Bozar & Cinema Parenthèse present: Larry Gottheim

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Bozar and Cinema Parenthèse present two programmes with Larry Gottheim, in his presence for the first time in Belgium in 40 years. Larry Gottheim (°1936) became, together with Michael Snow and Ernie Gehr, one of the US most prominent and leading ’structural’ avant-garde filmmakers in the 1960s. From his late-1960s series of sublime 'single-shot' films to the dense sound/image constructs of the mid-1970s and after, his cinema is the cinema of presence, of observation, and of deep conscious engagement. While addressing genres of landscape, diary and assemblage filmmaking, Gottheim's work properly stands alone in its intensive investigations of the paradoxes between direct, sensual experience in collision with complex structures of repetition, anticipation and memory. Gottheim taught 16mm practice for more than three decades in the prestigious Binghamton University Film Department (US), which he founded and where he taught with among others Ken Jacobs, Hollis Frampton, Peter Kubelka and Ernie Gehr.

In the presence of Larry Gottheim

March 11, 19:00 Bozar Cinema
Programme #1
- Introduction

- Blues (1969, 16mm, color, silent, 8’30)
A bowl of blueberries in milk, changing light radiant on the berries and on the glazed bowl, the ever more radiant orb of milk transforming into glowing light itself, with a brief shadow coda answering the complex play of shadows. The regular pulses of light framing the looser rhythmus of the spoon, itself a frame. A charging of each of the frame's edges with its own particular energy. Within and without, whites and blues, lines and curves. The pulses of vision, the simple natural processes, lift the spirit. - Larry Gottheim

- Fog Line (1970, 16mm, color, silent, 11’00)
"Fog Line is a wonderful piece of conceptual art, a stroke along that careful line between wit and wisdom -- a melody in which literally every frame is different from every preceding frame (since the fog is always lifting) and the various elements of the composition -- trees, animals, vegetation, sky, and, quite importantly, the emulsion, the grain of the film itself -- continue to play off one another as do notes in a musical composition. The quality of the light - the tonality of the image itself -- adds immeasurably to the mystery and excitement as the work unfolds, the fog lifting, the film running through the gate, the composition static yet the frame itself fluid, dynamic, magnificently kinetic." - Raymond Foery

- Doorway (1971, 16mm, b&w, silent, 7’30)
"Perfect works have a way of appearing unobtrusive or simple, the complexities seeming to be so correct that they flow - mesmerize one through their form - a form that bespeaks of harmony between many aesthetic concerns. ... Larry Gottheim's DOORWAY is such a film. His concern for working with edges, isolating details, the prominence of the frame as a shape and revealer of edges, love of photographic texture, are all dealt with lucidly in this film. ... One is drawn into these beautiful images through Gottheim's poetic feel for photographic qualities -- i. e., light, movement, texture -- his ability to transform a landscape through his rigorous use of the frame to isolate in order to call attention to a heretofore hidden beauty revealed through a highly selective eye." - Barry Gerson

- Harmonica (1971, 16mm, color, sound, 10’30)
With Shelley Berde. O! the one Life within us and abroad, Which meets all motion and becomes its soul, A light in sound, a sound-like power in light, Rhythm is all thought, and joyance everywhere -- Methinks, it should have been impossible Not to love all things in a world so fill'd; Where the breeze warbles, and the mute still air is Music slumbering on her instrument. And what if all animated nature Be but organic Harps diversely fram'd That tremble into thought, as o'er them sweeps Plastic and vast, one intellectual breeze, At once the Soul of Each, and Good of all?

- Thought (1971, 16mm, color, silent, 7’00)
In 1971 it seemed a formal companion to DOORWAY, bringing out further possibilities of small movements within the format of a continuous shot. In 1980 something sang to my current conserns, hinted at by drawing this title into that gentle sensual pulling. Something about what is moving between me, us and that out there... what us per-forming. - Larry Gottheim

- Barn Rushes (1971, 16mm, color, silent, 34’00)
"BARN RUSHES is one of those seldom films which surprises one over and over. I remember the surprise I had when I used it first in a class; BARN RUSHES is so ecstatic and visionary that I thought a didactic setting might smother it. However, the film instead emerged not only unscathed, but (phoenix-like) improved! For aside from the compositional/retinal joy of the film, it is also a tour-de-force in sequential organization of thematic material, the closest possible approach to a textbook of atmosphere, camera vision, and lighting, as they relate personal concept to purely visual relationships. "... elegant yet rustic in its simplicity of execution; tugged gently toward different sides of the set by hints of color and motion interactions, positive and negative spaces, etc., and the unyielding delivery on one of the great apotheoses of poetic cinema at fade-out time." - Tony Conrad

March 11, 21:00 Bozar Cinema
Programme #2
- Introduction

- Horizons (1973, 16mm, color, silent, 77'00)
Completed in 1973 (with assistance from CAPS), HORIZONS was released as an individual film and continues to stand as such. However, I have incorporated it as Part 1 "Overture" to the series Elective Affinities, which includes three further sound films: MOUCHES VOLANTES (1976), FOUR SHADOWS (1978) and TREE OF KNOWLEDGE (1981). "This was also my fifth viewing of Gottheim's HORIZONS. (It is said, in Analects, VII:31, that 'when Confucius was pleased with the singing of someone he was with, he would always ask to have the song repeated and would join in himself.') During the first viewing of HORIZONS, in London, I just looked at it, with my eyes all open and ablaze, and I found it very beautiful. Later I listened to Gottheim talk about the film. I found out about the complex web of image rhymes and correspondences in the film. During my second and third viewings I became very absorbed in seeing and figuring out the correspondences and rhymes. But I found the film equally, if not more, beautiful. The fourth viewing was again an open eye viewing, without any special emphasis. During the Cooper Union screening I suddenly discovered its incredible richness of color. I sat close to the screen and I saw these glorious colors and I was amazed that I could look at HORIZONS four times and not notice the magnificence of its color." – Jonas Mekas (Movie Journal Collection: Centre Beaubourg, Paris)

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Lunes, Marzo 11, 2019 - 19:00
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