suggests a simultaneous nostalgia for the past and 
awareness that the past cannot be recaptured." (Fred Camper, The Chicago Reader) 


A Mosaic of Personal Selections, Program Four 

Lawrence Jordan In Person 

Co-presented with the San Francisco Art Institute and Film Arts Foundation 

Sunday, March 26, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

see March 19 for series overview 

The H.D. Trilogy Film: 

The Black Oud (1992); 16mm, b&w, sound, 45 minutes, print from the maker 
The Grove (1993); 16mm, b&w, sound, 45 minutes, print from the maker 
Star of Day (1994); 16mm, b&w, sound, 25 minutes, print from the maker 

"Larry Jordan's H.D. Trilogy Film is a wonderful, rich film experience that combines the filmmaker's 
images of the women he loves with Hilda Doolittle's* long poem Hermetic Definitions, 1960. Rather than trying 
to dramatize H.D.'s last major work, which would be impossible, Jordan provides a series of images of the poet 
Joanna McClure as she journeys through ancient ruins, primitive Mediterranean villages, and other places that 
inspired H.D. The combination of images, Joanna McClure' s reading of the poem, and the traditional music of the 
Mediterranean result in a captivating film experience. 

"Jordan planned this work around the visual cues found in H.D.'s writings. Jordan says, 'The poem 
provided a source of image modality. It determined how the shots would be taken, how the style in which the 
photography of Ms. McClure would occur... The bottom line is that the film's premise is to trace life in general, 
but real, actually occurring life, not fictional life.' He said McClure would represent many if not all women, 
especially those who are no longer young. 

"One theme of the poem is romance blossoming for the poet who is getting older — Why did you come to 
trouble my decline? I am old (I was old till you came)... The reddest rose unfolds, (which is ridiculous in this 
time, this place, unseemly, impossible, even slightly scandalous). The film expresses this theme in a universal 
way. Again, Jordan says, 'the film's concerns are not so much with 'incident' as with 'aspect.' In what aspect do 
we find the central character? Is she in despair (internally, since her face shows nothing of it)? Or is she in a later- 
life ascendancy? Actually, her existential interface with her immediate surroundings and with her deepest thoughts 
(the poem) form the film's deepest resonances. The visual aspect of the film, the picture on the screen, represents 
an interface with life's surroundings, the 'present'. The soundtrack, specifically the poem, represents the past — her 
thoughts and reflections, her timeless inner modality, or her past life experiences. 

"Jordan's manner of showing the present is to observe McClure doing hundreds of things a traveler might 
do on a trip to Europe. We see her in the streets of Rome, visiting a temple of Hephaestus in Athens, basking in 
the sun and the wind of the Mediterranean, simply putting on make-up, riding in a train in England (part 2), or 
walking in the streets of a fourteenth century Italian town (part 3). Just as important: we do not see her with the 
filmmaker except once in part 1 as he passes behind her in the mirror with the camera. Throughout the rest of the 
film she is alone in her thoughts. Even the filmmaker's single self-reflexive appearance seems to make no change 
in her meditations. What makes these images special is the filmmaker's subjective way of looking at his central 
character. There is a sense of intimacy in the visuals suggesting that a muse inspires the artist to create this loving 
portrait. Since Jordan says most of the actions in the film were not planned, it seems he subconsciously chose the 
most romantic locations, and the best camera angles and lighting situations. On occasion he even filmed unusual 
incidental images of McClure, including her reflection in windows and mirrors. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

"The film was shot in black and white with a 16mm spring wound Bell and Howell camera. Sepia color 
was added to the film by the processing laboratory. 

"The candid quality of the images enriches H.D.'s crystalline, intensely personal lines. To achieve this 
documentary look Jordan says he limited his directing chores to simple instructions; he would tell Joanna to sit at 
a table and pour out a glass of wine, to open books, to walk in a certain direction. He says he rarely made changes 
in the places used in the film. One change he did make was to put a rose in the niche in a wall, an image 
suggested by the poem. Jordan sees the visuals as a portrait of Joanna McClure's life during the years 1990 
through 1992. The few fictitious elements added to the film were imposed on Joanna's activities in order to relate 
her real-life experiences to H.D.'s , as the filmmaker was already severely under H.D.'s spell throughout the 

"When the project was begun Jordan wanted to discover if a film could show that Hermetic Definitions 
was as great a poem as he felt it to be. The result of this personal experiment is a film that is sensitive enough to 
enhance Hilda Doolittle's poem without overpowering it. Hopefully the literary world will discover this film and 
agree with the importance McClure and Jordan give to H.D.'s work." (Karl Cohen) 

'Hilda Doolittle, who always signed herself "H.D.", was born and raised in Pennsylvania, though she 
spent her adult life among the literary circles of England and Europe. She is known as an "imagist" poet, and her 
career, which includes numerous books of poetry and a number of densely poetic novels, is closely associated with 
her mentor Ezra Pound, though her writing style is not. For a time she acted in films. She was married and had 
one daughter. She was devoted to Sigmund Freud, was analyzed by him in 1933-34, and wrote Tribute to Freud, 
which was published in 1956. Hermetic Definitions was her last major poem, consisting of three parts: Red Rose 
& A Beggar, Grove of Academe, and Star of Day. She died in 1961 at the age 77. 


New by Stan Brakhage 

Thursday, March 30, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Stan Brakhage' s newest short films include some of his finest hand-colored work made to date. With remarkable 
range, control and nuance of expression, Brakhage continues to deepen his ability to create meaningful lightplays 
of rhythm and texture awash with cinematic color without the use of recorded imagery. Tonight's program, drawn 
from a large group of recent releases, was curated by Steve Anker. 

The Earthsong of the Cricket (1999); 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

This is a hand-painted work whose shapes are scratched on black leader filled with varieties of color: the 
resultant shapes tend to suggest insect-like movements, a rub of bent-lines together suggesting the electric hind 
legs of the cricket, whose movements engender (thru elaborate step-printing) quick pullbacks within frames of the 
film, so contrived as to create visual agitron lines within the zoom-like effect whose rhythm approximates a 
cricket's repetitive sound. This effect is echoed ephemerally later in the film as it nears its end of muted pull-down 
shapes and approximations of the earth-clod-likenesses and/or autumnal leaf-likenesses which begin the film. (SB) 

Cricket Requiem (1999); 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

Cricket Requiem is a hand-painted and elaborately step-printed film which juxtaposes bent, sometimes 
saw-tooth, scratch shapes that multiply, colored in pastels, on a white field juxtaposed with emerging, and 
sometimes retreating, bi-pack imagery of the faintest imaginable lines (solarized lines) etched in brown-black. This 
interplay continues until the latter imagery begins to dominate with increasing recurrence. Then suddenly mere's a 
vibrant mix of thick black lines (which is "echoed" once again near end of film) that alters the increasingly colored 
bent lines and their thin-stringy accompaniment, with rhythms which suggest a stately and emphatic end. (SB) 

The Birds of Paradise (1999); 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

This is a hand-painted work which involves a variety of colors applied within gouged and scratched 
shapes which approximate both swift shifts of bird-shape (legs, beaks and feather-spreads especially) and the Bird 
of Paradise flower-form as well, the former tending to metamorphose into the latter across the course of the work. 


2000 Program Notes 

The Lion and the Zebra Make God's Raw Jewels (1999); 16mm, color, silent, 6 minutes, print from Canyon 

This film is a hand-painted combination of shapes which suggest, as appropriately colored, jungle, open 
veldt, horizontals of grasses, shag-shape yellow of lion's mane, the black & white stripes of the zebra, the eyes, 
the teeth, the tearing open into raw blood-red meat and curve of bone. Nonetheless the film is in no sense an 
animation work but rather a collection of mostly un-nameable shapes which gather round this recognizable 
iconography and visually dominate the image which repeats its, thus, ephemeral chase-and-catch increasingly 
closer, finally obliterating all but the "jewels," the multiple coloring, referred to in the title. (SB) 

Coupling (1999); 16mm, color, silent, 4.5 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

This hand-painted and elaborately step-printed work (involving Positives and Negatives of original 
painted source material in combination, as well as superimpositions filmed at 24 fps and at 48 fps) is a very 
organic be-seeming darkly colored work (blood and rust reds mixed with off-greens), as if microscopic images of 
connective (and other) cells and/or threads of internal muscles were caught in a "dance" (i.e. contrapuntal varieties- 
of-rhythm increasingly coordinated) ultimately suggestive of sex. The forms of the work also vaguely metaphor 
male and female exterior nudity coupling. The evolution of the work is almost purely rhythmic, as increased 
tempos, in ever more complex interaction, evolve to coordinated climax and brief aftermath. (SB) 

The Dark Tower (1999); 16mm, color, silent, 2.5 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

This hand-painted step-printed film begins with streaks of glare light and vibrantly colored forms 
apparently in the sky for inasmuch as there appears, frame center, the tapered shape of a tower, a silhouette as it 
were against the backdrop of the flaring sky. As this shape of tower disappears, the conflagration of scratches and 
paints seems grounded and takes on the semblance of a battle of knights, their lances, horses, et al., often against a 
scattering of star-like flecks until finally the silhouette of the tower reappears as if much closer, certainly thicker 
and straight-sided. The film finishes as textures which tend to suggest an entrance into the textured walls of the 
tower, textures and stars intermingled with what may well seem chain-mail as well. (SB) 

Worm and Web Love (1999); 16mm, color, silent, print from Canyon Cinema 

Worm and Web Love begins with bracketed light, a throbbing worm in the sand and sea foam mixed with 
grass and oceanic detritus, soon superimposed upon the dark blue-toned face of a man, then a woman, each seen, 
then on, through superimpositions of drifting smoke and the back-lit stark grid of a spider's web. The obvious 
affections of the man and woman, their clear display of love, is metaphored in these tenuous superimpositions, 
culminating in the frantic movements of the spider itself and the dance of joy of the features of the couple in 
loving resolution. (SB) 


The Persian Series 1,2 & 6 (1999); 16mm, color, silent, 9 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

1) This hand-painted and elaborately step-printed work begins with a flourish of reds and yellows and 
purples in palpable fruit-like shapes interspersed by darkness, then becomes lit lightning-like by sharp multiply- 
colored twigs-of-shape, all resolving into shapes of decay. (SB) 

2) Multiple thrusts and then retractions of oranges, reds, blues, and the flickering, almost black, textural 
dissolves suggesting an amalgam approaching script. (SB) 

6) Orange, red, yellow, pink, blue, green. Great coloration: variety of colors, abstract swirls. Slows down, 
through serious bright. Not my favorite Persian, but a good counterpart to other abstractions. (SB) 

(...) Reel 5 (1998); 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

This work is in five reels (numbered, but called "reels" so that they don't take on the connotations of 
"Parts" — thus each simply a part of the "trail" of colored scratches, white scratches [on black & white leader] which 
suggest, to me, a passage.) The third "reel" combines these scratches with some motion picture film, mostly of the 
ocean. The fifth "reel" is the only one with a soundtrack; but of course that makes the whole work a "SOUND 
film" because the audio track must be turned-on from the beginning. (SB) 

"Brakhage's new series of scratch-and-stain films, known as (...) or ellipses, are, among other things, a 
visual analogue to Abstract Expressionism. The onrushing imagery and the spatial conundrums it creates evoke not 
only Pollock but also the work of Franz Kline, Willem de Kooning, and even Mark Rothko — that is Pollock et 
al., at 24 frames per second. Eschewing the camera, Brakhage scrapes away the film emulsion to create a thicket (or 
sometimes a spider's web) of white lines and rich, chemical colors. Some segments of the original footage appear 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

to have been printed on negative stock or perhaps solarized — so that the blue and pink lines are inscribed on a 
white field. In any case, (...) is a cosmos. Rich without being ingratiating, the effect is one of rhythmic 

"A second twenty-minute reel is more staccato — mad chicken-scratch calligraphy fluttering out of a yellow 
void, sketchy lightning bolts or fireworks interrupted by a sudden field of turquoise. The third and shortest section 
reintroduces camera-derived imagery and, minimal as it may be (sunlight shimmering on water, seagull wheeling 
in the sky), it's still a shock to see 'something.' Brakhage continues to play with surfaces, layering the image with 
scratch bursts and soft-focus superimpositions, sentiment arrives with representation." (J. Hoberman) 

Reel #5 of (...) is composed of scratch-imagery edited to the music of "Flocking" by James Tenney. The 
music is allowed to play for about 2.5 minutes accompanied only by black leader: then there is a sudden flare of 
pure white which begins to flicker with negative-colored ephemeral shapes, until finally the music and a fulsome 
mass of scratched images are accompanying each other. 

At times a distinctly different quality of colored image appears and continues for a while (non-orange 
negative photography of painted film as well as picture images, altogether unrecognizable, un-nameable). The 
audio-visual aesthetic is such that there are very few absolute synchronizations between image and sound, but 
rather music "echoing" visual or visuals cut into the rhythmic patterns of previous music, so that the two "go 
along" together interweaving without either dominating the other (which is the principal reason the music is 
allowed at beginning to establish its aesthetic in the mind of the listener before he or she is expected to follow the 
development of visual patterns): both audio and visual end at the same time, bringing some sense of closure to the 
event of the film. (SB) 

Moilsome Toilsome (1999); 16mm, color, sound, 5.5 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

This is a photographed filmic searching-for-whales, the camerawork and editing attempting to 
approximate something of the rubbing up against water of the whale, of the surface foam and the hard coils of 
water through which it swims, of the gray-greens and blacks of its environment. And then suddenly there is the 
vision of many whales rolling, breeching, twisting and turning in various play with each other, a mother and baby 
slapping fins together, so forth. This film is about the identification with the world of the whale and the 
experience of seeing, then (at the distance of being human), many killer whales in glimpses of our given sights of 
them. (SB) 


Sharon Lockhart In Person 
Co-Presented with SFAPs Walter/McBean Gallery 

Saturday, April 1, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Los Angeles-based Sharon Lockhart' s still photographs have been exhibited throughout the world and a selection 
of these, along with her film, Goshogaoka, are included in this year's Whitney Biennial. In conjunction with her 
photographic installation at the McBean/Walter Gallery (on view March 17- April 15), Cinematheque will co- 
present the Bay Area premiere of Goshogaoka, a rigorous celebration both of cinema and the un-choreographed 
rhythms of a Japanese women's basketball team: "Goshogaoka deals with truth, beauty (consider the framing and 
the image), and the idea that a collection of individuals behaving synchronously creates something more, a new 
entity — the group." (Laurence Kardish, Curator, The Museum of Modern Art, for Sundance Film Festival 

Lockhart's earlier Khalil, Shaun: A Woman Under the Influence showed at Cinematheque in March 1998. 

Goshogaoka (1997); 16mm, color, sound, 63 minutes, print from Blum & Poe Gallery 

Without any knowledge of the Japanese language, Lockhart left for Japan in the Fall of 1996, with an 
Asian Cultural Council grant, to undertake a three-month residency in Ibaraki prefecture (a small suburb an hour 
and a half north of Tokyo). Within walking distance from her studio she found Goshogaoka, a junior high school 
with a girls' basketball team. Lockhart attended the training sessions that took place indoors, in a large hall 


2000 Program Notes 

curiously marked by a double function. The lines drawn on its floor identify it as a basketball court, but the red 
curtains in the background indicate the presence of a stage. When the girls practice, the arrangement of the theatre 
is reversed: they are in the space reserved for seating, looking away from the stage. Yet, the positioning of 
Lockhart's camera assigns us, as spectators of the film Goshogaoka, an imaginary seat within that hollowed-out 
auditorium, while subverting the direction of our vision. The object of our attention should be neither the red 
curtains, nor the hope that, once open, these curtains will reveal a spectacle. Our attention should be focused on 
what is in front of them. Or should it? 

Some of the "action" (the team's practice) also takes place behind our backs as we are trapped in the 
passive position of film spectators; we cannot turn around. Lockhart has placed her camera in the rear of the 
auditorium and, once there, stubbornly refuses to move it, or even to play with the lenses: the framing remains 
exactly the same during the sixty-three minutes of the film. From Ozu Yasujiro to Kitano Takeshi, from Andy 
Warhol to James Benning, from Yvonne Rainer to Chantal Akerman, static framing has a powerful history. Yet, 
while watching the first few minutes of Goshogaoka, it is another minimal-structural film that came to my mind, 
Michael Snow's Wavelength. Snow's film is based not on the absence of camera movement, but on a continuous 
zoom of forty-five minutes. Using means that at first appear to be radically different, Wavelength and Goshogaoka 
carefully frustrate the viewer in her/his expectations of a reverse angle shot. A portion of the "narrative space," 
whose actual surface we cannot gauge, will remain hidden from us, kept off-screen. The red curtains at the visible 
end of the auditorium have an almost sadistic function: spectator, beware, you will not see what you want to see. 
For a viewing subject's natural desire is, when faced with a curtain, to lift it up, and when contemplating a space, 
to explore all its comers, front, back, port, starboard. Or is it? 

Lacan uses the Greek fable of rivalry between Zeuxis and Parrhasios to decipher the desiring gaze. 
Parrhasios wins the contest because the illusion created by his painting is stronger: 

If one wishes to deceive a man, what one presents to him is the painting of a veil, 
that is to say something that incites him to ask what is behind it... What was at 
issue [in Parrhasios' painting] was certainly a trompe I'oeil (deceiving the eye). A 
triumph of the gaze over the eye. (Jacques Lacan, Four Concepts of Psychoanalysis) 

So the veil will never be lifted, yet we keep gazing at it, and it becomes a metaphor of the apparatus that 
blocks our view in the film. By concealing the imaginary depth that might lurk behind them, these curtains 
function as an abutment for the gaze. It is impossible to go further; there is no geometrical perspective, no 
vanishing point, that is to say, no place for the subject. In Renaissance perspective, all the lines eventually meet, 
so the space seems to be ordered by the subject's perception, a construction on which traditional Western 
metaphysics rest. The classical form of representation involves one or several figure(s) in the foreground, while in 
the background a window brings chiaroscuro light into the kitchen or parlor, which then opens onto a distant, 
misty landscape (as in Flemish paintings) or onto a field of snow in which a little boy is playing with his sled (as 
in Orson Welles' Citizen Kane). A representational field without depth of space subverts this arrangement, and the 
subject is left suspended, so to speak, over a sea of signifiers she/he doesn't master. Similar to the still photograph 
at the end of Wavelength, Goshogaoka'' % curtains flatten the space, but also weave a dialectic between cinema and 
photography, a long time concern in Lockhart's work. The initial image (a mock "establishing shot," since it 
establishes nothing but itself) is held like a still, and this is (along with the final shot) the only moment in the 
film in which the non-diegetic sound is heard: Michael Webster's delicate, discreet, almost environmental music. 

Similar to the static images in James Benning's One Way Boogie Woogie, the illusion of stillness in 
Goshogaoka is destroyed by a lateral movement coming from off-screen. The girls enter the frame, running from 
the left, very close to the camera, first in silence, then with the loud beat of their running shoes, creating an effect 
of surprise, almost of aggression. The girls run in a circle whose center is approximately in the middle of the 
visible space, so we get to see them, at a distance, as they pass by the curtains. We see twenty-four teenagers, of 
similar height and figure, uniformly dressed in gray T-shirts and black shorts, most of them with the same haircut. 
The effect is of serial, repetitive femininity. As they perform calisthenics, their melodic, high-pitched voices can be 
heard, chanting in unison. I have no idea what they are saying (it sounds like some form of counting), but what 
fascinates me is the haunting, ritualistic aspect of the chant: a deeper voice (probably belonging to an older girl, 
the captain of the team, even though she looks the same as the others) launches a solo line, and the chorus 
responds, as in a Gregorian Mass. 

The film is composed of six one-shot sequences of roughly ten minutes each, separated by black fade- 
outs. In the first sequence the whole team is introduced. In the second, the girls line up in two rows, so compact 
that the leader of each row completely hides the others; it is only when they start to run that one discovers that, 
behind each girl, there is another one, and another, etc. In addition to playing on the deceiving relationship 
between surface and depth, this moment, made possible only by the extreme resemblance between the girls, is 
mildly disquieting. In the third sequence, the girls appear in front of the camera, alone or in pairs, some wearing a 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

red top, others a blue one, and perform exercises of skill with a basketball, and now we are able to observe the 
individual differences among them. Some are slightly taller, others have a bit of baby fat, some have cropped hair, 
others don a ponytail. Also, in contradistinction to the well-oiled machine of their performance as a group, some 
of the girls, ever so slightly, make mistakes, do the wrong gesture, miss the ball. We love them for it. 

This doesn't last. The fourth sequence begins with one girl facing the camera alone, while in the 
background two others seem to be in deep concentration performing a drill together. The space that was at first 
almost empty, gradually fills up with pairs of girls in red and blue, like dots materializing on a computer screen, 
the only sound being that of the balls thrown from one pair of palms to the other. Then, as the balls are no longer 
thrown but passed, the exercise ends in absolute silence. Here, the interplay between the individual and the group 
is expressed in purely formal terms, as an arrangement of visual and musical patterns, as a mode of ordering 
disparate series of objects, colors and sounds. In fact, it was by listening to Japanese compositions that John Cage 
realized that silence was music's ultimate truth. 

The fifth and sixth sequences are spent in relative silence, accompanied by a short piece of Webster's 
music and other discreet noises, such as the low shuffle of feet and the rustle of nylon fabric as the girls walk 
about in a meditative state. We see the stunning spectacle of the girls wearing dark green sweat suits as they line 
up against the red curtains. By then, we have realized that the framing isn't going to change, that whatever 
surprises are in store will come from within. As we wonder how dependent on a traditional grammar of reverse 
angle shots our narrative pleasures are, we have to find another way of looking — reach a certain void in us, suspend 
judgment, find beauty in the figures created by the girls as we would in a flower arrangement. So we take a step 
back and enjoy the spectacle like small mouthfuls of warm sake, savoring each drop, each moment. Now the girls 
are massaging each other, their bodies are covered from shoulder to toe: there is no eroticism here, no sensuality, 
simply a task to be accomplished, and yet in the way they touch each other I feel warmth, friendship, peace. The 
space created by the film is one which is not structured by the male gaze. As in Chantal Akerman's fixed long 
takes, Goshogaokd's lack of vanishing point, of perspective, of depth, contribute to an absence of hierarchy. Our 
gaze is free to move laterally, rather than lured to go deeper and deeper (a male sexual metaphor if any) into the 
field. The effect created is that of a female Utopia, in which, for a brief moment in their lives, young girls are free 
to exist as minds and bodies without being turned into sexual commodities. (Berenice Reynaud) 


Life in the Sixties Underground 

Gordon Ball In Person 

Co-Presented with City Lights Bookstore 

Sunday, April 2, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Gordon Ball's recently published memoirs, '66 Frames, is an insider's chronicle of life in the communal, 
psychedelic Sixties, focusing especially on Ball's close friendships with Jonas Mekas, Allen Ginsberg, Andy 
Warhol and other key players in New York's exploding Underground Art scene. Ball's own filmmaking began in 
1966 when Jonas Mekas gave him a Regular-8mm movie camera when the filmmaker/critic was on a college visit. 
Tonight Ball will make a two-part presentation: 4:00pm, at City Lights, he will read from '66 Frames and show 
slides of his diaristic photographs; and 7:30 pm, at SFAI — for his first Cinematheque appearance since May 
1982 — he will also read and show several films. 

