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

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

Wednesday, October 9

  • Moscow, Russia: Cine Fantom: Larry Cuba: Media artist Larry Cuba works in the tradition known variously as abstract, absolute or concrete animation. This is an approach to cinema (film and video) as a purely visual experience, an art form closely related to painting and music rather than the traditional cinematic arts of drama and photography. Cuba's works are characterized by cascading designs, startling shifts of perspective and precise, mathematical structure. Instead of using existing software packages, he implements algorithmic concepts at the programming level, thereby generating musical qualities from mathematical quantities. Through a series of computer animation experiments, Cuba explores an uncharted region of visual/musical territory. These films, says Gene Youngblood, "are as close to music—particularly the mathematically transcendent music of Bach—as the moving-image arts will ever get."

  • Berkeley, CA: Pacific Film Archive: The Second Annual Low Res Film and Video Festival: Festival Directors Bart Cheever and Jonathan Wells in Person: Digital technology, like the addition of sound before it, has irreversibly altered filmmaking. Movie-marketeers no longer boast of computer enhancement but instead dare you to find the "pure" cinema sequences. Still, this hype is always accompanied by equivalent boasts about lofty budgets, increasing faster than current processor speeds. Running counter to the digital elitism of the industry is the Low Res Film and Video Festival, a showcase determined to encourage moving-image works created with accessible desktop digital tools. The Low Res Fest focuses on how computers and other digital do-dads affect the way people make low-budget films and videos. The term "low res" has more to do with an alternative sense of image-making than with a cavalcade of undernourished visual effects. In fact, the videoworks featured in the festival utilize new technologies, such as non-linear editing, Adobe Premiere and AfterEffects, and digital cameras, to produce images that only a few years ago would have required the studio's coffers. Join us for a look at the future.

Thursday, October 10

  • San Francisco: Artists' Television Access: Angels and Aliens by Barbara Lee with Casy Jones-Bastiaans: From the dawn of mankind to the present, humanity has sought out a means to express the inexpressible, especially in time of great uncertainty. As we approach the year 2000 our scientific focus has virtually eradicated our spiritual beliefs. Society revived belief in the only realm science could not disprove: Alien Visitation. Tonight's reception/performance is an extension of Barbara Lee's full-house art project at ATA, and will involve performance artist Casy Jones-Bastiaans broadcast through C-U SeeMe software.

  • Berks, Pennsylvania: Berks: FILMS BY MIKE HOLBOOM: An evening of short films by MIKE HOLBOOM, one of Canada's most prolific and adventurous filmmakers. A chance to catch up with some of his exciting, personal/experimental work. Program will include: RED SHIFT (1991, 2 min.): "fine clear crystalline compact of several paralleling levels of meaning" Stan Brakhage; MODERN TIMES (1991, 4 min.):"a film essay on the camera" M.H.; ONE PLUS ONE (1993, 3 min.):shot a frame at a time "a black comedy of sex, machines and flight"-M.H.; MEMICC-(1992, 35 min.) co-maker, STEVE SANGUEDOLCE: "a travelogue of death and denial" — Best Experimental Film Award, Oberhausen Film Festival; INSTALL (1990, 8 min.); FRANK'S COCK (1993, 8 min.): a "dazzling and dangerousassault on love and AIDS"- Jim Sinclair (Lawrence Kasdan Award- Best Narrative Film).

  • San Francisco: SF Cinematheque: A Night In Black And White:Robert Fenz & David Michalak: Robert Fenz and David Michalak in person: New York filmmaker Robert Fenz records black and white images that explore rhythm, texture, space and improvisation. Vertical Air(1996), with soundtrack by AACM member Leo Smith, "is an electric look at America. Images attack from every angle—the perspective of a bird in flight, or a scurrying insect...Music and image exist side-by-side, individual and equal." (RF) David Michalak celebrates 25 years of filmmaking with his new Inside - Out (1996), a silent portrait of a dancer's battle to perform despite his physical and spiritual breakdown. "Inside-Out's 18 scintillating minutes of joyous melody and grace healed my funk and charged my mood..."—Michael Fox (Bay Guardian) Also, David's Reaching For The Trigger (1986), Not Quite Right (1987)and Once A Face (1984). Plus: Live music by Nik Phelps.

Friday, October 11

  • Seattle, Washington: SpeakEasy Cafe: Wild East Goes West-East German "Indian Movie" Festival: U.S. premiere of East German Westerns. The Wild East Goes West project brings a selection of East German "Indianerfilme" ("Indian movies") to the U.S. for the first time. The movies were filmed in Yugoslavia, Romania, the Soviet Union, Cuba, and East Germany between 1966 and 1983. They deal with U.S. and specifically Native American history and culture. There are Cowboys and Indians. And the Indians are the heroes.

  • Chicago, IL: Chicago Filmmakers: Society of the Spectacle: Legendary Situationist Guy Debord's long-impossible to see film, Society of the Spectacle (1973, 87 min.), is shown in a new video version subtitled by filmmaker Keith Sanborn. "Few groups have had as profound an impact on French culture as the Situationist Internationale with its unparalleled interrogation of political and cultural relations. While the writing of leading Situationist Guy Debord has become the cornerstone cliche of postmodernism, his paintings, artist books, and films remain unknown. Society of the Spectacle —Debord's 1973 adaptation of his book —is an essay using detourned images (Hollywood and East Block feature sequences, news footage, commercials, porn, stills) accompanied by his own voice-over and quotations from Hegel, Marx, and others." (KS)

  • San Francisco: Artists' Television Access: Spi´c-u-lating America co-sponsored with FRONTERA Magazine: Cinematic work by the "Americanized" generation of Latinos: the "Latino-ization" of America. Latinos aren't necessarily reacting to negative stereotypes anymore, but taking the image into their own hands. Preparing for Dia de la Raza we look at what the new generation thinks of their tenuous ties to the mother country...a new way to sing corridos, teens taking identity labels, finding the sense of humor in xenophobia and living the American Dream. Los Super Elegantes videos, Ethnicity Check One... by Mica Sanchez, El Diablo by Susan Jasso, Pápapapá by Alex Rivera, Sabrosura by Janelle Rodriguez, and El Pocho Show from LA among others.

