(100 JAHRE ADOLF HITLER – DIE LETZTE STUNDE IM FÜHRERBUNKER) In Schlingensief’s bizarre, manic work of (barely) controlled chaos, the big names of the Nazi regime, on the brink of its downfall, fight a very private war of their own. Gorging, screwing, scheming: the dark hallways of the Führerbunker are the perfect location for all kinds of excesses. The film was shot in complete darkness in an original WWII bunker over the course of 16 consecutive hours, with the only light source provided by Schlingensief’s flashlight, and neither cast nor crew allowed outside until the film was finished. Laying the groundwork for Schlingensief’s later works, 100 YEARS OF ADOLF HITLER is a key film in his oeuvre. Preceded by: Udo Kier, Bernd Brummbär, and Edward Lachman LAST TRIP TO HARRISBURG / LETZTE REISE NACH HARRISBURG 1984, 11 min, 16mm-to-digital. In German with English subtitles. With Udo Kier and the voice of Rainer Werner Fassbinder.The only (completed) film that Kier co-directed depicts a soldier and a beautiful blonde on a train to Harrisburg. Total running time: ca. 70 min.
Arthur Barron 16 IN WEBSTER GROVES 1966, 52 min, 16mm & Arthur Barron WEBSTER GROVES REVISITED 1966, 52 min, 16mm “Alone, [16 IN WEBSTER GROVES] is an interesting portrayal of a prototypical upper middle class, largely white American suburb of a certain time period. But in tandem with WEBSTER GROVES REVISITED, Barron’s project takes on a self-reflexiveness that is also an examination of the documentary process, particularly that sort practiced by network news film crews of the era. In the latter film, Barron examines the effect that observation has had on both the observed and the observer. The films shun the traditional ‘objective’ model of journalism, as well as the strict observational direct cinema practices being pioneered by the Drew Associates production company around the same time. Seen as one unit, the films have more in common with the French cinema vérité approach, in which the filmmaker is an actor (though not necessarily on-camera) whose presence and influence is made clear to the viewer. In WEBSTER GROVES REVISITED, narrator/reporter Charles Kuralt pulls back the production curtain to show viewers still photos of the cameraman in action, a technique intended to draw attention to the filmmakers’ manipulation of reality. Barron uses the setting of Webster Groves High School to implicitly criticize attitudes about class stratification, the perils of capitalism, political apathy, and racial segregation.” –Raphaela Neihausen, STRANGER THAN FICTION
“The British TV documentary SEVEN UP! introduced the world to a group of ordinary British schoolchildren in 1964, and every seven years since, director Michael Apted has rounded up those same people to quiz them about their lives and loves, achievements and disappointments. This seventh installment is utterly fascinating, drawing heavily on footage from the previous movies to follow each child on the journey into middle age. Yet the subjects speak frankly about the pressure of growing up in public, the narrowness of Apted’s questions, and the emotional trauma they’ve come to expect from having their lives measured every seven years. SEVEN UP! may have been a film that examined individuals, but 49 UP is a film about individuals being examined.” –J.R. Jones, CHICAGO READER
(STRNADOVI) “There they are, radiant on their wedding day: Václav and Ivana Strnad, two young architecture students who can’t wait to build a life together. Helena Třeštíková first followed them for her TV series MARRIAGE STORIES, and then continued to do so, for 35 years. The couple raised five children – an unusually large family in socialist Czechoslovakia – and after the fall of communism, they started their own business in Prague. Their married life unfolds, with all the ups and downs that come with it. One of their children almost goes completely out of control, Ivana suffers from depression, and business at the furniture store takes a nosedive, but the Strnads persevere – until the relationship that Václav and Ivana began decades earlier is shaken to its foundations by a deep marital crisis. Filled with doubt, Václav wonders what he has been working so hard for all these years.” –IDFA
UNBOUND: SCENES FROM THE LIFE OF MARY SHELLEY 2013, 70 min, digital. Music by Zeena Parkins. UNBOUND transforms and explodes the idea of documentary and biography. The result is an inversion of narrative, re-siting Romanticism through an infinitely caressing yet ruptured and painterly lens. For this film – produced during a one-year residency in Rome – Child created imaginary home movies of scenes from the life of the writers Mary and Percy Shelley. Incorporating non-actors, the seasons, and the extraordinary architecture and landscapes of Italy, where the Shelleys spent six of the eight years they were together, UNBOUND is digressive, looped, unpredictable, and symphonic. A poignant exploration of women and creativity, Child’s deconstruction embodies the poetic primacy of memory as well as the wit of techne: layered, diverted, delayed, reframed, and remade. “At once a mischievous scuttling of BBC costume drama and the creative anachronism of home movies before the invention of film, UNBOUND achieves a playful mastery of form.” –Jim Supanick
“As an artist and writer, Child has worked seriously across a range of media. In all of them, her principal form has been montage, developing, as Tom Gunning writes, ‘a system founded not on coherence, but on breakdown, not on continuity, but interruption.’ Here she subjects Goldman to the latest iteration of this always evolving system. She mixes Goldman’s own words, in titles and on the soundtrack, with reenacted tableaux and documentary footage both archival and new. This method uncovers the historical figure as a patchwork of complex personal and historical determinations that cannot be contained within a sealed past, but which seep into a present moment animated by the same injustices Goldman sought to abolish.” –Colin Beckett “An hour-long collage essay, charging the discussion with Child’s enlightened aesthetic of poetry, the archive, and experimental montage. As the Most Dangerous Woman Alive, Emma Goldman’s life is seen as an ongoing negotiation of revolutionary purity and personal freedom, a complexity that Child mirrors in her own formal strategies. She layers multiple fragments of Emma’s liberatory legacy – from archive, from reenactment and from observational cinema – her speculative play with the revolutionary ideas extending to the present moment of feminist revolt!” –Craig Baldwin
ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES 2020, 73 min, digital An experimental feature documentary that explores android development with a focus on human/machine relations, gender, and the ethical implications of this research, ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES reveals the work taking place at cutting edge laboratories in Japan and the U.S., where scientists attempt to make robots that resemble, move, and speak like humans. Our guide through these explorations is BINA48 (Breakthrough Intelligence via Neural Architecture), who has variously been called a sentient robot, an android, a gynoid, and a cybernetic companion. She is modeled after a black lesbian, and designed to test hypotheses concerning the ability to download a person’s consciousness into a non-biological or nanotech body. The last in Child’s trilogy of female desire, ORIGIN OF THE SPECIES reveals the contemporary dance between metal and flesh, as humans become more mechanical and robots approach consciousness. The film brings a necessary female perspective (and humor) to this research, asking how subjectivities and nationalities shape our imaginings of an “appropriate” mechanical companion?
With Arsenio Hall, Michelle Pfeiffer, Joe Pantoliano, David Alan Grier, B.B. King, Rosanna Arquette, Ed Begley, Jr., Carrie Fisher, Paul Bartel, and many others. “John Landis’s unofficial sequel to KENTUCKY FRIED MOVIE and the bastard child of Joe Dante and Jon Davison’s THE MOVIE ORGY. Like those back-handed tributes to the disreputable entertainments of our youth, AMAZON WOMEN is a smorgasbord of comedy skits…. Overall the result [includes] three or four laugh-out-loud vaudeville sequences and a couple of bona-fide short-form classics.” –Charlie Largent, TRAILERS FROM HELL “The strongest aftertaste is left by Dante’s bad-taste rendition of movie critics reviewing a failed life, a sequence that eventually turns into a celebrity roast for the dead person, attended by Slappy White, Jackie Vernon, Henny Youngman, Charlie Callas, and Steve Allen – too sinister for comfortable laughs, but queasy in the best Dante manner.” –Jonathan Rosenbaum, CHICAGO READER
“Set in a near-future Brazil, where the fictional village of the title first disappears from the map and then comes under siege from a band of murderous thrill-seekers [led by Udo Kier], BACURAU is a film of sudden ultraviolence, abrupt tonal shifts, and giddy genre promiscuity (sampling from science fiction, Westerns, and horror – the local school is named for one “João Carpenteiro”). Motivations remain obscure, and the symbolism is by turns blunt and murky, but this dystopian vision is all the more unnerving for its relative opacity – far from a one-to-one political allegory, BACURAU is a work of powerfully inchoate despair and rage.” –Dennis Lim, ARTFORUM
Immediately after completing FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN, filmmaker Paul Morrissey and star Udo Kier created BLOOD FOR DRACULA, a sumptuously depraved Euroshocker that tows the line between art and bad taste. Desperate for virgin blood, Count Dracula (Kier) journeys to an Italian villa only to discover that the family’s three young daughters are also coveted by the estate’s Marxist stud (Joe Dallesandro of Morrissey’s FLESH, TRASH, and HEAT). Stefania Casini (SUSPIRIA) and BICYCLE THIEVES director Vittorio De Sica co-star in one of the most unique and outrageous vampire films in history.
GRÄNS Disfigured since birth, a Swedish customs officer is equipped with an extraordinary sense of smell. But when a man with similar features joins her security line at the airport, her abilities are challenged for the first time. She can sense he is hiding something, and she is unspeakably attracted to him. As the two discover their bond, she uncovers his true identity, while also realizing the truth about herself.
(CHRONIQUE D’UN ÉTÉ) When renowned sociologist Edgar Morin sees Rouch’s film work, he invites Rouch to bring his ethnographic methods back to France and shoot closer to home. Pushing self-reflexivity and technical experimentation (including with synch-sound) to new lengths, the resulting collaboration between these two figures redefined the postwar cinematic landscape and launched the vérité movement. Carved out of the historical violence of its moment and woven from the stories and dreams of everyday people, the film starts by posing the question, “Are you happy?” In its refusal to privilege any single story or point of view, CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER creates an open cinematic space where the messy and complex interplay between historical, political, and personal entanglements is given room to breathe on screen. In spite of the film’s enormous impact, Morin remains dissatisfied with the final cut to this day.
(CIVILISÉES) During the civil war, some Lebanese fled to Europe, leaving their large apartments, luxurious houses, and their servants: Sri Lankans, Filipinos, Egyptians “imported” to serve by the thousands. These and many more must deal with the maverick who controls the building, its occupants, the neighborhood, and a few areas of the city. Their lives intersect: the young Muslim militia fighter, the Christian maid, the middle-class woman who has returned in search of her lover, and the Beirut cats and their “treacherous life.”
With filmmakers Blanca García and Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas in person. Pablo Marín DENKBILDER 2013, 5 min, Super-8mm Ana Pfaff POMELL DE FLORS ESPIRITUALS 2011, 3 min, Super-8mm Leonor Serrano Rivas OIR FORMAS 2022, 10 min, 16mm Elena Duque COLECCIÓN PRIVADA 2020, 13 min, Super-8mm Juan Bufill VILLA DIONISIA 2003-19, 5 min, Super-8mm Gadea Burgaz ¡BU! (CON ADMIRACIÓN) 2023, 15 min, Super-8mm Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas AKIKONOMU 2019, 3 min, Super-8mm Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas CHUBUSANGAKU 2019, 3 min, Super-8mm Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas MURASAKI 2019, 3 min, Super-8mm Blanca García IPSAE (ABI) 2021, 3 min, Super-8mm Blanca García IPSAE (GUILLERMINA) 2021, 3 min, Super-8mm Blanca García IPSAE (MARIA) 2021, 3 min, Super-8mm Blanca García IPSAE (ANDREA) 2021, 3 min, Super-8mm Yonay Boix #005 2020, 3 min, Super-8mm Yonay Boix #006 2021, 3 min, Super-8mm Yonay Boix & Ariadna Onofri #007 2021, 3 min, Super-8mm Claudio Sodi SUEÑOS PARA EVA – PARTE 1 2022, 22 min, 16mm Elena Duque MAR DE CORAL 2021, 11 min, Super-8mm Total running time: ca. 115 min.
With filmmaker Valentina Alvarado Matos in person. María Pipla MANY EYES, MANY CENTERS, MOVING 2022, 3 min, 16mm Valentina Alvarado Matos PROPIEDADES DE UNA ESFERA PARALELA 2020, 17 min, 16mm double-projection Céline Latil LX VISAGES 2022, 3 min, 16mm Laura Moreno MONTE ULÍA 2023, 3 min, 16mm Álvaro Feldman DIORAMA 2022, 3 min, Super-8mm Aldara Pagán MARCAS 2020, 10 min, Super-8mm Laura Ibáñez López CORPÚSCULOS 2022, 2 min, 16mm Albert Triviño NIÀGARA 2009, 3 min, Super-8mm Albert Triviño BOMBOLLES 2009, 3 min, Super-8mm Bruno Delgado Ramo SPINOZA/ONGODIST 2021, 11 min, Super-8mm Alba Sauleda L’AUTORRETRAT REFILMAT (IV) 2015, 3 min, Super-8mm Deneb Martos & Pablo Useros WHITE SCREEN (FOR AMY HALPERN) 2022, 5 min, 16mm Bruno Delgado Ramo UNABRIDGED MANEUVER 2022, 17 min, 16mm Juan Bufill ARQUITECTURA 3. PUENTE 2004, 5 min, Super-8mm Total running time: ca. 95 min.
