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)

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

A GEOGRAPHER’S LENS

Multimedia Methods and
Scholar-Activist Praxis
Presented by the Subconference of the
Annual Meeting of the AAG

rareearth

Wednesday, April 22, 6 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

Join us for an evening of discussion and excerpts from four films with four documentarian-geographers. In coordination with the Subconference of the Association of American Geographers’ annual meeting, this event will provide an opportunity for an off-site, trans- and non-disciplinary, multi-method mingling of idea makers and media makers. While exploring different content in different geographic settings, the four panelists’ pieces take up the overlapping themes of economic, state, and extra-judicial violence amidst the quest for endless accumulation and surplus. The works explore the the prison and military industrial complexes, contested spaces of ‘urban renewal,’ and sites of accumulation and abandonment ranging from the body to the Mojave Desert to the city of Detroit and beyond.  We will gather to discuss process-oriented questions about filmmaking and public scholarship for liberatory social change. The event will comprise a panel discussion with the four filmmakers (Elizabeth Knafo, Amanda Matles, Alexis Mitchell, and Brett Story) moderated by Annie Spencer, as well as excerpts from their latest films.  We will reserve ample time for audience discussion.

 

Rare Earth (2014) // Elizabeth Knafo
From the Mojave desert, to the Pacific seabed, to the surface of the moon, the rush for rare earth minerals is afoot. “Rare Earth”explores the re-opening of an historically toxic rare earth mine in the California desert, and the intensifying land rush for the high-tech minerals across the world. The work is a portrait of changing desert landscapes and the residents who grapple with the impacts of industrial mining. “Rare Earth” traces the toxic and transformative legacy of treasure hunting in the American West—a legacy of speculation, produced scarcity and the social violence of resource extraction—deepening in our era of global climate change.

Rerooting the Motor City: Notes on a City in Transformation (2013) // Paper Tiger
This is Detroit as seen by Paper Tiger Television members, Maria Byck, Amanda Matles, Nadia Mohamed, Adrienne Silverman. From food deserts, to the plans to “rightsize” the city, Detroiters resist, rework, and remain resilient given the social and ecological failures of post-industrial global capitalism. With a critical lens on race and class dynamics, this documentary weaves together segments on Detroit’s labor history, the roots of Detroit’s urban agriculture movement, a critical look at philanthro-capitalism and its relationship to urban renewal, as well as media (mis)representations of a city in transformation.

STEALTH (2014) // Chase Joynt and Alexis Mitchell
By merging hidden camera footage from a patient’s hysterectomy, with interviews of the objects used in these procedures and spaces, STEALTH poignantly and humorously mobilizes ‘sousveillance’ to subvert the perspective of surveilling machinery. Through a triangulation of corporeal, medical and military technologies, STEALTH provocatively points to previously unexplored histories and relationships between inanimate objects and human bodies.

EMPIRE SYMBOL OR, A MAN AND HIS MULE(2015) // Bambitchell  (Alexis Mitchell & Sharlene Bamboat) 
Empire Symbol, Or A Man and his Mule, traces the journey of a Canadian veterinarian who was responsible for transporting mules from New York to Karachi, India during WWII. Employing his diary entries, Bambitchell unearth both the psychic life of The Vet, as well the histories of Canadian Militarism that are embedded within mundane processes of global trade and transport.

The Prison in Twelve Landscapes (in progress) // Brett Story
The Prison in Twelve Landscapes is a non-fiction work about the prison from the places we least expect to find it: the front yards, public spaces, and social rituals of everyday life. A meditation on the prison and its geographic disappearance in the era of mass incarceration, the doc unfolds as a cinematic journey through a series of landscapes across the United States where prisons do work and affect lives: an anti-sex offender pocket park in Los Angeles, a congregation of ex-incarcerated chess players shut out of the formal labor market, the overnight buses that carry visitors to far away prisons, an Appalachian coal town betting its future on the promise of prison jobs, and a host of other unexpected spaces.

 

The event is happening in collaboration with the Subconference of the Annual Meeting of the AAG. The Subconference was created to offer a space for radical academics and activists to think critically and creatively about the connections between academic geography, higher education, and social/political change. The subconference is an evolving ambition. Each year we seek out new ways to creatively appropriate the critical mass of the AAG, using the space of the conference as an asset for forging solidarities and facilitating collective exchanges between people who are already engaged in radical, socially transformative work in all the disparate locations that we come from.

Annie Spencer, curator of A GEOGRAPHER’S LENS,  is a writer, organizer, media maker, and doctoral candidate in economic geography at the City University of New York Graduate Center. Spencer’s work examines state improvement schemes, accumulation, addiction, and everyday wageless life in the post-American century.



Filed under: archival, documentary, experimental, found footage, lecture, narrative, new media, surveillance, Uncategorized, video

FEST of (IN)APPROPRIATION #7

Artist LJ Frezza in person!

TOHO

Friday, April 17, 7 pm, $7-10
The Nightingale Cinema, 1084 N Milwaukee, Chicago, IL

The Nightingale is delighted to host the latest traveling show from Los Angeles Filmforum’s program FESTIVAL OF (IN)APPROPRIATION!

Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, détournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of already existing media into new artworks is a practice that generates novel juxtapositions and new meanings and ideas, often in ways entirely unrelated to the intentions of the original makers. Such new works are, in other words, “inappropriate.” This act of (in)appropriation may even produce revelations about the relationship between past and present, here and there, intention and subversion, artist and critic, not to mention the “producer” and “consumer” of visual culture itself. Fortunately for our purposes, the past decade has witnessed the emergence of a wealth of new audiovisual elements available for appropriation into new works. In addition to official state and commercial archives, resources like vernacular collections, home movie repositories, and digital archives now also provide fascinating material to repurpose in ways that lend it new meaning and resonance.

Founded in 2009, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary, short (20 minutes or less), audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and repurpose it in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. The show is curated by Jaimie Baron, Lauren Berliner, and Greg Cohen.

Generously sponsored by Los Angeles Filmforum.

 

Program Details:
Astro Black: Race for Space by Soda_Jerk (Australia, digital video, color, sound, 2010, 6:06)

Demolished Every Second by John Davis (US/Tajikistan, 16mm on digital video, color, sound, 2014, 4:25)

Sara Nokomis Weir by Brian L. Frye (US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 20:00)

Lexicon by Celeste Fichter (US, digital video, color, silent, 2014, 2:36)

The Bags, Probably 1971 by Joshua Yates (US, hand-processed 16mm film on video, black & white and color, sound, 5:11)

No Signal Detected by Péter Lichter (Hungary, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 2:33)

TOHO by Sellotape Cinema (UK, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 9:30)

Nothing by LJ Frezza (US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 6:27)

Array by Ben Balcom (US, digital video, color, sound, 2013, 7:18)

My clothes were dragging me back by Maria Magnusson (Sweden, digital video, color, sound, 2012, 4:53)

Falling in Love…with Chris and Greg: Work of Art! Reality TV Special by Chris E. Vargas and Greg Youmans (US, digital video, color, sound, 2012, 14:00)

Iterations by Gregg Biermann (US, digital video, color, sound, 2014, 5:37)

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Filed under: 16mm, archival, documentary, documentation, experimental, film, found footage, new media, surveillance, Uncategorized, video

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