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San Francisco Cinematheque 
1994 Program Notes 



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Production 

Editor: C Whiteside 
Maya Allison 

Cover: 

Layout: Melissa Ehn 
Photography: Jeff Weston 

Written and Researched: 

Steve Anker 
Maya Allison 
David Gerstein 
Linda Gibson 
Carrie Gray 
Michelle Handelman 
Elise Hurwitz 
Hyun-Ock Im 
Albert Kilchesty 
Lynn Kirby 
D^vid Landau 
IrinaLeimbacher 
Paula Levine 
Mark McHhatten 
Erin Sax 
Joel Shepard 
Eric Theise 
Todd Wagner 

© Copyright 1995 by the San Francisco Cinematheque. No material may be reproduced 
without written permission from the publisher. All individual essays © to the individual 
authors. 



San Francisco Cinematheque, Sept. 1994 - Aug. 1995 

Staff 

Steve Anker, Artistic Director 

Joel Shepard, Associate Director 

Irina Leimbacher, Administrative Manager 

Board of Directors 
Charles Boone 
Stefan Ferreria Culver 
Linda Gibson 
Wendy Levy 
Sharon Jue 
Ariel O'Donnell 
Sandra Peters 
Laura Takeshi ta 
Michael Wallis 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

480 Potrero Aveneue 

San Francisco, CA 94110 

Phone: (415) 558-8129 

Fax: (415) 558-0455 



TABLE OF CONTENTS 



SF Cinematheque 
Program Notes 1994 

January 

Spectral Cinema 01/27 

New Videos George Kuchar 01/30 

February 

Living The German Dream 02/03 

Videograms Of A Revolution 02/06 

Fractured Realities 02/ 1 1 

Romantic Notions 02/13 

Street Beats 02/17 

The Circumspect Hedonist 02/20 

Unplug Your Orgasm . . . 02/24 

The Malady Of Death 02/27 

March 

Film And Physical Reality 03/03 

Sam Fuller Wild, Wild West 03/06 

Class And Sexuality 03/ 10 

Lambent Ught 03/13 

The Great Divide 03/17 

Dis-Integrated Circuits 03/20 

Artificial Paradises 03/24 

Open Screening 03/25 

Delivered Vacant 03/27 

Elusive Moments 03/3 1 

April 

Facing Vi etnam 04/ 1 7 

Between Heaven And Earth 04/2 1 

Brakhage Songs 1-XIV 04/24 
Lynn Hershman 04/28 - 05/22 

May 

Tribute To Marjorie Keller 05/01 
Wasteland And Oasis 05/05 + 05/08 

Maybury & Jarman 05/05 

A Palimpsest Of Dreams 05/08 

Post-Colonial Conundrums 05/12 

Open Screeni ng 05/ 1 3 

Wither Cyberspace? 05/ 1 5 

The Smell Of Burning Ants 05/19 

Andy Warhol Program 1 05/22 

Andy Warhol Program 2 05/29 



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9 



3 

5 

5 

6 

7 

8 

10 

11 



12 
13 
14 
15 
16 
17 
18 
20 
20 
21 



22 
oo 

27 
28 

29 
31 
31 
32 
33 
35 
36 
36 
37 
40 



June 

Korean Visions 

Andy Warhol Program 3 

Projected Light 

Andy Warhol Program 4 

Articulated Silences 

How High The Moon 

July 

Personal Documents/. . . 
. . . /Personal Documentaries 

September - October 

Fragmenting Solution 
A Few Parting Shots 
The 'T' In Question 
Black Women's Spirit 10/06 - 
Revisioning The Time Closet 
African Diaspora 
Imaging Identity 
Africa: Political Myth 
Op)en Screening 
Pendra: Women in Pom 
From The Heart And Gut 
Magnified Mysteries 
Subverting The Libidinous 

November 

Articulate Flesh 
Becoming American 
Robert Frank's New York 
Chick's Favorite Pics 
Anne Robertson 
Into The Picture Plane 
The Lenses Of Time 

December 

Altered Surfaces 

El Diablo Nunca Duerme 

Bedroom To Banquet* 

Odering The Chaos 

Counter-Compilation 

*TMH 

makers index 
Title Index 



06/02 
06^05 
06/11 
06/12 
06/16 
06/19 



42 
44 
46 
48 
48 
50 



07/14 51 
07/21 52 



09/29 
10/02 
10/05 
11/26 
10/09 
10/14 
10/16 
10/20 
10/21 
10/23 
10/27 
10/29 
10/30 



11/03 
11/10 
11/12 
11/13 
11/17 
11/19 
11/20 



12/01 
12/03 
12/04 
12/08 
12/11 



52 
53 
55 
57 
58 
60 
61 
63 
64 
64 
65 
66 
68 



69 
70 
72 
74 
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78 
81 



83 
85 
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93 

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5X .ClA.t 



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Program Notes 1994 

SPECTRAL CINEMA 
Films inspired by found and received images 

Thursday, January 27, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Whether as personal souvenirs of lost moments or as mass-consumed imitations of life, 
images govern our existence. This evening's show features many different examples of 
how filmmakers use extant images (postcards, family snapshots, footage from other films) 
to create powerful, new reconstruction's of reality, critique the image-world, and breathe 
life into old shadows. 

A Fainting Woman's Lost Afo«fc«j( 1993), by Eve Heller; 
16mm, b&w, sound-on-tape, 15 minutes 

An exotic Coney Island fantasy. "Zentropic." 

— Jermifer Montgomery 

By Night with Torch and Spear (date unknown, released in 1978), 
by Joseph Cornell; 16mm, tinted color, silent, 9 minutes 

One of the most beautiful of Joseph Cornell's found footage films. By Night with Torch 
and Spear is a re-edited documentary on steel manufacturing that concentrates primarily on 
the smelting process. Tinted blue, gold, and pink these shots are printed upside down and 
backwards and are interspersed with other shots (images of the SaJiara in negative, Indians 
dancing around a campfire, the title— "By night with torch and spear"— used to name the 
film), creating, in the words of J. Hoberman, "as stunning an example of alchemical 
transformation as the industrial process it intermittently depicts." 

strain, restrain (1993 Premiere) , by Elise Hurwitz; 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 minutes 

An old family snapshot sparks a penumbral meditation on the body's connection to its past. 

/'// Walk with God (1994 Premiere) , bv Scott Stark; 
16mm, color, sound-on-tape, 10 minutes 

Using airline emergency instructional illustrations, I'll Walk with God pictorially charts the 
stations of the cross in a flight attendant's passage into sainthood. 

passage a I'acte (1993), by Martin Arnold; 16mm, b&w, sound, 12 minutes 

Austrian filmmaker Martin Arnold's passage a Vacte "dismantles a simple sequence 
consisting of five takes: a breakfast table with a family of four, almost idyllic in the original 
(the sequence comes from To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck, who incidentally 
remarked on Arnold's film with the words 'Nice sound, but didn't get it!'). Using a small 
gesture by the father, passage a Vacte uncovers the authoritarian center of the middle-class 
family. It shows how the authority of the father is directed at the son, accepted and 
emulated by him, and then directed at the sister, who in turn— in relation to the father- 
takes up the same position as the mother, passage a Vacte also deals with the theme of 
corporeality by cutting up the 'body' of classic, narrative Hollywood cinema in order to 
reveal something of the codes which were passed on to us by Hollywood and integrated 
into our own corporeal history." 

—Peter Tscherkassky, Austrian Avant-Garde Cinema (1994) 

Trepanations (1983), by Janis Crystal Lipzin; Super-8, color, sound, 20 minutes 

A film made up of various kinds of correspondences— pictorial, written, and audio tape 
"letters" sent to the filmmaker by Nancy Rexroth, Carmen Vigil, Joe Gibbons, David 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Robinson, Jane Dobson and others. The soundtrack is the dominant element and was 
constructed from excerpts from the tape correspondence of a contemporary woman 
photographer living in a small midwestem town. She describes the madness of her daily 
life in moods vacillating between delight and despair. Her experiences, while uniquely her 
own, function as a magnifier through which we aJl can see our own situations and strongly 
identify with hers. The title describes a delicate cranial operation performed in prehistoric 
cultures. (JCL) 

Dervish Machine ( 1992), by Bradley Eros & Jeanne Liotta; 
16mm, b&w/color, 10 minutes 

Hand-developed meditations on being and movement, as inspired by Brion Gysin's 
Dreamachine, Sufi mysticism, and early cinema. A knowledge of the fragility of existence 
mirrors the tenuous nature of the material. The film itself becomes the site to experience 
impermanence, and to revel in the unfixed image. (BE/JL) 

Island Zoetrope (1986), by Al Hernandez; 16mm, b&w, sound, 10 minutes 

A man struggles with his sanity in a surreal world where trains become ocean and walls 
become cliffs. The zoetrope spins, flickering animated images of dinosaurs and robotic life. 
Visual rhymes that express the primal energies rise from the industrial soot. (AH) 

Mirage (1983), by Chris Gallagher; 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 
The ultimate union between a filmmaker and his material. 



TOWER OF THE ASTRO CYCLOPS 
AND OTHER NEW VIDEOS BY GEORGE KUCHAR 

GEORGE KUCHAR IN PERSON 

Sunday, January 30, 1 994 SF Art Institute 
Special Free Admission 

A torrid collection of George Kuchar's newest videotapes, including several of George's 
travelogues from spots all over the U.S. 

"For 30 years, working several economic rungs below low budget, Mr. Kuchar has 
reached for the glamour of Hollywood and pulled it right down to street level, where 
ordinary mortals with weight problems and bad skin wage unequal battle with their tawdry 
surroundings. 

"Mr. Kuchar, the subject of a month long retrospective (in August 1993) at the American 
Museum of the Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, is right down there with them, a tortured 
romantic struggling with the cheap materials that life so stingily provides." 

—William Grimes, A^y Times (Aug. 10, 1993) 

Film synopsis/descriptions by George Kuchar. 

Sunbelt Serenades (Parts I & 3) (1994 Premiere) : video, color, sound 

Sunbelt Serenades is a video series on the southwest featuring rocks and empty places plus 
people wandering around, buying and eating. 



Program Notes 1994 

Andy's House of Gary (1994 Premiere) ; video, color, sound 

Andy's House of Gary features two Art Institute alumni verbally tackling the enigmas of ^ 

California living. 

Tower of the Astro Cyclops (1994 Premiere) ; video, color, sound 

A tour of a redwood retreat built by a scientist/author who plumbs the inner and outer 

reaches of verboten visions. 

Bayou of the Blue Behemoth (1994 Premiere) ; video, color, sound 

Large and small creatures swim, sway and chomp their way into rejuvenated extinction. 

Glacier Park (1994 Premiere) ; video, color, sound 

Ice and mountains and gobs of goodness aboimd in Montana. 



LIVING THE GERMAN DREAM 
FILM Essays By Peter Thompson & Harun Farocki 

Sunday, February 3, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Universal Hotel (1986), by Peter Thompson; 16mm, b&w, sound, 24 minutes 
"As the director of the Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial I have had the opportunity to 
view a considerable number of documentaries recalling the fate of those resisting or 
suffering the Nazi regime. Often filmmakers were striving to reconstruct history on a large 
scale by compiling as many interviews and documentary materials as possible, and, 
sometimes quite successfully, they were able to impress by this means the immense tragedy 
of the holocaust upon the viewer. 

"Peter Thompson's film uses a completely different approach. Indeed he offers the 
spectator a new habit of vision. Using only a few photographs and drawings which he 
collected from different people and in different countries, he concentrates on one person 
only. At the beginning this person is not much more than a name. With minimal sources, 
however, underlined by Peter Thompson's account of his search for information, the film 
becomes an extraordinarily moving experience. He introduces one victim of one of the 
most gruesome aspects of the Nazi concentration camps: the medical experiments 
performed by SS doctors on helpless inmates. 

'This victim becomes through this film a universal example, a metaphor for the oppression 
of the individual, which, as we know, did not end with the defeat of Nazi Germany. 

"Visitors from more than 100 different countries visit the Dachau Concentration Camp 
Memorial each year. There are many discussions and seminars where some of these 
youngsters coming from different cultural backgrounds try to find the meaning of the 
lesson that can be learned in Dachau today. Peter Thompson's film Universal Hotel has 
proven to stimulate successfully intercultural discussions. Young spectators are moved by 
this small forgotten piece of history presented in an unconventional way and this might help 
them to understand and maybe learn from the past." 

—Barbara Distel, Dachau Concentration Camp Memorial 



3 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

How to Live in the Federal RepubUc of Germany (Leben-BRD) (1989/90), 

by Harun Farocki; 16mm, color, sound, 83 minutes 

Camera; Ingo Kratisch 
"Harun Farocki 's 1990 film Leben-BRD is a montage assembled of short scenes taken 
from 32 instructional training classes, and therapy and test sessions from across the Federal 
Republic. The individual film segments are all 'acted scenes,' recorded during practice 
sessions in which some real life situation is being introduced, taught, practiced, imitated, 
invoked, or mastered. Leben-BRD is a film composed entirely of these scenes— 'a 
documentary film with performers.' The various types of performance in the film all have 
specific rules, sometimes revealing a depressing banality and sometimes an enticing, all too 
obvious perfection. The effort demanded by these performances represents a particular 
form of labor— indirect and contrived. True human action is ruled out, what is important 
here is the significance of preparatory and follow-up work, which appear as exercises in 
wasted human knowledge, or as a drill in modem marketing methods. These 'didactic 
plays on mastering life' are intended to be instructional in the carrying-out of certain 
administrative and service activities, that is, in the rehearsal of certain functions. In 
addition, they— much like a 'false bottom'— are meant to discover and cure, per therapy, 
the effects of actual events and actions on the human spirit. Leben-BRD, in its brief shots 
of the tests that various consumer goods are put to, has created its own cinematic method of 
editing, its own form of punctuation. It is precisely these images, absent of people, that 
reinforce the human situation. 'Matter is more magical than life' (Roland Barthes) — this 
magic appears to imbue the film's scenes, somewhat similar to a concept of 'endurance,' 
whether of human beings or of objects. Just as material and product testing reveal 
something about our utilization of things— in the face of endless, rhythmic 
endurance/application/torture testing of consumer goods, the essence of ordinary activity 
emerges— so the various trials and errors and re-enactment and role-playing reveal 
something of the control that the forces of big business, the insurance conglomerates, and 
the military impose on human life through their representation of the world— a 
standardization that human beings do not completely assimilate. To practice for a life of the 
rules of which are visibly lacking in coherence means two different things at once in terms 
of life and work processes. One is that a biased attitude (or in today's language: a 
philosophy) is imparted and secured in people, through schooling, practice and rehearsal. 
The other is that something in these people is forced open, something that is supposedly 
hidden in each of us individually, and is then brought to light (economics and therapy. . . ) 

"...The particles of reality of which Leben-BRD is composed offer a simulated life. The 
sections are connected as in a feature film. Johannes Beringer has noted the stylistic affinity 
of this film to Walter Benjamin's plan to write a book consisting entirely of quotes from 
foreign languages. The 'image of the present' that Leben-BRD assembles offers a 
rediscovery of the concept of 'factography' (according to Sergei Tretjakow), with an 
altered meaning: not as a rolling text in which relationships are ordered in the context of 
their function, but as a form of synchronous compression, a visual as well as conceptual 
density surrounding a phenomenon that is rewritten visually in order that it might be seen." 
— Jorg Becker, "Images and Thoughts," Harun Farocki: A Retrospective ( 1991) 



Program Notes 1994 

VIDEOGRAMS OF A REVOLUTION 
By Harun farocki & Andrei Ujica 

Sunday, February 6,1994SF Art Institute 

Videograms of a Revolution (Videogrammeseiner Revolution) {1992), 
by Harun Farocki & Andrei Ujica; 16mm, color, sound, 107 minutes 

Vdeograms of a Revolution is a unique, close-up recreation of the atmosphere surrounding 
the fall of Romanian dictator Nicolae Ceaucescu. The film focuses on the five days between 
the dictator's last speech on December 21st and his execution on December 26th, using 
amateur videos as well as never-broadcast Romanian television footage to piece together an 
account of the 1989 revolution from contradictory versions. 

"A sobering, critical, and exciting analysis of the revolution in Rumania... The shots may 
have lost their news value, but careful investigation, putting together a jigsaw puzzle of 
contradictory data, provides surprising insights [concerning] the operation of the modem 
media in general... Dozens of people were present with their video cameras, so there are 
multiple records of what the official media didn't want to see." 

—Rotterdam Film Festival 

Harun Farocki filmography: 

The Words of the Chairman (Die Worte Des Vorsitzenden) (1967); Ihre Zeitungen (1968); 
Inextinguishable Fire (Nicht Loschbares Feuer) (1969); The Division of All Days (Die 
Teilung Aller Tage) (1970); Fine Sache, Die Sicht Versteht) (1971); Der Arger Mit Den 
Bildern)(\913)\ Between Two Wars (Zwischen Zwei Kriegen) (1978); The Taste of Life 
(Der Geschmack Des Lebens) (1979); Zur Ansicht Peter Weiss (1979); Before Your 
Eyes-Vietnam (Etwas Wird Sichtbar) (1982); An Image (Fin Bild) (1983); Jean-Marie 
Straub and Danielle Huillet at Work on Franz Kafkas "Amerika" (Jean-Marie Straub imd 
Danielle Huillet Drehen Einen Film Nach Franz Kafkas "Amerika") ( 1983); Peter Lorre: 
Das Doppelte Gesicht {\9S4); Betrayed (Betrogen) (1985); As You See (Wie Man Seht ) 
( 1986); Images of the World and the Inscription of War (Bilder Der Welt Und Inschrift Des 
Krieges) (1988); //ow to Uve in the Federal Republic of Germany (Leben-BRD) (1989); 
Videograms of a Revolution (Videogrammes einer Revolution) ( 1992) 



FRACTURED REALITIES ^,x 

The Cinematheque on TV! 

Friday, February 11,1994,11 :00PM 
KQED Channel 9 "The Living Room Festival " 

Film and television have dominated the 20th century as the primary means of shaping 
history and our most intimate attitudes. Yet how much of the "reality" that we see in the 
media consists of just the facts and how much is shaped by choices of inclusion, omission 
and opinion? These questions are probed in Fractured Realities, a ninety-minute film and 
video program curated by the Cinematheque for the second season of KQED-TV's "Living 
Room Festival." The ways that media can relate, shape, manipulate and falsify this 
ineffable thing we call "reality" are examined in Perfect Film (1986) by Ken Jacobs, 
American Eyes: mom's home movies 1954-61 by Ruth Hasegawa, Japanese Relocation 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

(1943) by the U.S. Information Agency, Mother's Hands (1992) by Vejan Smith, 
S' Aline' s Solution (1989) by AhneMare, Home Avenue (1990) by Jennifer Montgomery, 
El Espectro Rojo (1903) by Ferdinand Zecca, and an except from Joseph Cornell's Rose 
Hobart {1939). 



ROMANTIC NOTIONS: 
FILMS & VIDEOTAPES ON LOVE 

SELECTED BY LiNDA GIBSON 

Sunday, February 13, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Romantic Notions celebrates a universal human experience: love. The works in the 
program explore many aspects of the cycle of love— falling in love, being in love, and 
losing love. 

The eve of St. Valentine's Day is an appropriate time to reflect on the power of love in our 
lives. The works of Cauleen Smith, Pilar Rodriguez, Tom Kalin, and Philip Mallory Jones 
remind us of the complexities of love even as they celebrate loves that were, that are or that 
may yet be. These films and tapes remind us that, in love, we are all vulnerable. 

Although love can be viewed through many lenses (political, religious, social), the works 
presented focus on the personal experience. Whether it is the passerby who steps into 
Wendy Clarke's recording "booth" or artists such as John Sanborn, Barbara Hammer, or 
Kit Fitzgerald who carefully construct their thoughts with digital technologies, they invite 
us to share the intimate moments and emotions of their lives, and to find resonance with 
our own. (LG) 

Love Tapes (1980), by Wendy Clarke; video, excerpt 

In 1980, video artist Wendy Clarke set up her camera in public and private spaces to record 
people's thoughts about love. Each person who participated selected a piece of background 
music and, alone with the camera, spoke for three minutes. Love Tapes the compilation of 
these recordings, is alternately humorous, touching, and bittersweet, but always intensely 
personal and real. 

Recorded at Staten Island High School. 

Romance (1986), by Kit Fitzgerald; video, color, sound, 6 minutes 

/?OAmznc^ joyously recreates the euphoric feeling of falling in love with computer animation 
and an original score. 

The Message #7 (1993), by Cauleen Smith; video, color, sound, 5 minutes 

The complexities of love, desire and their social context are captured in this study of male 
sensuality from a woman's perspective, with sensuous visuals and densely layered audio. 

Love Tapes, excerpt 

Recorded in an apartment in New York City. 



Program Notes 1994 



No-No Nooky TV (1987), by Barbara Hammer; 

16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 
Filled with puns and allusions in her inimitable style, No-No Nooky TV is a playful tribute 
to two major influences in Hammer's life, her amiga and her Amiga. 

The Idea We Live In (La Idea Que Habitimos)il990),hy Pilar Rodhg^xez; 

video, color, sound, 19 minutes 
This experimental meditation on love as the foundation of the meaning of home is 
simultaneously spare and rich, with painterly visuals and a bilingual text from writers and 
poets. 

House Poem, by John Sanborn & Sarah Cahill; 

video, color, sound, 45 minutes 
When does a house become a home? In this most unusual "open house," Sanborn and 
Cahill seem to find the answer— when every nook and craimy resonates with their love. 

Love Tapes, excerpt 

Recorded at the World Trade Center. 

Finally Destroy Us (1991), by Tom Kalin; video, color, sound, 4 minutes 
A taut evocation of the pleasures and pains of finding a man to love. 

What Goes Around/Comes Around (1987), by Philip Mallory Jones; >\t 

video, color, sound, 3 minutes 
In this unique, hand-drawn video animation, Philip Mallory Jones mourns love's loss, 
while celebrating the love. 

Love Tapes, excerpt 

Recorded at the Wads worth Athenaeum. 

program notes by Linda Gibson 



STREET BEATS 
CHUCK HUDINA IN PERSON 

Thursday, February 17, 1994 Center for the Arts 

"Our children are mirrors of our society. The reflection they are giving back isn't too 
glorious... they are shouting at us with anger and frustration in their voices to the tune of 
gun shots and screeching tires... one must consider why these children act as animals 
running wild in the streets... possibly it's the kennel they're caged in." 

—Curtis Phillips 

Street Beats offers three videos by three makers in different parts of the country (Kansas 
City, MO; San Francisco, and Los Angeles, respectively) that investigate the brutal realities 
of life on America's mean streets. 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Streets (1992), by Curtis Phillips; video, color, sound, 15 minutes 
Tenderloin Blues (1987), by Chuck Hudina; video, color, sound, 57 minutes 
L.A. Familia (1993), by Harry Gamboa, Jr.; color, sound, 37 minutes 



THE CIRCUMSPECT HEDONIST: 
FILMS BY KURT KREN 

KURT KREN IN Person 

Sunday, February 20, 1994 SF Art Institute 

2160: 48 Heads from the Szondi-Test (48 Kopfe aus dem Szondi-Test) 
(1960); 16mm, b&w, silent, 5 minutes 

3160: Trees in Autumn (Baum im Herbst ) (1960); 16mm, b&w, sound, 5 minutes 

7164: Leda and the Swan: An Otto Muehl Happening (Leda und der Schwan: 
MateriaUction:OttoMuehl) (1964); 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes 

8/64: Ana: A Gunter Brus Action (Ana Aktion: Gunter Brus) 
(1964); 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 minutes 

10al65: Silveraction Brus ('5i7fteraitrio/iflrj«j (1965);16mm, b&w, silent, 2 minutes 

13167: Sinus Beta (1967); 16mm, b&w, silent, 6 minutes 

15167: TV (1967); 16mm, b&w, silent, 4 minutes 

16167: September 20th - Gunter Brus (1967); 16mm, b&w, silent, 7 minutes 

23169: Underground Explosion (1969); 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

26171: Cartoon: Balzac and the Eye of God (Zeichenfilm: Balzac und das Auge 
Gottes) (1971); 16mm, b&w, silent, 1 minute 

31/75: Asyl (1975); 16mm, color, silent, 9 minutes 

36178: Rischart (1978); 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes 

37178: Tree Again (1978); 16mm, color, silent, 4 minutes 

44185: Foot* -age Shoot'-out (1985); 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes 

No.: Falter 2 (1990); 35mm transferred to video), b&w, sound, 1 minute 

In an interview with Hans Scheugl about the ideas and techniques behind some of his 
films, filmmaker Kurt Kren told the following anecdote, which sheds an interesting light 
on his work. For his film Tree Again (1978), Kren used a highly sensitive infra red color 
film, a type which usually has to be developed within a very short period of time. 
However, Kren, who has always worked on a very small budget, had used film which was 
already five years past the expiration date and, as Kren says, '^here was little likelihood of 
anything being on the film." But he still decided to take shots of a large and splendid tree 



8 



Program Notes 1994 

surrounded by bushes and a stretch of pasture-land over a period of several weeks, from 
summer to autumn— a series of individual pictures taken from the same camera position. 
As he says, "I didn't have much hope— (I knew) it was a crazy thing to do." But Kren's 
illogical hopes were rewarded. Tree Again became one of Kren's most beautiful works— 
although it is difficult to single out any individual work from a corpus of extraordinary 
density and variety which spans over thirty years and includes over 40 films. 

Much has been written about the abstract, serial, musical, structural or mathematical nature 
of Kurt Kren's films, their affinity to painting, poetry or twelve-tone music; but too much 
concentration on their structure and rhythm has eclipsed the films' objectification, their 
almost documentary quality. The compact and artistic interweaving of the fragments of 
reality being expressed— which may be glimpses out of a window, paths, trees, walls, the 
changing of the seasons, faces, or the human body in motion— as well as the way they are 
filmed, processed and arranged can often go unrecognized even if each film is seen several 
times. The methods used by Kren [include] extreme multiple exposure, individual shots, 
time lapse, the use of filters and masks, alternating between positive and negative film, 
blurred images, imposing scratches and drawings on soundtracks and complicated cutting 
rhythms based on specifically pre-formulated diagrams [and] a variety of technical 
experiments and inventions which he has evolved over the years. And yet, appreciating 
Kurt Kren's films is not a question of dissecting his technique, recognizing their richness 
of innovation or analyzing their rhythm. To understand these films it is not necessary to see 
through them but to feel and perceive them as real. 

...Someone once said, "The greatness of film-making lies in being modest enough to 
realize that one is confined to taking photographs." Kurt Kren's films are neither paintings, 
nor poems nor music; they are not even typically film, as the term is used in the degenerate 
rhetoric of most modern film artists. It is this self-awareness which constitutes their 
greatness. 

—Hans Hurch 

Kurt Kren was born in Vienna, Austria in 1929. In the midst of prevalent anti-semitism, 
the Kren family sent their young Jewish child to Holland. Kren returned to Austria in 
1947. Back in Vienna, Kren became involved in the contemjwrary art movement. To 
support himself, he worked as a cashier in the Austrian National Bank until 1968. 

In 1957 Kren made his first 16mm film, 1/57 Versuch mit Synthetischem Ton {Experiment 
with Synthetic Sound) (all his films' titles are preceded by two numbers; the first refers to 
the film's chronological order within his oeuvre, the second to the year it was made). Since 
this time Kurt has steadily been making films. While he had made most of his films alone, 
eight films were made during the 1960s in collaboration with other artists. These eight 
films are Kren's documentation of the performances and works of the Direct Art, Material 
Action movement, spearheaded by such artists as Otto Muehl, Gunter Brus, and Helga 
Philip. 

In 1966 Kren co-founded the Vienna Institute for Direct Art. Two years later he made his 
first visit to the USA. Since then, Kren's films have been shown throughout the world. In 
the '70s Kren divided his time between living in the USA and Europe. After working as a 
security guard at the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Kren returned to Vienna permanently 
in 1990. 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

"UNPLUG YOUR ORGASM FROM THE MACHINE" 
FILMS & TALK WITH MANUEL DE LANDA 

Manuel De Landa In Person 

Thursday, February 24, 1994 Center for the Arts 

This evening, author, 3-D computer graphics pioneer, radical theoretician, and anarchic 
filmmaker Manuel De Landa presents a special program of his rarely see films followed by 
a talk discussing new theories of self-organizing behavior and their consequences for post- 
cq)italist society. Manuel De Landa is the author of War in the Age of Intelligent Machines 
(Zone, 1992), and an article "Non-Organic Life" that appears in the recently-published 
dtnihcAogy Incorporations (Zone, 1993). 

Raw Nerves: A Lacanian TA/itt^r (1980); 16mm, color, sound, 30 minutes 

Raw Nerves is the noir version of the Oedipus complex. The private eye personifies the 
Ego who narrates the story of how he learned language. Only in the film, instead of the 
traditional image of the castrated mother which is supposed to mediate the encounter with 
the Signifier (the Law), we have a secret message written on 2i public bathroom wall. Our 
hero is there, just taking a shit, when he suddenly sees it— he doesn't know what it means 
but he knows he knows too much. So instead of having a private encounter with language 
in the coziness of the family, here it is the secret message which inserts the subject directly 
into a social project which preexists him and swallows him up without mercy. (MLD) 

Unconscious/desire/expresses/itself/through/gaps/in/language,/slips/of/the/tongue..* 

I s mi sm {1979); 16mm, color, silent, 8 minutes 

"A silent film that documents his own street graffiti in New York. Made originally for a 
course in language and film taught in 1976 by P. Adams Sitney, De Landa conceived of 
Ismism having 'the form of a manifesto against the orthopedic power of language. '" 

—Jonathan Rosenbaum, Film: The Front Line ( 1983) 

Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed (1982); 

Super-8 transferred to 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 

. . , use/illegal/surfaces/for/your/art. . . * 

Judgment Day {also ]!Jiown as Massive Annihilation of Fetuses) {19S2); 
Super-8 transferred to 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 

This film is my tribute to the real master race that will soon inherit the planet. Cockroaches 
have not only invaded the flip side of my house (i.e., the back of my kitchen, the other side 
of my walls, etc.) but they have also taken over some areas of my unconscious. Since I 
started the film the structure of my nightmares has changed, almost as if I had violated their 
laws and they were getting ready for revenge. (MLD) 

...let/thelslangloflyourldesiresldrivellanguagelcrazy.* 

* excerpts from Ismism. 

Manuel De Landa Filmography: 

Shit (1975); Song of a Bitch (1976); The Itch Scratch Cycle (1977); Incontinence: A 
Diarrhetic Flow of Mismatches (1978); Ismism {1919); Raw Nerves: A Lacanian Thriller 
{ 1 980) ; Magic Mushroom Mountain Movie ( 1981 ) ; Judgment Day (also known as Massive 
Annihilation of Fetuses) {\9S2). 



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Program Notes 1994 

THE MALADY OF DEATH 
Jeffrey skoller in person 

Tuesday, February 27, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Topography! Surface Writing (1983); 16mm, color, sound, 37 minutes 

THIS IS A HLM WITHOUT A CENTER, 
THERE ARE ONLY BITS AND PIECES... 

As in everyday life. Topography /Surface Writing is a series of events, impressions, voices, 
ideas, sounds, images, texts. In their constant flow they become a surface, upon which we 
always move. It is this surface that is the place where we exist. It is who we are, and what 
we are. Like the Mystic Writing Pad that Freud wrote of, on which inscriptions are made 
and then apparently erased, (via a translucent sheet of paper being pressed into a wax base 
by a pointed implement, which can them be erased by lifting the paper, leaving a trace of 
the inscription remaining in the wax base), experiences move into our lives and then move 
out leaving their memory or trace indelibly etched into our unconscious. These traces are 
different from the experiences themselves, but it is these traces that finally become real for 
us. 

Film (as material) can be a perfect metaphor for this. The very strip of film is a surface in 
which meaning is etched into the emulsion. If one were to look very closely at the emulsion 
of a piece of film, one would not find a smooth surface, but rather a surface with 
mountains, valleys and ridges where the light and chemical process has removes certain 
areas of emulsion and left others. Also, because film is a time based medium, it can create 
and distill a view of the world very similarly to the way our minds do. In this film, images 
and sounds appear and disappear, start and stop with little apparent connection or 
resolution (except for the ones that the viewer might make). 

The main theme running through Topography/ Surface Writing is violence. Physical, 
psychological, and environmental. However, it does not give a portrait of violence in the 
conventional sense of representing it as spectacle or sensation and therefore somehow 
separate from our normal activity, nor does it attempt to analyze or aestheticize the problem. 
Rather the film attempts to show how integrated violence is in our lives and how inherent it 
is to our whole social system. 