Georgia (1966); 16mm, color, silent, 4 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

"A perfect one poem of a film — within its short time limit, it contains much of the beauty of the night 
and the sensuality of women... perhaps even 'THE' woman one sometimes sees dancing in the night, but never 
touches in the flesh. Dreamlike, beautiful — its brevity compacts its power and renders it haunting." (William 

"Georgia is a good example of a new genre of film that has been developing lately, that is, a portrait 
film. In some cases, like those of Brakhage, Warhol or Markopolous, there is an attempt at an objective portrait of 


2000 Program Notes 

a man or woman; in other cases, like in the case of Georgia, the portrait becomes completely personalized, 
poetically transposed; it may not be as multifaceted as, say, Brakhage's portrait of McClure, but an inspired 
portrait nevertheless, in the vein of a single-minded lyrical love poem." (Jonas Mekas) 

Prunes (1966); 8mm, color, silent, 20 minutes, print from the maker 

A "collage of daily scenes of campus life." Literally, my first film: shot with the Revere camera Jonas 
brought me on his visit to Davidson College. Personal, intimate, single-framed. All screenings were in dormitory 
corridors (one, on a classmate's bare chest) and small living rooms decades ago until last spring, when Prunes 
premiered at Anthology Film Archives. Tonight's showing is its west coast premiere. (GB) 

Millbrook (1984); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

For aeons it's been the human family around a fire constructing and refiguring basic myths: our earliest 
family or tribal "movie." So Millbrook recounts a mythical true story, a life-changing event told against fire, 
emblem of consumption and renewal: In the enormous forested estate once used by Timothy Leary, a young couple 
lose individual identity, merge with decaying leaves and are consumed by maggots as the entire universe 
undergoes entropy, revive as it regenerates and are saved from death by a mysterious familiar stranger. (GB) 

Mexican Jail Footage (1980); 16mm, color, sound, 18 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

Paranoid surreptitious in-jail camera held in this prisoner's hands documents daily events and posturings 
of 25 gringos (and Mexican jailmates) arrested at Puerto Vallarta 1968 without charge. Was there Mexico, D.F. — 
Washington, D.C. collusion behind this roundup from Yelapa ferryboats, private town houses and palm-roofed 
wall-less jungle huts? It took place during national polarization (of youth culture, official culture) in the U.S.; 
older U.S. tourists in Mexico were shocked to find more New Generation they thought they'd left behind, and 
official Mexico was already paranoid in the face of Olympics six months later (where police would shoot 108 
people). Narration's a dense web of comedy, horror, and Kafkaesque grotesque behind a succession of raw sunlit 
images of comely youths imprisoned, male and female. (GB) 

"Mexican Jail Footage reminds me of standing by the tracks and watching a train go by — it is so strong, 
it lasts so long, and it is over so quickly." (Tom Whiteside) 

"I can't forget this film." (Robert Frank) 

"Mexican Jail Footage is the best jail film I've ever seen." (Jonas Mekas) 

On '66 Frames by Gordon Ball 

"From city and country communes, underground and avant-garde film and photography, Gordon Ball has been 
marvelously placed as participant and observer of many extraordinary art situations." (Allen Ginsberg) 

"This book made me want to take acid and have sex with lots of people. It also made me want to stay up all night 
in the company of my genius friends in the mid-sixties in New York's Lower East Side. It also made me grateful 
for not being twenty and living in a war-wracked, generation-tom, paranoid world. Gordon Ball writes with 
compassion and nostalgia about a unique and nearly indescribable epoch." (Andrei Codrescu) 

" '66 Frames is a beautifully written book which captures the spirit of those times better than any other book I 
know." (Stan Brakhage) 

"...a unique perspective on a much analyzed but still elusive period — when one awoke every day feeling as if 
personal revelation and cultural revolution were fully attainable. Ball's youthful intelligence and enthusiasm, and 
his willingness to labor for little money in musty lofts and tenement apartments, put him at the epicenter of New 
York's downtown film/art/poetry/music scene. He kept excellent notes." (Amy Taubin) 

"A picaresque memoir... in which the young Southern innocent sets forth in all his whiteness to find himself 
among visionary New York poets and other flaming creatures of the 1960s." (Lawrence Ferlinghetti) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Biography: Gordon Ball 

Gordon Ball (born Paterson, New Jersey, grew up Tokyo, Japan) began work in film when given a regular 8mm 
movie camera by Jonas Mekas on a 1966 college visit; worked for Mekas and Film-Makers' Cooperative in New 
York 1966-67, a period detailed in Ball's '66 Frames (Coffee House Press, 1999); hitchhiked across U.S. and 
Mexico to live in jungle-sea-mountain village; was arrested without charge entering Puerto Vallarta at times of 
gringo hippie federale round-up, and shot what would become Mexican Jail Footage from the inside. Returning to 
U.S., worked several years as manager of small farm retreat for artists and poets established by Allen Ginsberg, 
with whom he'd work on books and photography over coming decades; made Farm Diary (1968-1969), available 
through Film-Makers' Cooperative. Entering graduate school University of North Carolina Chapel Hill 1973 he 
told his life story under a magnolia tree on Franklin Street summer 1977; made film elegies Father Movie (1978) 
one year after father's death and Enthusiasm (1980) five year's after mother's; shot Millbrook (1985), a recapturing 
of personal psychedelic experience at Timothy Leary's upstate redoubt; taught 2 summers (1986 and 1988). In 
1980 he adopted a phrase from Yeats, "technical sincerity", as touchstone for his first-person filmmaking: "Fine or 
rough, heavy or ethereal, there is always at base an unregretful uncompromising heart and consciousness. It is 
negligent of all but its own earnest rhythmic awareness: and that, after all may be what we were looking for — what 
one person and no other can give us." In recent years he's exhibited and published some of the many photographs 
he took of Ginsberg and Beat colleagues over three decades. He teaches literature, composition, and film in the 
Department of English and Fine Arts, VMI, Lexington, Virginia. 


Trinh T. Minh-ha in Person 
Co-presented with The Poetry Center 

Thursday, April 6, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Trinh T. Minh-ha, in her unique and beautifully composed film-works {A Tale of Love, Shoot for the Contents, 
Reassemblage, Naked Spaces — Living is Round and Surname Viet Given Name Nam), is a lyricist of the first 
order, an imaginative seer and thinker whose art radically remakes narrative modes of filmmaking by invoking and 
then reinventing the tools of the anthropologist, the poet, the political witness, the visual artist and the musical 
composer. Tonight we offer a rare chance to hear Trinh T. Minh-ha read from her written work, including Drawn 
from African Dwellings (in collaboration with Jean-Paul Bourdier) and Cinema Interval, which is new from 
Routledge. Sections of her film shot in West Africa, Naked Spaces — Living is Round, will be screened alongside 
the readings. 


From The Memo Book to The Phoenix Tapes 
Matthias Miiller in person 

Sunday, April 9, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Over the past fifteen years or so, Matthias Miiller has emerged as one of the most prolific and accomplished 
filmmakers on the avant-garde scene today. Reviewing his recent films, one is impressed not only by their 
sophistication, but also by their striking thematic and stylistic diversity. Miiller still seems to approach 
filmmaking with the restlessness of a child prodigy. Where a film like The Memo Book will speak the poetic 


2000 Program Notes 

language of a Brakhage, Baillie or Anger with amazing fluency, a piece like Home Stories (1990) or The Phoenix 
Tapes will adopt a completely different idiom, with no loss of expressive range. Fitting Miiller's work into some 
prefabricated category is a difficult, if not impossible task, and the shopworn modern/postmodern labels offer no 
help at all. If we persist in trying to locate some underlying unity among these pieces, we eventually find 
ourselves running into some practically universal themes; Miiller's work, one is tempted to say, seems to be most 
deeply concerned with the capacity of art to impose form on human experience. Perhaps what is distinctive about 
Miiller's work, though, consists in its refusal to take that relationship for granted. In each of the pieces presented 
tonight, Miiller exhibits a keen, and often visceral awareness of the limitations of orderly systems, including his 
own. For Miiller, the aspiration to orderliness is an all-too-human impulse — necessary, but always tragically 
incomplete. And yet Miiller's energies seem to be inexorably drawn towards those points of weakness, to the stress 
fractures running through the forms we use to contain the uncontainable. Just where a regulatory system threatens 
to collapse under the pressure of its own ambitions, Miiller will discover the forces that drive his art. 

Aus der Feme (The Memo Book) (1989); 16mm, color, sound, 28 minutes 

The film begins with an image of binding. Scattered evidence — letters, photographs, loose-leaf 
pages — are gathered up and tied into stiff bundles. Mike Hoolboom's voice-over initially suggests that this will 
be a work of mourning, an artist's attempt to express a loss that may, in the end, remain inexpressible. The Memo 
Book (Aus der Feme, or "from afar") was inspired by an unexpected discovery. A friend stumbled across some 
footage of one of Miiller's former lovers who had recently died of AIDS. This recovered reel provides Miiller's 
piece with both a literal and metaphorical point of departure. But the question that The Memo Book asks is not 
how are films like memory, an analogy which is at least as old as cinema itself — but far more radically — how are 
films like bodies? Miiller never lets us forget that film has distinctly skin-like properties. It can be scratched, 
weathered, aged, scarred, and most importantly, eroticized. Since Andre Bazin declared that photography is a 
modern form of mummification, we have become accustomed to thinking about cinema as a sort of funeral rite. 
Driven by the real urgency of loss, however, Miiller's The Memo Book will travel along very different associational 
paths: a shot of an exposed, beating heart suddenly narrows the distance between bodies and machines; images of 
gratings, manhole covers and sewage drains imbue streets and buildings with an almost organic anatomy; a 
spinning fan evokes both a living respiratory system and the Maltese cross of the film projector. As images of 
silhouettes and shadows continue to accumulate throughout the film, we eventually begin to wonder if bodies, like 
films, might also function as temporary receptacles for the absorption and reflection of light. The middle 
sequence, "Jardim Botanico," brings these chains together in the somewhat unassuming figure of the leaf. Shots 
of a loamy forest floor give way to hand-processed images which themselves resemble decaying leaves, and the 
dream sequence as a whole concludes with a shot of a young man whose shoulder is tattooed with a leaf-like 
symbol. Miiller here presents us with three organized systems designed to capture and transform light — skin, 
leaves and cinema. Once superimposed, these systems become difficult to separate out again. One is reminded of 
physicist David Bohm's suggestion that trees tend to problematize our accepted distinctions between organic and 
inorganic matter. Out of this confrontation with the finality of death, Miiller seems to have responded in an 
entirely unexpected way. Rejecting conventionalized forms of mourning and memorialization, Miiller instead 
allows himself to be recaptivated by the ineffable mysteries of life. 

Vacancy (1998); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

Like The Memo Book, Vacancy is a film concerned with the ways in which organized systems tend to 
break down. Situating itself somewhere between documentary and diary, Vacancy traces the rise and fall of 
Brasilia, a city intended to become a Utopia on earth. Vacancy, like The Memo Book, begins by announcing the 
triumph of gravity. Overshadowed by their history, the old cities languish, disintegrate and disappear. The film 
goes on to speak in multiple voices: home movies from the city's engineers are woven into Miiller's personal 
reveries. While the manifest subject of the film is the inevitability of loss, recurring images of textures and 
surfaces start to offer a counterpoint to these mournful notes. We watch city workers carefully cleaning a stark, 
white wall — is it an act of folly or a gesture of love? Brasilia clearly emerges as a monument to the failure of 
abstraction, but Miiller's film further insinuates that there might have been another desire at work here all along, 
beside and beneath the city's quixotic struggle with gravity. The aim of the modernist structure is not simply to 
direct the gaze skyward, but to provide a vantage point from which one might better re-view the earth. A path 
worn into the grass, that is, will only begin to look like the line of a hand when it can be viewed from some place 
high above. Miiller's sensual overhead shots of the Brazilian savanna create a potent contradiction, suggesting that 
the modem longing for transcendence has always contained an equal and opposite desire for ecstatic return. 
Paradoxically, Miiller appears to be suggesting that the urge to rise above the earth contains something more than 
just a desire for disembodiment and control; indeed, it is possible that abstraction and eroticism might actually 
name two sides of a single movement. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

The Phoenix Tapes (1999); video, color, sound, 45 minutes 

Moving from the psychology of modern architecture to the architecture of modem psychology, Muller's 
latest piece offers a tour-de-force analysis of Alfred Hitchcock's cinema. Made in collaboration with video artist, 
Christoph Giradet, and sound artist, Dirk Schaefer, The Phoenix Tapes consist entirely of reprocessed footage from 
the Hitchcock canon. The tapes are divided into six separate movements: "Rutland," "Burden of Proof," 
"Derailed," "Why Don't You Love Me?," "Bedroom" and "Necrologue." Muller's nonce taxonomy strongly 
echoes Barthes's Michelet, an eccentric biography which is subdivided into categories like "Michelet, Eater of 
History," "Death-as-Sleep and Death-as-Sun," and "The Ultra-Sex." For Barthes as well as for Miiller, all 
taxonomic systems are temporary contrivances, and they should cease to exist after their present labors have come 
to an end. 

The first segment, "Rutland," takes up where Vacancy leaves off. A collage of Hitchcock's extreme long 
shots — many of them totally uninhabited — becomes a meditation on the structures of modern paranoia. The next 
sequence exposes the obverse side of that logic by interrogating the economy of the close-up. Framed by these 
two quintessentially modern paradigms — all-encompassing structures versus the trivial part-object which must find 
its place within them — Muller's analysis insists that Hitchcock's cinema was never really about people at all. 
"Derailed" extends that critique by exploring some analogies between Hitchcock's cinema and train travel. With 
just a few images of stunning precision and clarity, Miiller reveals that both technologies are built around a 
fundamental paradox: a stasis in movement, a linear movement which simultaneously requires a circular return. 
These circles become particularly vicious in Hitchcock's cinema, and the last three segments of The Phoenix Tapes 
provide ample documentation of those mechanisms' destructive power. The final sequence, "Necrologue," evokes 
another great modernist meditation on mobility and stasis, Chris Marker's La Jetee. The Phoenix Tapes, like 
Marker's film, suggests that cinema, from its very inception, has always functioned as a time machine, and that 
desire, memory and loss have ever since remained inextricably bound to the systems of their own alienation. 

Program Notes written by David Conner 
Thanks to Jay Rosenblatt, John Turk and ResFestfor the use of their Beta deck. 


Gad Hollander In Person 
Co-Presented with The Poetry Center 

Thursday, April 13, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Gad Hollander is a poet and filmmaker born in Jerusalem, raised in Queens and now living in London. His latest 
book of poetry (and first to be published in the US), Walserian Waltzes, is an extraordinary hall-of-mirrors poem- 
in-prose revolving around the figure of Robert Walser, the great Swiss-German writer of "minimal" fictions whose 
work stood behind Kafka and others. Along with a reading from the latter, we present his Diary of a Sane Man. 
"This poet-tumed-filmmaker's first feature-length film (made on a budget for a 15-minute short, using borrowed 
equipment and scavenged, odds-and-ends stock) is a serendipitous blend of art and irony, philosophic reflection, 
double-edged nonsense, improvisation, mythology, and the music of Johann Sebastian" (Melissa Drier). The 
author of several works of poetry, Hollander has also directed Mnemosyne (1985), Background Music (Orphic) 
(1986), Euripides ' Movies (1987) and is currently finishing his latest, Postpalaver. 

Walserian Waltzes; Avec Books, Penngrove CA, 1999 

"Walserian Waltzes is neither a biography of Robert Walser, nor a Kafka-in-Queens type of displacement. 
It is closer to what Borges does with Don Quixote in "Pierre Menard, Author of Quixote." This Robert Walser 
is/is not Robert Walser, and the oscillation between the two figures makes for a breathtaking tour de force." 
(Rosemarie Waldrop) 

"Gad Hollander's Walserian Waltzes is a sequence of meditations on madness, writing, death, and 
identity. Focusing on a character split between the first-person singular pronoun and his own name — a character 


2000 Program Notes 

who may or may not be dead and may or may not be insane, a character whose goal is to become a 'self-made 
failure' — Hollander skillfully leads us to contemplate the paradoxical trajectories of language, the subjective and 
objective worlds it seems to create and destroy. Anyone looking for fiction that combines the compressed and 
elusive qualities of poetry with the abstract resonances of philosophy will find Walserian Waltzes a richly 
satisfying experience." (Stephen-Paul Martin) 

Diary of a Sane Man (1990); 16mm, color, sound, 85 minutes, print from the British Film Institute 
A Fair Description of Diary of a Sane Man: 


Sara & her grandad walk through the landscapes and the camera follows. My preference 
would have been to remain silent, to stare at the pictures without the intrusion of sound, to let the 
film play itself out in the forbidden zone of pretentiousness. The plot of land on which the little 
girl & her grandad are walking is the plot for the film, the earth itself, and its sub-plot is woven 
into a selection of Bach's Goldberg Variations. In one of the previous versions the narrator called 
the place "never-never land," but this was patently false and consequently had to be erased. Sara 
spots Venus strolling through the landscape, an agent provocateur from the country of myth. A 
film-maker, thinly disguised as himself, wants to make a film about Venus, changes the latter to 
Aphrodite and submits his idea to a committee of producers. Judging from the narrator's 
descriptions it's not surprising that the film-maker is rejected, though what is surprising is the 
committee's violent reactions to his ideas and his subsequent "fall" into the very movie he's 
describing. We are now about ten minutes into the film and find ourselves more or less where we 
started. Any viewer who at this point expects a plot development to carry him along will find 
himself sinking fast. We have heard the theme and the first of the Goldberg Variations, of which 
there are thirty. But before we go on with the musical sub-plot we are introduced to Antonin 


What Artaud and I have in common is that we both love the Marx Brothers, whose 
anarchy he described as "poetic and dreamlike." I don't know what he thought of Bach. He appears 
to the filmmaker as a woman and says, "I want to attempt a terrible feminine." I think Bach must 
have been "funny," in the sense of insane, beyond reason, and sacred. But that's history. Artaud is 
also history, but closer. He died the year I was bom, so there's a sense of personal responsibility 
in the matter. Every time I work on something which passes for art, a voice from inside the work 
says: "There ought to be a law against society." There is such a law and Antonin Artaud 
articulated it in his poetry. 


The film has more in common with the Marx Brothers than with Godard, Pasolini, or 
any other arthouse film-maker. In fact, Diary of a Sane Man is an imitation of a Marxist movie 
but with the priorities reversed: instead of full frontal anarchy with musical interludes, the film 
shows full frontal music with comic interpolations. Anyone who goes to see a Marx Brothers 
movie for its plot, or listens to Bach for a "religious experience" is a total schmuck and would be 
best advised not to bother with this film. 


The murder of time is not a crime but an art, though some would regard it as a kind of 
dream. The difference is academic. But in any event, it's not what we'd call a story. Time-murder 
as "film" involves a succession of images and sounds, but above all requires the collusion of an 

They left the cinema with the taste of time in their mouths, as if each had nibbled a 
little portion off its flesh. They went to the movies for the rest of their lives and on each occasion 
chewed off a bit more of time's body. Sometimes these morsels were good and sometimes not, 
but it was always difficult to predict what any particular duration would taste like. Toward the end 
of it, time had retained exactly the same proportions as when they had first encountered it. They 
asked themselves, "Where did all that time go?" Had they gone to see Diary of a Sane Man early 
on in life they would have realized that time could not be digested, that it went nowhere except in 
and out of the body's holes. (Gad Hollander) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Gad Hollander Filmography 

Mnemosyne (1985); Background Music (Orphic) (1986); Euripides' Movies (1987); Diary of a Sane Man (1990); 
Postpalaver (in-progress) 

Gad Hollander Bibliography 

Page (1979); Figures of Speech (1987); Video Residua (Orphic) (1987); Sleep, Memory (1985/ 1988); 
The Palaver (1998); Walserian Waltzes (1999) 


A Celebration of Hand-Processed Films 
Curated and Presented by Ken Paul Rosenthal 

Sunday, April 16, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

"The look of hand-processed movie film is pure Shake 'n Bake. This process is not for those who prefer the film 
surface with a smooth polished complexion. Instead, oozing mounds of crusty chemical infections will bleach, 
bleed and belch all over your perfect Kodak moments. Sometimes the film will become a crumbling arctic ice floe: 
image chunks will skate and reposition themselves like bad buoys or Pollackesque life preservers. Or it will 
resemble a fly strip stuck with half-buzzed guts draining and staining the length of the film. YES! The colors 
remind me of smashing gypsy moth caterpillars with a hammer as a child in New Jersey. I never knew what color 
innards would spill out. I'd expect chocolate and out would come lime green. Hand-processing is just like that. It's 
the flavor of the moment. Even black and white can look like Walt Disney puking." 

from 'Antidote for a Virtual World' by KPR 

2000: A Space Odd-essay (2000) 
Performance by Film Boy 

Silence (2000) by Troy DeRego; Super 8mm, color, sound, 3 minutes, print from the maker 
An exploration of what silence means and what it looks like. (TD) 

Archaeology of Memory (1993) by Gary Popovidi; 16mm, color, sound, 13 minutes, print from the maker 

A cine poem unfolding in a sensual series of evolving myths, sexuality, gender formations, spirituality 
and death. Beginning with film emulsion scratches and ticks of sound, the film explodes in vibrant colors and 
multiple image layers accompanied by a musique concrete score composed by Randall Smith. (GP) 

Mermaids and Pickles (1999) by Trixie Sweetvittles; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes, print from the maker 

A humorous expression of love for the slimy and the salty that explores the beauty of spontaneity and 
happy accidents. (TS) 

Degree Zero (1999) by Te-shun Tseng; Super 8mm dual-projection, color, sound, 3 minutes, print from the maker 
A graphic celebration of certain gestures of modern dance and different textures of the film medium. (TT) 

The Shape of the Gaze (2000) by Mai'a Cybelle Carpenter; 16mm, color, silent, 7 minutes, print from the 

A hand-processed and optically printed film which implicates the viewer in the gazes operating between the 
lesbian filmmaker and her self-identified butch subjects. (MCC) 

Paws (1992) by Moira Joseph; Super 8mm, color, sound, 3 minutes, print from the maker 
A hand-processed and dyed hallucinatory macro study of a cat. (MJ) 


2000 Program Notes 

Passing Through (1998) by Karyn Sandlos; screened as video, b&w, sound, 12 minutes, tape from the maker 
Events occurring on the streets of a small town in rural Canada provide a loose structure for this experimental 
narrative, in which the present moment is a story of having been this way before. (KS) 


Archaeopteryx Dreaming (2000) by silt; 16mm, b&w, silent, 8 minutes, print from the makers 

A fourth dimensional fossil record of the plumed serpent Archaeopteryx Lithographica ("ancient wing from the 

printing stone")- (silt) 

Vagus (2000) by David Duhig; 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes, print from the maker 

A multi-layered introspective journey that colorfully wanders through the eye of the beholder. (DD) 

Untitled (1991) by Justin Walsh; Super 8mm, b&w, silent, 1.5 minutes, print from the maker 

A hand-contact-printed experiment using 16mm academy leader, slug film from Gunsmoke and footage of a 
train in Pittsburgh, PA. (JW) 

Diggins (1993) by Christian Bruno and Natalija Vekic; Super 8mm dual-projection, color, sound, 3 minutes, print 
from the makers 

Somewhere outside Nevada City... two movie cameras and a hit of ecstasy... synchronicities soon revealed 
in the afternoon's unplanned shooting. (CB and NV) 

Exercise (2000) by Jessica Gidal; Super 8mm, b&w, sound, 3.5 minutes, print from the maker 

Playfully woven images of a body's consistency, squishy tension, loft, suspension and ultimate giddy 
acceptance of gravity's pull are underscored by the hammers and gongs of gamelan music. (JG) 

The Light in Our Lizard Bellies (1999) by Sarah Abbot; 16mm, b&w, sound, 8 minutes, print from the maker 

The intensities that discombobulate us as we go through change and face parts of ourselves previously 
denied or unknown are reflected through a single dancer and the random exposure effects of hand-processing. (SA) 

Suehos Liquidos (1999) by Nat Swope; Super 8mm, color, silent, 3 minutes, print from the maker 
A rhythmic, dream-like montage culled from everyday images. (NS) 

Transmission from the Turn of the 2(f Century (2000) by Ghen Dennis; Super 8mm, b&w, sound, 1.5 minutes, 
print from the maker 

These optically printed Kodachrome images of conduits and the travelers within them — telegraphic wires and 
anatomical tunnels playing host to radio reception scans and tiny biological tourists — hastily describe breakdowns 
at the points of contact in our age of virtual arrival and departure. (GD) 

Yes, I Said Yes, I Will, Yes (1999) by Phil Solomon; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes, print from the maker 

The title is, of course, borrowed from the last lines of Molly Bloom's monologue where, after reviewing 
all the lovers of her life, she comes home to Bloom in a swooning affirmation. After remaining a bachelor for over 
40 years, I finally found a dancing partner. This film was made in a couple of days, and projected outdoors at our 
wedding. Dedicated to my partner in life, Melinda Barlow. (PS) 

This program is lovingly dedicated to two former students from my 'Celluloid Sandbox ' class: Jessica 
Gidal and Troy DeRego, whose very first films, Exercise and Silence are being screened tonight. Their 
work reminds me that film is fundamentally not about recording pictures, but dancing with stillness, and 
manipulating a novel posture for the heart. And that making love for one's self is a reason to make film... 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


The Transfigured Spaces of Jim Jennings 
Jim Jennings In Person 

Thursday, April 27, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

New York filmmaker Jim Jennings has been making lyrical, contemplative films since the early 1970s, several of 
which have screened at Cinematheque. Combining an abstract and richly textural exploration of space (the two- 
dimensional space of the frame as well as the three-dimensional space seen 'through' it) with the poetic evocation 
of place (in and around New York, Mexico, Rome, San Francisco), Jennings' films are always delicate and 
delightful adventures in seeing. In the subtle and suspenseful interplays of light and dark, flatness and depth, the 
abstract and the manifest, Jennings' camera transforms the banal into the sublime and us along with it. Tonight's 
screening will include films made over two decades, and his most recent work, Miracle on 34' Street, will be 
screened as part of "Breaking Points," our program at the 43 rd San Francisco International Film Festival on Sunday 
April 30 at the Kabuki Theatre at 7:15 pm. 

Wallstreet (1980); 16mm, b&w, silent, 6 minutes, print from the Film-Makers' Cooperative 

"Shot at high noon in New York's financial district, Wallstreet is much like a vertical tickertape, charting 
the existence of typical office workers. The film's elongated shadows suggest these workers' depersonalized, neuter, 
nearly uniform lives, which flow by without any solid or stable element that might provide definition." 
(Karen Treanor) 

The School of Athens (1997); 16mm, b&w, silent, 14 minutes, print from the Film-Makers' Cooperative 

"...we enter the absolute monumental. Raphael's wildly passionate painting has shaken Jennings to the 
core. Fiercely sexual, tumultuous, his filming of the painting rages on without thought of onlookers; cadenced 
timing and concerns with proportions out of the question. The film is monstrous, reckless and I couldn't admire it 
more." (Ken Jacobs) 

Shades (1983); 16mm, b&w, silent, 6 minutes, print from the Film-Makers' Cooperative 
City structures balanced in filmic structures. (JJ) 

Silvercup (1998); 16mm, b&w, silent, 12 minutes, print from the maker 

The first time I remember going to Long Island City was in 1973 to take a hack license exam. What I 
remember of the bridge and fringes of subway lines above me was oppression. About twenty years later I found 
myself back there thrilled by the compositions I was making with a still camera and eventually made The Elevated 
with some of the photographs I took. Often last Winter and Spring I again went back there and ended up 
expressing a tenderness I felt by making this film. (JJ) 

San Cristobal (1983); 16mm, b&w, silent, 8 minutes, print from the maker 
A place foreign to me transfigured by me. (JJ) 

Painting the Town (1998); 16mm, b&w, silent, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

Last autumn on a series of weekend nights I went to "The Crossroads of the World" with a camera and a 
tape recording of an Opera I love. I played the Opera and shot film for hours at a time. Later in the editing room, I 
removed what merely documented and braided the sublime. (JJ) 

Bye Bye Bob (1990); 16mm, b&w, sound, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

The morning commute across the bridge becomes a requiem which ends as the procession goes 
underground. In memory of Bob Fleischner. (Soundtrack from "Enchanted" by George Shearing and the 
Montgomery Brothers.) (JJ) 

Leaves (1975); 16mm, b&w, silent, 8 minutes, print from the maker 
The writing between the leaves. (J J) 

"But there is more... A variety of detail inhabits Jennings' simple format. Foreground is played off 
background. It creates a tension..." (Noel Carroll) 


2000 Program Notes 

Poems of Rome (1997); 16mm, color, silent, 7 minutes, print from the maker 

I jumped a tram in Rome and rode it to the end of the line. On the way, a shadow on a wall caught my 
eye. The next morning I went back to the shadow on the wall and made this film. (JJ) 

Intrigue (1998); 16mm, color, silent, 14 minutes, print from the maker 

Surrounded by strangers under the El in Brighton, Brooklyn I submerge myself through the lens of the 
camera into a childlike world of colors separated from objects, floating to the surface and escaping, as day turns to 
night and estrangement gives way to emptiness. (JJ) 


New Experimental Films 

A Program of Experimental Film Co-Presented by the 43 rd San Francisco International Film Festival, 
Pacific Film Archive and San Francisco Cinematheque. 

