The Providence Show

AKA Last Refuge for the Senses OR Noise Hippies Against All War

Run a female artists’ collective, brew your own absinthe, attend an anti-gentrification community board meeting, wheatpaste signs protesting the war(s), and then lose yourself in what may very well be the Last Refuge for the Senses. A new breed of noise/psychedelia has sprung up as the only rational response to an increasingly alienating form of global capitalism, in an increasingly violent-and-joyless politicized existence – this new media responds with a chaos of sound and light that seeks to overwhelm you but stops before you’re lost, its kind hippie heart still beating out a space for you to occupy and own.

Think Global but Act Local and Better Yet, Act Analog. Like the American psychedelic cinema of the 60s and 70s, this crop of contemporary 16mm films enunciates an emotional response to an overwhelming historical moment (now). Their use of analog technologies, of live soundtracks and cameraless processes is indicative of a DIY approach that has its political roots in resistance and its aesthetic roots in a gentler past; geography has conspired to create a micro-movement, for these are all works from the same community (Providence, RI), emo-activist films by silkscreen artists and noise musicians and puppeteers and sculptors whose political ideologies form the basis for their artistic practice(s). In a community already well-known for its costume collectives (Forcefield), its drum-and-bass duos (Lightning Bolt), its warehouse lifestylings (Fort Thunder, the Dirt Palace, the Pink Rabbit), and its most graphic of arts (Paper Rodeo), filmmaking is a piece of a larger whole, and these artists’ seeming deference to a prior psychedelic moment is a superficial one – as is evident in their relatively self-conscious means of production, the strength of these films lies in their denial of total escapism, in their collective decision to create a communal experience that can move beyond the screen and into the world outside.

Featuring music by Lightning Bolt, Mystery Brinkman, Carly Ptak (Nautical Almanac), the Shirelles vs Suicidal Tendencies, the Wind-Up Bird, and Dave Lifrieri (Manbeard), we’ve got Noise Band Concert Footage, Direct Dumpster-Dive Animation, History Through the Eyes of Bats, Live Soundtracks, Cut-Up Eyeballs, Single Frame Collectives, Puppet Chaos, Analog Transcendence, and So Much More. This is the cinema of deliverance, the theater of psychic hearts and radical love – bleeding your eyes and ears clean of the sorrow of the everyday, swelling your body full with hope for the possibilities of today.

FEATURING: Black and White Trypps Number Three by Ben Russell (11:30, 35mm, sound, 2006), Paranoia Trilogy Part One: The Chemical Bath by Xander Marro (6:00, 16mm, sound, 2001), Scream Tone by Jo Dery (3:00, 16mm, sound, 2002), Echoes of Bats and Men by Jo Dery (7:00, 16mm, sound, 2005), The Red and the Blue Gods by Ben Russell (8:00, 16mm, live sound, 2005), 01/06 by Mat Brinkman and Xander Marro (13:00, 16mm, 2006), The Great Exodus by Jo Dery (6:30, 16mm, live sound recording, 2007), L’Eye by Xander Marro (2:00, 16mm, 2004), Third Annual Roggabogga by Leif Goldberg and Ara Peterson (6:30, 16mm, 2002) TRT 63:30

SYNOPSIS

Black and White Trypps Number Three by Ben Russell (11:30, 35mm, 2006) The third part in a series of films dealing with naturally-derived psychedelia. Shot during a performance by local Rhode Island noise band Lightning Bolt, this film documents the transformation of a rock audience’s collective freak-out into a trance ritual of the highest spiritual order.

Paranoia Trilogy Part One: The Chemical Bath by Xander Marro (6:00, 16mm, 2001) Ghost eyes roll back from a negative green version of the Afterworld, echoing out the high hymns of magtape angels over a reel-to-reel mash-up of the Shirelles and the Suicidal Tendencies. Made as part of the 24-Hour Moviemaking Experiment at the Dirt Palace in Providence, RI.

Scream Tone by Jo Dery (3:00, 16mm, 2002) A direct halftone animation found in the gutters of Providence. Optics stutter and ears vibrate. Made as part of the 24-Hour Moviemaking Experiment at the Dirt Palace in Providence, RI.

Echoes of Bats and Men by Jo Dery (7:00, 16mm, 2005) The night shift begins with a musical history lesson sung by a chubby skunk. An anti-capitalist, pro-eco-apocalypse in which we learn about Rhode Island’s industrial evolution through the midnight flight of a little bat and her many friends.

The Red and the Blue Gods by Ben Russell (8:00, 16mm, live sound, 2005) An ethnographic field report in which the Anthropologist describes the mythic creation of an unnamed ‘sun-scraping structure’ through the ritualized actions of the Red and the Blue Gods. Featuring live narration by Ben Russell, originally screened with additional live music by Joe Grimm (The Wind-Up Bird).

01/06 by Mat Brinkman and Xander Marro (13:00, 16mm, 2006) A single-frame barrage of DIY living quarters, puppeteer frontiers, too many cats, silkscreen explosions, portable cookstoves, zine libraries, drum kits, and more – all to the discordant squall of Marro and Brinkman’s manic sonar hearts. Originally screened with live audio.

The Great Exodus by Jo Dery (6:30, 16mm, live sound recording, 2007) Swarms of live action bats blacken the darkening sky, hands hold the smaller ones, and field recordings are mangled through a cassette deck/distortion pedal squeal. Originally screened with live audio.

L’Eye by Xander Marro (2:00, 16mm, 2004) Who watches the Watchmen? Doom drones and Italian supermodels conspire to turn yr loving capitalist gaze back into yr own insides. With sound by Carly Ptak of Baltimore noise band Nautical Almanac.

Third Annual Roggabogga by Leif Goldberg and Ara Peterson (6:30, 16mm, 2002) An analog mass of pulsing, swirling colors, with a chaotic soundtrack of droning tones and densely layered electronic beeps. Skin and blood and bone pulled out through your rods and cones.