Microscope is very pleased to present an in-person only screening to celebrate 60 years of The New American Cinema Group, which was founded on July 14th 1961 in New York, organized in collaboration with the Filmmakers’ Coop and Devon Narine-Singh.
The screening features rare or overlooked 16mm films by Luis Ernesto Arocha, Satya Dev Dubey, Amy Greenfield, Jonas Mekas, Marie Menken, José Rodríguez-Soltero, and Bud Wirtschafter dealing with themes of love and sex, the story of Narcissus, abstraction, violence, the policing of drugs, and a weekend of happenings in 1963 including performances by Yvonne Rainer, Hannah Wilke, La Monte Young, and others. All films will be shown in their original format.
For the ongoing 60th Celebration of The Film-Maker’s Cooperative/New American Cinema Group, the program dives deep into the archives to exhibit perhaps more “obscure” yet fundamental works. They showcase that many canons, narratives, anti-canons and movements exist within the FMC archive. Some of these films have rarely left the shelves of the archive until this screening. Consider this both an introduction to and invitation for your own exploration of a rich, vast encyclopedia within our community. — Devon Narine-Singh
Please note: The event has a limited capacity of 30 audience members. Proof of vaccination for Covid-19 and masks required.
Program: (alphabetically by filmmaker)
- Windows (Las Ventanas De Salcedo) (Luis Ernesto Arocha, 16mm film, b&w, sound, 1969, 7 minutes 30 seconds)
On Love, Sex, Violence, War and Tchaikowsky. “The filmmaker uses the objects of painter Salcedo to poke gentle and savage fun at society and its follies… a continuous mad charade!” – Tom Chomont
- Aparichaike Vindhyachal: Barriers (Satya Dev Dubey, 16mm film, b&w, sound, 1967, 22 minutes)
The original title in Hindi, taken from a poem, literally means “Mountains of Non-Communication” that separate individuals. Hence the shortened English title, “Barriers.” –SDD
- Dirt (Amy Greenfield, 16mm film, color, sound, 1971, 3 minutes)
… has been used in women’s studies classes on rape. Its energy is the energy of protest and of rock music. A woman is dragged and dragged through dirt with increasing violence. As the violence increases, so does the beat and intensity of the harsh, electronic sound. The audience can identify deeply with the woman’s movements and so experience the depth of this violence. – AG
- Report from Millbrook (Jonas Mekas, 16mm film, color, sound, 1966, 12 minutes)
REPORT FROM MILLBROOK was filmed in 1965, on a weekend visit to Tim Leary’s place. It was a light summer outing. No LSD. Tim took me for a walk, though, and we talked about LSD. I told him that the chemicals that motivate and drive artists are more powerful and mysterious than LSD or any drug. On that note we turned back and ended our walk. There was nothing more to say. In 1966, Tim’s place was raided by the local sheriff. The East Village Other taped an interview with the sheriff about the raid. I used the interview as the soundtrack for the film. The footage can also be seen in a different form in DIARIES, NOTES & SKETCHES. – JM
- Drips In Strips (By Marie Menken, 16mm film, color, silent, 1961, 2 minutes 30 seconds)
“Spattered paint responding to gravity, forming its own patterns and combinations of color.” – MM
- Jerovi (José Rodríguez-Soltero, 16mm film, color, silent, 1965, 11 minutes 30 seconds)
Jerovi is a sexual probe of the Narcissus myth. His beautiful male subject clothed at first in rich brocade, but later nude, is photographed lingeringly in a lush garden. If sensual self-love in practice doesn’t offend you, you’ll find some vivid camera imagery. — JRS
- What’s Happening? (Bud Wirtschafter, 16mm film, color, sound, 1963, 14 minutes)
A documentary film of a series of “happenings”, taking place at George Segal’s farm. Performers: Allan Kaprow, Chuck Ginnever, Wolf Vostell, Yvonne Rainer, La Monte Young, Dick Higgins. Assisted by: Al Valentine, Ray Wisniewski, Virginia Cartreaux, Chuck Ginnever, Sylvia Brett, Jerry Chalum, Marsha Dunetz, Jim Henson, Zelda Wirtschafter, Eleanor Guaitolni.
Microscope’s Event Series 2021 is sponsored by Re:Voir, a home video label for classic and contemporary experimental film in Paris, France.