• Essential Visual Music: Rare Classics

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    UCLA Film and Television Archive and the Center for Visual Music (CVM) are pleased to present a new program of rarely screened films from the CVM collection, at The Billy Wilder Theatre at The Hammer Museum, Los Angeles on January 21, 2009. This evening features a range of works, from experiments by German film pioneers to light show psychedelia, and highlights the evolving technology and artistic sophistication of visual music and experimental animation. This new program curated by CVM includes little-seen films by Oskar Fischinger, Jules Engel, Charles Dockum, Mary Ellen Bute, John Stehura, David Lebrun, and Sixties Light Show films by Jud Yalkut/USCO and The Single Wing Turquoise Bird.

    Several of the works in the show were designed to be used in performance contexts, light shows and other expanded forms of cinema, often with independent musical accompaniment, such as the 35mm ‘recreation’ film of Oskar Fischinger’s multiple-projector film performances from the mid-1920s. Accordingly, one of the themes that
    emerges from this program is a dialogue between structure and spontaneity in visual music. A number of the films were made in Southern California, including early experiments in computer graphics from UCLA in the 1960s and Cal Arts in the 1970s. Many of the prints in this show represent recent preservation work by CVM.

    The program will be presented by archivist/curator Cindy Keefer, and a Q&A will follow the screening with filmmakers Michael Scroggins, David Lebrun and Peter Mays.

    Funding for the preservation of many of the films was provided, in part, by the National Film Preservation Foundation, The National Endowment for the Arts, The Jules Engel Preservation Project, Deutsches Filmmuseum and private donors. Mood Contrasts screened courtesy Cecile Starr.
    The Billy Wilder Theatre is on the Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024. 310-206-8013. UCLA Film & TV Archive website:
    FREE admission. 16mm/35mm. 7:30 pm show.
    NOTE: As admission is free, UCLA does not offer advance reserved seating through their website.
    Parking is available in the Hammer Museum structure, enter on Westwood Blvd.

    Title list and film notes are at CVM’s website at:
    and on UCLA’s Calendar page


  • Italian Experimental Cinema V 1 '08

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    Le Farfalle (Anonymous, 1907)Next week will see the first edition of the Italian Experimental Cinema festival, featuring the work of over 40 artists through several screenings, graphic works, photos and multimedia installations.

    The event, subtitled "From the origins of Futurism to the new millenium" will feature works from the begginings of last century, including predecessors and derivatives of the Futurist movement such as Le Farfalle (anonymous, 107) or Rapsodia Satanica (Nino Oxilia, 1914) to brad retrospectibves of filmmakers such as Cioni Carpi, Bruno Munari & Marcello Piccardo, Andrea Flamini and Nato Frascà and several themed programmes. The festival programme has been curated by Piero Pala.

    The festival will be held from the 10th to the 14th December 2008 at the Embassy of France (Palazzo Farnese, Rome) and at the Nuovo Cinema Aquila (Via L’Aquila 68, Rome).


  • no-w-here: Ben Russell screening / workshop

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    Ben Russell - Black and White Trypps Number Three (2007) present a screening and workshop with Chicago based artist Ben Russell . Russell  is an itenerant experimental filmmaker and curator who has shown his work at venues and  festivals all over the world. His films range from rigorous experimental enthnographies  to investigations into the phenomenological potential of cinema.

    2 December 2008, 7pm:
    Screening: Ben Russell's Trypps Trypps Trypps Trypps Trypps

    3 December 2008, 10.30am–4.30pm
    Workshop: Film / Phenomenology With Ben Russell


  • Kill your timid notion on tour

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    KYTN tour 2008The 'Kill your timid notion' Festival has announced a tour through the United Kingdom. The tour will offer a selection of the best of past editions, along with live perfromances and expanded cinema, visiting three cities: London (29,30 Nov), Bristol (2-4 Dec) and Gllasgow (6,7 Dec).

    The tour includes a performance programme by artists Ken Jacobs, La Cellule d'Intervention Metamkine, Kjell Bjørgeengen, Keith Rowe and Philipp Wachsmann, Andrew Lampert, Bruce McClure, Paul Sharits and Greg Pope; and several film programmes , with films by Hollis Frampton, Ben Rivers, Walter Ruttman, Guy Sherwin, John Smith, Peter Rose, Pip Chodorov, Paul Sharits.


