Early Monthly Segments

About EMS

Now in its fifth year, Early Monthly Segments is a monthly film series named after an early film by Robert Beavers, and is inspired by the immediacy, vibrancy and experimentation found in that film. Programmed by Scott Berry, Chris Kennedy, and Kate MacKay this series features historical and contemporary avant-garde 16mm films in a salon-like setting at the Gladstone Art Bar in Toronto, Canada. In this relaxed context with refreshing beverages and food available, we hope to encourage a convivial atmosphere for engaged viewing and post-screening dialogue. We do not receive public funding for our programs. We pay artists from admissions.

follow us on Twitter @earlymonthly

Reviews
Jason Anderson teases out a bit more of our ethos in his eye weekly article here.
Thomas Barker reviews Allison Cameron’s live soundtrack to our presentation of Eisenstein’s Strike here.
Blake Williams recommends us here.
And there’s a bit of a history of us in INCITE issue #4 available over here.

A typical screening looks something like this (thanks to John Porter!).

The Gladstone Hotel is located at 1214 Queen St West. The Art Bar is the eastern-most door of the Hotel. If we’re not there, look for us in the Ballroom (we’re growing!).

Thanks to everyone at The Gladstone Hotel and the artists who make the work we show.

For more info, or to join our email list, email earlymonthlysegments (@) gmail.com.

#65 = Monday July 14, 2014 = A Tribute to Robert Gardner

Rivers of Sand

Rivers of Sand

Robert Gardner passed away on June 21 at the age of 88, leaving behind a film legacy both inspirational for its artistic resonance and deeply controversial—especially among his chosen field of ethnographic filmmaking. The beauty of his filmmaking is apparent in the lush imagery of each of his films (perhaps most significantly in the stunning Forest of Bliss, showing Sunday, July 13 at TIFF Bell Lightbox), but none of his films is more difficult to experience than Rivers of Sand, a film that focuses on gender inequality and ritualized violence.

Gardner spent a few months filming the Hamar people of Southern Ethiopia in the late 1960s and early 1970s. The film places the reflections of Omali Inda at its centre as she describes and reflects on the rituals of gender in her culture—rituals that include scarification, shackling and a whipping ceremony (please note: this film contains disturbing images and descriptions of each of these).

While the film’s specificity is confined to Gardner’s understanding of the Hamar culture, the film resonates with the concurrent cultural upheaval of women’s liberation in the West and what Gardner later described as his own evolving, yet troubled, awareness of his role as a father and husband. This friction between Omali Inda’s testimonies and Gardner’s authorial introspections and extrapolations provide the rawest example of the tensions within Gardner’s work. With this in mind, wrestling with the difficult implications found in Rivers of Sand is integral to any true grappling of the legacy of Robert Gardner’s films.

“My first choice as a title for the film that became Rivers of Sand was Creatures of Pain. Though it seemed at the time to evoke most aptly the central theme of the work, I was persuaded by friends not to use it. […] But what I heard in those words is what I felt as I made the film: the anguish of an ordeal and a process by which men and women accommodate each other in the midst of conflict and tension caused by fidelity to their culture’s values.” – Robert Gardner

Programme:
Rivers of Sand, Robert Gardner, 1974, USA, 16mm, 85 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom   | 1214 Queen St West
Monday July 14, 2014 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Thanks to Sebastian di Trolio, Colin Geddes and The Gladstone Hotel

Rivers of Sand

Rivers of Sand

Rivers of Sand

Rivers of Sand

Next up: EMS #66 = August = TBA

#64 = 6/23/2014 = From the Notebook of… by Robert Beavers

From the Notebooks of...

From the Notebooks of…

This June Early Monthly Segments returns to the work of Robert Beavers, from whose film we took our name. Originally completed in 1971 and re-edited along with the rest of his oeuvre in the 1990’s, From the Notebook of… is a remarkably elegant document of the process of Beavers’ filmmaking, a work that turns inward to reveal its own structure at the same time as it reflects on the practice of making art in general. Inspired by Paul Valery’s essay on the working methods of Leonardo Da Vinci, From the Notebook of… consists of shots of Beavers’ own notes, instructions and tools, along with locations in Florence that are depicted in Da Vinci’s notebooks. Throughout the film we read Beavers’ instructions to himself and then see them enacted, providing us with a unique self-portrait of the artist at work in the space he inhabits. We are always conscious of the presence of the camera, the lens, and the frame through which we see the artist’s surroundings as they are continually mediated by a system of mattes and coloured filters reframing and tinting the images. The rooms that Beavers films also become metaphorical cameras, the windows lenses and the shutters shutters.  In the program notes for a retrospective of his films at the Tate Modern, Beavers remarks that he thinks of filmmaking as architecture. The relationships between form and construction, space and structure are notable here as we see thought become film in a city as famous for invention as it is for beauty.

Programme:
“From the Notebook of…”, Robert Beavers, 1971/1998, USA/Italy, 16mm, 48 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday June 23, 2014| 8 pm screening, $5 suggested donation

fromthenotebookof4-538x389

Gregory Markopoulos in From the Notebooks of…

 

#63 = 5/12/2014 = Susan Oxtoby + Lis Rhodes

Light Reading

Light Reading

This month Early Monthly Segments is delighted to be presenting three films that are distinguished by their political and critical resonance while exhibiting a profound, poetic and unique handling of the materials and form of film. In LIGHT READING Rhodes uses a series of still photographs to suggest a mystery, or perhaps more accurately to explore the tropes of the language of mystery. Layering images and text both still and moving, and playing with repetition and image registration and measurement LIGHT READING is as much about the characteristics of film and photography and who is the subject and/or the object of such as the story it skirts. Similarly layered and elliptical A COLD DRAFT functions as a multifaceted poetic reportage of the experience of those left behind in the trickle down dystopia of the 1980s UK. The voice of a single narrator comes to embody a chorus of defeated subjects surviving perpetual oppression. Susan Oxtoby’s ALL FLESH IS GRASS revolves around the exploration of the ruin of a 19th century shopping arcade in Buffalo NY, combined with footage of spaces, friends, children and characters in Toronto and in New York City. Shot on super 8 and blown up to 16mm Oxtoby allows the rhythm of her editing and the texture of the grain to dance with her own camera movements, layering gesture upon gesture while her generous eye finds tenderness and beauty among the ruins, guiding us out of the gloom and into the light of day.

Programme:
All Flesh is Grass, Susan Oxtoby, 1988, Canada, 16mm, 15 min.
Light Reading, Lis Rhodes, 1979, UK, 16mm, 20 min.
A Cold Draft, Lis Rhodes, 1988, UK, 16mm, 30 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday May 12, 2014 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

#62 = 4/21/2014 = Mark LaPore

Glass System

The Glass System

“Their courage [LaPore’s films] matches their beauty and their growing despair.” -Tom Gunning

Mark LaPore brought a deeply felt criticality to documentary film, particularly in relation to its more anthropological tendencies. A filmmaker and teacher based in Boston, his films stood out for their caustic take on what Mark McElhatten refers to as the “equivocal bad conscience of ethnography”, a brave position even in a town known for expanding the possibilities of documentary form. Today, almost ten years after his sudden death, his work seems even more apropos in relation to the pronounced ethnographic turn in recent experimental films.

A wanderer by nature, LaPore’s travels drove him to make films in the Sudan, India and Sri Lanka. Unlike many of his more traditional peers who attempted to salvage cultural purities before they disappeared, LaPore was early to realize and articulate the effect immigration, globalization and capitalism were having on the Western distinction of us and them. His films reflected that emerging cultural hybridity, particularly on how this decentred ideas of the West itself, by both questioning and reinforcing the distance between subject and searcher. The films in this program (including a brand new print of Five Bad Elements from the Academy Film Archive) are specific examples of this line of inquiry, amplified by a central concern of LaPore’s, the “trouble with representation as incomplete understanding.”

Programme:
The Sleepers, Mark LaPore, 1989, USA, 16mm, 16 min
Five Bad Elements, Mark LaPore, 1997, USA, 16mm, 32 min.
The Glass System, Mark LaPore, 2000, USA, 16mm, 20 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday April 21, 2014 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Special thanks to Antonella Bonfanti and the Canyon Cinema Foundation.

Sleepers

The Sleepers

EMS #63 = May = TBA

#61 = 3/17/2014 = 5th Anniversary Screening!

Suspension, Vanessa O'Neill

Suspension

To celebrate our fifth year anniversary we’ve given ourselves the challenge of programming (and projecting) an evening of double projections! 

Vanessa O’Neill’s sublime Suspension uses rephotography, tinting and superimposition to turn a westward view of the Pacific Ocean into a sublime interplay of waves, light and grain. Malcolm Le Grice’s classic Berlin Horse is a film that explores the possibilities of the loop, taking a short fragment of a silent film and subjecting it to a series of colour processes amplified by the phased music of Brian Eno. Daichi Saito’s Never a Foot Too Far, Even is a contemporary expansion, superimposing a section of a Kung-Fu action film into a perceptual play, accompanied by a violin composition by Malcolm Goldstein. Tonight’s screening of Visions in Mediation #2: Mesa Verde, Stan Brakhage’s vision quest to the ruins of the Ancient Peublo cliff dwellings in Southwestern Colorado is amplified by a second print given to Kate MacKay from the filmmaker as a gift. And finally, a third projector will be sparked to present For My Crushed Right Eye, Toshio Matsumoto’s ode to the social unrest and expansion of the late sixties, all of which threatened to burst out of the frame.

Programme:
Suspension, Vanessa O’Neill, 2008, USA, 2 x 16mm, 10 min.
Berlin Horse, Malcolm LeGrice, 1970, UK, 2 x 16mm, 9 min.
Never a Foot Too Far, Even, Daichi Saito, 2012, Canada, 2 x 16mm, 14 min.
Visions in Meditation #2: Mesa Verde, Stan Brakhage, 1989, USA, 16mm (+1), 18 min.
For My Crushed Right Eye (つぶれかかった右眼のために), Toshio Matsumoto, 1969, Japan, 3 x 16mm, 13 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday March 17, 2014 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Special thanks CFMDC, LUX, Image Forum, Tomonari Nishikawa, Vanessa O’Nell, Daichi Saito and Ichiro Sueoka.

berlin horse

Berlin Horse

For My Crushed Right Eye

For My Crushed Right Eye

neverafoottoofar

Never a Foot Too Far, Even

 

 

EMS #62 = TBA

#60 = 2/17/14 = Sandra Meigs in person!

SandraMeigsCsm

Early Monthly Segments is pleased to present the films of Victoria-based artist Sandra Meigs concurrent with her exhibition of paintings at Susan Hobbs Gallery and Georgia Scherman Projects. As a painter steeped in philosophy and narrative forms, filmmaking became a natural extension to her art practice and film elements often appear in her installations.

The films in this programme date from Meigs’ time in Halifax and Toronto in the early eighties, coupled with a recent video shot in her husband’s Seattle bar a few weeks before his passing. Her films resonate with reoccurring motifs of rituals, archetypes and purgatories— boxing matches, cowboys and barrooms. Often a text is at play, either written on screen or spoken in dense narration—projecting a subtle doubling of subjectivity as in The Western Gothic where the he and the I  become interchangeable in Meigs’ recounting of nursing a wounded cowboy or in The Pale Omnipresent Persistent Persistence where a still photograph of crocodiles opens the question of who is on which side of the cage. The films are fluid, playful and disturbing—complementing her painterly investigations into psychological states.

Note: The Basement Panoramas continue at Susan Hobbs Gallery and Georgia Scherman Projects until March 1, 2014. 133 and 137 Tecumseth Street. Wed-Sat 11-5

Programme:
Aphasia (Caught in the Act), 1981, Canada, 16mm, 4 min
The Pale Omnipresent Persistent Persistence, Sandra Meigs, 1978, Canada, Super 8, 15 min.
The Western Gothic, Sandra Meigs, 1984, Canada, 16mm, 5 min.
Purgatorio. A Drinkingbout, Sandra Meigs, 1981, Canada, 16mm, 11 min.
The Reading Gaol, Sandra Meigs, 2011, Canada, video, 6.5 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday February 17, 2014 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Special thanks to Sandra Meigs, Susan Hobbs and Georgia Scherman

EMS #61 = March 17 = 5th Anniversary Screening!

#59 = 1/13/14 = David Secter’s Winter Kept Us Warm

Winter Kept Us Warm

Winter Kept Us Warm

The first English language film from Canada to be screened at the Cannes Film Festival, David Secter’s elegant coming of age film is set on the still recognizable campus of the University of Toronto. This skillfully wrought 1965 film features a familiar cast of characters that could exist in any decade. The film centres around Peter, an enthusiastic if shy new student and his relationship with the seemingly more sophisticated and popular Doug who helps initiate him into campus life. Their passionate new friendship develops over the course of the school year. Although it is never made explicit in the film, Secter’s treatment of the homoerotic bond between the pair was daring for its time, and the subtlety with which the relationship is treated makes the story all the more powerful and poignant.

Programme:
Winter Kept Us Warm
, David Secter, 1965, Canada, 16mm, 81 min.

Written, Produced and Directed by David Secter; Starring John Labow (Doug) and Henry Tarvainen (Peter); Music by Paul Hoffert; Cinematography by Robert Fresco and Ernest T. L. Meershoek; Edited by Michael Foytényi

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday January 13, 2014 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

winter2

Winter Kept Us Warm

Upcoming: EMS #60 = February 17 = Sandra Meigs
EMS #61 = March 17 = 5th Anniversary Screening!

#58 = 12/9/13 = Taylor Mead + Kim Ku-lim + Wallace Berman

Taylor Media

Taylor Mead

This month brings a trio of 16mm films that explore collage with a variety of techniques and glorious results. The main selection My Home Movies by Taylor Mead finds the Warhol superstar in low-budget documentarian mode, shooting his adventures from Mexico through New York all in single frame! Says Mead: “I shot my home movies with the cheapest, littlest hand-held camera I could buy. And in the low 1960s film was so expensive that I just used the single frame button…but its lovely anyway – I kept pushing once I crossed the border into the US and NYC and Malibu.”

Kim Ku-lim’s Meaning of 1/24 Second is a ten-minute frenetically shot and edited film that captures the architectural energies of Seoul as witnessed through an urban protagonist and is South Korea’s first experimental film, showing here in a print that was salvaged from a VHS copy after the film was lost for over a decade. “The Meaning of 1/24 Second is less concerned with the essence of media, as its title would seem to suggest, and more with critiquing the rapid changes wrought on the city (Seoul) in 1969—archiving something that would soon enough be taken apart.” -Kim Mi-jung

Artist Wallace Berman is often called the father of collage and assemblage art. Aleph, his only film, was assembled on Regular 8mm and took 10 years to make; its a meditation on life, death, mysticism, politics and pop culture. Berman uses the Hebrew alphabet to frame a hypnotic collage that was made using a Verifax machine, Eastman Kodak’s precursor to the photocopier.  “Aleph took a decade to make and is the only true envisionment of the 60s I know.” -Stan Brakhage

Programme:

My Home Movies, Taylor Mead, 1964, USA/Mexico, 16mm, 38 min. sound on 1/4″ open reel
Meaning of 1/24 Second, 
Kim Ku-lim, 1969, Korea, 16mm, 10 min. silent
Aleph
, Wallace Berman, 1966, USA, 16mm, 10 min. silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar   |  1214 Queen St West
Monday December 9, 2013  |  8:00 PM screening, $5-10 suggested donation

Aleph

Aleph

Meaning of 1/24 Second

Meaning of 1/24 Second

#57 = 11/18/2013 = Alfred Guzzetti’s Family Portrait Sittings

Family Portrait Sittings

Family Portrait Sittings

Guest Programmed by Derek Jenkins

Family Portrait Sittings is most immediately notable for having the audacity to call itself interesting. Comprising contemporaneous documentation and travel footage, oral histories, home movies, and family photos, it presents as personal, as of a narrowness, but vibrates natively with the political.

