Fall 2001

Julie Murray
Monday, September 17th, 7:30pm

Julie Murray was born in Dublin, Ireland, where, in 1984, she received a Bachelors Degree in Fine Art from the National College of Art and Design, Dublin. In 1985 she moved to San Francisco, California on a Fulbright scholarship to continue post-graduate studies in art there. While creating and exhibiting paintings and photographs there she extended her investigations into the area of experimental filmmaking. Continuing to work in and draw relationships from painting and photography she has completed about a dozen short films and has collaborated on numerous film installation/performance events with artists, musicians and other filmmakers. In 1993 Murray moved to New York and since that time her work has been included in many festivals including the New York Film Fesitval, the Rotterdam International Film Festival and the Ann Arbor Film Festival and has been cited for and won a number of awards for outstanding merit. Along with screenings at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, NY, the San Francisco Cinematheque and the Pacific Film Archive in California. Murray has been invited to present her films at the Art Gallery of Ontario Cinematheque in Toronto, and more recently in a two evening engagement at Anthology Film Archives. Her work was included in a film exhibition that toured Russia in 2000. Outside of the United States her films have been screened in programs at Centre George Pompidou, Paris, the Museum of Strasburg and the London Filmmakers Co-op. In 2000 she travelled to Ireland to partake in an exhibition which included a solo film screening at the Temple Bar Gallery in Dublin. She has curated programs of films including a selection for the Experimental Film night at the New York Women's Film Festival and an evening in the New York Filmmaker's Co-op 35th Anniversary series that took place in 1998. The Museum of Modern Art Archives has acquired one of Murray's films for their archives and her films are part of the New York Public Library's 'Special Collections' at Donnell, NYC. She is currently a visiting artist at Binghamton University in the Department of Cinema.

Anathema, Conscious and If You Stand With Your Back To The Slowing Of The Speed Of The Light In Water all show an extraordinary sensitivity to the sensual, rhythmic and connotative qualities of image and sound, whether purloined or created, and establish her as a masterful editor and visionary filmmaker. --Chris Gehman, Cinematheque Ontario

Films to be screened:

Two Films TBA

Films by Bruce Cooper, MM Serra, and Jen Reeves
Monday, September 24th, 7:30pm

THREE DIURNALS and NOCTURNE (Bruce Cooper) - 16mm, B & W/Color, 45 min. si/so., 2000.
1. St. John's Tide 11m/si
2. Passio 9m/si
3 . Thread of Epiphany 17m/si

This is a four part poetic film picturing the self, landscape, beloved, birth, childhood, and sleep/death. Throughout are filmic metaphors representing inklings o f supersensible realms and beings. Part 1, St. John's Tide, can be taken as the voice of one calling in solitude (or crying in the wilderness) among the mingled waters of baptism and fire of the Holy Spirit. Part II, Passio, portrays the moods of Good Friday (solemn grief), Holy Saturday (the decent into hell) and Easter Sunday (birth as resurrection) as reflected in cityscapes, a dream interlude, and domestic scenes. Part III, Thread of Epiphany reflects the traditional festival presenting the Christ Child to the Magi, in the theme of growing children, and also pictures filmic "epiphanies" scratched and flashed onto film stock. The piece entitled NOCTURNE is not so much a conclusion as a recasting of the previous three films in the language of dreams. The images for these films were gathered and edited over seven years.

MARY MAGDALENE (MM Serra) - 16mm, color, sound, 30 mins.

"This is Freud's Dora told by Dore: a fresh revelation, a successful voyeurism. MARY MAGDALENE is a trip into child abuse meditated by the abused as an adult convervsing with her child self. Powerful and poignant, the film is disturbing. Voices from the past move into the present. The third person is used to distance: "She's very unhappy. She couldn't get rid of him" and more startling, "I don't want to comfort her. I want to hit her." The images, vidoe transferred through a video toaster to film, are blurry, beautiful, and painterly accenting the mediating process (of the filmmaker/adult body) through which the girl child speaks. This is a brave film, a complicated architecture in which form enacts the content in an eerie match with resonance for millions of women and enough power and poetry to play and perhaps penetrate the consciousness of men who fail to think of sexual abuse as conscious violence." - Abigail child, New York City, November 30, 1991.

