L@TE: Friday Nights @ BAM/PFA (Expanded Cinema: Neo-benshi)
This is all about word of mouth. Words delivered with vocal abandon, echoing through the galleries as they skitter off fragile images in flight; delivered live and full-bodied by artists, poets, and mediamakers who have an allegiance to cinema, but enjoy the skirmish between the anxious utterance and the fleeting image. Los Angeles–based media artist Jordan Biren brings us All That Passes Before You, Already in Ruin, a spectral film that suggests “the illusory promise of narrative” but finds it manifest not in his projected ghostly landscapes but in his recitation of “bodily words.” Local curator and artist Konrad Steiner has repurposed the Japanese tradition of benshi performance—oral narration for silent cinema—as “a cabaret of poetry, satire, and homage.” Poets and other provocateurs render mute sequences from extant cinema while firing a fusillade of verbal mash-ups and hacked critiques. For this performance, Steiner has enlisted Jaime Cortez, Jennifer Nellis, Erika Staiti, Anuj Vaidya, and the tag team of Robin Rajen Sukhadia and Neelanjana Banerjee.
Preceded at 6 p.m. by one of our favorite KALX DJs spinning in the lobby, where wine and beer are available for purchase.