So as the title suggests. Topography/ Surface Writing is not an essay, but a mapping of new 
possibilities for seeing and thintang through the use of cinema that is neither authoritarian 
or passive, but rather a challenge and provocation. . . 

The Malady of Death ( 1994 Premiere) : 16mm, color, sound, 40 minutes 

Text performed by JD Trow 
The Malady of Death is an adaptation of Marguerite Duras' story of the same name— her 
text comprises the voice-over— which is a particular reading of the story in which work and 
image, in a complex interplay, explore male sexuality. The processes of reading are 
revealed to be complicated, poetic and political, as an unspecified narrator names and 
describes "the malady" and tells of a man and woman's sexual encounters. The male "you" 
is multiplied, depicted by many men, each photographed nude, variously fragmented and 
abstracted, studied and distanced. The "her," the "difference," is literally absent from the 
image but present metaphorically, "possessed" but not known. While societal connections 
between possessing sexually, economically, and by force are explored in relation to male 
sexuality, the implications of the act of looking permeate all these discourses. The erotic 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

depiction of the male body for both the camera and the viewer, the displaced and 
disembodied representation of the woman, and the structured alternation of image and black 
— at times like an eye opening and closing, but also suggestive of what culturally can and 
cannot be imagined— create a viewer who cannot easily possess the story, but who must 
rather read and reread. 

JEFFREY SKOLLER FiLMOGRAPHY: 

The Malady of Death (1994); Still, It Runs Warm (1989); Nicaragua: Hear-Say/See-Here 
(1985-86); Topography/ Surface Writing (19^), Moving In (1982); Historical Film Study: 
Bringing the Blues to Jazz (1981); Image-Sound Film Part #5 (1979); Historical Film 
Study: Centering (1979); Events Happen (1978); Seven Rolls/ End to End (1978); 
Emulsion Surface: 1905, Me, My Brother, Leon & The Lumieres, A Hand Process(ed) 
(1977) ; Image-Sound Film Part #7 ( 1977) ; Image-Sound Film Part #2 ( 1977) ; Variations 
on a Pan: a Rhythm ( 1977). 



FILM AND PHYSICAL REALITY 
Erin Sax & ariana Gerstein In Person 

Thursday, March 3, 1994 Center for the Arts 

The films of Erin Sax and Ariana Gerstein employ the material and spirit of film to 
investigate both personal and social relationships to reflection, thought, science and vision. 
While the avenues that each maker employs differ in approach it is where the works do 
intersect that one discovers the evocative parallels of this medium's form with its content. 
This evening Erin Sax will be presenting a trilogy of works that examine the progression of 
time and ritual of loss. Walking a line between personal exploration and a more 
documentary vision, these works focus on the physical body as a vehicle to transmit the 
frustration and fear of communication and memory. Included in the program are two 
previous works as well as the premiere of her most recent film Seven of Worlds. Ariana 
Gerstein's work insists upon the visceral, tactile capacities of the filmic medium. The 
techniques employed activate the film's surface and create a moving, breathing universe 
where filmed images, rephotographed images, emulsion, color, grain, and material attached 
to the surface interact and influence each other. This evening she will be premiering a 
collaged four part work, a trilogy plus a prelude, entitled Recovering the Silence of Falling. 

ARIANA Gerstein 

Recovering the Silence of Falling (in 4 parts) (1994 Premiere) ; 
16mm, color/b&w, sound/silent, 30 minutes 

Scraps and chunks of rhymed thought, almost remembered, almost understood. Carried by 
light and filtered through film that is solarized, scratched, cut, painted— some frames 
embedded with insects (ants and roaches). (AG) 

ERIN SAX 

Receiving Sally {1993); 16mm, b&w, sound, 6 minutes 

A response to an imminent death, this film is a projection of closure both forward and 
back, of becoming and dispersing. A message sent across time from one generation back to 
another; a warning to be careful, to measure the days. (ES) 



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Program Notes 1994 

Each Evening (1993); 16mm, b&w, silent, 2 minutes 

As a bridge from one work to another this film is the beginning of a memory. It is a 
moment that communicates the inability to move at will. Here the body is situated at the 
point of transition. (ES) 

Seven of Worlds (1994 Premiere); 16mm, color and b&w, sound, 18 minutes 

A reaction to the loss of the physical body and an exploration of the fear which surrounds 
death and the dying. The work is an observation of rituals that exist to facilitate memory 
and promote an acceptance of death. (ES) 

program notes by Erin Sax & Elise Hurwitz 



SAM FULLER'S WILD, WILD WEST 
/ SHOT JESSE James & Run of the arrow 

Sunday, March 6, 1994 SF Art Institute 

"Every film must have a message. Maybe I'm too didactic. If so, too bad. That's just the 
way I write. Even if people don't agree with me, I like to make them think a bit. I like them 
to learn something. I'm not what you would strictly call an educator, but all the same, I 
think the cinema must be used in this way. . . 

"I put action in my films, so that the action can carry the message and so that the public 
doesn't get the idea that I'm trying to deliver a sermon or a lecture. For me, the greatest art- 
form in the world is education. I believe that, one day, cinema (through the medium of film 
or television) will give the world first class education." —Samuel Fuller 

/ Shot Jesse James (1949); 16mm, b&w, sound, 81 minutes 

Directed and written by Fuller, with Preston Foster, Barbara Britten, John Ireland 

"The 'props' in the story line are just that: props. The huge close-ups of faces in the film 
are not indications that the film is best read as a psychological examination of Bob Ford, 
but the stylistic equivalents of the tensions involved. The close-ups erupt out of the 
narrative flow in the same way as the internal pressures placed on Bob, first by his decision 
to kill Jesse and then by his life in the limbo without Jesse or Cynthy, explode into his 
external situation." 

—Phil Hardy, Samuel Fuller (1970) 

Run of the Arrow (1957); 16mm, color, sound, 85 minutes 

Directed, produced and written by Fuller, with Rod Steiger, Ralph Meeker, Sarita 
McMitiel (voice dubbed by Angie Dickinson, and Brian Keith 

"Even on the level of plot. Run of the Arrow is explicitly about America and an individual's 
need for allegiance to a nation. At the close of the Civil War, a white Southerner, O'Meara 
(Rod Steiger), refuses to accept the South's defeat. Equally, he rejects the South's re- 
integration into the Union and journeys westward to the lands outside the Union's domain 
where he joins the Sioux. However, he arrives at a time when the Sioux are making peace 
with the United States and is detailed, as one familiar with the white man's ways, to ensure 
that the peace is kept by making certain that the fort the American's are building— Fort 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

Abraham Lincoln— is built outside the Sioux's hunting grounds. . .The paradox that Run of 
the Arrow underlines is that construction can come only out of destruction." 

-Phil Hardy, Samuel Fuller (1970) 
Samuel Fuller filmography: 

As screenwriter Hats 0_ff{l936); It Happened in Hollywood i\937);Gangs of New York 
(1938); Adventure in Sahara (1938); Federal Man-Hunt (1938); Bowery Boy (1940); 
Confirm or Deny (1941); Power of the Press ( 1943); Shockproof ( 1948). 

As director and screenwriter / Shot Jesse James (1948); The Baron of Arizona (1950); 
Fixed Bayonets (1951); Pickup on South Street (1953); Hell and High Water (1954); 
House of Bamboo (1955); MerriU's Marauders (1961); Shark (Caine) {1967); Dead Pigeon 
on Beethoven Street (1974); The Big Red One (1980); White Dog (1981); Street of No 
Return (1989). 

As producer, director & screenwriter The Steel Helmet (1950); Park Row (1952); Run of 
the Arrow (1957); China Gate (1957); 40 Guns (1957); Verboten (1958); The Crimson 
Kimono (1959); Underworld USA (1960); Shock Corridor (196i); Naked Kiss (1963). 



CLASS AND SEXUALITY: 
FILM & VIDEO BY JACK WALSH 

Jack Walsh In Person 

Thursday, March JO, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Working Class Chronicle (1985); 16mm, color/b&w, sound, 43 minutes 

Working Class Chronicle developed from my desire to mix major film forms (narrative, 
documentary, experimental) with autobiography. In doing this, 1 wanted to show how our 
individual histories are not only constructed by our insular familial experiences, but also by 
political and social moments. The period of time examined here, 1954 through 1969, spans 
the time from my birth into my teen years. Two other elements were key in the creation of 
this film. One was my belief that stories of the working class are rarely told by people from 
that background. Instead, we find them created by a more privileged class who often use 
the working class for didactic illustration — be it Hollywood's romanticism or 
documentary 's heroism. A second, parallel element was my desire to explore gay sexuality 
in ways that are not necessarily the histories of the nice, middle-class civil rights 
movement. This is not to say that being gay in this society is without common elements 
across class lines— harassment and discrimination being but two such examples of issues 
that unify all gay men and lesbians. However, gay sexuality does have its class 
distinctions. In ihe case of teens, sexual expression is not going to be within the confines 
of boarding school, but more likely on the street. At a time when teen sexuality is 
constantly attacked and denied by the Religious Right, and when the suicide rate among 
gay youth is highest among all teens, it becomes all the more important to tell stories about 
teen sexuality, no matter how transgressive they may appjear to the larger society. 

Working Class Chronicle reconstructs the past through the organizing concept of selective 
memory, a past constructed with the aid of found footage, appropriated home movies, 
manipulated documentary footage, pop culture movie and rock 'n' roll stars, and 
reprocessed popular music from the period. In using a group of voices, including my own, 
I am attempting to sp)eak for a generation. Working Class Chronicle mimics the 
seductiveness of dominant narrative and documentary cinema and, alternately, becomes 



14 



Program Notes 1994 

distancing and self-conscious, principally through the use of rupture. Personal history 
collides with period history to examine the ideological assumptions of this transitional era 
in American history. (JW) 

Present Tense (1987); 16mm, color/b&w, sound, 27 minutes 

Moving from the tourist image to the found image, pastoral landscape to industrial 
landscape, the idealized object of desire to the "real," Present Tense explores obsession, 
desire, and consumption in the contemporary world. Centered on the personal experience, 
the film uses the modem state to examine the issues of gender, class, genocide, torture, and 
surveillance. (JW) 

""Present Tense weaves together visual and aural contrasts of first-pjerson narration, 
painting portraiture, travel diaries, and found footage, in a riveting appropriation of the 
filmmaker's gay identity. In the film, Walsh defines this self through the interplay erf" power 
relationships drawn from historical, personal, and cultural contexts by examining spedfic 
critical issues including i^ysical attraction and death, annihilation, family relationships, and 
pohtical community." 

—Jon Gartenberg, Museum d" Modem Art 

Dear Rock (1993); video, color/b&w, sound, 20 minutes 

Dear Rock is a posthumous fan letter to Rock Hudson that uses Hudson as a springboard 
for an examination of AIDS and homophobia. As the bachelor, movie-star idol, Hudson 
was emblematic of Hollywood's construction of the all-American male. Yet, as is the case 
with many cultural myths, this public, straight facade masked the private, gay man Hudson 
was, forcing him to lead a double life. 

Using the contrived form of the fan letter. Dear Rock uses digression as its structure, 
beginning with elements of Hudson's life that oj)en onto larger contemporary issues about 
gay male identity. Dear Rock builds on the dichotomy facing gay men: it moves between 
tiie private and the public, the myth and the reality using Hudson's life as a metaphor for 
gay male issues. The often contradictory relationship between gay male desire and popular 
culture is explored using images from men's swim meets and underwear advertisements. 
Tension is constmcted between the homophobic and the homoerotic, the forbidden and the 
desired. Dear Rock is a refiection on a victim of Hollywood's enforced homophobia, but 
ultimately the tape attempts to map the landscape of AIDS since Hudson's death in 1985. 
(JW) 

program notes by Erin Sax 



LAMBENT LIGHT: 
FILMS BY BRAKHAGE, DORSKY & BARNETT 

Sunday, March 13, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Alaya (1976-87), by Nathaniel Dorsky; 16mm, color, silent, 28 minutes 
Sand, wind, and light intermingle with the emulsions. The viewer is the star. 

""Alaya manages a perfection of 'musical' light across a space of time greater in length than 
would seem possible (consider how brief most such perfected works are, such as Peter 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

Kubelka, say)... and with minimal means of line and tone... After about three minutes I 
began to be aware of the subtlety of rhythm, within each shot and shot-to-shot, which 
carried each cut, causing each new image to sit in-the-light of those several previous... a 
little short of a miracle. Bravo!" 

—Stan Brakage, Canyon Cinema Catalog 7 ( 1992) 

Chartres Series (1994 Premiere) , by Stan Brakhage; 16mm, color, silent, 9 minutes 

"A year and a half ago the film-maker Nick Dorsky, hearing 1 was going to France, insisted 
I must see Chartres Cathedral. I, who had studied picture books of its great stained-glass 
windows, sculpture and architecture for years, having also read Henry Adams' great book 
three times, willingly complied and had an experience of several hours (in the discreet 
company of French film-maker Jean-Michele Bouhours) which surely transformed my 
aesthetics more than any other single experience. 

'Then Marilyn's sister died; and I, who could not attend the funeral, sat down alone and 
began painting on film one day, this death in mind... Chartres in mind. Eight months later 
the painting was completed on four little films which comprise a suite in homage to 
Chartres and dedicated to Wendy Jull. 

"(My thanks to Sam Bush, of Western Cine, who collaborated with me, on this, much as if 
I were a composer who handed him a painted score, so to speak, and a few instructions— a 
mediaeval manuscript, one might say— and he were the musician who played it.)" (SB) 

Endless (19S7-90), by Daniel Bamett; 16mm, b&w, silent, 45 minutes 

"Although constructed from thousands of still images of Chicago, Endless maintains a 
complex relationship to the photographic image. Time and space seem to compress or 
implode into a contradictory experience— one which is fluid yet of the past. The images are 
layered both horizontally and vertically, creating 'endless' variations of time and space 
which are unable to be contained within the fixed boundaries of the film frame." 

— Kathy Geritz, Pacific Film Archive, inCanyon Cinema Catalog 7(1992) 

program notes by Maya Allison 



THE GREAT DIVIDE 
DEBORAH FORT & ANN SKINNER- JONES IN PERSON 

Thursday, March 17, 1994 Center for the Arts 

This evening Deborah Fort and Ann Skinner- Jones present their most recent video 
documentary, r^e Great Divide. Focusing on the moral conflict that continues to rage 
between the Religious Right and the "secular humanists," it examines questions of civil and 
moral rights for gays and lesbians. Tonight's program also includes Deborah Fort's 
incisive video, Dykeotomy, that dives into the question of how one begins to position the 
history of gay sexuality in the present. In these works, as integration of personal anecdote 
and political fervor builds, and the voices and definitions of what is right and what is 
wrong begins to unravel, these makers poetically create the space to consider such basic 
issues as the rights to love and to human respect. 



m 



Program Notes 1994 

Dykeotomy (1992), by Deborah Fort; video, color, sound, 20 minutes 

Integrating found footage and found ideas with personal stories of life as a lesbian- 
identified individual, Dykeotomy meditates on the fragmentation of identity in the public 
forum. Without questioning the filmmakers own desires, the work is a sensual pulling 
together and pushing apart of the stories that directly influence our experience of the wc«-ld. 

The Great Divide (1993), by Deborah Fort & Ann Skinner- Jones; 
video, color, sound, 59 1/2 minutes 

Collected interviews with individuals of varying ages and backgrounds are compiled in this 
timely documentary investigating the moral and political camps on both sides of the 
Colorado and Oregon anti-gay legislation rulings. Probing the justice of discrimination and 
hate, the work raises critical questions and provides often brutally honest glimpses into the 
rhetoric that surrounds the vernacular of morality and divine right. Their vision asks the 
viewers themselves to examine the creation and expression d" fundamental beliefs. 

Presented in cooperation with Artists Television Access. 

program notes by Erin Sax 



DIS -INTEGRATED CIRCUITS OF THE MIND 
FILMS BY NINA FONOROFF 

NINA FONOROFF IN PERSON 

Sunday. March 20, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Empathy (1980); Super-8, color, sound, 10 minutes 

A Thanksgiving family visit in Vermont, a warehouse fire in Boston, two girls in tutus, a 
New Mexico landscape, and passages from Prokofieff 's Lieutenant Kije Suite are sites of 
empathic connection Jimong disparate images and sounds. Originally titled Empathy, The 
Cheapest of Emotions. 

A Knowledge They Cannot Lose (1989); Super-8, sound, 17 minutes 

This film represents my attempt to come to terms with my father's death from cancer in 
early 1987. "Bemie" emerges as an erudite, generous, and sometimes egotistical character 
through juxtaposition with other Jewish men of his generation (Danny Kaye, Zero Mostel). 
From his incompetent performance of Bach on the piano and his singing of the HMS 
Pinafore, through scenes of myself reading his journals at the beach in Santa Cruz where 
he lived his last years, and through traces of Jewish self-deprecation, humor, and other 
cultural traditions, I reveal my affectionate gratitude toward Bemie while necessarily 
resisting the temptation to complete his portrait. The film is finally less about Bemie than 
about my inability to moum. (NF) 

The Accursed Mazurka (1994); 16mm, sound, 40 minutes 

Music, clinical reports, obsessive joumal entries, and a series of watercolors depicting a 
pierced and bleeding brain, these are among the elements that make up a collage around the 
occcasion of mental breakdown. A variety of instruments of electrical transmission become 
metaphors for the diseased brain, an event reconstmcted by a woman who has lost her 
reason, her body, and any foothold in personal identity. This unseen protagonist at first 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

attributes her illness to repeated hearings of a mazurka on the radio. Radio static, a 
telephone switchboard gone awry, a woman imagistically redoubled playing the accordion, 
become points of departure for a rant situated in the remembrance of a mental state so 
extreme as to make impossible any attempt at representation. A train derails and jumps 
track, capsizes, is internally hijacked, a trap door opens, and the entire mechanism by 
which a person knows herself jumps ship, in a mimicry of the workings of the mind at the 
moment of imminent breakdown. On the road to recovery, the woman searches for 
possible causes for her recent lapse of sanity. Her provisional understanding makes 
reference to a 1963 home movie of her family dancing on the lawn of their house: "it is not 
for me to ransack scenes of the past for clues or explanations. So, let these people dance in 
peace... they have done nothing wrong... there is no culpability to be found amount these 
shadows." 



ARTIFICAL PARADISES: 
STRANGE WEATHER & THE CONNECTION 

Thursday, March 24. 1994 Center for the Arts 

Strange Weather {\99y), by Peggy Ahwesh & Margie Strosser; 
video, b&w, sound, 50 minutes 

In Strange Weather the viewer/voyeur is allowed into the intimate moments of a circle of 
young, mostly white crack-addicts. We join in the group of crack smokers as they get high, 
gossip about one another, and engage in the ritual of smoking crack. But these addicts are 
"being realistic" in a clutter of well-worn, even campy means of creating plot tension: from 
glistening sweat and languor we see the humidity of Florida— introduced on a map— before 
5ie big hurricane, and increasingly hear the television warning of the coming disaster. We 
escape into the sense that we have privileged access into a dangerous fringe culture through 
a member's eyes, and wonder at their oblivion to the impending catastrophe of the 
hurricane. 

At one point, when the whole crack clique gathers in the bathroom, we find ourselves 
looking at them from our spot (the camera) on the floor or perhaps the bathtub-edge. The 
room is covered entirely in tile, dark squares in grids of white grouting. We are crowded in 
this space, with some members perched so high up they seem to stoop below the ceiling, 
and some with faces near the floor. This group of crack addicts and the pixelvision camera 
are in an abstract space, floating in the grid of this bathroom. The junkies take on the air of 
lab specimens in a simulated environment. Around this time the camera becomes 
progressively more conspicuous. The position of the camera moves around the characters' 
home like a protagonist, allowing the viewer a powerful feeling of "subject- hood." But this 
results in a nagging uncertainty about how to read the video and its motives, whether this is 
documentary or fiction, or even serious. Exactly what manner of document is Strange 
Weatherl 

The low-budget look of pixelvision, the detail shown in the ritual of smoking crack, and 
the fascination for this form of self-destruction gives the sense of an "insider perspective." 
A former (or still addicted) crack user might be behind this camera. But the apparent issues 
of crack addiction become less gritty with each interview, until we wonder whether this is a 
video about addiction at all. The video becomes a mystery about the story-teller, tempting 
the audience to peer behind the camera, to discover clues toward the 'Yeal" story. The need 
for a narrative template to explain the camera's role with the junkies increases. After the 



Program Notes 1994 

tape is over, the mystery of "how real is this" becomes the focus of Strange Weather as a 
document, rather than any new insights into drug addiction itself. The non-ending refuses 
to releive the pain of our structural addictions. 

—Maya Allison (1994) 

The Connection (1961), by Shirley Clarice; 16mm, b&w, sound, 103 minutes 

'T^Iothing happens in The Connection. They talk, they goof, they play jazz. No ideas arise, 
no dramatic climaxes occur— or if they occur, they are of little importance, they don't 
change anything. That is where the meaning. . .of The Connection is: In that nothingness, in 
that unimportance. It shows something of the essence of our life today only because it is 
about nothing. It doesn't point at truth— it sets truth in motion, it suggests it. 

'beneath the supposed meaninglessness of The Connection, beneath all walking, talking, 
and jazzing, a sort of spiritual autopsy of contemporary man is performed, his wounds 
opened. The truths which would have slipped through the hermetic forms of the classical 
drama were caught by the supposed formlessness of The Connection. Fake external 
dramatic clashes would have led us away form the true drama; big pronounced ideas would 
have hidden our true uncertainty; even the metaphors would have become lies." 

—Jonas Mekas, Movie Journal (1962) 

*The Connection's visual qualities, setting, characters, action, and temporal developments 
all adhere to cinema \6ht6 conventions... Camera angles and movements reveal a 
completely enclosed, naturally lighted room rather than a two or three-sided, evenly lighted 
set on a sound stage. The action or, rather, the lack of conventional dramatic progression 
suggests a real-life situation rather than a scripted one. 

"But the film invokes more significant issues than how easily one can simulate or 
manipulate cinema so that it appears to be transparent reality. The conceit upon which the 
film hinges is that everything tfie spectator sees is from the subjective point of view of the 
white bourgeois director-character through his camera viewfinder or from that of his 
African- American, middle-class assistant. The second camera frequently enters the field of 
vision, repetitively inscribing the camera on-screen as a representation for the apparatus that 
mediates the production of meaning. . .The inscription of the camera is a way to foreground 
the film's dominant subject position. While The Connection's fictional director Dunn 
whines the cinema v6hl6 slogan, 'I'm just trying to make an honest human document,' he 
pans his camera, mobilizing the frame to bring some action to the sedentary situation... 
Only when the director within The Connection realizes that his predisposed way of seeing 
infiltrates and determines whatever he sees does he acknowledge his simple substitution of 
'objectivity' for his subjectivity... he recognizes the existence of social 'realities' 
impenetrable by his experience and his camera." 

—Lauren Rabinovitz, Points of Resistance (1991) 

program notes by Maya Allison 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

OPEN SCREEN ING 
GUEST PRESENTER REBECCA BARTEN IN PERSON 

Friday, March 25, 1994 SF Art Institute 

The Cinematheque hosts an open screening where the pubhc is invited to present recently 
completed films and videos under 15 minutes in length. Guest presenter this evening will 
be film and videomaker Rebecca Barten, who will kick off the event with a sampling of her 
recent woiic. Barten writes, "As a carnivore of reality, a phenomena maniac, in my work I 
am paradoxically looking for a point without an elsewhere, a free zone where you may 
wonder if it is you who has ejected penetrating waves of a strong smelling musk secretion 
into the pleasant atmosphere. 



DELIVERED VACANT 
By Nora Jacobson 

Sunday, March 27, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Delivered Vacant, by longtime social inquisitor Nora Jacobson, chronicles eight years in 
the life of Hoboken, New Jersey, a blue collar community across the river from midtown 
Manhattan. Combining collected interviews and subsequent testimonies from new and old 
residents, politicians, and dissidents of this "Naples on the Hudson," this documentary 
becomes a valuable testament to the "cultural transfiguration of a community and the 
economic history of America in the 1980s." 

—Erin Sax 

Delivered Vacant ( 1992); video, color, sound, 1 18 minutes 

'In the early eighties, the ethnic, blue collar community of Hoboken, New Jersey began to 
receive an influx of artists and other residents who crossed the river from Manhattan in 
search of cheap rents. As the decade's atmosphere of financial speculation heated up, real 
estate developers descended on the city to build condominiums for the new generation of 
New York Yuppies, in the process displacing thousands of Hoboken's longtime residents, 
many of whom became homeless. Others organized to protect their homes and for years 
waged a heated and protracted battle from city hall to the New Jersey State Legislature. 
Ironically, by the time the new legislation was enacted to protect Hoboken's apartment 
dweller's, the real estate boom had collapsed amidst a national recession, new 
condominiums remained empty, and many developers faced financial ruin. Filmmaker and 
Hoboken resident Nora Jacobson spent eight years documenting the city's struggle against 
gentrification, showing us the homes and lives of old time residents and newly arrived 
Yuppies, tenant organizers, real estate developers, politicians, street people, immigrants, 
and the wackiest mayor in America. The result is a richly detailed chronicle of urban change 
that characterized many American cities during the 'boom and bust' economy of the Reagan 
era." 

— Cinema Guild Catalogue ( 1 994) 

program notes by Erin Sax 



20 



Program Notes 1994 

ELUSIVE MOMENTS: 
FILM & VIDEO BY VINCENT GRENIER 

Vincent Grenier In Person 

Thursday, March 31, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Bom and raised in Quebec, Vincent Grenier began making films while in school at the 
Ecole des Beaux-Arts. Grenier arrived in San Francisco in the early seventies and made 
lasting contributions to the Bay Area film community. After receiving an MFA in film from 
the San Francisco Art Institute, Grenier worked as the program director for the 
Cinematheque, introducing new works from across the United States to local audiences. 
The Cinematheque welcomes Vincent Grenier back this evening for the Bay Area premiere 
of his new video Feet, shown with two recent film works and an earlier film from 1979. 

Mend (1979); 16mm, b&w, silent, 5 minutes 

Is it happening in the screening room or on the screen; in a snowstorm or inside; what isn't 
surrounding and what is? From filming Ann sewing, on a grey winter day. (VG) 

You (1990); 16mm; color, sound, 16 minutes 

I had been looking for someone's unnerving encounter, that conversation that one just 
couldn't get out of their head, the kind of event that leaves one still debating out loud while 
walking in the streets or doing one's tidies in the bathroom. After interviewing a few 
people, I found Lisa Black who obliged with one of her own and became the film's main 
character. A situation with many angles; the telling, the filming, the final projection 
event. . . You is an imaginary fictionalized you in a whimsical space. It is the still live residue 
of the broken relationship Lisa is here confronting. A parallel actor, the film is in the 
business of reinterpreting. As a result the film is closer to a psychic space, an ironic place 
where distance is also intimate and a measure of insight. Lisa Black is a member of theater 
OObleck in Chicago. (VG) 

Out in the Garden (1991); 16mm; color, sound, 15 minutes 

A film about the dynamic of assumptions as seen through the struggle of a gay man who 
has recently been told that he is HIV positive and who, in his own way, tries to come to 
terms with the news. The film eschews the usual talking head and focuses on the peculiar 
occasion for examining anew as brought on by disconnectedness. In the process, questions 
of identity, one's sense of reality, the day to day and social tyrannies end up implicating the 
viewer intimately as well. (VG) 

Feet (1994 Premiere) ; video, b&w, sound, 28 minutes 

A video portrait of my friend Susan Weisser and of her rapport with 13-year-old son Billy 
and 17-year-old daughter Amanda. The video uses as a premise the reconstruction of her 
daily rituals with first her son and then her daughter. Enactments, accounts, confidences 
and spirited arguments freely criss-cross each other within the dynamic that my presence 
and the camera create. Great opportunities ensued for live tensions in the framing of sounds 
and visuals; a sort of enchanted construction from the fanciful revelations of the everyday. 
(VG) 

Co-sponsored by the Canadian Consulate General, 
program notes by Elise Hurwitz 



21 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

FACIN G VIETN AM: 
FILMS BY LYNNE SACHS & TRAN VAN THUY 

LYNNE Sachs In person 

Sunday, April 17, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Which Way is East (1994 Premiere) , by Lynne and Dana Sachs; 
16mm, color, sound, 33 minutes 

Filmmaker Lynne Sachs travels north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi with her sister 
Dana, a journalist living in Vietnam. The camera travels between the cities and across the 
countryside of Vietnam searching for evidence of war's impact on geography, landscape, 
and a country's inhabitants. What the camera finds however, are images whose meaning is 
not immediately apparent, and images whose history we can only begin to understand 
through knowledge being shared. Which Way is East delicately imparts this process to us. 
How can we know the significance of images, sounds, places, and traditions? The desire to 
know, and the limitations on what we can learn, surface and stay with us. The film 
superimposes images of Vietnam over other images of Vietnam, daily life over a sense of 
place. A sense of time and rhythms of life are reconstructed in the film. Which Way is East 
addresses the difficulties in interpreting images across cultures, and the possibility of the 
coexistence of multiple meanings. Is thunder in the sky just a heavy rain or the sound of 
American B-52's from years ago? A photograph of a Vietnamese woman is at once a face 
that has survived war and just an ordinary person. 

How to Behave (Chuyen Tu Te) (1987), by Tran van Thuy; 
35mm transferred to video, color, sound, 43 minutes 

How to Behave is an incisive inquiry into the beliefs of "The People" and underlying 
national ideologies. The film raises questions on what constructs Vietnamese national 
identity, and what are the vast influences that shape post-war life. The film crew, who have 
a strong presence in the film, approach people on the street to ask deceptively simple 
questions, the answers to which accrue over the length of the film to provide a disturbing 
account of personal and national values. The film encapsulates people's experiences in a 
search for "tu-te," human relations, fraternity, or simply, kindness, in modem Vietnamese 
culture. Originally banned in Vietnam, How to Behave was released only after the 
intervention of Communist Party leader Nguyen van Linh. After its release the film was 
seen by over three million Vietnamese, and was an important step in increasing access to 
media produced independently of those who control the means of production. 

program notes by Elise Hurwitz 



BETWEEN HEAVEN AND EARTH 
-THE WAKING EFFECT 

CURATOR, Mark McElhatten In Person 

Thursday, April 21, 1994 Center for the Arts 

"The black trees, the white trees / are younger than nature, / in order to recover the freak of 
birth one must / Age." 

— Paul Eluard 



22 



Program Notes 1994 

"What I have been trying to tell you all the time is that behind each production there has lain 
a practical tangible reality. It has never been invented or made up." 

— Ingmar Bergman in ccmversation 

16mm camera rolls (1993), by Lewis Klahr; 16 mm, color, silent, 5 minutes 

(1) In 1993 a building, formerly a cinema, situated at 66th Street and Broadway in 
Manhattan was demolished. This destruction left behind a vacant lot and revealed a wall of 
advertising bricks that has been unseen for most of the century. 

(2) Later that day several blocks away on Central Park West, one of several days of mock 
parades took place, staged for the benefit of cameras filming an upcoming Hollywood 
feature. 

Uncut camera ro/Zs (1994), by Mark LaPcffe: 16mm, color, silent, 10 minutes 

Shot in Sri Lanka, processed in New York, as yet unseen by the filmmaker. Mark LaPore 
is currently residing in Sri Lanka under the auspices of a Fullbright fellowship. LaPore 
currently has three outstanding projects: The Five Bad Elements (partially shot in Burma), 
100 Views of New York, and a film originally intended as a response to Basil Wright's 
classic documentary Song of Ceylon. These camera rolls may be edited into this latter 
evolving project Through conscientiously minimal impositions, and aesthetic delimitation 
based on an acuity for direct observation, Mark LaPore creates a cinema of heightened 
transparency. A cinema that is analogous to the "real" in the kind of fidelity and equipoise 
with the "seen" that is achieved in his filming. Within his selective frame we see how 
reality composes itself and how cinema orchestrates this composition into perception. 

Untitled (1991), by Karl Kels; 16mm, b&w, silent, 8 minutes 

excerpt from 3 Comrades ( 1938), by Frank Borzage; 
16mm, b&w, sound, circa. 5 minutes 
Starring Margaret Sullivan & Robert Taylor 

"I couldn't bear all this if it were real." 'Maybe you're just in love with a fragment." 