WE ARE GOING HOME (Jennifer Reeves, USA, 16mm, 10 minutes, 1998).

This film has been hand-processed, solarized, chemically-treated and optically printed to invoke a surreal mood for the wanderings of several characters and their ghosts through a pastoral setting. Rhythmic colour and tonal shifts in the film emulsion give life to the physical landscape, which comes to represent the internal terrain of the subconscious. Jennifer Reeves was born in Ceylon but grew up in the United States. In addition to making, distributing and touring her experimental films, Reeves is studying at the University of California, San Diego.

Vincent Grenier
Monday, October 15th, 7:30pm

A Qu´┐Żbecois, Vincent Grenier has lived in the US and made experimental films since the early seventies when he received an MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in California. Grenier's films have regularly been shown in the United States, Canada and Europe at showcases such as the Centre Pompidou, the Museum of Modern Art in NYC, the Anthology Film Archives, the Pacific Film Archives and the Collective for Living Cinema. His films and videos have earned him production grants from the Canada Council, and in New York State, from CAPS, NYFA, and ETC. He has made over two dozen films and more recently videos, as his work began to hover between the documentary and the experimental. FEET (27 min., video, 1994) won second prize at the 1995 Black Maria Festival and was shown in the WNET series Reel NY. His films include: OUT IN THE GARDEN (1991)--Best Documentary, 1992 Ann Arbor Film Festival, Best Experimental Documentary, 16th Atlanta Film/Video Festival, shown on WNET and London Film Festival; YOU (1990)--Black Maria Festival; TIME'S WAKE--(1987) Prize Winner Black Maria Festival; INTERIEUR INTERIORS (1978)--Prize Winner, San Francisco Are institute Film Festival; WORLD IN FOCUS (1976) Prize Winner, Ann Arbor Film Festival; and WINDOW WIND CHIMES (1974)-- Prize Winner, Bellevue Film Festival in Oregon. Seven of his films & videos were curated in the Whitney Museum of American Art 1970-2000 American Century Film program. Films by Grenier are included in collections at galleries and institutions in Canada and the US. Grenier teaches at Binghamton University and lives in Ithaca, New York.

Films to be screened:

SURFACE TENSION # 2 16mm 6 min. color / sound 1995

This film was partly shot in Kinemacolor. A process which was used in 1915 to obtain fairly illusionistic colors from black & white films by filming and projecting them through synchronized, red and green filters.

COLOR STUDY, Slaterville NY.
(Orig Mini DV) 4:30 min. Stereo 2000

A humorous, digitally induced meditation on colors, motion and space from a few frames of road side fall panorama in upstate NY. "It is interesting to think about Color Study in relation to the purely cinematic-photochemical nature of a work like Kurt Kren's Asyl with its multiplicity of delicate composite imagery and overlapping seasons that create a feeling of all time being simultaneous. In Asyl, solar light cohabitates with the film - the emulsion receives singes and burns that inscribe the image and are reconstituted in projection as muted radiance. In Color Study, a cat's eye like chatoyancy of splattered color, the precise mimicry of natural color combined with unnatural color fields, creates and breaks illusion. Color manufactures a kind of implied time lapse where it does not technically exist. A spatial jigsaw, combining the autumnal and the verdant. The invented light and color of the digital process creating an acid wash." -- Mark McElhatten

AURORA STREET (Orig Mini DV) 3:00 min Mono 2000

Looking out through the windows a fall morning for time excited and the starting heating system. Shot Fall 1997

CAPTURE 16 mm & Video (Orig Mini DV) 5:30 min. 2000

In Capture the camera seem to be looking at the evidence, intent on unraveling a puzzling mystery... An introspective and personal piece that is concerned with mirrors, presence/lack thereof, humor of the ordinary, being contained, defined, homing. Images of a small quirky MontrŽal hotel room are juxtaposed with others taken in Ithaca, NY, where Grenier presently lives. With appearance by Etienne Grenier. Soundtrack design by Vincent Grenier. Excerpt from "Strings" by Marius Constant.