Curated by Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz and Irina Leimbacher 

Jim Jennings, Alfonso Alvarez and Ellen Ugelstad in Person 

April 30, 2000 — AMC Kabuki Theatre — 7:15 pm 

An image can be a fragile thing. Just as extreme experiences can provoke extreme emotions — reverence, despair, 
withdrawal — an image can rupture, fragment, break apart to release reverberating associations. Tonight's program 
of new experimental films made by both emerging and internationally renowned artists includes a variety of works 
which explore — and explode — the limits of film's capacity to represent change, memory and the large and small 
mysteries of human experience. 

Muktikara (1999) by Jeanne Liotta; 16mm, color, silent, 12 minutes, print from the maker 

Taken from the Sanskrit word for "gentle gazing brings liberation," Muktikara is a haunting cinematic 
meditation on a subtly shifting landscape. 

Flip Film (1999) by Alfonso Alvarez & Ellen Ugelstad; 16mm, b&w, sound, 1 minute, print from the makers 

Still images of an urban landscape break into motion in Alfonso Alvarez and Ellen Ugelstad's lively 

letters, notes (2000) by Stephanie Barber; 16mm, color, silent, 4 minutes, print from the maker 

Comprised of discarded notes and photos, Stephanie Barber's deceptively simple film conjures up 
forgotten lives and abandoned narratives. 

Domain (1999) by Julie Murray; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes, print from the maker 

Children's 3-D toys and insects are the subjects of Julie Murray's look at the violence inherent in the very 
notion of motion. (Music: "Three Landscapes for Peter Wyer" by Jed Destree, performed by Margaret Lengtan on 
her CD "The Art of the Toy Piano" © Point Music/Universal 1997) 

Miracle on 34 1 Street (2000) by Jim Jennings; 16mm, b&w, silent, 13 minutes, print from the maker 

Lush black and white shadows of a bustling New York sidewalk fracture the screen into surprising 
abstract patterns of light and dark. 

The March (1999) by Abraham Ravett; 16mm, color, sound, 25 minutes, print from the maker 

Beginning in 1986, Abraham Ravett repeatedly interviewed his mother about the 1945 "Death March" 
from Auschwitz. Her fragmented, incomplete memories make up this emotional document, which is as much 
about the need to forget as the need to know. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Twilight Psalm II: Walking Distance (2000) by Phil Solomon; 16mm, color, sound, 23 minutes, print from the 

Phil Solomon imagines his film as from the Bronze Age, "a time when images were smelted and boiled 
rather than merely taken." In it, barely discemable figures and unstable landscapes are freed from the tyranny of the 
realistic to float in the realm of the unconscious. 

Founded by two Bay Area filmmakers in 1961, San Francisco Cinematheque is one of the oldest showcases for 
non-commercial, personal and experimental film in the United States. Striving to make experimental film and 
video a part of the larger cultural landscape, Cinematheque presents seventy programs each year, with artists 
present at many of the screenings, publishes Program Notes and a journal, Cinematograph, and regularly 
collaborates with a number of other arts organizations. For more information or to become a member, give us a 
call at 415.558.8129. 

The Pacific Film Archive is one of the world's most important film archives, film studies centers and exhibitors 
of film art. Their exhibition program offers a wide variety of world cinema from its earliest days through the 
present, highlighted by prints of exceptional quality, with different public screenings almost every night of the 
year. They have one of the finest archival programs devoted to the preservation of experimental film. For more 
information or to become a member, call 510.642.1412. 

Program Notes written by Kathy Geritz and Irina Leimbacher 


2000 Program Notes 


Live Music for New Films 
David Michalak and Reel Change in Person 

Thursday, May 4, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

After thirty years of 16mm filmmaking, David Michalak has formed a soundtrack trio called Reel Change featuring 
Andrew Voight, Joe Sabella and the filmmaker. Tonight's program showcases the Trio's live music for David's 
recent works, including the explosive and radiant Firefly (2000); the music honeycombs of Regenbogen (1999); and 
the world premiere of a new score for the rarely screened Fall of the House of Usher, a 1928 version of the Poe 
story by Melville Webber and James Sibley Watson. Also included: the demonic Not Quite Right (1987), with 
new live soundtrack; Start Talking (1995), a personal tribute; and When the Spirit Moves (1999), a color saturated 
fairy tale that explores the ancient myth of the Keeper of the Forest and Her care for an Evolving Creature (in 
digital stereo). Musical guest Tom Nunn will join Reel Change playing homemade instruments he calls "bugs." A 
champagne reception and chat with the filmmaker follows the show. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


An Evening with Lawrence Brose 
Lawrence Brose In Person 

Thursday, May 11, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

De Profundis is a mesmerizing and seductive investigation of Oscar Wilde's project of transgressive aesthetics. 
Incorporating home movies from the 1920s and early gay male erotica along with images from Radical Faerie 
gatherings, queer pagan rituals, radical drag performances and images of confinement, the film sets up a haunting 
investigation of queemess, masculinity, history and sexuality. The film employs experimental hand and alternative 
chemical processing techniques to alter the original images. The transformed footage addresses the fixed framing of 
masculinity while questioning concepts of redemption, contamination and transgression set against critical 
readings of Wilde and of contemporary gay culture. These images are buttressed against a soundtrack composed of 
Wilde aphorisms, a score by Frederic Rzewski (written specifically for the film) and multi-tracked interviews with 
diverse contemporary gay men. 

De Profundis (1997); 16mm, color, sound, 65 minutes, print from themaker 

Why did I do Wilde? First to try to recapture and examine the transgressive aesthetics of Oscar Wilde and 
to address the new conservatism in the Gay Community. That conservatism was in part consolidating around the 
policing of sex, monitoring behavior and disassociating the marginal quality and power of queemess in the name 
of political activism (or at least expedience). The other reason is that I am interested in how people today use 
language to define their own identity (often unself-consciously and without any critical analysis) and how this 
relates back to the last century when much of this language developed. And finally, to explore a broader range of 
deviant gender behavior and sexualities that can be seen at work in various trajectories from Wilde's imprisonment 
in 1895. 

...Wilde was imprisoned in the year of the birth of cinema so I wanted to address cinema in its infancy, 
and the earliest images of cinema are home movies. I have also found this to be true of early gay erotica and 
muscle boy movies like the Athletic Models Guild films. I wanted to tease out other readings of these home 
movie images I acquired of men and boys on a boat — the boat acting as a container just as the framing and 
language are containers. I also wanted to take something private (home movies and porn) and make it 
public — continuing the friction between those two arenas. Think about it, what is "coming out" but an act of 
revealing, to exhibit, to make public. This is also the impulse of cinema — it desires a public arena. 

I also want to address the idea of fragmentation. Laura U. Marks, in an article in Cinemas entitled 
"Loving a Disappearing Image," raises an issue dealing with identification with a cinematic image which is always 
disappearing from our view. She writes, "To have an aging body, as we all do, raises the question of why we are 
compelled to identify with images of wholeness... what is it like to identify with an image that is disintegrating?" 
I have created a cinema that presents a partial image, that continues to disperse, that resists a wholeness. Perhaps 
this is what is essentially queer about the film — not the desire for completeness or wholeness but to revel in the 
uncertainties of fragments. (LB, "Why I Did Wilde," Voices, September 1998) 

An Individual Desires Solution (1986/1991); 16mm, color, sound, 16 minutes, print from the maker 

A structural cinepoem concerning the mystery of death through the struggle for answers and survival of 
my boyfriend Kevin, who passed away on my birthday in Sussex, England. Before Kevin died he asked me to 
redefine the acronym AIDS as An Individual Desires Solution — hence the title. (LB) 

"This haunting short film uses titles whose silent-movie roots are further enhanced by the piano on the 
soundtrack. Brose's nickelodeon gestures suggest a yearning for a time before aging, disease, and death replaced 
youth and hope. In this manner, his films' self-consciousness is more than simply a masturbatory device; it is an 
evocative metaphor that helps us to unveil what the camera, reacting to the filmmaker's pain, often obscures." (Jan 
Stuart, Film Comment, December 1987) 


2000 Program Notes 


J. Hoberman In Person 

May 13-18, 2000 —Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 8:00 pm 

Vanguard filmmaker, radical photographer, seminal performance artist, queer aesthete, first amendment martyr, 
underground renaissance man: Jack Smith maintained an intense, lifelong rapture conjured from the tarnished magic 
of a '30s and '40s Hollywood that had come to camp out on the movie set of his own mind. The extemalization of 
the moldy glamour, which obsessed him from adolescence, enabled him to both exoticize and humanize a 
conservative American culture enamored with progress and bruised in its formation by economic speculation and 
cold war. 

J. Hoberman is the Senior Film Critic at The Village Voice, author of numerous books of film criticism, and a 
former Guggenheim fellow. As a Wattis Film/Video Artist-in-Residence at Yerba Buena, he will present four 
programs on the life and work of vanguard filmmaker, performance artist, queer aesthete and underground 
Renaissance man, Jack Smith. 

This series is a co-presentation of YBC's Film/Video department and "In Conversation" program, in collaboration 
with San Francisco Cinematheque. (Program descriptions adapted from writings by Hoberman and Jerry Tartaglia.) 

Saturday, May 13, 8 p.m. 

The making and unmaking of Flaming Creatures. 

Hoberman presents an annotated screening of Jack Smith's opus, Flaming Creatures (1963, 45 minutes, 16mm), 

which proved to be the most incendiary avant-garde film ever made in America; the story of how it came to be and 

what became of it. 

Sunday, May 14, 1 p.m. 

"The Perfect Film Appositeness of MM and VS" 

This matinee double-bill features Marlene Dietrich in Josef von Sternberg's The Devil is a Woman (1936, 83 

minutes, 35mm) and Maria Montez in John Rawlins' Arabian Nights (1942); plus excerpts from Universal horrors. 

Flaming Creatures is a film that owed everything and nothing to Hollywood. The everything included Jack 

Smith's admiration of von Sternberg and obsession with Maria Montez, as explicated in his writings. 

Tuesday, May 16, 8 p.m. 
The complete Normal Love 

Jack Smith began production on a sumptuously full-color, ironically heterosexual and avowedly "commercial" 
follow-up to Flaming Creatures after the latter' s sensational premiere; he then "abandoned" this follow-up feature 
after Flaming Creatures was banned in New York. The extant footage has been preserved and assembled in 
accordance with Smith's journal notes. The musical accompaniment was culled from Smith's record collection by 
archivist Jerry Tartaglia, who restored the film on behalf of the Plaster Foundation. (1963-1964, 105 minutes, 
16mm). Followed by The Yellow Footage: Normal Love addendum reel (1963-64, 20 minutes, 16mm) 

Thursday, May 18, 8 p.m. 
"Jack Smith in Performance" 

Although Smith's theater pieces constituted his most significant work of the 70s and later, few were recorded. 
Fortunately it is possible to sequence a slide show documenting his inimitable 1977 staging of Ibsen's Ghosts, and 
someone once did bring a Sony portapak to the Plaster Foundation... Tonight's program features Midnight at the 
Plaster Foundation (c.1970, 20 minutes, video) and The Secret of Rented Island (1977/1997, 80 minutes, video). 
(Thanks to Vidipix for restoration of Midnight at the Plaster Foundation and to Edward Leffingwell for sequencing 
The Secret of Rented Island, with production assistance from the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS.) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


Curated and Presented by Claire Bain 
Gail Camhi, Alfred Hernandez, Pelle Lowe and Ken Paul Rosenthal In Person 

Thursday, May 25, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

My inspiration for this show was an essay by filmmaker Nina Fonoroff published in Big As Life: An American 
History of 8mm Films, the catalog for the Cinematheque and NY MoMA retrospective of the same title. It is 
appropriate that many Super 8mm films have as their subject matter issues of economic survival — how one's 
identity is defined by one's participation in a set of obligatory social rituals such as family functions or, even more 
bindingly, one's job. In these films labor is treated as an extension of personal life, and the two are posited as part 
of a continuum, rather than diametrically opposed. Super 8mm filmmakers can thus redeem the onerous activity of 
earning their daily bread, as the shit job becomes a suitable subject for filmic exploration. 

In these works I see hope for dignity in the face of the struggle to simply function as we are meant to: as creative 
beings. This is not to say that we should complacently accept our plight as artists living in a blind society which 
does not see the necessity of art as an element of human survival; it is to say that we can prevail even when we 
must divert our time and energy to pursuits that do not, in and of themselves, fulfill us. 

Smoke (1995-96) by Pelle Lowe; Super 8mm, color, sound, 25 minutes, print from the maker 

A horribly beautiful examination of the invasive procedures of questioning people who are seeking work, 
financial assistance or entry into this society. Against the setting of people pouring underground into transit and 
smoke flowing into the sky, actual questions from employment, assistance and immigration applications provide a 
glaring indication of the presumption of power and negation of dignity by the inquirers, their authority resting 
simply on the fact that they are the ones who provide livelihood. A sky is filled with industrial waste, creating a 
gorgeous sunset possessing a dark beauty similar to that of the atomic bomb explosion in Bruce Conner's 

Living in the World, Part I (1985) by Joe Gibbons; Super 8mm transferred to video, color, sound, 14 minutes, 
tape from the maker 

With a small gauge Gibbons tells a big, sharp-edged story wrapped in hilarity that's too close to the brink 
for comfort. Like Pelle Lowe, he uses Super 8mm to create a grand visual depiction of a story. To me, Joe 
Gibbons is the James Stewart of experimental film. Appearing as himself, he creates a screen persona that's rich 
with immediacy and crazily compelling. In this, the first part of his masterful opus on functioning in society, he 
deals with his dreary job and his dinner. 

Coffee Break (1976) by Gail Camhi; 16mm, color, silent, 15 minutes, print from the maker 

A real-time portrait of the filmmaker and work mates from the payroll office of a university in upstate 
NY. This is a beautifully touching look at a group of women workers, whose ages span 2 generations, as they 
touch base with their humanity on a break at work. Some of them could be your mother. And the beautiful bored 
Camhi sits at center, passing the minutes over a fluorescent-lit last supper with its chalices of coffee, newspaper 
scrolls and cigarette censors. 


Work Art Work (2000) by Alfred Hernandez; video, color, sound, 5 minutes, tape from the maker 

Left to the devices and the tools of a fabric librarian, Hernandez created books, Polaroid photos, drawings, 
storyboards and more in the back room of an SF interior design firm when he wasn't helping consultants choose 
expensive fabrics. This video montage takes a rhythmic look at the products of his labor. 

At Photo Motion, San Francisco (1987) by Ken Paul Rosenthal; Super 8mm, silent, 3 minutes, print from the 
maker (camera by C Bain) 

After closing time at the 1-hour photo store, Ken Rosenthal directed this beautiful silvery self-portrait 
in which his body intersects with sunlit reflections on the floor, turning the carpet which customers usually 
traverse into a figurative canvas of light, giving new meaning to the name "Photo Motion." 


2000 Program Notes 

At Such a Business, San Francisco (1994) by Ken Paul Rosenthal; Super 8mm, sound, 3 minutes, print from 
the maker 

While the staff and management are in the next room discussing Rosenthal's dismissal from his job, he 
finally gives in to an urge he's had for the duration of his employment at this children's clothing and toy store. 

Unemployment Portrayal (1974-83) by Saul Levine; 8mm blown up to 16mm, color, silent, 4 minutes, print 
from Canyon Cinema 

Waiting in line for unemployment- 
red star 

key words 
catch the phrases 
the money Chase 
the search for security 
disappearing and reappearing children 
shop windows of the married life 
buy the by — could you afford it? 

We must move forward 
inflation will destroy 
this country 
If we don't 
-Claire Bain 

V el Richards' Lunchtime Office Ergonomics Seminar (1992) by Claire Bain; video, color, sound, 20 minutes, 
tape from the maker 

A document of Bain's alter-ego, Vel Richards, giving a presentation complete with slides and Super 8 
film on good posture in her office. The attendees are as interesting to watch as Vel as they carefully observe the 
performance. On location at a brown-bag lunch seminar with coworkers (engineers, geologists, drafts people and 
secretarial workers) at an environmental engineering firm in SF. Videotaped by my supervisor, Liem Le. 

Program Notes written by Claire Bain 


Three Nights of Luther Price 

Program One: Home, Sweet Home 

Luther Price in Person 

Thursday, June 1, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

"I want to make true films. I don't care if it hurts me... people exploit each other anyway. If you 
exploit yourself you leave no room to be exploited by someone else... No one can hurt me; no one 
can say anything about me because I've already said it. I've already given them the dirt. We 
always have the ability to redeem ourselves... " (Luther Price) 

In tonight's program, Luther Price (a.k.a. Tom Rhoads) performs an invasive surgical procedure on sentimentalized 
notions of home and childhood. Of course, one might well wonder what could possibly be left to extract from this 
cultural corpse. After decades of artistic assault, our Norman Rockwell mythology has been so thoroughly 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

deconstructed and dissected that any artist revisiting this territory now runs the risk of simply replacing one set of 
cliches with another. If Price does manage to develop an original approach to these themes, it is because his critical 
objects are not just Home, Family and Mother, but the tortured, torturing relations that have been established 
between those idealized categories and the brute, material facts of a very specific life history: Price's own. 

Price's medium, in this respect, becomes a substantial part of his message. Working almost exclusively in the 
Super-8 format, Price reappropriates the technology which has traditionally functioned to monitor, maintain and 
reinforce the symbolic linkages between homes and Home. The home movie, Price reminds us, occupies the nexus 
in which the absolutely particular and the depressingly stereotypical intersect. In its compulsive documentation of 
private rites of passage — births, first steps, first words, birthdays, weddings, etc. — the home movie always contains 
a latent imperative to frame those events in such a way that their uniqueness will be all but completely absorbed 
into the generic, instantly recognizable codes of "normality." On one level, Price's films are about the impossibility 
of sustaining that compulsory illusion, of keeping the real-life, everyday horrors of family life safely and 
permanently out of camera range. Too intimate, too personal and too candid, these works always show us far more 
than we would ever want to see. But Price's films ultimately take this impulse to self-exposure one crucial step 
further. Although each of these pieces displays the hallmarks of the "personal" or "diaristic" film — the family 
photographs, the shots of the artist himself, his neighborhood, his room — what they actually "reveal" is nothing 
that could be said to belong to Price alone. On the contrary, in the place where we would expect to find the Dark 
Family Secret exposed, Price gives us only an accumulation of banal, stultifyingly familiar objects: talking dolls, 
store-bought birthday cakes, songs by the Carpenters. Imbuing these kitsch artifacts with an aura of nameless dread, 
Price comes as close as any filmmaker ever has to achieving a true sense of the uncanny. 

As Freud has defined it, "the uncanny" refers not only to feelings of disconcerting familiarity or "un-homeliness" 
but also to those moments when we begin to suspect that "automatic, mechanical processes are at work, concealed 
beneath the ordinary appearance of animation." In Price's films, these two senses converge as the intimacies of the 
domestic sphere are consistently aligned with repetition, automatism and mass-produced sentimentality. The horror 
that Price's films force us to confront emerges precisely at this point of collapse. No longer is the home envisioned 
as a place of refuge from the dehumanizing demands of the outside world, but as the site in which those demands 
are most forcibly and inescapably implanted. 

Home (1990-1999) by Luther Price; Super 8mm, b&w, sound, 13 minutes, print from the maker 

Family photos are here subjected to a dispassionate, almost forensic analysis. The circles of light and dark 
which select certain subjects for special attention or effacement recall the graphically similar techniques used in 
newspaper or history book photographs, as though a future assassin's face were being picked out of a grade-school 
class picture or an innocent victim's identity were being carefully protected. The voice belongs to Price's mother. 
Deeply ingrained with inflections specific to class and region, her voice seems to speak the local against the 
general, the embodied against the anonymous. As the recorded fragments repeat, however, a discomforting 
phenomenological shift occurs. The very tonal elements which had initially served to anchor the voice in a 
distinctive body and personality gradually begin float away from those moorings, like the "boat" whose ownership 
seems to be so much in question. Divested of all intention and meaning, the words become blunt instruments, 
drumming against the ear with an indifferent, too-predictable rhythm. 

Green (1988) by Tom Rhoads; Super 8mm, color, sound, 36 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

One hesitates to apply the threadbare label of "camp" to any of Price/ Rhoads' works since they seem to 
exhibit very little of the arch detachment or knowingness that we generally associate with that term, at least after 
Warhol. In Green, however, Rhoads' allusions to this distinctly gay tradition of black humor are obvious and 
unmistakable. The film begins with an interminable shot of a dead blackbird as Peggy Lee (or is it Rosemary 
Clooney?) warbles "Let There Be Love" on the soundtrack. If the shot bears more than a passing resemblance to 
the credit sequence of John Waters' Desperate Living, it is undoubtedly because both filmmakers were drawing on 
the same source — Robert Aldrich's 1962 classic of domestic/maternal horror, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane? 
Later in the film, we can make out the distorted strains of Baby Jane Hudson/Bette Davis's anthem to failed 
Oedipalization, "I've Written a Letter to Daddy;" only this time, there's nothing funny about it. 

Rhoads understands that the camp appeal of Aldrich's film is inseparable from its underlying terrors. 
Paralyzed in a car accident, Blanche/Crawford has been reduced to a state of infantile dependence and sister Jane, 
driven mad by jealousy and unchecked narcissism, becomes the worst mother in the world. Fertilized by this 
scenario, tropes of paralysis and immobility seem to sprout up everywhere in Green, from the ubiquitous plastic 
flowers to the frozen poses of hysterical elation struck by Rhoads' silver-painted drag queen. The soundtrack also 
includes fragments from Art Linkletter's creepy kitschfest, Kids Say the Darndest Things (also an inspiration for 
Waters' early short, The Diane Linkletter Story). At one point, Linkletter advises one of his young victims to ask 
his mother about "the time when you were a baby:" "She'll tell you, you couldn't walk, you couldn't talk... All 


2000 Program Notes 

you could say was 'Waa-waa!'" The sanctified image of the mother-child bond once again begins to take on the 
qualities of mute horror, and mother-love inexorably gives rise to monstrous visions. The concluding images of 
butterflies trapped in celluloid seems to be a tip-of-the-hat to Stan Brakhage's famous experiment, Mothlight, but 
in light of the nightmares that have come before it, Rhoads' images of arrested flight here seem to point to 
something far more sinister. 

run (1994) by Luther Price; Super 8mm, color, sound, 13 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

By itself, run might be viewed as a fairly straightforward, film-schoolish exercise in formalist 
experimentation; juxtaposed with Green, the film seems to invite another, more challenging interpretation. The 
title itself seems to hover somewhere between the constative and the imperative, referring perhaps to the objective 
"run" of the film through the projector or, alternatively, to some more ominous command to run from an unnamed 
or unnamable threat. Viewed from this perspective, the film's dominant imagery of birds begins to take on a 
similarly ambiguous set of connotations. According to what one might call the Richard Bach Effect, birds 
generally tend to evoke cloying, card-shop notions of freedom and transcendence. In Price's film, by contrast, these 
shots have been cut apart and retaped together with an obsessiveness bordering on the pathological. Dismembered 
and reassembled in this way, this imagery becomes saturated with immanent violence. Instead of bringing to mind 
soft-focus images of soaring escape, these primitive, stuttering shots now begin to recall the murderous undertones 
of Etienne- Jules Marey's 1882 "camera-gun" — a device originally designed to capture and dissect the movement of 
birds in flight. One might also think of the stuffed birds in the Bates Motel — those sentinels which prefigure the 
abrupt and violent end to Marion Crane's own desperate flight from home. Even in his most high-flown, formalist 
moments, it would seem, Price stages the inevitable fall back to earth. . . the clipping of wings. 

Mother (1988-98) by Luther Price; Super 8mm, color, sound, 25 minutes, print from the maker 

There is a famous moment in Camera Lucida in which Roland Barthes gives his reasons for not 
reproducing the "Winter Garden Photograph" of his mother, even though he has already said that this is the central 
image from which he will "derive" all Photography. "It exists only for me," Barthes declares; "For you it would be 
nothing but an indifferent picture, one of the thousand manifestations of the 'ordinary'; it cannot in any way 
constitute the visible object of a science; it cannot establish an objectivity, in the positive sense of the term; at 
most it would interest your studium: period, clothes, photogeny; but in it, for you, no wound." 

The long, "objective-looking" shots of Mother invert Barthes' logic in order to take the measure of these 
distances: not only the distance between what this person means for the filmmaker and what she means for us, but 
also the temporal and emotional distances which separate mother from son, age from youth and Motherhood from 
the fallible, all too human women who find themselves occupying that role. 

Res hat ions (2000) by Luther Price; Super 8mm, b&w, sound, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

The image track of Resitations closely resembles that of Home: family photos again provide the bulk of 
the film's subject matter, and similar visual devices are used to examine the working-class trappings of Price's 
childhood. We can only assume that the voice on the soundtrack also belongs to Price's mother, as it does in the 
earlier film. This time, she is reading from a collection of religious poetry while impossibly sentimental 
music — of the sort that one would only expect to hear in nineteenth century melodramas or, with a more ironic 
cast, in Warner Brothers cartoons — plays in the background. The "uplifting" homilies offered by these poems 
border on the grotesque. With sing-song rhyme schemes and plodding metric feet, these bits of doggerel verse 
become the spiritual equivalent of cellophane-wrapped snack cakes — mass-produced confections whose sugary 
sweetness quickly turns the stomach. As Price depicts it here, the maternal "care of the soul" finally resembles 
nothing so much as a prolonged regimen of force-feeding. 

