Hannes Schüpbach leads us into the world of Swiss artist Klaus Lutz (1940-2009), by means of the simultaneous screening of his films on a screen and balloons, a talk about his work and a documentary by Frank Metter on his creative process.
The enigmatic work of Klaus Lutz lies somewhere between the meditations of a recluse and the fantasies of a utopia visionary. With reminiscences of Georges Méliès, Chaplin, the Russian avant-gardes and the Bauhaus, with a touch of futurism, his films are mysterious mental landscapes that tell almost mythological stories about a man who lives in a strange, solitary world. The protagonist—Lutz—flies over imaginary cities and through interstellar space, interacting with anthropomorphic signs and drawings, all filmed and edited in camera in the small Manhattan apartment where he lived.
The films of Hannes Schüpbach interweave light, colour, gesture, and many details of everyday spaces to create highly lyrical images. This session will be attended by the Swiss filmmaker, who will be presenting his films. The cinema of Hannes Schüpbach aims not to represent the world, but rather, like the geometries of a carpet, to reconstruct and materialize its system of infinite relations. For this Swiss artist and filmmaker, a film is like a carpet in which a series of images unfold, handwoven into a patterned fabric.
Daïchi Saïto’s films are the product of artisan work and a manual development of the photochemical image, with a view to creating a vital experience in which the spectator imagines other perceptive, interior worlds. Saïto studied literature and philosophy in the United States, and Hindi and Sanskrit in India, and now lives and works in Montreal, where he cofounded the Double Negative collective.
Defined by Scott MacDonald as powerful and unusual in their emotional effects, Rolls: 1971 invites the viewer to participate in the always ongoing process of making the most authentic and satisfying human life. It is the most effective culmination of Robert Huot's intent of creating an interesting and beautiful film without being inaccessible.
Sound in cinema is a key element to understanding the authors' artistic conception. This is a session specially designed to learn a bit more about the different roles of the soundtrack in the structural film.
The filmmakers who practise the technical and aesthetic considerations of structural film work with sound from disruptive stances. Graphic manipulations on the optical soundtrack of the celluloid and alterations to ambient sound offer acoustic dialogues about noise and soundscape.
My Hand Outstretched to the Winged Distance and Sightless Measure is the title of the cycle that brings together 18 films by Robert Beavers, produced between 1967 and 2001. This session presents three films from each of the three parts that make up the cycle, in which the filmmaker works manually, impressing his gestures on both the filming and the editing.
In Early Monthly Segments, Beavers portrays himself and shows his working method by focusing on the cinematographic device. In Work Done he uses metaphor and visual allusion to generate correspondences between filmic procedures and the archetypal forms of artisan work. In AMOR he presents tailoring as a metaphor of the emotions surrounding love, separation and the metonymic twinning of objects.
James Herbert, filmmaker and painter, was to become well-known for his video clips for R.E.M., but his films are rarely seen. Somewhere between voyeuristic attraction and reflection, they demonstrate the filmmaker’s sensibility for reinterpreting the body by means of photography: figures of naked couples in a visual setting, reflections of the impression of touch or loneliness, while the film intensifies with the grain, the texture and the light
We screen three of the most representative works from the first period of American filmmaker Ernie Gehr. Framed within the so-called structural film, his film discourse trascends this classification, placing him in the category of a classic of the avant-garde.
A shot can be a film; a film, an arrangement of snapshots exposed for fractions of a second or endless minutes. With each beat—or intermittent projection of the stills—the light, which depends on the reflections, the lens or the emulsion, communicates with our nerves and reveals the true action.
In the seventies Barry Gerson became one of the great filmmakers of US experimental film with his hypnotic pieces about “the minimal, free forms of nature […] his content is magic and deals with the essence of cinema” (Jonas Mekas). But in 1983 he stopped filming for over two decades, and his films have hardly been shown since. To celebrate his return to filming, this retrospective session is an extraordinary opportunity to see an essential part of his best work, and includes two of his new films. The cinema of Gerson—who started out designing light sculptures in his bedroom at the age of three—has joined the tradition of painters such as Malevich, Mondrian, Kandinsky and Rothko, or the poetic methods of Ozu. Films that observe with minimalist delicacy the appearance of the world, to reveal, through light, interior states, the mysteries of dream, and the hidden realities “where everything is possible”.
In June 2015, Joe Gibbons, filmmaker and former teacher at MIT, was sent to prison after being declared guilty of robbing a bank: his only weapon was the video camera he carried to document the robbery for an artwork in process. Joe Gibbons has devoted four decades to his cinema of provocation, taking his own life as an experimental laboratory in a comic, reflective mix of autobiography and fantasy, self-portrait and performance. His most celebrated work, Confessions of a Sociopath (chosen by Artforum and Film Comment as one of the best of the year) analyses his self-destructive tendencies in materials compiled over the last 30 years, and in Confidential Part 2 he confesses his regret for the way he shot his voyeuristic film Spying, using a super-8 camera.