The powerful words of 17th-century poet Arutuin Sayadian, also known as “Sayat Nova” (“King of Siam”) are magnificently captured in this visual pastiche which is both a stylized biography and a tribute to his work. Conceived as a complex series of painterly tableaux that recall Byzantine mosaics, the film is divided into eight sections, which evoke the poet’s childhood and youth, his days as a troubadour at the court of King Heraclius II of Georgia, his retreat to a monastery, and his old age and death. Comprising a series of symbolically rich, almost hallucinatory scenes, this baroque masterpiece was banned in the Soviet Union for its religious sentiment and nonconformity to “Socialist realism”. Paradjanov, a tirelessly outspoken campaigner for human rights, was convicted on a number of trumped-up charges and sentenced to five years of hard labor in the gulag. A wave of protest from the international film community led to his release in 1978. “Paradjanov’s greatest film. […] The striking use of tableau-like frames recalls the shallow space of movies made roughly a century ago, while the gorgeous uses of color and the wild poetic conceits seem to derive from some utopian cinema of the future, at once ‘difficult’ and immediate, cryptic and ravishing.” –Jonathan Rosenbaum, CHICAGO READER Preceded by: Abbas Kiarostami THE CHORUS / HAMSARAYAN 1982, 17 min, 35mm-to-DCP. In Persian with English subtitles. An old man strolls through the noisy streets of Rasht, and when his hearing aid is knocked out, the film’s sound goes off, mimicking the silence that envelops him. At home, the same thing happens when he takes the device out, and Kiarostami intercuts his silent actions with the clamor of schoolgirls who try to get his attention from outside. THE CHORUS is, like many Kiarostami films, a meditation on the contrasts of silence and sound, age and youth, solitude and solidarity.
by Alexandr Dovzhenko (1928-29, 87 min, 35mm, silent. With Russian intertitles; English synopsis available.) “An epic canvas covering Ukrainian history from WWI to the Russian Civil War, as experienced in Kiev, and culminating in fighting around the arsenal in the heart of the city. Dovzhenko essentially uses a static camera, but with much use of montage and cross-cutting. […] Where Dovzhenko is clearly distinctive, however, is his placing of human events against the majestic backdrop of nature, in particular the sky. Man and nature are one, as a dying Bolshevik asks his comrades to transport and bury him in his native soil.” –David C. Gillespie, EARLY SOVIET CINEMA: INNOVATION, IDEOLOGY AND PROPAGANDA
(LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE) by Jean Cocteau In French with English subtitles. “Jean Cocteau’s first full-length movie is perhaps the most sensuously elegant of all filmed fairy tales. As a child escapes from everyday daily life to the magic of a storybook, so, in the film, Beauty’s farm, with its Vermeer simplicity, fades in intensity as we are caught up in the Gustave Doré extravagance of the Beast’s enchanted landscape. In Christian Bérard’s makeup, Jean Marais is a magnificent Beast.” –Pauline Kael
Alberto Cavalcanti RIEN QUE LES HEURES / NOTHING BUT THE HOURS 1926, 52 min, 35mm One of the very first “city symphonies,” this film interweaves documentary, experimental, and narrative elements that together provide vivid images of Paris in the mid-1920s. The Brazilian-born Cavalcanti was at the time a central figure of the French avant-garde, but his fascinating career would later find him making pioneering documentaries for John Grierson’s GPO Film Unit in the UK in the 1930s, dramas, noirs, and musicals for Ealing Studios throughout the 1940s, and finally a wide array of films in Brazil, East Germany, France, and Israel in the years before his death in 1982. Douglass Crockwell GLENS FALLS SEQUENCE (1946, 8 min, 16mm) THE LONG BODIES (1947, 6 min, 16mm) Both films preserved by Anthology Film Archives. “The basic idea was to paint continuing pictures on various layers with plastic paint, adding at times and removing at times, and to a certain extent these early attempts were successful.” –Douglass Crockwell Total running time: ca. 70 min.
SHORT FILMS BY CHARLIE CHAPLIN “It is stupid to treat Charlie as a clown of genius. If there had never been a cinema he would undoubtedly have been a clown of genius, but the cinema has allowed him to raise the comedy of circus and music hall to the highest aesthetic level. Chaplin needed the medium of the cinema to free comedy completely from the limits of space and time imposed by the stage or the circus arena. […] [The] best Chaplin films can be seen over and over again with no loss of pleasure – indeed the very opposite is the case. It is doubtless a fact that the satisfaction derived from certain gags is inexhaustible, so deep does it lie, but it is furthermore supremely true that comic form and aesthetic value owe nothing to surprise. The latter is exhausted the first time around and is replaced by a much more subtle pleasure, namely the delight of anticipating and recognizing perfection.” –André Bazin, WHAT IS CINEMA CHARLES CHAPLIN, PROGRAM 1 All the Chaplin shorts in this and the following programs are silent. A WOMAN (1915, 20 min, 16mm) EASY STREET (1917, 19 min, 16mm) A DOG’S LIFE (1918, 33 min, 35mm) Total running time: ca. 75 min.
SHORT FILMS BY CHARLIE CHAPLIN “It is stupid to treat Charlie as a clown of genius. If there had never been a cinema he would undoubtedly have been a clown of genius, but the cinema has allowed him to raise the comedy of circus and music hall to the highest aesthetic level. Chaplin needed the medium of the cinema to free comedy completely from the limits of space and time imposed by the stage or the circus arena. […] [The] best Chaplin films can be seen over and over again with no loss of pleasure – indeed the very opposite is the case. It is doubtless a fact that the satisfaction derived from certain gags is inexhaustible, so deep does it lie, but it is furthermore supremely true that comic form and aesthetic value owe nothing to surprise. The latter is exhausted the first time around and is replaced by a much more subtle pleasure, namely the delight of anticipating and recognizing perfection.” –André Bazin, WHAT IS CINEMA CHARLES CHAPLIN, PROGRAM 2 SHOULDER ARMS (1918, 37 min, 35mm) A DAY’S PLEASURE (1919, 19 min, 35mm) THE IDLE CLASS (1921, 32 min, 35mm) Total running time: ca. 95 min.
by Bruce Conner A MOVIE (1958, 12 min, 16mm) COSMIC RAY (1961, 4 min, 16mm) REPORT (1965, 13 min, 16mm) “Conner stands as a kind of twentieth century Pieter Bruegel. For like the great Flemish master he distorts the visible world in order to penetrate a reality of being rather than appearances; his vision is cosmic in breadth; he deals with some of the most provocative issues, both artistic and otherwise, of his time; and finally, with an evocative ambiguity and painful irony he touches something which we sometimes call the human experience.” –Carl I. Belz, FILM CULTURE COSMIC RAY and REPORT have been preserved by Anthology through the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant program, funded by The Film Foundation. by Tony Conrad THE FLICKER (1966, 30 min, 16mm. Preserved by Anthology with funding provided by the National Film Preservation Foundation.) “THE FLICKER is a tremendous harnessing of the raw power, the elemental material of the cinematic medium – light itself – to transport the spectator slowly at first, hardly perceptibly, then accelerating, through a non-objective non-abstract world of sheer energy. Time becomes the compelling pulse of white into black and back, space becomes the unbounded expansion and contraction of force; the screen becomes a new sun, the audience its creatures.” –Ken Kelman Total running time: ca. 65 min.
(VREDENS DAG) by Carl Th. Dreyer (1943, 100 min, 35mm. In Danish with English subtitles.) “Carl Dreyer’s art begins to unfold at the point where most other directors give up. Witchcraft and martyrdom are his themes – but his witches don’t ride broomsticks, they ride the erotic fears of their persecutors. It is a world that suggests a dreadful fusion of Hawthorne and Kafka.” –Pauline Kael
by Alexandr Dovzhenko (1929-30, 82 min, 35mm, silent. With Russian intertitles; English synopsis available.) A poetic expression of love for both nature and Ukrainian culture by the man who was alternatively branded a deserter by Ukrainians and a Ukrainian nationalist by Russian Soviets. Dovzhenko champions the progression of life, class struggle, and new attitudes for a town changed by a tractor and a fallen hero.
by Carl Th. Dreyer (1964, 119 min, 16mm. In Danish with English subtitles.) “GERTRUD is as towering a master work in the narrative sound cinema as Brakhage’s THE ART OF VISION is in the nonnarrative cinema. Every detail, every motion, every word in GERTRUD has its right place, its own voice, and contributes to the whole and is beautiful. […] Every generation states its own position on love. GERTRUD is Dreyer’s statement on love, and it is pure, radiant, and perfect, like a ring.” –Jonas Mekas, MOVIE JOURNAL
by Charles Chaplin One of the most celebrated and beloved of all silent films, THE GOLD RUSH features Chaplin’s most distinctive alter-ego, the Little Tramp, as he wins fortune and love in the Yukon. Filled with impressive sight gags and heartrending pathos, the film deserves its reputation as one of the touchstones of modern comedy. This version features Chaplin’s own music and poetic narration, added for the 1942 reissue.
Unless otherwise noted, all the films in this program are silent. With the exception of GNIR REDNOW, all films have been preserved by Anthology Film Archives. ROSE HOBART (ca. 1936, 20 min, 16mm, sound) CENTURIES OF JUNE (1955, 10 min, 16mm. Photographed by Stan Brakhage.) THE AVIARY (1954, 11 min, 16mm. Photographed by Rudy Burckhardt.) GNIR REDNOW (1955, 5 min, 16mm. Photographed by Stan Brakhage.) NYMPHLIGHT (1957, 8 min, 16mm. Photographed by Rudy Burckhardt.) A LEGEND FOR FOUNTAINS (1957/65, 17 min, 16mm. Photographed by Rudy Burckhardt; completed by Lawrence Jordan.) ANGEL (1957, 3 min, 16mm. Photographed by Rudy Burckhardt.) “[ROSE HOBART] is a breathtaking example of the potential for surrealistic imagery within a conventional Hollywood film once it is liberated from its narrative causality. […] In Cornell’s later films – both those photographed by Rudy Burckhardt, Stan Brakhage, and Larry Jordan and the collage films which Jordan completed – Joseph Cornell describes the marginal area where the conscious and the unconscious meet. These are films which affirm a sustained present moment in which a quality of reminiscence is implicated.” –P. Adams Sitney, VISIONARY FILM Total running time: ca. 80 min.
by Luis Buñuel & Salvador Dalí In French with English subtitles. “The story is a sequence of moral and surrealist aesthetics. The sexual instinct and the sense of death form the substance of the film. It is a romantic film performed in full surrealistic frenzy.” – Luis Buñuel
(THE FORGOTTEN ONES) by Luis Buñuel In Spanish with English subtitles. “Buñuel shows the sad condition of the poor without embellishing them, because if there is one thing Buñuel hates it is that artificial sweetness imparted to all the poor which we so frequently see in the traditional film. If, as usually happens in motion pictures, the moral principles approved by conventional society are carefully observed by members of the poorest classes…then these principles have some universal validity. However, Buñuel is concerned with exposing the opposite.” –Emilio Garcia Riera, FILM CULTURE “[LOS OLVIDADOS] lashes the mind like a red-hot iron and leaves one’s conscience no opportunity to rest.” –André Bazin
MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON (1943, 14 min, 16mm. Co-directed by Alexander Hammid. Music by Teiji Ito from 1959.) AT LAND (1944, 15 min, 16mm, silent. Photographed by Hella Heyman and Alexander Hammid.) A STUDY IN CHOREOGRAPHY FOR CAMERA (1945, 3 min, 16mm, silent. By Maya Deren and Talley Beatty.) RITUAL IN TRANSFIGURED TIME (1946, 15 min, 16mm, silent. Choreographic collaboration with Frank Westbrook. Photographed by Hella Heyman. With Rita Christiani and Frank Westbrook.) “MESHES is, one might say, almost expressionist; it externalizes an inner world to the point where it is confounded with the external one. AT LAND has little to do with the inner world of the protagonist, it externalizes the hidden dynamics of the external world, and here the drama results from the activity of the external world. It is as if I had moved from a concern with the life of a fish, to a concern with the sea which accounts for the character of the fish and its life. And RITUAL pulls back even further, to a point of view from which the external world itself is but an element in an entire structure and scheme of metamorphosis: the sea itself changes because of the larger changes of the earth. RITUAL is about the nature and process of change.” –Maya Deren Total running time: ca. 55 min.
by Carl Th. Dreyer (1924, 89 min, 16mm, silent. With German intertitles; English synopsis available.) Shot by the great German cinematographers Karl Freund and Rudolph Maté, MICHAEL concerns the unconsummated love between a painter and his manipulative, larcenous model. The Danish director Benjamin Christensen stars as artist Claude Zoret, modeled in part after Rodin, whose irrepressible love finds its most complete expression in his last painting.
by Carl Th. Dreyer (1955, 132 min, 35mm. In Danish with no subtitles; English synopsis available.) A farmer’s family is torn apart by faith, sanctity, and love – one child believes he’s Jesus Christ, a second proclaims himself agnostic, and the third falls in love with a fundamentalist’s daughter. Layering multiple stories of faith and rebellion, Dreyer’s adaptation of Kaj Munk’s play is a meditation on faith and fanaticism.
