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This week's screenings, near and far, in avant garde cinema

Check back here weekly to find what's going on, and where.

Sunday, June 16

  • San Francisco: SF Cinematheque: Cinematheque's 35th Birthday Bash! The Cinematheque is 35 years old - definitely cause for celebration. You are invited to a very special screening of films by over one dozen local filmmakers as we take this opportunity to honor the entire Cinematheque family: the organization, the films, the makers, the funders, the members and volunteers, the history, and our very exciting future. The evening features a Dessert Buffet from some of San Francisco's top pastry chefs, a terrific raffle with prizes including dinners in some of San Francisco's best restaurants, hotel stays, gift certificates, and lots more. Tickets for the screening and party are $10. Raffle Tickets are $5. Bring your friends and come celebrate with us.

  • New York: Anthology Film Archives: The New Festival presents Christmas on Earth (1963) by Barbara Rubin; introduced by Jonas Mekas. Film Preservation Fundraiser.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: : Edison Electric: CAMPY DRAMA: THE VIDEO WORKS OF GEORGE & MIKE KUCHAR: George and Mike Kuchar have been making film and video work for well over two decades. While George has gained a worldwide reputation in art circles for his very personal and hilarious Hi-8 pieces, his brother Mike's work remains more obscure. Lately though, both artists' works seem to be in higher and higher demand. Their videos might best be descibed as strange commentaries on - and documents of - individuals (including George's cat) and thoughts that might otherwise fall through the cracks. Included in this show will be recent videos by George Kuchar including URCHINS OF UNGAWA (1994) ANNIVERSARY SCHMALTZ (1996) and PRECIOUS PRODUCT ( 1988), while Mike Kuchar promises "two recent ‘teleplays’ with plenty of florid dialogue amid turgid plots: ‘campy dramas’ I call them, entitled CUPID'S INFIRMARY and LETITIA'S POEM." Don't miss this rare opportunity to catch their work!

Tuesday, June 18

  • Berkeley, CA: Pacific Film Archive: The Road Less Traveled: Are We There Yet? Short films by James Benning & Bette Gordon, Jennifer Gentile, J.J. Jolles, Robert Tullis, Jacqueline Turnure, Deke Weaver; Robert Tullis, Deke Weaver in Person: You take a trip with another person and somehow, between the car window-framed miles, the roadside attractions, and pit stops for food, fuel, and rest, your relationship changes. Subtly, almost imperceptibly you realize the loaded silence of the monotonous miles and the intimate immediacy of the conversations held in travel have created an emotional journey all their own, paralleling the actual journey at hand or radically departing from it. In each of these six short films, the emotional dimensions of shared travel are explored. From the charmingly quirky narrative of a father determined to find Jesusland in the Northwest to the hauntingly metaphorical ruminations of a mother and daughter exploring the West together, these films comment on the unspoken expectation of the transformative power of travel-the travelers' search for meaningful connections with a world not just physically, but also emotionally, larger than their own.-Lissa Gibbs

  • Paris, France: avant-premiere opening a series of film screenings devoted to Austrian avant-garde filmmakers, 1955-1993. This projection, which takes place at 8:30pm in the salle Garance in the presence of her excellence Madame Eva Nowotny, the Austrian ambassador, includes the following films: Peter Kubelka: 1989, video, 13'; Kurt Kren: "2/60: 48 Kopfe aus dem Szondi-Test", 1960, 5'; Ernst Schmidt jr.: "Bodybuilding", 1965-66, 9'; Hans Scheugl: "Hernals", 1967, 11'; Valie Export: "Mann & Frau & Animal", 1970-73, 10'; Peter Tscherkassky: "Manufraktur", 1965, 4'; Mara Mattuschka: "Kugelkopf", 1985, 4'; Dietmar Brehm: "Color de Luxe", 1986, 7'; Martin Arnold: "passage a l'acte", 1993, 12'. Wednesday evening, June 19, at 6:30 there will be a round table discussion at the Austrian cultural center in Paris (30 bd des invalides), between some of these filmmakers and moderated by Yann Beauvais.

