1084 N MILWAUKEE, CHICAGO

ALPI

RUN OF LIFE Experimental
Documentary Series

alpi

Monday, August 24, 7 pm, $10
Constellation, 3111 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL
Purchase tickets here.

ALPI by Armin Linke
(2011, 16mm, transferred on Blu-ray, 60min)

ALPI is the result of seven years of research on contemporary perceptions of the landscape of the Alps, juxtaposing places and situations across all eight bordering nations and spanning the territories of four languages. In the film, the Alps are encountered like an island that is connected to various global transformations. We undertook many journeys in the alpine region, which, ironically, led us as far as Dubai. The film shows the Alps as a key location, owing to its delicacy and environmental importance, where one can observe and study the complexity of social, economic, and political relationships. In the Europe of today, the Alps are a hotbed for modernity and its illusions. – AL

Preceded by
CLIMBING by Jesse McLean
(2009, video, 6 min)

RUN OF LIFE is a collectively curated experimental documentary and expanded media series held at Constellation every third Monday of the month. The series pairs a recent feature experimental documentary with a short nonfiction work in any number of mediums – performance, video short, interactive presentation, audio doc, etc. At each event, a post screening Q&A will be moderated by either a local expert engaged in the movie’s subject matter or an artist involved in the making of the work. RUN OF LIFE seeks to join experimental and documentary media audiences while exploring emerging tactics within representations of reality; the empathetic connection that is built through sensory experience rather than factual arguments; and aesthetic shifts in documentary that come with the breakdown of the fourth wall.  RUN OF LIFE is organized by Robin Amer, Jillian Hansen-Lewis, Sally Lawton, Christy LeMaster, Jenny Miller & Beckie Stocchetti and presented by Constellation Chicago in collaboration with the Nightingale Cinema.

Programmed by Jillian Hansen-Lewis & Christy LeMaster



Filed under: 16mm, documentary, film, international, video

THE FIRST FIVE YEARS

The First 5 Years and The Last 5 Years
as part of Platforms: 10 Years
of Chances Dances

platforms

Tuesday, September 8, 8 pm, Free
Saturday, October 17, 8 pm, Free
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

A bookended pair of lively screening events featuring works from the past, present, and future of CHANCES granted artists, organizers, and scenesters. This is your pre-party party, snacks and group travel to that night’s CHANCES DANCES included.

Including work by: Mark Aguhar, Cavenaw and Cavenis, Sky Cubacub, Ky Dickens, EMR (Math Bass & Dylan Mira), Hope Esser & Daviel Shy, Rami George, Jacquelyn Carmen Guerrero, Meg Leary, Marianna Milhorat, Madsen Minax, Dylan Mira, Fawzia Mirza, Aay Preston-Myint, Macon Reed, Oli Rodriguez, Amina Ross & NIC Kay, Jules Rosskam, Xina Xurner, Latham Owen Zearfoss

Program Design by Marian Runk
Curated by Christy LeMaster

_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_*_

Begun in 2005 as an inclusive, welcoming, and alternative queer dance party, Chances Dances is a collective of artists, activists, DJs, and educators who organize parties, build safer spaces, and support local art and activism through direct funding and other resources.

Since its founding, Chances has sought to bring together Chicago’s varied LGBTIQ communities
by organizing dance parties that welcome people of all gender expressions and racial identities. For the
last six years, Chances has channeled profits from its parties into a biannual microgrant for local artists. In 2008, Chances launched the Critical Fierceness Grant, which awards $500 to Chicago-based artists and collectives who identify themselves or their work as queer. In 2012, Chances expanded the Critical Fierceness Grant to include the Mark Aguhar Memorial Grant, which funds projects by queer feminine spectrum artists of color with $1,000 grants. Through this grassroots funding in addition to our robust performance programming, Chances has established itself as hub of queer artistic activity in Chicago for ten years running.

In Fall 2015, the Platforms retrospective will showcase the artworks, herstory, and community-building processes of the Chances community over the last 10 years at several sites across Chicago. Drawing from over one hundred Critical Fierceness grantees and finalists, past and present Chances organizers, and members of the Chances community, Platforms will elevate and expand the reach of a long-standing and multifaceted queer collective practice.