Melodic aux Pays des Reves: Part // (1992/93), by Peter Herwitz; 
16mm color, silent, 9 minutes 

1 . 5. Among the leaves 

2. C.to the Skies 

3. The Air Sings 

4. You See the Fire of Evening 

5. Mirrors 

"Her dreams in broad daylight make the suns / evaporate, make me laugh, cry and speak 
when I have nothing to say." 

**If I know no longer all that I have / lived it is because your eyes have not always seen 
me. 

"On the sparkling forms/ On the bells of color / On the truth of bodies / 1 write your name." 

—From three poems by Paul Eluard 

Study in Color and Black and White (1993 Premiere) , by Stan Brakhage; 
16mm, color/b&w, 2 1/2 minutes 



23 



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25 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

mercurial. A defoliated decade (in terms of popular perception much of mid '70s popular 
culture was in a kind of "horse latitudes" where many things from the previous ten years 
were treated as ballast, were thrown overboard or became waterlogged) the '70s arrived at 
the doorstep as a posthumous footnote to the brigadoon '60s and didn't find it's bearings 
until the last Iq), circa '76- '77. The cut out characters of Downs Are Feminine reflect that 
spun around aftermath aimlessness, they have a wanton and blissful disconcem. In this out 
of touch realm, touching is intelligence gathering for a carnal knowledge that can never 
attain a platonic ideal. 

Klahr was affected by his remembrance of high school classmate, a figure of speculation 
within those corridors outside of the artists immediate circle but a compelling presence. 
This teenage boy overdosed on barbiturates and died of hypothermia (purported to be one 
of the most dreamily beautiful exits possible i.e. Hans Christian Andersen's The Little 
Match Girt) under the 59th street bridge. The world Klahr creates is sheerly one of 
conjecture and rumor as he tries to recreate his adolescent projection into the unimaginable. 
He reconstructs a legendary secret world of this fallen boy, a bloodshot never-never land of 
fogged out perception and transgressive frolic. Where melancholy doldrums can't retard the 
brilliant metamorphoses of time worn satyrs and sylphs. The red spheres, the "downs" that 
float in midair ("And if there's one thing 1 can't stand it's up, up. up. up. up...") and 
emerge pearl like from the oyster labia of a transsexual, are also a candy cure, the kind of 
pills you would find in a children's toy doctor kit, the gobbly good placebo. Astral pellets 
that fell to earth. The imbibing characters seem supremely distanced from the Byzantine 
testicular globes, and the Genet like anal horticulture of backyard roses blooming from 
backdoor orifices merits not a nod or a blink from the seed beds they spring from. 
Unreadable text is excreted. The deadpan attitudes may be the result of the impossibility of 
distinguishing the actual from the imagined. The whole atmosphere is pervaded with 
euphoria, a hopelessness without despair, a contentment beyond longing. 

Detachment may be the password of these hybrid polysexual creatures. A detachablity that 
applies to the portable appliances of their free floating sexual organs, the phallic thumbs 
and the deep throated microphones which in Downs no longer are mikes as surrogate dicks 
but vice versa. Klahr's penchant for free association is full in play as the grill work of a 
vintage automobile dissolves into the revolving barbecue grill of sirloin steaJcs, and acts of 
auto fellatio give way to philatelic souvenirs like a pre-princess Grace Kelly stamp. If the 
mise en scene presents a fleeting Eden of garden furniture and garden implements, the 
fetish tools of steel fingered rakes, shovel and wheelbarrows, the music of Mercury Rev 
suffuses these scenes with a felling that is definitely apres le deluge. 

Ornamental hookahs, Kon tiki figures and the cool mint juleps can't smooth away the fact 
that this film is in part about demise and descent. No matter how pleasingly mythological 
and closeted the garden party daisy chain appears, no matter how blithe, the prevailing 
tinge from the music is part the far side of bittersweet, a breathy macerating lullaby 
("Tonight I'll build tunnels to your nightmare room") whose burrowing temperament 
bewitches the space of the film, making it at once more porous and more abstract. The 
music is an adjutant that brings the film closer to being a narcoleptic memorialization of the 
ninth circle - a Dantean reference (this was the infernal circle reserved for teachers, poets 
and homosexuals) that was freely celebrated in the gay community in that all too brief 
period that was the post-Stonewall pre-AIDS epidemic, seventies. 

If Klahr's previous Yesterday's Glue presented an after hours clubworld of pining 
narcissists where the mandatory sex, drugs and rock and roll was glacial if not sinister. 
Downs Are Feminine presents a world that edges past despondency to become an amoral 
libertine glade that is at its core abeyant but benevolent. 

program notes by Mark McElhatten 



Program Notes 1994 

SMALL GAUGE TREASURES: 
SONGS I-XIV BY STAN BRAKHAGE 

PRESENTED IN THEIR ORIGINAL 8MM FORMAT 

Sunday, April 24. 1994: SF Art Institute 

SONGS 

Go, little naked and impudent songs. 

Go with a light foot! 

(Or with two light feet, if it please you!) 

Go and dance shamelessly! 

Go with an impertinent frolic! 

Greet the grave and the stodgy, 

Salute them with your thumbs at your noses. 

—Ezra Pound, "Salutation the SecMid" 

Film synopsis/ descriptions by Stan Brackhage. 
All films are silent. 

Song I ( 1964); color, 4 minutes 
A portrait of a beautiful woman. 

Songs II & ///( 1964); color, 7 minutes 

An envisionment of fire and a mind's movement in remembering. 

Song IV ( 1964); color, 4 minutes 

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

Song V ( 1964) ; color, 7 minutes 

A child-birth song. . . I think my best birth film yet. 

Songs VI & V// (1964); color, 7 minutes 

VI: A song of the painted veil— arrived at via moth-death. 

VU: A San Francisco song-portrait of the City of Brakhage dreams. 

Song VIII (1964); color, 4 minutes 

A sea creatures song— a seeing of ocean as creature. 

Songs IX & A^ (1965); color, 10 minutes 

IX: a wedding song— of source and substance of marriage. 
X: a sitting around song. 

Song XI ( 1965) ; color, 6 minutes 

A black velvet film of fires, windows, insect life, and a lyre of rain scratches. 

Song XII was not available for tonight's screening. Song XXIII was presented 
instead. See Brakhage Program 2, March 19, 1995 for screening of Song XII. 

Song XIII ( 1 965) ; color, 6 minutes 

A travel song of scenes and horizontals. 

Song XIV (1965); color, 3 minutes 

A "closed-eye" vision song composed of molds, paints, and crystals. 



27 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

"The conception of Songs was a dramatic event in Brakhage's life. He had come to New 
York where he showed the completed Parts Two and Three of Dog Star Man with a vague 
idea of joining the New American Cinema Exposition then travehng in Europe. While in the 
city his 16mm equipment was stolen from his car. He collected enough money to get 
himself and his family back to Colorado, but he did not have funds for new equipment. 
With the twenty-five dollars paid by the limited insurance on the stolen equipment, he 
discovered he could buy an 8mm camera and editing materials. He did so. At least three 
factors were involved in the switch to 8mm, beyond what Brakhage would call the 
'magical' coincidence of finding the inexpensive equipment when he went looking to 
replace what he had lost 

"In the first place, he wanted to get away from the giant form of The Art of Vision which 
had occupied him for seven years. Then, there was a definite economic advantage in 
making 8mm films: materials and laboratory prices were much lower than for 16mm work, 
and one could not be tempted into costly printing work (mixing layers of film, fades, etc.) 
simply because no laboratory undertook to do that in 8mm. All superimpositions, 
dissolving, and fading had to be done in the camera. Finally, Brakhage saw a polemical 
advantage in the switch. Not only would his example dignify and encourage younger 
filmmakers who could afford to work only in 8mm, but he would be able to realize, on a 
limited scale, a dream he had for years of selling copies of his films, rather than just renting 
them, to j)eople for home viewing. Since the early 1960s he had been prophesying a 
breakthrough for the avant-garde filmmeiker when films would be available for purchase 
like books, records, and painting reproductions and could therefore be owned and screened 
many times and at pleasure. 

"In the beginning Brakhage had no idea that would become a single, serial work. Even 
after making the first eight sections he resisted the idea. But by the spring of 1965, with ten 
Songs finished in a little more than a year, he began to speak of the totality of the work in 
progress: '1 think there will be more Songs. I do definitely see that they relate to each other. 
That is, practically every Song has images in it that occur in some other Song, if not in two 
or three others. The more remarkable thing is that each Song is distinct from each other; 
that holds them together in a very crucial kind of tension.' Within another year he was 
punning on the relation of a Song's number in the series to its subject (XV Song Traits, 
23rd Psalm Branch); soon after that he was wondering when they would end. They did 
conclude, with a dedication to the filmmaker Jerome Hill, after thirty Songs, or punning 
again, American Thirties Song, in 1969." 

—P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film {1914) 



REACHING THROUGH THE SCREEN: 
A TRIBUTE TO LYNN HERSHMAN 

CURATOR, STEVE SEID 

April 28 - May 22, 1994 AMC Kabuki 
Consult S.F.I.F.F. brochure for more information 

The San Francisco International Film Festival (in association with SF Cinematheque) will 
present the first major American retrospective of Bay Area artist Lynn Hershman. Although 
viewers have had the chance to glimpse each Hershman work as it has been completed, 
these four programs (plus her installation Room of One 's Own on view at the Kabuki and 






Program Notes 1994 

the Koch Gallery) offer the first in-depth opportunity to reevaluate her achievement. 
Program 1: Tribute Program; Program 2: Virtual Diaries; Program 3: Phantom Limbs; 
Program 4: Virtual Voices. 



IN GENTLE MEMORY: 
TRIBUTE TO MARJORIE KELLER 

Sunday, May 1, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Marjorie Keller's unexpected death on February 17 was a shock to everyone she has 
touched over the years as a filmmaker, educator, writer, and friend. She was recently at the 
Cinematheque this past fall to screen her last work. Herein. Tonight's program consists of 
a selection of her early work, all Standard 8mm, silent, with the exception of Lyrics, shot 
in Super 8 with sound. These films are infused with energy, from the way they are shot to 
the forms they acquire through editing. Formal elements are important in these works but 
exist only as part of a dynamic with the chosen subject matter. The instants which occur 
when the film can no longer lock on to an image, for example when there is not enough 
light to distinguish £ui image from what lies behind it, or when the camera is too close to an 
image to focus, become moments of pure emotion. Color, light, texture and movement no 
longer simply constitute an image, but mediate our experience of it. Color occupies the 
screen and an image slowly emerges from it, through it. Color is added to an image, 
painted on the surface, refracted through a filter. Color and light exist as visual material, 
attached to an image or resisting attachment to anything but the frame. Movement, texture, 
shape, color frequently exist beyond the confines of an image, almost as if the image can 
not contain its own skeleton, spilling its contents and bringing us up against filmic 
representation. Keller repeatedly returns to familiar imagery: children, water, nature, 
friends, immediate surroundings. To Keller's eye, there is no imagery more lush, none 
more significant. The camera moves across and delves into this imagery as if to prove its 
unending richness. From time to time Keller succeeds in losing the us in an image, taking 
us deeply into a form. We are then brought slowly to something more familiar, a body 
perhaps, and steadied. 

Film synopsis! descriptions by Marjorie Keller. 
All films Standard 8 mm except where indicated. 

Turtle (1969); color, silent, 2 1/2 minutes 

A life-light guilt trip, tragicomic psychodrama in film time. Made in the darkness of my 

year at a women's dormitory. 1969, Tufts University, Medford, Massachusetts. 

Untitled (1971); b&w, silent, 7 1/2 minutes 

A portrait of Saul Levine, filmmaker and one-time Italian Ice vendor / of the film surface & 
depth so by the choice of image / of the inside & outside light in the summer and the 
shower. 1971, Cambridge, Mass. 

S/tWVa (1973); color, silent, 2 3/4 minutes 

Dreams of childhood come true - blue tu tu / black soft-shoe/ Scotch plaid jig /pink hip toe 

too! 



29 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

A kick in the ass on the head and a hip hip hip. Pink parasol stroll. Cut down by the push 
mower. Black. Black. The inexorable success of the littlest, with a string of flamboyance 
projected into her future— remade in her image. For Giimy. Camera: Fred Moore. Starring: 
Corinne, Peter, and Ginny Moore. 

By 2*s and 3*s: VKomen (1974); color, silent, 9 1/2 minutes 

American landscape with women. A tense portrait of one friend and one not. This film puts 
together a perspective on the unhappy experience of traveling in cars— an activity aimless 
and unmemorable. The splicer makes a new trip of the footage, limited not to the 
represented geography but to the after-effect on the mind and heart of the first trip. 

Film Notebook: Part 7 (1975); color/b&w, silent, 12 minutes 

The Web ( 1977) ; color, silent, 9 3/4 minutes 

In The Web I delved for the first and only time into film as mischief-making; wicked, like a 

child. An homage to the powers of little girls. 

Lyrics (1983); Super 8mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

Three songs between heaven and earth. With Carmen, Susan, Joseph and Marcus Vigil. 

"Devoted beyond reason to what was then called the New American Cinema, Marjorie 
Keller began making short personjil films while still in her teens; over the next 20-odd 
years she distinguished herself not only as an artist but as a teacher, an organizer, an 
activist, an all-around inspiration— as well as the first editor of Motion Picture and the 
author of The Untutored Eye, a study of childhood in the films of Jean Cocteau, Joseph 
Cornell, and Stan Brakhage. 

'Keller's aesthetic forebear was likely Brakhage (his emphasis on subjective vision and the 
domestic environment), but she was not one to accept tradition unquestioned. Her revision 
of Brakhage was clear-eyed and anti-idealist, informed by both her gender and a post- '68 
sense of sexual politics. Misconception (1977), in particular, was a purposely raw and 
unromantic view of childbirth. 

**Keller was firmly rooted in the world and her sense of family was complex. She grew up 
surrounded by a half dozen siblings; married to film scholar and critic P. Adams Sitney, 
she helped raise two stepchildren and was also, heartbreaking to write, the mother of three- 
year-old twin girls. 

"Marjorie Keller titled one of her strongest films Daughters of Chaos and the shock of her 
death— inexplicable, which is to say "natural"— on February 17 illuminates the chaos we 
try to ward off with our daily routines. As articulate, as cheerful, as bright, as determined, 
as loving and unfailingly supportive as Margie was, she was exactly the person you would 
want to comfort your family and speak at your funeral. I never imagined that I'd be 
attending hers." 

-J. Hoberman, The Village Voice (Feb. 22, 1994) 

program notes by Elise Hurwitz 



30 



Program Notes 1994 

WASTELAND AND OASIS 

CURATED BY ELISE HURWITZ & ARIEL O'DONNELL 

Thursday, May 5, 1994 <& Sunday, May 8. 1994 
Broadcast over City College of San Francisco Cable Channel 52 

A collection of works by Bay Area makers exploring environmental fragility and methods 
of survival, these films and videos pose questicms regarding the body and its relationship to 
both urban and natural surroundings. The images used by these artists are sometimes 
abstractly lyrical or pedagogically literal. Physical terrain and emotional landscapes 
emphasize the tenuous realities of modem existence: How does the human body 
simultaneously retain individuality and fight against destruction? Where do we go frran 
here? 



REMEMBRANCE OF THINGS FAST 
By John Maybury 

& 

PROJECTIONS 
By DEREK JARMAN 

Thursday, May 5, 1994 Center for the Arts 

The Cinematheque, in association with the San Francisco International Lesbian and Gay 
Film Festival, is pleased to present a sneak preview of two of the hottest titles in this year's 
(estivai— Remembrance of Things Fast by award-winning music video maker John 
Maybury and Projections by the late Derek Jarman. 

Projections (1989), by Derek Jarman; 

16/35mm film transferred to video, color, sound, 46 minutes 

"Projections was created by Jarman to serve as background to the Pet Shop Boys' 1989 
tour. It's Jarman at his most carefree and whimsical. By eschewing standard music video 
conventions, Jarman allows himself to riff off the Boys' songs with greater creative reign. 
The sequence for 'Paninaro' segues to an imaginary picture-postcard Italy filled with 
pouting young hustlers and knife-wielding girl-on-girl action. 'It's a Sin' imagines a well- 
oiled Bacchanalian orgy/Greek mystery cult meets homo kitsch. Projections also features 
Studio Bankside, Jarman's first ever film, and A Garden in Luxor, both used at a benefit 
concert with the Pet Shop Boys in Manchester, 1992." 

-Ed Halter 

Remembrance of Things Fast (1993 US Premiere) , by John Mavburv: 
16mm transferred to video, color, sound, 60 minutes 

"A disjointed psychedelic joyride with a homo-cyberpunk sensibility. Remembrance of 
Things Fast investigates some of the seedier rest-stops along the information 
superhighway. Award-winning British music video director and artist John Maybury 
places Tilda Swinton, Rupert Everett and pom star Aiden Brady in a hyper-real videoscape 
amid menacing dominatrices and transgender aristocrats. 



31 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Disturbing, challenging, and at times painfully beautiful. Remembrance represents both the 
culmination of Maybury's work and the cutting edge of video production today; many of 
the state-of-the-art editing techniques used were invented as the work was shot 

"This is certainly not a film for people who want simple story-telling pleasures. Swinton 
and Everett appear as you've never seen them before— less actors than otojects, their images 
distorted, pulsating, and visually deconstructed to expose the 'true stories and visual lies' 
of queer existence in the postmodern age. Testing the limits of global television and the 
cliches of the three-minute attention span. Remembrance of Things Fast provides an 
exhilarating and subversive commentary on our technc^hilic culture of images." 

-Ed Halter 



A PALIMPSEST OF DREAMS: 
PHIL SOLOMON & STAN BRAKHAGE 

FILMMAKER PHIL SOLOMON IN PERSON 

Sunday, May 8, 1994 SF Art Institute 



Phil Solomon often likes to describe his filmmaking as a reverse form of archaeology, 
attempting to find buried artifacts not by removing soil, but by dumping more on. In 
Solomon's case the "soil" is the layers of surface texture and imagery he acquires through 
optically printing (re- photographing) or chemically treating pre-existing film footage, either 
his own or found. Solomon's project, though employing a process contrary to that of the 
archaeologist, shares with the latter the same inquisitive impulse to search for what is 
hidden below the surface: both are engaged in a quest for remains. 

Visually, Solomon's films border on the abstract, hiding behind scrims of densely-packed 
images and shifting textures. But it is precisely this refractive nature of the films that works 
against the abstraction of a particular reality. The more we try to define exactly where our 
place is in the amorphous nature of the actual film material, the deeper we enter into what is 
behind its surface. In the end, the role of archaeologist is placed onto the viewer. We 
search, we dream, we long— both with Solomon and through Solomon. The territory we 
begin to traverse is sometimes murky, at other times ghostly, but always one destined to 
yield buried treasures. These riches are not handed to the viewer on a silver platter, 
however. There is no mapped-out yellow brick road; only the darkness of a starry night 
where the constellations formed are our own. 

Despite their technical virtuosity, the films remain handmade. The heavily textured surfaces 
give the films a fragility, as if at any moment the film material itself could break. More 
importantly, though, it is their placing of the viewer in the uncomfortable realm of the past 
that makes one feel like one is walking on eggshells. The effort to grasp that which is 
slipping past, and the attendant sense of loss, pervades the work of Solomon, and as such, 
his films require ginger steps. But they also require a wide-eyed innocence, for through the 
fog Solomon is discovering remains to be seen, and so should we. 

—Kurt Easterwood ( 1990) 



Program Notes 1994 

Clepsydra (1992), by Phil Solomon; 16mm, b&w, silent, 14 minutes 

Clepsydra is an ancient Greek waterclock (literally, "to steal water"). This film envisions 
the strip of celluloid going vertically through a projector as a sprocketed (random events 
measured in discrete units of time) waterfdl, through which the silent dreams of a yoimg 
girl can barely be heard under the din of an irresistible torrent, an irreversible torment. (PS) 

Elementary Phrases ( 1994), by Stan Brakhage & Phil Solomon; 
16mm, color, silent, 38 minutes 

This is a hand-painted and elaborately step-printed collaboration between the filmmakers 
Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon. After many months of woricing together step-printing the 
painted strips of film by Brakhage, Solomon re-discovered the following passage which 
helped clarify their process and inspired the editing which then began: 

"The profound nature of this concept will be better understood, and the positive study of it 
more successful, if we think of such an organization, in its temporal aspect and scope, as 
corresponding exactly to what is called in music the phrasing; distinguished both from the 
melody (which is based on the differences of pitch) and from the rhythm (based on the 
rhythm of an arsis-thesis system). Like rhythm it is based on facts of intensity (nuances) 
even while its form is extended over a dimension analogous to that of melody. 

"Whoever distinctly grasps these ideas will feel the importance of what we must call the 
phrasing of a picture; and for example, the stylistic importance of the differences 
observable between the slow, full, majestic phrasing of a Veronese (that of Tintoretto is 
more suave with equal plenitude), the rugged phrasing of Caravaggio, ix)werful in its 
boldness, brutal, even a bit melodramatic; the essentially polyphonic and architectonic 
phrasing of N. Poussin; or again the pathetic and tormented phrasing of Delacroix. It is 
entirely reasonable to note a likeness with these characteristics in the music of Palestrina, 
Monteverdi, Bach, or Berlioz." 

— Etienne Souriau, "Time in the Plastic Arts "Reflections on Art 

Remains to be Seen (1989. revised 1993 Premiere) , by Phil Solomon; 
Super 8 transferred to 16mm, color, sound, 17 minutes 

Using chemical and optical treatments to coat the film with a limpid membrane of 
swimming crystals, coagulating into silver recall, the dissolving somewhere between the 
Operating Theater, The Waterf^l, and the Great Plains. . .my wish for a "moving painting" 
finally realized. Dedicated in loving memory to my mother, Ruth Solomon. (PS) 



POST-COLONIAL CONUNDRUMS 
CURATOR, Craig Baldwin In Person 

Thursday, May 12, 1994 Center for the Arts 

The Couple in a Cage: a Guatinaui Odyssey (1993), by Coco Fusco 
& Paula Heredia; video, color, sound (English/Spanish), 30 minutes 

Esta Provocativa Pieza, combina imdgenes de archive tomadas a indfgenas, y la 
presentaci6n en 1992 de Fusco y Guillermo G6mez-Peiia. En este video, ellos parodian la 



33 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

exhibicfon antropologica de indfgenas, mostrandose prisioneros en una jaula dorada, como 
primitives antes de ser colonizados. 

"The Couple in the Cage (is) a sly, sophisticated look at a traveling exhibit in which a 
couple from the jungles of South America are caged and put on display... Some viewers 
interviewed while they watch the exhibit think it's a performance piece; some think it's a 
disgusting, imperialist throwback. All is revealed at the end, but from the start it is apparent 
that the directors Coco Fusco and Paula Heredia have created a deliciously witty satire 
about cultural stereotyping." 

— Caryn James, The New York Times (Oct. 08, 1993) 

"'As artists of color in the United States', writes Fusco, 'whatever our aesthetic or political 
inclinations, Guillermo G6mez-Peiia and I carry our bodies as markers of difference and 
reminders of the endlessly recycled colonial fantasies on which Western Culture thrived.' 

"Non- Western human beings have been exhibited in theaters, museums, zoos, circuses, 
and world's fairs for the past 500 years. In most cases the people who were exhibited did 
not choose to be on display, but, according to Fusco, 'served as proof of the natural 
superiority of European civilization, of its ability to exert control over and extract 
knowledge from the primitive world, and ultimately of the genetic inferiority of the non- 
European races.' This is how Caucasians discovered the 'other,' by exhibiting them as 
fetish objects offered for inspection, or <is trophies of imperial conquest. The first 
impresario of this sort, Fusco points out, was Christopher Columbus, who brought several 
Arawaks to the Spanish Court in 1493, where he left one of them on display for two years. 
In 1906 a Pygmy was brought to the United States and put on display in the primate cage at 
the Bronx Zoo. (Fusco and G6mez-Peiia's) performance, 'Two Undiscovered 
Aborigines,' is like a public exorcism of departed ghosts." 

— Suzi Gablik, The New Art Examiner (Oct. 1993) 

Un Chien Delicieux (1991) by Ken Feingold; video, color, sound, 19 minutes 

We see an old Thai man talking about his memories of anthropologists, we see a photo of 
Andr^ Breton and associates in some Paris drawing room, and we see a dog killed and 
prepared for eating. With precision Feingold dismantles the house of ethnographic truth 
and displays the ruins for our delectation. 

— Cameron Baily 

Un Chien Delicieux.... makes playful use of the documentary, giving us an account of 
western academia and the art world through an outsider's eyes. 

—Rosemary Heather 

"This deceptively small, yet highly important work raises fundamental questions 
concerning codes of documetary cinema. Western ethnocentrism, and taboos. The entire 
first half of the work— the 'interview'— is a fraud. The voice-over consists of a text written 
by the filmmaker and does not translate what the man says, thus breaking the 'insoluble,' 
taken-for-granted link between image and voice-over. The entire story of the trip to Paris 
and the surrealists is an invention. We do not know whether Lo Me Akha is the man's 
name, whether he is Burmese, whether he speaks Burmese, whether Burmese indeed do 
eat dogs, or, finally, whether this is even Burma. 

"Filmgoers beware! The borders between documentary, fiction, and propaganda are 
tenuous— unless the dog is killed and cooked on camera. 



Program Notes 1994 

"In a certain sense, the brutal truth of the film's second part further misleads viewers 
unaware of the director's machinations into retroactively and even more strongly 
'reconfirming' the veracity of its first part. For why should we even for a moment question 
the veracity of one part of a work when the other one is so manifestly 'true?' 

"In this connection, the cleverness of Feingold's text for the interview becomes, in 
retrospect, even more impressive. The 'Native Other' is almost 'one of ours'... Our 
customary racist condescension toward the native is 'softened' as we patronizingly consent 
to acknowledge his 'wisdom' (limited, of course) and secretly congratulate him on his 
ability to get to Paris and meet (another joke here) the surrealists, of all people. Thus 
swaddled in the cozy cocoon of our prejudices, we more easily fall prey to a filmmaker 
who had staged it all— from fraudulent interview to an actual killing." 

—Amos Vogel, Cineaste 

Corporation With a Movie Camera (1992), by Joel Ka.\z; 
video, color, sound, 33 minutes 

Corporation with a Movie Camera is a videotape about how corporate representations have 
operated in shaping the American public's ideas about the "Third World." Weaving 
together clips of corporate-produced archival film with poetry, performance, and other 
metaphorically interpretive text, the tape raises questions about how public relations media 
operate in the constitution of power, how and by whom history is written, and how 
audience and consumer desire are constructed. 

Excerpting sponsored film produced by U.S. corporations about their Asian, African, and 
Latin American business ventures as primary historical "texts" for examination. 
Corporation with a Movie Camera includes rarely seen footage from industrials such as 
Sumatra, Island of Yesterday (Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 1926) and Assignment 
Venezuela (Creole Petroleum Corporation, 1953). Part propaganda, part narrative, part 
pedantic exposition, these films are rich sites of information about corporate enterprise, 
often containing anthropological and cultural observations more revealing about the 
observer than the observed. (JK) 

Emotional Tourist by Marshall Weber; video 

This densely edited video evokes the cross-cultural delirium of an occidental in modem-day 

Egypt. 

program notes by Maya Allison 



OPEN SCREEN ING 
GUEST PRESENTER CAULEEN SMITH 

Friday, May 13, 1994 SF Art Institiite 

The Cinematheque hosts our season's final Open Screening of recently completed short 
films and videos. Tonight's guest presenter, Cauleen Smith, begins the evening with a 
selection of her own work. 



35 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

WITHER CYBERSPACE? 
ERIC Theise In Person 

Sunday, May 15, 1994 SF Art Institute 

"Going online" has special meaning to videomakers, but to most people it means using 
computers and modems to connect to bulletin boards, conference systems, global computer 
networks, and <dramatic pause> cyberspace. Does this digital territory hold anything of 
interest to the film, or video, maker? You bet! Tonight's event will cover the basics of 
global network infrastructure and tools like electronic mail, gopher, WAIS, and Mosaic. 
We'll take a look at media-specific resources on the Internet and USENET, as well as Arts 
Wire, Film/Tape World's Media Planet BBS, The WELL, and other systems, some still 
under development. (ET) 

Eric Theise, co-founder of Bay Area Internet Literacy, workshop coordinator for the 
Exploratorium's Multimedia Playground, and editor of the forthcoming Millennium Whole 
EarthCatalog's Internet pages will lead this spirited romp. 

Co-sponsored by X— Factor. 



THE SMELL OF BURNING ANTS 
BY JAY ROSENBLATT 

Jay Rosenblatt in person 

Sunday, May 19, 1994 Center for the Arts 

The Smell of Burning Ants ( 1994 Premiere) ; 16mm, color/b&w, sound, 21 minutes 

The film is about a man: he's angry, he is not entirely sure why. 

—From The Smell of Burning Ants 

Using beautiful footage and elegant transitions Jay Rosenblatt uncovers the dark side of the 
Huck Finn or Tom Sawyer <u-chetype. Without giving answers he asks us to look at the 
ways in which boys are deprived of wholeness. In a departure from the Iron John notion of 
men's need to get back to their primal selves, Rosenblatt offers a narrative of how men 
become so emotionally disconnected. The sacred dismissal "boys will be boys" evolves 
into a chilling realization that these boys are becoming angry, destructive, emotionally 
disabled men. It begins with "the boy" carried along by the crowd, detached but feigning 
interest to fit in. What begins as the desire for acceptance during boys' play becomes self- 
preservation in light of the violence inflicted on those who are different. Finally the boy has 
"killed" any natural ability to empathize and develops an independent will to violence. 

As the narrator follows the boy's initiations into manhood in academic, generalizing tones, 
we may see the boy in descriptive action, or as an element in a more symbolic sequence. 
The boy is shown behind a camera panning across the viewer's line of vision to gaze into 
each formative sequence of his life. Ants appear throughout the film, signaling the torture 
inflicted by the boy, and perhaps the boy's own fear of being tortured. 



i6 



Program Notes 1994 

The film begins with a description of how a scorpion kills itself when surrounded by fire, 
even when the fire wouldn't have caused its death. "A clear case of self-destruction" 
according to the narrator. It's not immediately apparent how the boy's torture of ants, small 
animals, other children and women is a "clear case of self-destruction." Early in the film the 
narrator describes one of the first self-denials in which a boy must engage: "boys become 
boys by not being girls. Later he will be with women and feel what he's been robbed of." 
Strangely, the one shot of an adult man with a woman depicts rape. Rather than the 
recognition of a buried part of himself in a woman, we see a denial of her voice in the most 
literal sense possible. Perhaps he was robbed by his socialization, but at this point in the 
process he robs himself in raping her. He has completed the socialization by continuing the 
behavior beyond his childhood. In light of the rape, the scorpion's suicide might outline the 
way in which he now kills his true self. His peer group is no longer in the room (as the 
circle of fire would not have killed the scorpion), only he is responsible for this. Perhaps 
his scorpion-like suicide appears in the death of his ability to empathize; and to act 
independently from his initiations into manhood. 

— MayaAUiscMi 

The Quiet One (1948), by Sidney Meyers, Janet Loeb, Helen Levitt, & James Agee; 

16mm, b&w, sound, 67 minutes 
"The Quiet One is a documentary-drama which won awards at the Venice and the 
Edinburgh Film Festivals, and was acclaimed as one of the most penetrating studies of 
juvenile delinquency. It tells the story of a black youth who grows up in Harlem without 
the love of his parents. Feeling rejected, withdrawn into a state of shame and loneliness, he 
drifts into delinquency. He is sent to the Wiltwyck School for Boys for rehabilitation. His 
emotional damage has been so great that he becomes a 'quiet one,' who builds a wall of 
silence around himself to hide his fear and bitterness. Under the guidance of a psychiatrist 
and counselor, he is slowly brought back into the world. Sidney Meyers, apparently 
influenced by the Italian neo-realist film-makers, uses nonprofessional actors, and 
emphasizes the details of everyday life. James Agee's stirring commentary is spoken in the 
film by Gary Merrill." 

—Audio Brandon Films: Collection of International Cinema (1976-77) 

"The use of significant detail, the building up of atmosphere, the essentially visual way in 
which we understand the working of the boy's mind, the really brilliant way in which the 
people.. .are handled or observed unconsciously— these reveal cinematic skill of the highest 
order. There are no elaborate technicalities, no tricks or devices, but every shot is subtly 
planned without your being conscious of it. Composition and use of camera deserve to 
rank with the best of cinema. . .The overall result is extraordinary: a most moving, important 
and memorable film." 

