MassArt Film Society: Multi Projector Experiments by Roger Beebe
Wednesday October 5th 2011, 20h
Massachusetts College of Art, Film Department
Screening room 1. 621 Huntington Ave. Boston, Massachusetts 02115, USA
Experimental filmmaker Roger Beebe, whose films have shown around the globe from Sundance to the Museum of Modern Art and from McMurdo Station in Antarctica to the CBS Jumbotron in Times Square, brings a program of his recent mutli-projector films to the Northeast for a fall 2011 tour. In these films Beebe explores the possibilities of using multiple projectors—running as many as 8 projectors simultaneously—not for a free-form VJ-type experience, but for the creation of discrete works of expanded cinema.
The show builds from the relatively straightforward two-projector films “The Strip Mall Trilogy” and “TB TX DANCE” to the more elaborate three-projector studies “Money Changes Everything” and “AAAAA Motion Picture” on finally to the eight-projector meditation on the mysteries of space, “Last Light of a Dying Star.”
"[Beebe’s films] implicitly and explicitly evoke the work of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander, all photographers of the atomic age whose Western photographs captured the banalities, cruelties and beauties of imperial America." --David Fellerath, The Independent Weekly
“Beebe’s films are both erudite and punk, lo-fi yet high-brow shorts that wrestle with a disfigured, contemporary American landscape.” --Wyatt Williams, Creative Loafing (Atlanta)
"Beebe's work is goofy, startling, and important." --Daniel Kraus, Wilmington Encore
About Roger Beebe:
Roger Beebe is a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida. Beebe has screened his films around the globe with recent solo shows at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Anthology Film Archives in New York, and dozens of other venues. He has won numerous awards including a 2009 Visiting Foreign Artists Grant from the Canada Council for the Arts, a 2006 Individual Artist Grant from the State of Florida, and Best Experimental Film at the 2006 Chicago Underground Film Festival. In addition to his work as a filmmaker, he is also a film programmer: he ran Flicker, a festival of small gauge film in Chapel Hill, NC, from 1997-2000 and is currently Artistic Director of FLEX, the Florida Experimental Film Festival. He also owns Video Rodeo, an independent video store in Gainesville, FL.
About the films:
- Last Light of a Dying Star (2008, 4 X 16MM, 3 X VIDEO, 1 X SUPER 8MM, 22 min.)
A multi-projector meditation on the passage from film to video, from abstraction to representation, and from the technological wonder of space exploration to the banality of the digital snapshot. Originally made for an installation/performance in a planetarium at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, GA, the film attempts to recapture some of the excitement of the early days of space exploration and the utopian aspirations of expanded cinema. Made as an orchestration of a number of different elements, made and found: handmade cameraless film loops by Beebe and Jodie Mack; 16mm educational films about eclipses, asteroids, comets, and meteorites; and a super 8 print of the East German animated film “The Drunk Sun.”
- AAAAA Motion Picture (2010, 3 X 16MM, 12 min.)
The Manhattan phone book has 14 pages of companies jockeying to be at the start of the alphabetical listings. Capitalism triumphs over linguistic richness yet again. Our challenge: to learn how to write poetry when there’s only one letter left.
- Money Changes Everything (2009, 3 X 16MM, 5 min.)
Three days in Las Vegas, Nevada, and three different visions of the discarded past and the constantly renewed future. A three-part portrait of a town in transformation: a suburban utopia in the desert, a cancerous sprawl of unplanned development, a destination for suicides.
- TB TX DANCE (2006, 2 X 16MM, 3 min.)
A cameraless film made on a black & white laser printer with an optical soundtrack made of dots of varying sizes provides the backdrop for revisiting Toni Basil’s appearance in Bruce Conner’s 1968 film “Breakaway.” Commissioned as part of Mike Plante’s Lunchfilm series, where filmmakers are asked to make films for less than the price of the lunch they’ve just been treated to. (This film’s budget was $32.37 worth of pulled pork sandwiches and peach cobbler.)
- The Strip Mall Trilogy (2001, 1 X SUPER 8MM/1 X VIDEO, 9 min.)
A look straight into the heart of the most postmodern of architectural forms, the strip mall, shot in a mile-long parking lot that could be Anywhere, USA. “He has actually managed to bust apart the mind-controlling code of relentlessly commercial space and reconfigure it into a landscape of beautiful colors and forms. It is a remarkable piece of Super 8 alchemy." --David Finkelstein, Film Threat