Program Notes written by David Conner 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


Three Nights of Luther Price 

Program Two: Body Fluid 

Luther Price in Person 

Saturday, June 3, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

see June 1 for series overview 

A preliminary word of caution: the films in this evening's program are among the most graphic and disturbing in 
Price's oeuvre. Price's use of sensational imagery, however, is never intended solely to shock. These works 
might best be viewed as ruthless, but often deeply personal meditations on the culture of overexposure. With 
many of these films, Price seems concerned to raise a question which very few "abject" artists have been willing to 
confront so directly: in an age when psychic and physical suffering has become the primary stock and trade of 
American culture, from tabloid television to ultraviolent art, what are the consequences for our collective capacity 
to experience something like "empathy?" Generously viewed, these films seem to constitute a desperate attempt to 
restore a lost dimension of moral horror to the spectacles of bodily horror that now confront us on a daily basis. 
Ungenerously viewed, they might appear as the morbid symptoms of a much larger crisis. Perhaps the primary 
strength of these films consists in the way that they so stubbornly occupy that contradiction, leaving its resolution 
— if there is one — entirely up to the viewer. 

Yellow Goodbye (1999); Super 8mm, color, sound on cassette tape, 10 minutes 

Providing some brief respite from the evening's more grueling selections, this film offers a comparatively 
innocuous tribute to the Beat films of the late '50s and early '60s. A mini-anthology of three shorter works, the 
sequences that make up this triptych were originally titled, in order, Girl, Rex is the Dog and Yellow Goodbye. 

#5 (2000?); Super 8mm, color, sound on cassette tape 

Even after it's been abstracted to the point of near unrecognizability, footage of a tumor removal cannot 
become anything other than what it is. Or can it? With this short film, Price again stages the tension between the 
abstract and the abject. The primary subject of this work seems to be the rude intrusion, the thing which emerges 
suddenly and unaccountably to ruin the conditions of aesthetic experience. 

Meat Situation 04 (1997); Super 8mm, color, sound on cassette tape, 4 minutes 

In 1985, during a trip to Nicaragua, Price (then known as Brigk) was accidentally shot at close range by 
one of his own bodyguards. After eleven days close to death in a Nicaraguan hospital, Price was eventually able to 
return to the U.S. where, for the next two months, he underwent a long and difficult recuperation at Massachusetts 
General. His 1992 performance piece, Meat, dealt with these experiences by using viscerally charged images and 
objects (surgical procedures, raw and rotting meat) within a highly ritualized context. This film represents a partial 
return to this performance piece and, at a further remove, to the trauma that inspired it. 

Juxtaposing clips from surgical supply videos with grisly close-ups of lacerated and diseased flesh, Price 
attempts to pry open the logic which sustains institutional indifference. Clothing designed to protect (and, in a 
couple of grimly funny instances, to prettify) becomes a metaphor for the attempt to keep the realities of pain and 
sickness at a safe distance. Price brings those suppressed realities right up to the surface and practically dares us to 
look away. 

Eruption-Erection (1989); Super 8mm, b&w, sound, 10 minutes 

This film could be described as a two-part study of the autism of religious kitsch. The first half makes a 
hilarious contribution to Price's ever-expanding repertoire of images of bodily penetration. To coin a pun no more 
vulgar than the film itself, it is an image of a decidedly retarded eroticism. The second half recasts the pop rituals 
of Christian evangelism as another form of self-absorbed, arrested development. Never has the topic of infantile 
self-satisfaction been handled with such intelligence. 

Meat Blue 03 (1999); Super 8mm, color, sound 

This film offers another variation on a few of Price's favorite themes: surgery, the materiality of the flesh, 
and the banalities of disposable culture. The restaged performance piece that we glimpse through filmed and 


2000 Program Notes 

videotaped fragments bears a strong resemblance to the Materialaktions of Viennese artists Gunter Brus and Otto 
Muehl. Like these mid-sixties performance artists, Price stages the body in extremis, reducing the perceptible 
differences between human flesh and the "flesh of the world" to a minimum. The lip-synching sequence depicts 
the performer's relation to canned pop sentiment as another form of bodily infiltration — less gruesome, perhaps, 
but no less disconcerting. Recurring shots of sutures and gaping wounds begin to suggest blunt parallels between 
surgical procedures and Price's own cinematic practice: taking up bits of discarded refuse and stitching them back 
together again, Price's film exposes a covert complicity between violence and salvation. 

Ritual 629 (1990-1999); Super 8mm, color, sound on cassette tape, 15 minutes 

In the tradition of Sodom, Price here fires another exploding bullet at the "positive image" school of gay 
filmmaking. Like the obsessive characters in Dennis Cooper's novels, Price searches for beauty in the most 
mortifying visions of corporeal violation. Price's film seems to document the same paradox that critic Earl 
Jackson has witnessed in Cooper's fiction: "the persistence of obsessive metaphysical gestures within a radically 
demystified world." 

I'll Cry Tomorrow, Parts 1 and 2 (2000); Super 8mm, color, sound on film and cassette tape, 20 minutes 

Perhaps because these two films are among Price's most personal works, they are also, in many respects, 
the most difficult to watch. Both films were made during his sister's long and ultimately fatal illness, and they 
seem to represent an intensely private attempt to come to terms with a loved one's mortality. But there is nothing 
maudlin about either film. One gets the sense that Price is here struggling to create a new language for loss, one 
forged in reaction to the expressions of trite sentimentality that are always lying in wait for these experiences. 

Dead Ringer (2000); Super 8mm, color, sound on cassette tape, 3 minutes 

When Price was a child, he and his sister would make audio recordings of old Hollywood movies on 
television, and they would listen to their favorites (Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, Mildred Pierce, Imitation of 
Life) as they were going to sleep at night. This film presents a strange and dreamlike meditation on this 
interweaving of childhood memories with cinematic fantasies. Without sound, the two halves of this diptych 
seem to occupy the same ethereal space — some private floating archive of half-remembered events and emotions, at 
once real and unreal. 

Program Notes written by David Conner 


Three Nights of Luther Price 

Program Three: "Tell Me a Secret/Give Me a Kiss" 

Luther Price in Person 

Sunday, June 4, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

see June I for series overview 

This third and final program in our retrospective presents a selection of some of Price/Rhoads' best-known works. 
Longer and denser than most of his other pieces, these films come as close to "epic" status as Price's resolutely 
anti-epic sensibility will allow. They also demonstrate Price's compulsive talent for bricolage. Although their 
reliance on found footage varies widely (Sodom, for instance, is composed entirely of found material; Warm Broth 
uses it only sparingly), these films all respond to the bricoleur's impulse to construct coherent systems out of the 
random detritus of everyday life. 

From this perspective, it is tempting to describe these works as typically "postmodern." Price seems to be 
occupying the position which prophet/critic Jean Baudrillard has described as "the state of terror proper to the 
schizophrenic: too great a proximity of everything, the unclean promiscuity of everything which touches, invests 
and penetrates without resistance, with no halo of private protection, not even his own body, to protect him 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

anymore." But with these films, Price seems to be doing much more than simply repeating the familiar 
symptoms of the postmodern condition: the breakup of the unitary sign, the erosion of public/private boundaries, 
the escalating "frenzy of the visible." For Price, all of this has already taken place, and there's little point in 
dwelling on it. Where postmodern art has been characterized by its obsessive concerns over meaning, Price seems 
far more captivated by the expressive possibilities of sensation. Price's materials are not so much codes as affects: 
textures, intensities, and memory-images so precisely defined that they eventually begin to achieve something akin 
to the density and mobility of words. 

Sodom (1994); double projection Super 8mm, color, sound on cassette tape, 18 minutes 

"Sodom, like the best art-making, is essentially ineffable. Its effect is visceral. It hits somewhere in the 
solar plexus, that nebulous area where emotional and physical sensations converge. Its overall tone is sad. It 
seems to be an elegy in which there is tremendous compassion and tenderness. This can be read, for example, in 
the exquisite shots of the face of the blond youth as he is being fucked — a mix of pleasure and pain, yearning and 
enduring. Sodom seems an elegy... but to what?" (Michael Wallin) 

Bottle Can (1993); Super 8mm, b&w, sound, 20 minutes 

Reviewing one of Nikola Tesla's turn-of-the-century demonstrations of his famous coil, one awestruck 
journalist wrote: "Who could remain unimpressed in the face of the weird, waving glowing tubes and the 
mysterious voice issuing from the midst of an electrostatic field?" In 1920, at the beginning of America's radio 
boom, Thomas Edison announced that he was at work on an "apparatus designed to enable those who have left this 
earth to communicate with those of us who are still on the earth." Two years after the Sputnik launch in 1957, 
Arthur C. Clarke opined that satellite communications would provide the means "to conquer the world without 
anyone noticing." 

Bottle Can picks up this mystical thread in the history of American technophilia and explores the ways in 
which high-tech visions, ethereal voices, and dreams of "leaving the earth" have become powerfully intermingled 
in our cultural imagination. The soundtrack appears to have been taken from a subliminal weight-loss tape, and 
the bulk of the found footage depicts rocket launches, space walks and other feats of gravity-defiance. Outer and 
inner space change places as the film's fever-dream of total control unravels and finally implodes. 

Me Gut No Dog DOG (1995); Super 8mm screened on video, color, sound, 46 minutes 

"Perhaps Price's most disquieting film, Me Gut No Dog DOG is a sharp-edged social satire, ...focusing 
on the military, but also targeting American values and society more generally. A variety of images including 
marching soldiers, a walking dog (printed in reverse), explicit gay sex, young men and women goofing around and 
a businessman are drawn together to create a devastating portrait of American life." (Patrick Friel) 

Warm Broth (1988) by Tom Rhoads; Super 8mm, color, sound, 30 minutes 

Already recognized as a classic of contemporary avant-garde cinema, Warm Broth also deserves a place 
alongside Matthias Miiller's Alpsee as one of the most sophisticated and incisive films about queer childhood ever 
produced. The film is a meditation on the riddle of sexual origins, but Rhoads refuses to accept any of the easy 
Oedipal answers. In fact, the film's curiosity seems entirely focused on the play of surfaces: the seductive sheen of 
ribbon candies, Fire King coffee mugs, Melmac dishware, Fisher-Price toys. When the clues to sexual "secrets" do 
break the surface of the film — in the form of naughty words stenciled on floral print wallpaper, or brief glimpses of 
The Act itself — they immediately fade away again, like the after-images of a flashbulb pop. To what register of 
significance do these "revelations" belong? Do they wield more power or threat than the image of a melting 
fudgesicle? Than the inviting, fleecy texture of a Chanel-inspired topcoat? Only a dyed-in-the-wool fairy would 
have the nerve to ask such impertinent, trivializing questions, and yet these are the mysteries that seem to fascinate 
Price the most. Like the doll which keeps making nagging demands but leaves no room for any response, Price 

asks "deep" questions without really wanting to know the answers. 


Program Notes written by David Conner unless otherwise noted 


2000 Program Notes 


An Evening with Phil Solomon 
Phil Solomon in Person 

Thursday, June 8, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Cinematheque is proud to close its thirty-ninth season with a rare visit from Colorado-based filmmaker Phil 
Solomon. Solomon's films combine intense chemical treatment of emulsive surfaces and meticulous optical 
printing to achieve amazing and paradoxical fusions of pure shimmering light and unbelievable mineral density. 
Surfaces bubble and boil and appear as violently roiling cauldrons of molten material, within which images and 
events struggle for recognition, emerging as fragments of long-forgotten fables and repressed bits of ancient 
collective memories. Tonight's program is Solomon's personal selection, which includes new work, collaborations 
with Stan Brakhage, an older gem and previews of some works-in-progress. (Steve Polta) 

Part I: Works with Stan Brakhage 

Concrescence (1995); 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes, print from Phil Solomon 

"'Concrescence' is the name for the process in which the universe of many things acquires an individual 
unity in a determined relegation of each item of the 'many' to its subordination in the constitution of the novel 
'one'... An actual occasion is analyzable. The analysis discloses operations transforming entities which are 
individually alien into components of a complex which is discreetly one. The term 'feeling' will be used as the 
generic description of such operations. We thus say that an actual occasion is a concrescence effected by a process 
of feelings." (Alfred North Whitehead, Process and Reality) 

Seasons... (1998-2000); 16mm, color, silent, 20 minutes, print from Phil Solomon 

Brakhage's frame by frame hand carvings and etchings directly into the film emulsion are illuminated by 
Solomon's optical printing, then edited by Solomon into a seasonal cycle of several movements, beginning with 
"Summer" (a trio for Sun, Earth, and Ocean) and ending in "Spring" (carvings and hand painting combined into 
bloom). Seasons... is finally a hymn to sun/light throughout the year's cycle. 

This film is to be considered part of a larger umbrella work by Brakhage entitled "... ". Seasons... is 
inspired by the colors and textures found in the woodcuts of Hokusai and Hiroshige and the playful sense of forms 
dancing in space from the film works of Robert Breer and Len Lye. Special thanks to Philip Rowe, who first 
pointed out to me the "seasonal" implications of my initial test roll. In memoriam, Gabriella Langendorff. It was 
her favorite. (PS) 

Part II: One from the Heart 

What's Out Tonight is Lost (1983); 16mm, color, silent, 8 minutes, print from the maker 

"Adopting its title from a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay, What 's Out Tonight is Lost is an elegiac 
film sifting through the unrecoverable. The film is a reflecting pool where vision breaks up. The home we 
recognize is swallowed in the brume, the light barely penetrates; and the yellow school bus steals us away, 
delivering us into new clouds, embracing fear. The film has a surface of cracked porcelain and intaglio: the allergic 
childhood skin of cracks and bruises. This is a film of transubstantiations, the discorporation of human forms into 
embers. Air looms and blossoms into solidity and nearness... I hear it breathing..." (Mark McElhatten) 

A cha-cha in the fog as the school bus departs, the lighthouse remains in disrepair. (PS) 

Part III: The Twilight Psalms 

The Twilight Psalms (1999-2001) is a series of short visual tone poems, a personal history of the Twentieth 
Century at closing time. Inspired by the series from Rod Serling, Binghamton, NY. (PS) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Twilight Psalm I: "The Lateness of the Hour"; 16mm, color, silent, 8 minutes, print from the maker 

A little Nachtmusik, a deep blue overture to the series. Breathing in the cool night airs, breathing out a 
song; then whispering a prayer for a night of easeful sleep. My blue attempt at a sequel to Rose Hobart. 

For Joseph Cornell swinging in the dark, and for Mark Lapore, who came back just to help a friend 
breathe a little easier. (PS) 

Twilight Psalm II: "Walking Distance"; 16mm, color, sound, 23 minutes, print from the maker 

Imagine one of those rusted medieval film cans surviving centuries, a long lost Biograph/Star, a 
Griffith/Melies co-production, but this time a two-reeler left to us from, say, the Bronze Age, a time when images 
were smelted and boiled rather than merely taken, when they poured down like silver, not be to fixed and washed, 
mind you, but free to reform and coagulate into unstable, temporary molds, mere holding patterns of faces, places, 
and things, shape-shifting according to whim, need, the uncanny or the inevitable... Walking Distance is a Golden 
Book tale of horizontals and verticals, a cinema of ether and ore. I lay dying. 

Inspired by Kiefer and Ryder, dedicated to Stan Brakhage. (PS) 

Yes, I Said Yes, I Will, Yes (1999); 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes (and the rest of my life), print from the 

For Melinda, in celebration of our honeymoon in the "Golden State." (PS) 


From Dada to Now 

Curated and Presented by Charles Boone 

Co-Presented with Acustica International SF 2000 and the San Francisco Art Institute 

Sunday, September 24, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 8 pm 

Artists in widely diverse disciplines have long concerned — and continue to concern — themselves with sound as 
both medium and subject. This fact is particularly notable in an art community such as ours at the San Francisco 
Art Institute. Film, video, performance, installation, writing, pure sound... even painting; these are all areas where 
sounds of all kinds have provided both inspiration and material itself. 

Completed Portrait of Picasso by Gertrude Stein 
Ursonata by Kurt Schwitters 
Klange/Sounds by Wassily Kandinsky 

Gertrude Stein's "If I Told Him," is a poem, of course; but when read aloud — as it must be — it is 
immediately recognized as a work of verbal, sonic cubism. Dada artists who gathered at Zurich's Cafe Voltaire 
wasted no time in mixing together all manner of texts in their "simultaneous poems," of which "The Admiral 
Looks for a House to Rent," is a classic example. Kurt Schwitters labored for ten years on his Ursonate, but made 
clear that performers might interpret his text in imaginative ways; perhaps this is the reason he left few instructions 
for its realization. Wassily Kandinsky' s interest in connections among the arts is clearly shown in highly 
suggestive texts he wrote early in the century. These bring together sounds, colors, and images in ways that hint at 
the idea of a Gesamtkunstwerk, or total/collective work of art. 

Son of Metropolis San Francisco by Charles Amirkhanian 

Charles Amirkhanian' s Son of Metropolis San Francisco was conceived as a musical Horspiel — an 
experimental "earplay" on tape for radio broadcast or concert performance — and was inspired by the ambiance of the 
city itself as well as its surroundings. It is a condensation of Metropolis San Francisco (1986), and is a bit more 
than twenty-five minutes in duration. Rather than more stereotypical San Francisco sounds — cable cars, for 
instance — various nature sounds dominate the piece. Included as well are human sounds which reflect the cultural 


2000 Program Notes 

diversity of this place. The composer sought to create a strongly subjective, idiosyncratic, reflective piece, more 
spiritual in nature than documentary. The work was commissioned by Klaus Sch5ning for Studio 3 Horspiel of the 
West German Radio. Charles Amirkhanian has been a conspicuous presence on the Bay Area scene for more than 
three decades, as composer, concert presenter and leader of significant regional arts organizations. 

Mercy (1989) by Abigail Child; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

The intense sonic profiles of Abigail Child's film and video work match equally the quirky brilliance of 
its visual images. She frequently collaborates with musicians whose ingenuity matches her own; in this film, with 
vocalist Shelley Hirsch. Mercy, the final work in a seven-film series, Is This What You Were Born For?, features 
all — or almost all — found imagery. In it, one sees and hears the sharp cuts and hot juxtapositions that keep 
Child's work on the brink of the mind and its viewers themselves on the edges of their chairs. Child says, "Mercy 
is encyclopedic ephemera, exploring visions of technology and romantic invention, dissecting the game mass 
media plays with our private perceptions. It is about how one processes materiality, how it gets investigated, how 
it gets cut apart, how something else (inevitably) comes up." Plan to greet the artist when she is in town for three 
screenings of work: October 12, 14 and 15. Check the Cinematheque calendar for details. 

Conversations with a Light Bulb by Laetitia Sonami 

The sounds in Laetitia Sonami's composition mostly derive from digital documents translated as sound 
within whose thick textures the composer had discovered unexpected voices and rhythms. Since these sounds have 
lives of their own, her real-time gestural control of them is relatively minimal. Instead, her gestures more often 
guide other elements such as breathing and the flickering of light bulbs, thus elevating light to the role of silent 
musical partner. Sonami says that her interest in light bulbs as familiar yet "mystical" objects is paired with the 
expanded use of light as a new medium of data transmission. She believes that century twenty-one will be the 
century of light. Be sure to catch her installation in the SFAI faculty exhibition in the Walter McBean Gallery. 
French-bom Laetitia Sonami is a faculty member at the Art Institute and at San Francisco State University. Her 
works can be heard on such labels as Nonesuch, Tellus, Music and Arts Program of America, and (soon to be 
released) Lovely Music. 

Program Notes written by Charles Boone unless otherwise noted 


A Rooftop Screening/Reception 
Curated and Presented by Michael Rosas-Walsh 

Sunday, October 1, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 8pm 

This show will not be a bore. It can't be; it is atop the roof of the San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall. 
Cinematheque proudly begins this calendar with this film event under the stars. There will be some classics by 
Robert Nelson, George Kuchar, Rock Ross, Dean Snider, Michael Rudnick and Toney Merrit, some of which were 
filmed on the roof where your behinds will be sitting. The rest of the program will be a celebration of new works 
by such artists as: Portia Cobb, Diane Kitchen, Rock Ross, Marian Wallace, Matt McCormick, William Z. 
Richard, Diane Frisbee, George Andrews and more. There will be a beer and wine reception following the event. 
Bring your blanket and enjoy live entertainment under the moonlight before and after the program. And yes, you 
can smoke on the roof. (Michael Rosas- Walsh) 

Art School Remembered by Michael Rudnick; 1 .5 minutes 

New Nothing Dad by MRW; 1 .5 minutes 

Dr. Quantum's Malfunctioning Satellite by George Andrews; 2.5 minutes 

'Til My Head Caves In by Rock Ross; 4 minutes 

Bored Members by Dean Snider; 3 minutes 

Destroy All Intellectuals/Intellectuals Strike Back by Dean Snider; 3.5 minutes 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Welcome to the House of Raven by Toney Merritt; 4 minutes 

Raw by MRW; 4 minutes 

Nectar of the Cyclops by Rock Ross; 12 minutes 

Golly Golly Zoom by RW2; 4 minutes 

Football Film by Dan Janos and Cameron Shaw; 3 minutes 

Reel Change 

Hot Leatherette by Robert Nelson; 4 minutes 

Psycho Porpoise by Rock Ross; 3 minutes 

Notch by Diane Kitchen; 8 minutes 

250 Summer by William Z. Richard; 4 minutes 

Sincerely, Joe P. Bear by Matt McCormick; 7 minutes 

Xperiencing Xpressing My Paralysis by Diane J. Frisbee; 4 minutes 

You Are Christine Dietrich by Michael Rudnick; 4.5 minutes 

The Oneers by George Kuchar; 10 minutes 

Format Change 

Music To Strip By by Marian Wallace; 4 minutes 

Snapshots by George Kuchar; 5 minutes 

A very special thanks to Liz Keim & the Exploratorium for the use of their Xenon projector. 

Electric piano entertainment by WILL. 


New Film and Video by Local Makers and Long-Time Friends 

Thursday, October 5, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Join us tonight for a screening/reception to help inaugurate our seventh season at the Yerba Buena Gardens Center 
for the Arts (a location we have inhabited since the Center's opening). Featured are films, videos and film 
performances by Bay Area artists familiar to many of you from Cinematheque screenings over the years. All 
dispense with traditional narrative structure, yet each in their own way is very much a lyricist of their chosen 
medium. And as you will see, many stretch the boundaries of traditional presentation. 

interval Oakland '99 (2000) by Steve Polta; Super 8mm, silent, 3 minutes 

A floating glob of light, undulating, breaking apart, grabs little blobs of light in it, disperses, coalesces 
and dances: a suggestion of constant energy to be experienced directly. This film is not a translation. (SP) 

silt Interlude 1: Ouroboros (1999); 35mm, color, silent, infinite loop 

The molting of a python spliced head to tail. The "original" loop, (silt) 

Focal Length (1999-2000) by Luis Recoder; white light, sound @ 24 fps, 8 minutes 

From hand-held camera to hand-held celluloid, physical and/or chemical processes, the hand stretches by 
the length of the arm and extends its prehensile body to greet the historical materialism of craft-based media. A 
handling of the frame signaling against currents of intermittency; the organic shadow cast in the throw to recast the 
beast trembling in its cage. (LR) 

Homecomings (2000) by Irina Leimbacher; video, color, sound, 10 minutes 


2000 Program Notes 

silt Interlude 2: lost footage from the paranaturalists (c. 1934); 35mm, color, silent, 1 minute 

A recently uncovered example of angiographic film (an emulsion made entirely of plant extracts) 
attributed to members of the California Society of Paranaturalists. (silt) 

Be Like Them (2000) by Thad Povey; 16mm double projection; live music written and performed by Ramona the 
Pest: guitars and vocals by Valerie Esway, guitar by Lucio Menegon, 3 minutes 

"In the volume of those alien voices, sending out their significant messages." (Lyrics by Valerie Esway) 
Consumption and conformity as gross multi-national products. (TP) 

Awake, But Dreaming (2000) by Kerry Laitala; 16mm, stereo sound on CD, 8 minutes 

Une Fois Habitee (Once Inhabited) (1992-99) by Sandra Davis; 16mm, color, sound, 6.5 minute 

Some particular spaces inhabited a while ago. Looking back at the Parisian courtyard, looking at the 
ladies at the villa, looking into the secrets of the chapel of the delinquents. Light sculpts space; shadow describes 
form. (SD) 

silt Interlude 3: Pinhole #1 (1999); Super 8mm and 35mm, 1 minute 

Hand-made, hand-cranked pinhole cameras housing light without glass, shutters or frames, (silt) 

Off the Track (2000) by Lynn Kirby; 3-screen digital video, color, sound, 8 minutes 


The Videos of Rodney Ascher 
Rodney Ascher in Person 

Sunday, October 8, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Applying energetic montage techniques and a strong graphic sensibility to materials freely appropriated from 
popular culture, San Francisco video artist Rodney Ascher creates playful and perverse pieces in a variety of genres. 
While flirting with the conventions of commercial production, these works consistently apply an appreciative irony 
towards their subjects. To be screened: the sock-puppet prison drama The True Story of Crime: X Equals X (co- 
made with Syd Garron); Somebody Goofed (also with Garron), a brilliant reinterpretation of Jack T. Chick's 
apocalyptic religious comic-strip series; a new installment in the ongoing documentary The Collectors and others. 
Ascher will present a personal selection of related works, including Eric Kistel's Thank God Tommy Made it Back 
All Right. (Steve Polta) 

King of the Monsters by Rodney Ascher and Syd Garron; video, color, sound, tape from the makers 

This is what you get when you give two geeks the keys to a mid-level post-production facility for the 

The True History of Crime: X Equals X by Rodney Ascher; video, b&w, sound, tape from the maker 

First (and last, if you don't count the rarely screened A Man Punched Another Man in the Face) 
segment of a projected series of crime-themed docu-dramas meant to trace the evolution of wrongdoing through the 
ages. Gritty and factual expose of the tragic consequences of prison overcrowding, glamorization of serial killers, 
or a mirror held up to society? You be the judge. 

