Films by Mike Stolz
Artist in Attendance!
Friday, November 10th, 8 PM, $7-10
The Nightingale is excited to present a solo screening of (mostly) 16-millimeter shorts by Los Angeles based artist and filmmaker Mike Stoltz.
Stoltz’s films are rooted in a bodily encounter with the subject; engaging with performers (and performing) from behind the camera, through chance-based interventions in landscape, through camera movements in concert with architectural structures, and directly addressing the audience in the form of gesture and language. This physicality is also present within Mike’s editing process, cutting directly on 16mm film and composing soundtracks from tape music and live sound generated with collaborators.
Images in these shorts reveal satellite dishes perched on the ocean, punk bands practicing in storage units, stroboscopic office park architecture, body parts careening across the screen, and kitsch relics overcome by moss and mold. There is a correlation here between the constant and the variable; a concrete wall begins to spin through the sky, performers place the camera between their bodies, nature overtakes the man-made, and history folds in on itself.
Mike Stoltz works and teaches in Los Angeles, where he is a programmer at the Echo Park Film Center. He will be in attendance to introduce the program.
Toward The Concrete Program Notes: (Total Running Time: 47 minutes)
Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day (2012, HD, 4:30)
“…The camera in Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day fixes on a young woman standing against a painted blue wall, the sun partially lighting her face, the sound of distant traffic in the background. Offscreen, a guitarist plucks single notes, and the woman hums along. When the music falls outside of her vocal range, she switches to a lower octave, her mouth turned up in a small grin. Later, she frowns slightly, seemingly unable to find her note. Gradually her confidence builds and her smile returns, though her humming is no longer anywhere close to the guitar’s pitch. Ten Notes is a marvel; it’s as unhurried and refreshing as this woman’s singing, which, though off-key, produces an unexpected harmony, a little song discovered in the process of its own making.”
-Genevieve Yue, Reverse Shot, Issue 33
In Between (2010, 16mm, 4:30)
“An exercise in permeable architecture, an attempt to walk through a wall.” -MS
Under The Atmosphere (2014, 16mm, 14:30)
“Filmed on the Central Florida “Space Coast”, site of NASA’s launch pads. Dormant spacecraft, arcane text, activated landscape, and the surface of the image work towards a future-past shot reverse shot.” -MS
With Pluses and Minuses (2013, 16mm, 5:00)
“…Stoltz shakes and dislocates audio and image with volume and pitch variations, editing the 16mm film in camera, varying the focus and the shot length of every frame, shifting background and foreground, turning and spinning the camera hand-held positions, and allowing sequences of black that punctuate the image’s algorithms. The filmmaker’s dance transforms abstraction into personal experience. He is an active agent of the surrounding world, and of the opportunities that open and close before us.”
-Mónica Savirón, LUMIÈRE Fall 2013
Half Human, Half Vapor (2015, 16mm, 11:00)
“This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture. I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy. Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.” -MS
Spotlight On A Brick Wall, in collaboration with Alee Peoples (2016, 16mm, 8:00)
A performance film that navigates expectations of both the audience and the makers. A series of false starts. Dub treatment on the laugh track.” -AP&MS
Filed under: 16mm
, artist in attendance
With LOADS by Curt McDowell
Thursday, September 14 at 8 PM, $7-10
THE DESTROYING ANGEL (Peter de Rome, 1976)
62 minutes, Digital File
The second and final feature by BFI-recognized experimental/erotic filmmaker and recent documentary subject Peter de Rome, THE DESTROYING ANGEL is a film truly unlike any other. A complete hybrid of horror movie and hardcore, its very loosely Poe-inspired story focuses on priest Caswell Campbell who is on sabbatical from seminary and, feeling torn between the pleasures of the flesh and his call to the cloth, indulges in an escalatingly bizarre series of psychotropic mushroom-feuled sexual experiences, all while being plagued by haunting visions of his doppelganger. Though more of its screen time is spent on sexual acts than in much of de Rome’s other work, THE DESTROYING ANGEL’s sex scenes are anything but traditional, growing increasingly surreal and deconstructed throughout the course of the film, advancing the plot and themes, and functioning as creepy hallucinatory episodes for the viewer. Accurately critically called “a mess but a masterpiece,” THE DESTROYING ANGEL’s weird blend of elements (including over-the-top acting, beautifully-edited psychedelic imagery, and a few jaw-dropping sexual feats) makes for a thoroughly watchable film that manages to be simultaneously campy and artful; erotic, frightening, and fun. (Screening thanks to Bijou Video.)