Filed under: artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, feminism, film, found footage, music, narrative, new media, opening, performance, queer, Uncategorized, video

THE GARDEN OF …

THE GARDEN OF EARTHLY DELIGHTS
Three Films by Ben Russell

GREETINGS (ZEBRA)

Tuesday, September 15, 7 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

Taking its title from a 15th century Hieronymus Bosch triptych in which the pleasures of Eden are conflated with the torments of Hell, this new trilogy of (mostly) non-fiction works by artist-filmmaker Ben Russell examines the ecstatic limits of utopia in the present. Moving from a post-colonial vision of Melanesian cargo cults to a documentary portrait of Atlantis to a world populated by dream-healers and Christian Animists, these films take a visceral, embodied, and ethnographic approach towards their subject (which is also us). From Malta to Greece to Vanuatu to Swaziland to South Africa: utopia is now!  In the words of Samuel Beckett, “What do we do now, now that we are happy?”

FEATURING:
LET US PERSEVERE IN WHAT WE HAVE RESOLVED BEFORE WE FORGET
(20:00, S16mm on video, 2013)

“John Frum prophesied the occurrence of a cataclysm in which Tanna would become flat, the volcanic mountains would fall and fill the river-beds to form fertile plains, and Tanna would be joined to the neighbouring islands of Eromanga and Aneityum to form a new island. Then John Frum would reveal himself, bringing in a reign of bliss, the natives would get back their youth and there would be no sickness; there would be no need to care for gardens, trees or pigs. The Whites would go; John Frum would set up schools to replace mission schools, and would pay chiefs and teachers.”
– Peter Worsley, “The Trumpet Shall Sound: a study of cargo cults in Melanesia”

ATLANTIS
(23:33, S16mm on video, 2014)
“We Utopians are happy / This will last forever”

Loosely framed by Plato’s invocation of the lost continent of Atlantis in 360 BC and its re-re-resurrection via a 1970s science fiction pulp novel, Ben Russell presents a documentary portrait of Utopia – that relative paradise, an island called Nowhere which has never / forever existed beneath our feet. Herein is folk song and pagan rite, reflected temple and Templar Knight, the lonely body of Man disappearing into the glimmering sea. Even with our mouths full of sea-water, we persist – happy and content.

GREETINGS TO THE ANCESTORS
(29:00, S16mm on HD, 2014)

Set between Swaziland and South Africa, in a region still struggling with the divisions produced by an apartheid government, GREETINGS TO THE ANCESTORS documents the dream lives of the territory’s inhabitants as the borders of consciousness dissolve and expand. Equal parts documentary, ethnography and dream cinema, GREETINGS TO THE ANCESTORS presents a world whose borders are constantly dematerializing; it takes on the challenge that the Surrealists outlined in the 1920s – for cinema to be fully realized as the waking state of dreams, one that we all can inhabit.

TRT 72:33

 

Ben Russell (b.1976, USA) is a media artist and curator whose films, installations, and performances foster a deep engagement with the history and semiotics of the moving image.  Formal investigations of the historical and conceptual relationships between early cinema, documentary practices, and structuralist filmmaking result in immersive experiences concerned at once with ritual, communal spectatorship and the pursuit of a “psychedelic ethnography.”  A 2008 Guggenheim Fellowship and 2010 FIPRESCI award recipient, Ben has had solo screenings and exhibitions at the Centre Georges Pompidou, the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, the Rotterdam Film Festival, the Wexner Center for the Arts, the Viennale, and the Museum of Modern Art.  He began the Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island, was co-director of the artist-run space BEN RUSSELL in Chicago, IL, has toured worldwide with film/ video/ performance programs and was named by Cinemascope in 2012 as one of the “50 Best Filmmakers Under 50.”



