The second installment of the Collective Cinema screening series, “Gatherings” approaches cinema’s relation to collectivity by examining film as a technology of collection, or a medium especially equipped for gathering together disparate objects, persons, locales, & events to construct new forms & establish new modes of connectedness. Combining perceptual syntheses & visible inventories with collaborative productions, historic conjunctions, telepathic communications, & absurd conglomerations, the works comprising this program direct cinema’s collective potential toward quite different ends, while still revealing film’s capacity for amassing, assembling, joining, & melding.
“The Picture House,” Emily Richardson, 2010, video, color, sound, 4 min
A 360-degree time-lapsed pan records a feature film being projected in Liverpool’s Woolton Picture House. Reflections from the screen flicker across the theater’s walls and seats, but the audience is nowhere to be found. Part of Richardson’s “Cinema Series,” which addresses the new fragility of independent theaters amidst commercial cinema’s ongoing transition to digital projection systems.
“Historic Moments,” Paige Sarlin, 2006, 16mm film and video, color, sound, 9 min
A short derived from Sarlin’s feature documentary, “The Last Slide Projector,” “Historic Moments” captures the final milestones in the life-cycle of Eastman Kodak’s Carousel slide projector. While the obsolescence of one visual media form occasions the awkward, solemn, and comic ceremonies occurring in the profilmic, the structure of these historic moments is also defined by the analog and digital cameras that record their occurrence, documenting events that they also assist in producing.
“A & B in Ontario,” Joyce Wieland & Hollis Frampton, 1984, 16mm, b&w, sound, 16 min
“[A] cinematic dialogue in which the collaborators… shoot each other with cameras.” –Bruce Jenkins
“A la Mode,” Stan Vanderbeek, 1959, 16mm, b&w, sound, 6 min
Utilizing intricate collage methods, Vanderbeek disaggregates the dream world of mass culture and then recombines its dispersed fragments into wondrously absurd new forms. What results is a witty “attire satire” on the reification of the female body under consumer capitalism (SV).
“0106,” Xander Marro & Mat Brinkman, 2006, 16mm, color, sound, 12 min
“Winter 2006. Seagulls on the roof. Everything at the dirt palace. 16mm Hi-con mats bi-packed in a model c printer. The perfs rip & faces melt.” –XM&MB
“Visible Inventory Six: Motel Dissolve,” Janis Crystal Lipzin, 1978, 16mm, color, sound, 15 min
Part of Lipzin’s “Visible Inventories” series, which centers on lists and catalogues compiled in various media, “Visible Inventory Six” features “a series of panning shots of motel rooms in which the film-maker stayed during semi-annual transcontinental auto trips” (JCL). Though handwritten script overlaid on the image provides the viewer with locations and odometer readings for each stop, the transient interiors inevitably blur into a homogeneous mass as a voiceover reads selections from Gertrude Stein texts about America.
“A Film of Their 1973 Spring Tour Commissioned by Christian World Liberation Front of Berkeley, California,” Owen Land, 1974, 16mm, color, sound, 11.5 min
Featuring radical left-wing “Jesus Freaks” who set out on the road to preach the gospel to America’s youth, “A Film… ” was made on commission shortly after Land’s conversion to Christianity. Though he was offered no payment except “treasure in heaven” he did receive complete artistic control, which explains the film’s exhilaratingly disorienting formal structure. Oscillating continuously between three-frame units of synch-sound verité footage, “A Film…” leaves the viewer to establish connections between different actions and utterances. Whether or not the result constitutes a documentary, it does testify to Land’s belief that an “anti-conventional… essence” links Christianity and the avant-garde.
“Village of the Damned,” Melissa Friedling, 2013, 16mm, b&w, sound, 3.5 min
‘”[A] hand-processed camera roll shot around occupied Zuccotti Park last September, 2011. The title & opening music are references to the 1960 version of the film, Village of the Damned, quoted in an essay by Greg Sholette that highlights the effective & unsettling ways in which OWS established a link with the deliberately misunderstood, dispossessed, & discarded: ‘ . . . from sleeping bags to makeshift shelters, virtually everything that the ‘quality-of-life’ city detested about the vanquished liberal welfare city . . .’ An observation of direct democracy & DIY tactics activating a link to history & spectacles of mass demonstration from earlier eras.” –MF
“First Hypnotic Suggestion,” Brittany Gravely & Ken Linehan, 2013, 16mm dual projection, color, sound, 8 min
A dual-projection performance from Gravely & Linehan’s “Telepathy Sessions” series, which features modular “stereo 16mm” films that can be screened side-by-side or overlapped, the two soundtracks approximating synched stereo sound. “The stereo film conjures telepathic transference, hypnosis and the collective dream space, with a desire to induce a dynamic trance-like state in the live audience. Through their spectral tele-cinematic waves, the rephotographed horror-film protagonists of ‘First Hypnotic Suggestion’ participate in paranormal and fringe scientific experiments, attempting to comprehend the immaterial and incomprehensible expanses of their perception.” –GB&KL
Curated by Josh Guilford. Special thanks to Noe Kidder.