  • Jonas Mekas: New Work at Maya Stendhal Gallery

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    Mekas: New Work
    Opens at Maya Stendhal Gallery

    November 13, 2008 – February 21, 2009
    Opening Reception: Thursday, November 13, 6 – 9 pm

    Maya Stendhal Gallery is delighted to announce Jonas
    Mekas: New Work
    , which will be on view from November 13,
    2008 through February 21, 2009. The exhibition will present the world
    premiere of Jonas Mekas’ latest 4-monitor video installation entitled
    Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR (2008).
    Also on view for the first time will be new works from the artist’s
    dynamic collection of 40 film stills series.

    Forces of time, memory, change, and human will collide in Mekas’
    compelling work Lithuania and the Collapse of the USSR
    (2008). The work’s title refers to the historical time when the
    world watched as Mekas’ home country of Lithuania fought for independence
    from the stronghold of Soviet rule. Comprised of 4 parts with a total
    running time of 4 hours and 46 minutes, it will be presented in a 4-monitor
    video installation format offering a chronological overview of Lithuania’s
    birth as an independent nation. With a video camera, Mekas recorded newscasts
    that played daily in 1991 on his television set at home. Footage includes
    reports of the Soviet Union’s use of “aggressive actions”
    that called for Lithuanian back down, freedom demonstrations, interviews
    and statements made by top politicians, journalists, and analysts that
    include Lithuanian President Vytautas Landsbergis,
    Deputy Prime Minister Kazimiera Prunskiene,
    Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev, Russian President
    Boris Yeltsin
    , United States President George H.W. Bush
    among others, as well as moving portraits of the Lithuanian people who
    were directly affected by the conflict. Mekas’ account, reported
    by news outlets in the United States, also reveals the shaping and shifting
    of political, economic, and social relations between the Eastern Europe
    and the West at the time.

    “The video is made up of footage that I took with my Sony from the
    television newscasts during the collapse of the USSR, with the home noises
    in the background. It’s a capsule of record of what happened and
    how it happened during that crucial period as recorded by the television
    newscasters. It can be viewed as a classic Greek drama in which the destinies
    of nations are changed drastically by the unbending, bordering on irrational
    will of one single man (Vytautas Landsbergis), one small nation determined
    to regain its freedom, backed by its fight against the Might & Power,
    against the Impossible.”
    Jonas Mekas

    The 1960s witnessed the breakdown of art’s time worn paradigms as
    artists exchanged ideas through activities that permeated medium specific
    boundaries, the white box galleries and museums, and hierarchies that
    delineated high and low. Mekas, a programmer, archivist,
    , theoretician, and all around proselytizer
    for the moving image, encapsulated this revolutionary spirit in his films
    from the era, which include portraits of Fluxus and its
    founder George Maciunas along with members Nam
    June Paik
    , Yoko Ono, Shigeko Kubota,
    and Jackson Mac Low. The currents felt during this decade
    resonate in Collection of 40 Film Stills from
    Zefiro Torna or Scenes of the Life of George Maciunas
    which chronicles the life of Fluxus impresario George Maciunas
    and his friends. Similarly, Collection of 40 Film Stills:
    Velvet Underground
    (2008) draws from the only recorded footage
    of the Velvet Underground’s first public appearance at the Psychiatrists
    Convention from January 14, 1966. A psychedelic montage of music, color,
    and dance, this group includes appearances by 1960’s pop culture
    icons Lou Reed, Nico, Eddie
    , and Andy Warhol. Collection
    of 40 Film Stills from Birth of a Nation
    (2008) imparts
    a telling portrait of the enigmatic characters and diverse impulses comprising
    the underground film community. Included are images of Stan Brakhage,
    Peter Kubelka, Harry Smith, Shirley
    , Peter Bogdanovich, Ken Jacobs,
    Jack Smith, Kenneth Anger, and others.

    “There are no rules written on the sky…I can show
    my films on the screen, I can cut them into pieces and show them as objects
    or multi-media installations.”

    Two new works also on view illustrate Mekas’ unique sensibility
    to the beauty, poeticism, and meaning of his subject matter, whether he
    is observing epic events and pop culture icons, or life’s everyday
    occurrences. Collection of 40 Film Stills from Mozart &
    (2008) gives a riveting account of Elvis Presley’s
    last concert in New York on June 9, 1972. A tableaux of flickering lights,
    movement, and mesmeric color, images portray a white jumpsuit clad Elvis
    at the peak of his now legendary performance. Whether addressing film,
    art, or life, the manifesto has always been a crucial aspect of Mekas’
    practice. Collection of 40 Film Stills: Summer Haiku: A Manifesto
    (2008) began as a project for Serpentine Gallery’s
    Manifesto Marathon 2008, a futurological congress
    in which leading artists, architects, writers, philosophers, politicians
    presented manifestos for the 21st century. For his presentation, Mekas
    unveiled images captured from his vast archival footage, which convey
    his philosophical views on nature, illuminating nature’s beauty
    and fragility.

