Material Concerns (Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in L.A., Screening 20)

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from Pasadena Freeway Stills, 1974
from Picture and Sound Rushes, 1973
from Screen, 1969
from Future Perfect, 1978
Material Concerns (Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in L.A., Screening 20)
Curated by: Adam Hyman, Mark Toscano

6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
March 4th, 2012 7:30 PM - 10:00 PM

structuralist video-art video-art, film-art conceptual video-art, modern
$10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members


One of the key concerns of experimental film, in the tradition of all modern art, is the stuff of film itself: how it is made, what is it made of, what are the basic elements of the camera, the celluloid, and the projector. 

In experimental film, focusing on the materials and procures of film-making has come to be known as structuralist film-making, with a hey-day from the late 1960s through the mid-1970s, but continuing in much work today.  These are several classic examples made in Los Angeles, with precise control over the instruments of filmmaking, the depth of good art, and (more often than not) a fair dose of wit.

Screening (subject to change):

Screen (Pat O’Neill, 1969, digital (originally 16mm), color, silent, 4min.)
A less-well known work by O’Neill, originally intended as an installation.

Venusville (Chris Langdon & Fred Worden, 1973, 16mm, color, sound, 10min.)
No montage, no human subjects, minimal visual content, and the artists basically pissing on the fourth wall by calling attention in every way possible to the artifice of what they're doing. An anti-film school film made at film school. – Mark Toscano

Pasadena Freeway Stills (Gary Beydler, 1974, 6:00, 16 mm, color, silent, 6:00)
A simple but stunning demonstration of how motion pictures move, recalling (and perhaps inspired by) the mechanism of the Mutoscope, the main rival to the Kinetoscope and Cinematograph in the 1890s.

Picture and Sound Rushes (Morgan Fisher, 1973, 16mm, color, sound,, 11:00)
Picture and Sound Rushes
includes synchronous sound footage of Fisher explaining the premise of the film that is being shot. He improvises his dialogue from notes to which he refers while the camera is rolling. At predetermined thirty-second intervals, the film alternates between sync sound, wild sound over black, MOS or silent footage of Fisher speaking, and silence over black. After the segments of silence over black (called the “null case” in the film) Fisher’s reappearance comes as something of a relief. -- William E. Jones, "Morgan Fisher: An Impersonal Autobiography"

Stasis (David Wilson, 1976, 16mm, 8:00)
The original camera footage for STASIS is an 8-minute, 8:1 camera zoom. That footage was then printed with an equal but complimentary optical zoom resulting in an image of apparent stillness. Stasis is the image of the stillness in motion.   Stasis counterpoints the movements of running water in a stream within a still-camera shot, with a steady zoom from without the filmed image (including subtle sprocket holes and frame lines) to a close-up within the image.  “A zoom-out camera shot of a stream in Western Colorado is compensated for by a reverse zoom in rephotography. The tension between these movements creates a drama and a commentary on cinematic illusionism.” -Roberta Friedman

Photogrammetry Series (Louis Hock, 1977, 16mm, color, sound, 8min)

Future Perfect (Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren, 1978, 16mm, color, sound, 11 min.)
"A film which, always unfinished, looks forward to a future when it (and everything else) will be perfect." (Roberta Friedman & Grahame Weinbren)

I Kiss the Dear Fingers So Toil-Worn For Me (Craig Rice, 1981, 16mm, 5:30)

Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 will feature over 24 shows between now and May 2012. Alternative Projections is Filmforum’s exploration of the community of filmmakers, artists, curators and programmers who contributed to the creation and presentation of experimental film and video in Southern California in the postwar era.  Film series curated by Adam Hyman and Mark Toscano, with additional contributions by Rani Singh, Jerri Allyn, David James, Christine Panushka, Terry Cannon, Ben Caldwell, Stephanie Sapienza, Amy Halpern, and more.

Alternative Projections: Experimental Film in Los Angeles, 1945-1980 is part of Pacific Standard Time: Art in L.A. 1945-1980. This unprecedented collaboration, initiated by the Getty, brings together more than sixty cultural institutions from across Southern California for six months beginning October 2011 to tell the story of the birth of the L.A. art scene.  Pacific Standard Time is an initiative of the Getty. The presenting sponsor is Bank of America.

Primary funding for Alternative Projections was provided by the Getty Foundation, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.  This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and Metabolic Studio.   Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque.

Note that the Egyptian no longer validates for the Hollywood & Highland parking, although that may still be your best bet for parking.  You’ll have to get validation in the Hollywood & Highland complex though.  There is also street parking, some $5 lots, and the Metro Red Line to Hollywood & Highland.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation.  2012 is our 37th year

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