Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer

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Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer
April 4-7 2013
TIFF Bell Lightbox
Reitman Square, 350 King Street West, Toronto, Ontario

In recent years, the pioneering experimental filmmaker and lesbian activist Barbara Hammer has been feted with retrospectives at London's Tate Modern, New York's Museum of Modern Art and Paris' Jeu de Paume, amongst others. Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer is a fitting and overdue tribute to an artist who has explored a wide range of styles and subjects over her prolific forty-five-year career.  

Born at the tail end of the Depression to parents heading west to Los Angeles in search of a better life, Hammer is the consummate American pioneer. Her life and films reflect both a peripatetic sense of place (Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, along with some European jaunts), and also a firm sense of inner discovery and the mastery that comes from a creative adaptation of what one discovers along the way. Through her personal filmmaking, she has always allowed her life-story (told most entertainingly in her recent autobiography, Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life) to reveal itself in her work. Her films become an artistic record of, among other things, coming out as a lesbian during feminism’s second wave, fighting the politics of acceptance in the eighties and a successful fight against ovarian cancer in the first decade of the 21st Century. From her very first Super 8 psychodramatic self-portraits, to her mid-eighties experiments with the abstract possibilities of the optical printer, to her later documentaries that attempt to trace a queer artistic lineage through the political and artistic turmoil of the early twentieth century, Hammer has displayed a stylistic polyvalence which, combined with her generosity as an artist, teacher and community activist, has influenced generations of students, filmmakers and artists. 

Brave New World: The Films of Barbara Hammer is the first retrospective presented in the context of The Free Screen, a programme committed to independent and avant-garde works and to an exploration of numerous art forms and disciplines, as they relate to cinema. All screenings in this series are FREE.

Barbara Hammer will be at TIFF Bell Lightbox to present each screening, and will be joined by special guests. Co-presented with the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC) and the Images Festival.

Resisting Paradise(2003),preceded by Pools (1988)
Thursday, April 4, 6:15 pm - Barbara Hammer in person with special guest Toronto artist and filmmaker Elle Flanders

Tender Fictions (1995), preceded by Still Point (1989)
 Thursday, April 4, 9:00 pm - Barbara Hammer in person

Dyketactics  programme
Dyketactics (1974), Menses (1974), Superdyke (1975), Women I Love (1976), Sappho (1978), Multiple Orgasm (1976) and Double Strength (1978)
Saturday, April 6, 1:00 pm - Barbara Hammer in person with special guest Allyson Mitchell, a Toronto-based multimedia and performance artist, professor, and co-founder of the feminist art gallery FAG

Nitrate Kisses (1992), preceded by Schizy (1968)
Saturday, April 6, 7:00 pm – Barbara Hammer in person with author and nationally syndicated sex columnist Sasha.

Resisting Death programme
Sanctus (1990), A Horse Is Not a Metaphor (2008), Bent Time (1983)
Sunday, April 7, 4:30 pm - Barbara Hammer in person

Generations programme
I Was/I Am (1972), Meshes of the Afternoon (dir. Maya Deren, 1943), Generations (2010), Scratch (dir. Deirdre Logue, 1998), Moohead (dir. Deirdre Logue, 1999), Eclipse (dir. Deirdre Logue, 2005), Velvet Crease (dir. Deirdre Logue, 2012), Maya Deren’s Sink (2011)
Sunday, April 7, 7:15 pm - Barbara Hammer in person with special guest Deirdre Logue, a Toronto-based multimedia artist, and co-founder of the feminist art gallery FAG

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