    The hallmark feature of Mekas’ captivating film still collections
    underscore his ability to transcend mediums, and at the same time, illustrate
    his willingness to reevaluate past methods to test the boundaries of artistic
    practice. They compliment the ephemeral nature of his films, bringing
    subjects and events to a stand still and memorializing them forever. This
    dissection of the medium is truly avant-garde - it refuses to obey the
    conventions of the medium and reveals and examines the very nature of
    the medium itself.

    All Collections of 40 Film Stills are produced in edition of 3 with 1
    artist proof, and printed in cibachrome measuring 20” x 16”
    (50.8 x 40.64) each. The film stills are signed individually in verso
    by Jonas Mekas, and a certificate of authenticity also signed by the artist
    and Maya Stendhal Gallery accompanies each collection.

    The exhibition at Maya Stendhal Gallery coincides with a major career
    retrospective on Jonas Mekas, which will be held at Museum Ludwig,
    Cologne, Germany from November 8, 2008 to March 1, 2009. Through personal
    archives in the form of documents, photographs, catalogues, texts, and
    film posters, the presentation will survey important periods of the artist’s
    life and career including New American Cinema, Film-maker’s
    , Film Culture, and Anthology
    Film Archives
    . Also on view will be Mekas’ classic films
    in combination with his most recent work, notably 365 Project
    and Collection of 40 Film Stills: Summer Haiku: A Manifesto.
    Jonas Mekas will have a second major exhibition at Serpentine Gallery,
    London in 2010.

    For further information please contact:
    Maya Stendhal Gallery | 545 West 20th St. | New York, NY 10011
    T 212.366.1549 | F 347.287.6775 | email [email protected]


  • Tate Modern: Colour Field Film and Video

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    Colour Field Film and Video
    Friday 21 November – Saturday 22 November 2008

    The two programmes in this series look at the myriad ways in which
    'colour fields' have been explored in artists' films and videos. The
    work included spans the history of experimental film and video, from
    some of the earliest avant-garde films of the 1920s to contemporary
    digital abstraction. Links are explored between these films and videos
    and certain trends in abstract painting, from constructivist aesthetics
    through to colour field painters, including Mark Rothko. The use of
    colour in the works that comprise these programmes is sometimes
    celebratory or playful, but always critical and direct.

    Curated by Simon Payne
    Simon Payne is a video artist. Most recently his work has shown in a
    programme entitled Aleatory Colour: Perception / Memory / Material
    curated by Peter Gidal, for the Serpentine Gallery. He has a PhD from
    the Royal College of Art and is a Senior Lecturer in Communication,
    Film and Media Studies at Anglia Ruskin University in Cambridge.

    Programme One: Kinetic Colour
    Friday 21 November 2008, 19.00

    The films and videos in this programme use colour in swathes, lines,
    bits, or frame-by-frame, engaging every portion of the screen. They
    involve abstract paradigms related to painterly aesthetics, weaving and
    digital synthesis. The animation, flicker and modulation of fields and
    frames of colour create experiences that are vivid and distinctly

    - Walther Ruttmann, Opus II-IV, Germany 1923-25, 10'
    - Oskar Fischinger, Motion Painting no.1,USA 1947, 11'
    - Len Lye, Color Cry, USA 1952-53, 3'
    - Rose Lowder, Parcelle, France 1979, 3'
    - Paul Sharits, Ray Gun Virus, USA 1966, 14'
    - Peter Donebauer, Entering, UK 1974, 8'   
    - Stephen Beck, Video Weavings, USA 1976, 9'
    - reMI, uta zet, Austria 2001, 5'   
    - Bas van Koolwijk, Five, Netherlands 2002, 3'
    - Tina Frank, Chronomops, Austria 2005, 3'
    - Simon Payne, New Ratio, UK 2007, 2' 

    Programme duration approx 71 min

    Tate Modern  Starr Auditorium
    £5 (£4 concessions), booking recommended
    For tickets book online or call 020 7887 8888

    Programme Two: Contrasting Surfaces

    Saturday 22 November 2008, 19.00

    This programme presents films and videos that explore different
    relationships between the substance of the recorded image and the flat
    coloured surface of the screen, which is often accentuated by filters
    or mattes. In some of the films, such as Ming Green and Color Aid, the
    subject matter itself refers to flat surfaces of colour. In many of the
    other pieces the prominence of the grain or pixels, and the use of
    printing processes or compositing, sets up an interplay between the
    layers of the image and screen.