—Paul Rotha, Rotha on Film 



HAIRCUT (NO. I) & POOR LITTLE RICH GIRL 

BY ANDY WARHOL 

ANDY WARHOL PROGRAM 1 

Sunday, May 22, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Haircut (No. 7.) (1963); b&w, silent, 27 minutes @ 16 fps 

With John Daley, Freddy Herko, Billy Name, James Waring 



37 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

'The idea for the Haircut films originated with Billy Name, a close friend of Warhol's 
who, in 1963, was a lighting designer for the Judson Dance Theater in New York. Name 
had learned how to cut hair from his grandfather, a barber in Poughkeepsie, New York, 
and often held what he called 'haircutting salons' at his apartment on the Lower East Side, 
which he had painted entirely silver. These haircutting parties were attended by Billy's 
friends, often impoverished dancers, performers, and choreographers from the New York 
avant-garde dance world. Although Haircut (No. 1) was not shot in Name's apartment, its 
cast— which includes the dancer Freddy Herko and the choreographer James Waring— is 
representative of Name's circle at that time. At the end of 1963, Warhol moved his art and 
film production into a new studio, called the 'Factory,' on East 47th Street, and asked Billy 
if he would j)aint it silver like his apartment. Name eventually moved into the Factory, 
where he became one of the key figures in the Warhol scene, acting as Factory 'foreman' 
as well as the lighting and set designer and official photographer for Warhol's film 
productions. 

"Haircut (No. 1) is an interesting example of Wz^hol's early cinema, made during an 
experimental period when he was in the process of developing the pared-down style of his 
purely minimalist works. Unlike the later, longer, and very simplified films Eat, Blow Job, 
Empire, and Henry Geldzahler (all from 1964), each of which was composed of a single 
frontal shot continued through multiple rolls to record a single action, the six 100-foot rolls 
in Haircut (No. 1) are shot from six different camera angles. Each shot is carefully 
composed and framed, almost in the style of European art cinema, with dramatically 
different lighting painstakingly designed by Billy Name for each take. The layered 
compositions of overlapping figures and faces stress the depth of the film images, while the 
grainy, high-contrast quality of the Tri-X film heightens the expressionist use of light and 
shadow. The final 100-foot roll contains three brief, hand-held close-up shots of Name, 
Herko, and Daley, which appear in the middle of a longer, tripod-mounted shot. 

'The intensely homoerotic atmosphere of Haircut (No. 1) places this film squarely within 
the continuum of Warhol's gay cinema: the provocative performance of the bare-chested 
Freddy Herko and the sensuality of the haircut itself relate directly to Warhol's later, more 
explicitly sexual works like Blow Job and Couch (1964), as well as to the various male 
grooming scenes in My Hustler (1965), Bike Boy, £md Lonesome Cowboys (both 1967- 
68). But the Haircut films are also strikingly successful portraits of Billy Name himself: the 
delicate, intensely focused attention of his haircuts suggests the benevolent, care-giving 
presence which, as sole resident of the Factory, he brought to the Warhol scene in the 
sixties. In 1965, Billy would repeat his haircutting performance with Edie Sedgwick in one 
of Warhol's early videotapes as well as in Lupe. 

'Three films labeled Haircut have been found in the Andy Warhol Film Collection; these do 
not seem to be different versions of one work, but three distinct films, each shot at a 
different location and with a different cast. For purposes of clarity, numbers are being 
added to the titles as the works are preserved. All three Haircut films seem to have been 
shot around the end of 1963: Haircut (No. 3), for example, was shot on film stock 
manufactured in 1963, but notations found on the original film materials indicate it was 
processed in January 1964." 

— Callie Angell, The Films of Andy Warhol: Part II ( 1994) 

Poor Little Rich GiW ( 1965); b&w, sound, 66 minutes 

With Edie Sedgwick and the off-screen voice of Chuck Wein 

"Edie was incredible on camera— just the way she moved. . . She was all energy— she didn't 
know what to do with it when it came to living her life, but it was wonderful to film. The 



Program Notes 1994 

great stars are the ones who are doing something you can watch every second, even if its 
just a movement inside their eye." 

-Andy WarhoK 1980) 

'In March 1965, just a few months after he bought his first sound camera, Warhol began 
making a series of films of Edie Sedgwick, a beautiful young heiress whom he had recently 
met. The Poor Little Rich Girl Saga, as this extended series was initially called, included 
this film as well as Restaurant, Face, and Afternoon. The title Poor Little Rich Girl is a 
reference to the 1936 Shirley Temple movie of the same name, in which an eight-year old 
girl runs away from her wealthy family to perfOTm with a vaudeville trouj)e— a situation not 
unlike that of Edie herself, who had fled her tragic, wealthy family in California to join 
Warhol's underground art world. Shirley Temple was a childhood idol of Warhol's, he had 
once written away for an autographed photograph of her, which became his most prized 
possession. 

"Unlike the more elaborate, scripted narratives such as Vinyl and The Life of Juanita 
Castro, on which Warhol was collaborating with the playwright Ronald Tavel during this 
same period, the Edie Sedgwick films are basically extended portraits; in fact, they can be 
regarded almost as documentaries— straightforward, unscripted filmings of Edie simply 
being 'herself.' in scenes taken from her real life. Warhol's original idea had been to make 
a 24-hour film of a whole day in Edie's life, although this long film was never realized, 
these shorter Sedgwick films can be viewed as installments in this larger project. In 
Warhol's opinion, Edie was self-possessed and fascinating enough to carry a feature-length 
movie just by playing herself: 'To play the poor little rich girl in the movie, Edie didn't 
need a script— if she'd needed a script, she wouldn't have been right for the part.' 

'Despite its rather straightforward filming. Poor Little Rich Girl is one of Warhol's more 
challenging films, since the first 33-minute reel is completely out of focus. The first time 
Warhol shot this film, both reels were out of focus because of a technical problem with the 
lens; he subsequently reshot the film and then selected one reel from each version as the 
finished work. The first, out-of -focus reel shows Edie waking up in her apartment and 
going about her morning preparations alone: ordering coffee and orange juice, smoking 
cigarettes, doing her exercises, taking pills, putting on makeup— all performed in silence, 
except for the poignant accompaniment of an Everly Brothers album, and recorded in 
blurred images that are sometimes nearly illegible, sometimes vaguely suggestive of the 
impressionist shapes of a Renoir toilette painting. After 33 minutes of watching a film 
about Edie in which we are unable to either hear or see her, the second, in-focus reel 
arrives as a sort of revelation, in which a suddenly visible Edie smokes pot, tries on 
clothes, and talks casually with an off-screen Chuck Wein. The contrast between the 
romantic elusiveness of the first reel and the realistic immediacy of the second creates a 
minimal narrative of visual suspense and resolution, in which Edie's extraordinarily 
mercurial, vulnerable presence is literally brought into focus in a subtle drama of loss and 
recovery." 

— Callie Angell, The Films of Andy Warhol: Part II (1994) 

Others have insisted that Warhol's use of an out-of-focus image was entirely intentional. 
See Chuck Stephens, "Silver Is the Color of Speed." 

— S.F. Bay Guardian (May 18, 1994) 



39 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

The San Francisco cinematheque, 
Pacific Film archive & new Langton arts present 

EMPIRE BY ANDY WARHOL 

ANDY Warhol program 2 

Sunday, May 29, 1994 New Langton Arts 1:00PM 

Empire (1964); 

16mm, b&w, silent, 8 hrs 5 minutes @ 16 fps (7 hrs 19 minutes @ 18 fps) 

Based on an idea by John Palmer. Arranged by Henry Romney. Camera by Jonas Mekas. 
Filmed on the night of July 25-26, 1964, from the offices of the Rockefeller Foundation on 
the 41st floor of Uie Time-Life Building. 

"The best, most temporal way of making a building that I ever heard of is by making it with 
light. The Fascists did a lot of this "light architecture." If you build buildings witih lights 
outside, you can make them indefinite, and then when you're through using them you shut 
the lights off and they disappear." 

-Andy Warhol (1975) 

"Entire is the only film Warhol made which does not have a human being as its subject. If 
Waiiiol's films can be regarded as a series of investigations into the portrayal of personality 
on film, then Empire might be seen as the control in that series of experiments. This 
rigorously executed, minimalist work— a portrait of a building— can be seen as a deliberate 
test in wluch Warhol attempted to isolate the 'secret' of screen magnetism by separating it 
from the human subject, to discover which, if any, elements of screen glamour might be 
inherent in the medium itself, and thus transferable to a neutral subject like a building." 

— Callie Angell, Something Secret: Portraiture in Warhol 's Films (1994) 

"This image, shot from a tripod-mounted camera, never moves; projected at the slow 
motion speed of 16 fps and immobilized within the stationary frame of the movies screen, 
the film becomes equivalent in the physical presence to a painting on the wall. Empire is 
thus, on one level at least, an early example of film installation, in which the projected film 
achieves an object-like existence comparable to that of more conventional art works. 

"Despite the monolithic immobility of its subject, however. Empire is, paradoxically, very 
much concerned with elements of temporality and the more ephemeral phenomena of light 
and darkness." 

—Callie Angell, The Films of Andy Warhol: Part 11 ( 1994) 

"The intellectual content of Empire clearly overshadows the visual, and the exaggerated 
time element is in opposition to the 'telescoping' of incidents typical of the commercial 
cinema. 

"Empire is now a classic of the avant-garde. In a short period it has received extraordinary 
acceptance, which suggests it appeared at the right moment. Whatever influence it may 
have had, film will not be quite the same again. Neither, perhaps, will the Empire State 
Building." 

—Gregory Battcock, The New American Cinema: A Critical Anthology ( 1967) 

The following are excerpts from a conversation with the Warhol {Empire) crew — Henry 
X., John Palmer, Marie Desert, and the poet Gerard Malanga: 



Program Notes 1994 



John: 

Henry: 

John: 

Henry: 

Andy: 

Henry: 

John: 

Henry: 

John: 

Andy: 

Henry: 

Andy: 

Gerard: 

John: 

Andy: 

Henry: 

John: 

Andy: 

Marie: 

John: 
Henry: 

Jonas: 
Marie: 
Jonas: 
Gerard: 

Andy: 

John: 

Marie: 

John: 

Henry: 

Henry to Andy: 

John: 

Gerard: 

John: 

Andy: 

Jonas: 

John: 



Why is nothing happening? I don't understand. 

What would you like to happen? 

I don't know. 

I have a feeling that all we're filming now is the red light. 

Oh, Henry!!! 

Andy?! NOW IS THE TIME TO PAN. 

Definitely not! 

The film is a whole new bag when the lights go off. 

Look at all that action gdng on. Those flashes. Tourists taking 
photos. 

Henry what is the meaning of action? 

Action is the absence erf" inaction. 

Let's say things intelligent. 

Listen! We don't want to deceive the public, dear. 

We're hitting a new milestone. 

Henry, say Nietzsche. 

Another aphorism? 

B movies are better than A movies. 

Jack Smith in every garage. 

Someday we're all going to live underground and this movies will 
be a smash. 

The lack of action in the last three 12(X)-foot rolls is alarming! 

You have to mark these rolls very carefully so as not to get them 
mixed up. 

Did you know that the Empire State building sways? 

I read somewhere that art is created in fun. 

What? 

During the projection, we should set up window panes for the 
audience to look through. 

The Empire State Building is a star! 

Has anything happened at all?! 

No. 

Good! 

The script calls for a pan right at this point. I don't see why my 
artistic advice is being constantly rejected. 

The bad children are smoking pot again. 

I don't think anything has happened in the last hundred feet. 

We have to maintain our cool at all times. 

We have to have this film licensed. 

It looks vary phallic. 

I don't think it will pass. 

Nothing has happened in the last half-hour. 



41 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

John: The audience viewing "Empire" will be convinced after seeing the 

film that they have viewed it from the 41st floor of the Time-Life 
Building, and that's a whole bag in itself. Isn't that fantastic? 

Jonas: I don't think the last reel was a waste. 

Henry to John: I think it's too playful. 

—Jonas Mekas, Movie Journal (1972) 
program notes by Maya Allison 



KOREAN VISIONS: THE NEW CINEMA 
CURATOR, HYUN-OCK IM IN PERSON 

Thursday, June 2, 1994 Center for the Arts 

While difficult to contain tonight's filmmakers and video artists under a single rubric, they 
do represent the growing spirit of Korean alternative cinema. Unlike avant-garde cinema or 
other alternative practices in the West, these Korean works have emerged only recently, 
both in the context of a firmly entrenched commercial film industry, and from a tradition of 
alternative practices in the other arts. Their critique of the conventions of the mass-market 
commercial cinema has a different resonance, as well as an additional resistance to the 
domination of a U.S. based-worldwide image culture within Korea. 

The development of the short, alternative, and experimental film or video has to do with 
genera] trends in the larger world of cinema. What has emerged in South Korea since the 
late 1980s is a new Korean cinema enabled by a climate of significant political change. 
With the relaxation of censorship, challenging themes and new expressions have energized 
mainstream filmmaking in South Korea. For the first time in 30 to 40 years, an alternative 
cinema— independent feature films made outside the Ch'ungmuro (studio) system, 
experimental films and video— has emerged, diversifying the Korean cinematic idiom. 

Cockup (1992 Premiere) , by Park Chang-kyong; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

The "colonization" of culture by coca-cola is addressed through associative and cross- 
cultural linguistic exploration. The abbreviated version of "coca-cola"— "coke"— sounds 
like "cock" when pronounced in Korean. Therein an inventive exploration of the multiple 
nuances and meanings of this universal product of consumption begins. 

Daily Poem (1993 Premiere) , by Kang Kyoung-Ah; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

The visual analogy between the film's boundaries (the frame), and psychological 
boundaries experienced by the filmmaker are the nodal points in this piece. The music, a 
popular Korean song played backward, signifies the ironic relationship the filmmaker has 
to her bicultural identity now that she lives in the United States. 

Sorry, I Am An Actress (1992), by Park Ji Hong; 16mm, color, sound, 8 1/2 minutes 

This film draws an jmalogy between the camera and women's bodies, of the U.S. and 
South Korea. With the premise that the audience is dominantly positioned, thereby taking 



Program Notes 1994 

on the "male" gendered eye, the film becomes a peep show where desire is controlled by 
camera movements, and where the female body, prostitution, roses, and meat are 
conflated. 

Translation of (Korean language) dialogue in Sorr\. I Am An Actress: 

(mannequin) Sorry, I'm not an actor. 

(actress) I 'm an actress. Please come in and play with me. 

(prostitute) There is a room for you. Hease come in and play with me. 

(song) No, No, I shouldn't. Because I'm a woman. 

Instead of saying "I love you," I show a smile. 
But you pretend not to know. I hate you. I really hate you. 
Should I say "I hate you?" Should I say "I don't like you?" 
No, No, I shouldn't. Because I am a woman. 

Pass/ng (1991), by Park Ji Hong; 16mm, b&w, sound, 5 1/2 minutes 

The sights and sounds of a walk in the woods are conveyed in this lushly textured q>tically 
printed film. 

The Lying fiudrf/w (1991), by Lee Yong-Bae; 

35mm transferred to video, color, sound, 4 1/2 minutes 

According to local folklore, at Oon Joo Temple reclining Buddhas wait to one day rise and 
fulfill the people's dream of an egalitarian society. The members of this animation coUective 
formed to provide a native Korean animation in coimterpart to the proliferation of American 
and Japanese animation and culture in Korea, while addressing issues of the grassroots 
pro-democratic minjung movement 

Homo videocus ( 1991), by Lee Je Yong & Byun-Hyuk; 
16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

"Homo videocus" is a constructed term, inspired by the category of homo sapien, which 
refers to the thinking species of human. "Homo videocus" thus refers to the category of 
human who "sees." Through the eyes of a young man caught in the fantasy world of media 
images the filmmakers critique the ubiquitous television culture in Korea, and convey how 
that process has intensified over time (color television was introduced to South Korea in the 
early 80s). 

IVe^ Dream (1992), by Kim Yun-Tae; 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

Wet Dream is a sensual and mysterious vision of bodies, death, water and light. Divided in 
three parts, according to traditional Korean funerary observances, the film is a rumination 
on contradictory emotions: the fear of death, the impulse of sex, self-love, and self-hate. 
Keeping true to the sense of "experimental," Kim Yun-Tae made this film without pre- 
planning, allowing instead to let his internal images manifest in the resulting work. 

Comfort Me (1993), by Soo Jin Kim; video, color, sound, 8 1/2 minutes 

This 2nd generation Korean- American video artist recounts the use of Korean women by 
the Japanese army during WWII as "comfort women." Scores of Korean women were 
forcibly taken to Japanese-controlled areas to sexually service the Japanese soldiers. The 
reading of real accounts adds to the provocative portrayal of this difficult period of history. 

Org ( 1994 Premiere) , by Im Chang-Jae; 16mm, b&w, sound, 13 minutes 
One man surrounded by a materialist space is the situation presented in this film that looks 
at the possibility of suicide within an overwhelming image culture. Along with Kim 
Yun-Tae, Im Chang-Jae is a member of the recently formed experimental film collective. 



43 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

The New Image Group, the first group of its kind in Korea This group formed in response 
to the dizzying influx of a worldwide image culture by positioning itself as an essential 
Korean voice in dialectic to the dominant media culture. 

Special thanks to the Motion Picture Promotion Corporation of Korea and the San 
Francisco Consulate General of the Republic of Korea for their assistance with this 
program. 

program notes by Hyun-Ock Im 



BU FFERIN 
& 
THE VELVET UNDERGROUND AND NICO 

ANDY Warhol Program 3 

Sunday, June 5, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Bufferin (1966); 16mm, color, sound, 33 minutes 

"In this film, (Gerard) Malanga gives a performance for Warhol's camera, reading from his 
diaries and poems and, in acknowledgment of Warhol's presence behind the camera, 
censoring his own writings by substituting the word 'bufferin' for most of the proper 
names in his text: 'Bufferin' was banned from the Domfor stealing 'Bufferin' s' paintings,' 
and so on. The word 'bufferin' refers not only to the brand of aspirin, but to the 
'buffering' —or censoring— of information which Malanga apparently felt was necessary in 
Warhol's presence. The film is thus not only a portrait of Malanga himself, but a kind of 
playful confrontation between Malanga and the filmmaker in which the complexities of their 
relationship become apparent... fiwj5%nn is significant as the first film in which Warhol 
broadly experimented with the 'strobe cut,' his trademark style of in-camera editing in 
which the camera (and tape recorder) were rapidly turned off and then on again, leaving a 
clear frame, a double-exposed frame, and an electronic 'bloop' on the soundtrack. This 
technique was directly related to Warhol's refusal to edit his films; 'since everyone says I 
never stop the camera, I stop it now, start and stop, and that makes it look cut.' After 
fifteen minutes of straight forward footage of Malanga' s readings, Warhol suddenly starts a 
series of creative camera movements, strobe cuts, and experimental framings of Malanga' s 
image, thus actively interceding in the action of the film by editing out portions of 
Malanga's text £ind 'buffering,' in return, the poet's rather self-absorbed performance." 

— Gallic Angell, The Films of Andy Warhol: Part II ( 1994) 

"Gerard Malanga was introduced to Andy Warhol the first week in June 1963 at a party 
given by Willard Maas and Marie Menken. He recalls the artist's silver hair, white skin, 
dark shades, and outright nervousness. Gerard had just curtailed his formal education at 
Wagner College and was 'desperately in need of a job.' Andy was in need of an assistant to 
help with the production of his silkscreen paintings." 

— Ronald Tavel, Film Culture 40 (Spring 1 966) 

"At dead center (of the Factory 'Scene') was the pale sun Warhol himself, immediately 
flanked by the two men who make the Factory work. The most conspicuous of the two 
was Warhol's 'assistant' Gerard Malanga, the hyped, endlessly talkative golden boy of the 



Program Notes 1994 

art world, with his superb arching Italian face, combination superstar and errand boy, the 
omnipresent voice and body of the master, transporting just a touch of Warhol into every 
night, the depthlessly narcissistic center of every scene. For six years, Malanga must have 
attended five parties a night, either in company with the art world's super star, or as his 
magical representative. 

"For years, Warhol and Malanga went everywhere in sado-masochistic drag; black leather 
jackets and high boots were central to the image. Later in the 1960s, all Malanga's 
narcissism was at last able to twist itself out in a tour with the Warhol rock band, the Velvet 
Underground (its very name lifted from s-m patois), writhing through his famous whip 
dance, dressed from top to toe in black leather, a huge bullwhip in his hand as the light 
show flared in the darkness." 

— Stephen Koch, Stargazer (1973) 

The Velvet Underground and iVico (1966); 16mm, b&w, sound, 67 minutes 
With Ari Boulogne, John Cale, Sterling Morrison, Nico, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker, 
appearances by Gerard Malanga, Billy Name, Stephen Shore, Andy Warhol, the New 
Yoric City police, and others. Music by the Velvet Underground. 

"The Plastic Inevitables (Velvet Underground: Warhol and Company) performances at the 
Dom during the month of April provided the most violent, loudest, most dynamic 
exploration platform for the intermedia art. The strength of Plastic Inevitables, and where 
they differ from all the other intermedia shows and groups, is that they are dominated by 
the Ego. Warhol, this equivocal, passive magnet, has attracted to himself the most 
egocentric personalities and artists. The auditorium, every aspect of it— singers, light 
throwers, strobe operators, dancers— at all times are screaming with an almost screeching, 
piercing personality pain. I say pain; it could also be called desperation. In any case, it is 
the last stand of the Ego, before it either breaks down or goes to the other side. Plastic 
Inevitables: theirs remains the most dramatic expression of the contemporary generation— 
the place where its needs and desperations are most dramatically split ojDen. At the Plastic 
Inevitables it is all Here and Now and the Future." 

— Jonas Mekas, Village Voice (May 26, 1966) 

"Warhol began his involvement with the Velvet Underground at the end of 1965, when 
Gerard Malanga found the group performing in a New York nightclub and took Warhol to 
meet them. This quickly led to a professional association, as Warhol became the band's 
producer and started organizing multimedia events in which the Velvet Underground's 
proto-punk rock-and-roll performances became the center of a larger theatrical environment 
of multiscreen movie projections, strobe lights, and confrontational dancing by Warhol's 
superstars. The first performances of Warhol's productions of the Velvet Underground 
were at the Annual Dinner of the New York Society for Clinical Psychiatry at Delmonico's 
Hotel on January 13, 1966, and at the Film-Makers' Cinematheque during the second week 
of February, under the title Andy Warhol— Uptight. 

"In Spring 1966, Warhol rented the Dom, a Ukrainian community center on St. Mark's 
Place in the east Village, and opened an extended run of these multimedia performances 
under the title Exploding Plastic Inevitable (or EPI). The EPI later toured to other cities and 
to California, where Warhol's stagings became an early influence on the light shows of the 
late sixties and early seventies. The EPI provided Warhol with an opportunity to 
reappropriate his by now voluminous collection of films as material for his multimedia 
environments, and also to experiment with movies intended for double-screen projection, a 
format he would put to good use later in the year in The Chelsea Girls. 



45 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

"The Velvet Underground and Nico is a portrait of the band, recorded during a practice 
session at the Factory; apparently shot in January 1966, it shows the group rehearsing for 
what was probably their opening at the Film-Makers' Cinematheque in February. The 
music is an instrumental number; Nico, the German singer and actress whom Warhol 
introduced into the band, sits on a stool and bangs a tambourine, while her son Ari plays 
on the floor at her feet. The two reels contain a great deal of wild camerawork and 
psychedelic zooming, which indicates that this form was intended for exhibition, probably 
in double-screen, behind the Velvet Underground on stage. 

"As if to authenticate the film's countercultural status, the second reel documents the arrival 
of the New York City police during the filming, apparently in response to a telephoned 
complaint about the noise level at the Factory. After a disarmingly self-conscious cop 
appears on screen to adjust the amplifier, the rehearsal is stopped, and the camera pulls 
back to show the deep space of the studio— one of the few documentary views of the 
Factory in Warhol's films— where Warhol is seen talking with the police while the Velvets, 
Gerard Malanga and other Factory regulars mill around. 

"A number of other two-reel films of the Velvet Underground, also presumably shot for 
projection during their performances, have been found in the collection, but are not yet 
preserved; these include The Velvet Underground (in which Maureen Tucker is tied up with 
ropes). The Velvet Underground Tarot Cards, and The Velvet Underground in Boston." 

— Callie Angell, The Films of Andy Warhol: Part II ( 1994) 

program notes by Maya Allison & Carrie Gray 



PROJECTED LIGHT: 
ON THE BEGINNING AND END OF CINEMA 

CORINNE & ARTHUR CANTRILL IN PERSON 

Saturday, June 11, 1994 SF Art Institute, Studio 8 

Projected Light. A Film-Performance; For Two 16mm Projectors, One Slide Projector, 
Audio Tape, Posters, Artifacts And Two Performers 

At this time of transition when filmmaking technologies as we know them seem about to 
disappear, we look back, 30 years after we began collaborating as filmmakers, to consider 
our cinematic influences, from childhood on (Chaplin, Emile Cohl, Winsor McCay) and 
some of our own investigations into the nature of film. 

We screen the original of a film we have been shooting with one of the oldest and finest 
16mm stocks still remaining: Kodachrome, the product of 50 years research and perfection 
by its manufacturers, a stock which was the mainstay of the international independent film 
movement. We take it as an example of the ideal, almost mythical film material on the brink 
of disappearance. 

Faced with the end of the photo-chemical film era, we become more aware than ever before 
of the qualities of projected light as against those of transmitted light, and continue to work 
with renewed energy as one of the small band of "the last filmmakers." 



#• 



Program Notes 1994 

The filming of our house, Prestonia, began in February 1988 after a visit to North America 
where conversations with filmmakers confirmed our pessimism about the threatened future 
of film. 

There was a desire now to work with that most powerful and intense film stock, 16mm 
Kodachrome. The intention was to make a film from which no print would be struck: to 
project a "pure," original image, with sound on a separate taj)e. One of several reasons for 
this decision was the burden of 30 years filmmaking that we are still responsible for— the 
millions of feet of film pressing in on us, the tons of cans of film materials. Not only does 
one not wish to continue working in this way, but as there is now hardly any possibility of 
selling film prints, to continue playing at film production/replication becomes a form of 
self-inflicted pain. 

In contrast we have the freedom of filming on Kodachrome, making no prints and no 
optical soundtracks, and showing/seeing a brilliant sharp (rivaling 35mm) and saturated 
image, while saving time and expense. When the film is scratched and damaged, it must 
make way for new films. 

The slow speed imposed limitations on the work, as the house is not awash with light- 
there are few windows, and trees surround the house. Rather than using wide views, the 
identity of the house is constructed from details illuminated by transitory and changing 
patches of intense sunlight. The camera follows these "illuminations" through the house 
during days and months... We weren't interested in "lighting" the subject. We filmed at 
night, in the rain, on windy days, at sunset. 

The work is a meditation, through an intense film medium— original Kodachrome— on 
daily life, on daily light— the beauty in things around us which we no longer see, at a 
moment when it is all about to be lost by events we have set in motion and are now unable 
to stop. (CC/AC) 

"To call oneself the 'last' of anything is more than a little romantic, but then the Cantrills 
have never been averse to romanticism. It's a little hard to believe that the cinema is really 
going to die out that rapidly— and even if it does, there's probably a way of valuing its 
material ephemerality while knowing that the spirit or soul of image and sound combination 
will simply just reappear in another form (like video). But perhaps the Cantrills' (and 
others') urgent talk of death is a way— beyond the world weary endgames of post- 
modernism— of reinventing the language of cinema at new extremes of violence, lyricism, 
play. Is that what some of us are anticipating— a renewed idealism in experimental cinema, 
and more convulsive forms of artistic beauty?" 

— Adrian Martin, FilmNews (Nov. 1988) 

"Although it takes the form of recollection in tranquillity, its message is pessimistic: 
Kinema —the art and craft of motion pictures, as distinct from Cinema, trader in an 
outmoded commodity— is dying. With easy mastery Projected Light moves from 
sensation, encompassing the history of early motion pictures and the impending demise of 
Kodachrome... The senses thrill and the mind races, the senses race and the mind yields to 
reverie, borne upon the flow of light and motion, chemistry and physics, reason and 
imagination." 

— John Flaus/Paul Harris, The Age (Aug. 11, 1989) 

"There is a political message bubbling away beneath the surface of Projected Light— it is 
'Make films before the entire medium disappears!' A kind of techno-conservation where 
the underground film environment is declared a national park. The film performance 
parallels the history of cinema itself with that of the Cantrills' house, Prestonia, and by 



47 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

implications the history of the Cantrills, their work, and its relationship to the experimental 
film movement generally. For any study of this movement is a study of a political 
imperative extending as far back as living memory. . . " 

— David Cox, FilmNews (Feb. 1989) 

program notes by Maya Allison 



BIKE BOY 
ANDY Warhol program 4 

Sunday, June 12, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Bike Boy (1967); 16mm, color, sound, 96 minutes 

"Motorcyclist Joe Spencer is the protagonist and object of desire in this roguish sex 
comedy. Yet another portrait. Bike Boy depicts a young, working-class 'bikie' who is 
decidedly out of his element in the sophisticated world of Warhol and his super-star friends 
(Viva, Ingrid Superstar, Brigid Polk and Ed Weiner). 'One of the most liberating 
experiences of my life was seeing Bike Boy... Wi\a. was in a bathtub with a man, telling 
him if he wanted to make plastic sculptures he should just do it and shut up about it. As I 
watched this film I thought: 'That's for me.'" 

— Gary Indiana 

Co-sponsored with the 1 8th International Lesbian and Gay Film Festival. 



ARTICULATED SILENCES 

Curator, Lynn Kirby in Person 

Thursday, June 16, 1994 Center for the Arts 

How is silence articulated in an era when plot and action define narrative and time, as 
content is considered invisible? Out of the comer of the eye, this group of artists question 
and explore persond experiences of time. This exhibition opens a conversation about other 
ways of telling stories and describing experience that is related to listening, silence and a 
state of being in-between. The artists included work with time and silence, light and words, 
on the screen or in space. (LK) 

Wind Grass Song (1989), by Jana Birchum & Tori Breitling; 
16mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

"Based on interviews with Oklahoma women aged 85 to 101 years, Wind Grass Song 
presents a unique vision of U.S. regional culture through an invaluable oral history. In this 
impressionistic documentary, venerable faces and voices of these elderwomen— Black, 
Native American and white— are interwoven with highly evocative shots of the landscape. 
Summer locusts, prairie grass and tornadoes of red earth are swept into the rhythms of 



Program Notes 1994 

rural life on the Great Plains, ccmveying how the land shaped the lives of these courageous 
women." 

— Women Make Movies Catalogue (1994) 

One year of mourning (1994 Premiere) , by Paula Levine; 
video, color, silent, 12 minutes 

Grief and mourning turn objects, people, places inside out, revealing a hidden dimension 
of undomesticated time where everything lives at once, and by association. Mourning and 
grieving forge spaces of coherence which defy logic and strategies by which the everyday 
is governed, ruled and ordered. One year of mourning is like notations in a journal or 
notches on a tree— both are gestures not of what has passed, but where one has been. (PL) 

Poems; read and by Opal Palmer Adisa: 

Speak and Speak Again 
Articulated Silences 
Madness Disguises Sanity 
Children Must Be Seen 

Opal Palmer Adisa is a Jamaican bom literary critic, writer, storyteller and educator whose 
published works appear in numerous journals in the USA, London, Canada and Jamaica. 
In 1992, she won the PEN Oakland/Josephine Miles Award for Tamarind and Mango 
Women. She is presently Associate Professor and Chair of Ethnic Studies at California 
College of Arts and Crafts. 

Bywandering Fields ( 1993), by Suzanne Cockrell; 16mm, 12 minutes 

Bywandering Fields investigates the expansion of a moment and the sense of being deeply 
connected inside to the dips and rises of feelings, sensations and thoughts that punctuate 
and move us. (SC) 

"This [film] isn't wacko; it makes real sense the way our own thoughts do to us and no one 
else." 