Wednesday, June 19

  • Berkeley, CA: Pacific Film Archive: The Judah L. Magnes Museum Presents The Third Jewish Video Competition Awards Screening: After three years the quantity of excellent videoworks in the Jewish Video Competition is continuing proof of the commitment of artists and activists who have chosen this electronic medium, both as an aesthetically expressive tool and as a practical mechanism for rendering the voices and images that muster the past and guarantee a culture's continuity. The Judah L. Magnes Museum's Jewish Video Competition recognizes the accomplishments of these committed videographers.

Thursday, June 20

  • San Francisco: Artists' Television Access: Dirty Bird 96: A Queercore Festival: Opening event at ATA gallery, featuring queercore films, shorts, and videos. There will also be a live discussion about queercore filmmaking to coincide with the event. A repeat show is on Friday. Dirty Bird is four days, June 20-23rd, 1996. Three music shows, one spoken word, one dance party, two film events, and four workshops.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Edison Electric: An evening with THE TRUTH CHANNEL: Two of THE TRUTH CHANNEL's latest paranoid fin-de-siecle media compendiums. LSD 49: NOT FOR BROADCAST; APOCALYPSE ETC. PART 1. The Truth Channel is preoccupied with the entertainment value inherent in the coming apocalypse. "Your unconscious participation in the disruption of the architecture that separates mind into distinct entities proceeds with a direction and ambition all its own." - Ed Martin Sr. WARNING: There is no explanation for any of this. Starring Charlton Heston, Patrick Stewart, Mel Gibson, Mimi Rogers, Stewart Granger, Anouk Aimee, Jon Finch and millions of others. The most expensive movies ever made!

Friday, June 21

  • Chicago: Chicago Filmmakers: HELLO PHOTO By Nina Davenport: When award-winning photographer Nina Davenport received a fellowship to travel in India, she had no intentions of making a film. But, just in case, when packing her stills equipment, she added a 16mm camera and a walkman recorder. The result was partially empty photo albums and HELLO PHOTO (1994, 55 mins.,16mm), her documentary film debut. Davenport chronicles her observations and experiences in India while subverting the illusion of cinema-verite by intercutting shots of herself filming with shots of her subjects responding to her, and more spectacularly by including color sequences of the Indian film industry shooting scenes for thrillers and melodramas. We see a surreal landscape that few westerners ever see: cows stuck in traffic jams, elephants blessing people, naked people foaming at the mouth who prove to be not refugees from TITTICUT FOLLIES but revered holy people possessed by spirits. HELLO PHOTO blurs the distinction between holy and profane, between real and artifice, and between observer and observed with stunning images and understated juxtapositions.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Edison Electric: BRUCE BAILLIE and QUICK BILLY: Bruce Baillie, known to many as the founder of Canyon Cinema and spoken of in the same breath as other "visionary" filmmakers like Stan Brakhage, Peter Kulbelka, and Kenneth Anger, will appear in person to present QUICK BILLY, a film which stood, when it was completed in 1971, as his most ambitious and autobiographical to date. "The whole first three reels of Quick Billy hover on the edge of consciousness, mixing, blurring, and masking images so that they are rarely defineable...the film proceeds from the abstract to the relatively concrete and specific before leaping into the ironic narrative of the fourth reel." (P. Adams Sitney) The film was described in figurative and literal terms by Baillie himself at its New York Premiere at the Whitney as "The essential experience of transformation, between Life and Death, death and birth, or rebith. In four reels, the first three adapted from The Tibetan Book of the Dead. The fourth reel is in the form of a black and white one-reeler Western, summarizing the material of the first three, which are colour and abstract." (75 mins, 1973) Also on the program will be excerpts from Baillie's work-in-progress "Rosalyn Romance" and an exhibit of his photos.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Video In: Salon 4: PETER KARUNA: Visiting artist Peter Karuna presents a retrospective of his controversial work, including Black on White, a wry satire on white suprematism as everyday variety Canadian racism. On Saturday he will present a curated programme of new work which takes on the problematic notions of "culture", "race" and "ethnicity"--asking the question "Is culture just another word for ideology."