The Triumph of Victory — A Great Fall by Rodney Ascher; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

Ok, so there's this new Bruce Willis movie coming out, right? And in it he discovers that he's 
somehow immune to injury, and as Samuel Jackson (sporting a frizzy new hairdo) points out, it has a sort of 
mystical ramification. Anyhow, the producers commissioned a few different people to create short films about 
other "unbreakable" folks throughout history for the movie's website. In an overambitious folly, I elected to 
dramatize this improbable but true story from WWII. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Thank God Tommy Made it Back All Right by Erik Kistel; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

Millions of innocent children wait in line to see the "Master of Subconsciousness." A subliminal 
warning from Mr. K. 

The Collectors (a work in progress) by Rodney Ascher; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

This one's still in progress so if you have any constructive advice (or phone numbers of especially 
ardent collector-types) feel free to share. A rough and ready portrait of a selection of especially driven collectors 
and why people get so attached to inanimate objects anyway. Featuring an amazing score by Elise Malmberg. 

Buddha Bar by Rodney Ascher; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

An improvised tribute to the Chinatown watering hole using the proprietary technique of 
Reanimation© and a disposable camera. 

Bar B Bar by Marco Porsia; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

An old friend's similarly themed ode to a homey dive in Toronto. Filmmakers around the world 
united around their love of the hard stuff. 

Alfred by Rodney Ascher; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

Another Reanimation mini-epic. Music by and featuring... who else?... Alfred. Originally for the 
band's website. A meditation on the isolation of the individual within the group, the mystery of other peoples' 
(even good friends') inner worlds, good stiff drinks and traffic safety. Popular in France. 

Beware of Slips and Falls; 16mm screened on video, color, sound, tape courtesy of Oddball Film and Video 
"In which our heroine suffers the many indignities arising from on-the-job carelessness." 

Safety-man by Rodney Ascher and Syd Garron; video, color, sound, tape from the makers 

Failed Saturday Night Live submission — a day in the life of universal symbols as featured on 
"Warning" graphics and signs. Also contains drinking and probably the catchiest theme song of the evening. 

Innerspace Dental Commander by Syd Garron and Eric Henry; video, color, sound, tape from the makers 

"DJ Qbert's world-renowned tumtabilism matched beat for beat with cosmic animation. Not 
recommended for viewers with sensitive teeth. One chapter in their amazing long form adaptation of the album 
Wavetwisters, available soon on DVD." 

Something to Take to Heart; 16mm screened on video, b&w, sound, tape courtesy of Oddball Film and Video 
"Do you know why there is a moon, boys and girls?" 

Somebody Goofed by Rodney Ascher and Syd Garron; video, color, sound, tape from the makers 

A perversely faithful adaptation of Jack T. Chick's timeless morality play. 3 strangers, 2 points of 
view, 1 terrible mistake. Watch the film and then take stock of your own life. Haveyow goofed? 

Krazy for Krispy Kreme by Louisa Van Leer and Rodney Ascher; video, color, sound, tape from the makers 
'Kause we were into Krispy Kreme when Krispy Kreme wasn't kool. 

A Cold-Blooded Look at Your Last 60,000,000,000,000 Years! by The Institute for True Purpose Technology; 
35mm filmstrip screened as video, tape from the maker 

Perhaps the most controversial filmstrip of our times. The Institute unveils the true source of human 
suffering, confusion and chaos. Apparently these guys are big fans of Somebody Goofed, so watch the oblique tie- 
in. This Chicago Underground Film Festival Fund award winner is not recommended for persons who have not 
yet reached OT II. Beep! 

Interstitial slides created with the capable assistance of Ms. Trisha Golubev and Mr. Len Borrusco from an old 
R&S idea. 

Program Notes written by Rodney Ascher 


2000 Program Notes 


The Kinetic World of Abigail Child, Program One 

Abigail Child in Person 

Co-Presented with ATA's Other Cinema 

Thursday, October 12, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

With the release of her video Below the New: A Russian Chronicle and film Surface NOISE, Abigail Child 
confirms her position as one of the leading avant-garde filmmakers of this generation. A practicing theorist and 
poet as well as film and video maker, Child has re-defined montage in particularly contemporary terms, drawing 
on and extending the work of such masters as Vertov, Eisenstein, Conner and Lye. Her seven-part rapid-fire 
exploration of sound and image Is This What You Were Born For? remains one of the cornerstone achievements in 
independent cinema of the past twenty years. (Steve Anker) 

"I began as a documentarian and moved into more experimental work by the late 1970s out of a sense of the 
politics of poetic forms and an aesthetic predilection towards invention. My films extend the avant-garde and 
montage traditions of Eisenstein and Vertov, as well as the surrealist traditions of Buhuel and Breton in an 
attempt to examine, critique and play with and within the social realities of our era. In addition to these stylists 
from early in the century, my influences include the postwar films of Bruce Conner, Stan Brakhage and the under- 
recognized Len Lye. These works support my commitment to wit, clarity and an investigation of the daily. " (AC) 

Peripeteia I (1977); 16mm, color, silent, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

Navigation spiraling sunwards. Exploring the movement of forest and body, seeking the larger pattern of 
my digressive attendance. Filmed in the Oregon coastal rain forest, fall. (AC) 

Ornamentals (1979); 16mm, color, silent, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

Ornamentals brings together the two compositional processes, using footage gathered over many years, 
organized along the color spectrum in a structure of expansion. The concern is abstraction, surfacing representation, 
increasing connotation through what repeats in time and what is seen — shocks stretched on impressions' edge to 
undermine habit. The film was crucial to my understanding of composition, to my desire for an encyclopedic 
construction (the world out there) and reaffirmed my allegiance to rhythm, specifically the rhythm of mind. (AC) 

Shiver (1991); video, color, sound, 5 minutes, tape from the maker 

Music composition: Dcue Mori: Performing musicians: Catherine Jauniaux (vocals), Zeena Parkins (accordion), 

Hahn Rowe (violin), Dcue Mori (percussion). 

Shiver is part two of 8 Million, a video album combining documentary and narrative elements: short 
songs chart erotic tales in an urban topology. There are "8 million stories in the Naked City" and these are some of 
them, circa the early 1990s. (AC) 

"Abigail Child competes with Nam June Paik in this cacophonic storm of images in which experimental 
music and eroticism swirl about each other." (World Wide Video Festival, 1992) 

Prefaces (1981); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

"Like Ornamentals, Prefaces is an abstract work which plays with formalist elements in a wide range of 
images on color and negative stock. The rapid-fire crosscutting of the images is extended to the construction of the 
soundtrack, which is also a dense panoply of fragments. What results is an impressive musique concrete 
composition, a collage of 'female' sounds interwoven with others: snippets from vocal music, conversations, 
poetry reading, etc. Child plays with memory, not only her own and the world's, but also cinema's: its 
conventions, polarizations (man/woman) and hierarchization of images." (Robert Hilferty, New York Native) 

Below the New: A Russian Chronicle (1999); video, color, sound, 30 minutes, tape from the maker 

Combining video diary footage and archival material, Below the New: A Russian Chronicle documents 
daily life and Russian and Soviet myth to portray the changes over the last decade. Intimate and historical, the 
work rhythmically combines sound and image to explore the intersection between personal and collective memory. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

"It would be interesting to compare Below the New with Dziga Vertov's Man With a Movie Camera. 
Apart from a shared taste for a montage that takes into account the internal logic of the pictures, the latter depicts a 
world dazed by Utopia and eager for a brighter future, whereas the former shows a nation whose conscience seems 
to be incurably riveted on the past." (Bertrand Bacque, Visions du Nyon Documentary Festival Catalogue) 


The Kinetic World of Abigail Child, Program Two 

Abigail Child in Person 

Co-Presented with ATA's Other Cinema 

Saturday, October 14, 2000 — Artists ' Television Access — 8:30 pm 

see October 12 series overview 

Game (1972); 16mm, b&w, sound, print from the maker 

Mutiny (1982); 16mm, color, sound, 11 minutes, print from the maker 

"This movie is a new kind of classic, it has invented once and for all the machine-gun sound of 
explosives and composed sentences with speeded-up speech and wild singing, laughter, hardly all understandable, 
with violins screeching like falling bombs and a Hispanic grind dance... There are tender closeups in interviews 
with women, and marvelous documents of dancers, street performers, all races and styles. These are brave and 
straight-talking people; this is a feminist film, and it is important." (Anne Robertson, X-Dream) 

B/Side (1996); 16mm, color, sound, 38 minutes, print from the maker 

"...few of the films, experimental or otherwise, display the visual confidence and sociopolitical torque of 
Abigail Child's meditation on homelessness, B/Side, which is as modest and resonant as most alternative film is 
jejune." (Michael Atkinson, The Village Voice) 

"B/Side shows the other side of Reaganomics. Abigail Child combines documentary with fiction and 
smart wit in a poetic montage to present a complicated and heartfelt portrait of colonialism at home. These events 
take place only a mile from Wall Street. The public is forced to look, even as the position of the camera changes. 
Sometimes the camera is the bystander, at other moments it is the perspective of the homeless themselves." (The 
Daily, Rotterdam Film Festival) 


2000 Program Notes 


The Kinetic World of Abigail Child, Program Three 

Abigail Child in Person 

Co-Presented with ATA's Other Cinema 

Sunday, October 15, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

see October 12 for series overview 

Perils (1986); 16mm, b&w, sound, 5 minutes, print from the maker 

An homage to silent films: the clash of ambiguous innocence and unsophisticated villainy. Seduction, 
revenge, jealousy, combat. The isolation and dramatization of emotions through the isolation (camera) and 
dramatization (editing) of gesture. I had long conceived of a film composed only of reaction shots in which all 
causality was erased. What would be left would be the resonant voluptuous suggestions of history and the human 
face. Perils is a first translation of these ideas. (AC) 
Cast: Diane Torr, Sally Shivers, Plauto, Elion Sacker. 
Sound Improvisations: Charles Noyes and Christian Marclay. 

Covert Action (1984); 16 mm, b&w, sound, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

"Covert Action disrupts the rhythm of remembrance by subverting the institution of the home movie. It 
loops footage of two heterosexual couples on holiday: embracing, touching, stroking, playing leapfrog, awkwardly 
arranging their bodies and posturing for the camera eye. The effect is a kind of choreographed dislocation dance, a 
man with one woman, then another, two women together. Child subverts the truncated language of conventional 
narrative cinema by interjecting title cards a la silent cinema as ironic counterpoint (THE WHOLE LUMPISH 
QUESTION OF B'S PAST or HE HAD TO BE ELIMINATED) and uses a dialogue between two poets, Carta 
Harryman and Steve Benson, to confound any hypothesis regarding the footage. A sexual politic steeped in 
deception, a story only half revealed." (Madeline Leskin) 

"Here rupture and repetition comprise the structuring principle. The film explodes in your face: it drives 
on until its final image, a summation of its prehistory, history and future — a tree being uprooted. What could be a 
more apt metaphor for the contemporary crisis in narrativity and sexuality?" (Robert Hilferty, New York Native) 

Mayhem (1987); 16mm, b&w, sound, 20 minutes, print from the maker 

Characters from Perils reappear, this time in a film noir setting, soap opera thrillers and Mexican comic 
books generating the action. Perversely and equally inspired by de Sade's Justine and Vertov's sentences about the 
satiric detective advertisement, Mayhem is my attempt to create a film in which Sound is the Character and to do 
so focusing on sexuality and the erotic. Not so much to undo the entrapment (we fear what we desire; we desire 
what we fear), but to frame fate, show up the rotation, upset the common, and incline our contradictions toward 
satisfaction, albeit conscious. (AC) 

Cast: Diane Torr, Ela Troyano, Plauto, Elion Sacker, Rex West. 

Additional sound: Christian Marclay, Charles Noyes, Zeena Parkins, Shelley Hirsch. 

Mercy (1989); 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes, print from the maker 

Mercy, the last in the series, Is This What You Were Born For?, is encyclopedic ephemera, exploring 
public visions of technological and romantic invention, dissecting the game mass media plays with our private 
perceptions. (AC) 

Surface NOISE (2000); 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes, print from the maker 

Found footage exploring public and private space, organized formally as a sonata, centered around work 
and issues of class: the divisions between home and public, owners and workers. 

Sound montage created by A. Child with additional recording: Zeena Parkins (synthesizer), Christian Marclay 
(turntables), Shelley Hirsch (vocals) and Jim Black (drums). 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


An Installation for Super 8mm, Video and Sound 
Made possible through the assistance of the Berkeley Art Museum 

Sunday, October 22, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 and 9 pm 

The late Korean-bom Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's body of film, video and installation has only recently begun to be 
appreciated. Cha's delicate and profound installation, Exilee, which will be presented twice tonight, was featured in 
CCAC's Searchlight exhibition last fall and will be included in a major retrospective of her work at the Berkeley 
Art Museum. 

Exilee (1980); installation incorporating video and Super 8mm, color, sound, 50 minutes, from the Berkeley Art 

"A meditative, lyrical exploration of time, Exilee draws on the distinguishing characteristics of its two 
mediums, Super 8mm film and video. In the differences between the rhythm of the editing, the scale of the 
images, the quality and sources of the light, as well as the relationship between image and sound, Cha's recurring 
concern with the theme of displacement emerges. Characteristically, the title itself plays with language, suggesting 
both an exiled person and the act of living in exile." (Kathy Geritz, San Francisco Asian American Film Festival, 

"Theresa Hak Kyung Cha's film and video installation, Exilee, uses repetition, fades and real and 
metaphorical afterimages to allude to the fundamental role that memory plays in our consciousness. Exilee is 
complex, interweaving historical, linguistic, spiritual and personal dimensions of memory into a single resonant 
work. Cha alludes to Japan's efforts during its colonial administration of Korea to expunge the nation's memory of 
its language and customs; simultaneously, she imbeds her own personal experience of exile and memory into its 
larger historical and cognitive framework to evoke a sensation of how voluntary and involuntary memories (e.g. 
afterimages) inflect our moment-to-moment consciousness." (Lawrence Rinder and George Lakoff, "Consciousness 
Art: Attending to the Quality of Experience," Searchlight: Consciousness at the Millennium) 

"Through her art, Theresa Hak Kyung Cha went beyond the idea and created, within the transaction that is 
viewing a work, a poetic experience. In Exilee, which draws from film history and theory as well as Cha's own 
experience, we see an investigation of exile, language and image relationships, and of the functions of the 
cinematic and video apparatus. Here Cha returns us to our psychological and historical selves by exploring the 
construction of the image and the memory of it. The sense of time as history is transmitted in Exilee through the 
time of its memory. 

"Cha's life as an artist was a complex itinerary across fields of dislocation, as she moved with her family 
from Korea, where she was bom, to the United States. At the University of California, Berkeley, she studied film, 
conceptual and performance art and the theoretical texts informing the discourse of film studies and filmmaking in 
the 1970s. A selection of Theresa Cha's art work in a variety of media was shown at the Whitney Museum in 1992 
in an exhibition guest-curated by Larry Rinder of the University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University 
of California, Berkeley. Rinder' s essay located Cha's work within the complex of Conceptual art making in the 
Bay Area and charted a unique path which Cha forged through that place and history. . .' 

"Expressed in Cha's work is a powerful sense of how ideas (theory) compose, challenge and lie at the 
basis of the aesthetic text. Her writings — especially the collection of texts entitled Apparatus — Cinematographic 
Apparatus: Selected Writings (1980), an assemblage of film theorists' texts as well as her own poetic 
interventions — are deep reflections on the cognitive machinery of the cinematic apparatus. Cha's other seminal 
book, Dictee (1982), employs poetry, prose, found texts and photography to create an artist's book that extends 
beyond that genre. Both texts highlight a profound sense of ideas and self-inquiry as a means to create a 
speculative deconstruction of identity and the systems that construct the self. 

"Cha's concern with language and form is demonstrated in Exilee, in which the conflation of the 
cinematic projection and video monitor system within the work establishes a rich dialectic in terms of image and 
language strategies. The first feature of the installation is the white, freestanding wall... Cut into the wall is a 
rectangle; a television monitor sits directly behind this opening. A Super 8mm film made up of two reels is 
projected onto the wall, which shows through time-lapse photography subtle changes in the definition and 
articulation of the composition... 


2000 Program Notes 

"The videotape seen on the monitor is, like the film, shot in black and white. It opens with an extended 
title sequence that plays with the word exilee. As one watches on the monitor, still images dissolve into each 
other... Cha's distinctive voice-over, with its delicate, deliberate phrases in French and English, evokes a further 
poetic relationship between the meanings of different languages and images. There is, in Exilee, on one level, a 
tension between the film image projected onto the screen and the video image which emanates from the cathode ray 
tube. Cha describes Exilee as: 'an attempt to disinherit the existing Time construct, its repetition, to make Entry 
into the Absence of established continuity and chronology in Time. Within memory is the Time that is 

"In this ambitious project, Cha both acknowledges exemplary art works and, through the power of her 
own art, places herself within their history — American independent film and video works that have challenged and 
sought to extend and transform the image-making capacities of their medium. 

"Certain paradigmatic art works describe a similar transformation of traditional genre strategies and the 
creation of other aesthetic ideas. [An] example would be Marlon Riggs' Tongues Untied (1989), which employs a 
variety of formal strategies as well as performative, story telling, poetic, autobiographic and historical reflections 
to reground the definition of self within a gay epistemology of personal discovery and expression. Another 
exemplar is Leslie Thornton's epic film and video series Peggy and Fred in Hell: The First Cycle (1984-94), 
which destabilizes the authority of the recorded image with strategies employed by the artist to disrupt the 
economy of the linear narrative. It is a work which creates out of a shifting catalogue of stylistic 
categories — documentary, cinema verite, acted narrative and found footage — to evoke a hybrid discourse of the 
histories of the media arts. 

"Other exemplary texts taken from the early history of film and video include Stan Brakhage's 
Anticipation of the Night (1958), which radically removed the camera from the stabilizing authority of its point of 
view and created a visionary search through the optics of the camera — a quest which erased the coordinates of 
representation with an abstract image field. Further, in Peter Campus' videotape, Three Transitions (1973), an 
exploration of the unique manipulation and recording capabilities of the video camera and technology, the artist 
constructed three self-portraits to explore the construction of the recorded image through its simulation of reality. 
In Michael Snow's film Wavelength (1966-67), the camera traverses the space of a loft and gradually closes in on a 
photograph on the opposite wall. The 45-minute film records the actions of its own relentless process, which 
becomes an inquiry into the transcription of the filmic space and a treatment of the ambiguities of the recorded 
film text. 

"Each artist struggles to remake the medium into a personal form of expression tied to the signs of 
language and the creation of new meanings. To recall Riggs, Campus, Brakhage, Snow and Cha is to meet Cha's 
challenge to recall time and history, ourselves and our ideologies, as expressions in constant need of 
remembering. . . 

"Exilee and Cha's other works belong not on the edges of historical and regional art movements but more 
centrally within a reexamination of the role and importance of film and video to artists in the 1970s and 1980s 
working in the Conceptual Art and structural film movements. Cha's work belongs at the critical juncture where 
film and video both separate and align." (John G. Hanhart, Curator, Film and Video, Whitney Museum of 
American Art) 

'Film program note, University Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive Calendar, University of California, 


"See "Theresa Hak Kyung Cha: Other Things Seen, Other Things Heard" (Program Note 69), Whitney Museum of 

American Art, New American Film and Video Series, 1993, which contains Rinder's essay on Cha as well as 

biographical and bibliographical information on Cha and her work. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


New Work By Women of the Chicago Art Institute 
Amie Siegel, Sarah Jane Lapp and Jenny Perlin In Person 

Thursday, October 26, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Tonight we present three visually stunning and formally audacious films made by women who studied or teach at 
the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Siegel's The Sleepers hauntingly orchestrates a series of voyeuristic 
glimpses into the windows of a Chicago night; Lapp and Perlin's Happy Are the Happy combines anecdotes told 
by a variety of people living in Prague, including refugees from the former Yugoslavia and concentration camp 
survivors. Part meditation on a woman's midlife search for meaning, part essay on and experiment in cinematic 
form, Michele Fleming's Life/Expectancy creates a rich visual and conceptual tapestry of autobiography. 

Provocative and seductive, each of these films gives us, in Fleming's words, a "glimpse of stories that refuse to be 
told." (I. Leimbacher) 

The Sleepers (1999) by Amie Siegel; 16mm, color, sound, 45 minutes, print from the maker 

The Sleepers was shot entirely at night, using the urban architecture of distant windows to explore the 
tensions between public and private, intimacy and alienation, the performative and the real, the lyrical and the 
vernacular. The background of darkness is the unconscious from which the film emerges, night and privacy 
holding out the promise of the erotic. The film seeks to draw attention to and investigate the real contradictions 
present in film language via cinema's primary preoccupation — looking, or scopophilia. Tensions between the 
violated space of the subjects and the dislocations of the constructed sound create a dialectic of desire and truth, the 
push and pull of narrative longing. To watch the film is not only to become complicit with the voyeuristic act but 
also to engage actively in the fulfillment of narrative and interpretation that voyeurism (and cinema) implies. All 
narrative is deferral. All deferral is erotic. (AS) 

Happy Are the Happy (1999) by Sarah Jane Lapp and Jenny Perlin; 16mm, color, sound, 18 minutes, print from 
the makers 

Life/Expectancy (1999) by Michele Fleming; 16mm, b&w, sound, 30 minutes, print from the maker 
Life/Expectancy meditates on a woman's midlife search for meaning. In order to find "her own story" the woman 
feels — in every cell of her body, to risk a cliche. (MF) 

James Benning In Person 

Sunday, October 29, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

For more than twenty years, James Benning has been making films of the American landscape which combine 
elegant formal compositions and structures with subtle political and social critique. His latest, El Valley Centra, 
presents a portrait of California's agricultural Central Valley through thirty-five two-and-a-half-minute views, each 
coupled with synchronous audio tracks but devoid of overt commentary. Seeming random at first, these elements 
accumulate meaning and take on organization as the film progresses, ultimately presenting this strangely quiet yet 
highly industrialized landscape as a complex nexus of social, political and environmental forces. El Valley Centro 
is the first of a three-part series. Benning will return to present the second part, Los, this winter. (Steve Polta) 


2000 Program Notes 

El Valley Centro (1999); 16mm, color, sound, 90 minutes, print from the maker 

... a little formalism turns one away from History, but a lot brings one back to it. (Roland Barthes, 
"Myth Today") 

On viewing James Benning 's most recent work, it is clear that he has passed through minimalism and/or 
structuralism, has been affected by it, yet has taken his work in radically new directions. One characteristic element 
of minimalism was a modular approach to composition. Objects could ostensibly be arranged in many different 
orders, based on fundamental formal similarities (such as size or shape), making the organization or arrangement of 
semi-independent elements into a viable compositional strategy. One of Benning 's earlier works, One Way Boogie 
Woogie (1977), uses the shot as a basic modular unit. While very consciously arranged for compositional effect 
and thematic continuity, the one-minute duration of the film's sixty shots provides a sense of temporal 
modularity, implying a kinship with the 'primary structures' of Donald Judd and Carl Andre. By adopting an 
abstract formal principle with which to govern what can happen in the film, Benning gives One Way Boogie 
Woogie 's aural and visual revelations a solid framework to play against, dialectically. 

The frame imposed by a static camera, or a predetermined shot length, allows us to perceive human and 
natural phenomena with greater clarity. But Benning 's latter-day work uses these bracketing procedures to draw 
attention to other, more commonplace structures, such as those which exist in the social and political spheres. 
1995 's Deseret, for example, provides a history of the state of Utah, from 1852-1992, drawn from Utah-related 
stories in the New York Times. The images we see are of landscapes and manmade structures throughout Utah, 
images whose stunning composition serves to draw our attention back to the frame, to what it encloses as well as 
excludes. With Deseret, Benning organizes sound, image, and narration, as independent variables, into a film 
whose structural integrity is in part secured by Utah itself. 

But then, what is Utah? As the news articles are read in voiceover, they provide us with a concrete history 
of the state. But at the same time, this history reveals the contingency of bounded borders, of what a state or a 
nation is. The struggle to settle Utah was, in many ways, the imposition of an arbitrary frame — as arbitrary as a 
60-second-per-shot rule or strict use of a stationary camera — except that political structures have a way of effacing 
themselves, appearing self-evident. In Deseret, Benning enframes Utah in a way which asks viewers to consider the 
historical enframing that is Utah itself. 

With El Valley Centro, Benning again employs a modular framework which gives an overall formal shape 
to his subject. Each shot is two-and-a-half minutes long, filmed from a single unmoving camera position. The 
viewer encounters a series of landscape views of California's Great Central Valley. Some of the sequences contain 
humans and other living beings interacting with or existing in the space depicted, while others demonstrate other 
evidence of human intervention such as highways, prisons and pipelines. By presenting uninterrupted camera rolls, 
Benning applies a formal principle which asks the viewer to become attuned to small, subtle changes in the 
depicted scene. In El Valley Centro, Benning uses duration to invite the viewer to more fully inhabit the scene, to 
attend to those spaces around us which many of us have learned to ignore. Each shot is a discreet slice of space and 
time. In El Valley Centro, this modular quality provides the shots with a sense of simultaneity or presentness, as 
if all of what we see and hear is happening now, within the region Benning is investigating. Some of the shots are 
poignant, others are chilling, and still others are very funny, owing to Benning 's unique subversion of perceptual 

Benning 's formal framework serves to dramatize the variety of activity (labor, recreation, transportation 
and the earth 's own undulating rhythms) within the Central Valley. The variety of these images seems all the more 
significant since, among urban Califomians, the Central Valley (a region which provides food for one-fourth of the 
U.S. population) is often unfairly perceived as an empty space, a fly-over or drive-thru zone between San Francisco 
and Los Angeles. In showing us just how much there is to see, El Valley Centro extends the concerns of earlier 
work, such as 11X14 (1976), Landscape Suicide (1986) and the recent Four Corners (1997), which also focus 
sustained attention on U.S. locations away from major 'cultural centers,' engaging in respectful inquiry and 
conferring aesthetic value where few other filmmakers have ventured. 