There is simple charm in competing claims of authority, but here is an orchestration of apparent conflict—between spoken memories and other forms of representation, between the object and its image—produced by a filmmaker who will not consent to privilege one story or another. Guzzetti, over a career that spans decades, in the marked variety of his art and his writing, has consistently and explicitly been occupied by the representation of subjective experience.

In Family Portrait Sittings, he offers nested removes: a rememberer speaks, a still image floats, a film bleeps and crackles out—the relationship between these objects never direct, only phenomenal and continuous. His subjects discover and encounter questions of radical politics, of reproduction, of labour (aesthetic, domestic, provisional) stowed in the shoebox of practical history. They test out theories on each other, are distracted at times by verification. If by temperament they resist one form, they prove generous in another. Guzzetti himself prods and challenges intermittently but freely: openly participant.

Divided into three parts, thematized (roughly) by genealogical, individual, and generational concerns, the film stitches accidental resonances of autobiography into a momentarily stable image of the family, activated at last by the cold intimacy of spectatorship. A few years prior to its release, Guzzetti discussed the movies as a “fugitive experience,” one that, after it is spun, can exist only in memory. If so, what fitter subject than memory itself?

Programme:
Family Portrait Sittings, Alfred Guzzetti, 1975, USA, 16mm, 103 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday November 18, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5 suggested donation

Family Portrait Series

Family Portrait Series

FPS 8-272 tweaked

Family Portrait Series

FPS 8-270 tweaked

Family Portrait Series

 Upcoming #58 = Monday 12/9/2013 = Wallace Berman + Kim Ku-lim + Taylor Mead

#56 = 10/21/2013 = Luther Price’s A.

A FUNDRAISER FOR THE 2014 8 FEST

A.

A.

“Roses are Red, Blood is Black….“A.” is a relentlessly rancid alcoholic and drug-induced journey through which Edie, a washed-up and broken movie starlet finds herself alone and ugly with only glittering memories of her silver past.” – Luther Price

Early Monthly Segments is thrilled to present a very rare screening of the Super 8mm feature film “A.” by Boston-based artist Luther Price.

“Edie, the faded starlet of “A.” is not so much a literal figuration of a woman, but a nightmare memory come to life. Nothing in Price’s cinema is quite what it appears to be. Daytime broadcasts implode into personal confessions. Edie is not Price-in-drag, but Price living within the ethos of the woman’s pictures that his mother obsessively tuned into when Price was growing up. Audio recordings Price made with his sister Sally, re-enacting the films Streetcar Named Desire and Imitation of Life invade the film. The memories engendered on these lazy afternoon are poured into Edie’s unsteady form. “A.” took years to film and the interior locales stretch out over 3 or 4 of Price’s apartments….it was a turbulent period of production in which Price became severely depressed and suffered a near-fatal accident while filming the suicide sequence.

“It strikes me as one of Price’s most outwardly reflexive and self-conscious films (though post-modern seems like such a moot term in the otherworldly cosmology of Luther Price), with hoodwinks, references to other avant-garde films like Fireworks and explicit recreations of the woman’s pictures of Price’s youth…. “A.” marks Price’s last performative films as he now works exclusively with found footage.” -Bradford Nordeen, program notes, Dirty Looks NYC

Programme:
A. by Luther Price, 1994, USA, Super 8mm, 60 minutes, B&W/colour, sound on cassette

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar| 1214 Queen St West
Monday October 21, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Thanks to Canyon Cinema, Luther Price, Bradford Nordeen, Steve Polta and the 8 fest!

A.

A.

A.

A.

Luther Price

Luther Price

#55 = 9/30/13 = Takahiko Iimura in person!

LOVE4

Ai (Love)

Early Monthly Segments is excited to host Takahiko Iimura in person to share his films. Iimura has been a pioneer Japanese experimental filmmaker since the 1960s. Early on he began to associate with the underground film scene of New York and he has maintained a continuous connection over the past fifty years, making work in both New York and Tokyo.

This program focuses on films that he made in collaboration with renowned Japanese composers—Takehisa Kosugi, Yoko Ono and Yasunao Tone—and by so doing, it also provides an overview of some of the most important films of his career. Kuzu (Junk) is Iimura’s first surviving film, from 1962. Iimura turned his regular 8mm camera on the flotsam washed up on the beach of Tokyo Bay, re-animating garbage and dead animals into a Neo-Dadaist reverie. Ai (Love) was a notable discovery at the historic Knokke-le-Zoute experimental film festival of 1964 (a reoccurring Belgian festival that launched films like Wavelength and Flaming Creatures), standing out for its sensual yet abstract depiction of the act of love-making. Onan, his first 16mm film, is simultaneously his most narrative and his most surreal, tracing the fantasies of a lone young male as his masculine lust turns into maternal care.

The program ends with two films that address Iimura’s continued interest in the filmic relationship between time and space. Timed 1, 2, 3 abstracts time down to sections of clear and dark leader, with the soundtrack serving as counter-point, creating a visceral sonic anticipation as we attempt to measure time. MA: Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoan-Ji presents a visual representation of the Japanese concept of MA, which translates roughly as “the interval space between objects”, a central pillar of Zen philosophy.

Programme:
(edited to reflect actual screening order and bonus films!)
Kuzu (Junk), Takahiko Iimura, 1962, Japan, Reg 8mm blown up to 16mm, 8min. Music: Takehisa Kosugi
Ai (Love), Takahiko Iimura, 1962, Japan, Reg 8mm blown up to 16mm, 15min. Music: Yoko Ono
MA: Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoan-Ji, Takahiko Iimura, 1989, Japan/USA, 16min. Text: Arata Isozaki, Music: Takehisa Kosugi. Commissioned by the Program for Art on Film (PAF), New York
2 Minutes 46 Seconds 16 Frames (100 feet), 1972, Japan, 16mm, 9min.
24 Frames per Second, 1975-78, Japan, 16mm, 10min.
Timed, 1, 2, 3, Takahiko Iimura, 1972, Japan, 10min.
White Calligraphy, 1967, Japan, 16mm, 12min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, 2nd Floor Gallery | 1214 Queen St West
Monday September 30, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Thanks to Media City, Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Centre for Japanese Film Studies, Ann Arbor and the University of Toronto Department of Visual Studies.

MA-Space-Time In The Garden of Ryoanji jpg

MA: Space/Time in the Garden of Ryoan-Ji

Next up: EMS #56 = October = TBA

#54 = 8/19/13 = Deborah Stratman’s O’er the Land + Don Shebib

O'er the Land

O’er the Land

Early Monthly Segments is pleased to present American artist Deborah Stratman’s 2009 reflection on the state of her nation, O’er the Land. Her film hinges on the account of 48,000 foot descent of pilot Col. William Rankin who was forced to eject himself from his F8U fighter jet during a 1959 test flight. Storm buffeted, without a pressurized flight suit, held aloft in the air currents for a seeming eternity, Rankin miraculously survived to tell the tale.

50 years later Stratman shows us an America still at war and arguably in free fall, obsessed with its permeable borders, bodies and the technologies of destruction. Including documentation of border guards and civil war reenactors, football players and flamethrowers, the film deftly depicts the spectacular intersection of landscape and leisure with masculinity, militarism and manifest destiny.

Programme:
Revival, Don Shebib, 1965, Canada, 16mm, 12 min
O’er the Land, Deborah Stratman, 2008, USA, 16mm, 52 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday August 19, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

O'er the Land

O’er the Land

O'er the Land

O’er the Land

O'er the Land

O’er the Land

Next Up: EMS #55 = September 30

#53 = 7/29/13 = Perceptual Intensities

Ordinary Matter

Ordinary Matter

Guest Programmed by Michael Zryd

Three films rooted in real and resonant spaces that magnify the transformative process of aesthetic contact between eye/ear/body and the matter/wave forms of the world.

A student film from David Bienstock’s masters studies at New York University, Brummer’s takes its young couple through a whirlwind of Godard, Technicolor, and breakfast.

Peggy’s Blue Skylight is a loose and lovely romp through Joyce Wieland and Michael Snow’s loft in New York, shot originally on 8mm and transferred to 16mm colour stock in 1985. The title comes from a jazz piece by Charles Mingus and Paul Bley performs the soundtrack.

The fifth film in Hollis Frampton’s 7-part Hapax Legomena, Ordinary Matter was also the last film of the series to be completed, partly due to Frampton’s ambitious original plan to have the sound track consist of verbal descriptions by three women and three men of Marcel Duchamp’s Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas. The current soundtrack is a non-sync recording of Frampton reading what he called the “Wade-Giles syllabary of the Chinese language,” an attempt to translate ideograms (idea-pictures) to phonemes (units of sound). Frampton’s description of the film gets us started: “A vision of a journey, during which the eye of the mind drives headlong through Salisbury Cloister (a monument to enclosure), Brooklyn Bridge (a monument to connection), Stonehenge (a monument to the intercourse between consciousness and LIGHT)… visiting along the way diverse meadows, barns, waters where I now live; and ending in the remembered cornfields of my childhood.” Like Duchamp’s posthumous installation, Ordinary Matter is less about what we see (or think we see) than the work of perception and consciousness as it swings between matter and energy. As Frampton says in A Lecture: “This is where we came in.”

Programme:
Brummer’s, David Bienstock, 1967, USA, 16mm, 10 min
Peggy’s Blue Skylight, Joyce Wieland, 1965, USA/Canada, Super-8 on 16mm, 12 min
Ordinary Matter, Hollis Frampton, 1972, USA, 16mm, 36 min. sound on tape

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar   |  1214 Queen St West
Monday July 29, 2013  |  8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Special Thanks CFMDC and York University

Brummer's

Brummer’s

Peggy's Blue Skylight

Peggy’s Blue Skylight

EMS #54 = August 19 = TBA

#52 = 6/24/13 = Material Action! W + B Hein + Brakhage + Solomon

Roh Film

Rohfilm

get me out of practice / habitual foaming / As fast as the eye can bear /
to see grain flips its / trigger melt down tender / under eyelids’ trance
- Lee Ann Brown, from Dark Writing Through Elementary Phrases
for Stan Brakhage, Phil Solomon, and Tom who drove
Chicago Review 47:4, 2001

Köln based filmmakers Wilhelm and Birgit Hein were the flashpoint of German underground film in the 1970s. They founded and ran X SCREEN in 1968, where they showed porno films three nights a week to fund their underground screenings on the weekends. With a very outward gaze, they brought filmmakers like Jack Smith, Malcom LeGrice and Kurt Kren through their local cinema and their two programming stints at Dokumenta. As the centre-point between the Viennese and English avant-gardes, their own collaborative work showcased an admixture of both—an aggressive transgressiveness and a structural materialist focus on film as object. We’re very excited to show a rare, imported copy of Rohfilm (Raw Film), their 1968 masterpiece. Collaged from fragments of autoportraiture and foraged footage and propelled by Christian Michelis’ aggressive proto-noise soundtrack, Rohfilm is a visceral and relentless manifesto on film’s pure physicality.

Elementary Phrases, the first of three collaborations between Stan Brakhage and Phil Solomon, celebrates the physical in a strikingly different way. Composed of Brakhage’s unique hand-painted film frames step-printed on Solomon’s optical printer, Elementary Phrases expands on Brakhage’s cascading handmade imagery by building extended patterns and rhythms out of loops of frames. Solomon’s own photographic imagery mixes in with Brakhage’s paint strokes, creating figurative counterpoints that build on the very musical structure the two artists develop through the collaborative printing process.

Programme:
Rohfilm, W + B Hein, 1968, Germany, 16mm, 22 min
Elementary Phrases, Stan Brakhage + Phil Solomon, USA, 1994, 16mm, 38 min silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday June 24, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Thanks to Arsenal Berlin, CFMDC and The Gladstone Hotel.

Next up: EMS #53 = July 29 = Perceptual Intensities = Guest Programmed by Michael Zryd

#51 = 5/27/13 = Transitions: Brakhage + Mueller + Robinson + Silva + Sternberg

Pensao Globo

Pensao Globo

Five films on transition as a psychological and formal device.

Michael Robinson’s Chiquitita and the Soft Escape (2003) started as an attempt to ground nostalgia as “a purely mechanical process”, but reveals instead how powerfully an image carries emotional weight – whether the impositions of family life or, remarkably, the simple camera tilt up a window frame. Stan Brakhage’s In Between (1955), his first in colour and one of his few with music (by John Cage), uses the columns of San Francisco’s Legion of Honor as an external portraiture of the great collage artist Jess Collins. Barbara Sternberg’s Transitions (1982) confines the subject to the space of her bed while her inner mind, caught between waking and dreaming, sorts through visual and vocal superimpositions—the memories both trap her and lead her out into the imaginary beyond. Matthias Müller’s Pensao Globo (1997) looks directly at the beyond as a dying man books a room in Lisbon to spend his final days wandering, his body and mind dissolving into an uncertain eternal rest. Finally, the stunning hot air balloon ride in Fern Silva’s recent Passage Upon the Plume (2011) takes us out through the window and up into a abstracted voyage through the sky.

Programme:
Chiquitita and the Soft Escape
, Michael Robinson, 2003, USA, 16mm, 10 min
In Between
, Stan Brakhage, USA, 1955, 16mm, 10 min
Transitions
, Barbara Sternberg, 1982, Canada, 16mm, 12 min
Pensao Globo
, Matthias Müller, 1997, Germany, 16mm, 15 min
Passage Upon the Plume
, Fern Silva, 2011, USA, 16mm, 7 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday May 27, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5 suggested donation

Thanks to Christy LeMaster (the Nightingale Cinema), the CFMDC and The Gladstone Hotel.

Passage Upon the Plume

Passage Upon the Plume

Chiquitita and the Soft Escape

Chiquitita and the Soft Escape

EMS #52 = June 24 = TBA

#50 = 4/22/13 = Jon Jost’s Speaking Directly (Some American Notes)

Speaking Directly

Speaking Directly

Guest Programmed by Eli Horwatt

“Most lenses focus good from about a foot and half away to infinity, which isn’t quite close enough to get a good picture of yourself, or myself.” — Jon Jost, Speaking Directly

Speaking Directly
was made after Jon Jost was imprisoned between March 1965 and June 1967 for refusing to serve in the Vietnam War. While this may have left a heroic residue on the film, it is one Jost resists at every opportunity. Segmented according to subject positions and interpersonal relations (I-They, I-You, Female-You, Male-I, People I Know – directly, People I Know – indirectly, etc), Speaking Directly deconstructs the language of war, national identity, gender politics, friendship and ultimately cinema itself. An emblem of renewed interest in production and distribution practices that would characterize the New American Cinema, Jost’s film dances between, but ultimately resists Wollen’s two proverbial avant-gardes—the political and the formal.

Through the testimony of friends and lovers, Richard Nixon and Vietnamese witnesses to American war crimes, Jost weaves a complex tapestry of personal and national narratives. A self-reflexive exercise in accounting for one’s self and sense of national belonging, Jost attempts to characterize all of his relationships with unflinching honesty and, at times excruciating candor. To speak directly for Jost is to demystify the production process, the relationship between the filmmaker and the industries that define the cinematic apparatus, the political contours of watching a film and the various subject positions populating these networks of power. Jost literally and figuratively points to the frame of the screen to investigate film’s jargons of authenticity. The rigorous self-dismantling in Speaking Directly is the source of its greatest strength, as Jost engages in a variety of discursive strategies (direct address, interviews, newscasts, mass media) only to rest upon their inadequacy in the face of capitalism and its devastating symptom: the Vietnam War.

Made while Jost was living in a cabin without electricity or running water in Oregon, Speaking Directly was something of a paradigm shift for Jost, between his structural films like City (1964) and Canyon (1970) towards the experimental narratives that would characterize his later films Angel City (1976) and Last Chants for a Slow Dance (1977). Hailed as a modern masterpiece by Julia Lesage, David James (who called it “The most important film of the early 1970s”), and Jonathan Rosenbaum, Speaking Directly is now only rarely screened.