Filed under: 16mm, experimental, film, Uncategorized

LIFE WITHOUT BUILDINGS

Super 8mm Films by Steve Polta
Co-presented with
The Chicago 8 Small Gauge Film Festival

Arrival

Sunday, July 19, 7 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

 

“[Polta’s] fuzzy, abstract images often accompanied by an ambient sound track [are] genuinely entrancing, actively engaging the viewer in piecing them together.” — Fred Camper, The Chicago Reader

“Bay Area artist Steve Polta has been producing a body of films, mostly on Super 8, over the past two decades that are as exquisitely nuanced as they are rarely seen. Each film presents a narrow window onto the ordinary world, prodded by subtle observation until it yields images of ethereal beauty.” — Rick Bahto, The Echo Park Film Center

Steve Polta—musing filmmaker, former San Francisco taxi driver, arts writer-catalyzer, A.M. radio oldies fan—returns to Chicago bearing a mini-retrospective of his Super 8mm filmscapes. The program will run in one piece, as an unbroken ribbon of his signature swirl of grain, dust, glints, and other alluring or ominous particulate matter. Exploratory ecstasy abounds! 

This screening is co-curated by Karen Johannesen of The Chicago 8 Small Gauge Film Festival.

The program is composed of:

Red Sketch (1997c) (1997)
interval Oakland 99 (2000)
Departure (1997c) (1997)
Picture Window (1996a) (1996)
Minnesota Landscape (1997)
Estuary #1 (1998)
The Berries (2000)
Summer Rain for LMC, side A (2007/2011)
Summer Rain for LMC, side B (2007/2011)
A House Full of Dust (2007)



Filed under: artist in attendance, experimental, film, performance, Super 8mm

FOLLOW FOCUS

Daviel Shy and THE LADIES ALMANACK
Summer Screening: Dailies from Paris

followfocus

Sunday, June 21, 7 pm, $15
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

 

The Nightingale is delighted to introduce FOLLOW FOCUS- a new process-oriented screening series that rallies audiences and resources behind a moving image maker as they complete a feature project. Designed to expand viewership into the production stage, FOLLOW FOCUS invites audiences to observe a director’s process, collaborations, and inspiration. Our inaugural featured project is THE LADIES ALMANACK written and directed by Chicago-based filmmaker, Daviel Shy and produced by NYC-based performer, Stephanie Acosta.

THE LADIES ALMANACK is a feature-­length experimental narrative film shot on Super 8 and based on the novel of the same title by Djuna Barnes. The film is a kaleidoscopic tribute to women’s writing through the friendships, jealousies, flirtations and publishing woes of authors and artists in 1920’s Paris.

The Nightingale will host 4 screenings by the series’ completion, each one in a different season and  highlighting a different element of the process ending with a rough cut screening in Fall of 2015. The production of a commissioned art object will also raise funds for the film.  Admission price  at each of the four screenings includes part of a limited edition, risograph-printed Ladies Almanack Tarot Deck designed and illustrated by Jess LeMaster. Attend all four screenings for a complete 24-card set.

The Summer Screening will include outtakes and dailies from the production’s recent shoot in Paris. Several members of the cast and crew will be on hand to provide lively, running commentary on the footage as it screens.

Brie Roland as Natalie Clifford Barney
Josefin Granqvist as Djuna Barnes
Slaveya Minkova as Dolly Wilde
Brenna Kail as Mina Loy
Natacha Stolz as Colette
Jackie Wang as Lucie Delarue Madrus
Erin Jackson as Thelma Wood
Magalie Guérin as Berthe Cleyrergue

 

To support the THE LADIES ALMANACK right away, check out the movie’s website. Donations are tax-deductible.

http://www.theladiesalmanack.com/#!donate/c1ke7



Filed under: artist in attendance, feminism, film, narrative, queer, Super 8mm, Uncategorized

IN SEARCH OF…

Presented with Chicago Film Archives

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Saturday, May 30, 7 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

We have a few trekkies in the house and were very saddened by the passing of Leonard Nimoy this past February. To celebrate Mr. Nimoy we’ve teamed up with Chicago Film Archives to screen select episodes of In Search Of…, a late ’70s to early ’80s television series hosted by Nimoy that was devoted to mysterious phenomena (Bigfoot, Atlantis, ESP, the Loch Ness Monster…to name a few). CFA’s  Chicago Public Library collection contains a handful of episodes in 16mm. We will screen all three of these episodes  – UFOs and Bermuda Triangle will be presented in 16mm while Life After Death will be presented digitally due to unfortunate print damage.