As an examination of a space in between Benning 's title, El Valley Centro, calls to mind Michael Snow 's 
1971 landscape film La Region Centrale. Snow's film relentlessly examines the central region of Canada, an 
uninhabited tundra. El Valley Centro 's landscape is quite inhabited, and is very much alive. It is a center not only 
of agricultural activity but home to elements vital to the status quo of business and government, such as state 
prisons and undocumented immigrant labor, which are strategically kept on the periphery of public view. The 
'absence' revealed at the heart of the Central Valley, then, is not an absence of human activity, as in Snow 's film, 
but the apparent absence of a visible power structure, one which is shown to be legible in the landscape itself. 

While Benning 's method, his unerring eye for composition, and his observational stance allow the 
Central Valley to tell its own story as much as it can, El Valley Centro' % concluding sequence, which recaps and 
verbally describes all that has gone before, serves to retroactively recode everything the film has shown us up to 
that point, making clear the hidden political and social forces moving through the landscape. Part of the story is 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

precisely what is hidden from view, and without the consideration of those objective structures which do not meet 
the eye or the ear, El Valley Centro would be incomplete. 

Program Notes written by Michael J. Sicinsky 

Tree — Line and Others by Gunvor Nelson 

Gunvor Nelson in Person 

Thursday November 2, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Swedish-American filmmaker Gunvor Nelson lived in the Bay Area for over thirty years and taught at the San 
Francisco Art Institute for twenty of those years. Her work and influence still resonate strongly across local 
screens and around local filmmakers. For the first time since 1995, San Francisco Cinematheque welcomes this 
cinematic poet in a program of her painterly and coolly sensual films, including the premier of her new video, 
Tree — Line, "a minimalistic video, a kind of repetitious stammering with complex variations and locomotion." 
Also included will be screenings of Nelson's richly evocative and haunting film tapestries: Light Years 
Expanding, "a journey through Swedish landscape, traversing stellar distances in units of 5878 trillion miles;" Old 
Digs, "an inner journey through the sights and sounds of Kristineham, Sweden as reflected in its central river;" and 
pieces from another recent video work, Collected Evidence. (Steve Polta) 

Tree — Line (1998); digital video, color, sound, 8 minutes, tape from the maker 

Light Years Expanding (1998); 16mm, color, sound, 25 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 
An extension in theme and technique of a previous film, Light Years. (GN) 

"All her recent films suggest that while the distance of time makes home further, the intensity of memory 
makes it richer." {Parabola) 

Selections from Collected Evidence: 52 Weeks (1999); digital video; color, sound, 10 minutes, tape from the 

Old Digs (1992); 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

"In Nelson's cinema of evocation we shift from past to present.. .from the flat space of the film frame to 
the three-dimensionality of objects. Constructed through collaging snapshots, live action footage and small 
objects, and through painting on glass and photographs, Nelson's beautiful, enigmatic animations have a personal 
vocabulary of the found, the made, the remembered, the imagined." (Kathy Geritz) 


2000 Program Notes 


The Cinema of Gregg Biermann 
Gregg Biermann and Ron Mazurek In Person 

Sunday, November 5, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

New York/New Jersey film and video artist Gregg Biermann presents film, video and real-time music video as 
performed live by electronic composer Ron Mazurek. "Attempts to reconcile representational and abstract images 
and structure, Biermann' s films and videos teeter on the friendly chasm betwixt the lyrical and the structural." 
(Brian Frye) Conventionally projected works to be shown include: The Hobgoblin of Little Minds, Dissonances, 
Windows of Appearances and Detached Americans. Real-time video performances Piano Etude and Into Whiteness 
blur the line between cine-recording and musical performance. Video sequences are triggered by a digital electronic 
keyboard as played by Ron Mazurek. In this way "edits" are created and montage is improvised in the course of the 
live performance. 

Since my 16mm films Giants of the Sea (1992) and You Never Worry (1993), many of my movies have been 
single entities comprised of a series of almost whole separate shorter movies inside. This is the result of my 
approach to sequential organization of moving pictures, which is like the organizing forces of a storm, with an eye, 
and torrents spinning out from the center. There isn't a perfect mathematical pattern in these compositions, but 
there are distinct episodes with edges, and their currents exert force on each other — usually pushing away from a 
nearest neighbor but also calling across time to another. These currents are arrived at by eliciting different kinds of 
attention from the viewer (from the most base physiological response to other higher brain functions), causing a 
fissure each time there is a shift. (GB) 

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds (1999); video, color, sound, 8 minutes, tape from the maker 

"Gregg Biermann's The Hobgoblin of Little Minds mixes abstract imagery and representational 
photography to create powerful visual disruptions, the pieces seeming to spin away from each other by returning to 
certain images — often banal ones such as a store sign — he suggests a mind haunted by trauma." (Fred Camper, The 
Chicago Reader) 

Dissonances (2000); video, color, sound, 14 minutes, tape from the maker 

"In Gregg Biermann's enigmatic Dissonances... black and white stills from an airline flight suggest a 
disaster (oxygen masks, passengers in crash position), as does an urban roadway once we realize it was JFK's 
roadway in Dallas. Biermann denies the usual meanings: some sections are silent, and the shifting relationship 
between the sound and imagery seems somehow to relate to the sense of disaster." (Fred Camper, The Chicago 

Piano Etude (2000); live electronic music/video performance with Ron Mazurek, 10 minutes 

A prepared piano piece for the 21 st century in which the line between live performance and cinema 
recording is blurred. Musical events as well as cinema edits are triggered live via a MIDI keyboard. Piano Etude 
was conceived of first as a para-cinema performance where the music does not exist as a separate entity from the 
image. In fact, we were most interested in the play of synchronous sound and image with more musical sounds 
which are not bound to an image sequence. In order to give Ron some freedom to improvise I had to compose 
sequences which could be played in a variety of different relationships and still work. We both like the economy 
of this piece. There doesn't seem to be anything extra. (GB) 

Into Whiteness (2000); live electronic music/video performance with Ron Mazurek, 8 minutes 

This is the first of my collaborations with composer Ron Mazurek. The visuals were set to the music, 
which was already complete when I began to work on the image. After playing with images with Ron's mostly 
fixed composition we had to make adjustments in the arrangement of the images on the keys and we came up with 
the convention of putting images only on the white keys, leaving more freedom for polyphony with the black 
keys. We also eliminated some of the polyphony so as to make the sound/image relationships clearer. Ron has 
found some interesting cinematic as well as musical events in the material. (GB) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Window of Appearances (1996); 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes, print from the maker 

In 1 992 my friend and colleague Francis Schmidt began work on a way to transfer video to film by using 
the serial port on a home computer to very accurately control film camera motors. When I arrived in Chicago in 
early 1994 he suggested that I create a piece on the computer and transfer it onto film. I then proceeded to create a 
piece in the antiquated 1 -bit/pixel environment, in spite of the tendency for technologies to be created and 
abandoned before significant works are created with them. The work is the apotheosis of the Amiga computer and a 
nostalgia piece for modernism. It recalls abstract animation of the 1 920s, early computer sound experiments like 
those done at Bell Telephone Labs in the 1950s and the first video game, Pong. (GB) 

"With minimalist imagery generated entirely on a computer, Biermann defies the 'bigger, louder, faster' 
mentality that has become the norm of computer graphic artists, in favor of simple black and white abstractions 
that explore the space of the screen. When accompanied by his original composition the objects seem to be creating 
sound, often to unexpectedly silly ends." (Scott Trotter, Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago) 

Detached Americans (1993); 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes, print from the maker 

"Young filmmakers today produce challenging work but offer their art as tentative, provisional, 
incomplete, without purporting to reach conclusions. In Detached Americans, Gregg Biermann pans a San 
Francisco landscape with the camera tilted sideways and adds the voice of a boy who witnessed the L.A. Riots to 
create a displaced feeling." (Fred Camper, The Chicago Reader) 


New Films by Timoleon VVilkins and Jeremy Coleman 
Timoleon VVilkins and Jeremy Coleman in Person 

Thursday, November 9, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

From mystical desert landscapes to neo-real Korean city scenes, these short poetic works by two San Francisco- 
based filmmakers create a world of warmth and clarity where vibrant hues contrast with silky pastels in a common 
exploration of unfamiliar territory. Tonight's program includes two San Francisco premieres: Coleman's Hankook 
Trilogy, an interpretive cine-graph of Korean society and Wilkins' Chinatown Sketch, a sensuous, layered diary of 
street life in San Francisco's Chinatown district. (TW & JC) 

The Hankook Trilogy (1999) by Jeremy Coleman 

The Hankook Trilogy is an attempt to capture the daily rhythms of Korean Society. In this sense it is a 
series of films caught between modernity and traditional currents. Cheong Ju echoes like a cleaver never hitting 
the block, while cell phones and pop music can be heard in the background. NE3 is a play between the rigid 
geometry of neon signs and the frenzy of nightlife. 01 She Gu is a celebration of a majestic culture. It is a 
culmination of joy and ecstasy to end the trilogy through Samulnoree (a traditional four instrument percussive 
style of music), which leads to elation and the hope that Korean society will overcome its westernization. (JC) 

Cheong Ju (1999) by Jeremy Coleman; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

Named after the South Korean city that I lived in for a year, Cheong Ju is a time capsule with a 
choreographed editing style that flows like a market vendor cutting fish and a child chasing pigeons in the 
park. Lush in pastels, it portrays the subtle and not so subtle rhythms of daily life in a small Korean 
city. (JC) 
NE3 (1999) by Jeremy Coleman; 16mm, color, silent, 5.5 minutes 

A play between gestured camera strokes and the harsh geometry of neon signs. (JC) 
01 She Gu (1999) by Jeremy Coleman; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

Ol She Gu is a cinegraph of a Korean traditional drum and dance performance called Samulnoree. 
Samulnoree literally translated means a four-instrument song. During the breaks in the performance the 
Samulnoree group will urge the audience to sing, ol she gu!, or, "you rock!:" hence the title of the film. 


2000 Program Notes 

/, Zupt 49 (1994) by Jeremy Coleman; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

A hand-painted film inspired by medieval stained glass and the paintings of Chagall. Enigmatic in form, 
/, Zupt 49 is a spiritual interlude. (JC) 

Ecclesiastic Vibrance (1995-96) by Jeremy Coleman; 16mm, color, silent, 2.75 minutes 

A hand-painted film inspired by high gothic stained glass and the discovery of a baby star cluster in the 
crab nebula: a concomitant, cosmic journey through consciousness and space. (JC) 

Chinatown Sketch (1998) by Timoleon Wilkins; 16mm, color, silent, 17 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

Lake of the Spirits by Timoleon Wilkins; 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes, print from the maker 

untitled camera rolls by Timoleon Wilkins 


All Night Long with Miranda July and Astria Suparak 
Miranda July and Astria Suparak In Person, assisted by Zac Love 

Friday, November 10, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 9 pm 

With her widely shown single-channel video, Nest of Tens, featured in this year's Rotterdam Film Festival and 
performance work, Love Diamond, recently presented at the Kitchen and New York Video Festival, 
performance/video artist Miranda July makes her first Cinematheque appearance with excerpts from her latest 
multi-media work, The Swan Tool. The Swan Tool will be preceded by a presentation by New York curator Astria 
Suparak of Some Kind of Loving, the latest in July's Big Miss Moviola/ Joanie 4 Jackie compilation video series. 

Some Kind of Loving: Joanie 4 Jackie Co-Star Tape #3; curated by Astria Suparak 

No Place Like Home #1 by Karen Yasinsky; video, color, sound, 5 minutes 

No Place Like Home #2 by Karen Yasinsky; video, color, sound, 6 minutes 

Fine Lines by Jane Gang; Super 8mm screened as video, 5 minutes 

Lullaby by Jennifer Reeder; video, color, sound, 1 8 minutes 

pornfilm by Stephanie Barber; 16mm screened as video, color, sound, 6 minutes 

Martina's Playhouse by Peggy Ahwesh; Super 8mm screened as video, color, sound, 20 minutes 

Some Kind of Loving explores sexuality from its formation in childhood, through adolescence and into adulthood, 
referencing psychoanalytic theory as easily as pop culture. The six works contained all variously decode desire and 
address the ethics or cultural codes of healthy vs. naughty expressions of lust via pornography, voyeurism, 
parent/child relationships, memories and fantasy. Techniques used include low-grade video, hand-processed Super-8 
film, optical printing, stop-motion animation and manipulated found-footage. 

Some kind of loving for the adolescents. And then some. 


Conditional love + withHolding. Temporality, vs. Ideal life-long, 4-ever. 

Sexuality as rooted in power: 1) Initiation. 2.+ 3.) Giving vs. receiving. 4.) Keeping track. A learned behavior. 

Joanie 4 Jackie, an alternative distribution network for female moviemakers, has a unique core audience of young 

females. When asked to curate a videotape for J4J, I wanted to work with issues I was dealing with during those 

years of unsuredness. The tension, the awkwardness in initial contact/s; wanting deeply to be desired (= Validation). 

"Is this what I get for Loving you?" 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

I want girls to have images of screen-sized vaginas in their own homes. To grow up with this image and be 
comfortable with it. 

On this videotape you will find this. And more. You will find six movies of real and fake lives. You can reminisce 
or project or imagine. This is a real love story. Wear it on your sleeve, carve it in a tree. (Astria Suparak) 

The Swan Tool (selected excerpts) (2001) by Miranda July; live movie 

"The concept is simple, but the implications are profound. Take the premise that girls are always making 
movies in their heads because they are constantly being watched. So maybe what happens when you turn the camera 
on yourself and stop looking through the eyes of others is that you become your own fantasy. And other people 
start to see the world the way you do, and the 'missing movies,' the stories that don't usually get told, suddenly 
become available." (Ada Calhoun, The Austin Chronicle) 

Combining performance, live music and projected video with direct image manipulation, The Swan Tool 
is a "live movie" starring July as Lisa Cobb, a technician who is waiting to die, fall in love or win the lottery. So 
what she does is this: she buries herself in her backyard. Following the self-burial she attempts to continue living 
and working. But the thing in the hole won't die and she can't forget about it. Parallel to and below this is a second 
movie, starring a hairy non-human form discovered by a picnicking family. These two movies evolve slowly and 
eventually collide. At the point of this subtle intersection between the two halves of the split screen, there is another 
collapse as the audience members become cast as characters in the story. The swan tool is the name of a tool used to 
unlock the doors when women accidentally lock their babies in cars. It is this tool that Lisa Cobb misuses in an 
attempt to find life on earth. (Miranda July) 

...there is all this feeling and desire to connect and tell a story, but there's a huge space between that desire 
and actually having support and resources. I think it takes at least one person saying, "Yes, you should do it." For 
the Missing Movie Report I just went around with a camera and tape recorder and asked, "If you could make a 
movie, what would it be about?" And I think if I could distribute unmade movies I would. People always ask, 
"What movies are you influenced by?" and I think for me the movies that I'm influenced by are the unmade movies, 
other people's desires that aren't fulfilled or realized. They're often so much more poignant than the things that 
actually get processed and put in the world. (Miranda July) 


Magnasync/Moviola Corporation threatened to sue me if I didn't stop using their trademarked name (Moviola.) 
(As it turns out they own this word). I tried to explain to them that Big Miss Moviola existed in the minds of girls 
and wasn't just a website or company. But what do they care. They have chosen death again and again and the 
thought of living gives them a headache now. (Miranda July) 


Saturday, November 11, 2000 — Hunters Point Naval Shipyard — 12 to 6 pm 

Save the date for the San Francisco Cinematheque Open House, Saturday Nov. 11, 2000, Noon to 6 pm. Come 
and celebrate with us as we showcase our new office and preview space in picturesque Hunters Point Naval 
Shipyard (Building 1 16). Potluck Barbecue outside and films in our new preview screening room. 

Flight (1996) by Greta Snider; 16mm, b&w, silent, 5 minutes, print from the maker 

removed (1999) by Naomi Uman; 16mm, b&w, sound, 6.5 minutes, print from the maker 

Lake of the Spirits (1998) by Timoleon Wilkins; 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes, print from the maker 

The Adventure Parade (2000) by Kerry Laitala; 16mm, b&w, sound, print from the maker 

A Different Kind of Green (1989) by Thad Povey; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes, print from the maker 

OlShe Gu (1999) by Jeremy Coleman; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes, print from the maker 

Tuning the Sleeping Machine (1996) by David Sherman; 16mm, color, sound, 13 minutes, print from the maker 

Ashley (1997) by Animal Charm; video, color, sound, 9 minutes, tape from the makers 

Salute (1999) by Bruce Baillie; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

Don from Lake wood by Eric Saks; video, b&w, sound, tape from the maker 

Barbie's Audition (1995) by Joe Gibbons; video, b&w, sound, 9 minutes, tape from the maker 

Pretty Boy by Joe Gibbons; video, b&w, sound, tape from the maker 


2000 Program Notes 

9 Videos by Stuart Sherman (selections) by Stuart Sherman; video, color, sound 

Work (1995) by Pelle Lowe and Saul Levine; Super 8mm screened as video; color, sound, 9 minutes, tape from 

the makers 

Posers (2000) by Scott Stark; video, color, sound, tape from the maker 

Detector (1987) by Scott Stark; Super 8mm, color, sound, 5 minutes, print from the maker 

William Heicke In Person 

Sunday, November 12, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

The death of artist, writer and filmmaker Sidney Peterson on April 24 at age 94 marked, in the words of Amos 
Vogel, "the end of an era." In little more than three years, Oakland-bom Peterson helped usher in the vibrant 
movement of San Francisco avant-garde filmmaking, which continues to this day, while also establishing the 
teaching of personal filmmaking within a fine-art context for the first time anywhere. Working with his 
"Workshop 20" students at the California School of Fine Arts (now the San Francisco Art Institute), Peterson co- 
produced four witty and darkly surreal films between 1947 and 1949. These films will be shown tonight in honor 
or his memory. Peterson's 95 th birthday would have been November 15 . 

"If ever there was a time for taking inventory it was at the end of WWII. And San Francisco was a nice 
place to do it in. I think it was the one urban center in the whole world where respectable old ladies gathering for 
a cup of tea in a public place enjoyed being mistaken for retired Madams. It was a city hanging loose, a small 
pocket edition, for a brief period, of the Vienna of Wittgenstein and Musil, and the Zurich of Tzara, the Cologne, 
the Berlin, the Paris, the Hanover, the New York of Dada. They were part of the inventory. And I should add that 
the local speech was characterized by a hard pronunciation of then letter r, Dryden's Liter a canina, the dog letter, a 
certain sign of satirical wit. 

"But why film? Was it not because it was the most contemporary medium and hence the most primitive? 
With film, one might, perhaps, recommence, revise, in short, create new, larger and more inclusive images. We 
were a movie generation, as later, there was to be a TV generation. Almost the entire history of the medium had 
developed during one's lifetime, which stretched back to the nickelodeon, if not quite to Plateau or Lucretius, who 
had once discussed images, the imagination and dreams in a way that made some think he was describing an 
optical device. Nor did film mean Hollywood any more than automobile meant Detroit. We had switched to 
Hillmans and MG's and, for the most abstract expressionist among us, a secondhand Jaguar. In the conic mirror I 
was using, the reshuffling of film history gave a new importance to a combination of the primitive and the avant- 
garde, from Melies to Dali and Buftuel and all those in between who had never stopped regarding the usable future 
from its unusable past." (Sidney Peterson, The Dark of the Screen) 

The Cage (1947); 16mm, b&w, sound, 25 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

The Cage was not intended to be a portrait of a schizophrenic in air-conditioned confinement. It has 
about as much to do with Bufiuel/Dali as the eggcase of a female cockroach has to do with Hieronymous Bosch. 
It may look like, act like, but it's not. What is involved is a complicated equation of ideas and images, the whole 
point of the solution of which is that X is allowed to continue to remain X, equal to itself only. So much for the 
philosophic, not to say mathematical aspect. Besides being a balanced equation, The Cage is a somewhat comic 
fable and as such may be deciphered as easily as last month's bill. 

...If half a century from now somebody falls off a ladder as a result of a sudden realization that the 
gradual coming into focus of a plaster bust in the opening shot represents the history of art from blur to plug hat, 
thus disposing in four feet of film of the absurd tradition that the aesthetic impulse is a dolled-up version of the 
involitional mimicry of butterflies and shellfish, the producers of the film cannot, of course, be responsible. Such 
compressions of meaning are inseparable from the non-Aristotelian position. Furthermore, it seems reasonable to 
suppose that most of The Cage 's obscurities, such as they are, may be safely disregarded except by those who have 
a taste for such things. I merely wish to point out that the period of incubation for an idea caught from a film (or 
anything else) may be a lifetime, and it is entirely unnecessary for an audience to break out in a rash of 
significations before the lights go on. (SP) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

The Petrified Dog (1948); 16mm, b&w, sound, 18 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

"In theme, [The Petrified Dog] might be called the further adventures of Alice in Wonderland. The 
heroine Alice climbs out a hole in a park with her characteristic broad Victorian child's hat into a world where we 
have already seen a painter working within an empty frame, a slow motion runner hardly getting anywhere, a lady 
in fast motion eating her lipstick and a photographer who sets up his camera with a delayed shutter so that he can 
stand on pedestals and be snapped as a statue. Into this Wonderland she crawls.... (SP) 

"The events of the film are essentially disconnected. We see them in the order in which Alice, 
continually blinking, turns her shutter-like gaze on them. Peterson operated the camera himself. . . He eschewed 
the dynamic movements that characterize all his other films... The stasis of the camera functions organically 
within the film: there is a sense that the episodes and gags are eternal, contiguous realities, not progressive events 
and the camera style emphasizes the discreteness and fixity of the separate scenes..." (P. Adams Sitney, Visionary 

The Lead Shoes (1949); 16mm, b&w, sound, 18 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

"It is vitally important for a full appreciation of The Lead Shoes to try and beat it at its own game — to try 
to follow its many levels of meaning clear through — because only these experiences of mental defeat really open 
the viewer to the film. Try as you will — and exactly as in a gambling casino — you cannot win, cannot wring a 
coherent set of meanings from the film. Sidney has stacked the deck masterfully! The means, or themes, of The 
Lead Shoes are deliberately edited at cross-purposes. No simple warp and woof here, but rather one of the most 
masterful frays of meaning ever created — thus, one of the greatest celebrations of Mystery I have ever experienced. 

"We have to realize that when we speak of Peterson's sense of comedy in film, we are up against the 'big 
guns' of intentional comedy... We are up against Chaplin, Keaton, Laurel and Hardy, and many others of that 
caliber. . . We cannot view them in the same context as commercial films, but as art. That would be the whole 
point, and a point which I think would amuse Sidney very much." (Stan Brakhage, Film at Wit's End) 

Mr. Frenhofer and the Minotaur (1949); 16mm, b&w, sound, 21 minutes, print from Canyon Cinema 

"It was my decision to do a thing about the Balzac story [Le Chef-d' Oeuvre Inconnu]. Taking seriously 
as the theme of the story the conflict between Pouissin's Classicism and its opposite. So as strained though my 
mind it became, really, a way of exploring the conflict state in Rousseau's remark to Picasso: 'We are the two 
greatest painters, you in the Egyptian manner; and I in the modem.' In a sense [I was] taking the quest for 
absolute beauty in the Balzac character and contrasting that with Picassoidal Classicism, the imitation of 
[Picasso's] Minitaurmachia. It was not necessarily thought out clearly as though one were writing an essay; this 
was thematic material. Then the chips fell, partly again, in response to the curious limitations of doing this sort 
of thing with people who were not even 'anti-actors'". (Sidney Peterson, quoted in P. Adams Sitney, Visionary 

Special thanks to William Heicke, Peterson's collaborator on these films, for making an appearance tonight. 