Programme:
Speaking Directly (Some American Notes), Jon Jost, 1972-1974, USA, 16mm, 110 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday April 22, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5 suggested donation

Speaking Directly

Speaking Directly

Speaking Directly

Speaking Directly

#51 = May = TBA

#49 = 4th Anniversary! = 3/18/13 = Trinh Minh-hà + Michael Wallin

Reassemblage

“With uncanny eloquence, Reassemblage distills sounds and images of Senegalese villagers and their surroundings to reconsider the premises and methods of ethnographic filmmaking. By disjunctive editing and a probing narration, this ‘documentary’ strikingly counterpoints the authoritative stance typical of the National Geographic approach.” — Laura Thielan

We are thrilled to be celebrating our 4th anniversary with a pair of visionary essay films from the 1980s that are rarely shown in their original 16mm format, our raison d’etre, four years on! Trinh T. Minh-hà’s first film Reassemblage (shot in 1981 in Senegal) opens with her voiceover, “I do not intend to speak about, just speak nearby”, which frames her groundbreaking experimental “interrogation” that centres on women in rural Senegal. Minh-hà proceeds to call much into question: what is filming? what is the place of the filmmaker? What is or should be an ethnographic documentary?

We open with a short film from 1988 by Michael Wallin. Decodings is an indelible found footage film that explores the possibilities of, and barriers to, intimate relationships between men and was produced at the height of AIDS hysteria. Wallin takes us to the Mojave Desert; into the locker room with frolicking boys; and on a journey with a man who drives with his dog into the centre of bad weather; all set to a moving Shostakovich score. What is understood? What is decoded?

“Michael Wallin’s Decodings is a profoundly moving, allegorical search for identity from the documents of collective memory…the search for self ends in aching poignancy with stills of a boy and his mother at the kitchen table, catching the moment that marks the dawning of anguish and loss; desire becomes imprinted on that which was long ago.” – Manohla Dargis, The Village Voice

Programme:
Decodings, Michael Wallin, 1988, USA, 16mm, b&w, sound, 15 min
Reassemblage, Trinh Minh-hà, 1982, USA/Senegal, 16mm, colour, sound, 40 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday March 18, 2013 | 8:00 PM screening | $5 suggested donation

Thanks to CFMDC, Women Make Movies + Gladstone Hotel.

Decodings

Reassemblage

Next up: EMS #50 = Monday April 22 = TBA

#48 = 2/18/13 = Andy Warhol’s Kitchen

in collaboration with Oakville Galleries

Kitchen © 2012 The Andy Warhol Museum, Pittsburgh, PA, a museum of Carnegie Institute.
All rights reserved. Film still courtesy of The Andy Warhol Museum.

Accompanying Oakville Galleries’ exhibition Where I Lived, and What I Lived For and its themes of psychic and domestic interiority, we present Andy Warhol’s Kitchen (1965). Instructed by Warhol to write a vehicle for Edie Sedgwick in a “completely white” setting, scenarist Ronald Tavel created one of Warhol’s most iconic films. Here a group of performers of all stripes – the sink and litter basket receive equal billing to the human actors – are forced into Warhol and Tavel’s cruelly comical theatre of the absurd. Inside this cramped domestic space, boredom, confusion and a sense of existential dread hang heavy in the air. Warhol and Tavel transform the modern 1960s kitchen – replete with the latest gadgets and conveniences – into a chaotic laboratory for self-creation and interpersonal conflict.

Programmed by Jon Davies. More info on the Oakville show here.

Programme:
Kitchen, Andy Warhol, 1965, 16mm film, black & white, sound, USA 66 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday February 18, 2013 | 8:00 pm screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Upcoming! EMS #49 = Monday March 18 = 4th Anniversary

#47 = 1/21/13 = Jonas Mekas + Lorne Marin

Diaries, Notes and Sketches

“When one writes diaries, it’s a retrospective process: you sit down, you look back at your day, and you write it all down. To keep a film diary, is to react (with your camera) immediately, now, this instant: either you get it now, or you don’t get it at all…All footage that you’ll see in the “Diaries” is exactly as it came out from the camera: there was no way of achieving it in the editing room without destroying its form and content.” -Jonas Mekas

We toast a new year with a celebration of Jonas Mekas’s 90th birthday last month and showing a film that documents his early years in New York. These “Diaries, Notes and Sketches” open in November, 1949 with the Mekas’s arrival in Brooklyn. He and his brother Adolfas borrow money to buy a Bolex camera and Jonas starts shooting their daily lives. These first two reels we’re presenting (from a six-reel, 3-hour film titled “Lost Lost Lost“) frame their first five years after landing in Brooklyn, living with fellow post-war Lithuanian immigrants and other “displaced persons” and their attempts at melding into their new surroundings while holding onto hopes for Lithuanian independence. Political meetings and rallies, meals, weddings, readings and visits to Long Island are captured and narrated with a blunt reflection on Mekas’s loneliness and longing to both fit in to New York while simultaneously not losing touch with his past.

“The period I am dealing with in these reels was a period of desperation, of attempts to desperately grow roots into the new ground, to create new memories…These reels carry the title Lost Lost Lost, the title of a film myself and my brother wanted to make in 1949, and it indicates the mood we were in, in those years. It describes the mood of a Displaced Person who hasn’t yet forgotten the native country but hasn’t gained a new one.” -Jonas Mekas

We open with a short film from 1972 by Toronto’s Lorne Marin: “When I first conceived “Rhapsody“, I saw it as a purely formal investigation of the visual effect(s) of creating a constant rhythmic series of lap dissolves. My original expectation was that by dissolving together overlapping static-camera shots, an illusion of movement might occur. After viewing the initial film footage, I realized that, apart from the intended formal/structural context, there existed in the imagery a rich, detailed portrait of my street and its inhabitants.” -Lorne Marin

Programme:
Rhapsody on a Theme From A House Movie, Lorne Marin, 1972, 16mm, Canada, 7 min.
Diaries, Notes and Sketches (Lost Lost Lost, reels 1-2), Jonas Mekas, 1975, 16mm, USA, 60 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday January 21, 2013 | 8:00 pm screening | $5 suggested donation

Rhapsody on a Theme From A House Movie

Upcoming! EMS #48 = Monday February 18, 2013 = Andy Warhol’s Kitchen
EMS #49 = Monday March 18 = 4th Anniversary

#46 = 12/10/12 = Peter Rose + Vincent Grenier

the man who could not see far enough

Guest Programmed by Christine Lucy Latimer + Mark Loeser

“In the process of making Work, in the lifelong commitment to embodying the images and ideas that confront us, we propose, implicitly, a condition in which we test out an experience of working on ourselves outside the conditions of alienation as we find and are defined by them. If we can’t get it together, given our inner freedom, who can?” – Peter Rose, On the Edge

The kaleidoscopic corridors of Analogies: studies in the movement of time make for one of Peter Rose’s most heavily worked, purely visual pieces. It offers the viewer a sense of humanity that is absent in similar, more austere works (the great, relentless halls of Ernie Gehr’s Serene Velocity or Malcolm LeGrice’s Corridor for comparison). Rose’s work spins the frame around characteristic glimpses of implied drama and coy playfulness. The framing and soft shoe meet in a low-key flamenco-dervish.

The man who could not see far enough is the very best of films not simply born of but explicitly about the pursuit of poetic, filmic visions. Where the entire genre of experimental film may be said to expand the range of sights available to us, few films preface for the viewer what motivates this: the filmmaker seeking Seeing itself. Rose’s career-long fascination with the elusiveness of meaning is most memorably visualized here.

Vincent Grenier’s sublime Interieur Interiors (To A. K.) is featured between the Roses. In it, lines are woven between the frame, the spaces it displays, and the scratches etched on the film’s surface over the years. Our thanks to EMS for this opportunity to guest curate and for doing what they do here in Toronto every month.” -Mark Loeser and Christine Lucy Latimer

Programme:
Analogies: Studies in the Movement of Time, Peter Rose, 1977, 16mm, USA, 14 min.
Interieur Interiors (to A.K.), Vincent Grenier, 1978, 16mm, USA/Canada, 15 min.
The man who could not see far enough, Peter Rose, 1981, 16mm, USA, 33 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday December 10, 2012 | 7:00 pm screening

*NOTE EARLY START TIME*

Interieur Interiors (to A.K.)

Upcoming #47 = January 21, 2013

#45 = 11/15-17/12 = Warren Sonbert Retrospective

Warren Sonbert

Seven Screenings at the Art Gallery of Ontario, Jackman Hall, 317 Dundas Street West, McCaul Street Entrance

Thursday, November 15 – 6:30pm and 8pm
Friday, November 16 – 6:30pm and 8pm
Saturday, November 17 – 3pm, 6:30 and 8pm

Curator Jon Gartenberg in person!

Screenings $5 each. Free for current Ryerson, University of Toronto and York University students (with ID).

Sponsored by the AGO; Cinema Studies Institute, University of Toronto; Department of Film, Faculty of Fine Arts, York University; and School of Image Arts, Ryerson University.

Suffused with a love of image, melodrama and the teachings of Sirk and Hitchcock, the films of Warren Sonbert (1947-1995) are wonderful records of his vibrant surroundings in New York and San Francisco and his travels abroad. Gorgeously shot and meticulously edited, his films serve as an important touchstone for the possibilities of personal filmmaking. Early Monthly Segments is pleased to be able to host a retrospective of his films organized by Jon Gartenberg and imported from Light Cone in Paris. A rare chance to see the complete body of work of a stunning filmmaker.

“In [Sonbert’s] best work, behind the mask of unalloyed visual pleasure lurks a dramatic intensity and trajectory, not just of personal concerns or protracted journeys but of massive social upheavals, the melding or collision of distinct cultural rituals of crisis, cessation, renewal.” – Paul Arthur

The prints were preserved by the Estate Project for Artists with AIDS at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in Los Angeles, California

Special thanks to our IndieGoGo campaign supporters: Erika Balsom, Christina Battle, Stephen Broomer, Dan Browne, Rob Butterworth, Jon Davies, Elena Duque, Max Gatta, Chris Gehman, Susan Harris, Salah Hassanpour, Eli Horwatt, Derek Jenkins, Mark Loeser & Christine Lucy Latimer, Andrew J. Paterson, John Price, Lina Rodriguez, Marty Spellerberg, Leslie Supnet & Clint Enns, Bart Testa, Carly Whitefield, Blake Williams, and Michael Zryd.

Screening Schedule
(program notes by Jon Gartenberg)

Download extensive PDF version here.

Whiplash

Queer Identity
Thursday, November 15 – 6:30pm
Of the many creative and cultural universes inhabited by Sonbert, none was perhaps more acutely experienced yet least publicly acknowledged than his homosexual identity and affliction with AIDS. This program examines Sonbert’s relationship to the gay universe, beginning with his provocative and playful first film, Amphetamine, which depicts young men shooting amphetamines and making love in the era of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. The program continues with Noblesse Oblige, a masterfully edited work that features imagery Sonbert photographed of protests in San Francisco following the murders of Mayor George Moscone and Councilman Harvey Milk at the hands of Dan White. (Sonbert modeled the structure of this film on Douglas Sirk’s Tarnished Angels). The program culminates with Whiplash, his elegiac meditation on his own mortality, a film that was completed posthumously according to Sonbert’s instructions.
Films: Amphetamine, made with Wendy Appel, 1966, B/W, sound, 10 min.
Noblesse Oblige, 1981, color, silent, 25 min.
Whiplash, Completed posthumously in 1997. Restoration editor: Jeff Scher, 1995, color, sound, 20 min.

From Mise-en-Scene to Montage
Thursday, November 15 – 8pm
One of the most profound themes coursing throughout Sonbert’s work is that of love between couples in all its pitfalls and perfect moments. Sonbert expressed this theme not only between his protagonists onscreen, but also in the relationship between his ever-roving hand-held camera and the human subjects within his field of vision. The Bad and the Beautiful is noteworthy for Sonbert’s use of in-camera editing, in which he assembled together individual 100’ camera rolls (that he shot) into a series of mini-narratives. Each camera roll sequence captures an individual couple in unusually intimate, quotidian moments: eating, making love, dancing, and whiling away the time. Beginning in 1968, Sonbert abandoned his earlier filmmaking style, which had brought him such notoriety in the public press while he was still a teenager. He began using his hand-held Bolex camera to enlarge his field of vision beyond New York, recording footage as he traveled around the world. The Tuxedo Theatre offers evidence of Sonbert’s first steps in developing his unique style of montage, which subsequently resulted in his magnum opus, Carriage Trade.
Films: The Bad and the Beautiful, 1967, color, sound, 34 min.
Tuxedo Theatre, 1968, color, silent, 21 min.

A Woman’s Touch

Overarching Themes: Art & Industry, Militarism & Feminism (The Female Gaze)
Friday, November 16, 6:30pm
Sonbert’s montage works were meticulously constructed in the selection and sequencing of individual shots. Film theorist Noel Carroll gave the term “polyvalent montage” to Sonbert’s working style, in which each shot “can be combined with surrounding shots along potentially many dimensions.” Sonbert himself once wrote, that “the ambition might be seen as an attempt to hold finely balanced series of tensions in which one can read images a variety of ways, sometimes in contradictory stances so that there are many possibilities of interaction. “Each of Sonbert’s films after Carriage Trade was structured with an overarching theme in mind. Divided Loyalties, according to Sonbert, is about “art vs. industry and their various crossovers.” Honor and Obey questions all forms of male-dominated authority, particularly familial, religious, political, and military. Sonbert modeled A Woman’s Touch after Hitchcock’s Marnie, both in the stylistic interplay between “images of [en]closure and escape,” and in the thematic tension between male domination and female independence.
Films: Divided Loyalties, 1978, color, silent, 22 min.
Honor and Obey, 1988, color, silent, 21 min.
A Woman’s Touch, 1983, color, silent, 22 min.

The Travel Diary
Friday, November 16, 8pm
In Carriage Trade, Sonbert interweaves footage taken from his journeys throughout Europe, Africa, Asian and the United States, together with shots he removed from the camera originals of a number of his earlier films. Carriage Trade was an evolving work-in-progress, and this 61-minute version is the definitive form in which Sonbert realized it, preserved intact from the camera original. With Carriage Trade, Sonbert began to challenge the theories espoused by the great Soviet filmmakers of the 1920’s; he particularly disliked the “knee-jerk’ reaction produced by Eisenstein’s montage. In both lectures and writings about his own style of editing, Sonbert described Carriage Trade as “a jig-saw puzzle of postcards to produce varied displaced effects.” This approach, according to Sonbert, ultimately affords the viewer multi-faceted readings of the connections between individual shots. This occurs through the spectator’s assimilation of “the changing relations of the movement of objects, the gestures of figures, familiar worldwide icons, rituals and reactions, rhythm, spacing and density of images.”
Film: Carriage Trade, 1972, color, silent, 61 min.

Hall of Mirrors

60′s New York
Saturday, November 17, 3pm
Sonbert began making films in 1966, as a student at New York University’s film school. His earliest films, in which he captured the spirit of his generation, were inspired first by the university milieu and then by the denizens of the Warhol art world. Sonbert described the scenes from Where Did Our Love Go?, as follows: “Warhol Factory days…serendipity visits, Janis and Castelli and Bellevue glances…Malanga at work…glances at Le Mépris and North by Northwest…Girl rock groups and a disco opening…a romp through the Modern.” Hall of Mirrors is an outgrowth of one of Sonbert’s film classes at NYU, in which he was given the outtakes from a Hollywood film (starring Fredric March and Florence Eldridge) to re-edit into a narrative sequence. Adding to this found footage, Sonbert filmed Warhol’s superstar René Ricard in more private and reflective moments, and Gerard Malanga in public view at an art gallery. The film has a sophisticated circular structure, beginning and ending with the protagonists’ movements enmeshed within multiple reflecting mirrors. The Tenth Legion stylistically exemplifies Sonbert’s masterful use of a constantly moving hand-held camera as it trails the college-age protagonists in choreographed fashion, and of chiaroscuro lighting effects in interior scenes. Critic Greg Barrios wrote about this film: “People [are] engaged in their living, in their purpose, in their contribution, however trivial or important, to the work of the world.” Sonbert’s attention to capturing on film the minutiae of daily existence can be seen as a precursor to his mature montage films made years later, in which he melded diverse human gestures into a unified global vision.
Films: Where Did Our Love Go?, 1966, color, sound, 15 min.
Hall of Mirrors, 1966, color, sound, 7 min.
The Tenth Legion, 1968, color, sound, 30 min.

