Bay Area-based non-profit film and media arts organization Canyon Cinema has, for 50 years, served as a bastion of “artist-made moving image work” not just as an archive, but as a distributor and champion of experimental, avant-garde, alternative and otherwise underserviced filmmaking voices. Curated by David Dinnell, visiting faculty at California Institute of the Arts and former Program Director at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, UCLA Film & Television Archive is proud to serve as the Los Angeles home for four 16mm programs that draw exclusively from Canyon’s vast collection. Deriving titles from lesser-known Canyon films, these programs span seven decades, and include work by Saul Levine, Barbara Hammer, Curt McDowell and Canyon founders Bruce Baillie and Chick Strand, which together offer a vital roadmap for artist-made cinema.
In conjuction with A Canyon Cinema Celebration, taking place at the Echo Park Film Center on July 12.
In-person: Antonella Bonfanti, David Dinnell (7/13, 7/14); Betzy Bromberg (7/13); Janie Geiser (7/14); Cauleen Smith (7/14).
Los Angeles Filmforum members receive free admission at the box office!
The Canyon Cinema 50 project is organized by the Canyon Cinema Foundation and supported in part by the George Lucas Family Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and The Fleishhacker Foundation.
Special thanks: Antonella Bonfanti, David Dinnell, Mark Toscano.
July 13, 2018 - 19:30h
Studies in Natural Magic / Associations
Program One: Studies in Natural Magic
Program One features recent films by Saul Levine, Charlotte Pryce and Christopher Harris; rarely screened films by Standish Lawder and Jean Sousa; sublimely filmed and acutely perceived portraits of cities, seas, skies and landscapes by Peter Hutton, Julie Murray, Gary Beydler, Robert Fulton and Emily Richardson; Betzy Bromberg’s audacious and energetic feminist punk city symphony; Degrees of Limitation, one of Scott Stark’s earliest films, a humorous three-minute structuralist gem; and Portland, a mid-‘90s travelogue and playful Rashomon-like inquiry into the nature of truth by Greta Snider.
16mm, b/w and color, 79 min.
Program Two: Associations
Program Two is titled after John Smith’s 1975 film, a joyfully dense rebus-like image-word construction. Smith’s film is preceded by Sara Kathryn Arledge’s rarely seen 1958 work What is A Man, a film years ahead of its time, and Mark Toscano’s 2012 piece Releasing Human Energies, which utilizes film laboratory test footage of a “China Girl” set to a found text read by Morgan Fisher. The program also features Abigail Child’s classic 1989 film Mercy, from her celebrated “Is This What You Were Born For?” series; canonical works by Phil Solomon, Barbara Hammer, Robert Breer, and Robert Nelson; and two recent restorations: the humorously poignant Confessions by Curt McDowell and Akbar, Richard Myers’ extraordinary 1970 portrait of young black filmmaker and student, Akbar Ahmed.
16mm, b/w and color, 90 min.
July 14, 2018 - 19:30h
Decodings / Continuum
Program Three: Decodings
Program Three is named after Michael Wallin’s found-footage masterpiece, “a profoundly moving, allegorical search for identity from the documents of collective memory” (Manohla Dargis). The program begins with Duo Concertantes, a classic animation by one of Canyon’s earliest filmmakers, Lawrence Jordan, and Billabong, an underappreciated impressionistic documentary of a boys’ youth camp by another key Canyon figure, Will Hindle. Tom Palazzolo’s 1973 film, Love It/Leave It, offers a portrait of the USA that feels particularly relevant to our current political moment. Other works include Lie Back & Enjoy It, JoAnn Elam’s lucid examination of the representation of women in film; artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith’s 1992 Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron), an “exploration of the implications of the mediation of Black history by film, television, magazines and newspapers” (Scott MacDonald); and Naomi Uman’s classic 1999 found-footage film Removed, which deploys nail polish, bleach and 1970s pornography to fashion a film where the female figure exists only as an empty, animated space.
16mm, b/w and color, 87 min.
Program Four: Continuum
Program Four is named for Dominic Angerame’s silent and exquisitely filmed black and white 1987 city portrait. The program also features Bay Area filmmaker Karen Holmes’ underappreciated late 1970s landscape and performance film, Saving the Proof; Los Angeles effects artist and filmmaker Pat O’Neill’s 1973 masterpiece Down Wind; Gunvor Nelson’s My Name is Oona, one of the canonical works of the American avant-garde; and two works from the mid-2000s: Tomonari Nishikawa’s frenetic single-frame city portrait, Market Street, and animator Janie Geiser’s Terrace 49. The program is bookended with Valentin De Las Sierras and Mujer De Milfuegos, films by Canyon Cinema founders Bruce Baillie and Chick Strand that continue to resonate as vital, adventurous film art.
16mm, b/w and color, 85 min.