(ORPHÉE) by Jean Cocteau In French with English subtitles. “Orpheus could only exist on the screen. A drama of the visible and the invisible, ORPHEUS’s Death is like a spy who falls in love with the person being spied upon. The myth of immortality.” –Jean Cocteau
(LE SANG D’UN POÈTE) by Jean Cocteau In French with English subtitles. “Adolescent angels wandering about, black boxers with perfect bodies taking flight, school-children in capes killing each other with snowballs, a mirror becomes a swimming pool, and the hallways of a furnished hotel turn into a labyrinth.” –Georges Sadoul
In his controversial masterpiece, Chaplin offers both a cutting caricature of Adolf Hitler and a slytweaking ofhis own comic persona. Chaplin, in his first pure talkie, brings his sublimephysicality to two roles: the cruel yet clownish “Tomainian” dictator and the kindly Jewishbarber who is mistaken for him. Featuring Jack Oakie and Paulette Goddard in stellar supportingturns, THE GREAT DICTATOR, boldly going after the fascist leader before the U.S.’s officialentry into World War II, is an audacious amalgam of politics and slapstick that culminates inChaplin’s famously impassioned speech.
(PRÄSTÄNKAN) by Carl Th. Dreyer (1921, 78 min, 35mm, silent. With Danish intertitles; English synopsis available.) In this lyrical, early Dreyer comedy, a young parson wins a plum parish in 17th-century Norway, but is obliged to marry the widow of his deceased predecessor and pretend his attractive young fiancée is his sister. Dreyer’s touch is evident in the close-ups of the pastor’s would-be rivals and parishioners, and in a slow pan presaging the 360-degree views of VAMPYR.
(LA PASSION DE JEANNE D’ARC) by Carl Th. Dreyer (1927-28, 98 min, 35mm, silent. With Danish intertitles; English synopsis available.) Spiritual rapture and institutional hypocrisy are brought to stark, vivid life in one of the most transcendent achievements of the silent era. Chronicling the trial of Joan of Arc in the final hours leading up to her execution, Dreyer depicts her torment with startling immediacy, employing an array of techniques – including expressionistic lighting, interconnected sets, and painfully intimate close-ups – to immerse viewers in her subjective experience. Anchoring Dreyer’s audacious formal experimentation is a legendary performance by Renée Falconetti, whose haunted face channels both the agony and the ecstasy of martyrdom. “With THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, there occurs a most striking change in both the film-maker’s style and his intensity of thematic concentration. A few potent shots in previous movies hardly promise the unique and brilliant imagery which here bursts forth frame after frame. […] The vision of JOAN is inspired or demoniac. Her passion is observed with clinical detail in the sharp-etched, stark compositions, many relentless close-ups. But this is also loving detail, for Joan is the first of Dreyer’s possessed, a lineage which may be traced through the victims of VAMPYR to Anne in DAY OF WRATH and Johannes in ORDET; characters who work out their passions throughout the process of their films with peculiar intensity and directness, so that identification with the director himself is implicit.” –Ken Kelman, FILM CULTURE
by Carl Th. Dreyer (1931-32, 70 min, 35mm. In Danish with no subtitles; English synopsis available.) “Imagine that we are sitting in a very ordinary room. Suddenly we are told that there is a corpse behind the door. Instantly, the room we are sitting in has taken on another look. The light, the atmosphere have changed, though they are physically the same. This is because we have changed and the objects are as we conceive them. This is the effect I wanted to produce in VAMPYR.” –Carl Th. Dreyer
by Alexandr Dovzhenko (1928, 96 min, 35mm, silent. With Russian intertitles; English synopsis available.) Dovzhenko’s second film, attacked by Soviet critics for being so beautifully rendered as to actually lessen its political impact, remains today a “cinematic poem” as the director named it. Episodic, folkloric, and allegorical, it is a mythic search for hidden treasure by two brothers. Dovzhenko wrote: “I did not so much make the picture as sing it out like a songbird.”
A desolate island in the Baltic Sea is governed by the creepy vampire-like baron Aunt Devil (Udo Kier). Where once peace and love shaped the lives of the islanders, now hopelessness and discord rule. When suddenly a true love threatens the tristesse of his island, the baron cracks up. A torrent of desire, intrigue and murder ensues. “EGOMANIA is a visually stunning end-of-the-world melodrama about lust, jealousy, and murder set amidst solar eclipses, orchestral chants and the distant thunder of the boiling sea. The film’s characters – riddled with unconscious desires – find themselves imprisoned on an island. Drawing parallels to the work of British filmmaker Derek Jarman and starring Jarman’s actress-muse Tilda Swinton, Schlingensief’s raw and almost mythological film stands in contrast to his more [confrontational] efforts.” –AUSTRALIAN CINÉMATHÈQUE
EXPERIMENTAL CURATOR is a documentary portrait of experimental film curator Sally Dixon, who was a crucial figure in the realm of American avant-garde cinema from the 1970s until her death in 2019. Dixon founded the film program at The Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh in 1970 (the same year that Anthology was founded), with the purpose of “promoting a greater understanding and appreciation of film as an art form and the filmmaker as an artist.” True to her words, she used her position at the Carnegie to tirelessly promote, support, and celebrate the experimental filmmakers of the time, forming close connections with a wide range of artists, including Carolee Schneemann, Gunvor Nelson, Stan Brakhage, George & Mike Kuchar, Hollis Frampton, Storm De Hirsch, and many others. She not only showcased and celebrated experimental filmmakers’ work at the Carnegie, but (above all through the creation of the Film and Video Makers Travel Sheet) worked to develop a network that provided opportunities for speaking engagements and screenings throughout the United States. This one-hour biographical documentary reflects Sally’s life as a woman in a male-dominated art world. The film beautifully weaves together glimpses of Dixon’s own films, archival footage of her collaborations with artists in Pittsburgh, and documentation of her later years in St. Paul, Minnesota. The documentary also features contemporary footage of Sally in the years just before her passing, as well as her family and friends who reflect on her enormous cultural impact.
A delectably gory and cynical social satire, FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN is among the most original and transgressive interpretations of Mary Shelley’s classic novel. Baron von Frankenstein (Udo Kier), with the help of his bizarre assistant Otto, is determined to create a new master race. To achieve his objective, he constructs two perfect “zombies” from an assemblage of body parts, intending them to mate. Meanwhile, complications ensue as Nicholas (Joe Dallesandro), a farm hand, begins an affair with the Baron’s sexually frustrated wife all while searching for his missing friend Sacha, whose head and brain have been used for Frankenstein’s male “zombie.” Upon its release, FLESH FOR FRANKENSTEIN became an immediate midnight and cult movie sensation. Now, the movie has been newly restored from its original negative!
(GOLDFLOCKEN) “Magdalena Montezuma, Bulle Ogier, Ingrid Caven, and Udo Kier headline Schroeter’s four-part opera, which dizzyingly swings from 1949 Cuba to modern France, ‘parodying along the way everything from kitschy Mexican telenovelas to French art films of the twenties.’ (TIFF Cinematheque). A green-eyed, tanned, and shirtless Udo Kier helps open part one, somewhere in ‘Cuba, 1949,’ where Magdalena Montezuma toplines a tropical gothic by way of George Kuchar, only with more opera; in ‘La Hora Incognita,’ she and her stunning peach-colored suit are reunited (very, very slowly) with another woman, who’s stuck in a rail-yard setting seemingly borrowed from 1930s French poetic realism, complete with bossy matron and well-mustached laborer. Schroeter’s campiest, most humorous work, [FLOCONS D’OR is] filled with enough arias to last an opera house’s season and enough camp to fuel a hundred Susan Sontag essays.” –PACIFIC FILM ARCHIVE “Reportedly Schroeter’s own favorite among his films, FLOCONS D’OR is the apotheosis of his earliest, most experimental phase. It occupies a place at the heart of Schroeter’s oeuvre as the sprawling work that contains all the elements that appear separately in the individual films.” –HARVARD FILM ARCHIVE
GABBEH is a brilliantly colorful, profoundly romantic ode to beauty, nature, love, and art. Makhmalbaf originally traveled to the remote steppes of southeastern Iran to document the lives of an almost extinct tribe of nomads. For centuries, these wandering families created special carpets – Gabbeh – that served both as artistic expression and autobiographical record of the lives of the weavers. Spellbound by the exotic countryside, and by the tales behind the Gabbehs, Makhmalbaf’s intended documentary evolved into a fictional love story which uses a gabbeh as a magic storytelling device weaving past and present, fantasy and reality. Delicately interlaced with a simple and touching story are the people whose lives are shaped by the rhythms of nature, and who instinctively express the joys and sorrows of life through song, poetry, and the tales they tell in their brilliantly-hued weavings. Preceded by: Ramin Bahrani PLASTIC BAG 2009, 19 min, digital A plastic bag, thrown out in the trash, attempts to find his way back to his owner and along the way discovers the world in this poignant ecological love story narrated by Werner Herzog.
With Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman, and Dick Miller. Joe Dante’s GREMLINS was produced by Spielberg and became a huge hit, but it’s no E.T. True, its ‘hero,’ Gizmo the mogwai, is an adorable, wide-eyed, furry little creature of unknown origins (by way of Chinatown). But, given as a gift to our human protagonist Billy (Zach Galligan), Gizmo comes along with three rules: never expose it to bright light, never get it wet, and never, EVER feed it after midnight. Needless to say, rules (especially in horror movies) are made to be broken, and soon the placid town of Kingston Falls is overrun with murderous, anarchic, and not at all furry Gremlins, who lay a path of destruction which Dante delights in portraying. GREMLINS is a bona fide 1980s popcorn-movie classic whose mischievous spirit and Looney Tunes-inspired havoc remain fresh forty years later.
With Zach Galligan, Phoebe Cates, Corey Feldman, and Dick Miller. Rare is a sequel that bests the original, but GREMLINS 2 manages to outsmart and undermine its blockbuster predecessor a hundred times over. A parable for our times (circa 1990), this improbable tale takes place in the towering Manhattan super-building of Clamp Enterprises, where poor furry Gizmo is being used as a guinea pig by gonzo billionaire Daniel Clamp (played with a Donald Trump-like zeal by the rubbery John Glover). Next thing you know Gizmo gets wet and, well, hell breaks loose. Luckily his pals Billy (Zach Galligan), Katie (Phoebe Cates) and Murray (Dick Miller, natch) are there to help save him and New York from the whacked-out antics of the deplorable, deadly Gremlins. Simultaneously a tribute to the great sight gags of Frank Tashlin and a riotous parody of disaster movies in the Irwin Allen mold, this great meta-film is 100% Joe Dante.