  • Seattle, Washington: 911 Media Arts Center: Animator's Social: Bring your animated works on VHS, or just watch. Ron Noble will screen "Living With Ridalyn" a work in progress about a kid who eats a lot of sugar.... easily, way too much sugar.

  • New York: Anthology Film Archives: X-FILMS: Curated in Chicago, Program 1.

Saturday, June 22

  • San Francisco: Artists' Television Access: Urban Subcultures and Post-Punk Rebellion: Curated by Jesse Lerner, Gregorio Rocha, and Gustavo Vazquez: These Mexican independent videos address popular culture and national identity, and integrate performance art, cabaret, music, radical politics, and work from other media. Included are Corazon Sangrante, by Ximena Cuevas: performance artist/singer Astrid Hadad explores the intersection of love, faith and pain; ElectroPerroFunkymix, by Rafael Tontatiuh: appropriated images and a chorus from Beatles energize this funky music clip; Carmina and Quetzalcoatl, by Rafael Tonatiuh: taken from a mock-rockumentary about the Pre-Columbian deity's return to Mexico City 450 years after the Conquest; No One is Innocent, by Sarah Minter and Gregorio Rocha: in the tradition of Bunuel's 'Los Olvidados', this narrative chronicles the life of Kara, leader of the Mierdas Punks (Shit Punks), a band of marginalized youth from the slums surrounding Mexico City.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Video In: Cultured Canadians: Careless Servant Woman (Peter Karuna and Anne Milne) present a curated program of short videotapes investigating the culture-identity obstacle course. The work explores the fight against assimilation, the uneasy compromises of hybridity, the search for cultural identity and the commodification of culture. They will present and discuss Training to Speak (Chuleenan Svetvilas, 1991), Home: The Fountain (Akram Zataari, 1994), Daughter/Elocution Lession (Karen Kew, 1995), I Want to Know Why (Dana Claxton, 1994), Pearls: Bright, Beautiful, Glorious & Blue (Margaret Gallagher, 1994), Making Fire (Ruby Truly, 1993), The Three Sevens (Jorge Lozano, 1993) and Heaven, Earth and Hell (Thomas Allen Harris, 1993).

  • New York: Anthology Film Archives: X-FILMS: Curated in Chicago, Program 2.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Video In: Salon 4: PETER KARUNA:See June 21.

  • Chicago: Chicago Filmmakers: HELLO PHOTO By Nina Davenport: See June 21.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Edison Electric: BRUCE BAILLIE and QUICK BILLY: See June 21.

Sunday, June 23

Tuesday, June 25

  • Berkeley, CA: Pacific Film Archive: The Road Less Traveled: Fat of the Land: Sarah Lewison, Niki Cousino, Florence Dore, Julie Konop, Gina Todus (U.S., 1995): Florence Dore, Saran Lewison, Steven Stahler in Person. Note: Audience members bringing a jar of used vegetable oil receive discount admission (no bacon grease, please). Not sure bow to reconcile your longing to roam our fair land with your auto's need for gasoline and the depletion of the ozone? Looking for a new summertime bobby? Wondering what to do with that lefrover fry oil? Search no further, as the five waitress-garbed videomakers of Fat of the Land lead the way towards a new kind of road trip, one powered by kitchen grease, a sense of roadside humor, and a thoroughly home-grown version of eco-tourism. On a two-week journey from New York to San Francisco, these greasy riders find an America reliant on fossil fuel, but strikingly open to alternatives. From the corn-powered buses of Iowa to the Nebraska Soybean Program, their video energetically illustrates the benefits of eco-friendly fuels of the future. Conceptual art, activism, or one really cool science project, Fat of the Land, is as entertaining as it is educational. A demonstration on how to make biodiesel will also be performed. (56 mins, Color, 3/4" Video) Preceded by: American Flash (Steven Stahler, U.S., 1980) a pixillated chronicle of UC Berkeley astronomer Stahler's journey from Ithaca to Oakland as seen from the hood of his car. (7 mins, Color, Super- Smm) Also, Dana Atchley's video postcard of an aptly named roadside spectacle cum gas station in southern Oregon, Bombergas, OR (1980, 1 min, Color, 1/2" video); and Postcards (1974, 6.5 mins, Color, 16mm), Andrew Lugg's real-time re-creation of actual postcards. Lissa Gibbs