Friendly Witness

Silent Rhythms/Sound Symphonies 1
Saturday, November 17, 6:30
Rude Awakening, according to Sonbert, is “about Western civilization and its work; activity ethic and the viability of performing functions and activities.” Sonbert’s vivid color palette enhances the ritualistic nature of each action observed. Set against this lush panorama, Sonbert subverts the expectation of classic cinematography with a liberal sprinkling of avant-garde techniques. The incorporation of the materiality of film, the treatment of light, and the use of a hand-held camera, all suggest the influence of Stan Brakhage, Sonbert’s “hero”. Sonbert was also a professional music critic. In Friendly Witness, he returned, after 20 years of making films, to incorporating music tracks back into his movies. In doing so, he select

#44 = 10/15/12 = Helga Fanderl in person!

Helga Fanderl

Communing with Joseph Cornell’s The Aviary

We’re pleased to present an evening of films by and with Helga Fanderl inspired by Joseph Cornell’s 1955 film The Aviary. Fanderl is an incredibly prolific film artist whose mostly in camera-edited works are beautifully poetic ruminiations on the quotidian; she is currently in Toronto as artist-in-residence at LIFT.

“It was a challenge and a new experience to build a programme around Joseph Cornell’s and Rudy Burckhardt’s film The Aviary, a work that I have loved for a long time. With a selection of my films – both Super 8 and 16mm blow-ups – on the one hand I want to echo in a freely associative way specific qualities and motives of this fine work, making the beholder feel a mental and poetic affinity, on the other hand to give an insight into my way of filmmaking which is also different. To and fro as it were.” - Helga Fanderl 

German-born filmmaker Helga Fanderl has been making Super-8 films since the mid 1980s. Silent, short, and edited in-camera, her films reflect the lightness and spontaneity of the small-gauge medium and camera. “With the Super-8 camera I can react very quickly: the eye against the viewfinder, the camera close to the body, perceiving and filming simultaneously.” Working in both black-and-white and color, the intensive poetic works (none is over three minutes) reveal a surprising and sensitive view of the environment: patterns of flight above tall trees or gray skyscrapers, shimmying leaves and falling green apples, flying baskets full of silver sardines shown in rapid succession. http://helgafanderl.com

Helga is also offering a workshop at LIFT during her residency!
THE POETICS OF (SUPER 8) FILMMAKING with Helga Fanderl: http://lift.ca/programming/poetics-super-8-filmmaking-helga-fanderl

Programme:
PART I (Films by Helga Fanderl, all Super 8, colour, silent)
BRUNNEN (Fountain), MÄDCHEN (Girls), GROSSE VOLIERE (Big Aviatory), APFELERNTE (Apple Harvest), WASSERFALL (Cascade), RIESENRAD (Ferris Wheel), KAKIBAUM IM WINTER (Persimmon Tree in Wintertime)
 
PART II
THE AVIARY, Joseph Cornell + Rudy Burckhardt, 1955, 16mm, b&w, silent, 11 minutes
 
PART III
LUCTOR, Helga Fanderl, 16mm, b&w, silent
 
PART IV
(Films by Helga Fanderl, all 16mm blow-ups from Super 8, colour, silent)
SPIEGELUNG (Reflections), INNENHOF (Courtyard) GRAUER REIHER (Grey Heron II), DREI MIDTOWN-SKIZZEN (Three Midtown Sketches), ZELTE AM KANAL (Tents on a Canal), KARPFEN IN FARBE SCHWIMMEND (Carp Swimming in Colour), GRÜNER BALLON (GREEN BALLOON), KETTENKARUSSELL (CAROUSEL), NETZWERFER (Throwing the Net), UNTER DEN SEEROSEN (Under the Water Lilies)

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday October 15, 2012 | 8:00 PM screening | $5 suggested donation 

The Aviary

Upcoming:
EMS #45 = Warren Sonbert FULL retrospective! Nov 15-17 @ AGO

#43 = 9/17/12 = Téo Hernandez

Nuestra Señora de Paris

We are very excited to be presenting two films by the underknown experimental filmmaker Téo Hernandez (1939-1992). Born in Mexico, Hernandez studied architecture before co-founding the CEC (Centro Experimental de Cinematografia) in 1960 in Mexico City. He moved to Paris in 1966 and from 1968 to 1975 began to realise an extensive number of personal films, all shot in Super-8, some on travels to Morocco, Denmark and London, others in his adopted hometown, Paris. Many of Hernandez’s films are marked by strong sweeping camera movements and single-frame shooting of places and spaces near and dear to him. He later flirted with feature-length works, including a queer take on Salomé, which heralded the emergence of a new movement in French experimental filmmaking, dubbed “l’École du corps” (“the School of the Body”). Tonight we’ll be showing two films, one a personal Super-8 time-lapse film from winter 1978 and the second a magical Super-8 (shown on 16mm) single frame portrait of the Notre Dame cathedral featuring luminous light and a dense score incorporating players from the square.

“The camera, carried by the agility and strength of the arm, is a phallic extension. The vibration of the image, my convulsive rhythm is an amplified and intensified sexual act.  -Téo Hernandez.

Programme:
Nuestra Señora de Paris, Téo Hernandez, 1981, France, Super 8 on 16mm, colour, sound, 22 min
Tables d’hivers, Téo Hernandez, 1978-9, France, Super-8, colour, sound, 39 min

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar   |  1214 Queen St West
Monday September 17, 2012  |  8:00 PM screening | $5-10 suggested donation

Thanks to Lightcone (Paris), Bruno Persat and The Gladstone Hotel.

Upcoming #44 = October 2012 = TBA
EMS #45 = Warren Sonbert FULL retrospective! Nov 15-17 @ AGO

#42 = 8/13/12 = Susan Sontag’s Promised Lands

Promised Lands

In the Ballroom!

“Using the Arab-Israel War as a metaphor for the human condition, Sontag has made a strong, clear, intelligent film. It is unlike any film that I have ever seen.” – Roberto Rossellini

We’re thrilled to present a recently preserved 16mm print of Susan Sontag’s only documentary. Filmed during the bitter end of Israel’s Yom Kippur War in 1973,  and subsequently banned in Israel upon release, she called it her “most personal film.”

From Harvard Film Archive: In her writing as in this film, Sontag preferred “collage, assemblage, and inventory.” Lingering shots of mourners at the Wailing Wall, abandoned remains of humans and their machines, and soldiers reenacting war in a psychiatric ward interact with sequences of herdsmen minding goats, people chatting at the market, and children holding hands. “It is a film about a mental landscape…as well as a physical and political one.” said Sontag. Unidentified voices sometimes reinforce, sometimes counter her visual chronicle – itself containing so many contradictions amid the grief and gunfire. Pondering the origins and probable outcome of “two rights opposing each other,” Israeli writer Yoram Kaniuk and physicist Yuval Ne’eman typify variations of the intellectual speculation that continues today. Painfully present, Promised Lands reverberates like the bells in the opening shots or the recurring heart monitor sound flat-lining and coming to life again … ominous yet hopeful, always a lament.

Programme:
Promised Lands, Susan Sontag, 1974, 16mm, USA, 87 minutes
@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom  |  1214 Queen St West
Monday August 13, 2012  |  8:00 pm screening | $5-10 suggested donation

PROMISED LANDS print courtesy the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts and was preserved with funding from the American Film Institute. Thanks to The Film Desk and The Gladstone Hotel.

Promised Lands

Upcoming #43 = Monday 9/17/2012 = TBA

#41 = 7/16/12 = Andrzej Wajda

Ashes and Diamonds

Featuring a rare, worn and beautiful 16mm film print of Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes and Diamonds. The third and most visually arresting of Wajda’s early trilogy of war films, Ashes and Diamonds finds two resistance fighters with orders to assassinate a Communist commissioner on the day after the German surrender of World War II. The two assassins spend the night in a hotel after a first failed attempt, gathering the strength to finish what they started by reminiscing on their years during the resistance and all those they have lost in the battles.

With its stunning deep-focus shots and rich black and white photography, Ashes and Diamonds is a standout of Polish filmmaking. Wajda’s tense script is enlivened by his two main actors—the elegant Adam Pawlikowski and the stunning Zbigniew Cybulski. Cybulski’s acting style and off-screen personality earned him the nickname “the Polish James Dean” (cemented unfortunately by an early death) and his role as Maciek finds him rising to the occasion—stealing the show with bomber jacket, sunglasses and nonconformist languor.

Programme:
Ashes and Diamonds (Popiół i diament), Andrzej Wajda, 1958, 16mm, Poland, 103 minutes
@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar   |  1214 Queen St West
Monday July 16, 2012  |  8:00 pm screening

Upcoming #42 = August 13 = TBA

#40 = 6/11/12 = Ute Aurand/Ulrike Pfeiffer + Marie Menken

The Gravediggers of Guadix, courtesy Anthology Film Archives

June’s screening is a special occasion as we have obtained a very rare print of Marie Menken’s  unfinished (and hence, virtually unknown) The Gravediggers of Guadix (1961). Marie Menken (1910-1970) holds a special place in the film pantheon as one of the earliest practitioners of personal filmmaking and her embodied camerawork was an influence on many filmmakers, from Stan Brakhage to Ute Aurand. In the same trip to Spain with Kenneth Anger in 1958 where she filmed the exquisite Arabesque for Kenneth Anger, Menken spent time with a group of monks devoted to burying the dead. The subject must have been a powerful theme for “a Lithuanian Roman Catholic fascinated by saints, monks and religious iconography” (as characterized by P. Adams Sitney) and the unedited Kodachrome camera rolls are gorgeous documents of her camera eye and the unique rituals of the monks that live in the sun-parched cave-village of Guadix.

Ute Aurand and Ulrike Pfeiffer take embodied vision to its joyous extreme in OH! die vier Jahreszeiten (OH! The Four Seasons, 1988), which features the two filmmakers frolicking through the four seasons in Berlin, Moscow, Paris and London. Inspired by a Jonas Mekas quote on the intuitive power of improvisation that opens the film, the two filmmakers trade the camera back and forth, filming each other at play. Aurand runs around in the Berlin snow in a white dress and boots and swings a young boy around and around in Red Square before Aurand and Pfeiffer both dance in a Paris fountain and then dress up as angels in the London twilight. The music of Orff, Prokofiev, Piaf and Deller alongside the youthful spontaneity of the two filmmakers creates an exuberant ode to the changing of the seasons, the exhilaration of travel and the act of creation.

Programme:
OH! die vier Jahreszeiten (OH! The Four Seasons), Ute Aurand/Ulrike Pfeiffer, 1988, 16mm, Germany, 18 min.
The Gravediggers of Guadix, Marie Menken, 1961, 16mm, USA/Spain, 45 min. silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday June 11, 2012 | 8:00 pm screening, $5 suggested donation

OH! die vier Jahreszeiten

Special thanks to Anthology Film Archives for the Marie Menken print and  the still.

Upcoming #41 = Monday July 16 = TBA

#39 = 5/7/12 = Nicky Hamlyn in person!

Nicky Hamlyn, photo courtesy Aliza Ma

We’re pleased to host a screening of rare films by UK filmmaker Nicky Hamlyn. His work looks at the relationship between the camera and the elements being filmed—object, reflection, colour, light, shadow—resulting in a rigorous reflection on the act of filming itself. The films have a hard-won beauty, but open themselves up to our appreciation through patient observation. This screening focuses on two of his sound films—That Has Been and Tobacco Shed—plus the stunning White Light.

That Has Been is the last in a series of longer works made in the first half of the 1980s. The film was shot in two adjacent rooms. Outside views are seen in reflection via an aluminum photographic lamp, while some of the imagery is generated from photographs taken in the same spaces. The occasional voice over explores the relationship between places and dreams and that between memories and the physical events that can trigger them.” (Hamlyn)

White Light, made a few years after the short film Minutiae initiated a stylistic epiphany, also focuses on reflections—this time in the chrome-plated faucets of his studio sink. The faucets are shot frame-by-frame while the focus is racked back and forth, creating a shimmering rhythmic experience. The film’s animated quality is further enhanced by rotoscoped sequences (photographic images traced by hand). These animations deepen the enquiry into the abstract and the photographic and into the way that illusions create visual forms.

Tobacco Shed is shot at a tobacco-curing oven in northwest Umbria, Italy. It uses the serial nature of the building (a series of open bays) to construct the film—circling the building and framing each doorway in a consistent manner. This simple set-up allows for the small differences (an open doorway, a car parked askew) and character of the building—soon to be transformed due to changing agricultural priorities—to come through.

Programme:
That Has Been, 1984, 16mm, UK, 40 min.
White Light, 1996, 16mm, UK, 22 min. silent
Tobacco Shed, 2010, 16mm, UK, 11 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday May 7, 2012 | 8:00 pm screening, $5 suggested donation

Tobacco Shed

Upcoming #40 = June = TBA

#38 = 4/23/12 = Ruth Noack presents Sally Potter + Patricia Gruben

Thriller

As a special post-Images Festival wind-down, guest curator Ruth Noack presents Sally Potter‘s Thriller and Patricia Gruben’s Before it Blows.

“Since its release in 1980, Sally Potter‘s rewriting of Puccini’s opera, La Boheme, has become a classic in feminist film theory. A model for the deconstruction of the Hollywood film, Thriller turns the conventional role of women as romantic victims in fiction on its head. Mimi, the seamstress heroine of the opera who must die before the curtain goes down, decides to investigate the reasons for her death. In doing so, she begins to explore the dichotomy which separates her from the opera’s other female character, the “bad girl” Musetta.” – Women Make Movies

Patricia Gruben returns with a concise, amusing and telling examination of how we look and how we think. As the camera remains fixed in its gaze at the impending gush of the Old Faithful geyser, voices off-screen express impatience, expectation, uncertainty and awe at the power of nature unleased before them. It is a clever conceit, revealing just how restless North Americans are: we can’t wait for anything! A deceptively simple short film, Before It Blows suggest vast thematic outlines which explore human Gruben’s work, the very foundations of our tenuous knowledge of the world and of ourselves.” – Tom McSorley, Take One

Ruth Noack is a curator and writer living in Vienna. She studied feminist theory, art and audiovisual media in England and the USA and received a degree in art history from the University of Vienna. Noack has worked as a translator, art critic, exhibition organizer and university lecturer. She held the position of president of the Austrian section of the International Association of Art Critics and was a member of the jury for the Chinese Contemporary Art Award in addition to curating documenta 12, working alongside Roger Buergel. She employs an interdisciplinary approach to her work that makes use of principles of film theory and has focused on issues of governmentality, globalization, and exhibition-making. Publications include monographs on Eva Hesse, Alejandra Riera, Danica Dakic, Mary Kelly, and Ines Doujak. Her book on Sanja Ivekovic will be published by Afterall/MIT Press in 2013. Currently, she is working on an exhibition called Sleeping with a Vengeance, Dreaming of a Life. More info here.

Programme:

Before it Blows, Patricia Gruben, 1997, 35mm, Canada 9 min.
Thriller, Sally Potter, 1979, 16mm, UK, 34 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel,  Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday April 23, 2012 | 8:00pm screening | $5 suggested donation

Before it Blows

 

Upcoming #39 = Mon May 7 = Nicky Hamlyn in person!