In the first of two events this April relating to new or forthcoming books about the great filmmaker, animator, artist, and musicologist Harry Smith, we mark the publication of a revised and expanded edition of Paola Igliori’s invaluable “Harry Smith: American Magus” (Semiotext(e), 2022). First published in 1996, “American Magus” gathered together a wealth of reminiscences from Smith’s fellow artists, collaborators, and friends, including Jordan Belson, Jonas Mekas, Moe Asch, Allen Ginsberg, Robert Frank, John Cohen, M. Henry Jones, and many others. The new edition incorporates entirely new written material, as well as a generous selection of photographs, film stills, and reproductions of his rarely-seen paintings and other works on paper. To celebrate the appearance of this new edition of “American Magus”, we’ll be screening Igliori’s film portrait of the same name, as well as two of Smith’s most rarely-screened short films. Paola Igliori will be here in person to discuss the book, and Smith’s life and work in general, and will be joined in conversation by composer, multimedia artist, and writer Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky. Special thanks to Paola Igliori, Hedi El Kholti, and Paul D. Miller. For more info about the book, visit: https://mitpress.mit.edu/9781635901641/harry-smith/ On Tuesday, April 18, we will also present an event showcasing writer John Szwed’s new biography, “Cosmic Scholar: The Life and Times of Harry Smith”; click here for more details. Paola Igliori AMERICAN MAGUS 2002, 93 min, digital “AMERICAN MAGUS joins a group of contemporaneous documentaries about experimental filmmakers, such as Martina Kudlácek’s IN THE MIRROR OF MAYA DEREN (2002) and Sergio Machado’s AT THE EDGE OF THE EARTH (2001). Each is a rich assortment of image and sound materials unearthed from extensive, in some cases almost miraculous research. And they mingle celebration with lament as they tote up the early deaths and curtailed projects that characterize marginal artistic careers. AMERICAN MAGUS details an especially chaotic and mind-boggling career, that of filmmaker, folklorist and obsessive collector Harry Smith – also a Ruizian theorist well before his time, judging by the account of his early ’60s lecture on Giordano Bruno and the cinema – whose magnificent achievements (his famous folk music recordings honored, near the end of his life, by a Grammy award that prompts his on-stage reflection that ‘in my lifetime, I saw music change the world’) jostle with a myriad of lost, incomplete and indecipherable works.” –Adrian Martin Preceded by: Harry Smith FILM NO. 6 1948-51, 1.5 min, 16mm, anaglyph 3-D, silent. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives. & FILM NO. 7 1952, 5.5 min, 16mm-to-35mm blow-up, silent. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives. “FILM NO. 6 was shot in anaglyphic stereo, the red and green colors signifying ending and beginning in alchemical lore (cf. Duchamp’s Moustiques Domestique Demistock), and is similar to FILM NO. 7, which contains very intricate, multi-layered images re-photographed by repeated rear-screen projection to build up elaborate constructs reminiscent of Kandinsky’s later geometric paintings, moving in a vibrant, organic, truly symphonic interlacing.” –William Moritz Total running time: ca. 105 min.
Jean Rouch HIPPOPOTAMUS HUNT / BATAILLE SUR LE GRAND FLEUVE 1951, 35 min, 16mm. In French with English subtitles. HIPPOPOTAMUS HUNT follows a group of 21 Sorko fishermen as they embark on a banghawi, or a hippopotamus hunt by harpoon. Though generally considered one of his more orthodox ethnographic films (its aim being, ostensibly, to capture a “traditional” way of life on celluloid), for Rouch, making HIPPOPOTAMUS HUNT was hugely transformative – “the beginning,” he has said, of the practice he came to call shared anthropology. When he returned to Niger to show the Kodachrome footage to the community, Rouch catalyzed a dialogue that not only deepened his understanding of the Sorko and their traditions, but also gave the Sorko insight into the nature of his ethnographic enterprise. “For the first time, the work [was] judged not by a thesis committee but by the very people the anthropologist went out to observe.” In addition to the criticisms they offered (which Rouch took into account for his final cut of the film), several members of the community approached Rouch about making their own films. Those films then gave rise to new conversations, critiques, and questions, which, in turn, gave birth to new collaborations. In this way, HIPPOPOTAMUS HUNT – screening for the first time with English subtitles – is the linchpin of Rouch’s cinematic archive and participatory practice. Jean Rouch JAGUAR 1957-67, 92 min, 16mm-to-DCP. In French with English subtitles. Seeing himself on screen in HIPPOPOTAMUS HUNT, Damouré Zika approached Rouch about making a real film together, meaning a fiction film. Rouch was studying migration patterns among Nigerien youth who would leave to find work in the coastal hubs of colonial West Africa. Intrigued by Zika’s idea, the filmmaker improvised a loose script and cast Zika in the role of the intrepid and charming adventurer who sets off from Niger in search of prosperity in the Gold Coast. Shooting with a spring-wound Bell & Howell prior to the advent of synch-sound, Rouch later asked Zika and the film’s other star, Lam Ibrahima Dia, to record a voice-over while they watched rushes of the film projected onto a screen. Bending genres as disparate as the road trip film, the buddy film, the hero’s journey, and ethnographic documentary, JAGUAR is unlike any other film of its time. Rouch said in an interview: “JAGUAR is my first feature-length film, it’s my first fiction film and it has marked me permanently. All the films I do now are always JAGUAR.” Total running time: ca. 135 min.
Print courtesy of the Joe Dante and Jon Davison Collection at the Academy Film Archive. The directorial debut of both Joe Dante (THE HOWLING, GREMLINS) and Allan Arkush (ROCK ‘N’ ROLL HIGH SCHOOL), this deliriously entertaining pastiche of exploitation film tropes was the result of a bet between producer Jon Davison and Roger Corman that Davison could make the cheapest film yet created for Corman’s New World Pictures. Dante and Arkush pulled off this impressive feat by shooting on leftover short ends of raw stock and by freely incorporating footage from previous New World films, including NIGHT CALL NURSES, BIG BAD MAMA, and DEATH RACE 2000. Amongst its many references and homages to drive-in cinema classics, it includes a cameo by Dick Miller reprising his role as BUCKET OF BLOOD’s Walter Paisley!
(VON WEGEN ‘SCHICKSAL’) “During the heady months of insurrection that marked 1968 across the globe, Helga Reidemeister (then a social worker) became part of a student-led struggle on behalf of the neglected residents of the Märkisches Viertel, the biggest housing estate in West Berlin at the time. Her second film [made on the estate], IS THIS FATE? is an…intense and unflinching document of the Bruder family and one in which the filmmaker’s interventionism and will constitute an important metatextual layer. The film opens with the family’s determined but exhausted matriarch Irene watching rushes on an editing table, in which one of her four children denounces Reidemeister’s desire to film their familial conflicts. ‘[The children] just don’t see that our family’s problems are not unique to us,’ Irene says, countering Tolstoy’s thesis that ‘every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way’. Violence is the focus of IS THIS FATE and it is what the verbose and charismatic cast of six variously analyze, refute, and justify. The film is a unique document of the second and third generation’s reckoning with their nation’s legacy – though despite the mother’s keenness to blame society, this geographically specific specter is never named. But it is also a hyperbolic, noisy case study for ideas about nature vs. nurture, the welfare state, and how to live together.” –ANOTHER SCREEN
For the last four years John Szwed has been tracing the life of Harry Smith, a man who’s been called many things: polymath, autodidact, genius, but also a bum and an art mooch who never had a job. Smith was a witness and a player in a period that began in the 1940s, unfolded in the ’50s, and exploded in the ’60s, and that brought about major revolutions in the arts, the social sciences, and in society itself. He closely observed and then ignored the lines between the low and high arts, the folk and the fine, the commonplace and the esoteric, and by consistently moving across these artistic registers in his work he was able to see not just the cultural but the aesthetic value of otherwise ignored arts, suspecting or knowing, all the while, that everything in the world is connected. For this special event, Szwed will be here in person to speak of that search and the writing of Smith’s biography, “Cosmic Scholar”, focusing on his painting, film, and music work to see how an underground scholar changed the world in no small measure. For more info about “Cosmic Scholar”, which will be published in August 2023, visit: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9780374282240/cosmic-scholar On Friday, April 7, we will also present an event celebrating the publication of a revised and expanded edition of Paola Igliori’s “Harry Smith: American Magus”; click here for more details.
This remarkable documentary traces fourteen years in the life of a young junkie and her futile battle with drug addiction. Why did she start taking drugs? She claims she wanted to be different. The year is 1996 and 19-year-old Katka lives in the Sananim therapy community in the town of Němčice with hope for a normal life – she dreams of having a boyfriend and even a family, some day. But there’s no happy ending. The director records Katka’s descent over the years into a spiral of theft, prostitution, physical and psychological deterioration – a spiral that is broken only by brief flashes of hope and resolutions to stop taking drugs. Katka’s desire is sincere, but in the end drugs always win. Will Katka finally find the strength when she becomes pregnant and motherhood offers her a new motivation?
In the late 1970s, American director Wallace Potts set out to make a film about a studly Parisian sex worker whose life revolved around “the body, sex, and money.” Highly in-demand hustler Karl Forest, playing a version of himself named “Jean-Paul”, sat for interviews with Potts about his sexual history, his real life, and his fantasies, which Potts vividly realized in wild pornographic scenes shot by French cinematographer François About (EQUATION TO AN UNKNOWN) and Oscar-winning Spanish-Cuban cinematographer Néstor Almendros (DAYS OF HEAVEN). Next Potts turned to his lover, world famous ballet icon Rudolf Nureyev, to choreograph striptease scenes performed by Forest for his nightclub act. LE BEAU MEC was well-reviewed when it premiered at the legendary Adonis Theater in Times Square, but wasn’t released on VHS until 1984 and remained known only by select gay hardcore aficionados. Luckily, the original elements were found a few years ago and the film has been restored to its breathtaking glory. A must see for gay erotica enthusiasts, it’s a fascinating, unflinching portrait of a type every gay man knows from Instagram, Twitter, or OnlyFans: the self-obsessed gym bunny muscle god, who we pretend to loathe but secretly worship. We’re very lucky to present the New York premiere of the stunning new restoration of LE BEAU MEC, with special guests in attendance to introduce the film. “I think if you can understand and be moved by Jean Genet’s ‘Querelle de Brest’ then you will be moved by Jean-Paul Doux. Jean-Paul is a boy, or rather, a man obsessed with sex…homosexual sex. He has been ever since his childhood in the south of France. LE BEAU MEC is a portrait of Jean-Paul. The film partly consists of a tape-recorded interview between Jean-Paul and myself. Sometimes the interview is superimposed over images that visualize or counterpoint what Jean-Paul is saying. At other times the interview stops and his fantasies take over. What I wanted to do was not to analyze how his fantasies came about but simply to visualize them. I wanted to evoke the same feelings by these fantasies in the spectator that Jean-Paul probably feels. That is, if you can feel his fantasies then you can understand him.” –Wallace Potts “Forest re-creates his own past for the film; thus, the viewer gets a firsthand lesson in modern mythmaking filled with emotional and sexual dynamics that, even if they are pure fiction, are universal.” –LE SALON
Guy Maddin & Evan Johnson LINES OF THE HAND 2015, 3 min, digital An unrealized Jean Vigo film script flickers to life in a kaleidoscopic swirl featuring his daughter, Luce Vigo; Udo Kier; and dialogue by poet John Ashbery. Christoph Schlingensief UDO KIER – DEATH OF A SUPERSTAR / TOD EINES WELTSTARS 1994, 45 min, digital. In German with English subtitles. Made for the German public broadcaster WDR by Christoph Schlingensief – the enfant terrible of German film and television, and one of Kier’s most frequent collaborators – DEATH OF A SUPERSTAR is a tongue-in-cheek TV-news style “memorial” for the renowned actor. Kier is interviewed by Schlingensief himself, other notable Kier collaborators such as Warhol and Fassbinder make special cameos, and the actor Alfred Edel (another luminary of German cinema in this period, who appeared in films by Schlingensief, Herzog, Fassbinder, Kluge, and others) contributes on-the-spot reports from the field. Jan Soldat STAGING DEATH 2022, 8 min, digital “Nobody dies more beautifully than Udo Kier. In STAGING DEATH, via lively montage Kier’s multifarious passing away in several dozen roles becomes a frantic gallop through five decades of film and television history and a comprehensive tribute to this fearless actor, who has surfed between (ostensibly) noble art and the most sacred trash. Kier’s highly individual performances ooze an idiosyncratic physicality that is at its clearest, purest, and most beautiful in the moments of his on-screen death. […] Out of all the dead Udos grew this homage, as an essay and work of found footage, a supercut as indeterminate, indefinable and effortlessly cool as its star.” –Markus Keuschnigg Total running time: ca. 60 min.
(HEXEN BIS AUFS BLUT GEQUÄLT) One of the most notorious horror movies of the drive-in era, MARK OF THE DEVIL is a brutal and bloody critique of religious corruption. Count Christian von Meruh (Udo Kier) is a witch hunter apprentice whose faith becomes tested. The Count slowly begins to realize that witch trials are a cover for the church to rob people of their land, money…and more. Written and directed by Michael Armstrong, this wild shocker plays out like a degenerate version of Roger Corman’s mid-1960s Poe adaptations. There’s a reason why barf bags were handed out during original theatrical screenings. Preceded by: Michael Sarne ROAD TO SAINT TROPEZ 1966, 31 min, 35mm-to-digital Kier’s very first film appearance came in this short film, which also represented the directorial debut of pop-singer-turned-actor-and-filmmaker Michael Sarne, who several years later would helm the notorious, much-maligned MYRA BRECKINRIDGE (1970). An “anti-travelogue”, ROAD TO SAINT TROPEZ stars a young, impossibly handsome Kier alongside Melissa Stribling and Gabriella Lucidi, and adopts the style of a tourism documentary to tell the story of a woman who has a brief amorous liaison while on a trip along the South of France to Saint Tropez.