LOADS (Curt McDowell, 1976, released 1985)
19 minutes, 16mm on DVD
With LOADS, Curt McDowell–the preeminent satyr of underground lust–puts his hand, mouth, and camera where the money is: in and out of the underpants of tough, sometimes tender, alluring straight men. Shameless, touching, resplendent in body heat, LOADS remains a rhapsody to fluidity and flexibility, a seminal masterpiece in every way.
Special thanks to his sister Melinda McDowell Milks, who’s generously allowing us to screen it.
Programmed by Julia Zinn and Edward E. Crouse
Filed under: 16mm
Composer, Coleman Zurkowski, in attendance!
Saturday, August 26 at 8 PM, $7-10
The Nightingale presents ZERO, a project by Coleman Zurkowski.
ZERO is an exploration of the mental and physical effects of binaural/isochronic rhythms gradually slowing into silence and is a filmic companion to composer Coleman Zurkowski’s album of the same name.
Both united by and created for Zurkowski’s score, the film is comprised of chaptered shorts by Nick Edelberg, Kostas Chondros, Jodie Mack, Solomon Turner, Anthony Zakharia, Jimmy Schaus, Sofia Canales, Chris Wronka, and John Schmidt.
Zurkowski and contributing filmmaker Jimmy Schaus will be in attendance to introduce the film.The screening will open with a performance by Zurkowski as DJ VERSACI.
Total running time: 70 minutes
COLEMAN ZURKOWSKI is a composer and musician. He studied composition at DePaul University in Chicago, IL and continued his studies at the California Institute of the Arts in Los Angeles, CA. Zurkowski lives in New York City and composes music for film, television, and commercials, while releasing albums of his own work. In 2015, he was chosen to be the resident composer of the Khora Residency at the Syros International Film Festival. (http://colemanzurkowski.com)
Filed under: 16mm
, artist in attendance
, expanded cinema
Artist in Attendance!
The Nightingale, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Friday-Sunday, August 4-6th, $7-10
This August the Nightingale Cinema is happy to present a three night retrospective of Chicago native James Fotopoulos. Featuring past and new video works. Some of these pieces have not been screened in Chicago in over 10 years.
August 4th at 7:30 pm
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2001
USA, 74 min. 16mm/video
“Christabel is an abstract interpretation of Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s unfinished Gothic poem about female possession. Adhering to the poem’s structure the film is presented in four parts – Two digital video half hour segments and then two short 16mm conclusions. The contemporary relevance of the poem’s symbols and themes is underlined using performance combined with heavy image and sound layering.” —JF
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2012
USA, 82 min, video
Agents Mr. Rainbow and Mr. Lamb are sent to an alien planet fighting a civil war. Their mission to destroy a perpetual motion machine is interrupted by their capture. While their interrogations proceed the two men struggle to come to terms with their suffering and pending death.
Dignity uses the minimal structure of a sci-fi B-film, the high artifice of painted backdrops, prosthetic horror effects, psychedelic noise soundtrack and early digital techniques to flesh out the philosophical ideas ranging from the stoic writings Marcus Aurelius to the fantasy prison drawings of Giovanni Battista Piranesi.
August 5th at 5pm
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2002
USA, 97 min, 16mm.
A hybrid film that intentionally clashes techniques and syntaxes, FAMILIES is a series docufictional vignettes in a rural industrial town as portrayed through Fotopoulous’ singular eye.