#37 = 3/19/12 = 3rd Anniversary = Gordon Matta-Clark

Day's End

We’re excited to celebrate three years of programming with a special program devoted to the films of Gordon Matta-Clark. Our longtime fans may have spotted a brief glimpse of Matta-Clark’s Conical Intersect in the first film we showed in March 2009: Kidlat Tahimik’s Perfumed Nightmare. Tonight brings us full-circle, if you will.

Like his peer Robert Smithson, who also died too young, Matta-Clark’s films bring his ideas, performances and anti-architecture antics to vivid life in a way that moves beyond mere documentation. Diagrams, writings and photographs of his work have long preserved him as a pivot point in late 20th century contemporary art, but there’s nothing quite like watching the vertiginous lengths Matta-Clark goes to realize his cuttings in luminous live action—watching him hang from ropes as he carves large openings into the walls of Pier 52 is as heart-stopping as it is gorgeous.

Tonight features a quartet that surveys the range of Matta-Clark’s filmic output. Tree Dance documents an early performance inspired by spring fertility rituals, with Matta-Clark moving through a series of cocoons, ladders and ropes hung throughout a very large tree in Poughkeepsie, New York. City Slivers slices up the New York cityscape in-camera, as he creates a series of super-impositions using the city’s dark cavernous streets as mattes. Day’s End documents one of Matta-Clark’s famous cuttings, the above mentioned Pier 52, which he cunningly transformed from a dark warehouse into an “indoor park”—much to the chagrin of both the Port Authority and those that used the dark corners as a cruising spot. Finally, Fresh Kill features Matta-Clark driving his old truck, christened Herman Meydag, to the Fresh Kills dump to be demolished by a bulldozer. Seeing these films again reminds us of the milieu of which Matta-Clark was a part—one is reminded of Bas Jan Ader, Anthony McCall and John Chamberlain, to name just a few—but also of the fervent influence his work still can have on our conceptions of the built landscape in which we live.

NOTE: The screening takes place in the Gladstone’s Ballroom.

Programme:
City Slivers, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1976, 16mm, USA, 15 min. silent
Tree Dance, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1971, Super 8 on 16mm, USA, 10 min. silent
Fresh Kill, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1972, 16mm, USA, 13 min.
Day’s End, Gordon Matta-Clark, 1975, Super 8 on 16mm, USA, 23 min. silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom | 1214 Queen St West
Monday March 19, 2012 | 7:30pm screening | $5 – 10 suggested donation

Special thanks to The Gladstone Hotel and Robert Fiore and Persistent Pictures, Jane Crawford, Maia Carpenter and Aliza Ma for her sourcing skills!

Upcoming #38 = April 23 = TBA

Perfumed Nightmare

Gordon Matta-Clark

City Slivers

#36 = 2/20/12 = Razor’s Edge = Barbara Hammer + Kurt Kren

Sanctus

2/60 48 Köpfe Aus Dem Szondi-Test

This month we pair films by Barbara Hammer and Kurt Kren to draw out some fascinating similarities from both their works. Barbara Hammer, the lesbian filmmaker known for her radical and poetic films on lesbian identity and Kurt Kren, best known for documenting (in a uniquely structural way) the early performances of the Viennese Aktionist movement, may never have shared a stage, but their extensive catalogues share an obsession with interests beyond the radical body.

While Kren’s explosive early Aktionist films have a well-deserved infamy (particularly the Otto Muehl film 7/64 Leda and the Swan and 16/67 September 20th—the eating, drinking, pissing and shitting film), other ‘60s era films had a different definition of “graphic”, basing films like 2/60 48 Heads From The Szondi-Test on images taken from printed matter, flattening the possibilities of film down to a two-dimensional picture plane. In the ‘70s his films moved from the micro to the macro, shifting to large swathes of time that he harnessed by creating long time-exposures, most notably with the stunning 31/75 Asyl, where Kren used a series of masks to re-expose three rolls of film over twenty-one days, creating a landscape fragmented across time.

Barbara Hammer’s Sanctus and Bent Time each tackle similar themes in Hammer’s own particular way. Sanctus takes early x-rays shot by Dr. James Sibley Watson and optically prints them into a remarkable film about the way our bodies are imaged in relationship to medicine and disease. Dr. Watson’s eerie moving x-rays transform the human body into an ethereal, two-dimensional object. Bent Time explores the fourth dimension, time, in her wondrous trip across the continental United States, stopping at ancient places like Chaco Canyon and more recent sites such as the Stanford Linear Accelerator. Driven by a Pauline Oliveros score, the film maps the energy of time and history in an exciting play of light, movement and sound.

Programme:
2/60 48 Köpfe Aus Dem Szondi-Test (48 Heads From The Szondi-Test), Kurt Kren, 1960, 16mm, Austria, 4.5 min. b&w, silent
10/65 Selbstverstümmelung (Self-Mutilation), Kurt Kren, 1965, 16mm, Austria, 5 min. b&w, silent
Sanctus, Barbara Hammer, 1990, 16mm, USA, 19 min. colour, sound
32/76 An W + B (To W + B), Kurt Kren, 1976, Austria, 7 min. colour, silent
34/77 Tschibo, Kurt Kren, 1977, 16mm, Austria, 2 min. colour, silent
31/75 Asyl (Asylum), Kurt Kren, 1975, 16mm, Austria, 9 min. colour, silent
Bent Time, Barbara Hammer, 1983, 16mm, USA, 22 min. colour, sound
50/96 Snapshots (for Bruce), Kurt Kren, 1996, 16mm, Austria, 5 min. colour, silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday February 20, 2012 | 7:30 pm screening, $5 suggested donation

Upcoming #37 = March 19 = 3rd Anniversary!

31/75 Asyl

Bent Time

10/65 Selbstverstümmelung

Sanctus

#35 = 1/16/12 = Print Generation by J.J. Murphy

Print Generation

Once the images are brought up to full colour, Print Generation heads back toward abstraction. The viewer, having built a picture from an abstract pattern of dots, now must literally choose what is seen, whether to hold memory’s trace of the representation or swim into the dancing crystalline waters of emulsion.” -Anthony Bannon, Buffalo Evening News

Print Generation by J.J. Murphy is a rarely screened structural gem that harnesses image and sound deterioration to its fullest. Murphy started with sixty one second shots, a one minute film. He then made fifty contact printed copies from each successive version, consciously degrading the film one “generation” at a time. Print Generation is structured so we begin watching obscured images and work toward the original and back again… while the soundtrack of lapping ocean waves does the opposite. The film elegantly addresses the intricacies of memory and time: how we remember, what we remember and how a fleeting ‘home movie’ reveals and recedes. Spoiler alert? Well, not exactly, as with all films, structural and otherwise, the magic of the experience is also in the sharing… so we hope you will join us for this special screening alongside the launch of PUBLIC issue #44 on the 2010 Experimental Media Congress, edited by Peggy Gale. Sneak peak of the issue here.

Print Generation by J.J. Murphy (1974, 16mm, 50 minutes)
@ the PUBLIC #44  Experimental Media launch

Monday 16 January 2012, 6-9 PM
Gladstone Hotel Ballroom (1214 Queen Street West, Toronto)

*NOTE: SCREENING at 6:30 SHARP*


Recently restored archival print courtesy the Academy Film Archive.
Special thanks to Mark Toscano, May Haduong and Canyon Cinema.

Print Generation

Print Generation (JJ Murphy, sitting)

#34 = 12/5/11 = Hart of London by Jack Chambers

Jack Chambers

Parallel to the exhibitions of Jack Chambers’ artwork at the Art Gallery of Ontario, running until May 13, and the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, running until January 15, we’re pleased to present a 16mm screening of his breathtaking film, The Hart of London.

Jack Chambers’ 16mm masterwork begins as an elliptical portrait of his hometown of London, Ontario as depicted in footage gleaned from a local TV station. Chambers layers these fragments, bi-packing positive and negative black and white film together, lending a ghostly quality to the city and its inhabitants, including the ill-fated eponymous hart. The Winter city-scape gradually gives way to the Spring thaw, a rebirth and finally the possibility of transcendence, in the form of a gentle accord between his children and deer in a local park. Throughout his career Chambers consistently found extraordinary beauty in ordinary places and things, and many of his paintings and films reveal a depth and profundity in the daily life of a small city.

“The houses were unlit and, without their orange banners of human warmth, the street looked abandoned of life. My feet became numb with the cold as the day darkened, and tough little grey flakes began falling from the sky. I looked around to find what it was that had hurt me, and all I saw were the dumb houses, the glitter of steel through a crack in the closing sky, and the hard snow” – Jack Chambers on The Hart of London

“Jack Chambers’s 80-minute The Hart of London (1970) is a sprawling, ambitious film that combines newsreel footage of disasters, urban and nature imagery, and footage evoking the cycles of life and death. It is one of those rare films that succeeds precisely because of its sprawl; raw and open-ended almost to the point of anticipating the postmodern rejection of “master narratives,” it cannot be reduced to a simple summary, and changes on you from one viewing to the next…” — Fred Camper

Info on the AGO exhibition here; on the McMichael here; and CCCA info on Jack Chambers here.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday December 5, 2011 | 7:30 pm screening, $5 suggested donation

Special thanks to the Art Gallery of Ontario, the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre (CFMDC) and our lovely hosts at the Gladstone Hotel.

Upcoming:
#35 = Monday 16 January 2012 = PUBLIC Journal launch of 2010 Experimental Media Congress issue WITH special EMS screening of a recently restored rarely screened avant garde film!

Hart of London

Hart of London

Hart of London

 

#33 = 11/21/11 = Jack Chambers + Nancy Holt + Robert Smithson

Spiral Jetty

This evening features three films on time and perception by three visual artists who also left their imprints on film. Robert Smithson actively and articulately imagined and wrote about the possibilities of cinema, so it is our pleasure to rescue his film from its usual expository position on a monitor in a museum’s dark corner.

Nancy Holt’s Swamp finds her lost in the reeds of a New Jersey swamp, trying to follow the voice of Smithson as he stays just ahead of her, out of sight. We are confined by her view of the surroundings as she stumbles through the rushes, completely unable to get our bearings in the swirling imagery.

In contrast, Jack Chambers’ Circle stays in one place, the relative placidity of Chambers’ backyard in London, Ontario. The central section of the film consists of a small patch of that yard, filmed every morning for a year. The result vividly marks the changing of the seasons and extrapolates beautifully on the passage of time as an accumulation of mundane moments, each weighted with personal experience.

Finally, Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty is more than a documentary about the making of the eponymous landscape sculpture. Within the film, Smithson is predominantly interested in the scale of time, mapping the elements of the jetty—the mud, salt crystals, rocks, water—back to their Jurassic beginnings. The film is a necessary companion to the sculpture itself, utilizing cinema to articulate how the jetty elongates time’s passage. The majestic final helicopter shot almost asks the question: might the spiral be built from the bones of the dinosaurs?

Programme:
Swamp, Nancy Holt, 1971, 16mm, USA, 6 minutes, sound
Circle, Jack Chambers, 1969, 16mm, Canada, 28 minutes, sound
Spiral Jetty, Robert Smithson, 1970, 16mm, USA, 35 minutes, sound

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday November 21, 2011 | 7:30 pm screening, $5 suggested donation

Circle

Swamp

#32 = 10/17/11 = Robert Banks + Suzanne Naughton

Robert Banks

You Can’t Get a Piece of Mind: a Rockudrama
We’ve finally tracked down that print of Robert Bank’s You Can’t Get a Piece of Mind: a Rockudrama! The 1994 documentary chronicles the musical life of Cleveland musician and eccentric Dan “Supie T” Theman, a Vietnam Veteran-cum-punk rock singer. Shot mostly on expired 16mm reversal film, along with 35mm still photography and super 8mm film, with the sound recorded on salvaged ¼ inch tape, the film was an analogue underground effort to sort fact from fiction regarding the storied  “Supie T”. On the film’s release Banks was criticized for making an exploitative and disturbing portrait of a troubled subject, but he was sincere in his appreciation for his subject. “I loved his music. His music is cool.  Supie just wanted people to hear his jams and have fun, and I tried to capture that on film.”

Preceded by Suzanne Naughton’s classic tribute to the Sex Pistols: Mondo Punk!

Entranced by the beauty of celluloid from a young age Robert Banks has been making formally inventive independent films for twenty years. His award-winning works have screened at film festivals around the world. A graduate of the Cleveland School of the Arts, Banks has taught film courses at Cuyahoga Community College, the Cleveland Institute of Art, and Cleveland State University. He has also worked as a free-lance cinematographer on numerous commercials and music videos, and regularly hosts salon style screenings at his Cleveland studio.

Programme:

Mondo Punk, Suzanne Naughton, 1978, 16mm, Canada, 6 min.
You Can’t Get a Piece of Mind: a Rockudrama, Robert Banks, 1995, 16mm, USA, 58 min.

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel   |  1214 Queen St West
Monday, October 17, 2011 | 8:00 PM screening, $5 suggested donation

Dan "Supie T" Theman

#31 = 9/19/11 = Black Audio Film Collective + Paul Winkler

Black Audio Film Collective

Early Monthly Segments is proud to present a rare 16mm print of Black Audio Film Collective’s Handsworth Songs. The film takes as its point of departure the civil disturbances of September and October 1985 in the Birmingham district of Handsworth and in the urban centres of London. Running throughout Handsworth Songs is the idea that the riots were the outcome of a protracted suppression by British society of black presence. The film portrays civil disorder as an opening onto a secret history of dissatisfaction that is connected to the national drama of industrial decline. The ‘Songs’ of the title do not reference musicality but instead invoke the idea of documentary as a poetic montage of associations from British documentarians John Grierson & Humphrey Jennings.

Preceded by Paul Winkler’s Dark, a heavily-abstracted document of Aboriginal Land Claim demonstrations in the 1970s.

Inaugurated in the UK in 1982 and dissolved in 1998, the seven-person Black Audio Film Collective (BAFC) included John Akomfrah, Reece Auguiste, Edward George, Lina Gopaul, Avril Johnson, David Lawson and Trevor Mathison and produced award winning film, photography, slide, video, installation, posters, interventions: blackaudiofilmcollective.com

Programme:
Handsworth Songs, Black Audio Film Collective, 1986, 16mm, UK, 60 min.
Dark, Paul Winkler, 1974, 16mm, Australia, 19 min.

 

@ The Gladstone Hotel Ballroom | 1214 Queen Street West
Monday, September 19, 2011 | 9 PM screening, $5 – 10 suggested donation

Note: later starting time and different room.

 

Handsworth Songs

Handsworth Songs

Dark

#30 = 8/15/11 = Owen Land Tribute

“Supie T” has gone AWOL.

We are sorry to inform you that due to issues beyond EMS’s control, we are unable to present Robert Banks’s film this coming Monday.

Owen Land

This is not the Culprit. This is Owen Land.

 

Films by Owen Land (1944-2011)

We’ve decided to substitute with an evening to honour the recently departed Owen Land with a program of 5 or 6 16mm films from his extensive oeuvre. You can expect to see Wide Angle Saxon and New Improved Institutional Quality: In the Environment of Liquids and Nasals a Parasitic Vowel Sometimes Develops and hopefully On the Marriage Broker Joke as Cited by Sigmund Freud in Wit and its Relation to the Unconscious or Can the Avant-Garde Artist Be Wholed? and definitely A Film of Their 1973 Spring Tour Commissioned by Christian World Liberation Front of Berkeley California and likely Thank You Jesus for the Eternal Present among others. We hope you will join even though “Supie T” won’t be with us (we hope he will make an appearance this fall!).

Thank you.

Special thanks to CFMDC

“By the way, the film was booed at the Cinematheque and it was cut off before its proper time (twenty-two minutes).  Someone shouted, and he meant it as a joke: ‘Another genius was born tonight at the Cinematheque!’  But I state it here in all seriousness.”
- Jonas Mekas on George Landow aka Owen Land circa 1965
(thanks to Making Light of It for unearthing this quote)

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel   |  1214 Queen St West
Monday, August 15, 2011 | 8:00 PM screening, $5 suggested donation

On the Marriage Broker Joke...