WINTER COLLECTION (Hi 8 edited in DV) 4:30 min 2000

Free garbage day. Huge piles accumulated and snow soon followed. For the camera, the piles, the broken kinks of the comfort machine, become voyeuristic opportunities, incongruous "happenings," monstrous personalities with new-found permanence. Shot on location in Ithaca, NY, 1992.

BRENDAN'S CRACKER 16 mm & Video (Orig. Mini DV & Hi 8) 8:30 min 1999 with Betty Ostrov, Susan Weisser and Brendan Murphy.

Shot in Mini DV & Hi 8 and edited on a digital desktop workstation. A collage of distant worlds, lost and not yet learned, memories and functions as playful instincts. An alzheimer afflicted woman's distant reactions is intercut with the mischievous antics of a four year old looking into, scratching and feeding the screen.. Award: Second prize, 1999 Black Maria Film & Video Festival.

MIRACLE GROW 16 mm & Video (Shot in Mini DV) 12:30 min color/sound 1998 With Etienne Z. Grenier & Mary Zebell.

MIRACLE GROW is a personal piece with elements of a home movie. Originally shot in Mini DV, edited and transferred to film without leaving the digital realm, the film is an inventory of a growing baby as he struggles to gain mastery of his limbs. As the father the filmmaker attempts to insert himself within this well worn and taboo subject and redefine it. As in his other works, the images are composed and structured to lead us within other realms of thoughts. Screened: Athens International Film & Video Festival

SHUT UP BARBIE 16mm 14 min color / sound 1974. Filmed in Tiberon Ca.

The film is a reaction to the obsession a seven year old girl has with her Barbie Dolls. The world of Barbie is pushed to its conclusions: innocuous and tragic. Ann Knutson plays the role of the mother

Zachary Scheuren
Monday, October 22nd, 7:30pm

Zachary Scheuren writes music, makes films and studies languages. He speaks German, French and Italian and has studied Japanese, Chinese, Greek, Latin, Russian, Swedish, Arabic and Persian. He has been processing film for years, working with different emulsions, chemically manipulating the image, looking for more dimensions in a seemingly two-dimensional image.

Films to be screened:

Shades of Red, 3.5 min, experimental, 1996. Blood, love, poured into the darkness, lost in the shadows of the night.

2 or 3 Things I Know About Ed, 20 min, documentary, 1998. 2 or 3 things, no more, no less. Non stop Ed. Ed for the whole family. Who's Ed?

Shadow of Death, 3 min, trailer, 1998 (co-directed by Robert Smith). The evil warlord Wong Peng attempts to take over Peach Blossom Palace, but his perfidious plans are thwarted by the emperor's mighty henchmen. Treachery does not pay.

Herzblut, 9.5 min, experimental, 1999. Heartblood, lifesblood. Without blood in our veins the body dies. Without lifesblood, the soul dies, we fall apart spiritually.

Dunkler kann es nicht werden, 20 min, narrative, 2000
. Alone, far from the city, Lisa waits; for her husband, for love, for light

Fred Camper
Monday, November 5th. 7:30 pm.

Modesty: Cinematic Retreats from Grand Ambitions

Among the works of the pioneers of American avant-garde filmmaking - Deren, Anger, Markopoulos, Brakhage among them - are films that try to account for the totality of the world, or at least, of one individual's consciousness. Often inscribed within such works is an acknowledgment of the failure of such attempts, but the ambition to "imagine a world" remains.

More recently, filmmakers have emerged who critique such ambitions, seeking for the artist the more modest role of making work that presents itself as qualified, contingent, provisional. Such filmmakers seek not to account for the universe, but to present particular experiences; analogous trends in contemporary art will be mentioned in this lecture-screening.

The two-person collective Animal Charm comment on the grandiosity of car culture; S. Barber presents ocean exploration ironically. Thomas Comerford's pinhole camera produces images of great delicacy and fragility, while Brian Frye mimics aspects of the home movie. And much earlier, Arthur Lipsett had used found footage to both relish and criticize grand ambitions.