  • Nagoya College of Arts and Design, Japan: Abraham Ravett will screen HORSE/KAPPA/HOUSE( 1995), THE BALCONY(1988),IN MEMORY(1993); also June 29 in Osaka, Japan.

Wednesday, June 26

  • San Francisco: Center for the Arts: CROSS-DRESSING, THE THIRD REICH & THE NEW GERMANY: I Am My Own Woman by Rosa von Praunheim: Rosa von Praunheim's acclaimed documentary about infamous Nazi survivor, antique collector, cross-dresser and Gay activist Charlotte von Mahsoldorff. Born Lothar Berfelde in 1928 Germany to a Nazi father, von Mabseldorf felt most comfortable in women's clothing since boyhood. Her survival during WWII, the Communist regime in East Germany and today's reunited Germany provides filmmaker von Praunheim with rich material for a survivor's tale that must be seen to be believed.

Thursday, June 27

  • San Francisco: Artists' Television Access: Public television in a theater environment. Guttervision is an alternative hight-culture program geared for the Generation X audience. Guttervision patrols the art trenches across the United States, bringing to life the sights and sounds of alternative art, humor, and drama. Features SF's Nomad piercing studio, and music videos by the Cramps, Nine Inch Nails, My Life With The Thrill Kill Cult, Danzig, Seed and others.

Friday, June 28

  • San Francisco: Artists' Television Access: Sites of Resistance: Access Phreaks and On-Line Instigators co-sponsored by The Bay Area Video Coalition: A live round-table discussion that focuses on folks who are using new technologies and the Internet to form sites of resistance, organize for human rights in nontraditional ways, and bring the often expensive information superhighway to those considered outsiders. The panelists include Annaliza Savage (filmmaker Unauthorized Access, about the hacker subculture); Max Airborne (webmaster for Fat Girl); Hector Campo (Plugged In); Jessica Livingston (Amnesty International); Florence Dore (Paper Tiger Television). Moderated by Daniel 'Dewey' Schott (Artists' Television Access).

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Edison Electric: PURE CINEMA 2: The Edison Electric is pleased to present PURE CINEMA II, the second in a series of dynamic non-narrative and experimental films by local independent filmmakers. Disinterested in the limitations of the mainstream forms and their inevitable accompanying economic baggage, these filmmakers take a radically different approach and apply the medium of cinema in its purest forms: film as moving canvas; film as memory; an investigation of the language of cinema. Filmmakers and films to be announced...
    (Series curator: Laird MacDonald)

  • Seattle, Washington: 911 Media Arts Center: The Most Embarrassing Film and Video Festival: The name says it all, we have a few works lined up which scream "pretentious!" We encourage you to bring in your shameful secrets to screen on VHS.

Saturday, June 29

  • San Francisco: Artists' Television Access: Under/Over Technology: Two recent videos by members of last night's panel challenge the way most of us view technology. Annaiza Savage's Unauthorized Access is an insiders view of the global hacker subculture. Then the Fat of the Land's lard car is the truer-than-life document of a band of women who drive a vegatable oil-powered car across the country.

  • Vancouver, British Columbia: Edison Electric: PURE CINEMA 2: See June 28.

Sunday, June 30

  • Seattle, Washington: 911 Media Arts Center: 911, M.O.N.S.T.E.R. and Moonpuss productions present: "Open Season", Madigan and the video work's of Harper Carter. a collaborative multi medium show.

Up Talk!