Thank You Jesus for the Eternal Present

#29 = 7/18/11 = Jikagenzo!!!

Climax

Japanese filmmaker Tomonari Nishikawa presents “Traveling Through A Gate and Liquid”, a screening of recent Japanese hand-processed films (Jikagenzo) that he curated for us. He is in town as an artist-in-residence this month at LIFT.

Traveling Through A Gate and Liquid
“Jikagenzo is a Japanese term for ‘hand-processing.’ In Japan, there are only a handful of personal filmmakers who decide to make films this way, processing films and making prints by themselves—often in their kitchens. They hand-process film in order to control the image and to create special visual or sonic effects. Or, they decide to process and print films to save money on laboratory fees. Traveling Through A Gate and Liquid consists of seven films, which are all hand-processed. Some of them express memories of life, and others focus on the film’s materiality and the various visual effects achieved through hand-processing.

The program begins with Tokunaga’s Ei, which shows a gathering during Obon, a season where families visit ancestors’ graves. Oshima’s Instant Souvenirs displays a series of old Polaroid pictures while Pilg Image of Time shows Ota manipulating time through time-lapse photography. Noto’s France as a Dream is based on his dream when he was coming back from his first trip to France, while in Sueoka’s Sinking Away, a found footage film is re-photographed to obtain visual effects that match the movements of a sailboat. In Fog is an abstract film by Mizuyoshi, creating visual and sound from images that may be considered as mistakes, and the program ends with Tamaki’s Climax, which shows his interests in the materiality of the film medium.” – notes by Tomonari Nishikawa

Programme:

Ei, Saika Tokunaga, 2010, Super 8, Japan, 3 min.
Instant Souvenirs, Keitaro Oshima, 2009, 16mm, Japan, 9 min. silent
PILG IMAGE of TIME, Yo Ota, 2008, 16mm, France/Japan, 14 min.
France as a Dream, Masaru Noto, 2009, 16mm, France/Japan, 6 min. silent
Sinking Away, Ichiro Sueoka, 2005, 16mm, Japan, 3 min. silent
In Fog, Akira Mizuyoshi, 2010, 16mm, Japan, 6 min.
Climax, Shinkan Tamaki, 2008, 16mm, Japan, 3 min. silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday, July 18, 2011 | 8:00 PM screening, $5 suggested donation

Ei

Sinking Away

In Fog

#28 = 6/6/11 = Jaap Pieters: The Eye of Amsterdam

Jaap Pieters

Dutch artist Jaap Pieters is a stalwart specialist of Super 8mm filmmaking, creating dozens of films on the small-gauge “amateur” medium over the course of three decades. Confining himself to the duration of a 3-minute Super 8 reel, working with minimal equipment and manipulation, most of Pieters’s films are shot from the window of his Amsterdam apartment and concentrate on a single subject – unusual happenings on the sidewalk, or the recurring appearance of peculiar individuals. Well-known in Europe where his films are seen regularly at a bewildering variety of microcinemas and alternative venues as well as at major festivals such as the IFF Rotterdam, Pieters’s ephemeral creations rarely find their way to North American screens. We are pleased to present an extensive selection of Jaap Pieters’s films, chosen by the filmmaker himself to fit the occasion and enlivened by the presence and commentary of the artist. (Notes from Media City catalogue).

Special thanks to Jeremy Rigsby and Oona Mosna, Media City Film Festival.
Jaap Pieters North American tour organized by Media City and presented in co-operation with Double Negative (Montréal) and Early Monthly Segments (Toronto)

Programme:
The Eye of Amsterdam, Jaap Pieters, Super 8, various years, 90 minutes with live narration

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday, June 6, 2011 | 8:00 PM screening, $5 suggested donation

De Blikjesman

Jimmy's Ballet

#27 = 5/16/11 = To What Earth Does This Sweet Cold Belong?

And We All Shine On

Co-presented with The Power Plant

Now in the Gladstone Ballroom!

Asked by The Power Plant’s Assistant Curator Jon Davies to respond to the exhibition he has curated, To What Earth Does This Sweet Cold Belong?, we assembled a program of 16mm films (old and new) that reinterpret the geometry of landscape and mediate the natural world in distinctive ways. Processing and refracting their surroundings, these filmmakers evoke specters of land, sea and sky through a variety of techniques including hand processing, animation, found-footage montage and dazzling experiments with light and colour. Dynamically poised between representation and abstraction, these landscapes of the imagination chart topographies both external and internal.

More information on the exhibition here.

 

Programme:
Radio Dynamics, Oskar Fischinger, 1943, 16mm, USA, 4 min.
Hotel Cartograph, Scott Stark, 1983, 16mm, USA, 12 min.
Untitled (Objects 3), Sophie Michael, 2008, 16mm, UK, 3 min.
And We All Shine On, Michael Robinson, 2006, 16mm, USA, 7 min.
Circa 1960, Chris Curreri, 2005, 16mm, Canada, 6 min.
Fuji, Robert Breer, 1974, 16mm, USA, 8.5 min.
Moment Musical, Bruce Checefsky, 2008, 16mm, USA, 6 min.
Calculated Movements, Larry Cuba, 1985, 16mm, USA, 6 min.
The Zone of the Total Eclipse, Mika Taanila, 2006, double 16mm, Finland, 2006, 6 min.

@ Gladstone Hotel, Ballroom! | 1214 Queen St West
Monday, May 16, 2011 | 8:00 PM screening, $5 suggested donation

Untitled (Objects 3)

Circa 1960

Hotel Cartograph

Thanks to Canyon Cinema, Light Cone, Chicago Filmmakers and The Gladstone Hotel.

 

#28 = Monday 6/6/11 = Jaap Pieters in person!

April Break = Gone Fishin’

Due to post-Images Fest recuperation, EMS has decided to take a break for the month of April.
Our April 18 screening is canceled.

We will be back on Monday, May 16 for a program that ties-in with the To What Earth Does This Sweet Cold Belong? exhibition at the Power Plant. More info on this website shortly.

 

Enrico Mandirola

For those jonesing for some good ol’ 16mm film, please join us Friday, April 15 in the audience of Enrico Mandirola’s screening and artist talk. The Bogota based filmmaker will be showing new work that he made during his LIFT residency. April 15, 8pm at Cinecycle. More info on the LIFT website.

#26 = 3/21/11 = 2nd Anniversary = Nathaniel Dorsky

A Fall Trip Home

In celebration of our second year of programming we are delighted to focus on the early work of a filmmaker who we have found inspiring as viewers, programmers and artists. This month we turn our attention to the first three films of Nathaniel Dorsky, an artist celebrated for his subtle eye, his attention to film as a language and his meticulous editing. In addition to this early trilogy, we present Ariel, a rare film that finds him using hand-processing as a visual language.

Dorsky’s trilogy on adolescensce was made when he was twenty and twenty-one years of age before he moved from New York to San Francisco. The sensual Ingreen was shot by a twenty-year old Dorsky in his hometown of Milburn, New Jersey and suggests his wrestling with his sexuality and his sense of living in a closed environment. Summerwind and A Fall Trip Home also evoke summer life in Dorsky’s childhood hometown.‘Forgetting its psychological plot, A Fall Trip Home is a fine exponent of the intrinsic magical power of cinema. Its images, which evolve in a rather unmagical sober suburb, are continually transcended and manipulated into a kind of epic haiku of superimpositions and textural weavings.’ –Jerome Hiler

Ariel was made in a period when Dorsky was paying particular attention to the individual qualities of various film stocks (another film from this period, Pneuma, consists of fields of film grain of out-of-date film stocks, processed without being exposed). Under the tutelage of fellow film artist, Janis Crystal Lipzin, Dorsky learned and developed new hand-processing techniques to which he subjected this film. The result is Ariel, one of his more visually abstract but no less vibrant films—lush with colour and motion…a lovely complement to his emotionally compelling early trilogy.

Programme:
Ingreen, Nathaniel Dorsky, 1964, 16mm, USA, 12 minutes
A Fall Trip Home, Nathaniel Dorsky, 1964, 16mm, USA, 11 minutes
Summerwind, Nathaniel Dorsky, 1965, 16mm, USA, 14 minutes
Ariel, Nathaniel Dorsky, 1983, 16mm, USA, 16 minutes, silent

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Monday March 21, 2011 | 7:30pm screening, $5 suggested donation

#25 = 2/21/11 = James Broughton + Sidney Peterson

The Cage

“The connections may or may not be rational. In an intentionally realistic work the question of rationality is not a consideration.” – Sidney Peterson

Early Monthly Segments is excited to present three films from the 1940s by West Coast artists James Broughton and Sidney Peterson. Often called “the father of West Coast independent cinema,” Broughton (1913-1999) considered himself a poet first and foremost, and his films are recognized for their lyrical styles and for mixing poetry with film. Peterson (1905-2000) was a sculptor, writer and painter. Both artists taught at the San Francisco Art Institute (at that time the California School of Fine Arts), where Peterson founded the first filmmaking courses. Mother’s Day opens with a startling image, a send-up of the Pieta with a hapless man being cradled by a statue, one of a multiplicity of strange “mothers” in the film. This anti-tribute to Mother envisions Father as mostly a face in a frame, staring blankly, and children as childlike adults, mindlessly playing hopscotch and shooting squirt guns. Peterson describes The Potted Psalm as “Vertical pans, rhythmic movements, fetishes, but more importantly, freedom, the liberty to see what happens… A film that grows organically, without any rational connections, always human… …Something that is perfectly natural, but beyond anatomy.” “In the neosurreal The Cage an artist (played by two different actors) removes his eye in an attempt to stop seeing conventionally…a deranged romp through SF that includes reverse motion, anamorphic squeezing, inanimate objects that move & narrative ruptures.” – Fred Camper.

“These images are meant to play not on our rational senses, but on the infinite universe of ambiguity within us.” – Sidney Peterson

Programme:
The Potted Psalm, Sidney Peterson + James Broughton, 1946, 16mm, 25 min, B&W, silent, USA
The Cage, Sidney Peterson, 1947, 16mm, 25 minutes, B&W, silent, USA
Mother’s Day, James Broughton, 1948, 16mm, 15 min, B&W, USA

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Monday 21 February 2011 | 7:30 pm screening

Potted Psalm

Mother's Day

#24 = 1/24/11 = Peter Watkins + Brian Frye

Culloden

Note: Early Monthly Segments kicks off the new year with a new night (Monday)!

Peter Watkins’ film Culloden is based on John Prebble’s account of the brief and bloody battle that ended the Jacobite uprising in April 1746. Prebble’s book relies on first person descriptions of the battle by soldiers and officers from both sides, civilian witnesses, and official documents from the time of the battle. He also provides accounts of the subsequent murder, rape and deportation of Scots Highlanders who fought for, or were perceived to be allied with Charles Edward Stuart against William Augustus, Duke of Cumberland.

Made for BBC television and aired in 1964, Culloden was Watkins first feature film and was groundbreaking in its use of non-actors, cinema-verité cinematography and television news style reporting to depict a historical subject. These techniques were to become Watkins’ signature in subsequent projects and are consistent with Prebble’s intention of creating a peoples history written from within the event.  The anachronistic interruptions of reporters interviewing participants on both sides of the battle both distance and engage the viewer, enhancing the intimacy of the personal accounts while pointing to the artificiality of the re-enactment. Approaching history the same way as the BBC might then have treated current events allows Watkins to underline persistent truths around the futility and brutality of armed conflict, especially for those who are most likely to suffer the most devastating consequences.

Brian Frye’s film Across the Rappahannock documents a reenactment of a civil war battle. His silent observation is more subtle than polemical, serving as an erie window on a brutal time. Frye writes, “In November 2001, I attended a small and relatively informal reenactment of the battle of Fredericksburg. About a hundred men and women did their best to illustrate the actions of the thousands of young men who offered their lives a century earlier. An air of absurd theater suffused the entire event, which provided the ground for its peculiar truth. Everyone played their part exceedingly honestly and well, and left something on the film I was myself surprised to find there.”

Programme:
Culloden, Peter Watkins, 1964, 16mm, b&w, 75 minutes
Across the Rappanhock, Brian Frye, 2002, 16mm, color, silent, 11 minutes

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Monday January 24, 2011 | 7:30pm screening

Across the Rappahannock

Culloden

#23 = 12/16/10 = Will Munro Memorial Fundraiser


Will Munro


Genet, Hammer, Tartaglia, Cole/Dale, Chomont and special surprises!
A fundraiser for the Will Munro fund for queer + trans people with cancer

Early Monthly Segments is paying tribute to Will Munro, Toronto’s catalyst of queer and underground cultures who died this past May after living two years with cancer. With a keen eye focused on her/histories of queer cultures, Will loved sharing music, film + art through his multitude of interests and non-stop energy, including his own artistic practices, many dance nights and co-ownership of restaurant/club The Beaver. Will is dearly missed.

We will be sharing a program of some of Will’s favourite films including Jean Genet’s seminal Un Chant d’amour (he named his legendary Vaseline club night after Genet’s “The Thief’s Journal”) as well as the rarely screened Ecce Homo by Jerry Tartaglia which uses Genet’s film to explore the criminalization of gay sexuality at the height of AIDS hysteria. Two films by Tom Chomont (who sadly also passed away this summer) selected by EMS compliment Will’s favourites and present lush superimposed scenes of lusty exploration.

Programme:
Un Chant d’amour, Jean Genet, 1950, 16mm, France, 26 minutes, silent, B&W
Ecce Homo, Jerry Tartaglia, 1991, 16mm, USA, 7 minutes, colour
Dyketactics, Barbara Hammer, 1974, 16mm, USA, 4 minutes, colour
Minimum Charge, No Cover, Janis Cole/Holly Dale, 1976, 16mm, Canada, 11 min, colour
Oblivion, Tom Chomont, 1969, 16mm, USA, 6 minutes, silent
Razorhead, Tom Chomont, 1981, 16mm, USA, 4 minutes, silent
** AND OTHER SURPRISES! *

* FOLLOWED BY ARTIST RUN CENTRE HOLIDAY PARTY **

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Thursday December 16, 2010 | 7:30pm, $5-10 suggested donation
All proceeds donated to the Will Munro Fund for Queer + Trans people with cancer

Ecco Homo

Un Chant d’amour

Minimum Cover No Charge

Oblivion

Thanks to CFMDC + Lightcone + the Gladstone Hotel.

#22 = 11/16/10 = Chick Strand

Chick Strand

Early Monthly Segments is excited to be able to present three films by the late great
Chick Strand, a founding figure of the West Coast film scene. Strand, a key figure of truly independent American film who died last year at the age of 77, left a remarkable legacy: in addition to her almost 20 films, she was a co-founder (with Bruce Baillie) of Canyon Cinema and a teacher at Occidental College in Los Angeles. Her works range from lyrical film poems to deft documentary explorations of inter-personal and cross-cultural relationships. The three films in this programme display some of the breadth and depth of her skills. Waterfall and Angel Blue Sweet Wings are what Strand called ‘film poems’, celebrating both the human form and the medium of film. Soft Fiction is a series of five film portraits that explore the complicated convergence of sexual desire, pleasure, pain, exploitation and enlightenment. As radical and shocking today as it must have been on its completion in 1979, Soft Fiction is a rare example of a film which shows women not just as passive victims of sexual exploitation, but as critical participants who are able to use the knowledge and understanding gained from extreme experiences to transcend pain with wit and grace.

Programme:
Angel Blue Sweet Wings, Chick Strand, 1966, 16mm, USA, 3 minutes, colour
Waterfall, Chick Strand, 1967, 16mm, USA, 3 minutes, colour
Soft Fiction, Chick Strand, 1979, 16mm, USA, 54 minutes, B&W

@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday November 16, 2010 | 7:30pm screening, $5 suggested donation

Angel Blue Sweet Wings

Soft Fiction

Angel Blue Sweet Wings

Special thanks to Irina Leimbacher, Canyon Cinema and the Gladstone Hotel.