The program ends with three films by "outsiders" for whom grand ambition was never an issue. All three offer a refreshingly direct relationship between humans and nature.Documentaries, they owe little to the genre's conventions. Mountain Farmer was made by rural Kentuckians, while Old Antelope Lake and A Navajo Weaver were made by Navajo who, having seen little of cinema or television, were given basic technical instruction in camera operation and splicing. The were seven "Navajo films" in all, and the book about the project that produced these films is called Through Navajo Eyes, by Sol Worth and John Adair.

Works to be screened, in the order in which they will be shown:
Target, by Animal Charm (video, 1999, 9 min.)
shipfilm, by S. Barber (1998, 4 min.)
ILLA CAMERA OBSCVRA, by Thomas Comerford (2001, 12 min.)
Lachrymae, by Brian Frye (2000, 3 min.)
A Trip Down Memory Lane, by Arthur Lipsett (1965, 12 min.)
Mountain Farmer, by Shelby Adams and Mimi Pickering (1973, 9 min.)
Old Antelope Lake, by Mike Anderson (1966, 11 min.)
A Navajo Weaver, by Susie Benally (1966, 22 min.)

Fred Camper is a writer and lecturer on film, art, and photography who lives in Chicago. He can be found at www.fredcamper.com.

Unseen Cinema program #13
Monday, November 12th. 7:30 pm.

The World Observed, Hard Facts and the Great Depression (83 minutes)

Blacksmithing Scene (1893) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 33ft, 0.29m

The Barber Shop (1893) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 33ft, 0.29m

The Lone Fisherman (1896) Edison Manufacturing: William Heise, James White, 35mm, bw, sil, 109ft, 0.97m

[Indian Club Swinger] (1891) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 3*4 in., bw, sil, 7ft, 0.06m

Caicedo (with Pole) (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 37ft. 0.33m

Annabelle Butterfly Dances [MOMA] (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 50ft, 0.44m

Annabelle Butterfly Dances [LOC] (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 25ft, 0.22m

Annabelle Serpentine Dances [LOC] (1895) Edison Manufacturing: William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 52ft, 0.58m

Annabelle Serpentine Dances [MOMA] (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw-hand clr, sil, 40ft, 0.44m

Sandow (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 40ft, 0.36m

Sandow [1896] American Biograph: Unidentified filmmaker, 35mm, bw, sil, 24ft, 0.21m

Monkey's Feast (1903) American Biograph: Unidentified filmmaker, 35mm, bw, sil, 23ft, 0.20m

The Boxing Cats (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 40ft, 0.36m

Cock Fight (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 40ft, 0.36m

Hornbacker-Murphy Fight (1894) Edison Manufacturing: W.K.L. Dickson, William Heise, 35mm, bw, sil, 69ft, 0.61m

H2O (1929) Ralph Steiner, 35mm, bw, sil, 875ft, 13m, 18fps

Oil - A Symphony in Motion (1933) Artkino: Jean D. Michelson, M. G. MacPherson, 35mm, bw, sil [snd missing], 700ft, 7.78m

Travel Notes (1932) Walker Evans, 35mm, bw, sil, 744ft, 12m, 16fps

America Today & The World in Review (1932-34) [compiled 1979 by Leo Seltzer] Film & Photo League of New York: Leo Seltzer, Tom Brandon, Lewis Jacobs, 16mm [35mm orig], bw, sil, 396ft, 14.67m

Halstead Street (1934) Film & Photo League of Chicago: Conrad Friberg [C.O. Nelson], 16mm, bw, sil, 405ft, 15m, 18fps

[Protest - camera roll excerpts] (1937) >Unidentified filmmaker, 35mm, bw, snd, sil, 577ft, 6.41m

The World Today: Black Legion [Shadow of Fascism over America] (1936-37) Nykino: Willard Van Dyke, Ralph Steiner [Ben Maddow, Mike Gordon, Irving Lerner, Lionel Berman, Henri Cartier-Bresson], 35mm, bw, snd, 518ft, 5.76m