  • San Francisco: SF Cinematheque: King Kong Vs. Superfly: Special dates, time, location and price: The Werepad: Jacques Boyreau, Scott Moffet, and Cornelia Jensen present a pulse-plowing showcase of Massacre at Central Hi aesthetics. "First the simulvision of "King Kong vs. Superfly," arguably the baddest blaxploitation bonanza ever to bust into your brain like a bomb with the biggest boogie you've ever seen, baby. Then, a sample of "Hollywood Shrapnel A.D. 1972," a surreal happening of exploitation and dimebag child, scum and grace, Boris Karloff and glam rock, short attention spans and the abyss, nigger luvvers and soul brudders, followed by a very special screening of "Dimebag Child vs. Art Fag." Be amazed at how time and space is only something your mind creates."(JB) A Massacre at Central Hi/Cosmic Hex co-production in association with the SF Cinematheque.

Saturday, October 12

  • Chicago: Chicago Filmmakers: Independent Films from Frankfurt: CHI-FRA FilmXchange, with support from the Goethe-Institut Chicago, presents a program of experimental films by ten independent filmmakers from Frankfurt, Germany. Films to be screened include Lure of the Unknown Love (1987, 5 min., Axel Schmidt), Bolero (1993, 6 min., Anja Czioska), Concorde (1989, 4 min., Theo Thiesmeyer), Berg Larsen II, III, IV (1993/95, 2 min., Thomas Heurich), Hochhaus (1981, 6 min., Thomas G.A. Mank), O.T. (1991, 2 min., Jorg Simon), Karfen (1993, 6 min., Tamara Grcic), Karl Kels 1991 (1991, 5 min., Karl Kels), o.T. (1988, 9 min., Monika Schwitte), Self-fulfilling Prophecy (1994, 10 min., Monika Schwitte), What's Your Name! (1985-90, 28 min., Wilhelm Orlopp). All films are 16mm. Curated by Ulli Reichhold

  • San Francisco: Other Cinema: Chuck Hudina Retrospective: Endowed with an uncanny knack for the poetry of the everyday, this undersung SF film-artist graces our gallery with a portfolio of superlative shorts and a pair of multiple projector pieces, in a benefit for his long-running magnum opus Angels of the Street. Egg, Ikarus, Bicycle, Ruby Red, On the Corner, Black Heat, Nigeria, Tender Negative, Sound Stills, Parents' Visit, and Baby in a Rage precede the premiere of his 3-screen film/performance piece World in the Camera.

  • San Francisco: SF Cinematheque: King Kong Vs. Superfly: See Oct. 11.

Sunday, October 13

  • San Francisco: SF Cinematheque: Early Evening Experimental (FREE): Necrology (Standish Lawder, 1969-70), In Order An American Advernture Story (Jacalyn White, 1988), Strain Restrain (Elise Hurwitz, 1993), Decodings (Michael Wallin, 1988), North Beach (Henry Hills, 1978).

  • San Francisco: SF Cinematheque: Beats on Film: 7:30PM: Triptych in Four Parts (Larry Jordan, 1958), "...a spiritual drug odyssey seeking religious epiphany..."(LJ);Aleph (Wallace Berman, ca. 1964), a Kabbalistic collage of symbols and secretive acts; Overstimulated (Jack Smith, 1960); Little Stabs At Happiness (Ken Jacobs, 1959-63), the triumph of whimsy in Lower Manhattan, with Jack Smith; The Brink (Ruth Weiss, 1961), a playful love story set in Playland-at-the-Beach, Chinatown and South of Market 35 years ago. 9:00PM: Night Of The Bomb (George and Mike Kuchar, 1959, 8mm), rebellious teens twist and orgy into oblivion; The Flower Thief (Ron Rice, 1966), Taylor Mead cavorts through familiar San Francisco Beat haunts.

  • Los Angeles: Filmforum: Shards of the Sixties: There was no cultural revolution in the 1960s — the culture industry is too resilient to fall that easily —but there was a cultural opposition. Now that the dominant mythologies are beginning to cloud the memories of even those who lived through the time, we offer as a feeble protest four filmic documents of this "counterculture." The sixties as a distant historical period began with the Kennedy assasination, and Bruce Conner was there to film it in front of his TV set. In Television Assassination (1963-95, 14 mins.), Conner edits the TV record and Patrick Gleason scores it. David Brooksí Winter (1964-66, 17 min.) is one of the first and best diary films, a film version of On the Road 10 years later. Match Girl (1966, 25 min.) Andy Meyersí retelling of the Hans Christian Andersen story in the milieu of Warholís Factory, manages to be both arch and naive. Warhol himself offers an unforgettable performance as the narrator. Tom Palazzoloís Campaign (1968, 12 min.) is an insiderís evocation of Chicagoís 1968 Summer of Hate. Warren Sonbert stayed home and made Where Did Our Love Go? (1966, 15 mins.), a poignant film diary that records the New York art world when its soundtrack was the Supremes. We guarantee this program will be five million times better than I Shot Andy Warhol.

Up Talk!