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~

In Search Of: UFOs (1976) by Alan Landsburg Productions, Color, Sound, 24 min, 16mm
“Have beings from other worlds visited Earth to investigate man’s progress over the millennia? That’s one theory to explain the thousands of sightings all over the world of mysterious saucer-like objects in the sky. In America alone 15 million people claim to have seen a UFO…an unidentified flying object. The film crews of “In Search Of” traveled the country filming interviews with people who have experiences the sighting of UFO’s firsthand. One man, connected to a lie detector, describes his sighting and passes the test! Among those interviewed is Ted Phillips, a UFO investigator who continues to research questions opened – but not resolved – by the U.S. Air Force. Along with Dr. Keller of the Kansas Aerospace Laboratory, he examines soil samples from the reported UFO landing sites. A revealing documentary.”

In Search Of: The Bermuda Triangle (1976) by Alan Landsburg Productions, Color, Sound, 24 min, 16mm
“More than a thousand people and over a hundred ships and planes have mysteriously disappeared over the Bermuda Triangle. Extensive and widespread searches have been launched to uncover some explanation for these tragedies…no answers have yet been found. Headlines concerning the strange occurrences have appeared around the world, and many diverse theories have been offered up to explain these happenings. A talk show listener in Ft. Lauderdale called Radio Station WFTL with his own bizarre theory. Listeners, whose imaginations had been captured by this unusual call, were alarmed when his voice was cut off for no apparent reason. The “In Search Of” crews went to the region to interview people who have been directly involved in the curious events that have occurred in and about the Bermuda Triangle. This film explores those interviews and other bizarre incidents in its coverage of the mystery.”

In Search Of: Life After Death (1976) by Alan Landsburg Productions, Color, Sound, 24 min, digital projection
“With the signal, “Code Blue,” doctors and nurses rush down the hospital’s hallway and teams of technicians pour in with resuscitation equipment. A patient is dead. All the combined experience and knowledge of the medical profession go into this moment…and, with increasing frequency, a life is restored. This frantic yet highly controlled scene is played out many times a day in hospitals across the country. Such medical miracles are unexpectedly providing us with a source of observations made beyond the threshold, in the accounts of the experiences of people who have actually “returned from the dead.” The same experience is recounted by many: at the end of the long tunnel there is a warm, all-enveloping light. They experience the return to life as a harsh removal, a forcible pulling away from “this new stage of growth.” The film investigates this frontier of human experience, described by various people who are living with a treasured memory.”

More info here.



Filed under: 16mm, archival, film, video

KALEIDOSCOPIC VISIONS

Films by Saul Levine
Saul Levine in person!

SaulShowStill4

Saturday, May 2, 8 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

“Saul Levine is the foremost dissenting filmmaker in America. With about 35 years of consistent production behind him, and no signs of fatigue, he can show us the shape of a life passionately and uncompromisingly devoted to filmmaking. His works are high-energy messages of friendship, records of sexual love and political activism, radiated by humor, prophetic anger, loneliness and even though rarely, representing repose.” — P. Adams Sitney (**)

“A friend of mine who worked for Yale’s AV department showed me three films that changed my life. Maya Deren’s AT LAND, CHOREOGRAPHY FOR THE CAMERA, and Viking Eggling’s SYMPHONIE DIAGONAL. From Deren’s films I saw that cinemas ability to represent figures in time and space poetically could be a paradigm of consciousness; Eggling showed me that nonfigurative shapes could evolve and change musically. I saw that I could use film to understand the world around me directly. I could also use editing to make relationships between what I was seeing in front of the camera and what was going on in my mind. I stopped making editing decisions based on story and started making them based on shape, memory and association.” -Saul Levine (*)

Program Notes:

The program title KALEIDOSCOPIC VISIONS was inspired by P. Adams Sitney’s description of Saul’s unique style of shooting and cutting as “…fused with the kalei­do­scop­ic fury of mem­o­ry…”. The program selects films by Saul Levine from 1973 to 2011. The films represent roughly three of Saul’s major formal approaches to the small gauge formats of Regular 8mm (presented as a digital transfers and a 16mm blow up) and Super 8mm (presented in Super 8mm and 16mm blow ups).

The first part of the program, ON THE SPOT (1973) and NEARSIGHT (1977-78), showcase Saul’s early rigorous in-camera work that directly responds to his subjects. Saul uses single frame shooting, repetitious movement, and variations in exposure to create “nonfigurative shapes that evolve and change musically” (*). These two films differentiate themselves from structuralist films of that era by their personal and intuitive sense. In Saul’s films we feel through his camerawork an emotionally raw response to the world that allows the viewer to “hitch a ride” into the author’s “state of mind” or “level of consciousness” (***).