#21 = 10/19/10 = Paul Sharits + Peter Gidal

Volcano

Paul Sharits and Peter Gidal are the most iconoclastic of filmmakers, reducing the image to pure swathes of color, motion or grain. However their work still resonates with powerful statements on the possibilities and problems of the moving picture.

Sharits’ dynamic and monomaniacal S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED, made after the color field flicker films that he’s most famous for, moves from the atomistic patterns of those films to a vivid conceptualization of visual flow. In S:S:S:S:S:S, the dissolving images of a bubbling river are slowly obliterated by random horizontal tape splices (dams) and vertical emulsion scratches that run along the whole film. The film frame that we hold as a static reference point for vision gives way to the primacy of the constant motion of the filmstrip through the projector. “A conceptual lap dissolve from “water currents” to “film strip current” / Dedicated to my son, Christopher.” – Paul Sharits

Peter Gidal’s Volcano is a late period reassertion of the focus of much of his filmic concerns: the problem of representation, recognition and identification. Gidal uses a trip to Hawaii to further deconstruct what it means for a viewer to view. Using the natural tendency towards abstraction that the shifting of rock and lava create, Gidal asks us how we can construct coherence from the limited picture his camera provides of the scene. By reducing the visual context, he forces us to ask ourselves how we construct a sense of place out of cinematic cues.

Programme:
Volcano, Peter Gidal, 2002, 16mm, UK, 25 min.
S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED, Paul Sharits, 1968-1970, 16mm, USA, 42 min.
@ Gladstone Hotel, Art Bar | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday October 19, 2010 | 7:30pm screening, $5 suggested donation

Volcano

S:TREAM:S:S:ECTION:S:ECTION:S:S:ECTIONED

Volcano

Special thanks CFMDC and the Gladstone Hotel. Volcano images courtesy Peter Gidal and LUX.

#20 = 9/21/10 = Lawrence Brose’s De Profundis

De Profundis

A FUNDRAISER FOR THE LAWRENCE BROSE LEGAL DEFENSE FUND

Buffalo-based filmmaker, curator and arts advocate Lawrence Brose’s landmark De Profundis is a 65-minute meditation on gay desire based on Oscar Wilde’s infamous prison letter presented via lush hand-processed imagery. The film utilizes vintage erotica, home movies, radical faerie gatherings, pagan rituals and drag shows alongside a piano score by Frederic Rzewski which incorporates Wilde’s text as a means of exploring assimilation and sexuality through hand painted frames and manipulation. The result is an exploding utopia of colour and a layered but equally privileged soundscape. A simply haunting work of terrifying beauty.

Recently the film has come under scrutiny by the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Justice Department as Brose now faces serious charges for allegedly possessing illicit digital images. One hundred of the listed images in the charges are film frames from De Profundis. The fact that he is under indictment for using images made by others to examine the taboos that such laws are meant to prevent is as overreaching as it is disturbing. This prosecution should be viewed as a challenge to artistic freedom, brought by a U.S. Attorney’s office that previously unsuccessfully prosecuted Critical Art Ensemble founder Steve Kurtz.

This screening is a fundraiser for Brose’s legal defense fund.
If travel restrictions are lifted we look forward to welcoming him in person at the screening.
For more information and to donate please visit lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com

Programme:
De Profundis, Lawrence Brose, 1997, 16mm, 65 minutes, USA
Music: Frederic Rzewski, with additional compositions by Lawrence Brose and Douglas Cohen

@ Gladstone Hotel, 2nd Floor | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday September 21, 2010 | 8:00pm screening, $5-10 suggested donation

De Profundis

De Profundis

De Profundis

De Profundis

#19 = 8/17/10 = Robert Flaherty + Kevin Jerome Everson

Half On Half Off

Louisiana Story

Five months and an estimated 4.9 million barrels of oil spilled since the Deepwater Horizon blowout in the Gulf of Mexico, Early Monthly Segments presents two distinct visions of the impact of the oil industry to the region and its inhabitants. Louisiana Story is Robert Flaherty’s 1948 feature narrative film in which a boy and his pet raccoon serve as witness to the risks and benefits of exploratory drilling to his bayou home. Compromised from the start—the film was a commission for the Standard Oil Company—the film nonetheless provides glimpses of truth beneath the gloss. Shot on location by a young Richard Leacock using local inhabitants as actors, the film contrasts the lush biodiversity of the region, with the mechanical might of the rig and its machinery, finding formal beauty in both. The film is also notable for it’s masterful editing by Helen van Dongen, and Virgil Thompson’s Pulitzer Prize winning score.

Kevin Jerome Everson’s Half On Half Off shows a team of workers on Pensacola Beach, Florida dealing with the aftermath of the recent Deepwater Horizon Spill. Everson shot the film one frame at a time, compressing hours of work onto a single 3-minute roll of film. The title refers to the work schedule of the cleaners, who work in half-hour shifts punctuated with rests of the same length. In both films work and life continue after the drilling stops, as does the question of the hidden price of the lifestyle we’ve come to take for granted.

Programme:
Half On Half Off, Kevin Jerome Everson, 16mm, 2010, USA 3 min.
Louisiana Story, Robert Flaherty, 16mm, 1948, USA 78 min.

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday August 17, 2010 | 8:00pm screening

UPCOMING: Our September 21 program will feature De Profundis by Lawrence Brose, based on Oscar Wilde’s prison writings. It will be a fundraiser for the Lawrence Brose Legal Defense Fund (http://lawrencebroselegaldefensefund.com). More info soon.

Louisiana Story

Half On Half Off

Louisiana Story

#18 = 7/20/10 = Babette Mangolte

Babette Mangolte’s The Sky on Location

The Sky on Location

French-born Babette Mangolte is perhaps best known for her work as a cinematographer for Chantal Akerman and Yvonne Rainer during their notable run of experimental narrative films produced in the Seventies. Mangolte’s firm camera placements contributed to an aesthetic of long-takes and stylistic minimalism designed to counter the male subjectivity, or gaze, of commercial narrative cinema. Mangolte’s The Sky on Locationfurther explores the subjectivity of vision with a personal essay on the American landscape of the West, attempting to see how our cultural constructs shape the way we see the natural world.

“The landscape is not seen in its postcardish grandeur as captured in the photographs of Ansel Adams, nor through its shapes as in paintings by Cezanne or Constable, but rather the film captures the mood of the landscape as in a Turner painting. The film attempts to construct a geography of the land from North to South, East to West and season-to-season through colors instead of maps”. – BM

Programme:
The Sky on Location, Babette Mangolte, 16mm, 1982, USA 78 min.

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday July 20, 2010 | 8:00pm screening

The Sky on Location

#17 = 7/6/10 = Naomi Uman in person!

Kalendar

Kalendar

We are very please to welcome Naomi Uman to town to present films from her recent series, The Ukrainian Time Machine. These films developed out of her decision to return to her ancestral home in the Ukraine to live. The films follow her process of assimilation into a small aging community in rural Ukraine—a process that includes learning the language and customs and connecting across very different cultural experiences. As revealed in her previous films Leche and Mala Leche, which focused on Mexican immigrants in California’s Central Valley, Uman has an eye for the agrarian labour practices that are often unknown parts of a country’s economy. Her life in Legedzine, Ukraine reveals an even more localized food chain and her films follow the labour of the harvest, the necessary pickling to withstand the winter season, and the social occasions of the meal. As a result, the films in The Ukrainian Time Machine are beautiful portraits of the process of creating a home amongst new neighbors and the traditions of village life in modern Ukraine.

Programme:
Selections from The Ukrainian Time Machine:
Kalendar, Naomi Uman, 16mm, 2008, Ukraine/USA 11 mins
The Unnamed Film, Naomi Uman, 16mm, 2008, Ukraine/USA 55 mins
On This Day, Naomi Uman, 16mm, 2008, Ukraine/USA 4 mins
Clay, Naomi Uman, 16mm, 2008, Ukraine/USA 15 mins

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West

Tuesday July 6, 2010 | 8:00pm screening

The Unnamed Film

The Unnamed Film

#16 = 6/14/10 = Robert Gardner + David Rimmer

Robert Gardner

Robert Gardner

The films of Robert Gardner have a controversial place in the genre they are most often situated – that of the ethnographic film. This is largely due to the poetry that he injects into a field that favours scientific methodology over aesthetic qualities. Indeed, Gardner’s lush and detailed camerawork owes as much to his desire for precise documentation as it does to his commitment to film as an art form (a commitment he most notably publicized in his longstanding Boston television series, The Screening Room, which featured hour-long discussions with film artists like Hollis Frampton, Jonas Mekas and Yvonne Rainer).

Dead Birds is perhaps his most challenging film, both in its production and reception. Made in the heart of the Cold War, Gardner and his small crew of anthropologists (including the ill-fated Michael Rockefeller) engaged with the Dani people of Dutch New Guinea to study the ritualized warfare practice they had developed in isolation over thousands of years. Perhaps overburdened with the weight of a culture threatened with nuclear annihilation and looking for clues amongst the stone age it may return to, Dead Birds is an investigation suffused with a graceful formal beauty, from the way in which Gardner maps out the space of a battlefield to his focused attention on the intimate spaces where we encounter the more lasting rituals of day to day life.

Programme:
Treefall, David Rimmer, 16mm, 1970, Canada, 5 min.
Dead Birds, Robert Gardner, 16mm, 1964, USA, 83 min.

@  Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West

NOTE: Monday night screening

Monday, June 14, 2010, 8:00pm screening

Dead Birds

Dead Birds

Treefall

Treefall

Dead Birds

#15 = 5/18/10 = Eisenstein Accompanied

eisenstein

Sergei Eisenstein

We celebrate the month of May with a special screening of Sergei Eisenstein’s Strike, a classic work of modernist montage, accompanied by local composer and musician Allison Cameron.

@  Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West

NOTE: Screening is on the 2nd Floor Landing

Tuesday May 18, 2010
8:00pm screening

Strike

Strike

Strike

Strike

#14 = 4/12/10 = Ellie Epp in person!

trapline

trapline

We’re extremely excited to be able to host filmmaker Ellie Epp in person to present her films. These four films are classic touchstones of Canadian filmmaking, with a formal beauty that enhances their sense of landscape, vision and place. From trapline, her stunning portrait of an indoor swimming pool (inspired in part by her own immersion in the London Experimental Film Congress of 1972) to bright and dark, an alchemical look at her trip south to San Diego where she now lives, her films resonate with an exacting elegance.

“…Close attention is intensely active. Receiving a touch is as active as giving it – sometimes more active, more skilled and more consequential. Erotic attention isn’t an empty bowl touch is poured or pushed into; it is more like a living antenna with a million fibers actively searching the space of the touch for its shape and meaning.” – Ellie Epp

Programme:
trapline, Ellie Epp, 16mm, 1976, Canada, 18 min.
current, Ellie Epp, 16mm, 1986, Canada, 3 min.
notes in origin, Ellie Epp, 16mm, 1987, Canada, 15 min.
bright and dark, Ellie Epp, 16mm, 1996, Canada/USA, 3 min.

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Monday April 12, 2010 8:00pm screening, $5

notes in origin

notes in origin

bright and dark

bright and dark

current

current

#13 = 3/16/10 = 1st Year Anniversary = Robert Beavers

Robert Beavers, in Early Monthly Segments

Robert Beavers, in Early Monthly Segments

In celebration of a year’s worth of programming we are delighted to present an evening of films by Robert Beavers, the artist from whom we borrowed our name. None of Beavers films are distributed in North America, so this is a rare opportunity to view these works.

Early Monthly Segments is composed of a series of short films and fragments shot between 1967 and 1970. These films lay the foundation for Beavers’ film practice over the subsequent decades in terms of structure and technique as well as content. The physical nature of the camera, its optical elements and the nature of the filmstrip itself are as much a part of the work as its images of places, autobiographical elements and portraits.

In The Painting, Beavers juxtaposes shots of Martyrdom of Saint Hippolytus altarpiece, by an unidentified Flemish artist with an intersection in Bern and images of Gregory Markopoulos and himself. He describes the film as using “the theme of tearing as an emblem of intense emotion” to illustrate “the unity of destruction and unity.” This could also serve as a description of the filmmaking process in which images are taken apart then reconstructed in the process of editing.

Pitcher of Colored Light, Beavers’ most recent film is a portrait of his mother and her surroundings. This film shows remarkable refinement in its construction, the structure and logic combined seamlessly with the photography and subject of the film. “Pitcher alights on various motifs (sun-dappled grass, household ceramics, a cat on a couch, silvery hair) only to pan, fade, lurch, or glide off subject in a continuous act of readjusted attention…. Beavers’ mesh of images are impelled by emotional, not just formal, necessity.” Nathan Lee (Village Voice)

Check out the advance review at Toronto Film Scene!

Programme
Early Monthly Segments (1968-2002,16mm, color, silent, 33 minutes)
The Painting (1972/1999, 16mm, color, sound 13 minutes)
Pitcher of Colored Light (2007, 16mm, color, sound, 23 minutes) Canadian Premiere!

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday March 16, 2010 | 7:30 pm screening, $5

#12 = 2/16/10 = Marjorie Keller

Marjorie Keller

Marjorie Keller

Marjorie Keller’s Fallen World

Experimental filmmaker, author, activist, film scholar, and cultural worker Marjorie Keller (1950-1994) created a uniquely personal and feminist body of work for twenty years beginning in the early 1970s. Keller also served on the board of directors of the Collective for Living Cinema, was the founding editor of their journal, Motion Picture from 1984 to 1987 and was Director of the New York Filmmakers Cooperative in the late 1980s. Writer J. Hoberman called her “an unselfish champion of the avant-garde.”  Her films deftly combine home movie and diary styles through a potent politicized lens.  Herein (1991), Keller’s final film, charts the movement from political activism to filmmaking through the metaphor of a dwelling. An FBI film obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, Emma Goldman’s autobiography, the making of films on the Lower East Side, street prostitution & drug addiction, all inflect the sense of place, space & history. The Fallen World (1983) is an elegy for a Newfoundland dog named Melville and a portrait of his owner. Daughters of Chaos (1980) “…deals simultaneously with girls becoming women and a woman looking back on her childhood. It is pervaded with voluptuousness, with longing: the woman, disappointed in love, looking for lost innocence, the girl yearning for the power of her sex.” -Anne Becker

Programme:
Daughters of Chaos, Marjorie Keller, 16mm, 1980, USA, 20 minutes
The Fallen World, Marjorie Keller, 16mm, 1983, USA, 9 minutes
Herein, Marjorie Keller, 16mm, 1991, USA, 35 minutes

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel   |  1214 Queen St West
Tuesday February 16, 2010  |  7:30 pm screening, $5

keller-postcard

Daughters of Chaos

Daughters of Chaos

Daughters of Chaos

Daughters of Chaos

Daughters of Chaos

#11 = 1/19/10 = James Benning + Nicky Hamlyn

James Benning

James Benning

A transitional film at the end of his first decade of filmmaking, James Benning’s Grand Opera introduces a degree of storytelling to his previously more formalist devices. Benning calls the film his “first attempt at writing my own kind of history” and, in a sense, it also serves to write himself into history, acutely measuring his place as a Midwestern experimental filmmaker, then based in Oklahoma, in relationship to the avant-garde scene situated in New York. The film thus features homages to the prominent experimental cinema of the time, including a spoof of Wavelength, as well as cameos from Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton and Yvonne Rainer. Woven with these sequences are other characteristic Benning gambits – a compilation of every house he ever lived in, a preoccupation with the history of Pi, and the looming threat that a building will explode.