MARRIAGE STORIES: IVANA & VÁCLAV 1987, 35 min, digital. In Czech with English subtitles. MARRIAGE STORIES, 20 YEARS LATER: IVANA & VÁCLAV 2006, 57 min, digital. In Czech with English subtitles. “Architecture students Ivana and Václav never once thought about whether and how family life and professional ambitions were to be combined. With complete naturalness and admirable dynamism, they decided to manage both; they had five children, built a house and started a business. In their urgent need to work, construct, and create, they made claims on themselves and their environment that were so high that they inevitably reached beyond the limits of the possible. The world they have created is admirable and consuming at the same time; the price they have paid for it is high. Yet they have managed to keep the most precious thing: their relationship.” –DOC ALLIANCE
MARRIAGE STORIES: ZUZANA AND STANISLAV 1987, 35 min, digital. In Czech with English subtitles. MARRIAGE STORIES, 20 YEARS LATER: ZUZANA AND STANISLAV 2006, 57 min, digital. In Czech with English subtitles. The first part of ZUZANA AND STANISLAV (which was completed in 1987 and shown as a work in its own right) is an exemplary film of its kind, a piercingly perceptive but sensitive work about Czech society, gender inequality, and the tragic costs of premature marriage, and one which zeroes in on Zuzana and Stanislav’s mistakes and shortcomings while nevertheless portraying them with a great deal of sympathy and understanding. Twenty years later, Třeštíková revisited the now-long-divorced couple, and the resulting film is equally even-handed and perceptive. Stanislav, now happily remarried, seems to have continued to grow and mature, and appears to be a thoughtful and responsible father and husband. Zuzana, on the other hand, has sunk deep into a morass of unhappiness, resentment, and despair, and continues to chalk her fate up to her misguided marriage. Again, Třeštíková is fully attuned to the many paradoxes and ambiguities in the situation, portraying Stanislav in a very sympathetic light even as she makes it clear that, for reasons rooted in the nature of Western society and culture, he has had the privilege of putting his youthful mistake behind him, while this same mistake has effectively destroyed Zuzana’s life.
With John Goodman, Cathy Moriarty, John Sayles, and Dick Miller. “John Goodman stars as shlockmeister Lawrence Woolsey (affectionately based on William Castle), who turns up in Key West in 1962 to present a preview of his latest horror B-film. This highly enjoyable and provocative teenage comedy, set during the Cuban missile crisis, was directed by Joe Dante and written by Dante regular Charlie Haas and Jerico, who all have a lot of fun with all the period absurdities, especially those provoked by war fever. They’re also adroit in implicitly suggesting some related absurdities of the early 1990s.” –Jonathan Rosenbaum, CHICAGO READER
NEW YORK THEATRICAL PREMIERE RUN! Waste on the shores, waste on the mountains. On ocean floors and deep down in the earth. The term “matter out of place” refers to objects in a place they originally do not belong. And there are many such objects in the places Nikolaus Geyrhalter visits for this film. Using his trademark style of mostly static, prolonged, and masterfully composed takes – which he’s developed over the course of thirty years in films such as PRIPYAT (1999), ELSEWHERE (2001), OUR DAILY BREAD (2005), HOMO SAPIENS (2016), and EARTH (2019) – Geyrhalter traces immense amounts of waste across our planet. He travels from the mountain tops of Switzerland to the coasts of Greece and Albania, into an Austrian refuse incinerator and then to Nepal and the Maldives, and finally to the deserts of Nevada. On his journey, Geyrhalter illustrates the endless, Sisyphean struggle of people to gain control over the vast amounts of waste that we produce every single day. “For his monumental study of displacement, Geyrhalter has traveled across continents, mapping a new kind of landscape that has become detached from geographical or climatic conditions under palm trees, on mountains, at rivers, in the snow. Washed up, blown in, piled up, caught or left somewhere – where once the forces of nature were at work, garbage now dominates the shape of things. […] In equally delicately composed images, the filmmaker focuses on the machines and people who work away at these garbage landscapes. They excavate and compact, collect and sort, sweep and rake, move one thing this way and the other that way with grapplers or hands. Well-formed and without comment, the inner workings of a self-sustaining system are revealed in which a process of alienation is underway that causes problem and solution to drift apart.” –Sylvia Görke, DOK LEIPZIG
Surveying the work of filmmaker Tara Najd Ahmadi, this program features seven short works made over the course of the past 12 years, and reveals a developing oeuvre made up of films whose small-scale modesty and admirable concision belie the cumulative power of their insights and ideas concerning cultural identity and the impact of social-political forces on individuals’ lives in the 21st century. Born and raised in Iran, Najd Ahmadi makes films in a variety of (intentionally unspectacular) modes – the diary film, home movies, and various forms of hand-made animation – but they’re all infused with a dialectical movement between the micro and the macro, the personal and the political, between the gestures and moods of daily life and a profound contemplation of the way imagery reflects and shapes our experiences. Perhaps the most distinctive dimension of Najd Ahmadi’s work is its “conversational” nature: several of her films depict and are structured as conversations, and all of them strive to create a kind of (Socratic) dialogue with the viewer, encouraging us to see other viewpoints, question assumptions, and think through certain ideas. Though Najd Ahmadi is sadly unable to be here in person for the screening, Anthology is thrilled to present the first solo program devoted to her work in New York City. “[Tara Najd Ahmadi’s work] reminds us – with an almost painful precision, and at the same time in an almost painfully restrained, understated way – that an act as simple (for many) as a border crossing, can have gigantic implications and can present itself as a gigantic obstacle (for more). It shows us – with a subdued sense of humor – that for many people (and there will be more of us tomorrow) cultural transplantation is no longer an exception, but a norm. It measures the level of resistance present in everyday gestures and words, firmly believing that resistance is not futile, but necessary, and readily available to us all.” –Jurij Meden, AUSTRIAN FILM MUSEUM “Najd Ahmadi presents powerful vignettes in which hand-made assemblage puppets digest contemporary notions of commodity and exploitation, while other films explore political activism and the power of memory among her generation of Iranian artists living in the West.” –Shannon Fitzgerald, THE PROTAGONIST MEASURING THE LEVEL OF RESISTANCE (2011, 4 min, 16mm-to-digital) This hand painted animation explores the idea of resistance as an everyday life activity, using three basic foods: rice, eggs, and pickles. The puppet, which is shown as a preserver of light in the first scene, is boiled, fried, and pickled in three segments. After each cooking scene the resistance of the puppet through time is measured with a diagram. The film was shot on 16mm, and later directly hand painted on positive. THREE MINUTES OF HEADLESS LIFE (2015, 2.5 min, 16mm-to-digital) A stop-motion animation shot on 16mm, about a wig that wanders through a variety of texts and ideologies in search of her cultural identity. In her process of artistic production, she stumbles upon photos of Iranian writers and poets such as Forough Farrokhzad, critical thinkers and philosophers such as Michel Foucault, and Dadaist artists such as Marcel Duchamp. PRODUCTIVE FRUSTRATION (2016, 13.5 min, digital) A short experimental film investigating an artist’s ongoing, everyday, both conscious and subconscious struggle to remain creatively productive in an exasperating atmosphere. Combining different mediums, different textures, and different means of expression such as stop-motion animation, video, 16mm film, still images, and voiceovers, the film juxtaposes thoughts and memories of both examined and unexamined past, present, and possible future. A WEEK WITH AZAR (2018, 10.5 min, digital) This film is based on the true story of Azar, an Iranian computer engineer based in the U.S., who in the winter of 2017 failed to see her ill sister in Isfahan (Iran) for the last time because of Executive Order 13769, commonly known as the travel ban. According to this ban, the nationals of seven countries, including Iran, could not enter the USA. The film’s fragmented narrative structure and aesthetic approach (juxtaposing 16mm film, digital video and still frames) is a reflection of the fragmented life of an immigrant. AN ART HISTORIAN’S RECIPE (2022, 7 min, 16mm-to-digital) An homage to a friend, and advisor, art historian Douglas Crimp (1944-2019). In the 1970s, Crimp attempted to publish a Moroccan cookbook in NYC, but his project failed, and the book was never published. The film’s narration consists of excerpts from Crimp’s memoir “Before Pictures”. The footage is a collage of 16mm films shot between 2017 and 2021. Central to the footage are scenes of Crimp preparing a tagine dish (from his unpublished cookbook) with his students at the University of Rochester. MY SLEEPLESS FRIENDS (2023, 20 min, digital) This film explores insomnia as a common sociopolitical issue of the 21st century. It juxtaposes intimate conversations with night-life scenes to create a wider portrait of certain cracks in our times through which general unrest and unease are revealed. The interviewed sleepless friends share their stories about sleep deprivation, and each of these narratives opens up a new perspective and possible understanding of restlessness in our current sociopolitical climate. SURFACING IMAGES (2023, 4.5 min, digital) Najd Ahmadi’s most recent work is a short experimental documentary about film preservation and the destiny of images that are left on their own. From the works of Dušan Makavejev and Bojana Marijan to the videos of the Iranian revolution and women’s uprising, this film portrays the irresistible urge of images to resurface. Total running time: ca. 65 min.
While filming this minimalist epic, Lars von Trier claimed to be in psychic communication with the late Carl Theodor Dreyer, on whose screenplay the film is based. This brilliantly original exploration of the dark passions of a woman scorned unfolds in shimmering North Sea marshlands and gloomy subterranean passageways. Shot on video for Danish television, von Trier’s MEDEA is a haunting work of mythic realism, using available light and digital cameras to achieve a purposefully washed out, grainy aesthetic. Plus: excerpts from one of Kier’s more memorable TV roles!
Sara Gómez MI APORTE 1969, 33 min, 16mm-to-digital. In Spanish with English subtitles. Courtesy of the Vulnerable Media Lab at Queen’s University, Canada. “In 1972 the Federation of Cuban Women commissioned Gómez to make a film about women’s contribution to the sugar harvest. MI APORTE (“My Contribution”) was the result: a 33-minute ‘report’ on women’s lives 13 years after the ‘triumph of the Revolution.’ The film is a model of feminist consciousness-raising documentary form – self-reflexive, critical, direct. The ‘report’ is a series of testimonials and portraits of how difficult it is for women to contribute as full citizens due to machismo. The film was censored by the FMC and has rarely been screened on or off the Island.” –Susan Lord Jean-Bernard Bucky, Norman Jacobson, and Robert Peyton REPORT 1970, 56 min, 16mm-to-digital. Photographed by Ed Emshwiller. Courtesy of Jean-Bernard Bucky. REPORT was digitized through a partnership between Anthology Film Archives and Lightbox Film Center at University of the Arts, with funding from Ron and Suzanne Naples. Special thanks to Jean-Bernard Bucky, Robert Peyton, Max Bienstock, and Jesse Pires. “Shot during the 1968/69 school year at University of California Berkeley, REPORT was created as part of Norman Jacobson’s experimental political science course ‘Toward an Expression of the Idea of Freedom’. The film, which features cinematography by avant-garde filmmaker Ed Emshwiller, merges fiction and documentary as it portrays the widening generation gap within the university, and in society at large. At the center of the film is an uncertain teacher and the students who challenge him. The filmmakers sought to not only capture this scenario but the real-life experiences and opinions of the students in the class. Combining scripted elements, on-the-street interviews, behind-the-scenes conversations, and cinema verité footage of the demonstrations and police crackdown connected to the Third World Liberation Front campus protests, REPORT is a complex portrait of American higher education at a particularly tumultuous time in history. As issues surrounding free speech on college campuses continue to dominate our public discourse, REPORT is a fascinating time capsule from the epicenter of student activism.” –LIGHTBOX FILM CENTER Total running time: ca. 95 min.