—Kurt Wolff, San Francisco Bay Guardian (Nov. 3, 1993) 

Paris and Athens, June 1993(1994 Premiere) , by Lynn M. Kirby; 

16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 
A hotel room in Paris zuid a friend's apartment in Athens provide locations for my interest 
in intimacy, movement and light. (LK) 

Following the screening, the audience is invited to a reception of installation works by Sara 
Bird, Suzanne Cockrell, Lynn Kirby, Paula Levine, Mona Nagai and Mary Tsiongas at 
The Victoria Room, 180 Sixth Street at Howard. The installations will be open to the public 
through June 21, 1994. 

program notes by Lynn Kirby 



49 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

HOW HIGH THE MOON: 
AN EVENING OF LUNAR MYSTERY, MAGIC & MAYHEM 

CURATOR, ALBERT KiLCHESTY IN PERSON 

Sunday, June 19, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Apollo America: intercepted radio transmission c. 1985 

Prowl (1987), by Larry Talbot; 

unedited Super-8 camera roll, silent, 3.5 minutes 

Rabbit's Moon (1972, 1979), by Kenneth Anger; 
16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 

Blue Moon (1988), by Jeanne Liotta; Super-8, color, sound, 3 1/2 minutes 

Moonlight Sonata (1979), by Larry Jordan; 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

A Trip to the Moon (1902), by George Mdli^s; 16mm, b&w, silent, 10 minutes 

Moona Luna (1990), by Bnily Breer; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

For All Moonkind; video; text from J. K. Huysmans' EnRade, 9 minutes 

Bottle Can (B.C.) (1994 Premiere) , by Luther Price; Super-8, color, sound, 20 minutes 

A LARGE MOON GATHERING 
By Hans Arp 

A large moon meeting has been called. 
Moons, and everything connected with the moon, 
will turn up. 
y Moon founts, feathered moons, 
moonbells, 

white moons with diamc«d belly buttons, 
moons with handles oi ivory, 
tiny moon lackeys who love most of all to 
pour boiling water over upholstered furniture, 
megalomaniac roses, 
who think they are the moon. 
White moons which weep Mack tears, 
moon anagrams which consist of almost nothing else 
but Anna 

and to which only a few grams 
of moon have been added. 
A moon conglomerate of silver twigs 
which continue to branch silverly, 
and from which moon-fruit ripen. 
A naked moon, naked hke all moons, 
but with a hat, on which a fig leaf 
is attached. Time honored moon eggs, 
and among them a horrible lot of moldy ones 
in sfumato sedans. 

Unfortunately, not all that is silver is moon. 
A few dizzy monstrosities are among 
the greedy-gutting pinchbeck moons, 
which devour, devour, devour 



t 



Program Notes 1994 



one shadow mat after anotho- shadow mat, 

giant tears of tar and, 

with the same lust, 

their own spawn. 

I>ouble headed moons, 

moons with enormous brisance 

and all that rhymes with it, like 

ants, pants, vagrants, bezants, Hans. 

Yes, moon travelers and moon dreamers, 

just like me, 

will also turn up at the moon meeting. 

Translated by Malcolm Green 



program notes by Albert Kilchesty 



PERSONAL DOCUMENTS/ 
PERSONAL DOCUMENTARIES 

Program 1 

Curator, Lissa Gibbs In Person 

Thursday. July 14, 1994 Center/or the Arts 

Who Stole the Keeshka? by David Michalak; 16mm, color, sound, 16 minutes 

Tribute (1986), by William Farley; 16mm, b&w, sound, 7 minutes 

A Visit to Indiana (1970), by Curt McDowell; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

The World's Fastest Hi/?/?ic (1976), by John Knoop; 16mm, color, sound 

Wild Night in El Reno (1977), by George Kuchar; 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

River body (1970), by Anne Severson (a.k.a. Alice Anne Parker); 
16mm, b&w, sound, 7 minutes 

The Chill Ascends (1993), by Jim Seibert; 16mm, b&w, sound, 15 minutes 

Penumbra (1994 Premiere) , by Hilary Morgan; color, sound, 12 minutes 

Hajj, drinking from the i/rcam (1992), by Claire Dannenbaum; 
16mm, b&w,sound, 20 minutes 

Presented by the Film Arts Foundation in association with 
SF Cinematheque & Center For The Arts. 



51 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

PERSONAL DOCUMENTS/ 
PERSONAL DOCUMENTARIES 

PROGRAM 2 

CURATOR, LISSA GIBBS IN PERSON 

Thursday, July 21, 1994 Center for the Arts 

White Passage (1986), by Ruby Yang; 16mm, color, sound 

A Constant Sate of Departure (1986), hyLidisiSzjako', 
16mm, b&w, sound, 8 minutes 

Castro Street (1966), by Bruce Baillie; 16mm, color/b&w, sound, 10 minutes 

Victims of the Victim (1992), by Erica Marcus; video, color, sound, 6 minutes 

Disposition (1992), by Baruch Rafic; video, color, sound, 16 minutes 

red white blue and yellow (1993), by Angela Chou; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

Sincerely (1980), by Lynn Kirby; color/b&w, sound, 14 minutes 

Both (1993), by Vic De La Rosa; 16mm, b&w, sound, 8 minutes 

Decodings (1988), by Michael Wallin; 16mm, b&w, sound, 15 minutes 

Presented by the Film Arts Foundation in association with 
SF Cinematheque & Center For The Arts. 



FRAGMENTING SOLUTIONS 

New Bay area Works 

Thursday, September 29, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Three works by silt (Keith Evans, Christian Farrell, Jeff Warrin) 
V ANN AV (1993 f*remiere) ; Super-8, color, sound, 3 minutes 
...ATION PROGR... (1992 Premiere) ; Super-8, color, sound, 3 minutes 
kemia (in 7 parts) (1994 Premiere) ; Super-8, color, silent, 17 minutes 

It turns out that an eerie type of chaos can lurk just behind a facade of order— and yet, 
deep inside the chaos lurks an even eerier type of order. 

—Douglas Hofstadter 

These three short films occurred spontaneously in the midst of, or on the way toward, 
larger works. They are unplanned births conceived in a darkness where the night of the 
eye's heart and black river bottom soil meet, (silt) 



Program Notes 1994 

travelogue (1994), by Irina Leimbacher; 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

Grew out of an old piece of film wanting exorcism— somewhat trite perhaps, this rendering 
of my anticipation of an impossible nostalgia. (IL) 

view/ camera (1994), by David Landau; 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes 
The house as Camera Obscura -vitreous humor and ground glass. (DL) 

Chagruna (1994), by Miguel Alvear; 16mm, b&w, sound, 9 minutes 
To put different things together and to present them as one. (MA) 

Tree ( 1994 performance version), by Timoleon Wilkins; 
16mm, color, sound, 3 1/2 minutes 

A quick cut to the root of cinema talk. (TW) 

Selenology (1994 Premiere) , by Mary Slaughter; 16mm, color, sound, 5 1/2 minutes 

Selenology is a meditation on the strange terrain of the body, on the mystery of the erotic 
and the grief of corporeality. Hypnosis is the point of entry, both as attempt at reassurance 
and as evidence of the inability to contain the excesses of sexual desire and spiritual 
longing. (MS) 

Split Description (1994), by Andy Moore; 16mm, color/b&w, sound, 8 minutes 

A film of gestures rather than statements. Split Description presents a kaleidoscopic moving 
montage of three diverse locales (in California, Massachusetts and New York). A collision 
of different worlds of color and form, the film is a magic viewing box designed to cut the 
viewer free from narrative expectation and instead to serve as a tool for reflection on 
space/time/ sound. (AM) 

Crazy Love 2 (1987/1993), by Rebecca Barten; video, color, sound, 7 minutes 

"There is a god at the outset, if not at the end, of every joy." 

— E. M. Cioran, The Trouble with Being Bom 

Due to technical difficulties during screening. Crazy Love 2 was not shown in its entirety. 



A FEW PARTING SHOTS WITH DAVID GERSTEIN 

David Gerstein In Person 

Sunday, October 2, 1994 SF Art Institute 
Part I: Films Of David Gerstein 

Tourist Movie (1981); 16mm, color, silent, 4 minutes @ 18fps 

The first few moments of this film may feel like trying to find your way through a foreign 
city in a jet lag-induced fog. The streets and cars, buildings and people all overlap and 
reappear in various angles. After a moment of sorting through the layers, my eye uncovers 
a familiar San Francisco North Beach Church as its anchor in a gentle flow of 
superimposed footage. Slowly this stability allows me to forget the church like a placid 
backdrop and follow the rush of images: sightseeing attractions, congested intersections. 



53 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

urban decay. This second world seems to be filmed from a moving car, and is edited to 
change scenery quite rapidly. From time to time, the church decides to shift its position, 
showing me its best angles. The two worlds vie for the "foreground" position, and interact 
in the process: a woman lying on the lawn seems to cause a car to hesitate before driving 
right across her image. The camera comes to an intersection and pans around, and I begin 
to wonder: is it looking for the church? Gerstein layers a film world which plays with 
notions of "fore" and "back"-ground, traveling and stationary, including the values we 
ascribe to each position. — Maya Allison 

Burnt Offering {1976); 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes 

"Burnt Offering is an exploration of the physical qualities of film emulsion. Made without 
the benefit of a camera, the images stream past, giving the illusion of imagistic content 
when there is actually a purely abstract field of color." 

As the Sun Goes Down, a Hole Appears in the Sky (1976); 

16mm, color, sound, 1 1 minutes 
"A cyclical transformation from blackness, through increasingly brighter images, back to 
darkness. The film combines a fusion of photographed, non-photographed and hand-inked 
images. Each cycle's imagery mirrors, but does not duplicate, that of the preceding cycles. 
The soundtrack of projector noises comments on the unavoidable sound of most silent film 
projectors." 

Ambivalence (1982); 16mm, color, sound, 5 minutes 

"I am aiming for a way of apprehending film in which perception and interpretation 
operates on multiple levels. A shot can be seen as an individual fragment and at the same 
time as a component in several different progressions unfolding over varying lengths of 
time. Image usage runs from simple matching of shapes and motions to the use of internal 
themes that develop as much on an intuitive as an intellectual level. The use of sound 
reinforces this thematic development. It can be understood for its internal content of words 
and sounds, for its relationships to individual picture images, for its function as a marking 
and defining device for different categories of picture. In this way the tyranny of a singular 
pre-planned experience is broken. The film is not anarchy— 1 do have reasons for the 
selection and placement of each shot. But the viewer is allowed to make his/her own way 
through the work, moving from internal response to external 
representation/illusion/reflection at will." 

Alternations of Perspection (1977); 16mm, color, sound, 22 minutes 
"The film came about conceptually as the reverse of a standard technique. Rather than 
shooting 8mm film and projecting it at 16mm, I shot the film as 16mm, slit it to 8mm and 
then blew it up again to 16mm frame by frame. The basic premise is the way in which the 
eye creates superimpositions out of rapidly alternating images. There are also some 
supplementary visual ideas— horizontal vs. vertical space, expanding or contracting the 
time through which a particular motion takes place, confusion of field/ground relationships. 
The soundtrack was physically altered to set up a series of impedances corresponding to the 
picture manipulation, ordered in a manner of rep)etition similar to the picture. As with the 
pictures, the sounds have some consistent similarities (i.e. a rhythmic quality) but are 
mainly interesting noises recorded over a two-year period." 

— notes by David Gerstein as reprinted in the Canyon Cinema Catalogue, exept as noted 

Part II: personal Favorites 

Film in Which There Appear Sprocket Holes, Edge Lettering, Dirt 
Particles, E tc. {\965-66), by Owen Land; 16mm, silent, 4 1/2 minutes 
"The overt content of this film, that is the visual image, was reduced to a cipher, a 
necessary adjunct to the real area of concern, which was the physical materiality of Uie film 



Program Notes 1994 

celluloid. With typical (Land) wit, the image picked to represent this zero level of content 
was loaded: a bizarre, full-color winking lady— the 'star' of Kodak's leader... This 
purportedly empty image became a symbol for (Land's) evolving concerns: the transfer of 
attention away from the image on film and towards the workings of the projections 
situation, which transfer allowed the audience to see previously hermetic materials— the dirt 
that had always been wiped away from them, the sprocket holes hidden away in the 
projection gate, the edge lettering crucial only to the film editor." 

— B. Ruby Rich, New Art Examiner 

Western History (1971), by Stan Brakhage; 16mm, color, silent, 8 minutes 

This is a comedy, tho' few will know the subject well enough to laugh; it meticulously 
represents the whole personal story of Westward Ho and Hoeing Man as He might attempt 
to remember it while watching a Pittsburgh basketball game. (SB) 

Otherwise Unexplained Fires (1976), by Hollis Frampton; 
silent, 18 minutes @ 24fps 

"The fog and wind in the cypresses at Land's end, a mechanical horse, Jane Brakhage's 
chickens, various fires, all combined in what is perhaps Frampton's most perfect and 
moving film to date. There is a strong mystery, something elusive and intriguing— for the 
fires seem to bum in some other world, the created world of the film for sure— like the 
fires of the gods with great intensity— heatless but not cold." 

—Carmen Vigil 

Solidarity (1973), by Joyce Weiland; 16mm, color, sound, 11 minutes 

"Joyce Weiland describes this film as one 'about a strike in which women are involved, but 
told in a very different way...' Although the political message exists on the soundtrack and 
a few readable placards, the film captures the essence of human anxiety and toil by 
revealing one portion only of the demonstrators' bodies: their feet... Women's feet in high- 
heeled shoes, walking together in unison, not in goose-step but as individuals will, clearly 
belonging to the same class, yet each bearing its individual stamp, carry layers and layers 
of meaning. The film maker's power of observation, isolating one single aspect of the 
whole, magnifies the enormous strength of the subject, and of the film." 

— Excerpt from Art & Cinema Vol. 4, No. 3 (1974) 

program notes by Maya Allison 



THE "I" IN QUESTION: RECENT FILMS 

Seca Presentation 

Hosted by Agnes Bourne & Dr. James Luebbers, 
Wednesday, October 5, 1994 Stone House, 2622 Jackson Street 

kemia (Part 3, 4 & 5) (1994), by silt (Keith Evans, Christian Farrell, Jeff Warrin); 

Super-8, color, silent, 7 minutes 
These three extracts occurred spontaneously in the midst of, or on the way toward, larger 
works. They are unplanned births conceived in a darkness where the night of the eye's 
heart and black river bottom soil meet, (silt) 



55 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Futility (1989), by Greta Snider; 16mm, b&w, sound, 9 minutes 

Futility's narrative is told in two disarmingly honest voice-overs, with images reprinted 
from found and archival footage. The first section is a woman's story about a pregnancy 
and subsequent difficulties in scheduling an abortion. The second is a moribund love letter 
read by the same narrator. The images are never an illustration of the voice-over, nor do 
they constitute a narrative of their own, but blow in and out randomly, constituting a kind 
of peripheral vision. The film's severe economy of means provides a startling contrast to 
the unity and characterological nature of the soundtrack. (GS) 

Chronicles Of a Lying Spirit By Kelly Gafcro/i (1992), by Cauleen Smith; 
16mm, color, sound, 5 1/2 minutes 

"For San Francisco artist Cauleen Smith, bonds with community are primary. Through her 
work, she attempts to make the invisible visible by challenging form, structure, and 
stereotype. In Chronicles of a Lying Spirit by Kelly Gabron, she artfully turns her rage into 
a celebration of African pride and beauty, exploring truth, fiction, and collective memory in 
a spirited autobiographical fantasy-as-history of Black slavery in America." 

—Post Modem Sisters 

Time Being (1991), by Gunvor Nelson; 16mm, b&w, silent, 8 minutes 

"This extraordinary film manages to craft a delicate portrait of her mother through time and 
refracted light." 

— Crosby McCloy 

Nocturne (1980/I989),hy Phil Solomon; 16mm, b&w, silent, 10 minutes 

Finding similarities in the pulses and shapes between my own experiments in night 
photography, lightning storms, and night bombing in World War II, I constructed the war 
at home. (PS) 

Mizu Shobai (Water Business) (1993), by Lana Lin; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

"Mizu Shobai explores cultural dislocation and shifting identity through the fragmented 
retelling of a geisha's imaginary voyage. Carried by the act of perception, the geisha drifts 
beyond the prescribed bounds of 'her place' in the world. The phrase, Mizu Shobai— 
literally 'water business,' the Japanese term for the entertainment world- encompasses 
multiple layers of meaning." 

—Ming Yuen S. Ma 

passage a racte (1993), by Martin Arnold; 16mm, b&w, sound, 12 minutes 

"Austrian filmmaker Martin Arnold's passage a I'acte dismantles a simple sequence 
consisting of five takes: a breakfast table with a family of four, almost idyllic in the original 
(the sequence comes from To Kill a Mockingbird with Gregory Peck, who incidentally 
remarked on Arnold's film with the words 'Nice sound, but didn't get it! ')" 

—Peter Tscherkassky 



^ 



Program Notes 1994 

THE AFRICAN SPIRIT IN CONTEMPORARY FILM & VIDEO 
Odun d4 Odun di - I: 

BLACK WOMEN'S SPIRIT 

October 6 through November 26, 1994 Bomani Gallery 

Odun d^ Oddn d6 (ah-DOON-deh, from the Yoruba new year's festival, translating as "the 
time of celebration has arrived") celebrates the African and African-diaspora spirit in art and 
features numerous events all over the city. Currently on view are major shows at Yerba 
Buena Gardens {Malcolm X & Hair Style Boards and Fantasy Coffins from Africa), the 
University Art Museum {Face of the Gods), Bomani Gallery {Women's Spirit), The 
Oakland Museum {25 Years of Collecting California) and nearly two dozen other galleries 
and schools throughout the Bay Area during October and November. 

The San Francisco Cinematheque is contributing four programs of films and videos co- 
curated by video artist Linda Gibson and Cinematheque Director Steve Anker: October 14; 
"African Diaspora & Re-Integration," October 16; "Imaging Identity: Fantasy & Memory," 
October 20; "Africa: Political Myth & Personal History." "Black Women's Spirit," co- 
presented by the San Francisco Cinematheque and the Bomani Gallery, this program of 
short pieces by women of African descent will repeat regularly during gallery hours. 

Voices of the Morning {1992), by Meena Nanji; video, color, sound, 15 minutes 

Kenyan-bom Meena Nanji searches for a balance between self-determination and tradition 
in this evocative exploration of the freedoms and constraints faced by Islamic women. 

Cycles {1989), by Zeinabu Davis; 16mm, b&w, sound, 17 minutes 
Waiting for your period— an experience familiar to every woman. This sense of 
anticipation is brilliantly captured in an exuberant performance piece with a multi-layered 
soundtrack of women's voices and music from Africa and the African diaspora. 

Edges {1993), Ayanna Udongo; video, color, sound, 5 minutes 

Good girl or bitch. In this taut video, the artist chooses between the options she sees for an 

African American woman in a man's world. 

The Body Beautiful {1991), by Ngozi Onwurah; 16mm, color, sound, 23 minutes 

Race and female sexuality are intertwined in this painfully honest reminiscence of mother- 
daughter relationships from Britain. Bi-racial filmmaker Onwurah considers the impact of 
her mother's double mastectomy on her mother, herself and the bond of devotion that they 
share. 

Odiin de Odun de films and videos supported in part by a grant from Bank of America. 

The Cinematheque would also like to thank the Walter I McBean Gallery of the San 
Francisco Art Institute, California Newsreel and New Langton Arts 

program notes by Linda Gibson 



57 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

REVISIONING THE TIME CLOSET: 
EMERGING FILMMAKERS OF THE 1970S 

CURATED BY David gerstein 

Sunday, October 9,1994SF Art Institute 

The 1970s, especially the latter half of the decade spilling over into the first years of the 
'80s, was a period of supposed malaise in the world of avzmt-garde film. If the only people 
you listened to were the better-known critics or you only followed the programs of the 
larger institutions, you would have thought that the only films worth seeing were being 
made by the artists who had already become established by the end of the '60s. The reality 
is that nothing could have been further from the truth. It is true that vehicles like Film 
Culture and Artforum weren't giving the same amounts of attention to younger filmmakers 
that they had proffered to artists like Mollis Frampton and Michael Snow. It's also true that 
museums like Albright Knox in Buffalo and the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh discovered 
that film exhibition would never become more than a small adjunct to their more popular 
activities. What these institutions didn't realize was that a whole new generation of 
filmmakers had emerged and were producing compelling new work. Contrary to the 
received wisdom of the time, the 1970s were an extraordinarily fertile time for filmmaking. 
Many of the artists who emerged during this period never received the attention they 
merited, and too much of their work has drifted into the limbo of unfashionablity and 
unavailability. 

As I began to prepare for my departure from the Bay Area, I found myself reminiscing 
about all the films I'd seen and dX\ the filmmakers I'd come to know during the past 20 
years. I realized that many of the films I remember from ten and fifteen years ago haven't 
been publicly visible since their original screenings. I also realized that few people in San 
Francisco shared my memory of the films and that much of the work was in danger of 
permanently disappearing from film's nascent history. 

Tonight's is the first of two programs that I hope will begin to cure our collective amnesia. 
(The second takes place on November 20th and features films by Peter Gidal, Linda 
Klosky, Gail Vachon, Michael Mideke and Richard Levine.) It took me a few weeks to get 
used to the idea that films from the 1970s could even qualify as being historical, but the 
contemporary world changes so quickly that they really didn't make sense to me in any 
other context. These shows only begin to scratch the surface of what I wanted to show. I 
hope there will be enough interest in rediscovering this and earlier eras of filmmaking to 
merit a regular historical component in the Cinematheque's exhibition schedule— there's no 
question that a body of work exists that deserves to be seen. (DG) 

Frames and Cages and S/;c«cAm (1976), by Martha Haslanger; 
16mm, color, sound, 13 minutes 

Linguistic theory, semiotics, and structuralism were major influences on filmmakers during 
the 1970s. Martha Haslanger was one of the first to try to explore the parallels between the 
building blocks of language and the mechanisms of film. Frames and Cages and Speeches, 
as its title suggests, is made up of "sentences" of images whose meanings are in a continual 
state of construction and deconstruction. 

"...—About frames and framing, cages and caging, speeches and speaking— an 
experimental film (a seven-act 'play') dealing with a medium's narration of us and our 
narration of it. FRAMES are developed according to the stories one believes in, CAGES 



Program Notes 1994 

re-form experience into expression, and SPEECHES translate what we know into a 
narration." (MH) 

Cheap Imitations— Part II: Madwomen; Part III: Point, Poinr (1979-81), 

by Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren; 16mm, b&w, sound (Part II); 16mm, 
color, silent (Part III), 16 minutes total 

AH of cinema is artifice, whether it's that of actors and sets pretending to be real life or the 
more direct manipulations that experimental filmmakers use to shape their art. Friedman 
and Weinbren try to get behind the scenes, especially in Cheap Imitations, to expose the 
hidden mechanisms that shape our viewing experience. Ranging from the way in which an 
image is shot to the physical limitations imposed by photography's chemical base, the film 
reminds us that all art is a process of selection, omission and disguise. 

One concern of these pieces is an attempt to reduce cinema— to bring it to the same level as 
other (art) forms, and to work against its tendency to contain and subdue whatever it makes 
use of. Each section of Cheap Imitations is based on a particular source, ranging from 
Hawks' Red River to a book by the 19th century psychologist and amateur photographer 
Hugh Diamond. The questions raised are about art-making, madness, genius, obsession, 
femininity... (RF & GW) 

Bellevue Film (1977-78), by Gail Camhi; 16mm, b&w, silent, 20 1/4 minutes 

"How do we see the world in which we live? How do we take our perception of what's 
going on around us and transform it into creative experience? These fundamental questions 
form the background oi Bellevue Film. On the surface it's a straightforward document of a 
physical therapy ward. Or is it a diary of time shared with fellow patients? Where is the 
personal and private, and where does public expression take over? These questions are 
deceptively simple, and Gail Camhi 's film offers us deceptively straightforward answers. 

"{Bellevue Film) is just what its title says it is: 'A look at physical therapy, having profited 
from it.' 

"Russian Formalism associates art with 'making strange.' Gail Camhi seems to be doing 
just the reverse— showing how ordinary, say, amputees and their stumps and artificial 
limbs are, making them familiar and banal presences rather than fearfully charged objects. 
Yet by removing (to some extent) myth and other forms of fantasy from a hospital ward, 
she may actually be inviting the aesthetic imagination to relocate itself elsewhere in the 
film..." 

—Jonathan Rosenbaum, "Declaration of Independents," Village Voice 

diary of an autistic child! part two/ragged edges of the hollow {19S3), 

by Edwin Cariati; 16mm, color, silent, 6 minutes 

Autobiography is a common subject for filmmakers, as are films about family members 
(parents, grandparents, children, etc.). What's less common is attempts to see the world 
through someone else's sight. The visual dislocations, flashes of perception and 
continually shifting field of focus might seem like familiar territory but in Edwin Cariati 's 
hands these devices take on a poignant immediacy that goes far beyond style and 
mannerism. 

Master and slave lose sight of roles and embrace in copulative ecstasy, the edges of the 
hollow yearn to become the matter from which they have been released. Feeble memory 
prohibits recollection of nothingness dooming anti-image to envy the apparent stability of 
the photoworld. Photorealms, possessing the power of gravity, bend reality to the son 
while eschewing the holy ghost. The anti-image struggles to achieve escape velocity but 



59 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

fails. Unresolved tensions triumph and lead to a netherworld search for the irretrievable 
where will o'the wisp veils delude the focused seeker. The autistic child views multiple 
realities, as interchange is manifested in the hollow where light and darkness unfold. (EC) 

Horse Science Series (1977-79), by Rob Danielson; 16mm, color, silent, 45 minutes 

"Rob Danielson is an explorer, a man trying to understand the mysterious and strange 
realm where physics and phenomena intersect in a unified theory of thought and feeling. 
Today he conducts this search in the more immediate arena of public-access television. 
Horse Science Series comes from a time when it was still possible to pursue private goals 
that were justified by their own visual and intellectual accomplishments. 

"We are presented in the Horse Science Series with an integrated view or perhaps with 
thoughtful and lovingly compiled evidence of the filmmaker's perceptions of the essence of 
our world. He exhibits number in its simplicity, the celestial mechanics of the earth and the 
heavens, the changes in season, the wonders of coincidence, and the harmony of things. 
To us it seems that the filmmaker's ecstasies of sight and comprehension are not hermetic 
but are available to any perceptive viewer. They are intense, yes. Who of us finds this 
intensity in our daily lives? Yet these intensities have been crafted over a period of years to 
be presented to us in what afterwards seems like a lightning instant. 

"And while the films are personal, the elements with which this articulated world is made 
manifest never moves from a simple, everwo/man existence: a night sky, a frozen lake, a 
city street, a country field, an open window— all are within our experience. Like the 
scientist, the filmmaker's vision ranges from the very small world we tend to overlook in 
our daily lives to the very large world which because of its scale we also tend to ignore. 
His camera records the subtle motions of dust on a fioor, leaves in a deserted street, and the 
subtle motions of clouds, stars, and seasons." 

—Thomas Gaudynski & Diana David 

program notes by David Ger stein 



THE AFRICAN SPIRIT IN CONTEMPORARY FILM & VIDEO 

O d u n d e O d un d e — II: 

AFRICAN DIASPORA & R E - I N T E G R A T I ON 
CO- Curator, Linda Gibson in person 

Thursday, October 14, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Tonight's, "African Diaspora & Re-Integration" conveys through six films and videotapes 
senses of "otherness" by the artists and their subjects to the dominant American culture: 
standing apart while affirming their right to belong on their own terms, acknowledging the 
strengths of their now-distant African cultural heritage. 

Hairpiece: A Film for Nappyheaded /'eo/;/e(1985), by Ayoka Chenzira; 
16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

This lively animation examines issues of self-identity faced by black women living in a land 
where beauty is based, in part, on hair that "blows in the wind" and "lets you be free." The 



Program Notes 1994 

pulsing score and witty narration survey the history of "beauty" rituals (and the 
occasionally embarrassing consequences) devised by Black women to attain this 
unattainable goal. 

Chronicles of a Lying Spirit by Kelly Ga*ro« (1992), by Cauleen Smith; 
16mm, color, sound, 5 1/2 minutes 

The contrast between who one is, and who one is assumed to be, is at the core of this 
delicate montage of images and layered voices. Working at the outer edge erf" perception, the 
film draws the viewer into a world where self-identity can only be maintained through the 
constant confrontation of social stereotypes. 

Cycles (1989), by Zeinabu Davis; 16mm transfered to video, b&w, sound, 17 minutes 

Waiting for your period— an experience familiar to every woman. This sense of 
anticipation is brilliantly captured in an exuberant performance piece with a multi-layered 
soundtrack of women's voices and music from Africa and the African diaspora. 

Home Away from Home (1994), by Maureen Blackwood; 
35mm transferred to video, color, sound, 8 minutes 

Immigrant and societal interpretations of cultural integration collide in this sensitive drama 
about an African immigrant in England. The stresses she expiates through a traditional 
African art form, and the tensions that arise from that form of expression, are explored on 
the personal, family and community levels. 

X: The Baby Cinema (1993), by Robert Banks; 16mm, color, sound, 4 1/2 minutes 

The transformation of Malcolm X from a leader and thinker into a marketable icon is the 
focus of this pointed indictment of our consumer culture. An animation tour-de-force, the 
film confronts the substitution of images for substance, slogans for understanding. 

Planet Brooklyn (1992), by Regi Allen; video, color, sound, 30 minutes 

This impressionistic journey through a New York City borough explores the African 
diasporan cultures that co-exist in a microcosm of the world. Mixing experimental 
techniques with the neighborhoods and individuals, Allen affectionately captures the moods 
and rhythms of this unique community. 

program notes by Linda Gibson 



THE AFRICAN SPIRIT IN CONTEMPORARY FILM & VIDEO 
Odun de Odun de - III 

IMAGING IDENTITY: FANTASY & MEMORY 

Sunday, October 16, 1994 SF Art Istitute 

Part III, "Imaging Identity: Fantasy & Memory," explores the grey areas between fantasies 
of self and fantasies of collective memory. 

Picking Tribes (1988), by Saundra Sharp; 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes 

Using vintage photographs and watercolor animation. Picking Tribes takes a look at a 
daughter of the '40s as she struggles to find an identity between her African American and 
Native Americam heritages. 



61 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Voices Of The Morning (1993), by Meena Nanji; video, color, sound, 14 minutes 

Voices Of The Morning explores the psychological ramifications of a woman growing up 
under orthodox Islamic law. Resisting traditional definitions of a woman's role in society 
as only a dutiful servant, Nanji's autobiographical piece depicts her struggle to find a space 
amidst the web of necessities imposed upon her by restrictive societal conventions. 

Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite O/ Piiny»cafto/i( 1990), by Barbara McCullough; 
16mm film transferred to video, b&w, sound, 4 minutes 

An original and visionary work, this film links the present with the ancestral past. A 
graceful young African American woman emerges from the ruins of a crumbling building. 
She disrobes and slowly approaches a sacred offering place. Fully unclothed, she sits on 
the ground zmd positions objects representing her deteriorating environment and female 
fertility. In a final act of purification, she dispels the ills and frustrations rampant in her 
body and soul. 

Black Body (1992), by Thomas Harris; video, color, sound, 5 minutes 

Black Body is a harsh meditation on the contradictory values projected on to black bodies 
in American culture; they exist as both desired and feared, abject and powerful. The "black 
body" is a body whose surface reflects fears and repressed desires. Harris presents it as a 
site of ideological struggle, a surface which is simultaneously eroticized and denigrated. 

Coffee Colored Children (1988), by Ngozi Onwurah; 
16mm, color/b&w, sound, 15 minutes 

This lyrical, unsettling film conveys the experience of children of mixed racial heritage. 
Suffering from the aggression of racist harassment, a young girl and her brother attempt to 
wash their skin white with scouring powder. Told through a complex weave of images and 
sounds. Coffee Colored Children is a testimony to the profound effects of racism and the 
struggle for self-definition. 

Asiam (1982), by Toney Merritt; 16mm, b&w, silent, 6 minutes 

Bay Area filmmaker Toney Merritt has been making films and curating independent film 
since the 1970s. His 2-part series, "Black Experiments In Film" was presented at the S.F. 
Cinematheque in June, 1983. Ctf Asiam: "A look at how I perceive people sometimes see 
me, and I them." (TM) 

Dreaming Rivers ( 1988), by Martina Attille & Sankofa Film and Video Collective; 
16mm, color, sound, 35 minutes 

Evoking the post-colonial experience of Caribbean immigrants in Britain, Dreaming Rivers 
presents an impressionistic rendering of a middle-aged Black woman who reflects on the 
past, present and future from her death bed. Attending her are three young people who 
discuss the loss of the matriarch as a metaphor for their Caribbean identity that is 
fragmented with the passing of each generation. 

program notes by Linda Gibson 



m 



Program Notes 1994 

THE AFRICAN SPIRIT IN CONTEMPORARY FILM & VIDEO 
Odun de Odun de - /V.- 
AFRICA: POLITICAL MYTH 
& PERSONAL HISTORY 

Co- CURATOR, LINDA GIBSON IN PERSON 

Thursday, October 20, 1994 Center for the Arts 

This final program, "Africa: Political Myth & Personal History," is subtly layered personal 
essay films reflecting on colonialism's legacy, each maker's search for his father 
(biological and spiritual), and the search for truths behind received cultural myths. 

