Turbidus Film and Fylkingen present, as a part of Kortfilmsdagen, three films by Jerome Hiler. The films by Hiler blend a beauteous celebration of the sensual world with a deep sense of introspection and solitude. They are occasions for reflection and meditation, on light, landscape, time and the motions of consciousness. For example, In the Stone House literally compiles physically fragile and intensely poignant footage shot during the same period chronicled in Nathaniel Dorsky's Hours for Jerome (1967-1971). Hiler and Dorsky lived together in rural New Jersey in the late '60s, and their films draw from the same well of intimate experience and acute retrospection. But how rare it is to see such a highly refined syntax multiplied across sensibilities in this way! Brought together 40 years after its inception and 20 years after Hours for Jerome, In the Stone House draws out moments of lost time like pressed flowers from a book. Lacing through the fleeting visions of passing days are several more elaborate rituals: preparations made to film an eclipse.
This films are available only as 16mm film, so this is a great opportunity to watch them.
This event is financed by Kortfilmsdagen/Svenska Filminstitutet.
Curators: Daniel A. Swarthnas and Isis Marina Graham
- In The Stone House (2012, 16 mm, 35’00)
In the Stone House follows the course of three seasons. There is a strong conjunction between the energies of the natural world and the youthful mind of the filmmaker newly in love with both film and the material world. For me, the sense of observation is more important than the thing observed. I often record everyday things. There are trips to Manhattan, as well as to my parents in working-class Queens. I don't see this as "diaristic" as if it had no significance to anyone but myself. When I am shooting film, I am inviting the viewer inside myself to that area that usually seems unreachable in human exchanges. Every art, such as painting or music, has that special area that is disallowed to all other forms. With film, you can inhabit my mind.
- New Shores (1971-87, edited 2014, 16 mm, 35'00)
New Shores is a sister film to In the Stone House in many ways. Like the latter film, it consists of earlier footage edited in recent years. It could be seen as a sequel to In the Stone House especially since it begins with a cross-country journey to the West Coast, where I settled, and concludes with a visit, in 1987, to the "stone house" in rural New Jersey. Even though there is some sort of time line that can be imagined, the film stands on its own. It is simply a series of episodes that touch upon facets of living in a new area with new weather, new people, new identities and stubborn old fears. The Bolex camera goes to work across landscapes and living areas, workplaces and gatherings. A dance of images: can beauty partner with dread and death? It's a film of the coexistences that percolate beneath the surface of ordinary events. A film of useless hopes and baseless fears. As mentioned, we conclude with a return to the house in New Jersey. We meet the current tenant and explain who we are. Our visit sets off a brief return to the 'sixties and the memory of a Halloween dance and, then, returns to the present. This Autumnal rondo completes the seasonal progression of In the Stone House yet re-states the impossibility of any going back.
- Marginalia (2016, 16 mm, 23'00)
Marginalia is a contemplation in shades of grey and periodic color on the state and place of society in a quickly changing environment. It could be seen as a view from the margins. Or, as its title suggests, it might be expostulatory comments on the page-edge of our shared circumstances. Its air is filled with things slipping away to make way for an as yet unknown birth. The characters that we approach most proximately are a family with two young sons. The forebodings in this film have a kind of antidote in the way ideas and skills can be passed along to young generations outside the margins of the main arena of digital entertainment. As educators discuss dropping cursive writing from the syllabus of future grade schools, my interest in all things hand-made becomes acute. Scribblings course their way across the screen as scratches: the margins invade center stage. Images of electrical power occasionally appear as well as a distant Facebook headquarters. Will future writing depend on such things? Could a power outage bring an end to the written word? Not really, but so much and so much more in our lives is dependent on mega-energy.
All films from Canyon Cinema, San Francisco.
Jerome Hiler (USA, 1943-) began his creative life as a painter and was a student of Natalia Pohrebinska at Pratt Institute. Within a few years, Mr. Hiler became enthralled with the visual and poetic possibilities of 16mm experimental film. In particular, his encounter with the films of Marie Menken, Gregory Markopoulos and Stan Brakhage deeply affected his own artistic path. It completely changed the focus of his creative energies and led to decades of work as a filmmaker. For most of his life, Hiler only screened his work among his circle of friends. However, from 1995 on, his work has been seen more publicly.