MFJ 77 “RIFTS” covers a swath of current artists’ moving image territory, including eight reviews of recent works, a dossier by MFJ editors and advisory board members focused on the 2022 New York Film Festival’s Currents sidebar, Cathy Rogers’ unique Artist Pages, and a trio of full-length articles on major international artists’ films and videos. For the Anthology program we have selected a diverse variety of works addressing major issues, but invariably obliquely – as is to be expected in our constantly changing field. Programmed by Jonathan Ellis & Grahame Weinbren. All film descriptions are excerpted from Millennium Film Journal No. 77. MFJ 77 is published by the Millennium Film Workshop, which gratefully acknowledges support for the Millennium Film Journal by the following individuals and organizations: Deborah and Dan Duane; Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation; New York State Council on the Arts; and Anonymous Donors. Jacques Perconte BEFORE THE COLLAPSE OF MONT BLANC / AVANT L’EFFONDREMENT DU MONT BLANC 2021, 16 min, digital “Perconte produces artworks that no longer represent ‘objects’ but rather show the inherent lines of force, agency, and movement within the natural landscape and the political dimension of humanity’s influence on the velocity of that movement.” –Megan Phipps, “Circuit-Bending Psychedelic Transcendentalism” Andre Demirjian WE SEND OUR SIGNAL 2021, 2 min, digital “The Nunnery Gallery comprises a screening room connected to an arched hallway no bigger than 20’ x 8’. Any indication that this was once the site of Christian rituals has been stripped, its walls painted pure white in gallery tradition. Appearing in a space once occupied by Christ on the cross, Demirjian’s futuristic documentary projected a newer, more pressing kind of premonition that feels contemporary and dystopian all at once.” –Elizabeth Lowe, “Signal” Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau & Natalia Escobar ARIBADA 2022, 30.5 min, digital “ARIBADA follows Las Traviesas, a group of indigenous trans women from the Emberá people in Colombia. […] The film crackles with the noise of the forest – cicadas, branches cracking, leaves rustling. The women discuss how their indigenous communities are generally not welcoming to trans women. But the importance of finding a pathway towards acceptance on their own terms is clear: ‘Daughter, do not leave our culture behind, we can still fight for our own identity.’” –Camila Galaz, “Field Trips” Eva Giolo THE DEMANDS OF ORDINARY DEVOTION 2022, 12 min, 16mm-to-digital “The omnipresence of 16mm film, both in the texture of the images and the diegetic appearance of the Bolex, demonstrates Giolo’s commitment to the particularly tactile process of analog filmmaking. Beautifully filmed, impeccably edited, Giolo’s latest vibrates with the substance of life, labor, joy, and uncertainty.” –Vincent Warne, “Ordinary Devotion” Sophia Al-Maria TIGER STRIKE RED 2022, 23 min, digital “TIGER STRIKE RED seethes like water droplets on a hot frying pan. It is elegantly photographed, seamlessly edited cinema, best understood as a cry of despair and a roar of anger, its power not a catalog of past atrocities but an expression of reactions to them. At the same time, like a bibliography, the film directs a viewer to historical events, most of them accessible in a couple of clicks.” –Grahame Weinbren, “Beyond So-Called Documentary" Total running time: ca. 90 min.
Jean Rouch MOI, UN NOIR 1958, 70 min, 16mm-to-DCP. In French with English subtitles. Working as a research assistant for Rouch, Oumarou Ganda saw the rushes of JAGUAR and was sure he could do a better job. Together they crafted a character inspired by Ganda’s own story: Edward G. Robinson, a young migrant dockhand and veteran of the French colonial war in Indochina who struggles to find his place in the messy and frequently violent rhythms of colonial modernity. Initially banned in the colonial territories – where it was still illegal for Africans to speak frankly about their lives on film – and selected by Jean-Luc Godard as one of the best films of 1959, MOI, UN NOIR is a cinematic revelation. Using techniques pioneered in JAGUAR, and born out of the kinetic energy between Rouch and Ganda, the film is at once an analysis, a critique, and a fantasy dealing with the harsh realities and rich interior lives of the exploited working class under colonial rule. Oumarou Ganda CABASCABO 1969, 45 min, 16mm-to-DCP. In Djerma and French with English subtitles. Like MOI, UN NOIR, Ganda’s impressive debut feature chronicles the return of an African soldier who fought for France in Indochina. Released in 1968, it took Ganda roughly a decade after shooting MOI, UN NOIR to secure the political freedom and creative support he needed to write, shoot, and edit the film independently. Made as a sort of corrective to what Ganda viewed as the failings of Rouch’s film, this rarely-screened, recently-restored classic of post-independence African cinema wrestles with the complexity of colonial subjectivities, exploring how historical violence seeps into personal relationships. The film also endures, however ambivalently, as a testament to Rouch’s commitment to cinematic dialogue. Total running time: ca. 120 min.
Featuring the world premiere of films made locally with the support of MONO in September & October 2022. This program will include films made through the educational initiatives of MONO NO AWARE, a cinema-arts nonprofit organization and film positive community working to promote connectivity through the cinematic experience. Established in 2007 and based in downtown Brooklyn, MONO NO AWARE presents monthly artist-in-person screenings, facilitates equipment rentals, operates a film distribution initiative, maintains wet & dry lab facilities, and hosts an annual exhibition for contemporary artists and international filmmakers whose work incorporates Super-8mm, 16mm, 35mm, or altered light projections as part of a live performance or installation taking place November 30-December 4.
(NÁRCISZ ÉS PSZICHÉ) “An experimentalist, film-poet, iconoclast, it is difficult to categorize Gábor Bódy. […] Bódy’s second feature, NARCISSUS AND PSYCHE was shown at Cannes 1981 as part of the Directors Fortnight. It is based on the writings of Sandor Weores, one of Hungary’s most distinguished leading poets. The ‘Psyche’ of the title is the ageless, beautiful poetess Erzebet Longyay, a fictitious creation of Weores. Bódy has made her a timeless siren and follows her loves and adventures through the early 19th century to the middle of the 1930s, and during this period of 120 years the characters do not age. The ‘Narcissus’ is the heroine’s poet-lover, Laszlo (Udo Kier). The film is definitely a visual journey in which the spectator finds images of surprising originality and beauty. Bódy’s frame of reference, in addition to Weore’s poems, is also Nietzsche’s relationship with his lover, Lou Andreas Salome…. He says that he has tried to make NARCISSUS AND PSYCHE a myth, a myth of antagonism born of European culture, according to which men and women can only find their physical and intellectual liberty at the expense of others. ‘And in spite of 35 years of socialism, my generation is still living in this antagonism.’” –Albert Johnson, SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL
DISRUPTED BY THE HAND “Disrupted by the Hand: Program 1” is a deep dive into the hypnotic filmic disruptions of Nazlı Dinçel. BETWEEN RELATING AND USE uses laser-engraved on-screen text to question the internal ethnographic desire to look inward, while THE SHAPE OF SURFACE disembodies limbs amid the historic ruins of Aphrodite’s city. What is revealed and not revealed are probed via intimacy and patriarchy (HER SILENT SEAMING) and equally exposed in UNTITLED. INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE A FILM is exactly what you think it is, plus farming. The second program of Dinçel’s work weaves together their three SOLITARY ACTS (which each explore the masturbatory impulse and the relationship of genital to hand), with HANDS:OXES, a gestural, textural embrace of song and skin, and LEAFLESS, a treatise on body and landscape and the landscape of a body. Concluding the program, INABILITY demonstrates that bodies, like materials, will inevitably fail us. Following both programs, Nazlı Dinçel will be joined in conversation by curator Angelo Madsen Minax! DISRUPTED BY THE HAND: NAZLI DINÇEL PROGRAM 1 BETWEEN RELATING AND USE 2018, 9 min, 16mm SHAPE OF SURFACE 2017, 9 min, 16mm HER SILENT SEAMING 2014, 11 min, 16mm UNTITLED 2016, 12 min, digital INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE A FILM 2018, 13 min, 16mm Total running time: ca. 60 min (plus Q&A).
DISRUPTED BY THE HAND “Disrupted by the Hand: Program 1” is a deep dive into the hypnotic filmic disruptions of Nazlı Dinçel. BETWEEN RELATING AND USE uses laser-engraved on-screen text to question the internal ethnographic desire to look inward, while THE SHAPE OF SURFACE disembodies limbs amid the historic ruins of Aphrodite’s city. What is revealed and not revealed are probed via intimacy and patriarchy (HER SILENT SEAMING) and equally exposed in UNTITLED. INSTRUCTIONS ON HOW TO MAKE A FILM is exactly what you think it is, plus farming. The second program of Dinçel’s work weaves together their three SOLITARY ACTS (which each explore the masturbatory impulse and the relationship of genital to hand), with HANDS:OXES, a gestural, textural embrace of song and skin, and LEAFLESS, a treatise on body and landscape and the landscape of a body. Concluding the program, INABILITY demonstrates that bodies, like materials, will inevitably fail us. Following both programs, Nazlı Dinçel will be joined in conversation by curator Angelo Madsen Minax! DISRUPTED BY THE HAND: NAZLI DINÇEL PROGRAM 2 SOLITARY ACTS 4 2015, 8 min, 16mm HANDS:OXES 2017, 1 min, 16mm SOLITARY ACTS 5 2015, 6 min, 16mm LEAFLESS 2011, 8 min, 16mm SOLITARY ACTS 6 2015, 11 min,16mm INABILITY 2016, 4 min, 16mm, silent Total running time: ca. 45 min (plus Q&A).
(NOS GUERRES IMPRUDENTES) Beirut, September 1994. With the civil war, which started in 1975, having ended just two years before, the systematic reconstruction of the city begins. Coming from a family which has been politically and militarily involved in the conflict, Chahal depicts seventeen years of war in a very personal way. She uses her own archives, family videos, and 16mm films shot between 1975 and 1994. She records her conversations with her mother in Tripoli, her brother in Paris, and her father in Beirut. She recalls her father who died during the war, and goes back to the ruins of a city whose reconstruction means the disappearance of a part of her life. Can it really be that one can miss the war?
“The place is East Berlin and the year is 1995. Sort of. In Gábor Altorjay’s campy, deliriously [over-the-top] sci-fi romp, the capitalist system collapsed six years ago, and refugees are streaming into the newly ascendant Eastern Bloc. Less than thrilled with the triumph of socialism is the sensitive musicologist Johann Wolfgang Amadeus Zart (Udo Kier, in vintage pulpy form), whom the powers that be have locked up in a CUCKOO’S NEST-y insane asylum to silence his dangerous discoveries about the cyclical nature of pop culture and youth rebellion. With the ticking time bomb of the lobotomy planned by the evil Dr. Frisch (played by Dieter Thomas Heck, known to most Germans as a genial TV presenter), Zart plots an escape with fellow misfits and undesirables, including a South American general (played by the Hamburg porn impresario Rene Durand) and Germany’s first test-tube teenager (punk musician Tom Dokoupil, painted bright green and dubbed over with the voice of a small child). In PANKOW ’95, Altorjay, a filmic outsider better known as an artistic companion of the Fluxus group, has created a fruitcake of early ’80s paranoia [that gleefully picks] at East/West division, artificial insemination, technological mind control, radical youth, and political collapse.” –Martin Schwartz, GERMAN CINEMA NOW!
U.S. THEATRICAL PREMIERE RUN! (PILIGRIMAI) “A young woman and man reunite for a mission of initially unknown origin and goal. Indre and Paulius are connected by a violent tragedy that killed Matas – her boyfriend, his brother. Spurred on by Paulius’s obsessive need to recount and relive the events that led to his death, they find themselves caught up in the past. Skillfully doling out narrative information piece by piece and layer upon layer in scenes marked by elegant, sinister single takes, Lithuanian filmmaker Laurynas Bareiša has created a foreboding, yet ultimately hopeful portrait of people racked with trauma and unresolved anger.” –NEW DIRECTORS/NEW FILMS “PILGRIMS is a work of fiction that emerges directly from elements of reality: a newspaper article, the space occupied by a small town, and its surroundings. A young man and a young woman drive from Vilnius to a village to find out something. The viewer is given very little information, and as the film proceeds, we slowly start to understand what happened and what reunites them. There is a sense of familiarity, and of sharing the trauma of a horrible event. They both have a profound need to understand, but they couldn’t be more different. One moves with aggressiveness, the other moves with care, but they both need the same thing: to be in contact with the last people and spaces Matas was in contact with, to sink into his waters, to believe that a person’s presence remains beyond death. Where does violence come from? Is it personal? Is it historical? Is it embedded in the land? As they move through the events, PILGRIMS asks itself all these questions, examining not only one single crime, but also larger questions of national identity.” –Lucía Salas, VIENNALE “Bareiša uses absence as a structuring principle, unfurling the plot by way of rumors and insinuations. Matas’ death is at once the film’s unresolved enigma and its epicenter; by refusing to make it visible and forcing us to picture it ourselves, to conjure our own version of the events, not only does PILGRIMS make its central secret almost unbearably unnerving, it also makes us accomplices in its unearthing. […] PILGRIMS is an austere, chilling watch, yet it writhes with almost uncontainable outbursts of rage and grief.” –Leonardo Goi, MUBI
In her breathtaking and assured debut feature, Lynne Ramsay creates a haunting evocation of a troubled Glasgow childhood. Set during Scotland’s national garbage strike of the mid-1970s, RATCATCHER explores the experiences of a poor adolescent boy as he struggles to reconcile his dreams and his guilt with the abjection that surrounds him. Utilizing beautiful, elusive imagery, candid performances, and unexpected humor, Ramsay deftly contrasts urban decay with a rich interior landscape of hope and perseverance, resulting in a work at once raw and deeply poetic. Preceded by: Raha Amirfazli & Alireza Ghasemi SOLAR ECLIPSE 2021, 14 min, digital. In Persian with English subtitles. Saaghi and her two friends have come to the largest park in Tehran to take pictures of the once-in-a-century total eclipse announced for later that afternoon. Their wanderings lead them to a remote part of the park. As the sun disappears, Saaghi sees something that should have remained hidden.