Programme:
Grand Opera: An Historical Romance, 16mm, 1979, USA, 84 mins, colour
Film by James Benning
featuring Michael Snow, Hollis Frampton,
George Landow, Sadie Benning and Yvonne Rainer

Screened with: Poles Apart, Nicky Hamlyn, Regular 8mm, 1990, UK, 4 minutes

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel   |  1214 Queen St West
Tuesday January 19, 2010  |  7:30 pm screening, $5

Grand Opera

Michael Snow in Grand Opera

Michael Snow in Grand Opera

#10 = 12/15/09 = Chris Marker + Stan Brakhage + Joyce Wieland + Joseph Cornell

Chris Marker

Chris Marker

Cats, Birds and the Cosmos

This cinematic 24-hours starts at dawn in Beijing in 1956 and winds up with sunrise in Ontario in 1972. In Sunday in Peking (1956) Chris Marker describes a day in the life of the city that he had dreamed of since childhood. Reflecting on the exotic, the ordinary, and his own role in interpreting the place, this 16mm postcard is an early example of the form for which Marker was to become known. By Night With Torch and Spear, Joseph Cornell’s uncanny collage of educational films, explores the industrious nature of both man and moth. Discovered after Cornell’s death and preserved by Anthology Film Archives in 1979 it is a classic of perplexing power. Stellar (1993) is Stan Brakhage’s evocation of outer and inner space. The optical printing of Brakhage’s long time collaborator Sam Bush further animates the painted frames to creating movement in new directions. Back on earth, Los Angeles alley cats are the subject of Brakhage’s rarely screened Night Cats (1956). Shot in 1972 and completed in 1986, Joyce Wieland’s Birds at Sunrise is a subtle study of the birds at her backyard feeder one winter morning. Wieland was moved by the creatures’ ability to survive the extreme elements, and communicates the feeling through her sympathetic camera work and deft editing.

Additional cosmic surprises await!

Programme

Dimanche à Pekin (Sunday in Peking), Chris Marker, 1956, 22 min, 16mm
By Night With Torch and Spear, Joseph Cornell, preserved 1979, 9 min, 16mm
Stellar, Stan Brakhage, 1993, 3 minutes, 16mm
Night Cats, Stan Brakhage, 1956, 8 min, 16mm
Birds at Sunrise, Joyce Wieland, 1972/1986, 16mm, 10 min

***NOTE EARLIER START TIME***
@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen West
Tuesday December 15, 2009  |  7:00 PM screening, $5

Birds at Sunrise

Birds at Sunrise

By Night With Torch and Spear

By Night With Torch and Spear

#9 = 11/17/09 = Robert Todd in person

Rose

Rose

Robert Todd is the most prolific of filmmakers, completing forty films in the last ten years alone. Trained as a painter, Todd carefully observes his Boston surroundings and re-presents them to us with an astute sense of form. His films are works of magnification, employing macro-focus lenses, and an eye for detail that bring us closer to levels of reality we often miss. His films can reveal the forgotten beauty of the natural world or the hidden stillness in busy parts of the city. The works in this program date from the last three years and wrestle with themes such as the corporeal elements of the body; places and moments of passage; and the fleeting glimpses of, or hauntings by, spirit.

Special thanks to Ben Donaghue and LIFT for helping to make this event possible*.

Programme:
Interplay, Robert Todd, 16mm, 2006, USA, 6.5 min.
Qualities of Stone, Robert Todd, 16mm, 2006, USA, 11 min.
Dig, Robert Todd, 16mm, 2007, USA, 3 min.
Passing, Robert Todd, 16mm, 2008, USA, 4 min.
Antechamber, Robert Todd, 16mm, 2008, USA, 12 min.
Rose, Robert Todd, 16mm, 2008, USA, 9 min.
Repair, Robert Todd, 16mm, 2009, USA, 15 min.

+ night side, Rebecca Meyers, 16mm, 2009, USA, 4.5 min. (invited by Robert Todd)

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday November 17, 2009 | 7:30pm screening, $5

Repair

Repair

Interplay

Interplay

Qualities of Stone

Qualities of Stone

*Robert Todd’s Stable will be showing at a LIFT screening November 21 at Trash Palace,
89-B Niagara Street (Just West of Bathurst). More info at www.lift.on.ca

#8 = 10/20/09 = Brent Coughenour in person + Bruce Baillie + Kenneth Anger

Brent Coughenour

Brent Coughenour

Tuesday 20 October 2009 = 7:30 PM
**NOTE EARLIER start time**

In an effort to improve its image for the nationwide attention brought to the city by the hosting of the 2006 Super Bowl, the city of Detroit began demolishing long-vacant buildings, hastening the natural slow  decay caused by decades of industrial collapse. As the city dismantles itself, clues to its past resurface. Collections of scraps sifted from  rubble—an archeology of unanswered questions—combine to tell a  surrogate narrative filled with missing pieces and forgotten motives, old letters, photographs, and home movies. Fractured moments occurring on one summer day echo events from thirty years earlier.  The day is sunny, but it is humid, and clouds are gathering.  It is going to rain. – Brent Coughenour

“Like the pieces of a puzzle, I PITY THE FOOL gradually accrues more elements as it goes on: fragments of narrative combine with other fragments that at first have no obvious connection. As opposed to story-lines in many feature-length films that gradually tie up and resolve their different threads, the focus of the film continues to broaden and expand, becoming more complex, open-ended and mysterious. Undertaking a kind of archaeological search for things nearly recent and long past, the film attempts to re-capture the marginalized and defiantly minor histories of [the city’s] forgotten tenants . . . . I PITY THE FOOL is essential viewing to anyone interested in, among other things, urban space, post-industrial landscapes, psychogeography, found objects, DIY filmmaking, super 8, experimental  narrative, and radical film form.” — Luke Sieczek, Northwest Film Forum

Brent Coughenour is a film-and videomaker whose work has dealt largely with various attempts at exploring narrative cinematic language outside the boundaries of a traditional dependence on drama and plot. He has presented his work at a variety of festivals and venues throughout the U.S. and internationally, including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, Media City Film and Video Festival, Antimatter Underground Film Festival, Onion City Film and Video Festival, Experimental Film and Video Festival in Seoul, and Ann Arbor Film Festival. His most recent work incorporates computer programming for audio and video manipulation into projects designed for live performance.
He is also an occasional member of the Milwaukee Laptop Orchestra (MiLO).

Programme:

I Pity The Fool, Brent Coughenour, 2007, 83 mins, Super 8 [presented on video]
Director in person.

Castro Street, Bruce Baillie, 1965, 10 mins, 16mm
Kustom Kar Kommandos, Kenneth Anger, 1966, 4 mins, 16mm

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
Tuesday 20 October 2009, 7:30pm screening

I Pity the Fool

I Pity the Fool

Kustom Kar Kommandos

Kustom Kar Kommandos

Castro Street

Castro Street

#7 = 9/29/09 = Marlon Riggs + Warren Sonbert + Nikolai Ursin

Marlon Riggs

Marlon Riggs

Made by Marlon Riggs in 1989, Tongues Untied has lost none of its power since its original release 20 years ago. Immediately reviled and repudiated by white fundamentalists and black activists alike and more or less rejected by the broadcasters for whom it was made, the film has nonetheless become a milestone in independent cinema. As uncompromising in form as it is in content, Tongues Untied combines dance, poetry, performance, interviews and historical reenactment in its exploration of how it is to be both black and gay. While the film’s enduring beauty is the result of Riggs’ intelligence in the handling of his medium, its continuing political relevance is a sad testament to the intransigence of both racism and homophobia, even in these supposedly more progressive times. Sadly, Riggs succumbed to AIDS in 1994 but not before delivering a body of work that, in his own words “delivers a frank, uncensored, uncompromising articulation of an autonomously defined self and social identity.”

Programme:
Tongues Untied, Marlon Riggs, 1989, 16mm, colour/B&W, sound, 55 minutes
Short Fuse, Warren Sonbert, 1992, 16mm, colour, sound, 32 minutes
Behind Every Good Man, Nikolai Ursin, 1965, 16mm, B&W, sound, 8 minutes

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
Tuesday 29 September 2009, 8:00pm screening

Short Fuse

Short Fuse

Tongues Untied

Tongues Untied

#6 = 8/18/09 = Warren Sonbert + Claude Lelouch + Caroline & Frank Mouris

Warren Sonbert

Warren Sonbert

Time Travels

Carriage Trade … is about travel, transportation, anthropological investigation:  4 continents, 4 organized religions, customs; about time with its 6 years in the making and cast of thousands; about how the same people age and grow and even change apartments over 6 years.”
Warren Sonbert

The elegant and elegiac Carriage Trade anchors this very fitting August program on travel with three diverse films each exploring spaces and places through montage, time lapse and, in Lelouch’s case, high speed cinema vérité through the early morning streets of Paris. Lelouch’s C’était un rendezvous has been somewhat of a legend amongst car racing enthusiasts and filmmakers [how many films can you say that about!?] for its thrilling high speed nine-minute single-take adrenalin rush. Coney by Caroline and Frank Mouris is filled with their customary cut-up animation–this time with a year-round time lapse portrait of Coney Island with a mesmerizing calliope-induced soundtrack–all shot through a lovely pink ‘cotton candy’ filter.

Programme:
Carriage Trade, Warren Sonbert, 1971, 61 minutes, 16mm, colour, silent
Coney, Caroline & Frank Mouris, 1975, 5 minutes, 16mm, colour, sound
C’était un rendezvous, Claude Lelouch, 1975, 8 minutes, 16mm, colour, sound

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen Street West
Tuesday August 18, 2009. 8:00pm screening

Carriage Trade

Carriage Trade

Coney

Coney

C'était un rendezvous

C'était un rendezvous

#5 = 7/21/09 = Ute Aurand + Gibbs Chapman + Keewatin Dewdney

aurand

In Die Erde Gebaut

How It Works: Function, Form and Film

These films offer three different approaches to quotidian mysteries that often go unnoticed. While their styles are distinct, the works are linked by their humour and humanity as they explore the mechanics of the world around us. In Die Erde Gebaut (Building Under Ground) is Ute Aurand’s documentation of the expansion of Zurich’s Museum Rietberg from the initial groundbreaking in 2004 to it’s opening in 2007. Aurand’s camera work and editing turn the construction site into a playground for the eye while providing insight into how a building gets made. Push Button – A History of Idleness and Ignorance by Gibbs Chapman is a dryly funny exposé of how little we know about the workings of the things we use everyday. Keewatin Dewdney’s 1967 classic The Maltese Cross Movement, is a poetic demonstration of how film works, both mechanically and mentally.

Programme
In Die Erde Gebaut*, Ute Aurand, 16mm, 2008, Germany, 40 min.  silent
Push Button – A History of Idleness and Ignorance*, Gibbs Chapman, 16mm, 2004,
USA, 16 min.
The Maltese Cross Movement, Keewatin Dewdney, 16mm, 1967, Canada, 8 min. Restored Print!

*Toronto Premieres

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel, 1214 Queen West
Tuesday July 21, 2009  |  8:00pm screening, $5

Maltese Cross Movement

Maltese Cross Movement

#4 = 6/16/09 = Notes in Origin: Ellie Epp + Vanessa O’Neill + Rebecca Meyers

notes in origin

notes in origin

This month’s Early Monthly Segment focuses on the work of three filmmakers whose attention to their surroundings harbours a deep sense of presence and concentration. Ellie Epp’s notes in origin, a quiet classic of the Canadian fringe, returns us to Northern Alberta where Epp grew up and presents us with ten shots of the land—shots which resonate with a stillness that places us strongly in relationship to the act of seeing. With burren, Vanessa O’Neill rearticulates the pain of return. By subjecting her super 8 footage of an Irish shoreline to harsh chemical processes, she mirrors the erosive power of wave and wind on rock and the emotional pull of a distant landscape. The two films of Rebecca Meyers draw the natural world in to colour her gaze. night light and leaping treats her cat as her muse, re-envisioning her home from a feline perspective and things we want to see attends to the grand scale of our environment, picturing the larger natural cycles that often only serve as a remote background to the brief path of our own lives.

Programme:
notes in origin, Ellie Epp, 16mm, 1987, Canada, 15 min.
night light and leaping *, Rebecca Meyers, 16mm, 2001, USA, 22 min.
burren *, Vanessa O’Neill, 16mm, 2007, USA, 12.5 min.
things we want to see, Rebecca Meyers, 16mm, 2003-4, USA, 7 min.

*Toronto premieres

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel   |  1214 Queen St West, Toronto
Tuesday June 16, 2009  |  8:00pm screening, $5

burren

burren

things we want to see

things we want to see

#3 = 5/5/09 = Vera Chytilová + Len Lye

Vera Chytilová

Vera Chytilová

The third installment of the Early Monthly Segments film series brings us one of the pinnacles of the Czech New Wave. Vera Chytilová’s first film Daisies follows the adventures of two precocious young roommates as they careen and cavort through life. Their response to a no good world is to resolve to be even worse. Chytilová makes sure the visual style is as energetic as her young (dis)ingénues—cutting wildly between film-stocks, inserting pixilated collage sequences and propelling it all along with a bopping soundtrack and a keen sense of humour. Unsurprisingly, the Czech censors were not amused; the seduction of sugar daddies, sequences of unbridled dance and wanton waste of food caused the film to be immediately banned, as all good things are.

Programme:

Daisies (Sedmikrásky)
16mm, 1966, 76 mins, color/b&w
Directed by Vera Chytilová, Cinematography by Jaroslav Kucera
starring Ivana Karbanová & Jitka Cerhová
Music by Jirí Slitr & Jirí Sust

Screened with: Free Radicals, Len Lye, 16mm, 1958, 5 minutes

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel   |  1214 Queen St West
Tuesday May 5, 2009  |  7:30pm screening

Daisies

Daisies

Free Radicals

Free Radicals

Daisies

Daisies

#2 = 4/21/09 = Mary Ellen Bute + Hollis Frampton

Mary Ellen Bute

Mary Ellen Bute

The second installment of the Early Monthly Segments film series features the only live action feature film by the legendary pioneer of American abstract filmmaking, Mary Ellen Bute. In Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake, Bute transforms Joyce’s language into cinema in a truly oneiric film style. Surreal and dense with allusion the work echoes the novel’s nearly impenetrable vertically compressed structure, while remaining true to its wit and uncanny beauty. With Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake, Bute was the first to adapt a work of James Joyce to film and was honored for this project at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965 as best debut. – Notes adapted from Greylodge.org

Programme:
Passages from James Joyce’s Finnegans Wake
16mm, 1965,92 mins, b&w
Directed by Mary Ellen Bute, Screenplay by Mary Manning
Cinematography by Ted Nemeth, Music by Elliot Kaplan
Print courtesy the archives of York University’s Sound and Moving Image Library

Screened with: Gloria!, Hollis Frampton, 16mm, 1979, 9 minutes

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel | 1214 Queen St West
Tuesday April 21, 2009 | 7:30pm screening

Gloria!

Gloria!

#1 = 3/24/09 = Kidlat Tahimik + Marie Menken

Kidlat Tahimik

Kidlat Tahimik

The first installment of the Early Monthly Segments film series debuts with Kidlat Tahimik’s Perfumed Nightmare. A sensation upon its debut at the Berlinale in 1977, the film has gone on to achieve legendary status. In this strikingly engaging hybrid, Tahimik himself stars as a Jeepney driver who sets out from the Philippines in search of rocket engineer Wernher von Braun. Instead of America, he finds himself in Munich, Paris and in a series of adventures he could never have imagined upon departure, observing the clash of cultures and the seductive dreams of technological modernization along the way. Werner Herzog once declared, “Kidlat, you are best in your detours,” and this film is full of them, as Tahimik’s wit and penchant for observable ironies makes this film an insightful adventure into the heart of cultural imperialism.

Programme:
Mababangong Bangungot (Perfumed Nightmare)
A film by Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines, 16mm, 1977, 91 minutes
Thank you to the Canadian Filmmakers Distribution Centre.

Screened with Arabesque for Kenneth Anger, Marie Menken, 16mm, 1961, 4 mins.

@ the Art Bar, Gladstone Hotel
1214 Queen Street West
Tuesday March 24, 2009
7:30pm screening