Lumumba: Death of a Prophet (1992), by Raoul Peck; 

16mm, color, sound, 69 minutes 
A combination of private autobiography and public biography, Lumumba is a powerful 
portrait of a visionary leader. Taking the form of a meditation on a series of images, 
photographs, interviews, home movies and newsreels. Peck deconstructs the 
straightforward narrative of most film biographies and presents instead a nonchronological 
weave of both past and present. Beyond a mere documentation of Lumumba's bloody rise 
and fall, this is a study of how his legacy has been distorted, even erased, by politicians, 
the media and time itself. 

"A film essay in the tradition of Night and Fog, Sans Soleil and The Sorrow and the Pity, 
this work explores how any image represses the multiple stories surrounding it, how the 
present captured in photographs is always in a sense the hostage of history's winner." 

— California Newsreel 

"Lumumba triumphs on two levels: as a pungent exploration of a nightmarish epoch in 
modem Africa and a cogent comment on the very activity of sifting through the past." 

—Jan Stuart, New York Newsday 

Allah Tantou (1991), by David Achkar; 16mm, color, sound, 62 minutes 
This film is a personal exploration of the filmmaker's father and the brutal torture he 
suffered under the post-colonial Sekou Toure regime. Like Peck, Achkar is deeply 
distrustful of the power of images and refuses to construct a single, authoritative narrative 
in space or time. Rather, he combines fragments of contrasting, sometimes contradictory, 
texts into a resonant collage of home movies, newsreels, journals and his own dramatized 
imaginings of his father's prison experiences. 

Every time you look at a picture you have a past that comes back to you. Under some 
circumstances, you have to imagine your own nostalgia. Sometimes you create an image of 
your past that doesn't exist. You always have a compulsion to recreate things, but at the 
same time, the memory is still based on some real image. (DA) 

program notes by Todd Wagner 



& 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

OPEN S CREEN IN G 
Hosted by irina leimbacher 

Sunday, October 21, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Tonight we resume our regular Of)en Screenings, a tradition dating back more than twenty 
years. Bring recently completed films and videos to share and discuss. 

Fallen by Russell Nelson; Super 8, 2 minutes 

Anti-Ship Control (the short version), by John Nape; VHS, 1 1/2 minutes 

Conversation Killers, by Andrew Ching; Super-8, 1 minute 

Psychological , by Kade & Kuhn; VHS, 3 minutes 

Tom R, by Thomas Richardson; 16mm, 9 minutes 

The Lip Side, by Georgina Corzine; VHS, 4 minutes 

Mother Tongue, by Irina Leimbacher; 16mm, 4 minutes 

Ex Machina, by Thomas Richardson; 16mm, 30 minutes 



NEW POSITIONS FOR WOMEN IN PORN 

Pendra In Person 

Sunday, October 23, 1994 SF Art Institute 

"Where is woman's sexuality in our culture? Is sexuality in our culture an inscription from 
a cultural source, a replication of the political forces with a strategic interest to suppress 
women? Woman's sexuality has been either misrepresented or not represented at all. There 
is an ideological dictatorship of the politics of woman's pleasure, not only in cultural norms 
and the national arts funding institutions, but in such unlikely cousins as the pom industry, 
the fundamentalist establishment, and the sexual-conservative feminist community. 
Developing a Woman's Erotic Language in Porn would start a radical raw look at 
pornography both as a repressive force and a liberating tool to be used by feminist women. 
A night of pom with different visual representations of women, from normal pom 
examples to meta pom and finally introducing the audience to the new emerging women- 
produced pom. 

"Pendra produces the successful Bad Girls Feminist Sex Magic: Multi Media Women 
Artists Developing a Woman's Erotic Language, in Toronto, Seattle and now in 
Vancouver. Pendra has been on radio in San Francisco's KlOl with her show 
Metaphysical Fridays, and now in Vancouver on radio LG73 and CKNW as Pendra the 
SEX ASTROLOGER. She is a seasoned performer/playwright on stage in Toronto, 
Vancouver, San Francisco and Seattle. Pendra is maker of pom; she also belongs to 
Feminists for Free Expression." 

—Pendra, New Sexual Positions for Women in Porn 



Program Notes 1994 

LUTHER PRICE: FROM THE HEART AND GUT 

Luther price In Person 

Thursday, October 27, 1994 CerUer for the Arts 

'The currentiy Mr. Luther Price has been writing poetry and making films under different 
names and guises since 1987." 

/ Want You; video, color, sound, 3 minutes 

Music video inspired by / Want You by Olivia Newton John. Play it LOUD. 

*1 knew I was making a film not a video. A prelude to every thing... the music is very 
sexual. I love Love and Sex. 1 love to be embarassed. It's about lost boundaries. This 
work was my first sexual encounter with film medium— pop!" 

—Luther Price in conversation 

Jellyfish Sandwich ( 1991-94); 8mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

Sodom (1989-94); 8mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

Viewing Sodom is a visceral experience of... passion and intensity... Some of Sodom's 
more virulent critics have leveled charges of homophobia against the film... That is, gay 
sexuality as an institution that promotes relationships of power and use, whose acts result 
in disease and death... given the tragedy of AIDS and the specter of a re-emerging an 
unspoken mandate that the portrayal of gay male secularity in film reflect a positive, aware 
self-image. Sodom violates this mandate and thus confuses the issue. Relationships of 
power pervade. The sex portrayed is unsafe. AIDS may be alluded to or not, and if it is, it 
is in an ambiguous and unsettling fashion... The 'Tacts" of what we see are for the most 
part clear: we are viewing pornography made for public consumption pre-AIDS. The 
'fiction" that emerges from the manipulation of the material is another matter... How this 
"found" imagery is bent by the will of the artist profoundly affects this shift from fact to 
fiction. Luther Price is ver>' much the alchemist, transmitting dross into cinematic gold. 

— Michael Wallin, In Defense of Sodom: A Gut Response 

In BIWH (1991-94); 8mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

the sky is grey, burgundy and white. 

the cities burning. . . the bridges will fall i said. . . 

hot with flames we all knew 

in pinkish twilight we could see 

walk not run we heard from before 

splash sidewalks concrete. walk quickly, not run. . . 

— Luther Price, excerpt from a poem by the same name 

Bottle Can (B.C.) (1991-93); 8mm, color, sound, 20 minutes 

Watching the Films of Luther Price can be like cauterizing a wound. Obstacle courses of 
feigned innocence, purposeful misinformation and true faith, they provide us with 
revelations that tax our patience and fuel our imaginations. Bottle Can is the second part of 
a trilogy whose other companion parts are not yet project-able like so much of Price's vast 
unseen oeuvre. The trilogy is ostensibly about "changeless-ness" in light of successively 
changing icons. And the end of the world as it would have occurred (contrary to 
Nicodemus) in the 1940s. The first part of the trilogy is entitled /// Black and White. The 
final part of the ixWogy , Jellyfish Sandwich, is about getting the story fifth-hand. As Price 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

describes it. Jellyfish Sandwich blames the bombing of Pearl Harbor on the Chinese and 
depicts the ensuing battle as a football game. A film about ignorance. Sandwiched between 
these two films is the rocket ship drama. Bottle Can alternately referred to as B.C., 
indicating a time before the Christian Messiah but presumably in some time dimension that 
allows simultaneous residency in the 1940s. Bottle Can is concerned with evacuation in 
every sense of the word. "All your elimination will be regular" intones the hypnotic 
suggestion/command of the soundtrack as we rattle through space in some tin can jalopy 
spacecraft in search of the innermost petals of the Empyrean circles. The film is about 
"Leaving the spectacle, leaving the planet... clowns in space. In order to leave behind your 
history you must strip away layers and layers of yourself to achieve weightlessness. Stay 
thin." (quoted from presskit)) 

Run (1994); Super-8, 13 minutes 

a run day. . .THE EDGE ELECTRIC AGAINST INHNITY REVELAED EVERYTHING. 
IT WAS THE MOMENT BEFORE I WAS BORN THE MOMENT BEFORE I DIED. 
(LP) 

EruptionI Erection (1990); 8mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

icons sister mother cum towel 

hardons girlfriends brother a lipsinker lisper 

fancy time a bend over boy a beam of light 

fancy day a strong holy rock a reserretion 

joyous moment a rock on abigerrection 

bowl movement a plunger a sissy spanking 

snot a butter fly heaven above 

santa a noisy napper belly button fuzz 

—Luther Price, from a poem by the same name 

Me Gut No Dog DOG (1994 work in progress); 8mm, color, sound, circa 30 minutes 

program notes by Maya Allison 



MAGNIFIED MYSTERIES: 
THE MUSIC OF CARL STONE 

CARL STONE IN PERSON 

Saturday, October, 29 1994 SF Art Institute 

... he became so enamored of the beauty of the sample that he just had to take it apart, to 
discover what it was that made it so great, all the while creating something else equally 
lovely. 

— Jac Zinder, LA Weekly 
-Tonight's Program - 

MAE YAO (Part 1) is, as the name implies, the opening section of a longer (in fact 
evening-length work) Mae Yao, which was commissioned by the Art of Spectacle Festival 
in Los Angeles in 1984. This section uses the multiplicative technique of layering, wherein 
simple sound sources (in this case various bells) are cloned and summed, the results in turn 



Program Notes 1994 

cloned and summed, until the final sounds represent masses of over 32,000 elements. 
(CS) 

Easyout (1971), by Pat O'Neill; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 

Has to do with a consideration of one possible conceptual model for human existence; that 
of a primitive form of yardchair, upon which sits The Creator, impassively observing the 
inexorable flow of His mountains. The name "Easyout" is derived from a commercially 
available bolt and stud-extracting tool, whose function seemed strangely parallel to that of 
the film. (PO) 

Prefaces (1981), by Abigail Child; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 
The rapid-fire cross cutting of the images is extended to the construction of the sound track, 
which is also a dense panoply of fragments. What results is an impressive musique 
concrete composition, a collage of "femde" 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 

DONG IL JANG was composed in 1982 and is adapted this evening for Macintosh 
computer. (CS) 

- Intermission - 

passage d facte (1993), by Martin Arnold; 16mm, black and white, sound, 12 minutes 
... dismantles a simple sequence consisting of five takes: a breakfast table with a family of 
four, almost idyllic in the original (the sequence comes from To Kill a Mockingbird with 
Gregory Peck, who incidentally remarked on Arnold's film with the words "Nice sound, 
but didn't get it!"). Using a small gesture by the father, passage a I'acte uncovers the 
authoritarian center of the middle-class family. It shows how the authority of the father is 
directed at the son, accepted and emulated by him, and then directed at the sister, who in 
turn— in relation to the father— takes up the same position as the mother. 

— Peter Tscherkassky 

KAMIYA BAR (excerpt), is once again, part of a work that, in full form, takes one 
evening to perform. All the sounds are from the urban soundscape of Tokyo, collected 
while I was living there with the aid of a grant from the Asian Cultural Council. This 
section uses radio and television textures, and a performance of a group of street musicians 
called 'chindonya.'(CS) 

The musical paths of CARL STONE project the listener into the microcosm of Japanese 
sound. From the chaos emerge vital arcane phrases which become fixed, modified and 
processed by the electronics and computers. They are compacted melodies in an extremely 
vital, violent, energetic stream to follow at high volume. The major challenge to Stone is to 
succeed in rendering extraordinary that which, initially, is not. 

— Domenico De Gaetano, liner notes to CENTURY XXI 

Film -Wipe -Film (1983), by Paul Glabicki; 16mm, black and white, sound, 28 minutes 

The film is a journal (drawn by hand over a period of four years), opera, and journey 
through 100 animated sequences which are joined and transformed by 1(X) film wipes in 
continuous succession. The film is a synthesis of both abstract and figurative imagery, 
analysis and commentary, writing and multiple languages, multi-layered sounds and music, 
lyrical and contrapuntal relationships, and elaborate animated compositions. The film plays 
with thresholds of change between intuition and analytical thinking, as well as between 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

what is read or heard as "figurative" or "abstract". The various animation sequences range 
from pure geometric abstractions to symbols, metaphors and icons (boxing ring, car, chair, 
airplanes, steps). 

The film is not computer generated or assisted in any way. (PG) 

An uj>-to-date Carl Stone catalog with playlists from his Imaginary Landscape radio show 
is available online: WELLgopher (gopher.well.com), in the Communications, KPFA 
section. 

If you're Web-enabled, the URL is 
gopher: //gopher, well.com/ 1 1 s/Communications/KPFA/cstone 

curated by Eric Theise 
<verve@cyberwerks.com> http:llcyberwerks.com . 



SUBVERTING THE LIBIDINOUS: 
NEW WORKS BY WOMEN 

CO-CURATOR, MICHELLE HANDELMAN IN PERSON 

Sunday, October 30, J 994 SF Art Institute 

Loredana (1994), by Salome Milstead; 16mm, b&w, sound, 7 minutes 

Djune Idexa (1994), by Salome Milstead; 16mm, b&w, sound, 9 minutes 

Djune Idexa is a love poem that falls somewhere between desire and biology. There is 
clarification of purpose when one gets down to animal instincts, so the narrator states, and 
the animal reference here becomes the oldest living creature: the beetle. Images of a woman 
covering her body with pictures of gears, insects and kissing creatures are optically printed 
with the effects of split screen, slow motion, and image degeneration to create a break in 
time perception, frame reference and the objectifying of the object of her desire once more. 

Whether it be the cockroach or the June bug, Salome explores the nature of the beast and 
the properties of love, desire and sex with an eternal and lyrical reverence. 

The Color Of Love (1994), by Peggy Ahwesh; 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes 

Inspired by the nudie films of '60s filmmaker Doris Wishman, Peggy Ahwesh has taken an 
old pom film and instilled it with new life through manual film manipulation and optical 
printing. At times both erotic and grotesque, the humor lies in her choice of film featuring 
two women, one man and 1 very sharp knife engaged in an obviously very fake gore 
scene. In the pom film we see the women mbbing blood over the chest of the dead man 
and as Ahwesh "rubs" decomposing colors of film over the women the final piece becomes 
both a burial and crowning of beautiful flowers over a lost moment in porn history. 
Psychedelic and lustful, it reminds one of a Gustav Klimt painting where the lovers 
disappear and reappear in the colorful mix. 

A Lot of Fun For The Evil One (1994), by M.M. Serrd& Maria Beatty; 
video, color, sound, 14 minutes 

In the words of Craig Baldwin,"It's Super Hot! A proud film that celebrates sexual 
desire — where the energy never drops and the camera never slops . . . Absolutely 



Program Notes 1994 

uncompromised." M.M. Serra and Maria Beatty have taken the time, and their cumulative 
years of expertise, to light, shoot and edit this sweet gem of sexual domination. The John 
Zom soundtrack adds to the intensity with a dense and aggressive sound mix that drives 
this piece straight into your groin. A styhstically sophisticated piece of true erotica. Power 
tripping never felt so good. 

Taking Back The Dolls (1993), by Leslie Singer; video, b&w, sound, 45 minutes 

Leslie Singer's taken pixel vision and used it in its best form: a faux cinema \6ht6 in a 
comedic send up of Russ Meyer's classic exploitation film. Valley of the Dolls. A story of 
sex, drugs and media manipulaticxi in the high fashion world, we meet an unlikely group of 
depraved wannabes who tellingly get what they deserve. Warhol, Edie, Roger Vadim and 
all the vacuous pop icons and image makers of the 60s come to mind; however, the 
Nirvana soundtrack brings it right into the 90s confirming that some things never change. 
No, fame isn't what it's cracked up to be, and even sex and drugs and delirium can't save 
you from yourself. 

Co-Curated by Steve Anker & Michelle Handehnan. 

program notes by Michelle Handelman 



ARTICULATE FLESH 

Thursday, November 3, 1994 Roxie Cinema, 3117 16th Street 

Giving voice to one's body has long been the territory of experimental film and video 
work. The range of exploration is evidenced in these recent works by Northern Califomian 
makers. From basic issues of self-representation to painful re-examination of family and 
self, the body is explored here as catalyst, reminder, albatross, power agent, transformer, 
and nurturer. 

Virus (1994),by Stuart Gaffney 

Naked to the WorW(1994),by Jon Shenk 

Aqueduct (1994), by Rebecca Ormond 

Tom 's Flesh (1994), by Jane Wagner & Tom di Maria 

skin-es-the-si-a (1994), by Vicky Funari 

Mother Load ( 1994), by Betsy Weiss 

Isabella Holding a Pot o/ 5a«7( 1994), by Jennifer Gentile 

The Flesh is Willing {1994), by Todd Werow 

Programmed by the Film Arts Festival Committee. 
A co-presentation of the 10th Annual Film Arts Festival and the SF Cinematheque. 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

BECOMING AMERICAN: 
A KALEIDOSCOPE FOR THE 90'S 

Curator, Lynn Kirby In Person 

Thursday, November 10, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Welcome to America! 

Being and becoming American are elusively definable. Tonight's program — a part of 
Califomia College of Arts and Crafts' symposium "Immigration and Cultural Identity" 
(November 6-12) — explores a multitude of American groups with experiences ranging 
from border crossings by sea and land, to conscious and unconscious "assimilation," to the 
passing on of an oral history of struggle on this continent. Intersecting personal and 
familial identities with cultural and pohtical contexts, these stories all aspire to reconcile and 
reflect on multiple aspects of being and becoming American. 

ASSIMILATION/a simulation (1992), by Windy Chien; 
16nmi, color, sound, 15 minutes 

"Assimilation, best practiced blissfully and blindly, is the compliant response to a system 
of cultural domination." (WC) 

Challenging the assumption of "successful" assimilation, Chien dissects two generations of 
women's conscious and unconscious assimilation and examines the pressure of the exotic 
Asian woman stereotype as seen through male eyes. The voice-over comments, "It's easier 
to deal with extemalized racism and sexism than the results of those distortions 
internalized." Chien writes, "By speaking both within and about the film, the filmmaker 
asserts its very existence as a product of tfie empowering process both she and Janine (the 
protagonist) have begun. This is a film in three parts, reality and commentary built in. A 
simulafion. A process. A poem." 

Mnemonic Study: Ellis Island Fragments (1985-6), by Joel Katz; 
Super-8, color/b&w, sound, 35 minutes 

The collaged narrative fragments are all snatches of memories linked by the common 
experience of entering America through EUis Island. These are the experiences of many 
different groups of people, immigrating from Europe, the Soviet Union, Greece, and South 
Africa. They speak not of a particular cultural identity, but instead of the common isolating 
experience of passing through Ellis Island to get to a foreign land of promise and 
opportunity. The film layers oral histories taped in various Senior Centers around New 
York, with Thomas Edison archival footage, and images shot on Elhs island before its 
massive restorations in the late eighties, creating "a ruminative study of the intersections of 
history, site and memory." (JK) 

Part 4: La Migra, 

from The Mexican Tapes: A Chronicle of Life Outside the Law 

(1984-85), by Louis Hock; video, color, sound, 27 minutes 

Hemmed in by beach front condominiums, local business and the Pacific Coast Highway, 
the Analos Apartments in Solana Beach, San Diego formed a colony of 100 undocumented 
Mexicans. I lived in this environment for two and a half years, video taping a chronicle of 
their lives. In the Fall of 1981, the people were driven out of the apartments by 
redevelopment of the property and an intense series of raids by the U.S. Immigration 
authorities. The taping continued as I followed community members back to their Mexican 



Program Notes 1994 

homes. The resulting Mexican Tapes are a narrative of three families during this period and 
the years following. (LH) 

This segment focuses on the relation between the Mexicans and la migra, the border patrol. 
Hock portrays how the threat of deportation and moving across borders is an integral 
rhythm in the daily lives of these Mexicans living in America. He also points out the blatant 
racism and discrimination of la migra against Mexican-Americans. Hock writes, "Mexican 
people have a heritage of migration that has moved back and forth across the border, 
building and feeding this nation for more than a century. Their presence is not a luxury. 
They are part of a system of international interdependence that structures the U.S. both 
fmancially and culturally." 

One of a Kind ( 1994 Premiere) , by Patrick Yip; video, color, sound, 15 minutes 
Yip bombards us with a cultural assault: disparate images of Chinese- Americans and 
mainstream American pop culture and media "history." The voice-over narrative stream 
observes, "When you're in the place you have to kind of follow the customs. That's the 
way it is." Segments of Chinese and English are spoken in tandem. The TV shouts, "What 
is your name?" and "Race with me!" Yip comments, "This piece is a portrait of a young 
Chinese immigrant facing the pressure of living in America today. He examines his view of 
the society he sees around him and his own cultural mixture." 

Itam Hakim, Hopiit (1985), by Victor Masayesva, Jr. ; 
video, color, sound, 58 minutes (unsubtitled) 

Itam Hakim, Hopiit translates directly as "We, someone, the Hopi People." It is the story 
of the Bow Clan as told in archaic Hopi by Ross Macaya, an elder of a storytelling clan, the 
Tobacco. The structures of the story and of time reveal a great deal about the Hopi culture 
and the oral tradition of storytelling. Masayesva writes, "It is the process of becoming, this 
journey to the heart of the North American Continent that is Macaya's story." As a Hopi 
videomaker working with a Native American crew, Masayesva is attempting to provide 
representations to counter the widespread appropriation of Native American cultures and 
experiences. The result is a meditative visualization of Hopi Philosophy and prophecy that 
eschews Western notions of "interpretation" and documentary practice, opting instead to 
"tell" its tale quietly with grace, reverence, and fluid majesty. According to Michelle 
Valladares, "Masayesva believes that one film or one individual filmmaker cannot make a 
difference but as a community of Indian or indigenous filmmakers we can be an 
international conscience, demanding accountability." 

"I have told you alot. You have learned alot from me, and learned the stories. These stories 
are going to be put down so the children will remember them. The children will be seeing 
this and improving on it. This is what will happen. This will not end anywhere." 

— Ross Macaya in Itam Hakim, Hopiit (1985) 

program notes by Carrie Gray 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

ARTIST AS FILMMAKER: 
ROBERT FRANK'S NEW YORK 

C*EST VRAI & Last supper 

Saturday. November 12, 1994 SF Art Institute 

"I became more occupied with my own life, with my own situation, instead of traveling 
and looking at the cities and the landsoqje. And I think that brought me to move away from 
the single image and begin to film, where I had to tell a story. And I guess I most often 
choose to tell my own story, or part of it, or make up some story that is related to my life." 

— Robert Frank 

Robert Frank was bom on November 9, 1924, in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1941 and 1942 
he ^prenticed to a photographer, and in March 1947 he came to the United States, earning 
a living as a commercial photographer for //a;pcr'5flazflar. Life, The New York Times, 
Fortune, Look, Esquire, Glamour, and Advertising Age until 1958. In the 1950s Frank's 
work began to appear in galleries and books, and by 1955 his reputation had developed to 
the point where he became the first European to be awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 
1955 and 1956 Frank traveled across the United States in an old Ford, taking the 
photographs that were to be compiled into his 1958 book. The Americans. Although 
Frank's notoriety as a still photographer was sealed with the release of The Americans, it 
came at the end of that career. In 1958 he declared a series of photographs taken from the 
window of the 42nd Street bus to be his final photographic project. It was in 1959 that his 
career as a filmmaker began with Pull My Daisy, a collaboration with Alfred Leslie and 
loosely based on the third act of Jack Keroac's The Beat Generation. Through the 
intervening decades, film for Robert Frank has become more of a vehicle for personal 
exploration than for storytelling. 

"Robert Frank's strategies as a filmmaker have helped establish an interesting dichotomy 
between his self-refiexive vision and his still photography. As an autobiographical vision 
emerged in his photography, he bisected his own perception of personal life by addressing 
the world around him through the avant-garde cinema. As his films became increasingly 
personal, zooming in on the intricacies of his own relationships, he reinvented his 
conception of this world through still photography. For Frank, these two worlds have now 
become linked as he continues the struggle to break down the barriers between his art and 
his personal life. In this way he reveals an interior vision that is universal in the questions it 
asks about everyday life, creating an aesthetic tension which propels his audience into the 
work." 

— Philip Brookman, Curator of Photography and Media Arts, 
The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. 

"In recent decades, as Frank has looked backward and forward at the same time, constantly 
recycling his own images— from photograph to film, from video to video print-rubbing 
them together for sparks of new meaning, he has hammered out an original emd nakedly 
autobiographic art. . . Because it has been a life full of tragedy — his daughter died in a plane 
crash; his son has been in and out of psychiatric hospitals— the art is often riddled with 
anger and grief, and with self-doubts that question the reasons for its very existence. . . [It] 
is often crude, unafraid to make an emotional mess. But at least no one would ever claim 
that Robert Frank's clock has stopped." 

— Richard B. Woodward, The New York Times Magazine (Sept. 4, 1994) 



1^ 



Program Notes 1994 



Frank on New York: 



"Never have I experienced so much in one week as here. I feel as if I am in a film. Life 
here is very different than in Europe. Only the moment counts; nobody seems to care what 
he'll do tomorrow." 

— Robert Frank at age 22, in a letter to his parents from New York City ( 1947) 

"I think in New York it's really important for you to believe in yourself, for you never to 
give up this belief. And in New York it's sort of easy to reinforce that, because artists are 
egotistical people. They really think about their work, their imagination, their dreams. They 
put it down; they are able to show that So New York is very strong; it's very powerful to 
reinforce that feeling and to make it even stronger." 

— Robert Frank, interview by Marlaine Glicksman, Film Comment (1988) 

Last Supper (1992); 16mm, color, sound, 52 minutes 

Set in an open lot in Harlem, Last Swpper juxtaposes scenes of a writer's friends and 
family waiting for the author at a book signing party with video footage of neighborhood 
residents carrying on with everyday life. As in many of Frank's films, there are threads of 
autobiography and self examination woven into the narrative. Frank's anxieties regarding 
the artist's engagement (or lack thereof) with family, friends, and the art world emerge in 
the dialogue about the absent artist. The intercut video footage, together with the final scene 
of the long awaited last supper, serve to contrast the indulgent obsessions of the party- 
goers with the broader social context and raise questions about the intersections of art and 
the world in which it is created. With Zohra Lampert, Bill Youmans, Bill Rice, Taylor 
Mead, John Larkin, Odessa Taft. 

C'est Vrai (1990); video, color, sound, 60 minutes 

An unedited one hour exploration of New York's lower east side, which incorporates 
scripted and improvisational narrative with the actuality of New York's streets. Produced 
for French television. With Kevin O'Connor, Peter Orlovsky, Taylor Mead, Jim Stark, and 
Odessa Taft. 

Robert Frank Partial Filmography 

Pull My Daisy (1959); 35mm,28 minutes: The Sin of Jesus (1961); 35mm, 40 minutes: 
OK End Here (1963); 35mm, 30 minutes: Me and My Brother (1965-68); 35mm, 91 
minutes: Conversations in Vermont (1969); 16mm, 26 minutes: Life -raft Earth (1969); 
16mm, 37 minutes: About Me - a Musical (1971); 16mm, 35 minutes: Cocksucker Blues 
(1972); 16mm, 90 minutes: Keep Busy (1975); 16mm, 38 minutes: Life Dances On... 
(1980); 16mm, 30 minutes: Energy and How to Get It (1981); 16mm, 28 minutes. This 
Song for Jack (1983); 16mm, 30 minutes: Keep Busy (1983); 16mm, 30 minutes: Home 
Improvements (1985); video, 29 minutes: Candy Mountain (1987); 35mm, 91 minutes: 
Hunter (1989); 16mm/video, 36 minutes: C'est Vrai (1990); video, 60 minutes: Last 
Supper (1992); 16mm, 52 minutes. 

program notes byDL&IL 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 



CHICK'S FAVORITE PICS* 
A NIGHT OF FILMS FROM THE EARLY DAYS OF CANYON CINEMA 

CURATED BY CHICK STRAND 

Sunday, November 13, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Tonight's program initiates a series of guest-curated programs selected from Canyon 
Cinema, the Bay Area's premier distributor of alternative film. Chick Strand, co-founder of 
Canyon Cinema with Bruce Baillie, has chosen works that still quicken her heart and that 
had an important influence in her own creative life. 

Strand is herself a major voice in lyrical, experimental filmmaking whose work spans 25 
years and whose 18 films range from intimate, poetic documentaries to surreal dream 
visions to found-footage collage films. Her baptism into experimental cinema came through 
her friendship with Bruce Baillie and her co-founding, with him, of Canyon Cinema in the 
early sixties. Canyon's eclectic screenings of underground films took place first on a sheet 
in Baillie's backyard in Canyon, California, then in an anarchist restaurant in Berkeley 
(where sometimes one set of customers would have to pay their bill so food could be 
bought for the next ones), a private girls' school (which subsequently closed its doors to 
Canyon because it didn't like the sound of "underground"), the Coffee Gallery in San 
Francisco, Ernest Callenbach's backyard. Strand's house, and the College of Arts and 
Crafts in Oakland. The tri-weekly screenings were enlivened by wine, popcorn, pillows, 
chairs borrowed from a nearby mortuary, and Strand in costume, collecting $1 donations 
or lOUs in a sewing basket at the door and then, with Baillie, raffling off door prizes 
(including Baillie's homebaked pies) in the intermission. The screenings subsequently led 
to the creation of a filmmaking workshop and, with Ernest Callenbach and others, the 
publication of Canyon Cinemanews which included Baillie's recipes as well as information 
about film festivals and articles on film. 

Strand left Canyon and the Bay Area to study filmmaking at UCLA, and Canyon went on 
to become an important nationally and internationally recognized alternative distributor of 
independent film, an organization begun and run by and for independent filmmakers, 
which anyone may join by depositing work and paying a membership fee. 

The films in our program tonight are all distributed by Canyon Cinema, and many were 
screened in the early days when Strand and Baillie were still dressing up and entertaining 
audiences around the Bay. As Strand says, they are all films which influenced her decision 
to become a filmmaker in her early thirties, already the mother of two, and they are all films 
which she loves deeply, which speak to her heart, and which will perhaps also speak to 
yours. 

Pastoral d*Ete (1958), by Will Hindle; 16mm color, sound, 9 minutes 

rung (1966), by Bruce Baillie; 16mm, color/b&w, silent, 5 minutes 

Eaux d* Artifice (1953), by Kenneth Anger; 16mm, color, sound, 13 minutes 

Window Water Baby Moving (1959), by Stan Brakhage; 
16mm, color, silent, 12 minutes 

Cosmic Ray {\96\) by Bruce Conner; 16mm, b«few, sound, 4 minutes 

jive minute intermission 



m 



Program Notes 1994 

Unsere Afrikareise (1961-66), by Peter Kubelka; 16mni, color, sound, 12 minutes 

Castro Street (1966), by Bruce Baillie; 16mm, color/b&w, sound, 10 minutes 

Billabong (1969), by Will Hindle; 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 

7362 ( 1965-67), by Pat 0'^4eill; 16mm, color, sound, 10 minutes 

Mothlight (1963), by Stan Brakhage; color, silent, 4 minutes 

A Movie (1958), by Bruce Conner, 16mm, b&w, sound, 12 minutes 

All My Life (1966), by Bruce Baillie; 16mm, color, sound, 3 minutes 

Letter from Chick Strand on tonight's program: 

Dear Irina and Steve, 

How interesting to be asked to do this. I'm no curator, but then, what was I doing those 
years with Bruce programming and writing texts for all of the early Canyon Cinema 
shows, to say nothing of curating all of the films I've shown in my classes over the years? 
So, basically I knew what I would want to show by the time I phoned you. 

I want to show the films that we showed in those early days, for the most part, that 
influenced me to become a filmmaker, ones that I still love. As it turns out these are films 
which I see at least once a year because I show them to my students. These choices are not 
politically correct; as you will notice they are all made by older white men. They are short 
in order to be able to show many films. Missing are some films which were important to 
me because they are not in the Canyon catalog or they were too long. We did not show all 
of these films at Canyon; Baillie's are all made in 1966, a couple of years after other people 
carried on the work of providing a show place, but, I feel very close to this work since we 
were close. Kubelka's film we did not show, but we showed others of his, I believe, and if 
my memory serves me, he was on our mailing list and received all of the Canyon Cinema 
Newsletters. I didn't see Pat O'Neill's work until 1 moved to LA in 1966. I met him at 
UCLA while both students there (he in art). 