“Life in a rural industrial town: a teenage boy, his family, friends and failed attempt at love are investigated through stark black-and-white photography and static long takes. Filmed in a fusion of authentic and staged documentation, with robotic performances by actors and non-actors, the piece meditates on the mundane existence of human and animal life.” —JF
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2014
USA, 103 min, video
Lamb is a troubled veteran and his girlfriend, M, is tormented as well. When he’s not working as a security guard in an old warehouse with other unstable vets, Lamb haunts a nightclub frequented by wounded and traumatized ex-soldiers. There he meets a one-armed vet, Thrill, who starts a strange story about the effects of his post-traumatic stress, which unsettles Lamb.
While walking though a forest, Lamb discovers a humanoid carcass and hides it in his basement. At the club he meets an older woman and begins an affair. Soon otherworldly events start to occur and his girlfriend is attacked inside their apartment by mysterious beings.
In the middle of the night the older woman comes over traumatized. She believes she was brought to an underground compound in the forest inhabited by creatures similar to the one Lamb discovered. She insists these aliens are waiting for a signal to attack. Lamb and M build a truck bomb to destroy the compound before it’s too late. As they drive it to the nuclear power plant the story Thrill told seems about to end.
August 6th at 5pm
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2003
USA, 78 min, 16mm
“Filmed in saturated colors on out-of-date film stocks with an aggressive soundtrack, the story of The Nest is told – The marriage of two young professionals unravels after an unnamed accident physically and emotional traumatizes the wife. Government agents, shadowy investigators and transgender beings appear, trying to solve the nervous-breakdown-mystery of secret alien forces that chose the couple as their target. In-camera tricks, drawings, derelict optical printing, miniatures, puppets and prosthetic makeup effects convey the dual collapse of the protagonists’ lives and the film structure as one unified entity.” —JF
Dir. James Fotopoulos, 2015
USA, 75 min, video
An actress living in New York performs an audition, then goes to meditation and winds up at a party of artists viewing a film. At home, she and her girlfriend explore buried memories and later nightmares trigger sleepwalking. Finally, the actress enacts a childlike performance inspired by a Frank Wedekind play.
Mr Fotopoulos will be in attendance for all the screenings.
James Fotopoulos is a filmmaker who began production on his first feature-length film, ZERO (1997), in 1995. In 1998, he founded Fantasma for the production of his second feature, Migrating Forms (1999), and would continue to create a number of critically acclaimed narrative feature films, such as Back Against the Wall (2000), Families (2002), The Nest (2003) and Dignity (2012).
There will be an 15 minute intermission between films.
Programmed by Raul Benitez.
Filed under: 16mm
, artist in attendance
, dual projection
Works for the Screen
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N. Milwaukee
Wednesday, March 29, 7:00 pm, Free
Coinciding with the 2017 MFA Thesis Exhibitions at Gallery 400, the graduating MFA students from the School of Art & Art History at University of Illinois at Chicago present a series of works for the screen at Nightingale Cinema.
Caleb Foss, Dirty Data, 9 minutes
Dirty Data science fictionalizes everyday systems that place an individual in a hall of two-way mirrors, the other side of which lies an unknown spectator. Drone video, biometrics, virtual reality, facial tracking, and a cardboard box collide in one apparatus built to dissect Caleb Foss’ head and soil the data inside.
Chris Hoag, Botany w/Canal Stamps & Artifact, 2017, 16mm, 2 mins.
Botany w/ canal stamps & artifact.
Lorenzo Gattorna, way of the gods, 2016, S8/35mm to HD, 10:05 mins.
“The mysterious stirs a reaction: an ah! This ah! is not an ah ha! or Eureka — that is, an exclamation of discovering an answer. The ah! response to mystery is more a dumbfounded recognition and appreciation of an inexplicable power or presence. For Shinto, though, the point is to accept the awesome as part of the world in which we live. To deny or try to eradicate the wondrous mystery is no less than to run away from home.”
—Shinto: The Way Home, Thomas Kasulis
Music: In a Silent Way, Miles Davis, 1969
Nellie Kluz, All The Witches, 2016, 4:05 mins.