AFA PRESERVATION! When Anthology restored Lizzie Borden’s underground classic, BORN IN FLAMES, in 2016, we screened it alongside an archival 16mm print of her little-known, long-unscreened debut feature, the experimental documentary REGROUPING (1976), a fascinating film that shares with BORN IN FLAMES (1983) a profoundly innovative spirit and a deep commitment to transformational politics and social exploration. With its boldly unconventional form and its radically self-questioning approach to nonfiction cinema, Borden’s first film was a revelation and was soon thereafter reclaimed as a “lost feminist classic.” Now, six years later, it’s REGROUPING’s turn to take the spotlight, with a week of screenings of Anthology’s brand-new 16mm restoration. Alongside the new restoration we’ll present encore screenings of BORN IN FLAMES, as well as rare 35mm screenings of her equally accomplished follow-up, WORKING GIRLS (1986). Lizzie Borden will be here in person for selected screenings, alongside other special guests! Details to be announced soon. Lizzie Borden REGROUPING (1976, 80 min, 16mm. Restored by Anthology Film Archives and The Film Foundation, with funding provided by the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation. Special thanks to Outfest UCLA Legacy Project, Colorlab, and Audio Mechanics.) For her first feature film, Lizzie Borden collaborated with a small feminist group of four white middle class women in New York in the 1970s. Her intention was to explore their thoughts and ideas as well as the dynamics that animated their relationships and discussions. Adopting a radically experimental approach to nonfiction filmmaking, Borden combined interactions with the women themselves, dramatized sequences made in collaboration with the group, and interviews with other women in their orbit, such as artist Joan Jonas. Even more unusually, and especially as the group’s attitude towards the film project grew increasingly contentious, Borden incorporated their responses (and others’) to various in-progress versions of the film itself, creating a kind of socio-filmic feedback loop that foregrounds and transcends many of the intrinsic limitations of the documentary form. Despite these attempts to engage with and incorporate their criticisms, the women in the group continued to take issue with and protest the film following its completion. Three of the women (the fourth had passed away during production) picketed the film’s initial screenings in 1976 (which took place at Anthology, and at the Edinburgh International Film Festival). Borden soon withdrew the film from circulation, and it languished virtually unseen for 40 years, until Anthology revived it on the occasion of our preservation of BORN IN FLAMES in 2016. Despite this tumultuous production and exhibition history, REGROUPING is an extraordinary film: a clear-eyed, tough-minded contribution to feminist thought, a still provocative exploration of female experience, group dynamics, and political work, and a fascinating attempt to rethink the conventions, methodology, and possibilities of documentary cinema. “Borden’s debut is as much about the splintering of a group as it is the breakdown of the filmmaking process itself. The meta-conceit leads to a destabilizing, but always fascinating, experience for the spectator. […] [T]he tensions, arising within the film and without, prove instructive, not destructive: REGROUPING illuminates both the liberating and confining possibilities of the credo ‘the personal is political’ – the rallying cry of second-wave feminism – in a way that few other works from that era ever dared.” –Melissa Anderson, VILLAGE VOICE “Borden confronted the whole issue of cinematic voyeurism straight on by making a film that is unabashedly voyeuristic as hell.” –B. Ruby Rich, “Chick Flicks: Theories and Memories of the Feminist Film Movement”
“Why has my shitty life turned out like this? No one knows. Not even God. God’s on holiday and he’s reading porn” – an excerpt from Diary of the Forgotten, the journal kept by the protagonist in another of Helena Třeštíková’s long-term documentaries. With raw authenticity, the director records the luckless fate of René over a period of twenty years as he alternates between prison and freedom. The life of René, who styles himself in the role of a desperado, unfolds against a backdrop of important political events occurring in the Czech Republic and beyond its borders. The Velvet Revolution, the presidential election, 9/11, and the Czech Republic’s accession to the EU – all this is “digested” by René, mostly from the confines of various prisons.
(RENÉ – VĚZEŇ SVOBODY) “The Czech criminal René is finding it difficult to go straight. Roaming from job to shelter, from woman to woman, he discovers that living honestly is a lot more difficult than just stealing something every once in a while. In 1989, filmmaker Helena Třeštíková started filming the then-18-year-old delinquent, ultimately resulting in the 2008 film RENÉ, which follows his life inside and outside prison. This sequel begins with the premiere of RENÉ and the ensuing storm of media attention. In the years that followed, Třeštíková continued to film René’s daily life and his existential reflections, with intervening pauses of several months. So far, his newly acquired national status as ‘lovable criminal’ has brought him few benefits, except for the attention of female fans. Will he manage to keep out of jail this time? His personal motto tattooed on his neck: ‘Fuck Of People’ [sic] seems to be fading as he grows older and more friendly. René gradually starts finding his way in a more socially approved way of life – and even in love.” –IDFA
(VERFÜHRUNG – DIE GRAUSAME FRAU) Wanda (played by Pina Bausch dancer Mechthilde Grossmann) is a dominatrix who runs a gallery in a building on the Hamburg waterfront, where audiences pay for the privilege of watching her humiliate her slaves. She is a business woman who smashes sexual stereotypes and social taboos with icy self-possession and an enigmatic smile. As an artist, she specializes in the staging of elaborate S&M fantasies, while her affairs transgress the usual boundaries of personal and professional life. Along the way she leaves her German lesbian lover, a shoe fetishist, for an American “trainee,” and does more than step on the toes of the male performer who has broken the rules of the master-slave relationship by falling in love with her.
Founded in 2014, Onyx Collective is an evolving experimental group that features an ever-changing constellation of musicians and that serves as a nexus for a community of downtown NYC musicians and artists. Over two evenings in April, Onyx Collective will present a selection of films that have emerged from this group of collaborators and that feature scores by members of the Collective. Daniel Regan LIFE IN DEBT 2021, 13 min, 8mm-to-digital. Music by 22note. Working from archival 8mm footage shot between 2017-20, in Venice, California, and on his travels around the globe, Daniel Regan constructs – from the vantage of pandemic isolation – a cathartic vision of the world of before and a portrait of the way we once were. Mike Swoop CLASSIFIED 2020, 11 min, 16mm-to-digital. Music by Onyx Collective. A pair of spies adopt unusual disguises for an assignment in which their handler employs psychedelics to encrypt a message through music. A notion that challenges what we claim to know about this universal tongue. Mike Swoop XYNOPHILES 2022, 25 min, digital. Music by Onyx Collective. Mysticism or brainwashing? Alien or immigrant? Attempting to strong-arm a foreign group, otherworldly beings battle internally to understand their real purpose. XYNOPHILES was filmed in NYC during the height of the 2020 pandemic lock-down. Mike Swoop SHIELDS 2022, 8 min, 8mm-to-digital. Music by Isaiah Barr. Although the heyday of graffiti is long past, its spirit remains on display through the lens of the late Lance De Los Reyes, aka RAMBO. Filmed in a vacant lower Manhattan building that was once the site of a studio Lance shared with fellow artist and collaborator Curtis Kulig, SHIELDS is an elegant and perceptive tribute to an artist, father, and mystic. Joshua Woods NO PLACE LIKE HOME 2022, 8 min, 16mm-to-digital. Music by Onyx Collective. This film follows Onyx Collective in 2020 from New York to Paris for the Banlieues Bleues Jazz Festival. A poetic, pre-pandemic portrait of the group, the film boasts a score featuring field recordings from Onyx Collective sessions in 2016-17. Total running time: ca. 70 min.
(SOUHA, SURVIVRE À L’ENFER) This film follows Souha Béchara’s return to her village, Deir Mimas, to the Khiam jail, in the very place where she tried to assassinate General Lahd, the head of the South Lebanon Army, an auxiliary of the Israeli Army. For Souha, SURVIVING HELL is a joyful, thoughtful, and liberating travel diary. The diary of a trip that, for a moment, let one believe in the possible reconciliation of Lebanon.
Two young scientists (Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley) are experts in genetic engineering. When they propose some unorthodox experiments to the pharmaceutical company they work for, the company forbids it. Undeterred, the lovers begin to conduct their experiments in secret, and the result is Den, a new species – a hybrid of human and animal – endowed with amazing abilities.
(PAS À PAS) This film is the result of two years of work, from February 1976 to March 1978. Through its analysis, and through certain documents, it looks beyond the period to grasp at the remote causes of the conflict. It attempts to draft a timeline of events: the dismemberment of Lebanon, the liquidation of the Palestinian movement, the new balance of powers in the Middle East under U.S. rule. The events that resulted from the Israeli occupation of part of Lebanon, and the intervention of the United Nations confirm this. In this sense, the film is not finished, as it endeavored to reflect the ever-evolving reality of a country, and the suffering of a people.
In SWAN SONG – the last part of Todd Stephens’s “Ohio trilogy” – Udo Kier stars as retired hairdresser Pat Pitsenbarger, who escapes the confines of his small-town Sandusky, Ohio nursing home after learning of his former client’s dying wish for him to style her final hairdo. Soon, Pat embarks on an odyssey to confront the ghosts of his past – and collect the beauty supplies necessary for the job. A late career triumph for Kier, SWAN SONG also provides the sublime opportunity to see him spar onscreen with the great Jennifer Coolidge. “These days, more often than not, [Kier is] cast in character roles, rarely asked to carry a movie. For SWAN SONG though, he’s in almost every frame. One could say he’s a revelation, but longtime Udo partisans always knew he had this kind of performance in him.” –Glenn Kenny, NEW YORK TIMES
The “sequel” to SYMBIOPSYCHOTAXIPLASM sees TAKE ONE actors Audrey Henningham and Shannon Baker reunited in a more personal, metatheatrical exploration of the effects of the passage of time on technology, the artistic process, and relationships – real and fabricated.
In his one-of-a-kind fiction/documentary hybrid, the pioneering William Greaves presides over a beleaguered film crew in New York’s Central Park, leaving them to try to figure out what kind of movie they’re making. A couple enacts a breakup scenario over and over, a documentary crew films a crew filming the crew, locals wander casually into the frame: the project defies easy description. Yet this wildly innovative sixties counterculture landmark remains one of the most tightly focused and insightful movies ever made about making movies.
“From 1970 to 1972, Arthur Ginsberg and Video Free America recorded the private life of a not so average American couple – Carel Row and Ferd Eggan. She is a porn actress and filmmaker; he is a bisexual junkie. The video vérité camera captures the desires and frustrations of their evolving relationship and their responses to the ongoing videotaping exercise. The tape, a study in ‘the effect of living too close to an electronic medium,’ reveals attitudes and discussions that also render it a fascinating social document of the West Coast counterculture. Produced before the landmark PBS documentary AN AMERICAN FAMILY, this project foregrounds the role played by media in contemporary life by positioning a video crew within the living space of a couple. Like a number of documentary projects at the time, THE CONTINUING STORY OF CAREL AND FERD was originally shown as a 3-channel video installation on 8 monitors, with a live camera feed of the audience, and often with Carel and Ferd present. This one-hour tape was broadcast on WNET’s series ‘Video and Television Review’ in 1975, and features an interview with Carel, Ferd, and Ginsberg five years later.” –Surveying the First Decade, VIDEO DATA BANK Followed by: Carel Rowe FERDISH 2007, 30 min, digital A glom of “Ferd” and “Kaddish”, FERDISH finds CAREL AND FERD’s co-star, Carel Rowe, continuing the experiment begun by the earlier film. In 2004, Carel taped Ferd on her farm in Vermont. Topics included drugs, sex, AIDS, psychotherapy, the vanishing of American politics, and death. Total running time: ca. 95 min.