Recent Films from Austria 

Thursday, November 16, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Tonight's program includes a wide range of recent films from the Austrian avant-garde, including two in 35mm. 
Using lost and found footage, home movies and meticulously rephotographed images, the works are political, 
personal and structural. Works screened include: Elke Groen's rephotographed Tito-Material; Lisl Ponger's 
playful critique of travel movies, deja vu; Katherin Resetarits' look at deafness, Egypt; Peter Tscherkassky's 
playful Outer Space; Gustav Deutsch's trenchant Mariage Blanc; Thomas Steiner's lovely Pan; Martin Arnold's 
tour-de-force, Alone, Life Wastes Andy Hardy; and Siegfried Fruhauf s La Sortie. (Irina Leimbacher) 


2000 Program Notes 

Tito-Material (1998) by Elke Groen; 16mm, color, 6 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

Found footage: film images which show Tito in various contexts-public appearances, with partisans, 
privates shaving etc. Location of find: a destroyed cinema in Mostar 1996. However, the reconstruction which took 
place in the optical printer is of course also an alternative draft to the principally narrative models. Traces of the 
war are not to be found primarily on the representational level, but rather in the damage caused by debris and damp 
on the material itself and in its processing. (Birgit Flos) 

deja vu (1999) by Lisl Ponger; 35mm, color, 21 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

The fascinated gaze on the foreigners fixes them in pre-formed frames. Lisl Ponger follows the trail of that 
gaze by taking amateur found footage material and linking it together in new ways. She summons up atmospheric 
background sounds and adds a series of voices. With a subtle distance to the visual foreground, those people who 
are pictured in the west as much more homogenous than they are have the word - in the diverse languages of the 
'other'. They tell, untranslated, of their experiences with various forms of colonialism - whether as subjects in 
their own countries or as the expelled and transformed 'foreigner'. (Christa Blumlinger) 

Egypt (1997) by Kathrin Resetarits; 16mm, b&w, 10 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

Egypt is a film which is almost silent. A film about deaf mutes, or rather about their sign language, a 
language which, like the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, links the symbolic terminology of words with the mimetic 
and analogous representations of graphic gestures. Sober black and white scenes show how "shark," "widow," 
"Marilyn Monroe," a James Bond sequence, a Viennese song or the account of a treasure hunt undertaken by two 
holidaymakers in Egypt look in the sign language. Its is a very modest indication, and introduction to an 
unfamiliar way of experiencing the work, where one sees the sounds without hearing them. (Drehli Robnik) 

Outer Space (1999) by Peter Tscherkassky; 35mm, b&w, 10 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

A woman, terrorized by an invisible and aggressive force, is also exposed to the audience's gaze, a 
prisoner in two senses. Outer Space agitates this construction, which is prototypical for gender hierarchies and 
classic cinema's viewing regime, and allows the protagonist to turn them upside down.(...) Flickering images, 
everything crashes, explodes; perforations and the soundtrack are engaged in a violent struggle. (...)The story ends 
in the woman's resistant gaze. (Isabella Reicher) 

Mariage Blanc (1996) by Gustav Deutsch; 16mm, color, 5 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

Mariage Blanc in Morocco means a sham marriage between a Moroccan man and a European woman in 
order to obtain a residence permit and thereafter the citizenship of a European country. (Gustav Deutsch) 

Pan (1998) by Thomas Steiner; 16mm, color, silent, 5 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

A simulated camera movement, an endless pan in single frames over stems and trunks of leafless bushes 
and trees. Acceleration, multiple exposure and overpainting cause increasing abstraction of the passing landscape to 
the graphic moment of vertical lines and grids. (Gerald Weber) 

Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (1998) by Martin Arnold; 16mm, b&w, 15 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

In Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy the ever-young Mickey Rooney together with the immortal Judy 
Garland are cloned in an experimental "back-yard-musical". The staring point is a number of scenes from the days 
when both the adolescents romped through the family series and Busby Berkeley musicals. These are put in a new 
order and before our eyes run forwards and backwards in a "gentle adagio". Andy Hardy (M.R.), the all — American 
sunny boy of the 30s and 40s returns as an oedipally destroyed teenie clone to be released from his suffering by 
Betsy's (J.G.) singing and kiss. Overlay here are the melancholic musical scores from Brown, Freed and others 
which will melt over the pictures (in forward and reverse) like icing sugar. (Martin Arnold) 

La Sortie (1998) by Siegfried A. Fruhauf; 16mm, b&w, 6 minutes, print from sixpackfilm 

The initial image-workers crossing in a factory corridor-is transformed into almost abstract black and 
white surfaces and harnessed, Sisyphus-like, in a lunatic dance of repetition. Fruhauf increases the acceleration of 
the striding workers in discrete steps until they are tearing along-the capacity of the film tested to its outer limits 
until the final standstill-a freeze frame. (Peter Tscherkassy) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 



Stereoscopic Film, Spirit Photographs and Early Cinema 

Zoe Beloff In Person 

Sunday, November 19, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Shadow Land..., a stereoscopic 16mm film, is based on the autobiography of 19 th Century medium Elizabeth 
d'Esperance. It shows how one might think of a medium as a kind of "mental projector" and the phantoms as 
representations of her psychic reality. While 20 th century cinema can be described as a "window onto another 
world," The 19 th century conceived of specters that could cross over into our own world. Hence my decision to 
photograph with a stereo camera. I will screen the film in conjunction with source material that inspired it, 
including slides of spirit photographs from 1870-1915 and Louis Feuillade's Juve vs. Fantomas. (Z. Beloff) 

Juve vs. Fantomas (1913) by Louis Feuillade; 16mm, b&w, silent, 64 minutes, print from The Museum of 
Modern Art Circulating Film Library 

"This is the second episode of the Fantomas series, Feuillade's adaptation of the serial by Pierre 
Souvestre and Marcel Allain. The feature-length films are about the exploits of the mysterious master criminal 
Fantomas and the efforts of the detective Juve to capture him. In this episode, Fantomas baffles his pursuers by an 
ingenious method of staying under water. These films were a combination of melodrama, fantasy, and intrigue, set 
in the cityscape of Paris and its suburbs and in wonderfully designed interiors. Their lyricism and fantastic 
atmosphere were much admired by the Surrealists, and the films were popular all over the world." (Museum of 
Modern Art, Circulating Film Library Catalog) 

Shadow Land or Light From the Other Side (2000); Stereoscopic 16mm, b&w, sound, 32 minutes, print from 
the maker 

The title and the narrative are taken from the 1897 autobiography of Elizabeth d'Esperance, a materializing 
medium who could produce full body apparitions. 

Here we get inside the experience of the medium as a kind of mental "projector" conjuring up specters that 
interact with the sitters at a seance. At the same time the film explores the psychological underpinnings of this 
psychic projection, founded on a deep ambivalence around the role of women. The female medium was considered 
an especially suitable conduit to the next world because of her "passive nature." Yet she produced phantoms that 
radically transgressed her Victorian upbringing through an extraordinarily exhibitionistic sexuality. The film shows 
how these phantoms can be seen as a kind of limit case of the virtual, a three-dimensional representation of psychic 
reality, and relates their production to another contemporary theatricalization of the unconscious, the performances 
of Charcot's hysterics. 

My on-going project is an investigation into the relationship between imagination and technology. I have 
become increasingly fascinated with the whole problematic of the "virtual." For the better part of a hundred years, 
the moving image has been conceptualized as "a window onto another world." However, in the 1 9 th century, the 
virtual was conceived of very differently. Ghost Shows, where actors interacted with projected magic lantern slides 
and stereoscopic views, were enormously popular, opening up the cinematic spectacle to a third dimension that 
permitted virtual images to co-exist with real objects in space. 

The film traces this complex relationship between the birth of cinema and both conjuring and 
mediumship. My phantoms are drawn from magic lantern slides, glass negatives and early cinema footage. Indeed 
some of the scenes themselves are stereoscopic reconstructions of films from the 1890s. (ZB) 


Kate Valk, Paul Lazar, Luna Montgomery, Gen Ken Montgomery, Shelley Hirsch 

Zoe Beloff (Camera); Eric Muzzy (Lighting); Steve Demas (Lighting); John Buckley (Lighting); Jason 
Benjamin (Lighting); Rhony Dostaly (Assistant Camera); Gen Ken Montgomery (Sound Effects); Paul Geluso 
(Sound Engineer) 


2000 Program Notes 


A Multi-Screen Performance by Victor Faccinto 

Victor Faccinto in Person 

Co-presented by New Nothing Cinema 

Thursday, November 30, 2000 — New Nothing Cinema — 8 pm 

Originally from California, Faccinto began making 16mm animated films in 1969. Local note: One of his first 
completed films, Where Is It All Going? Where Did It All Come From? was awarded a prize in the first San 
Francisco Erotic Film Festival in 1970. He moved to New York in 1974 and began experimenting with 
alternative animation techniques. His last animated film, Book of Dead (1978), combined drawing and cutout 
animation with frame-by-frame rephotography. In 1995 he began developing multi-screen projection works that 
use beam-splitting mirrors and five 16mm projectors to project up to twenty simultaneous images. This new work 
premiered at Millenium in New York in 1996. Tonight's program includes two early animated films from the 
Video Vic Series (1970-74) and two of the most recent multi-screen projection works. 

Filet of Soul (1972); 16mm, color animation, sound, 16 minutes 
(Rated X) 

Body Parts (1998); 16mm, multi-screen projection, 16 minutes 

Eleven separate and continuously changing loops visually evolve parts of live bodies into a unified 
conclusion. Sound by Rhan Small. 

Video Projection; video, 10 minutes 

Sound: "Don't You Think These Halls Smell Like Love?" by Rhan Small. 

Video: Series of back-to-back film loops that have not yet found a place in a projection piece. 

Brake I by Rhan Small; sound piece, 2-3 minutes 

During the final alignments of the projectors and mirrors for the next piece. 

Fast Film (1999-2000); 16mm and video, multi-screen projection, 24 minutes 

Seven film loops, two film reels and a center video projection make up this fast-paced and sometimes 
relentless race against time. It reaches its climax in a sixteen screen audiovisual abstraction made up of film loops 
with hand-painted surfaces. Sound by Rhan Small. 

Shameless (1974); 16mm, color animation, sound, 14 minutes 
The fourth and final Video Vic film. (Rated XX) 

Program Notes written by Victor Faccinto 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


An Intermedia Commentary 
Presented by Lyn Hejinian, Leslie Scalapino and Konrad Steiner 

Sunday, December 3, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Featuring readings by Lyn Hejinian and Leslie Scalapino, individually, and from their collaborative work, Sight, 
and films, New York Portrait, Chapter II, by Peter Hutton; Bum Series by Konrad Steiner; and The Maltese 
Cross Movement by Keewatin Dewdney 

From the introduction to Sight, by Lyn Hejinian & Leslie Scalapino (Edge, 2000): 

"We agreed that the form of our collaboration was to be in doubles... and that the subject, being sight, should 

involve things actually seen.... Sometimes, seeing in real events we had to turn seeing up to an extreme in order 

to see it; as if dreaming being suppressed were bursting out a luminous seeing in the waking state. 


"Friendship would have to be not just 'being liked.' That one has to be likable, accommodating. One would have 

to 'like' also— i.e. like the other— and I think only by being oneself. Not accommodating. My need for argument 

in it is that you tend to view reality as wholesome; when I'm suffering you tend to alleviate to bring suffering in 

the currency of the 'social,' the realm that is convivial— whereas I'm saying it's (also) apprehension itself when it's 



"The accumulation of pairings as 'extreme' sights occurs to the extent of being as if the writing's faculty, rather 

than being imaginative images." 


"From the outset we agreed that for the purposes of this collaboration... the question of experiencing the world 
would focus on sight— on the question of 'seeing': seeing the world, seeing something in it, and being in it as one 
whose participation involved such "seeing." The thrill of acknowledgement (it is, after all, good to be alive!), 
while being addressed to what we saw, was also, over and over again, in real time, addressed to each other. 


"As I look at this work now in retrospect, I see it as elaborating problems in phenomenology but not in 
description, and this, given our topic, seems curious. Of course description is often phenomenological in intent- 
aimed at bringing something into view, trying to replicate for (or produce in) the reader an experience of something 
seen. But it seems as if our emphasis was not on the thing seen but on the coming to see. As it see it, this book 
argues that the moment of coming to see is active and dialogic, and as such, dramatic." 

From Philosophical Investigations 

by Ludwig Wittgenstein (Blackwell, 1953) 

part II, section xi 

p 193 

Two uses of the word "see". The one: "What do you see there?"— "I see this" (and then a description, a drawing, a 
copy). The other: "I see a likeness between these two faces"- let the person I tell this to be seeing the faces as 
clearly as I do myself. The importance of this is the difference of category between the two "objects" of sight. 

One might make an accurate drawing of the two faces, and another notice in the drawing the likeness which the 
former did not see. 

I contemplate a face, and then suddenly notice its likeness to another. I see that it has not changed; and yet I see it 

differently. I call this experience "noticing an aspect." 



"Now I am seeing this," I might say (pointing to another picture, for example). This had the form of a report of a 

new perception. 


2000 Program Notes 

The expression of a change of aspect is the expression of a new perception and at the same time of the perception's 

being unchanged. 


p. 197 

But since it is the description of a perception, it can also be called the expression of a thought-- If you are looking 

at the object, you need not think of it; but if you are having the visual experience expressed by the exclamation, 

you are also thinking of what you see. 

Hence the flashing of an aspect on us seems half visual experience, half thought. 


Now, when I know my acquaintance in a crowd, perhaps after looking in his direction for quite a while- is this is 

special sort of seeing? Is it a case of both seeing and thinking? or an amalgam of the two, as I should almost like 

to say? 

The question is: why does one want to say this? 

The possibility of "and" or "not" 

Program Notes written by Konrad Steiner 

"Between visions" is an expression i want to use in two senses. First in the sense that there is some gap or interval 
complementary to moments of apprehension or communication. Between recognized thoughts or images a space 
subsists as unacknowledged by us as water isn't by fish. This same idea could apply for the field that different 
points of view lie in, without which they could never be related to one another. 

This gap that makes relating possible seems ephemeral yet necessary for both perception (relating to outside) and 
dialogue (relating to other). Reciprocally, from the social point of view, one's glimpse of this space (or it could be 
called "mind") is achieved via perception and dialogue (or meditation and soliloquy)— though as itself it does not 
require any recognition. We might only get a glimpse of "it" before the next "thought" (which might be: "i see 
it") takes up our attention. That glimpse is the second sense: visions of between. The possibility of shift belies 
the gap. 

Mind the gap 

One could play with paying attention to what one's not looking at, peripheral attention, noticing how what's seen 
consists in also what's missed. There is evidence of this in noticing some aspect or remembering some detail that 
shifts one's view, opinion or understanding— or in the dawning of apprehension of what someone meant hours, 
days or years ago. I find this experience so fundamental that i would say that if you didn't miss anything you 
wouldn't see anything, and if you didn't miss and see you couldn't say you saw or didn't see anything. Missing 
and noticing seem to be on the same level, in the sense that you don't have one without the other. 


The point is- by means of a kind of cognitive parallax- to throw attention on mind, not particularly on language 
or cinema or on their relation, but to use those to evoke awareness of the vessel of experience, which lacks essence 
(definition) and thereby is able to know (to recognize) and empathize (to resemble). 

In tonight's case one of the parallax mechanisms is the presentation of excerpts from a work, Sight, which is a 
record of two persons' investigation of "catching sight." Maybe "playing catch with sight" is a better phrase for 
this work. When you read it, you participate in the intensity of a world without clutching at it. It is writing that 
shows a teeming interface between world and mind and persons. They're able to cast glances quickly and sideways 
enough to recreate these textural and evanescent characteristics of experience, at least in the reader not armchaired 
by conventional "but tell me what it means" approach to reading. 

Other means of parallax will be the verbal response to images (the poets' work after New York Portrait, Chapter 
II) and the visual response to language (my film). 

Bum Series is the start of a collaboration between Leslie Scalapino and myself where I have begun by laying down 
a visual accompaniment to her reading of a section of her poem, way. As it is, scattered precise sync events are 
surrounded by a looser arrangement of visual-chordal innuendo. Which events are synchronous with the text is 
purely a matter of interpretation. 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

The Maltese Cross Movement is a fascinating rebus of a film. The star and crescent motif shot through the film 
can represent so many things. At first it is the mechanical movement in the camera/projector that slices flow in 
just the right frequency and regularity for us to see motion where there is none. Then this pair goes on to be the 
sun and moon, as the astronomical basis for our diurnal and calendric rhythms, they represent another kind of 
intermittence and alternation. Then further to be the symbols of complementarity, one in continuous motion and 
one intermittent (with the sound of the ratcheting cogs of the projector). Many images flash past as the film 
teaches you various ways to read it. And as the montage gets ever more ecstatic ~ and interrupted — the text of 
image, sound and their synchronization working like a rickety reality, almost ready to collapse, multivalent and 
almost intelligible, like the fine structure of our own experience, the final words, "If I die tonight, tomorrow T '11 
be gone" representing a joke. 

Keewatin Dewdney has a personal web site: 
Leslie Scalapino is publisher of O Books : 
Lyn Hejinian is project director andeditor with Travis Ortiz of Atdos: 

[The joke is that the mind projects its existence in such a false way that one can state/imagine the conditions of its 
nonexistence. This is not a nasty joke; it is like laughing while coming. It is like seeing that you can't see the gap 
without a sort of dissolution, which is like mind seeing mind only when it's not mind. It is like turning around in 
front of a mirror fast enough to catch sight of the back of your head.] 



Christian Bruno and Sam Green In Person 

With an Introduction to Holy Ghost People by Veronica Selver 

Thursday, December 7, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

An artful fusion of ethnography and cinema verit6, late filmmaker Peter Adair's {Word Is Out) vibrant first film, 
The Holy Ghost People, received critical acclaim upon its release in 1967, winning that year's "New Visions" award 
in the SF International Film Festival. Adair's mesmerizing film portrays the mysterious and electrifying presence of 
the Holy Ghost as it swells through a West Virginian congregation over the course of an evening prayer meeting. 
Christian Bruno and Sam Green's Pie Fight '69 uses original footage and first-hand reminiscences to recount the 
hilarious Opening Night of the SF International Film Festival two years later when Adair's SF film collective, 
Grand Central Station, made a guerilla assault on the bourgeois film world. (C. Bruno) 

The Holy Ghost People (1967) by Peter Adair; 16mm, b&w, sound, 53 minutes, print from Haney Armstrong 

"Peter Adair's Holy Ghost People the first film by a young Califomian who went to live with a 
small holy-roller church community in rural West Virginia, filming and editing his picture over a period of two- 
years. This film's strength stems from Adair's compassionately discreet objectivity towards his curious human 
material. After the screening, a Park Avenue psychiatrist arose to heap abuse on director Adair claiming that he 
had been struggling all his life against such 'obscurantism.' He was nearly lynched by the mildly intellectual 
audience which sat in enthralled silence through Adair's fascinating document. (Elliot Stein, The (London) 
Financial Times') 

"Adair's achievement lies not just in recording this event, but diving into it without any judgment, 
implied or otherwise — what easily might have seemed a freak show... instead impresses us with the 
unselfconscious raptures these 'hicks' can call their own. They're inclusive rather than hellfire-and-brimstone 


2000 Program Notes 

exclusive; individuality is valued here, with one man saying, 'I'd hate to think God made (each) man not to be 
what he wanted to be.'" (Dennis Harvey, SF Bay Guardian) 

"Peter Adair's filming was entirely open, and fulfills, better than any modern film I know, the basic 
anthropological tenet of full disclosure of purpose. It contrasts sharply with the current cinematographic rage for 
presenting scenes and postures that could never be viewed by participant observers, and which are, therefore, a 
violation of the privacy of both subject and viewer. It also contrasts sharply with films in which the abnormal is 
stressed without reference to the wider context in which such behavior occurs. I know nothing better than this film 
for illustrating to a psychiatric audience, who habitually substitute confidentiality for the open treatment required 
by anthropologists, or to those social psychologists who have relied on stooges and deception to provide their 
experimental contexts, what an anthropological study can do. The people in the film are work-wom and show the 
marks of malnutrition, poverty and poor medical care, and yet, on a recent showing to a very sophisticated 
audience, some one on my right exclaimed: 'What beautiful people!'" (Margaret Mead) 

Pie Fight '69 (2000) by Christian Bruno and Sam Green; 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes, print from the makers 

In 1969, Peter Adair, along with Steven Schmidt, Jak Newman and David Himmelstein, formed Grand 
Central Station, an independent production company. But with no money and no exposure, passion would only go 
so far unless they made a name for themselves. The spirit of the 60's demanded a direct action, and the San 
Francisco International Film Festival was just the high profile, high society event they needed as a target. 
(CB and SG) 

immense gratitude to Haney Armstrong for the print of The Holy Ghost People 


Sunday, December 10, 2000 — San Francisco Art Institute — 7:30 pm 

Ukranian Alexander Dovzhenko was part of a group of Soviet filmmakers during the 1920's (also including 
Kuleshov, Eisenstein, Pudovkin and Vertov) whose theory and practice radically transformed the language of 
narrative cinema. Dovzhenko was a practicing poet throughout his life and his films, whose subjects range from 
ancient folk myths to post-revolutionary history, are imbued with a remarkable hallucinatory visual quality and a 
deep feeling for the physical and emotional character of Soviet life. Tonight is the first in a series surveying this 
early pioneer's greatest achievements. Arsenal is a powerful account of the Ukraine from World War I through the 
February and October revolutions, which climaxes with the suppression of the workers' revolt in 1918. (Steve 

Arsenal (1929) by Alexander Dovzhenko; 16mm, b&w, silent, 102 minutes, print from Em Gee Film Library 

"The artistic audience was enthusiastic about Zvenyhora when it came out, but the general public did not 
accept it because it was difficult to understand. Yet I was proud of the film and even remember boasting that I was 
more like a professor of higher mathematics than an entertainer. I seemed to have forgotten why I came to the 

"Was this a betrayal of film as mass art? It was not. I did not know the rules yet and so didn't think I 
was making any mistakes. I did not so much make the picture as sing it out like a songbird. I wanted to broaden 
the horizons of the screen, to break away from stereotyped narrative, and to speak the language of great ideas. I 
definitely overdid it. 

"In my next film, Arsenal, I considerably narrowed the range of my cinematic goals. The assignment to 
make a film was entirely political, set by the Party. I wrote the scenario in a fortnight, filmed and edited in six 
months. In making Arsenal I had two tasks: to unmask reactionary Ukranian nationalism and chauvinism and to 
be the bard of the Ukranian working class, which had accomplished the social revolution. The epic theme was 
contained later in Shchors in a new stylistic form. At this time, however, I lacked the necessary theoretical 
knowledge for an integrated handling of so large a theme. 

"As far as I was concerned, there were no questions of style or form involved. The characters in Arsenal 
were hardly individualized. They were embodiments of ideas and ideologies. I was still working in the 
Zvenyhora manner, using class categories, not individuals. The grandeur of the events portrayed forced me to 
compress the material. This could have been achieved by using poetic language, which seems to have become my 
specialty, yet I never thought about symbols. Even when my hero was shot at point-blank range and couldn't be 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

killed, I possessed enough artistic innocence to accept this as a completely natural fact. I dare say if had been 
asked then what I was thinking about, I should have answered, like Courbet's to a lady's question, 'Madam, I am 
not thinking — I am excited.' I worked like a soldier who slashes at the enemy with no thought of the rules of 
fencing. My steps toward realism were very slow. 

"Although I was not surprised by the reception Arsenal was given, I was oppressed by it. The film was 
accepted with approval by the public and the Party. The writers, however, did not accept it. For betraying 
"Mother Ukraine," for profaning the Ukranian nation, in other words, for depicting the Ukranian nationalists as 
provincial nonentities and adventurers, my film was reviled in the press; I was boycotted for many years, and the 
leadership treated me with a cool reserve that I could not comprehend. However it may be, the delegation of writers 
that traveled to Moscow with a protest and a demand to ban the film was not exactly reproached by the leaders of 
the country. 

"Yet Arsenal was absolutely orthodox. One could determine a person's politics from his attitude toward 
the film. I have well remembered this. Making the film was an important step in my life. I became wiser and 
more mature and at the same time felt great pain. I realized things were far from what they could be in our society. 
Life became hard." (Alexander Dovzhenko, "Autobiography," in Marco Carynnyk, ed., Alexander Dovzhenko: The 
Poet as Filmmaker) 


Giulia Frati, Darcey Leonard and Tracey MacCullion in person 

Friday, December 15, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 8 pm 

Tonight, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and San Francisco Cinematheque join forces to present the West Coast 
premiere of Gash, a major work from emerging Boston-based filmmaker Tracey MacCullion. We begin the 
program with a selection of new underground shorts, all Bay Area premieres. 

Nitwit Predelik (1999) by Xan Price; video, color, sound, 8 minutes 

An introduction to the deranged world of nitwit. We meet Hootus and Minoltuh on a day when they 
need to do an enormous amount of licking. Drool flows and many household objects are tasted. Meanwhile, a wig 
wiggles nervously in the corner. 
Best Short, NY Underground Film Festival. For further adventures, visit 

Fluff (2000) by William Jones; video, color, sound, 3 minutes 

Hot, nasty and vaguely disturbing, William Jones' (Finished) latest video is an oscilloscopic analysis of 
narration from gay pomo film trailers. 

Sadistinfectenz (1999) by Giulia Frati; 16mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 

As short as it is brutal (and thus we're showing it twice in the program), this is a poetic new work from 
Montreal-based Giulia Frati (here tonight in person), which illustrates a violent, obsessive need to manipulate the 
feelings and senses of a virtual lover. 

Chickenbitch (2000) by Daniel Hartlaub; 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes 
A day turns into a nightmare, endlessly circling upon itself. 
Best Short Film, CineArt Hamburg Film Festival. 

Sadistinfectenz (1999) by Giulia Frati; 16mm, color, sound, 2 minutes 

Lipstick and Dynamite (c.1954); 16mm, b&w, sound, 4 minutes 
Vintage 16mm women's wrestling. 

Ecstasy in Entropy (2000) by Nick Zedd; 16mm, b&w, sound, 15 minutes 

A tawdry bunch of Marxist lapdancers debate the finer points of revolutionary theory in the latest 
transgressive mess from the filmmaker you love to hate. Starring Annie Sprinkle, Brenda Bergman, Mike Diana 
and Jennifer Blowdryer. 


2000 Program Notes 


Gash (1999) by Tracey MacCullion; 16mm, color, sound, 31 minutes 

A relentless, highly-charged punk trance film, Gash depicts the feral, traumatized psychic landscape of a 
young girl caught between her grotesquely abusive family and the out-of-control, sexually aggressive crowd she 
hangs out with on the streets of Boston. This raw, intense plunge into regressive abjection has the shattering, 
uncanny power of a living nightmare and the ferocity of a fight to the death, and puts filmmaker Tracey 
MacCullion on the map as one of the most exciting young talents around. (Ocularis Cinema) 

"Best of 1999." (Gavin Smith, Film Comment) 

A Q&A session will follow the screening with MacCullion and co-producer/actress Darcey Leonard. 

