With curator Genevieve Yue and filmmakers in person!
As a follow-up to the marvelous Orphan Film Symposium, taking place May 10 & 11 at the Academy Film Archive, Filmforum hosts a show on the China girl. The various faces of the “China girl”, sometimes called a “China doll” or “girl head”, have appeared in more films than any actress, though she is almost never seen, save for the fleeting glimpses an audience might catch at the end of a film reel. These images of a woman, positioned next to color swatches, have appeared on the leader of every commercial manufactured film since the late 1920s and continue in limited use today. Her essential but often overlooked role in film history has also made her a compelling subject for experimental filmmakers variously examining issues of celluloid materiality, the behind-the-scenes workings of the film industry, and the often marginal role of women. In some cases, the China girl is no less than the enigmatic icon of a vanishing medium. A selection of films will be introduced by programmer Genevieve Yue.
Co-sponsored by the Orphan Film Project
Film in Which There Appear Sprocket Holes, Edge Lettering, Dirt Particles, Etc. by Owen Land (formerly known as George Landow) (1965-66, 16mm, color, silent, 4 min.)
Standard Gauge by Morgan Fisher (1984, 16mm, color, sound, 35 min)
China Girls by Michelle Silva (2006, 16mm, color, sound, 3 min.)
To the Happy Few by Thomas Draschan and Stella Friedrichs (2003, 16mm, color, sound, 5 min.)
MM by Timoleon Wilkins (1996, 16mm, color, sound, 8 min.)
Releasing Human Energies by Mark Toscano (2012, 16mm, color, sound, 5.5 min.)
Total running time: 60 minutes