With Christine Choy. Original Score by Onyx Collective. Brash and opinionated, Christine Choy is a documentarian, cinematographer, professor, and quintessential New Yorker whose films and teaching have influenced a generation of artists. In 1989, Choy began documenting three leaders of the Tiananmen Square pro-democracy protests who had escaped to political exile following the June 4th massacre. That project was abandoned when funding ran out and has remained unseen and incomplete until now. In their debut feature, directors Ben Klein and Violet Columbus follow Choy as she travels to Taiwan, Maryland, and Paris in order to share the archival footage with the dissidents who have remained in exile since 1989. Driven by Choy’s iconoclastic voice, THE EXILES is about the enduring love for one’s home, the fragility of historical record and remembrance, and the power of film to intervene and bear witness.
Guy Maddin’s ultimate epic phantasmagoria, this Russian nesting doll of a film begins (after a prologue on how to take a bath) with the crew of a doomed submarine chewing flapjacks in a desperate attempt to breathe the oxygen within. Suddenly, impossibly, a lost woodsman wanders into their company and tells his tale of escaping from a fearsome clan of cave dwellers. From here, Maddin and co-director Evan Johnson take us high into the air, around the world, and into dreamscapes, spinning tales of amnesia, captivity, deception and murder, skeleton women and vampire bananas. Playing like some glorious meeting between Italo Calvino, Sergei Eisenstein, and a perverted six-year-old child, THE FORBIDDEN ROOM is Maddin’s grand ode to lost cinema. Created with the help of the great poet John Ashbery, it features Udo Kier in multiple roles, as well as Mathieu Amalric, Charlotte Rampling, Geraldine Chaplin, Roy Dupuis, Clara Furey, Louis Negin, Maria de Medeiros, Jacques Nolot, Adele Haenel, Amira Casar, and Elina Lowensohn as a cavalcade of misfits, thieves, and lovers.
(LA PYRAMIDE HUMAINE) Taking educated, middle-class teens in the Ivory Coast as its subjects of study, THE HUMAN PYRAMID not only documents the way racism shapes the social worlds navigated by this group of European and African high schoolers, the conceit is that it can also contribute to overcoming it. Filming in Abidjan just prior to independence amidst a landscape of radical political transition, Rouch invites several Black and white students who rarely mingle to share in a creative process. Together they dream up characters and a loose storyline; Rouch is folded into the diegetic space where viewers see him showing the students rushes and soliciting their input along the way. A film within a film about the making of the film. A precursor to the vérité classic CHRONICLE OF A SUMMER, the film’s narrative wheels are greased by roleplay, desire, fantasy, the blurring of categories, the crossing of boundaries, the pull of the poetic, the friction of human encounters, and the magic of cinematic resolution – as Richard Brody has suggested, “a D.I.Y. WEST SIDE STORY”.
(LE CERF-VOLANT) On the day of her wedding, Lamia, a 16-year-old girl, crosses the rows of barbed wire that separate her village from the village of her future husband, her cousin Samy. Lamia’s village is Lebanese, Samy’s has been annexed by Israel. Between them, a single passage remains, under tight control and reserved exclusively for wedding and funeral processions. Lamia joins her family-in-law, abandoning her younger brother, her school, her kite, her mother, and her past. She refuses her husband’s call to bed, and gradually falls in love with the border guard who, from the first day, has been monitoring her from his watchtower.
FREE SCREENINGS! THE MOVIE ORGY is the legendary, epic-length, found-footage work created by a young Joe Dante, who would soon become one of genre cinema’s modern masters. In 1968, the future director of GREMLINS and INNERSPACE took an apartment’s worth of 16mm prints and, with the help of producer Jon Davison (ROBOCOP), meticulously fashioned them into what is quite possibly the world’s first found footage megamix. Comprised of commercials, news reels, clips from feature films, TV bloopers, and much more, THE MOVIE ORGY is both a fascinating cultural artifact and a wild vortex of mashed-up magnificence. Unavailable to screen for decades and never available on home video, the film has been preserved from the original 16mm reels by AGFA in partnership with Joe Dante and Jon Davison.
We continue our longstanding tradition of presenting “The Secret Life of…Anthology Film Archives”, a recurring opportunity to take a peek at the teeming hive of creativity hiding behind the scenes at Anthology, thanks to the film- and video-making efforts of AFA’s staff, friends, fellow-travelers, and devotees.
(EL ESPÍRITU DE LA COLMENA) In a small Castilian village in 1940, in the wake of Spain’s devastating civil war, six-year-old Ana attends a traveling movie show of FRANKENSTEIN and becomes possessed by the memory of it. Produced as Franco’s long regime was nearing its end and widely regarded as the greatest Spanish film of the 1970s, THE SPIRIT OF THE BEEHIVE is a bewitching portrait of a child’s haunted inner life and one of the most visually arresting movies ever made. Preceded by: Anahita Ghazvinizadeh NEEDLE 2013, 21 min, digital Young Lily will have her ears pierced today even if her parents are too busy dealing with their own issues. Filmmaker Anahita Ghazvinizadeh will be here in person!
(DOCTEUR JEKYLL ET LES FEMMES) It’s the engagement party for brilliant young Dr. Henry Jekyll (Udo Kier) and his fiancée, the beautiful Fanny Osbourne (Marina Pierro), attended by various pillars of Victorian society (including the astonishing Patrick Magee in one of his final roles). When people are found raped and murdered outside and ultimately inside the house, it becomes clear that a madman has broken in to disrupt the festivities – but who is he? And why does Jekyll keep sneaking off to his laboratory? We know the answer, of course, but Borowcyzk’s visually stunning adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s tale is crammed with imaginative and outrageously perverse touches, not least the explicitly sexualized nature of Mr. Hyde’s primal urges. “It is unfortunate that this romantically perturbing film seems to have been forgotten in the canon of repressed-woman-turned-murderous films, for it is a refreshing and surprising one. While Hyde may be the manifestation of man’s cracking under the weight of societal repression, the transformation of Fanny is rather a feminine embracing of the erotic-abject; an orgasmic revelry instead of a loss of control.” –Stephanie Monohan, SCREEN SLATE
(DIE DRITTE GENERATION) “The Baader-Meinhof Gang’s attacks provide the backdrop for Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s hectic, funny, prismatically intricate political thriller, from 1979. It begins with a high-rolling businessman (Eddie Constantine), in a chilling modern office high above Berlin, at work with his assistant (Hanna Schygulla), who turns out to be a mole from a revolutionary cell that is plotting spectacular crimes. The teeming cast of characters includes a cynical police detective (Hark Bohm) whose son (Udo Kier) is one of the plotters, and a drug addict (Y Sa Lo) who brings a former Army explosives specialist (Günther Kaufmann) into the group. Slapstick comedy (including a game of keep-away with a volume of Bakunin) and oddball habits (the terrorists dress like prewar gangsters and play Monopoly) contrast with wild visions (as when the detective dreams that ‘capitalism invented terrorism to force the state to protect it better’). The film’s intertitles are taken from bathroom graffiti; its cinematic references (to Bresson, Tarkovsky, and, especially, Godard) are clever and apt, and the few action scenes are filmed with a razor-sharp pulp efficacy. Fassbinder’s blend of paranoia and whiz-bang wonder is the modern successor to Fritz Lang’s DR. MABUSE films.” –Richard Brody, NEW YORKER
We’ve shown several frightening gay films in the Narrow Rooms series, but this month’s selection explores a different set of terrors most gay men have: the fear of growing older, getting sick, and winding up alone. Jim and Michael are former lovers who reunited in New Orleans after their lives were devastated by the AIDS epidemic. Jim is a former gay porn model and call boy who’s lost his boyish beauty, while Michael is a sarcastic former street kid who lost all his friends to AIDS. Together they spend their days in a platonic partnership, making clay tchotchkes called “Voodoo Vials” to sell at street fairs to make ends meet. As Greek filmmaker Panayiotis Evangelidis’s documentary progresses, Jim and Michael struggle to come to terms with the bitter hand each has been dealt, the wrongs they have done to each other, and the impact of gentrification on post-Katrina New Orleans. In its depiction of a peculiar co-dependent duo living in squalor, THEY GLOW IN THE DARK evokes GREY GARDENS, especially during darkly humorous moments when Michael treats a cockroach as a pet, casually describes witnessing bestiality, or announces his plan to start dressing in drag at age 70. Yet Evangelidis is also deeply compassionate towards his shellshocked subjects, and avoids all the clichés one often finds in documentaries that deal with people living with HIV. Though it won the FIPRESCI prize for Best Greek Documentary in 2013, THEY GLOW IN THE DARK has barely been seen on the American gay festival circuit. On the 10-year-anniversary of the film’s release, our screening aims to remedy that.
“This black-and-white video [often referred to as BLUE TAPE, though that title was applied only later] depicts a sexually explicit, emotionally charged, and psychologically fraughtencounter between a twenty-six-year-old Acker and a thirty-one-year-old Sondheim that tookplace over the course of a 48-hour period in Sondheim’s New York City loft.[It]openswith aclose-up shot of Acker as she recounts her initial meeting with Sondheim several weeks priorand the subsequent unfolding of events leading to the making of the work, including her practiceof ‘memory experiments,’ intended to ‘break through memoryto desire.’ With the cameraframed tightly on Acker, Sondheim reads aloud a text she sent to him in advance of their secondmeeting in which she ascribes to him the role of her father, whom she never met. The text, andSondheim’s out-of-view recitation, set the stage for the exchange (of ideas, of roles, of pleasureand its lack, of fluids) we bear witness to over the next 55 minutes.”–JOAN Neither Sondheimnor Acker would saythat this tape was inspired byReich–the artists werethinking of contemporaries such as Bernadette Mayer and Vito Acconci–but at this historicaldistance, the sexual experimentation they perform in the context of autobiography, body politics,and mind/body integration beyond the“talkingcure”makes for an interesting reconsideration. Kathy Acker & Alan Sondheim UNTITLED (TAPE 2) 1974, 33 min, video The day after recording the video piece that has come to be known as BLUE TAPE (but which was never intended to have a title), Sondheim and Acker made a second, related tape. Commenting on and structured after the first, it similarly documents a charged intellectual and sexual encounter but with Sondheim and Acker’s roles reversed. Screened only once, in the UK, we present it here for the first time in the U.S.! Preceded by: Jacqueline Goss & Rebecca Wolff SAG COLAB #1 2020, 12 min, digital An ad hoc exploration of friendship and collaboration, with attempts to break the armor according to WR’s instructions. Total running time: ca. 105 min.
A meditation on the capacity of video to function as a holding space for grief, Paige Sarlin’s [six years] marks the anniversary of the filmmaker and musician Tony Conrad’s death with images and sounds created in the apartment in Buffalo, NY, where Sarlin and Conrad lived together. On the night Tony died, Paige played cello to him for hours as his breathing slowed and changed. This elegiac video contains excerpts from that audio recorded at Hospice Buffalo on April 9, 2016. To commemorate its premiere (and another anniversary of Tony’s death), [six years] will be presented alongside two videos Conrad made with other collaborators. Balloons will be provided. Special thanks to Kathy High, Andrew Lampert, Anna Chiaretta Lavatelli, Tony Oursler, Keith Sanborn, and Anna Scime. Paige Sarlin [six years] 2022, 30 min, digital Preceded by: Tony Conrad ACCORDION 1981, 12 min, video “Though the accordion can be complex, many people find it relatively easy to learn a simple tune. The first step is to find a good teacher. Once you’ve found a teacher, you must practice regularly to play well.” –from “How to Play the Accordion” by Tameca Jones, 2022 Tony Conrad with Keith Sanborn & Barbara Broughel PALACE OF ERROR 1982/2011, 9 min, 16mm-to-digital “A theory discourse among three participants, enacted in silhouette.” –Tony Conrad Total running time: ca. 55 min.
“Trained as a sculptor at Royal College of Art, Darcy Lange (1946-2005, New Zealand) subsequently began working with video, creating remarkable studies of people at work that draw from conceptual art, documentary traditions and structuralist videomaking. Using film, photography and video – often shot simultaneously– he recorded people at work in English factories, mines and schools and in agricultural communities in New Zealand and Spain. Presented without commentary, his long, often unedited observations of workers aimed to convey the image of work ‘as work, as an occupation, as an activity, as creativity and as a time consumer’ and stressed the ‘responsibility to keep questioning the nature and power of realism’. […] An increasing interest in exploring the critical potential of video for its capability to provide live and taped feedback and the relationship between the camera, subject and spectator marked a shift in Lange’s work. In his series WORK STUDIES IN SCHOOLS 1976–77, the studies of teachers in action were extended by the videotaping of the teachers’ and pupils’ reactions to these recordings, inviting them to speak for themselves. Seen by the artist as a means of personal assessment and ‘an educational process’ – as well as a means of exposing the process of its making – WORK STUDIES IN SCHOOLS also became studies of videotaping as a work activity in itself.” –TATE