Canyon Cinema has joined together with SFFILM to welcome renowned Canadian filmmaker Guy Maddin to the Bay Area. As a part of the 60th San Francisco International Film Festival, Maddin will present a program of rarely seen works from Canyon’s collection of over 3,200 artist-made films. He will be in attendance to introduce The Great Blondino and Other Delights on Saturday, April 15th, 8:30 PM at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, a night of avant-garde cinema to match his hallucinatory vision.
The event is organized around Robert Nelson and William T. Wiley’s The Great Blondino, an anarchic sixties experiment in freeform filmmaking. Shooting without a script and sharing their character’s sense of wonder and possibility, Nelson and Wiley follow the titular Blondino as he navigates a world utterly alien to him. The result is an ecstatic and improvisatory work that is just as alive as it was fifty years ago.
The Great Blondino will be sharing the bill with Mesmer, Gary Goldberg’s wordless study in comic tension, Perils, Abigail Child’s homage to silent cinema, and The Divine Miracle, Daina Krumins’ alternately sacred and profane depiction of the death and ascension of Christ. “Like Maddin’s own work,” says Kathleen Maguire, coordinator of the Exploratorium’s Cinema Arts program, “each film is a handcrafted microcosmos characterized by its artist’s singular—and peculiar—vision.”
“Some days I just feel like surrendering myself to a plunge deep into the Canyon catalogue,” Maddin adds with characteristic enthusiasm, “never to worry again about coming up for air, nor about anything except swimming among its titles, those exquisite flora and fauna that lure your farther and farther from the everyday surface of cinema. Rapture of the deep! Nitrogen narcosis! These intoxicating gems from Canyon will literally drown you in brilliance!”
This year is a special one for both Canyon Cinema and SFFILM, and the collaboration that brings Maddin here is justly timed. 2017 marks the sixtieth iteration of the San Francisco International Film Festival, making it the longest-running film festival in the Americas. Canyon Cinema is celebrating half a century as one of the world’s preeminent sources for alternative moving image work with its Canyon Cinema 50 project. This evening inaugurates the spring season of Canyon Cinema 50’s Bay Area screening series, which continues through May and features the work of Craig Baldwin, Jodie Mack, Bruce Baillie, and others in venues across San Francisco and the East Bay.
Tickets to The Great Blondino and Other Delights are $13.00 for SFFILM Members and $15.00 for the general public. The box office is open now online at sffilm.org/festival.