Witches, cinematographers and other members of the crew pass a night together in the woods in Film City, Mumbai.
Zachary Hutchinson, FINAL DAYS, 2016, 3:48 mins.
“It’s basically the queer rapture.”
Chris Hoag, Heat Sink w/ Heat Sinks & Favor Spelled the British Way, 2017, 16mm, 2 mins.
Heat sink w/ heart sinks & favor spelled the British way.
Jose Luis Benavides, Lulu’s Journal, 2017, digital video, 4:32 mins.
In this video-poem the artist collects his own thoughts projected in the voice of his mother to tell parts of her story previously untold in their many recorded conversations throughout the documentary process. Through a collection of episodic journal entries and poetic investigations, the voice of the young artist Amanda Cervantes reenacts the queer, Latina youth of Lourdes or Lulu. Rather than embody her they reflect a psychic space and interiority; the private place of reflection and consciousness muted by the institution and the insidious powers of patriarchal Western culture.
Chris Hoag, Pork Operations w/ Spinning & Bauble from the Shelf by the Ficus, 2016, 16mm, 1 min.
Pork operations w/ spinning & bauble from the shelf by the Ficus.
Jose Luis Benavides, Postcard from Read, 2015, digital video, 3:08 mins.
Modeled after collectable postcards of American mental institutions and asylums, this video-poem juxtaposes the bucolic landscapes of Chicago-Read Mental Health Center with a narrated nightmare journaled by the artist’s mother, Lourdes Benavides, who spent her teenage years at the aforementioned facility. Her voice and dream reflect a psychosexual landscape and the effects of institutionalized homophobia on one woman of color. Through the broken fences and cattail reeds, this video postcard mimics a style of historic ephemera to questions the legacy of institutions and the lasting ties of queer bonding and inherited trauma.
Chris Hoag, Chase Liquid w/ Sections, esp. Section IV, 2016, 16mm, 2 mins.Chase liquid w/ sections, esp. section IV.
Jose Luis Benavides, 1972 Commission on Mental Health, 2016, digital video, 7mins.
Sourced from official transcripts of the February 15, 1972 Commission on Mental Health held at Chicago-Read Mental Health Center, the artist unearths and revives this historic text. In this all Latina-centered reenactment the artist recast this commission in a queer, brown, accented and feminist scene of resistance to highlight the lack of Latina and women’s voices on the committee and/or the witnesses stand. The reenactment simultaneously pays homage to the bravery and strength of Patricia Krochmal, a Chicago reporter who admitted herself undercover at Chicago-Read to expose conditions of abuse and neglect, spawning the hearing itself. Through these investigations into the archive the artist attempts to answer questions regarding his mother’s possible treatment and conditions at the very institution she was held only a few years later.
Zachary Hutchinson, trash kick, 2016, 15 seconds
“I kick a trash can away from my reflection in a polar fleece suit I just made and Comfort Plus heels.”
Nellie Kluz, Pairs, 2015, 5 mins.
Gesture and communication systems: work, spiritualists, and baseball.
Zachary Hutchinson, pig kick, 2016, 15 seconds
“I kick a pig away from my reflection in a polar fleece suit I just made and Comfort Plus heels.”
Zachary Hutchinson, pig kick 2, 2016, 1 min.
“I kick a pig down five flights of stairs in a polar fleece suit I just made and Comfort Plus heels.”
Chris Hoag, 6 Drachms w/ Lens Pivoting & Dens, 2016, 16mm, 2 mins.
6 drachms w/ lens pivoting & dens.
Zachary Hutchinson, My new outfits, 2017, 3:30 mins.
“I show my collection of polar fleece suits and my Comfort Plus heels.”
Chris Hoag, The Sherwin-Williams Harmony Collection w/ Kodak 7266 & Parakeet, 2016, 16mm, 3 mins.
The Sherwin Williams harmony collection w/ Kodak 7266 & parakeet.
Total Running Time: 64 minutes
Filed under: 16mm
, artist in attendance