The middle of the program, BOPPING THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA BLUE  and A FEW TUNES GOING OUT: GROOVE TO GROOVE, represent two films from Saul’s innovative body of Super 8mm Sound work that uses splicing to layer sounds over images from varied places or moments. Saul’s frame by frame cutting technique challenges the apparatus of the projector to represent records of “real time”. It exploits the difference in time and space of twenty six frames between the projected image and the projector’s sound head. By doing this he creates experiences of coinciding events within a single moment- multiple thoughts, memories, personal, political, local or global. Both from the series A FEW TUNES GOING OUT, the second film GROOVE TO GROOVE, shows Saul editing with this single frame and two frame method.

A comedic break, AS IS IS, is a personal and insightful portrait of the struggles of owning a pet chameleon.

The last portion of the program shows Saul’s recent experimentations of recording light with the Super 8mm camera in his working series titled: LIGHT LICKS:BY THE WATERS OF BABYLON.  JAMMING reflects on a 2004 demonstration at the National Republican Convention in New York while I WANT TO PAINT IT BLACK is “inspired by the absence of a contemporary Jewish community” (**) in Prague. Both films show the rich visual records Saul captures by spilling light into the frame beyond the camera’s aperture (see the still below)

(more…)



Filed under: 16mm, artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, film, painting, Super 8mm, Uncategorized, video

California Picture Book

Recent Bay Area Film and Video

Vanessa O'Neill — Suspension

Vanessa O’Neill — Suspension

Friday, April 24, 8 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL
Organized by Mary Helena Clark and tooth
Mary Helena Clark in person!

Tonight’s program consists of films and videos by Bay Area filmmakers who are involved with and in support of recent efforts to build a DIY film collective in Oakland, California. As film stocks are discontinued and artists’ spaces disappear, this effort aims to pull resources, share knowledge, make space for collaboration, and continue the rich traditional of experimental film in the Bay Area. Proceeds from tonight’s screening will go towards the lab.

John Davis — Demolished Every Second (2014, 4:25 minutes, 16mm > video)
This short work utilizes imprints from Soviet-era film leader culled from dozens of films viewed while working as an artist in residence in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2014. The material was largely 1980’s-era educational and propaganda films that contained a broad range of content, but had only subtle variations on more or less the same leader. Foregrounding the often ignored hand-written or machine printed artifacts found on leader, the imprints become the primary source material for a psychotronic audio/visual salvo set to an original score.

Mary Helena Clark — The Sound of Running in my Voice (2014, 5 minutes, DV)
We ape naturalism.

Michael Bucuzzo — Orion’s Belt (2011, 5 minutes, 16mm > video)
What happens to the body when it dies? What happens to the mind when it forgets the body is dead?

Zachary Epcar — A Time Shared Unlimited (2010, 10 minutes, 16mm + video)
Near-future leisure time activities and anxieties as a series of minor incidents continually interrupted, alternating between an overcrowded virtual space and a virtually abandoned city space.

Christina Kolozsvary — Nocturnes for Anatomers (2012, 6 minutes, video)
Nocturnes for Anatomers is a surrealist trip to the doctors office. A young woman suffers from mysterious illnesses caused by her neglect for her body, and her hidden desires. Diagnoses of the patient follow the charts of the cosmos, as anatomy and astrology combine.

Kent Long — The Waves (2003, 8 minutes, 16mm)
An interpretation of water’s eternal patterns of light and sound.

tooth — palms (2011, 3 minutes, super 8)
a california portrait. obscured investigation of the myth of “paradise”. palm trees are a non-native plant species to california, and their roots span equal parts as far underground as the trees tower above the earth. within this, an overlapping symbology.

Zach Iannazzi — California Picture Book (2013, 14 minutes, 16mm)

Vanessa O’Neill — Suspension (2008, 10 minutes, dual 16mm)
A toned and black-and-white reel, layered to create subtle shifts of hue and tone of abstracted seascape.



Filed under: 16mm, artist in attendance, documentary, experimental, film, video

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