    - Jennifer Nightingale, Knitting Pattern, UK 2006, 3'   
    - Chick Strand, Anselmo, USA 1967, 4'
    - Gregory Markopoulos, Ming Green, USA 1966, 7'
    - Stan Brakhage, III, IV and V (from the Roman Numerals series), USA 1979/80, 9'
    - Richard Serra, ColorAid, USA 1970/71, 36'
    - George Barber, Tilt, UK 1983, 4'
    - Nicky Hamlyn, Telly, UK 1995, 4'
    - Vincent Grenier, Color Study, Canada 2000, 4'

    Programme duration approx 71 min

    Tate Modern  Starr Auditorium
    £5 (£4 concessions), booking recommended
    For tickets book online or call 020 7887 8888.


  • Los Angeles Filmforum - Stephanie Maxwell Visual Music

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    unday November 9, 2008, 7:00 pm


    Los Angeles Filmforum presents
    Stephanie Maxwell Visual Music
    Stephanie Maxwell in person!!

    Co-presentation with the iotaCenter.

    Stephanie Maxwell specializes in hand-painted experimental abstract
    animation. After performing a variety of painting, marking and
    engraving techniques directly onto 35mm film stock, Maxwell
    rephotographs each frame of the film using a digital feed camera and
    digital frame capture, sometimes employing additional manipulations
    such as bending and twisting the film, layering film frames together,
    and progressive alterations of the image during the frame by frame

    This screening will feature selections from Maxwell’s work from 1984
    through her two newest works from 2008, as well as a twelve-minute
    short documentary about Maxwell’s filmmaking process, with footage of
    the artist at work. Two short clips from the documentary and a few
    select clips from the films are available on the iotaCenter YouTube channel.

    The aesthetic of Maxwell’s films has changed since she began
    creating films in the 1980’s, and the transformation of her techniques
    and style will be apparent by viewing her films chronologically. The
    themes and imagery in her films vary widely – from that of a biological
    nature (GA, 1984), to staged, but painterly, graphical works (Somewhere, 1999) to interpretations of the metaphysical – time, reality, existence (Time Streams, 2003 and Runa’s Spell, 2007).

    Some of the combinations of sound and imagery in Maxwell’s work are haunting and lovely, as in Runa’s Spell,
    where a close-up of what appears to be a colorful microscopic organism
    is accompanied by the distant sound of a woman lamenting in musical
    form. In Reflecting Pool (2006), a dark, ominous background
    is lit up with neon reflections of sand animation combined with images
    of microscopic organisms in a watery matrix. The music reflects and
    reacts to the evolving revelations in this three-movement work.

    “Stephanie Maxwell’s work gets me. Her work is fuelled by a
    breathless, giddy energy and passion that seeps through every whore of
    a pore. Like a child, she is excited by a seemingly minute discovery —
    like an anthill, river or a rock. Maxwell’s work is an extension of
    that explorative part of our childhood. She has a tenacious fascination
    with the natural world; a world that too many of us (myself included)
    have left behind in favor of simulated realities.” – Chris Robinson, Animation World Magazine


  • Exp 24 at Leeds Int Film Festival

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    Friday 14th November: 8.30pm-11pm @ The Adelphi, 1-3 Hunslett Road, Leeds, LS10 1JQ

    £3.50/£4.50 entry

    are a Leeds-based experimental film collective working with Super 8 and
    16mm with a penchant for film happenings. They will be unveiling their
    very own beautiful, hand-crafted and hand-processed films created in
    their newly established proto film lab!

    Share in the EXP24
    experience in the relaxed and informal environment of the Adelphi
    upstairs room with live soundtracks, eclectic music and a bar! Come and
    witness gorgeous experimental cinema made by Leeds' very own lab rat

    This event will be experimental in form as well as
    content, challenging traditional notions of cinema ‘screenings’. EXP24
    will present films and works in progress on Super 8, 16mm and digital
    formats, with plenty of breaks and good music.