It is interesting to note that none of the filmmakers are products of film schools. Baillie 
attended the London School of Cinematography for a very brief time. They learned the 
skills on their own, inventing techniques, not influenced much by work before their time, 
since there wasn't all that much to be seen, and no place to see it. Most began art in other 
mediums and somehow got seduced by the magic of filmmaking. It was when I saw these 
films that I knew that I could do it, that I wanted more that anything to do it, and so I did it. 
The work here is what some would call West Coast, somewhat lyrical, incredibly beautiful 
and poetic. They are basically non-political, personal and emotionally powerful. To me, 
each is perfect, they speak to my heart and my sense of beauty both in imagery and 
presentation. 

PastoralD'Ete and Billabong by Will Hindle; Although Bruce Baillie and I programmed 
and arranged for the early showings of Canyon Cinema, now known as the Cinematheque, 
we often got Will to come and speak about the films. He could hold jjeople glued to their 
seats, which was very hard to do when we were trymg to build an audience for this strange 
stuff. A gentleman through and through, his work refiects what we mean when (iO we call 
ourselves visual poets. 



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San Francisco Cinematheque 

Tung, Castro Street, and All My Life, by Bruce Baillie. We were pals and still are, and had 
daily contact throughout our partnership at Canyon. He taught me how to shoot a camera, 
how to edit and deal with sound. We talked endlessly about film and ideas. His work is a 
big part of my life in film. His in camera supers, using his hand to make dissolves, using 
distorted glass and bottles in form of the lens, of never letting go of the idea that film is or 
can be poetry influenced my perspective and creative process. 

EauxD' Artifice by Kenneth Anger. Yeah, I know that by using a very small male dressed 
up as a woman will make the gardens look larger and more overwhelming, but it tells me, 
don't take this art making too seriously, don't forget the contradictions or humor from 
someplace deep inside, mess with it, bring different levels into it, make your work just a 
little bit askew, put in your secrets, your delicious desires, your other names. 

Window Water Baby Moving and Mothlight, by Stan Brakhage. Bruce and I were giving 
Stan a show. But we wanted to have it in a place that was like a theater, maybe to recall all 
of those Saturdays we had spent as kids in those wonderful theatrical movie palaces when 
we had got hooked on film. We found a community theater that wasn't what we had 
imagined. But it did have silly plaster of Paris statues and 1 think in the end we made it 
pretty magical. It was my job to go pick up Stan at James Broughton's house. 1 was young 
and not very confident about meeting Stan, who was by then famous. 1 mean, this guy was 
coming in from Denver, a favorite place for the Beats, how could 1 make his day peaceful, 
restful and interesting before his show? Before we were in the car five minutes, he told me 
that Kenneth Anger's name wasn't Kenneth Anger and the story of Maya Deren's death. 
After that Stan lived for a while in San Francisco. We gave the West Coast Premiere of 
Dog Star Man. One time Jane Brakhage came with Stan's work and told us her perception 
of the making of Window Water Baby Moving. 

Cosmic Ray and A Movie, by Bruce Conner. Collage, found footage films. When I first 
saw A Movie, it knocked my socks off. It just chomped into me emotionally. To see, to put 
together in my mind feelings that were not to be explamed in a literary way, that these 
images painstakingly arranged into a new context drew forth, was absolutely amazing. 
Making a film out of disparate images, in a way out of nothing, is true magic. When we 
first showed Cosmic Ray at Canyon, the audience would not let us get on with the show 
until we ran it through again and yet again. They boogied. What I learned, put your foot on 
the gas and don't ease off. 

Unsere Afrikareise, by Peter Kubelka. I saw this film first soon after I moved to Los 
Angeles. I had long had an involvement with anthropology and documentary film. This 
film, with its powerful images and unsettling content, showed me a way to unite a 
documentary style of shooting and personal filmmaking. It showed me not to let off, that 
there is a way to beauty and poetry while using tough material. 

7362, by Pat O'Neill. I met Pat while a film student at UCLA. He was beginning to 
discover his own lure toward film after working mainly in sculpture. He was in the Art 
Department, a place totally separate from the Film School. But artists and filmmakers tend 
to meet and we did. He had begun working on an old contact 16mm printer that somehow 
had found its way into the photography facility. He simply figured out how to use it by 
himself and he taught me what he knew. He became the master of optical printing, but this 
film was made entirely on the contact printer 

Love, 

program notes by Irina Leimbacher 






Program Notes 1994 

ANNE ROBERTSON: A F I L M/ P E R F OR M A N C E 
FROM FIVE YEAR DIARY & OTHER FILMS 

ANNE ROBERTSON IN PERSON 

Thursday. November 17, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Anne Chariotte Robertson was bom in Columbus, Ohio, on March 27, 1949, at 3:27 p.m., 
after a 24-hour labor. She has been making films since 1976. Her schooling includes a 
Bachelor's of Art magna cum laude in art and psychology, from the University of 
Massachusetts/Harbor Campus, Boston, and a Master of Fine Arts with honors in 
filmmaking, from Massachusetts College of Art in Boston. She has been diagnosed as a 
manic-depressive, a conclusion she denies, preferring instead to think of herself as a typical 
anxiety neurotic of the obsessive-compulsive sort, with marked tendencies for fantasy, joy, 
and panic. She is no longer a depressive, and film has been the cure. Her avocation is 
organic gardening, and this too has been a healing force for her. Her films total more than 
45 hours running time; her gardens total more than 5,000 square feet. She believes in 
Super-8, and art (plus life) as therapy... creativity is the source of hope. (ARC) 

"I don't think it's me who is a film diarist: it's you! It's you!... Ah, your films are so 
beautiful. . . Paradise is not yet lost!" 

— Jonas Mekas, Anthology Film Archive (entire 35 hour diary will be shown next June) 

Locomotion (1981); Super-8, color, sound, 7 minutes 

Overdose, breakdown, rage at system in a stylized mental hospital isolation cell. 

Five Year Diary y Reel # 1 (1981); Super-8, color, sound, approx. 26 minutes 

Five Year Diary, Reel U 22 (1982); Super-8, color, sound, approx. 26 minutes 

Five Year Diary, Reel # 23 (1982); Super-8, color, sound, approx. 26 minutes 

Depression Focus Pteasc (1984); Super-8, color, sound, 3 minutes 

Intended as a longer film, this proved sufficient to vignette the nuances of my sadness. 

Kafka Kamera (1985); Super-8, color, sound -i- sound on tape, 3 minutes 
Filmmaker's paranoia: One day the camera wakes you up, and pursues relentlessly. 

Talking To Afyse/^(1985); Super-8, color, sound + sound on tape, 3 minutes 
Double-exposed, self faces self, wrangling, complaining, trying to hear oneself think. 

Apologies (1990); Super-8, color, sound, 17 minutes 

My therapy for excessive apologies, a constant sense of neurotic personal guilt explored. 

Five Year Diary, Reel # 7^(1991-1992); Super-8, color, sound, approx. 26 minutes 

Anne Robertson on her Five Year Diary: 

"Begun November 3, 1981, in Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.A. 
78 reels, approximately 26 minutes each, Super-8 and video 

"I present my life in multi-media: film (1st visual source), sound from film (when possible, 
depending upon finances; 1st audio source), audiotape dubbed diary (2nd audio source), 
on -stage live introduction to each reel (milieu-setting, perspective-giving, autobiographical 



77 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

storytelling: 2nd visual, 3rd audio source), live narration from-within-the-audience (4th 
audio source), amid a surrounding envirormient (as much as is possible to bring to a 
screening; 3rd visual resource), with myself usually available during intermissions, as the 
primary source/ resource of information and perspective c»i my life. 

"This diary is a constant work-in-progress, as is every life. It is a matter of collection rather 
than pre- visualization of scenes; I try to take a documentary approach to life-events and my 
surrounds, rather than molding my life into a theatrical artifice. Despite the multitude of 
information offered to the audience via multi-media, the result is not a barrage, but a view 
into complexity, and themes of personal change. Making my diary has literally saved my 
life; it is an inspiration to others, that 'examining one's life can help make life worth 
living.' 

"I am a 45-year-old woman, single, with a vow to poverty. The title Five Year Diary refers 
to the little blank books with locks and keys, that allow only a few lines to each day's 
notation; the audience is invited to be my brother and sister, and see what a life can yield. 
My present and future hope is to leave a full record of a woman in the 20th century. I have 
been a diarist since I was a child; likewise I have kept visual records, and artifacts. My 
training in schools and by myself has been in writing, crafts, theater, photography, 
psychology, and film. During the past 13 years I have added audio recordings to my diary 
accumulation, thus approaching the utilization of all the senses that art can present of 
memory. My work in film is entirely self-produced (except for laboratory processing and 
technical processes such as video/sound transfer); I am the sole artist, camera, editor, 
lights, and sound. 

"All that surrounds and interests me would disappear in an apocalypse, as surely as the fihn 
image disappears after projection. I take as many personal artifacts as possible with me to 
screenings, to create a 3-D environment, so that even the intermissions are alive for the 
audience. 

"I am an organic gardener also, someone who has deliberately chosen to leave the city after 
many years, to live among trees; gardens can be planned to a certain extent, but intensive 
planting calls for spontaneous crowding, a work of art that is similar to my own growth as 
a artist in multi-media. 1 am a diarist, a visual artist, a performer, and a storyteller, with my 
films 'at the mouth of the cave,' telling you all that we are not merely shadows, we are £ill 
complex beings needing nurturing, and change, and the acknowledgment and acceptance of 
changing ourselves." 

— Anne Charlotte Robertson 

program notes by Todd Wagner 



ARTIST AS FILMMAKER: 
INTO THE PICTURE PLANE 

Films By Richard serra 

Saturday, November 19, 1994 SF Art Institute 

For almost three decades San Franciscan native Richard Serra has been celebrated by the 
mandarins of the art world as one of the most innovative of minimalist sculptors. A 
committed abstractionist, Serra gained prominence as a "process artist" in the late sixties by 



Program Notes 1994 

conducting sculptural experiments that called attention to the activity of making art. In the 
following decade, Serra came to the attention of the general public through his 
controversial, large scale urban sculptures, more than a dozen of which have been erected 
in Western Europe and North America. Forged with raw, weighty masses of delicately 
corroding metal, Serra's "site-specific" works have often been received with distrust and 
hostility. Addressed to such conceptual issues as repetition, space, weight, tension and 
balance, his nonexpressive minimalist forms give cold comfort to viewers whose aesthetic 
values are tied to traditional concepts of beauty and art. Serra has been producing film and 
video work since the late sixties and to date has directed more than twenty works. The 
films in tonight's program represent in moving images many of the daring ideas that make 
Serra's sculptures so controversial. 

Hand Catching Lead (1968); 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 1/2 minutes 

In Hand Catching Lead, Serra's first film, his right hand is in frame and he tries to catch 

pieces of lead as they are dropped through the frame. The artist's hand develops a 

personality as it rather unsuccessfully attempts to grab these intermittently falling shards of 

metal. 

"Films by artists who primarily practice an art other than cinema are often curious objects 
because they straddle two traditions— the artist's native one and film— in ways that give the 
object different, even incommensurate meanings. Serra's Hand Catching Lead illustrates 
this nicely. This film has a rich set of connotations when seen in the context of the recent 
history of contemporary sculpture, where Serra is a prominent figure, but it doesn't have 
the same implications when viewed in the context of avant-garde film. The art critic 
assesses Hand Catching Lead as concerned with the material conditions of sculpture- 
weight and gravity. Thus, the art critic situates Hand Catching Lead in the line of works 
that make their 'thing-ness' their subject Yet, for the film critic. Hand Catching Lead can't 
count as a reflexive film for the simple reason that the material Serra emphasizes isn't film 
but lead. As a result, his film doesn't easily fit into the category of avant-garde films that 
display the material conditions of film. What is a gesture in the direction of the Real, from 
the viewpoint of art history, is pure symbolism in the context of film. To the extent that the 
rhetoric of both film and art criticism finds these categories mutually exclusive, the 
uncommitted film viewer is stuck with two equally compelling but incompatible ways to 
interpret the film." 

— Noel Carroll 

Hands Tied (1968); 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 1/2 minutes 

Serra's Hands Tied is the artist's second foray into the medium of film and is another 
spirited investigation of the issues approached in his first film, Hands Catching Lead. 
Rather than being a task. Hands Tied is the performance of a feat, which lasts as long as it 
takes Serra, whose hands are tied with rope inside the frame, to untie the knots. The film 
sets up a dialectic between hands £uid material as the hands move and strain in attempting to 
loosen the rope. As in his other films Hand Catching Lead and Hands Scraping, his hands 
become the performers and acquire a physical expressiveness of their own. 

Frame ( 1969); 16mm, b&w, sound, 22 minutes 

In this film, Serra employs a ruler to measure the dimensions of the camera's field of view 
against a white wall. In turn, he then projects a film of the field and measures that. The 
structure of Frame demonstrates the disparity in perception between what is seen by the 
cameraman looking through the lens and what is seen by a person looking directly at the 
same space. 



79 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

"Perception has its own abstract logic and it is often necessary to fit verbal and 
mathematical formulation (in this instance measuring) to objects rather than the other way 
around. The size, scale and three-dimensional ambiguity of film and photographs is usually 
accepted as one kind of interpretation of reality. These mediums fundamentally contradict 
the perception of the thing to which they allude. Objective physical measurement of real and 
physical depth coupled with apparent measurement of film depth, points to the basic 
contradiction posed in the perception of a film or photograph. The device of a ruler which 
functions as a stabilizing or compensating system in the film is the subject of its own 
contradiction." 

— Richard Serra, Avalanche (Winter 1971) 

Railroad Turnbridge (1976); 16mm, b&w, silent, 19 minutes 

More complex than some of his earlier works, Serra's Railroad Turnbridge steers away 
from the minimalist reflexive style of his "hand films" and adopts a stance closer to the art 
documentary style. As a succinct study of an early 20th century draw span bridge, the film 
analyzes the structure's mechanism with close-ups of the bridge as it opens, turns and 
locks. Like Frame, this film is also concerned with and emphasizes the effects of framing 
in camera movement. 

"This is a film which frames the landscape through a turnbridge revolving within it. For 
me, it is fascinating in that it seems to be very much involved with the basic strategies 
which were laid out in the early 60s. But it also seems to synthesize— quite remarkably, 1 
think— a great deal more in film culture than just the local concerns of American filmmakers 
during the '60s." 

— Richard Serra, interview by Annette Michelson 

SteelmilllStahlwerk {1919) with Clara Weyergraf; 
16mm, b&w, sound, 30 minutes 

In this film, Serra revises his materialism from a concern with the physical properties of his 
medium, to one of locating his work in a social matrix. Elliptically, the film documents the 
production of a 70-ton steel cube which he designed on a commission from the West 
German government. The film begins with voice-over interviews of the factory workers; all 
the viewer sees are the title cards translating the off-screen discussions. From the 
interviews, the film shifts to the mill where we watch the cube processed through the 
various stages of production. 

"Viewed from the context of sculpture, Steelmill represents a meta-artistic statement. In 
their quest for the material conditions of sculpture, Serra and Weyergraf wed a 
preoccupation with historical materialism to the emphasis on physical materialism. 
However, when removed from the context of sculpture, Steelmill loses these ramifications. 
Seen as a film, it is indiscernible from a classically made documentary. The film makes no 
allusions to cinematic forms and stakes out no position on the nature of the medium. Rather 
than correlating with the cinematic avant-garde, it is a very conventional, nonfiction film. 
But the issue is not that Steelmill is not avant-garde. Rather, it both is and is not in the 
avant-garde tradition in a way that raises, rather than articulates, interesting questions about 
the way we talk about such art." 

— Noel Carroll 

Richard Serra Filmography 

Films 

Hand Catching Lead (196S); 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 1/2 minutes: Hand Lead Fulcrum 
(1968); 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 minutes: Hands Scraping (1968); 16mm, b&w, silent, 4 1/2 



i 



Program Notes 1994 

minutes: Hands Tied (1968); 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 1/2 minutes: Frame (1969); 16mm. 
b&w, sound, 22 minutes: Three untitled films (1969); 16mm, b&w, silent, 3 minutes: 
eadoTina Turning (1969); 16mm, b&w, silent, 2 minutes: Untitled (1969); 16mm, b&w, 
silent, 25 minutes: (/n/r/fe</ (1969); 16mm, b&w, silent, 30 minutes: Color Aid (1970-71); 
16mm, color, sound, 36 minutes: Paul Revere (1971), with Joan Jonas; 16mm, b&w, 
sound, 9 minutes: V^i7 (1971) with Clara Weyergraf; 16mm, b&w, silent, 6 minutes: 
Match Match Their Courage (1974); 16mm, color, sound, 34 minutes: Railroad Tumbridge 
(1976); 16mm, b&w, silent, 19 minutes: Steelmill / Stahlwerk (1979); 16mm, b&w, 
sound, 29 minutes. 

VIDEO 

Anxious Automation (1971); b&w, sound, 4 1/2 minutes: China Girls (1972); b&w, 
sound, 11 minutes: Surprise Attack (1973); b&w, sound, 2 minutes: Television Delivers 
People (1973); color, sound, 6 minutes: Boomerang (1974); color, sound, 10 minutes: 
Prisoner's Dilemma (1974) with Robert Bell; b&w, sound, 60 minutes. 

All the films in tonight's program presented courtesy of the Castelli Gallery in New York. 
The films are distributed by Castelli-Sonnabend Videotapes and Films. 

Special thanks to Kenneth Baker for his introductory remarks, help and encouragement. 

Thanks to Rena Bransten at whose gallery Richard Serra 's work is currently on exhibit and 

to Richard Serra himself for selecting the works included in this evening 's show. 

program notes by Todd Wagner 



THE LENSES OF TIME 
TEMPORAL CONTRACTIONS: FILMS OF THE 1970S 

Curator David Gerstein In Person 

Sunday, November 20, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Twig (1966) & Flight of Shadows (1973), by Michael Mideke; 

16mm, b&w, silent, 10 minutes @ 16fps 
[In Flight of Shadows] I am preoccupied with shadows. The physical, material film is a 
machine for casting shadows. The experience of film is a mental journey among shadows. 
Light of the sun is obscured by branches and the leaves of trees, casting shadows on the 
variegated surfaces of the ground. Shadow shapes make soft images of branches and 
trees... Spaces between leaves become pinhole lenses, covering the ground with circles of 
confusion. (MM) 

Michael Mideke is one of the truly unknown geniuses of black-and-white filmmaking, in 
large part because he's chosen to live for the last 20 years without telephone, electricity or 
running water in the coastal hills of central California. His films have a rhythmic beauty 
that unfolds into a startling revelation of the physical reality from which they spring. 

Some of the image material [in Twig] is derived from contact printing and some was 
photographed from drawings and photographs inspired by work on Shadowgame [an 
earlier film]. The original film was processed by hand in short lengths. It was initially 
printed by sandwiching picture and raw stock in a synchronizer mounted on a light source. 

81 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

Chinatown (1978), by Jim Jennings; 16mm, b&w, silent, 43/4 minutes 
The silent language of a city in a city. (JJ) 

"Jennings' films are songs, in the way that Brakhage established the form of 'film song' 
permanently with his 8mm songs. They evoke an image, a mood, or a series of images, 
some memories, some feelings. All of Jennings' films deal with variations and subtleties of 
one image, one idea. They are marked by a gentle meditative attitude. Jennings meditates 
on nature, color, movements, slight clashes of forms. . ." 

— Jonas Mekas, Soho Weekly News (June 9, 1977) 

In the Eye of the Child (1979), by Richard Levine; 
16mm, color, silent, 28 1/2 minutes @ 16fps 

Many of my images of childhood derive from my father's home movies. I needed to 
recreate his images so as to reflect my own relationship, both past and present, to those 
years. I wanted to inspire the breathless spaces of my father's documents with my eidetic 
memories and daydreams. In the Eye of the Child is a resuscitation of my childhood. It is a 
love/hate homage to Oedipus and a substitution for Freud. It has allowed me to replant 
myself in my mother's arms and once again play with my brother, contemplate my father, 
and question myself. As I sit here now, my thoughts concerning those early years are 
essences in motion. (RL) 

".. .These pulsating impulses of memory are in a constant state of overlapping and phasing. 
In the context of this visual excitement certain key images act as grounds. In their 
representation they become the narrative of the film, icons of personal history.. .It seems as 
if the work is generating itself during the screening. There is a sense of immediacy in the 
way images come into being, as though they have a living order unto themselves. This is, 
for me, a rare occurrence in film viewing. It seems to be a way into the workings of the 
memory banks of the mind as well as an opening of a person's heart." 

— Ken Ross, The Downtown Review Vol. 2 No. 1 (Fall/Winter 1979/80) 

Esmerelda and the Turkey Vu/riir* (1978-80), by Gail Vachon; 
16mm, b&w, sound, 9 minutes 

Children jumping on a trampoline with all the time in the world; drawings of the pre- 
Columbian cliff-dwellers of the Southwest. The intense music of the film's time— disco- 
compels our lives. Everyone's longing for something. And the best part is, they might get 
it. The voices in the last part of the film are adapted from Francine Prose's Marie Leveaux, 
a fictionalized biography of the New Orleans voodoo queen. Wish I could find that book 
again. (GV) 

In the late '70s a new generation of filmmakers (many of them lived in New York) began to 
rebel against the determinism of "structuralist" filmmaking. They sought a looser, more 
intuitive feel in their films, often taking advantage of the spontaneity that Super-8 offered. 
They returned to narrative as a means of confronting the imagist tendencies of their 
predecessors and carving out an aesthetic territory of their own. Gail Vachon's films 
incorporated these tendencies without abandoning a precision in her editing choices. 
Esmerelda and the Turkey Vulture occupy a middle ground, with the images creating a web 
of meanings that derive as much from our emotional as from our rational comprehension. 

yVhitesands {\9^), by Linda Klosky; 16mm, color, sound, 11 minutes 

"The location is White Sands, New Mexico. Linda's point of view is moving and 
horizontal. Her image is the rising and falling horizon across the changing light and then 
the darkness of a day. The film freezes at intervals. Black dunes rise up and fill the screen, 
with red light behind them. Or dunes fiow like water with translucent blue light at dusk. 
Her sound, which suggests a muffied engine, and then ghostly, (cricket-like) bleeping. 



Program Notes 1994 

helps to shift us from romantic desert associations. Here is an experience of landscsq^e 
which resides in deeper levels of the body, without history or preconceptions, or words 
even. It is a kinesthetic experience of horizon, which the film creates as it happens. Frames 
remind me of the luminous paintings of Mark Rothko. In a landscape below words, the 
film expresses a spirituality of gravity and joy." 

— Mei-Mei Berssenbrugge 

Condition of Illusion (1975), by Peter Gidal; 16mm, color, silent, 32 1/2 minutes 
Seeming continuity as in dominant cinema; discontinuities are brought out; pieces of time 
assert themselves, in retrospect. There are, for example, similar shots , different enough 
though to seem at first continuous , then realized as "retake." The lack of difficulty in seeing 
is meant to work in relation to the obvious (opaque) camera/mechanical usages, 
specifically: fast back and forward zooms; fast movement "around" the space; abrupt 
movements, not blurring but aimihilating image definition. There is, 1 1 hink, a virtual and 
an actual inseparability of abstract from concrete, the way I have used the mechanism of 
shooting to produce the image-shot segments whatever. There is great difficulty in reading 
out the space in the film, the connectedness of one representation to another, the area (no 
construct of the offscreen space is adequately given) is given as a construct . (PG) 

Peter Gidal was a major film theoretician during the 1970s. He proposed a direct attack on 
the viewer's role as passive receiver in relationship to the classic narrative cinema, and 
linked his attack to the argument that making viewers active participants in the mechanism 
of film perception was an explicitly political act. Though his antecedents were in the 
theories of the post- 1917 Russian Futurists, his ideas proved especially provocative at a 
time when the effects of the 1968 student revolts and the radicalization caused by the Viet 
Nam war were still very much in evidence. Gidal is remembered now (if he's remembered 
at all) for these theories, but I found his films filled with visual beauty as well as intellectual 
rigor, and ironically it's my memory of Condition of Illusion's exquisite montage that 
caused me to include it in tonight's program. 

program notes by David Ger stein 



ALTERED SURFACES: 
FILMS BY MATTHIAS MULLER 

Matthias muller in person 

Thursday, December 1, 1994 Center for the Arts 

German filmmaker Matthias MUller has emerged from the dreck und blur as one of the most 
promising artists in experimental cinema today. With over twenty films to his credit since 
his upstart in the early eighties, Matthias has become a tour deforce both in his native land 
and abroad. Muller began his career creating experimental short films in collaboration with 
the Beriin composer. Dirk Schaefer. From there, Matthias helped to found the Alte Kinder 
(Old Children) Film-Coop in 1985. This provocative West German film collective was 
established as an alternative to the German film and television industry. Working in pointed 
contrast to the established industry, Alte Kinder became known for producing films on 
shoestring budgets but with highly sophisticated results. In addition to his continued 
involvement with Alte Kinder, Matthias has presented a number of touring programs of 



83 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

German experimental film work which have won great acclaim throughout Europe and 
North America. Mtiller's own films have also seen great success, boasting over twenty 
awards in international film festivals and competitions. Matthias' degree of artistic 
accomi^ishment is due to a truly creative imagination and a dedication to his craft. The 
films in tonight's program reflect this vision by combining appropriated images with 
elements of person^ autobiography and through the use of iconographies to pay homage to 
the materiality of the image and of life itself. 

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

In this film, MUller treats the death of his friend, the traumatic loss of love and his own 
mortal fears with both seductive and threatening images. While the film is obsessed with 
the passing of a friend, it belongs finally to the filmmaker himself, who returns obsessively 
to his own body to gauge the possibility of moving on. 

"That the site of desire should be so resdutely joined to death— or that the passage of death 
should follow the lines of love— these are the paradoxes beneath which Miiller refashions 
the bodies of film and maker. Mtiller's virtuosic rephotography, editing and hand 
processing techniques are hurled into an erotic maelstrom, remaking the divisions of the 
Word in a continual Oux of inside and out, container and contained. Learned in the tradition 
of Eisenstein, Genet, Anger, and Jarman, Aus Der Feme seeks to remake the male body, 
not in the service of higher ideals, but in a celebratory flow of communion and despair, 
mythos and logos. Its elegantly drafted sites live before 'In the beginning was the Word. . . ' 
and are no less meaningful for doing so." 

— Mike Hoolboom, The Independent Eye, Toronto ( 1989) 

Home Stories (1991); 16mm, color, sound, 6 minutes 

"A brilliantly condensed study of Hollywood melodrama. In the film, a series of actresses 
from films by Douglas Sirk and other directors repeat a series of highly formalized gestures 
—opening windows, shutting doors and turning suddenly in alarm. Collaged together, 
they rhythmically reveal the forms of gender entrapment that structures classical Hollywood 
cinema, in a manner somehow reminiscent of Abigail Child's Mayhem. " 

— Liz Kotz, Afterimage ( 1991) 

The Flamethrowers (1990); 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes 

The original material of this film triptych was a nearly burnt print of Song of the Road by 
Satyajit Ray. The American artist Owen O'Toole sent this film to the members of Alte 
Kinder Film-Coop in Germany, asking to react to it artistically. This was the beginning of a 
transatlantic mail art game that was further continued by The Schmelzdahin film collective. 

"A wonderful evocation of a lost tribe, a hybrid of ' fourth world' and 'out of this worid'." 

"Tentatively a Convenience," Baltimore ( 1990) 

Sleepy Haven (1993); 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

"Melancholy, remembrance, resignation: Matthias Mtiller's Sleepy Haven is a meditative 
work driven by a stream of associations; it tells stories of the body and its poses and of a 
destructive erotic which gradually ceases glowing." 

— Stefan Grissemann, Die Presse, Vienna ( 1993) 

"Sleepy Haven is explicitly clinging to the spirit of Kenneth Anger's Fireworks. Nude 
bodies of sailors are fiaring up in flickering solarization effects; they are given an ardent 
aura of physical craving by this tattooing of the film emulsion. But it is not only Fireworks 
the film is alluding to, there is yet another classic shimmering through Mtiller's imagery: 
Jean Genet's Un Chant D' Amour. 

— Peter Tscherkassky of Sixpack Film, Vienna ( 1993) 



Program Notes 1994 

Scattering Stars (Sternenschauer) ( 1994 Bay Area Premiere) : 
16mm, color/b&w, sound, 1 minute 

Alpsee{\99A Bay Area Premiere) ; 16mm, color, sound, 15 minutes 

In Alpsee, two poles of my previous work fuse: the appropriation of "found footage" and 
the reference to my own personal biography. Meandering between feature film and 
experimental collage, Alpsee is a crisp portrait of a childhood in the sixties. (MM) 

program notes by Todd Wagner 



EL DIABLO NUNCA DUERME 
(THE DEVIL NEVER SLEEPS) 

LOURDES PORTILLO IN PERSON 

Saturday, Decembers, 1994 SF Art Institute 
Co-sponsored by the Goethe Institut of San Francisco 

The Devil Never Sleeps ( 1994 West Coast Premiere) : color, sound 

Tio Oscar's death has revived in me the resonance of my own history, my feelings for 
Mexico, and my unresolved emotions about my own emigration and the life I lost when I 
left Mexico behind at the age of 13. A deeply personal film. The Devil Never Sleeps is an 
attempt to mine the intersection of numerous routes— between fact and fiction, analysis and 
autobiography, evidence and hypothesis, melodrama and the police procedural, and finally 
between film and video. It is a combination of family gossip, local slander, fact, fiction, 
and truths stranger than Mexican telenovellas. (LP) 

When award-winning film-maker Lourdes Portillo tells you in the beginning of El Diablo 
Nunca Duerme (The Devil Never Sleeps) that she will return to Mexico to find out how her 
uncle died, it seems that this will be a personal exploration, a return to her childhood 
environment. She speaks in the visual language recognizable as personal or lyrical 
documentary— family photographs, thoughtful voice-overs, metaphorical imagery. But the 
moment the family gossip begins to flow, Portillo becomes the star sleuth in a personal 
journey with the suspense dynamics of a classic murder mystery. As we begin thinking like 
detectives, all the members of her family become important, not as figures in her personal 
mythology as much as potential murder suspects. And unlike the research of a more 
traditional documentary, the appeal of the discovery lays not in its political or social 
conclusions (which it can still have) but rather in the pleasure of the chase, playing 
detective. Each interview begins to have innuendo and every statement seems to hold a 
clue. Rather than pulling us into the drama of her family life through our interest in her 
personal reality, Portillo draws us into the puzzle, asks questions with us and we wonder if 
we can solve the mystery before she does. Even the most entertainment-minded viewer 
pays attention to the whos and hows of her family history. 

This strange wedding of murder mystery drama and personal documentary allows new 
twists for the narrative and its audience. In trying to solve a mystery with traditional 
elements (including an evil stepmother) the audience begins to read Portillo's less 
traditional visual style more fluently. She uses film and video in contrast, to connote the 



9^ 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

factual, the intimate or the suspicious; to remind us that she is responding to and sifting 
through the interviews with us, as new facts come to light. She places herself on and off 
screen as the detective and the mourning niece, the fact-finder and the reminiscing 6migr6. 

Creating the palatable dynamic of the murder mystery plot sets the audience at ease. This 
liberates Portillo to alter the course of our interest The basic elements of solving a mystery 
evolve into revelations which go deeper than "who did it": the loyalty and suffocation of a 
family community, the destruction of a woman's self-esteem, corruption in Mexican 
government, environmental tragedy— the loathsome and the beautiful in human nature. 
Early on the mystery pulls us in, gossip takes on larger than life significance and we pay 
attention. In ttus way abstract questions of truth and lying innuendo, fact and family 
legend, slip in through the back door, until we notice that the authority figures don't speak 
greater truths than the "gossips." Pferhaps more importantly, the relatives transcend the role 
of suspect or witness and take on the sheen of loved ones. 

LouRDES Portillo Filmography 

Columbus on Trial (1992); 18 minutes: Mirrors of the Heart (1992); 60 minutes: The Aztec 
Myth of Creation (1991); in production: Vida (1990): La Ofrenda: The Days of the Dead 
(1990); 58 minutes, made with Susana Munoz: Las Madres de Paza Mayo (1986); 64 
minutes, made with Susana Muiioz: Chola (1982); screenplay commissioned by American 
Playhouse: Despues del Terremoto (1979); 30 minutes. 

program notes by Maya Allison 



FROM THE BEDROOM TO THE BANQUET 

(FROM 51 MCCOPPIN ST. TO 800 CHESTNUT ST.) 