Program compiled by Joel Shepard, Film/Video Curator, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts 


New films by Peter Hutton, Mark Lapore and Jeanne Liotta 

Sunday, December 17, 2000 — Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — 7:30 pm 

Our finale for 2000 includes two new films by old friends which premiered at this fall's New York Film Festival. 
Peter Hutton's Time and Tide: Study of a River, Part 2 and Mark Lapore's The Glass System. These are presented 
with a second look at Jeanne Liotta' s beautiful and lyrical Muktikara, which screened as a part of Cinematheque 
and Pacific Film Archive's program of new experimental works at this year's San Francisco International Film 

Muktikara ( 1 999) by Jeanne Liotta; 1 6mm, color, silent, 1 1 .5 minutes, print from the maker 

From the Sanskrit, "gentle gazing brings liberation," the title is also the name of a particular body of 
water which is the image-subject of the film/Landscape as "inscape." Not inertly present but beckoning an active 
perception; a seeing and a seeing into. (JL) 

Time and Tide: Study of a River, Part 2 (2000) by Peter Hutton; 16mm, color, silent, 35 minutes, print from the 

The first section of the film is a reprint of a reel shot by Billy Bitzer in 1903 titled Down the Hudson for 
Biograph. It chronicles in single frame time lapse a section of the river between Newburgh, New York and 
Yonkers. The second section of the film was shot in 1998 and 1999 by filmmaker Peter Hutton and records 
fragments of several trips up and down the Hudson River between Bayonne, New Jersey, and Albany, New York. 
The filmmaker was traveling on the tugboat Gotham as it pushed (up river) and pulled (down river) the Noel 
Cutler, a barge filled with 35,000 barrels of unleaded gasoline. (PH) 

"In recent years filmmakers as diverse as Abbas Kiarostami, Claire Denis and Stan Brakhage have offered 
extraordinary films in which landscape and seascape were paramount. It is fitting then, that Hutton, one of the 
greatest living poets of the portraiture of place, has completed his first film in many years — a meditation on the 
Hudson River. Combining the luminescence and formal contemplation of the Hudson Valley painters with 
documentary and ecological concerns, Time and Tide extends the panoramic field of Hutton's previous Portrait of 
a River. And after decades of an exclusive devotion to and mastery of reversal black and white stocks, Time and 
Tide marks Hutton's inaugural foray into color negative." (Mark McElhatten, New York Film Festival) 

The Glass System (2000) by Mark LaPore; 16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes, print from the maker 

Shot primarily in Calcutta, The Glass System looks at life as it is played out in public. Every street 
corner turned reveals activities both simple and mesmerizing: a knife sharpener on a bicycle; a tiny tightrope 
walker; a hauntingly slow portrait of the darting eyes of schoolgirls on their way home; the uncompleted activities 
of a young contortionist. The Glass System expresses the filmmaker's sense of yearning for a lost New York, a 
place which exists in a dream where life in the streets was both complicated and fleeting. (ML) 


San Francisco Cinematheque 


Alfonzo Alvarez 
Claire Bain 
Nathaniel Dorsky 
Daven Gee 
Anne McGuire 
John Muse 
Steve Polta 
Scott Stark 
Ellen Ugelstad 









James Benning 1 30 00 

Richard Dindo 1.17,1.20.00 

Jay Rosenblatt 2 24 0Q 

Erin Sax 
Bill Berkson 


Nathaniel Dorsky • 77 00 

Arthur and Corinne Cantrill 
Konrad Steiner 
Lee Flynn 

Sharon Lockhart 


Caitlin Manning , 9 00 

Luis A. Recoder 3 12 00 

Bruce McClure 3 12 00 

Stephanie Barber 3 16 00 

Naomi Uman 3 16 00 

Lawrence Jordan 3 19> 3 21) 3 23; 3 26 Q0 



2000 Program Notes 

Gordon Ball 4.2.00 

Trinh T. Minh-ha 4.6.00 

Matthias Miiller 4.9.00 

Gad Hollander 4.13.00 

Ken Paul Rosenthal 4.16.00 

Jim Jennings 4.27, 4.30.00 

Alfonso Alvarez 4.30.00 

Ellen Ugelstad 4.3.00 

David Michalak and REEL CHANGE 5.4.00 

Lawrence Brose 5.11.00 
J. Hoberman 5.13-14, 5.16, 5.18.00 

Gail Camhi 5.25.00 

Alfred Hernandez 5.25.00 

Pelle Lowe 5.25.00 

Ken Paul Rosenthal 5.25.00 

Luther Price 6.1,6.3-4.00 

Phil Solomon 6.8.00 

Charles Boone 9.24.00 

Michael Rosas- Walsh 10.1.00 

Rodney Ascher 10.8.00 
Abigail Child 10.12,10.14-15.00 

Sarah Jane Lapp 10.26.00 

Jenny Perlin 10.26.00 

Amie Siegel 10.26.00 

James Benning 10.29.00 

Gunvor Nelson 11.2.00 

Gregg Biermann 11.5.00 

Ron Mazurek 1 1 . 5 .00 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Jeremy Coleman 1 1 9 00 

Timoleon Wilkins 1 1 9 00 

Miranda July 1U000 

Astria Suparak , , 1 00 

ZoeBeloff 111900 

Victor Faccinto j , -^ 00 

LynHejinian 12.3.00 

Leslie Scalapino 12 " 00 

Konrad Steiner 





Darcey Leonard 12 15 00 

Christian Bruno 
Sam Green 
Giulia Frati 

Tracy MacCullion 12 15 00 


2000 Program Notes 


(...) Reel 5 (Brakhage) 25 
#5 (Price) 46 

9 Cats When I Was 7 (Land) 3 
9 Videos by Stuart Sherman (Sherman) 67 
11x14 (Benning) 2 
250 Summer (Richard) 52 
1 933 (Frye) 4 
2000: A Space Odd-essay (Film Boy) 34 

/i Cold-Blooded Look at Your Last 

60,000,000,000,000 Years.' (The Institute 
for True Purpose Technology) 54 

A Different Kind of Green (Povey) 66 

a little present (for my friend columbus the 
explorer) (Barber) 19 

The Adventure Parade (Laitala) 66 

The Adventures of Blacky (Finley & Muse) 1 

A irey's Inlet (Cantrill) 1 1 

Alfred (Ascher) 54 

Alone. Life Wastes Andy Hardy (Arnold) 69 

Amerika (anonymous) 4 

An Individual Desires Solution (Brose) 40 

angus mustang (Barber) 1 9 

The Apparition (Jordan) 21 

Arabian Nights (Rawlins) 41 

Archaeology of Memory (Popovich) 34 

Archaeopteryx Dreaming (silt) 35 

Arsenal (Dovzhenko) 75 

Art School Remembered (Rudnick) 5 1 

Arthur Rimbaud, A Biography (Dindo) 8 

Articulated Image (Cantrill) 11 

As Long As It Takes (Bain) 1 

As to How Much (Herwitz) 13 

Ashley (Animal Charm) 66 

At Photo Motion, San Francisco (Rosenthal) 42 

At Such a Business, San Francisco (Rosenthal) 43 

Aus der Feme (The Memo Book) (Muller) 31 

Awake, But Dreaming (Laitala) 53 


B/Side (Child) 56 

Bar B Bar (Porsia) 54 

Barbie's Audition (Gibbons) 66 

Be Like Them (Povey) 53 

Below the New: A Russian Chronicle (Child) 55 

Beware of Slips and Falls (Ascher) 54 

The Birds of Paradise (Brakhage) 24 

The Black Oud (Jordan) 23 

Bluebeard (Ulmer) 6 

Body Parts (Faccinto) 71 

Bored Members (Snider) 5 1 

Bottle Can (Price) 48 

Brake 1 (Small) 71 

Buddha Bar (Ascher) 54 

Bum Series (Steiner) 72, 75 

By 2's and3's: Women (Keller) 4 
Bye Bye Bob (Jennings) 36 

The Cage (Peterson) 67 

Caterpillar (Burckhardt) 1 1 

Chemistries (Gee) 1 

Cheong Ju (Coleman) 64 

Chickenbitch (Hartlaub) 76 

Chinatown Sketch (Wilkins) 65 

City of Chromatic Dissolution (Cantrill) 1 1 

City of Chromatic Intensity (Cantrill) 12 

Coffee Break (Camhi) 42 

The Collectors (Ascher) 54 

Completed Portrait of Picasso (Stein) 50 

Concrescence (Brakhage & Solomon) 49 

Conversations with a Light Bulb (Sonami) 5 1 

Corners (Stark) 3 

Coupling (Brakhage) 25 

Covert Action (Child) 57 

Cricket Requiem (Brakhage) 24 

The Dark Tower (Brakhage) 25 

De Profundis (Brose) 40 

Dead Ringer (Price) 47 

Degree Zero (Tseng) 34 

deja vu (Ponger) 69 

Destroy All Intellectuals/Intellectuals Strike Back 

(Snider) 51 
Detached Americans (Biermann) 64 
Detector (Stark) 67 
The Devil is a Woman (Sternberg) 41 
Diary of a Sane Man (Hollander) 33 
Diggins (Bruno & Vekic) 35 
Dissonances (Biermann) 63 
Domain (Murray) 37 
Don from Lakewood (Saks) 66 
Dr. Quantum's Malfunctioning Satellite 

(Andrews) 51 
Duo Concertantes (Jordan) 22 

The Earthsong of the Cricket (Brakhage) 24 

Eastside Summer (Burckhardt) 10 

Ecclesiastic Vibrance (Coleman) 65 

Ecstasy in Entropy (Zedd) 76 

Egypt (Resetarits) 69 

El Valley Centro (Benning) 61 

Ernesto Che Guevara: The Bolivian Diary 

(Dindo) 7 
Eruption-Erection (Price) 46 
Estuary #1 (Constant Passage) (Polta) 1 
Exercise (Gidal) 35 
Exilee (Cha) 58 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Fall of the House of Usher (Webber & Watson) 39 

Fast Film (Faccinto) 71 

Filet of Soul (Faccinto) 71 

Fine Lines (Gang) 65 

Firefly (Michalak) 39 

First Hymn to the Night — Novalis (Brakhage) 16 

Flaming Creatures (Smith) 41 

Flight (Snider) 66 

Flip Film (Alvarez & Ugelstad) 1, 37 

flower, the boy, the librarian (Barber) 20 

Fluff (Jones) 76 

Focal Length (Recoder) 52 

Football Film (Janos & Shaw) 52 

Found in Auto (Barron) 3 

Ivor Paints ArfArf (Cantrill) 12 


Jamie's Portrait (Heatley) 3 
Jerusalem Syndrome (Sax) 9 
Julie (Burckhardt) 1 1 
Juve vs. Fantomas (Feuillade) 70 

King of the Jews (Rosenblatt) 8 

King of the Monsters (Ascher & Garron) 53 

Kino Da! (Hills) 15 

Kl&nge/Sounds (Kandinsky) 50 

Krazyfor Krispy Kreme (Ascher & Van Leer) 54 

Game (Child) 56 

Garden of Chromatic Disturbance (Cantrill) 12 

Gash (MacCullion) 77 

Georgia (Ball) 28 

The Glass System (Lapore) 77 

Go Home Movie (Wu) 3 

Golly Golly Zoom (RW2) 52 

Goshogaoka (Lockhart) 26 

Green (Rhoads) 44 

The Grove (Jordan) 23 

Gruningers Fall (The Gruninger Case) (Dindo) 5 


The H.D. Trilogy Film (Jordan) 23 

Hankook Trilogy (Coleman) 64 

Happy Are the Happy (Lapp & Perlin) 60 

Heterogene (McClure) 19 

The Hobgoblin of Little Minds (Biermann) 63 

The Holy Ghost People (Adair) 74 

Home (Price) 44 

Home Movie Reel #1 (anonymous) 4 

Home Movie Reel #2 (anonymous) 5 

Home Movie Reel #3 (anonymous) 5 

Homecomings (Leimbacher) 52 

Hot Leatherette (Nelson) 52 

I, Zupt 49 (Coleman) 65 

If I Told Him (Stein) 50 

I'll Cry Tomorrow, Parts 1 and 2 (Price) 47 

Illuminations of the Mundane - Spring (Cantrill) 

in.side.out (Stark) 1 
Indeterminate Focus (McClure) 18 
Innerspace Dental Commander 

(Garron & Henry) 54 
interval Oakland '99 (Polta) 52 
Into Whiteness (Biermann) 63 
Intrigue (Jennings) 37 
Inversion (Polta) 4 

La Sortie (Fruhauf) 69 

Lafanmi Selavi (Flynn & Manning) 16 

Lake of the Spirits (Wilkins) 65, 66 

The Lead Shoes (Peterson) 68 

Leaves (Jennings) 36 

Leche (Uman) 20 

letters, notes (Barber) 37 

Life/Expectancy (Fleming) 60 

The Light in Our Lizard Bellies (Abbot) 35 

Light Years Expanding (Nelson) 62 

The Lion and the Zebra Make God's Raw Jewels 

(Brakhage) 25 
Lipstick and Dynamite (anonymous) 76 
Living in the World, Part I (Gibbons) 42 
Lost Note (Levine) 4 
Lullaby (Reeder) 65 


The Maltese Cross Movement (Dewdney) 72 

The March (Ravett) 37 

Mariage Blanc (Deutsch) 69 

Martina's Playhouse (Ahwesh) 65 

Masquerade (Jordan) 22 

Mayhem (Child) 57 

Me Gut No Dog DOG (Price) 48 

Meat Blue 03 (Price) 46 

Meat Situation 04 (Price) 46 

Mercy (Child) 51, 57 

Mermaids and Pickles (Sweetvittles) 34 

Metronome (Barber) 20 

Mexican Jail Footage (Ball) 29 

Midnight at the Plaster Foundation (Smith) 4 1 

Millbrook (Ball) 29 

Millions in Business as Usual (Burckhardt) 10 

Miracle on 34* Street (Jennings) 37 

Mobius Strip (Recoder) 1 

Moilsome Toilsome (Brakhage) 26 

Mother (Price) 45 

Mr. Frenhofer and the Minotaur (Peterson) 68 

Muktikara (Liotta) 37, 77 

Music To Strip By (Wallace) 52 

2000 Program Notes 

Mutiny (Child) 56 

Myself When Fourteen (Cantrill) 1 1 


Naked Spaces — Living is Round (Trinh) 30 

NE3 (Coleman) 64 

Nectar of the Cyclops (Ross) 52 

New Nothing Dad (MRW) 5 1 

New York Portrait, Chapter II (Hutton) 72 

News From North Carolina (Whiteside) 3 

Night Fantasies (Burckhardt) 1 1 

Nitwit Predelik (Price) 76 

No Place Like Home #1 (Yasinsky) 65 

No Place Like Home #2 (Yasinsky) 65 

Normal Love (Smith) 41 

Not Quite Right (Michalak) 39 

Notch (Kitchen) 52 

Note One (Levine) 4 

Note to Pati (Levine) 4 

Nothing But. ..Part 1 (Weisman) 3 


Off the Track (Kirby) 53 

Ol She Gu (Coleman) 64, 66 

Old Digs (Nelson) 62 

The Old House, Passing (Jordan) 21 

On Aesthetics (Burckhardt) 10 

Once Upon A Time (Jordan) 22 

Oneers, The (Kuchar) 52 

Orb (Jordan) 22 

Ornamentals (Child) 55 

Our Lady of the Sphere (Jordan) 22 

Outer Space (Tscherkassky) 69 

Painting the Town (Jennings) 36 

Pan (Steiner) 69 

Passing Through (Sandlos) 35 

Paws (Joseph) 34 

Perils (Child) 57 

Peripeteia I (Child) 55 

The Persian Series 1 (Brakhage) 25 

The Persian Series 2 (Brakhage) 25 

The Persian Series 6 (Brakhage) 25 

The Petrified Dog (Peterson) 68 

The Phoenix Tapes (Miiller) 32 

Photoheliograph (Flannery) 15 

Piano Etude (Biermann) 63 

Pie Fight '69 (Bruno & Green) 75 

Poems of Rome (Jennings) 37 

pornfilm (Barber) 19, 65 

Posers (Stark) 67 

Prefaces (Child) 15, 55 

Pretty Boy (Gibbons) 66 

Print of the Zapruder Film (Zapruder) 5 

Private Movie (Uman) 20 

Prunes (Ball) 29 

Psychic (Michaud) 4 

Psycho Porpoise (Ross) 52 


Raw (MRW) 52 
Regenbogen (Michalak) 39 
Removed (Uman) 20, 66 
Resitations (Price) 45 
Ritual 629 (Price) 47 
run (Price) 45 

Sadistinfectenz (Frati) 76 

Safetyman (Ascher & Garron) 54 

St. Benny the Dip (Ulmer) 6 

Salute (Baillie) 66 

San Cristobal (Jennings) 36 

The School of Athens (Jennings) 36 

Seasons... (Solomon & Brakhage ) 49 

The Secret of Rented Island (Smith) 41 

Selections from Collected Evidence: 52 Weeks 

(Nelson) 62 
Shades (Jennings) 36 
Shadow Land or Light From the Other Side 

(Beloff) 70 
Shameless (Faccinto) 71 
The Shape of the Gaze (Carpenter) 34 
shipfilm (Barber) 20 
Shiver (Child) 55 
Sight (Hejinian & Scalapino) 72 
Silence (DeRego) 34 
silt Interlude 1: Ouroboros (silt) 52 
silt Interlude 2: lost footage from the 

paranaturalists (silt) 53 
silt Interlude 3: Pinhole #7 (silt) 53 
Silver Recovery (Recoder) 18 
Silvercup (Jennings) 36 
Sincerely, Joe P. Bear (McCormick) 52 
The Sleepers (Siegel) 60 
Smoke (Lowe) 42 
Snapshots (Kuchar) 52 
Sodom (Price) 48 
Some Kind of Loving: Joanie 4 Jackie Co-Star 

Somebody Goofed (Ascher & Garron) 54 
Something to Take to Heart (anonymous) 54 
Son of Metropolis San Francisco (Amirkhanian) 50 
Song I (Brakhage) 3 
Song 4 (Brakhage) 3 
Song 13 (Brakhage) 3 

Songs of Degrees: With a Valentine (Herwitz) 13 
Sophie's Place (Jordan) 22 
Star of Day (Jordan) 23 
Start Talking (Michalak) 39 
Suenos Liquidos (Swope) 35 
Superincumbent (McClure) 18 
Surface NOISE (Child) 57 
The Swan Tool (July) 66 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Taka and Ako (Iimura) 4 

The Telling (McGuire) 1 

Thank God Tommy Made it Back All Right 

(Kistel) 54 
they invented machines (Barber) 20 
Threading the Projector (REEL CHANGE) 39 
'Til My Head Caves In (Ross) 5 1 
Time and Tide: Study of a River, Part 2 (Hutton) 

Tito-Material (Groen) 69 
Train Ride (Mideke) 4 
Transmission from the Turn of the 20 Jk Century 

(Dennis) 35 
Tree— Line (Nelson) 62 

The Triumph of Victory — A Great Fall (Ascher) 53 
The True History of Crime: X Equals X (Ascher) 

Tuning the Sleeping Machine (Sherman) 66 
Twilight Psalm I: "The Lateness of the Hour" 

(Solomon) 50 
Twilight Psalm II: "Walking Distance" (Solomon) 



Under a Broad Gray Sky (Povey) 14 

Une Fois Habitee (Once Inhabited) (Davis) 53 

Unemployment Portrayal (Levine) 43 

Untitled if 6 (Sharits) 3 

Untitled Cameraroll (Peterson) 4 

Untitled Cameraroll (Wilkins) 65 

Untitled (Walsh) 35 

Ursonata (Schwitters) 50 

Vacancy (Miiller) 3 1 

Vagus (Duhig) 35 

Variable Density (Recoder) 1 8 

Variations (Dorsky) 1 

Vel Richards ' Lunchtime Office Ergonomics 

Seminar (Bain) 43 
Vermont Wedding (Heatley) 5 
Video Haikai (Nascimento) 14 
Video Projection (Faccinto) 71 
The Visible Compendium (Jordan) 22 
Visions of a City (Jordan) 22 


Walk (Mideke) 4 

Wallstreet (Jennings) 36 

Warm Broth (Rhoads) 48 

Waterworx (Hancox) 14 

Welcome to the House of Raven (Merritt) 52 

What Happened to Kerouac? (Dorsky) 14 

What Mozart Saw on Mulberry Street 

What's On? (Colburn) 15 
What's Out Tonight is Lost (Solomon) 49 
When the Spirit Moves (Michalak) 39 
Window of Appearances (Biermann) 64 
Windy (Baldewicz) 3 
woman stabbed to death (Barber) 19 
Work Art Work (Hernandez) 42 
Work (Levine & Lowe) 67 
Worm and Web Love (Brakhage) 25 

Xperiencing Xpressing My Paralysis (Frisbee) 52 


The Yellow Footage: Normal Love addendum reel 

(Smith) 41 
Yellow Goodbye (Price) 46 
Yes, I Said Yes, I Will, Yes (Solomon) 35, 50 
You Are Christine Dietrich (Rudnick) 52 


2000 Program Notes 


Abbot, Sarah, 35 
Adair, Peter, 74-75 
Ahwesh, Peggy, 65 
Alvarez, Alfonzo, 1, 37 
Amirkhanian, Charles, 50-51 
Andrews, George, 5 1 
Animal Charm, 66 
Anonymous, 4, 5, 76 
Arnold, Martin, 69 
Ascher, Rodney, 53-54 


Baillie, Bruce, 66 

Bain, Claire, 1, 42-43 

Baldewicz, Bill, 3 

Ball, Gordon, 28-30 

Barber, Stephanie, 19-20, 37, 65 

Barron, Susan, 3 

Beloff, Zoe, 70 

Benning, James, 2, 60-62 

Biermann, Greg, 63-64 

Boone, Charles, 50-51 

Brakhage, Stan, 3, 16, 24-26, 49 

Brose, Lawrence, 40 

Bruno, Christian, 35, 74-75 

Burckhardt, Rudy, 10-11 

Camhi, Gail, 42 

Cantrill, Arthur and Corinne, 1 1-12 

Carpenter, Mai'a Cybelle, 34 

Cha, Theresa Hak Kyung, 58-59 

Child, Abigail, 15, 51, 55-57 

Colburn, Martha, 15 

Coleman, Jeremy, 64-65, 66 

Davis, Sandra, 53 
Dennis, Ghen, 35 
DeRego, Troy, 34 
Deutsch, Gustav, 69 
Dewdney, Keewatin, 72-74 
Dindo, Richard, 5-6,7,8 
Dorsky, Nathaniel, 1, 14 
Dovzhenko, Alexander, 75-76 
Duhig, David, 35 

Faccinto, Victor, 71 
Feuillade, Louis, 70 
Film Boy, 34 
Finley, Jeanne C, 1 
Flannery, Jim, 15-16 
Flemming, Michele, 60 

Flynn, Lee, 16-17 
Frati, Giulia, 76 
Frisbee, Diane J., 52 
Fruhauf, Siegfried, 69 
Frye, Brian, 4 

Gang, Jane, 65 
Garron, Syd, 53, 54 
Gee, Daven, 1 
Gibbons, Joe, 42, 66 
Gidal, Jessica, 35 
Green, Sam 74-75 
Groen, Elke, 69 


Hancox, Rick, 14 
Hartlaub, Daniel, 76 
Heatley, David, 3, 5 
Heicke, William, 67-68 
Hejinian, Lyn, 72-74 
Henry, Eric, 54 
Hernandez, Alfred, 42 
Herwitz, Peter, 13-14 
Hills, Henry, 15 
Hoberman, J., 41 
Hollander, Gad, 32-34 
Hutton, Peter, 72-74,77 


Iimura, Takahiko, 4 

Institute for True Purpose Technology, The, 54 

Janos, Dan, 52 
Jennings, Jim, 36-37 
Jones, William, 76 
Jordan, Lawrence, 21-24 
Joseph, Moira, 34 
July, Miranda, 65-66 

Kandinsky, Wassily, 50 
Keller, Marjorie, 4 
Kirby, Lynn, 53 
Kitchen, Diane, 52 
Kistel, Erik, 54 
Kuchar, George, 52 

Laitala, Kerry, 53, 66 
Land, Robbie, 3 
Lapore, Mark, 77 
Lapp, Sarah Jane, 60 


San Francisco Cinematheque 

Leimbacher, Irina, 52 
Leonard, Darcey, 76-77 
Levine, Saul, 4, 43, 67 
Liotta, Jeanne, 37, 77 
Lockhart, Sharon, 26-28 
Lowe, Pelle, 42, 67 


MacCullion, Tracey, 76-77 
Manning, Caitlin, 16-17 
Mazurek, Ron, 63-64 
McClure, Bruce, 18-19 
McCormick, Matt, 52 
McGuire, Anne, 1 
Merritt, Toney, 52 
Michalak, David, 39 
Michaud, Hans, 4 
Mideke, Michael, 4 
MRW, 51, 52 
Miiller, Matthias, 30-32 
Murray, Julie, 37 
Muse, John H., 1 


Nascimento, Marcus, 14 
Nelson, Gunvor, 62 
Nelson, Robert, 52 

Perlin, Jenny, 60 
Peterson, Jamie, 4 
Peterson, Sidney, 67-68 
Polta, Steve, 1, 4, 52 
Ponger, Lisl, 69 
Popovich, Gary, 34 
Porsia, Marco, 54 
Povey, Thad, 14, 53, 66 
Price, Luther, 43-48 
Price, Xan, 76 

Ravett, Abraham, 37 
Rawlins, John, 41 
Recoder, Luis, 1, 18-19, 52 
Reeder, Jennifer, 65 
Resetarits, Katherin, 69 
Rhoads, Tom, 44-45, 48 
Richard, William Z., 52 
Rosenblatt, Jay, 8-9 
Rosenthal, Ken Paul, 42, 43 
Ross, Rock, 51, 52 
Rudnick, Michael, 51, 52 
RW2, 52 

Saks, Eric, 66 
Sandlos, Karyn, 35 
Sax, Erin, 8-9 
Scalapino, Leslie, 72-74 
Schwitters, Kurt, 50 
Sharits, Greg, 3 
Shaw, Cameron, 52 
Sherman, David, 66 
Sherman, Stuart, 67 
Siegel, Amie, 60 
silt, 35, 52, 53 
Small, Rhan, 71 
Smith, Jack, 41 
Snider, Dean, 51 
Snider, Greta, 66 
Solomon, Phil, 35, 38, 49-50 
Sonami, Laetitia, 51 
Stark, Scott, 1, 3, 67 
Stein, Gertrude, 50 
Steiner, Konrad, 72-74 
Steiner, Thomas, 69 
Sternberg, Josef von, 41 
Suparak, Astria, 65-66 
Sweetvittles, Trixie, 34 
Swope, Nat, 35 

Trinh, Minh-ha T., 30 
Tscherkassky, Peter, 69 
Tseng, Te-shun, 34 


Ugelstad, Ellen, 1, 37 
Ulmer, Edgar G., 6-7 
Uman, Naomi, 19-20, 66 

Van Leer, Louisa, 54 
Vekic, Natalija, 35 


Wallace, Marian, 52 
Walsh, Justin, 35 
Watson, James Sibley, 39 
Webber, Melville, 39 
Weisman, Phil, 3 
Whiteside, Tom, 3 
Wilkins, Timoleon, 64-65, 66 
Wu, Chun-Hui, 3 


Yasinsky, Karen, 65 
Zapruder, Abraham, 5 
Zedd, Nick, 76 


2000 Program Notes