    There will also
    be some installations in the lounge area. Featured screenings include
    EXP24’s hand-made films and also films created by people who have
    participated in EXP24-run workshops. EXP24 enjoys creating film events
    which are accessible to all and at the same time challenge commonly
    held notions of what cinema is, so come along and enjoy the sociable
    atmosphere as well as the moving images.


  • ATA: Global Undergrounds - Documentary Films from Spain

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    Global Undergrounds: Documentary Films From Spain

    On November 13 and 14, as part of an ongoing cinematic and cultural exchange between ATA and the independent cinema La Enana Marron in Madrid, Spain, ATA hosts two nights of Documentary film from Spain sponsored by the General Consulate of Spain in San Francisco. David Reznak, filmmaker and founder of La Enana Marron will be here in person to present the series.

    Both screenings will take place at ATA, 992 Valencia Street, Doors open at 7:30pm and films will start at 8pm. Entrance is FREE.

    Thursday, November 13, 2008 - 8pm
    La Osa Mayor Menos Dos -The Great Bear Minus Two
    by David Reznak
    16mm, 98 min, colour, 2006. V.O with enghish subtitles

    Like the train that brings you from Madrid to Leganés (town where the film was shot), and shows you the back shop of factories and towns, that path that only the railroad takes; staying at the Mental Hospital becomes like watching society behind the scene.
    Madness has a primitive power for revelation: revelation that what is dreamy is to be real, that illusion has no limits. All reality is reabsorbed by fantastic images.

    This documentary has been filmed throughout a year to portrait punctual events of each season, follow the cycles of the younger patients, the improvement or even rehabilitation of the healthier, and irreversibility of the eldest.

    Best Documentary film award at the XII Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente de Barcelona. L' Alternativa 05, it has been said this is one of the 5 best Spanish films of the decade.

    Friday, November 14, 2008 - 8pm

    Reality And Truth: Spanish Documents
    Curated by David Reznak

    This program includes films like "The Siege" and "As it gets dark, it's dawn", that articulate a language from an elaborated formal process and play with the texture of the image and the descontextualization of the sound to create poetic moments, that oppose another two films, "Texas Sunrise" and " Story of Juan", that use improvisation and a seemingly invisible film crew with which, sometimes, the spectator can wonder how these two films were made and come to the conclusion that the script was written with the camera and the film was finished in the editing room. Both have bet on exceptional characters that don't need to be embellished by an elaborated cinematographic language.

    These four films represent a free cinema that prove that documentary film is a vehicle for the dramatic construction of the filmed reality, and that a preliminary script is the worst curse of a type of cinema.

    El Cerco – The Siege
    Nacho Martín y Ricardo Íscar
    12 min. 35mm, 2005
    V.O with enghish subtitles

    Each year, thousands of tuna fish enter the Mediterranean Sea. Man's hands harass them in a blood and death ritual. It's the classic war between man and animals. But it is an unequal fight.

    Como Anochece Amanece - As It Gets Dark, It's Dawn
    David Reznak.
    10 min, 16mm, 1996
    V.O with enghish subtitles

    A travel log through the Dominican Republic.

    Texas Sunrise
    Luis Escartin
    17min, Video, 2002
    V.O with enghish subtitles

    Texas Sunrise consists of an incredibly lucid monologue narrated by Johnston Frisco, a North American homeless person reflecting on the role of freedom in the current Western society. Issues such as governmental aid and control over citizens by democracies, the desire of private property and need to feel safe are some of the points insisted on. The close ups of this film show are images structured in a group of mostly static shots that represent the solitude of the West Coast scenarios, followed by Johnston Frisco riding a bike.

    The city of Las Vegas and its surroundings landscape are the images that accompany Frisco's words. Postmodern architecture, lonely roads, abandoned cars, pedestrians, restaurant signs and panoramic views of the desert appear throughout the film, in which the face of the protagonist is never revealed.

    It is easy to find an iconographic resemblance between One Way Boogie Woogie by James Benning and Texas Sunrise – the best work of Lluis Escartín – but here Johnston's words show such veracity and vital consequence that they end up being the protagonist of the 17 minutes, leaving the succession of frames in the background.

    Historia De Juan – Story Of Juan
    Fernando Borrero
    38 min. DV, 2002
    V.O with enghish subtitles

    Juan Medina, former convict, infected with HIV, and with a past plagued by drugs and crime, is the protagonist of this documentary film.

    His reflections on politics, religion, sexuality and freedom describe a dense and rich personal universe, where humor tinged with irony softens the harshness of the story.