Sunday, December 4, 1 995 SF Art Institute 

"TOTAL MOBILE HOME microCINEMA, San Francisco's newest stationary and now 
traveling cinema liquefies the sturdy Cinematheque's floor, ceiling and walls. Realtor 
Rebecca Barten and Domestic Climatologist David Sherman of TMH will transport: 1. their 
large wooden Canonical Wheel-of-Fortune; 2. the longest co-axial cables ever for audience 
micro-cinementality;3. Star Vocalist Richard McGhee; 4. TOTAL INSTRUCTIONAL 
slide lecture; 5. the premiere of George Kuchar's The Cellar Sinema; 6. other shifting 
perspectives. Not a sit-and-consume filmshow." (TMH) 

seepages 90-92 



NEW BY PAULA LEVINE: ORDERING THE CHAOS 

Paula Levine In Person 

Thursday, December 8, 1994 Center for the Arts 

Canadian-American multimedia artist Paula Levine uses video to grapple with the paradox 
between narrative time and unstructured chaos. Levine uses the fixed frame "as though it 



86 



Program Notes 1994 

were a seatbelt for the body in a futile attempt to carve out a stable perspective and 
understanding of the world, ordering the unorderable." (PL) This evening is Paula 
Levine's first solo Bay Area show, and she will present a selection of her recent 
videotapes, including the two channel East/West. 

Modernist-Not (1992/93); video, color, sound, 1 1/2 minutes 
A critique on the modernist's view of the land. 

Coyote Cow (1992/93); video, color, sound, 6 minutes 
An experimental cowmingling. 

Mirror, Mirror (1987); video, color, sound, 2 1/2 minutes 
A short vignette on viewing being viewed. 

36 Hours on 24th Street (excerpt) (1993); video, color, sound, 24 minutes 

One in the series of 24 hour time lapse video portraits of sites. Located on the comer of 
24th and Folsom in San Francisco, the camera documents the activity of the corner and the 
street below the artist's studio and in doing so frames the rhythms inside of rhythms taking 
place within the city streets. 

Imprinting (1994); video, color, sound, two channels, 6 minutes 
A story about intimacy when power and longing are veiled as love. 

One year of mourning (1994); video, b&w, silent, 12 minutes 

Mourning and grieving forge spaces which defy the logic and strategies governing the 
everyday. One year of mourning marks a passage through such a displaced present. Like 
notations in a journal or notches in a tree, the markers denote not what has passed, but 
where one has been. 

East/West ( 1992/94 Premiere) ; video, color, sound, two channels, 18 minutes 
Recorded during a residency at the Djerassi Artist in Residency Program in Woodside, 
California, this is one in a series of 24 hour video portraits of time in place. East/West is a 
portrait of a hill in Woodside, California. Using two cameras to record simultaneously, one 
camera is situated on the East side of the hill, facing West, the other camera is located on 
the west side, facing East. 

program notes by Paula Levine 



WHAT THE TIME CAPSULES LEFT OUT: 
COUNTER - COMPILATION FILMS OF THE ♦60S 

CURATOR, WILLIAM C. WEES IN PERSON 

Sunday, December 11, 1994 SF Art Institute 

Time Capsules contain significant and trivial items preserved for the edification of future 
generations. Compilation films, although designed for present day audiences, are not 
unlike time capsules in their combinations of archival footage, stock shots, radio and TV 



87 



San Francisco Cinematheque 

news reports, ads, interviews and many other audio- visual records of major events and 
minor details drawn from past and present life. 

Conventional compilation films borrow these diverse representations of reality in order to 
illustrate a historical account, provide visual evidence for some sort of argument, or in 
some other way inform, educate, persuade or entertain. The best of them, as Jay Leyda 
writes in Films Beget Films, compel the spectator "to look at familiar shots as if he [or she] 
had not seen them before," and thus become "more alert to the broader meanings of old 
materials." What these films fail to do, however, is challenge the nature and function of 
compilation itself. A more radical inquiry into "the broader meanings of old materials" only 
appears in avant-garde films that take their audio-visual material from the same sources as 
those of conventional compilation films, but deploy it in such unconventional ways that 
they might better be called anti- or counter-compilation films. 

The best known example of such films is Bruce Conner's A Movie (1958), which heralded 
the sudden flourishing of counter-compilation films in the 1960s— and ever since. 
Conner's films continue to be shown and written about, but comparable work by 
contemporaries like Stan Vanderbeek and Arthur Lipsett is generally ignored today. Even 
in the '60s, Lipsett's films (other than his first film. Very Nice, Very Nice) received 
relatively little attention compared to Vanderbeek's work, which was a staple of 
"underground film" at the time. 

Lipsett's failure to gain recognition, even within the circumscribed world of American 
experimental/avant-garde/underground film, stemmed in part, at least, from the fact that he 
was a Canadian living and working in Montreal. In addition, he made his films at the 
National Film Board of Canada, an institution best known for its documentary filmmaking, 
including the most conventional forms of compilation films. It also had its own system of 
distribution, which was not suited to the informal network of individuals, co-ops, galleries 
and ephemeral screening sites through which underground films circulated. 

However different their circumstances and reputations (then and now), Conner, 
Vanderbeek, and Lipsett shared the avant-garde's resistance against the conventional, 
predictable forms, themes and goals of dominant, commercial films in general, and 
compilation films in particular. Their own films have much more in common with the 
arbitrary relationships and dream logic of Surrealism, the irony and iconoclasm of 
Dadaism, and the disjunctive juxtapositions of collage and photomontage- in short, the 
techniques and intentions of avant-garde modernist art. 

Of course each filmmaker mixes his ingredients differently. The formal unity of Conner's 
films, with their close attentions to graphic, rhythmic and metaphorical relationships, is 
missing from Vanderbeek's more chaotic, scrapbook-like collages of original and found 
footage and collage animation. Vanderbeek, on the other hand draws more heavily on 
newsreels and television and introduces videographic effects and sound collages to produce 
a stronger sense of immediacy and engagement with politics, current events and the effects 
of the mass media. (Conner's Report is the exception that proves this rule.) If Conner's 
films are influenced by the cartoons, serials, trailers, newsreels, short subjects and features 
which made up a typical Saturday afternoon at the movies during his childhood, 
Vanderbeek's films incorporate the additional influence of Marshall McLuhan's 
electronically constructed "global village." 

All of these sources inspired Lipsett, in addition to the immediate circumstances of his 
employment at the NFB, where he had access to the Board's archives and cutting bins (he 
continually scavenged other filmmakers' outtakes). In form and content, Lipsett's films fall 
somewhere between Vanderbeek's and Conner's. His sound tracks are like Vanderbeek's 



88 



Program Notes 1994 

sound collages but his montage of images approaches the formal complexity and 
metaphorical density of Conner's best work. He exceeds both in the bleak humor with 
which he manipulates the images and sound of la com^die humaine. 

All three filmmakers not only draw upon the media for the images, but critically address the 
media and the roles they play in the public sphere. Lipsett and Conner tend to pay more 
attention to film than television, and Vanderbeek and Lipsett make more use of the sound 
track to represent the heteroglossia of the media. Together, however, they reveal a 
(controlled and critical) fascination with the grandeur and inconsequence, disaster and 
frivolity, heroism and foolishness that comprise human history— or, more precisely, that 
constitute the media record of human history that has grown exponentially during our era of 
mechanical, photochemical and electronic reproduction. (WCW) 

ARTHUR Lipsett Filmography 

Very Nice, Very Nice (1961); 16mm, b«few, sound, 7 minutes: Free Fall (1964); 16mm, 
b&w, sound, 9 minutes: A Trip Down Memory Lane (1965); 16mm, b&w, sound, 13 
minutes: Fluxes (1967); 16mm, b&w, sound, 24 minutes. 

Stan Vanderbeek Filmography 

Newsreel of Dreams 1 (1968); 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes: Newsreel of Dreams 2 
(1970); 16mm, color, sound, 8 minutes: Breathdeath {1964); 16mm, b&w, sound, 15 
minutes: Panels for the Walls of the World ( 1967); 16mm, b&w, sound, 8 minutes. 



89 



Dear. 



TOTAL MOBILE HOME 



October 21. 1994 



IFiniDDin] IDD® (SSOOimiiDDUD ttCO) ttDD® iSIIDOOQIKBlt 



please 



TMH microCINEMA has been invited to visit The 
San Francisco Cinematheque on December 4th. 1994. 
Part of the program that we would like to include in this 
evening draws upon the contribution of filmmakers and 
artists from around the country. We plan a slide/audio 
event that will explore the variations on the concept of 
HOME as a genesis of creativity: we propose to include 
your home/workspace/voice in our amalgamation of voic- 
es. As a small cinema which is located underneath our 
own dwelling, we have created this project to highlight 
our concern with the ongoing relationship between per- 
sonal and public space/presentation. 



a. place the circle chart on the floor and place your feet in the 
center of it. Starting with 1 , take a picture at each of the 
twelve increments, as you turn around( on this one spot) , 
recording the interior of your home and/or workspace. When 
you choose your spot, keep in mind that the cameras which 
we could afford have a low ASA (400 ) and a small fstop 
(f.11) . (shooting inside out) ♦ 

b. the next 12 shots should be an approximate circling of your 
domicile. If you have a free-standing house, circle your build- 
ing. If you live in an urban area, walk the parameter of your 
city block etc. Shoot in the direction of your home. (shooting 
outside in) 



c. please put the enclosed cassette tape in a recorder 
play. You will hear us giving you 2 simple instructions. 



press 



we are sending 
you: 

1 . a 24 exposure dispos- 
able camera 

2. a paper circle chart 

3. a cassette tape 

4. return postage and 
mailing envelope 



^(MKAT^^ 



Then please return material ASAPl Our show is cqO^^^^^^ ' 
December 4, so send back this material within a 
week of receiving it. We have chosen you as a participant because we 
respect and value the work you do. If you are too busy to contribute, 
throw everything in the enclosed envelope and send it back to us. We'll 
recycle the materials. Or if you wish, send us criticism of our project. 
You are one of only ten I 






/^ tUT OF THa CO|il>oNeNT ^/^I^TX OF 
TOTAL MOBILE HOME microCINEMA^ S 



I REBECCA BARTEN : DAVID SHERMAN I 

proprietorB 

1. OPENING PIECE: 16MM. FILM "A TRIP DOWN MARKET STREET" (1886) W/ 
MUSICAL ACCOMPANIMENT OF CLARA ROCKMORE ON THE THERAMIN. 

2. DAVE HAVOC 1 MAN DRUM CORPS ENTERS TO OUR "WELCOME HOME" TAPE 
LOOP. 

3. NAKED VIDEO TRANSMISSION FROM TMH WELCOMES THE AUDIENCE TO 
"THE BANQUET". 

4. STAR VOCALIST HOST RICHARD McGHEE SINGS "NEW YORK, NEW YORK" 
OVER OUR VIDEO REFILMING OF ANDY WARHOL'S "EMPIRE"- INCLUDING 
INTERVIEWS WITH PEOPLE BEFORE AND AFTER THE 8 HOUR FILM. 

5. PREMIERE OF GEORGE KUCHAR'S "THE CELLAR SINEMA"- A VIDEO 
PORTRAIT OF TMHMC . 

6. EDISON'S 16MM. FILM: "PANORAMIC TRAIN RIDE" (1898). 

7. PREMIERE OF THE TMH MAIL PROJECT ( DISSOLVING SLIDE AND AUDIO 
PRESENTATION). HOMES OF PARTICIPANTS: NINA FONOROFF (MILWAUKEE); 
ROBERT FRANK (NYC); LLOYD DUNN (IOWA CITY; ORGONE CINEMA 
(PITTSBURGH); KON PET MOON (COLUMBUS, OHIO). 

8. RICHARD McGHEE SINGS "RETURN TO SENDER" 

9. FIRST APPEARANCE OF THE 8 FOOT TALL RUSTED METAL CANONIC^ 
WHEEL OF FILM FORTUNE A-Z. AUDIENCE MEMBER SPINS IT AND LANDS ON 
P: "PENNILESS PSYCHODRAMA" ( BRAKHAGE ' S "REFLECTIONS ON BLACK"). 
FILM IS TAKEN FROM CIRCLE OF FILMS AND RACED TO PROJECTION BOOTH 
WHILE: 

10. RICHARD McGHEE SINGS "WITCHCRAFT". 

11. FILM FROM #9 IS PROJECTED. 

12. INTERMISSION (DUE TO EXTREME COLD SOME PEOPLE LEAVE) 

13. INTERMISSION PIECE: TURN OF THE CENTURY PATHE HAND TINTED 
HUMAN BUTTERFLY DANCE FILM TO THE MUSIC OF CLARA ROCKMORE ON THE 
THERAMIN . 

14. RICHARD McGHEE SINGS "FOOLS RUSH IN". 

15. CANONICAL WHEEL OF FILM FORTUNE SPIN #2 LANDS US ON K: 
"KINETIC KNOWLEDGE"- PAUL SHARIT'S "INFERENTIAL CURRENTS". WHILE 
WE'RE THREADING UP THE FILM, R SINGS "BORN FREE". 

16. OWEN O' TOOLE PRESENTS A DOUBLE PROJECTION OF 11 FILMS FROM HIS 
S-EIGHT FILMER'S ALMANAC W/HIS OWN LIVE SOUND MIX TAPE 
ACCOMPANIMENT. THE FILMMAKER'S ARE PAUL MILLER, VANESSA VEROT, 
TERRY POLLACK, MAIJA-LENE RETTIG, JOEL SHAW, ANNE ROBERTSON, 
WILLIE VARELA, CRISTOPH BARTOLOSCH, PHIL PERKINS, PHIL CUMMINS. 

17 . RICHARD McGHEE SINGS "SOMEWHERE OVER THE RAINBOW" . 

18. 16MM. FILM: CHRISTOPHER MacLAINE'S "THE MAN WHO INVENTED GOLD" 
(1957, 14iiiin.). v<ot»l 

19. RICHARD McGHEE SINGS "THAT'S LIFE". ''"°" 

20. RICHARD McGHEE SINGS "HIT THE ROAD, JACK" TO CLOSING NAKED 
VIDEO TRANSMISSION FROM TMH. 



MOBIt 

HOME 



D 

■■■■■■■a 

•■lar. CIN(Mt| 



^ 






5 



"As art sinks into paralysis, artists aultiply. This 
anoBaly ceases to be one if ve realize that art, on 
its vay to exhaustion, has becoae both impossible 
and easy." 

-E M. Cioran The Troub le vith Being Born 




iT (2) TT ^ 0= 



A BANNER TERM INVmNG 
INVESTIGATION OF ITS IMPOSSIBILITY. 



B 



[iS](o)[gDt 




CONSTANT SHHTING PERSPECTIVES. 
MOVING. 

• DOMICILE 

• WHERE THE V IS 

• A BURROW 

• THE BODY (WE WOULD WISH) 

• A TEMPORARY AUTONOMOUS ZONE 




MAKERS INDEX 



Achkar, David 63 
Adisa, Opal Palmer 49 
Agee, James 37 
Ahwesh, Peggy 18, 19, 

24, 68, 
Allen, Regi 61 
Alvear, Miguel 53 
Anger, Kenneth 50, 74, 

76 
Arnold, Martin 1,56, 

67 
Attille, Martina 62 

B 

Baillie, Bruce 52,74, 

75-76 
Baldwin, Craig 33 
Banks, Robert 61 
Bamett, Daniel 16 
Barten, Rebecca 20, 53, 

86, 90-92 
Beatty, Maria 68 
Birchum, Jana 48 
Blackwood, Maureen 61 
Borzage, Frank 23 
Brakhage, Stan 16, 23, 

27-28, 32, 33, 55, 74, 

75-76 
Brattin, John 24 
Breer, Emily 50 
Breitling, Tori 48 
Byun-Hyuk 43 



Cahill, Sarah 7 
Camhi, Gail 59 
Cantrill, Corinne & 

Arthur 46-48 
Cariati, Edwin 59 
Chenzira, Ayoka 60 
Chien, Windy 70 
Child, Abigail 67 
Ching, Andrew 64 
Chou, Angela 52 
Clarke, Shirley 19 



Clarke, Wendy 6 
Cockrell, Suzanne 49 
Conner, Bruce 74, 75- 

76, 88-89 
Cornell, Joseph 1 , 6 
Corzine, Georgina 64 

D 

Danielson, Rob 60 
Dannenbaum, Claire 51 
Davis, Zeinabu 57, 61 
De La Rosa, Vic 52 
De Landa, Manuel 10 
di Maria, Tom 69 
Dorsky, Nathaniel 15 

E 

Eros, Bradley 2, 24 



Farley, William 51 
Farocki, Harun 3-5 
Feingold, Ken 34-35 
Fitzgerald, Kit 6 
Fonoroff, Nina 17-18 
Fort, Deborah 16-17 
Frampton, Mollis 55 
Frank, Robert 72-73 
Friedman, Roberta 59 
Fuller, Samuel 13-14 
Funari, Vicky 69 
Fusco, Coco 33 



Gaffney, Stuart 69 
Gallagher, Chris 2 
Gamboa, Harry Jr. 8 
Gentile, Jennifer 69 
Gerstein, Ariana 12 
Gerstein, David 53-54, 

58,81 
Gibbs, Lissa 5 1 
Gibson, Linda 6, 60, 

63 
Gidal, Peter 83 



Glabicki, Paul 67 
Grenier, Vincent 21 

7 

H I 

Hammer, Barbara 6, 7 
Handelman, Michelle 68 
Harman&Ising 24 
Harris, Thomas 62 
Hasegawa, Ruth 5 
Haslanger, Martha 58 
Heller, Eve 1 , 

Heredia, Paula 33 ^. 
Hernandez, Al 2 . 

Hershman, Lynn 28 . 
Herwitz, Peter 23 . 
Hindle,Wm 74,75 
Hock, Louis 70 j 

Hudina, Chuck 8 j 
Hurwitz, Elise 1,31 j 



Im, Hyun-Ock 42 
Im, Chang- Jae 43 
Ising & Harman 24 



Jacobs, Ken 5 
Jacobson, Nora 20 ^^ 
Jarman, Derek 3 1 / 
Jennings, Jim 82 
Jones, Philip Mallory 

Jordan, Larry 50 

K 

Kade&Kuhn 64 
Kalin, Tom 6, 7 
Kang, Kyoung-Ah 42 , 
Katz, Joel 35,70 
Keller, Marjorie 29-30 
Kels, Karl 23 
Kilchesty, Albert 50 
Kim, Yun-Tae 43 
Kirby, Lynn 48, 49, 

52,70 
Klahr, Lewis 23, 25-26 



M' 



93 



MAKERS INDEX 



Klosky, Linda 82 
Knoop, John 5 1 
Kren, Kurt 8-9 
Kubelka, Peter 75-76 
Kuchar, George 2-3, 
51,86 



Land, Owen 54 
Landau, David 53 
LaPore, Mark 23 
Lee, Yong-Bae 43 
Lee, Yong Je 43 
Leimbacher, Irina 53, 64 
Levine, Paula 49,86, 
87 

Levine, Richard 82 
Levitt, Helen 37 
Lin, Lana 56 
Liotta, Jeanne 2, 50 
Lipsett, Arthur 88-89 
Lipzin, Janis Crystal 1 
Loeb, Janet 37 

M 

Marcus, Erica 52 
Mare, Aline 6 
Masayesva, Victor Jr. 71 
Maybury, John 32 
McCuUough, Barbara 62 
McDowell, Curt 51 
McElhatten, Mark 22 
Melies, George 50 
Merritt, Toney 62 
Meyers, Sidney 37 
Michalak, David 51 
Mideke, Michael 81 
Milstead, Salome 68 
Montgomery, Jennifer 6 
Moore, Andy 53 
Morgan, Hilary 51 
MuUer, Matthias 83,85 

N 
Nanji, Meena 57, 62 
Nape, John 64 



Nelson, Gunvor 56 
Nelson, Russell 64 

o 

O'Donnell, Ariel 31 
O'Neill, Pat 67,75-76 
Onwurah, Ngozi 57, 62 
Ormond, Rebecca 69 



Park, Chang-kyong 42 
Park, Hong Ji 42-43 
Peck, Raoul 63 
Pendra 64 
Phillips, Curtis 8 
Portillo, Lourdes 85-86 
Price, Luther 50,65-66 

Q.R 

Rafic, Baruch 52 
Richardson, Thomas 64 
Robertson, Anne 

Charlotte 77-78 
Rodriguez, Pilar 6, 7 
Rosenblatt, Jay 36-37 



Sachs, Lynne & Dana 22 
Sanborn, John 6, 7 
Sax, Erin 12-13 
Seibert, Jim 5 1 
Serra, M.M. 68 
Serra, Richard 78-81 
Severson, Ann 5 1 
Sharp, Saundra 61 
Shenk, Jon 69 

Sherman, David 86, 

90-92 
silt (Keith Evans, 

Christian Farrell, Jeff 

Warrin) 52,55 
Singer, Leslie 69 
Skinner- Jones, Ann 

16-17 
SkoUer, Jeffrey 11-12 
Slaughter, Mary 53 



Smith, Cauleen 6,35, 

56,61 
Smith, Vejan 6 
Snider, Greta 56 
Solomon, Phil 32-33, 

56 
Soo, Jin Kim 43 
Stark, Scott 1,24 
Stone, Carl 66-68 
Strand, Chick 74,76 
Strosser, Margie 18,19 
Szjako, Lidia 52 



Talbot, Larry 50 
Theise, Eric 36, 68 
Thompson, Peter 3 
Thuy, Tran van 22 

u 

Udongo, Ayanna 57 
Ujica, Andrei 5 



Vachon,Gail 82 
Vanderbeek, Stan 88-89 
Verow, Todd 69 

w 

Wagner, Jane 69 
WalUn, Michael 52 
Walsh, Jack 14-15 
Warhol, Andy 37-42, 

44-46, 48 
Weber, Marshall 35 
Wees, William 87,89 
Weiland, Joyce 55 
Weinbren, Grahame 59 
Weiss, Betsy 69 
Weyergraf, Clare 80 
Wilkins, Timoleon 53 

XYZ 

Yang, Ruby 52 
Yip, Patrick 71 
Zecca, Ferdinand 6 



94 



TITLE INDEX 



The Accursed Mazurka 17 

Aladdin 24 

Alaya 15 

All My Life 75 

Allah Tantou 63 

Alpsee 85 

Alternations of Perspection 54 

Ambivalence 54 

American Eyes: 

mom's home movies 1954-61 5 
Andy ' s House of Gary 3 
Anti-Ship Control 64 
Apollo America 50 
Apologies 77 
Aqueduct 69 
As the Sun Goes Down, a Hole Appears 

in the Sky 54 
Asiam 62 

Assignment Venezuela 35 
ASSIMILATION/a simulation 70 
...ATION PROGR... 52 

B 

Bayou of the Blue Behemoth 3 

BeUevueFilm 59 

Bike Boy 48 

Billabong 75 

Black Body 62 

Blue Moon 50 

The Body Beautiful 57 

Both 52 

Bottle Can (B.C.) 50, 65-66 

Bottles 24 

Bufferin 44-45 

Burnt Offering 54 

By 2's and 3's: Women 30 

By Night with Torch and Spear 1 

Bywandering Fields 49 



Chartres Series 16 

Cheap Imitations — ^Part H: Madwomen; 

Part m: Point, Point 59 
The Chill Ascends 51 
Chinatown 82 
Chronicles Of a Lying Spirit By Kelly 

Gabron 56, 61 
Cockup 42 

Coffee Colored Children 62 
The Color of Love 24,68 
The Connection 19 
Comfort Me 43 
Condition of Dlusion 83 
Conversation Killers 64 
A Constant Sate of Departure 52 
Corporation With a Movie Camera 35 
Cosmic Ray 74 
The Couple in a Cage: a Guatinaui 

Odyssey 33 
Coyote Cow 87 
Crazy Love 2 53 
Cycles 57,61 

D 

Daily Poem 42 

Dear Rock 15 

Decodings 52 

Dehvered Vacant 20 

Depression Focus Please 77 

Dervish Machine 2 

The Devil Never Sleeps (El Diablo Nunca 

Duerme) 85-86 
diary of an autistic child/part two/ragged 

edges of the hollow 59 
Disposition 52 
Djune Idexa 68 
Dong D Jang 67 
Downs Are Feminine 25-26 
Dreaming Rivers 62 
Dykeotomy 16, 17 



CestVrai 73 
Castro Su-eet 52,75 
The Cellar Sinema 86 
Chagruna 53 



EastAVest 87 
Easyout 67 
Eaux d' Artifice 74 
Edges 57 



95 



TITLE INDEX 



8/64: Ana: A Gunter Bnis Action (Ana 

Aktion: Gunter Brus) 8 
El Espectro Rojo 6 
Elementary Phrases 33 
Emotional Tourist 35 
Empathy 17 
Empire 40-42 
Endless 16 
Eruption/Erection 66 
Esmerelda and the Turkey Vulture 82 
Ex Machina 64 



A Fainting Woman's Lost Monkey 1 

Fallen 64 

Feet 21 

15/67: TV 8 

Film in Which There Appear Sprocket 

Holes, Edge Lettering, Dirt Particles, 

Etc. 54 

Film Notebook: Part 1 30 

Film-Wipe-Fihn 67 

Finally Destroy Us 7 

Five Year Diary, Reel # 1 77 

Five Year Diary, Reel # 22 77 

Five Year Diary, Reel # 23 77 

Five Year Diary, Reel # 76 77 

The Flamethrowers 84 

The Flesh is Willing 69 

Flight of Shadows 81 

For All Moonkind 50 

44/85: Foot' -age Shoot' -out 8 

Frame 79,80 

Frames and Cages and Speeches 58 

friendless/faceless 24 

From the Bedroom to the Banquet 86, 

90-92 
Futility 56 



Glacier Park 3 
The Great Divide 



16-17 



H 



Haircut (No. 1.) 37-38 



Hairpiece: 

A Film for Nappyheaded People 60 
Hajj, drinking from the stream 5 1 
Hand Catching Lead 79 
Hands Tied 79 

Harmful or Fatal if Swallowed 1 
Home Avenue 6 
Home Away from Home 61 
Home Stories 84 
Homo videocus 43 
Horse Science Series 60 
House Poem 7 

How to Behave (Chuyen Tu Te) 22 
How to Live in the Federal Republic of 

Germany (Leben-BRD) 4 



I Shot Jesse James 13 
I Want You 65 
I'll Walk with God 1 
Ice Cream 24 

The Idea We Live In (La Idea Que 

Habitimos) 7 
Imprinting 87 
InB/WH 65 
In the Eye of the Child 82 
Isabella Holding a Pot of Basil 69 
Island Zoetrope 2 
Ismism 10 
Itam Hakim, Hopiit 71 



Japanese Relocation 5 
Jellyfish Sandwich 65 
Judgment Day 10 

K 

Kafka Kamera 77 

Kamiya Bar 67 

kemia (in 7 parts) 52 

kemia (Part 3, 4 & 5) 55 

A Knowledge They Cannot Lose 17 



L.A. Famiha 8 
Last Supper 73 



e^ 



96 



TITLE INDEX 



The Lip Side 64 

Locomotion 77 

Loredana 68 

A Lot of Fun For The Evil One 68 

Love Tapes 6-7 

Lumumba: Death of a Prophet 63 

The Lying Buddha 43 

Lyrics 29,30 

M 
Mae Yao (Part 1) 66 
The Malady of Death 11-12 
Me Gut No Dog DOG 66 
Melodic aux Pays des Reves: Part n 23 
The Memo Book 84 
Mend 21 

The Message #16 
Mirage 2 
Mirror, Mirror 87 
Mizu Shobai 56 
Mnemonic Study: 

Ellis Island Fragments 70 
Modemist-Not 87 
MoonaLuna 50 
Moonlight Sonata 50 
Mother Load 69 
Mother Tongue 64 
Mother's Hands 6 
Mothlight 75 
A Movie 75 

N 
Naked to the World 69 
New Sexual Positions for Women in 

Pom 64 
No-NoNookyTV 7 
Nocturne 56 

o 

One of a Kind 7 1 

One year of mourning 49, 87 

Org 43 

Otherwise Unexplained Fires 55 

Out in the Garden 21 



Paris and Athens, June 1993 49 

passage ^ I'acte 1,56,67 

Passing 43 

Pastoral d'Et6 74 

Penimibra 51 

Perfect Film 5 

Picking Tribes 61 

Planet Brooklyn 61 

Poems by Opal Palmer Adisa 49 

Poor Littie Rich Girl 38-39 

Prefaces 67 

Present Tense 15 

Projected Light 46-48 

Projections 3 1 

Prowl 50 

Psychological 64 

Q.R 

The Quiet One 37 

Rabbit's Moon 50 

Railroad Tumbridge 80 

Raw Nerves: A Lacanian Thriller 10 

Receiving Sally 12 

Recovering the Silence of Falling 

(in 4 parts) 12 
red white blue and yellow 52 
Remains to be Seen 33 
Remembrance of Things Fast 31,32 
Riverbody 51 
Romance 6 
Rose Hobart 6 
Run 66 
Run of the Arrow 1 3 



S'Aline's Solution 6 

Scattering Stars (Stemenschauer) 85 

Selenology 53 

Seven of Worlds 13 

7/64: Leda and the Swan: An Otto Muehl 
Happening (Leda und der Schwan: 
Materialktion: Otto Muehl) 8 

7362 75 



97 



TITLE INDEX 



SheA^a 29 

Sincerely 52 

16/67: September 20th - Gunter Brus 8 

16mm camera rolls 23 

skin-es-the-si-a 69 

Sleepy Haven 84 

The Smell of Burning Ants 36-37 

Sodom 65 

Sohdarity 55 

Song I 27 

Songs n& in 27 

Song IV 27 

SongV 27 

Songs VI &Vn 27 

SongVm 27 

Songs IX &X 27 

Song XI 27 

SongXn 27 

SongXm 27 

SongXrV 27 

SongXXm 27 

Sorry, I Am An Actress 42 

Split Description 53 

Steelmill/Stahlwerk 80 

strain, restrain 1 

Strange Weather 18-19 

Streets 8 

Study in Color and Black and White 23 

Sumatra, Island of Yesterday 35 

Sunbelt Serenades (Parts 1 & 3) 2 



Taking Back The Dolls 69 
Talking To Myself 77 
lOa/65: Silveraction Brus 

(Silberaktion Brus) 8 
Tenderloin Blues 8 
13/67: Sinus Beta 831/75: Asyl 8 
36 Hours on 24th Street 87 
36/78: Rischart 8 
37/78: Tree Again 8 
3 Comrades 23 
3/60: Trees in Autumn 

(Baum im Herbst) 8 
Time Being 56 
TomR 64 



Tom's Flesh 69 

Topography/Surface Writing 1 1 

Tourist Movie 53 

Tower of the Astro Cyclops 3 

Tree 53 

Tribute 51 

A Trip to the Moon 50 

Tung 74 

Turtle 29 

23/69: Underground Explosion 8 

26/7 1 : Cartoon: Balzac and the Eye of 

God (Zeichenfilm: Balzac und das Auge 

Gottes) 8 
Twig 81 

2/60: 48 Heads from the Szondi-Test (48 
Kopfe aus dem Szondi-Test) 8 

U 
Un Chien Delicieux 34-35 
Uncut camera rolls 23 
Universal Hotel 3 
Unsere Afrikareise 75 
Untitled (by Keller) 29 
Untitled (by Kels) 23 



VANNAV 52 

The Velvet Underground and Nico 45-46 

Victims of the Victim 52 

A Visit to Indiana 5 1 

Videograms of a Revolution 

(Videogrammes einer Revolution) 5 
view/camera 53 
Virus 69 
Voices of the Morning 57, 62 

w 

Wasteland & Oasis 31 

Water Ritual #1 : An Urban Rite Of 

Purification 62 
The Web 30 
Western History 55 
Wet Dream 43 

What Goes Around/Comes Around 7 
Which Way is East 22 
White Passage 52 



98 



TITLE INDEX 



Whitesands 82 

Who Stole the Keeshka? 51 

Wild Night in El Reno 51 

Wind Grass Song 48 

Window Water Baby Moving 74 

Working Class Chronicle 14 

The World' s Fastest Hippie 5 1 

XYZ 

X: The Baby Cinema 61 

You 21 

No.: Falter 2 8 



99