NEW WEBSITE – Bookmark it!

Hi everyone,

WordPress has treated us well for the past couple of years in providing a free and easy way for us to keep you informed of our activities.  But we have moved on to something a bit more professional and visually engaging.  Please bookmark the new website address:


The new site features an Archives section where we post information about and links to previous seasons, as well as historic materials going all the way backto our beginning in the 1970’s. The slide show on the front page features selections from the archives, including stills from films we have screened in the past, as well as photos of Filmforum guests over the years. In addition, we will be posting updates on the progress of our Getty-funded research and planning project, Alternative Projections, on our Blog.

We hope you enjoy our new look! We welcome your feedback as well, send it here to

Stephanie Sapienza
Board President
Los Angeles Filmforum


November 22 – The Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour – Program 2

Sunday November 22, 2009, 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents The Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour – Program 2

At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles 90028

This exciting show mixes new experimental, animation, and documentary work – a great way to catch up on what is happening in film & video art!  Tonight’s touring program highlights several new animated works and three short experimental documentaries. This program explores themes of a changing globalized world through personal, existential journeys and includes films from Paris, London, Winnipeg, New Zealand, and the U.S.

For reservations (not necessary), email us at

$10 general, $6 students (with ID) and seniors.

Parking is now easiest at the Hollywood & Highland complex. Bring your ticket for validation. Parking is $2 for 4 hours with validation. Enter that complex on Highland or Hollywood. The theater is 1.5 blocks east.

The Ann Arbor Film Festival is the original and longest running independent film festival in the United States, recognized as a premiere showcase for risk-taking, pioneering and art driven cinema. The AAFF pioneered the touring film festival concept in 1964 and each year brings a selection of favorite and award-winning short films to more than 25 galleries, universities, art house theaters and cinematheques throughout the world.

The festival:  Trailer:

Show screened from DV Cam except the last film, which will be 35mm

Cattle Call

“Cattle Call”
Mike Maryniuk & Matthew Rankin | Winnipeg, Canada | 4 min

Structured around the mesmerizing talents of 2007 Manitoba /Saskatchewan Auctioneer Champion, Tim Dowler, this film tries to create images as dazzlingly abstract, absurd and adrenalizing as the incredible language of auctioneering itself. It is the filmmakers’ hope that the film will induce near-bovine levels of dumbfoundedness in those who gaze upon it.

“Utopia, Part 3: The World’s Largest Shopping Mall”


Sam Green & Carrie Lozano | San Francisco, CA | 12 min
Built in 2005, more than twice the size of the Mall of America, the South China Mall outside of Guangzhou in southern China was designed as a celebration of middle-class consumption and spectacle. Four years after it opened, however, the South China Mall sits almost empty and serves as a foreboding metaphor for the future of global capitalism.

Quiero Ver by Adele Horne

“Quiero Ver”
Adele Horne | Los Angeles, CA | 6 min

On the 13th of each month, hundreds of people gather at a site in the Mojave Desert to see visions of the Virgin Mary appear in the sun. They point Polaroid, cell phone, and video cameras at the sun, and compare interpretations of the resulting images.

Jeremy Clapin | Paris, France | 14 min


Audience Award 47th AAFF
Struck by a 150-ton meteorite, Henry has to adapt to living 91 centimeters from himself.



Georges Schwizgebel | Canada | 5 min
Best Animated Film 47th AAFF

A film that mesmerizes with visual acrobatics and a series of passing visions of perpetual motion. Between waves on a shore and a sleeper breathing, Schwizgebel alters the balance of shapes in the world and plays with perception to grasp the fleeting movement of our lives.

“Más Se Perdió”
Stephen Connolly | London, England | 15 min

Best Sound Design Award 47th AAFF
Employing a variety of cinematographic approaches and inspiration from Chris Marker’s “Lettre de Siberie” (1957), Connolly documents socially and politically charged spaces in Cuba, as they relate to notions of utopia and modern ruin.


Alla Kovgan & David Hinton | Somerville, MA | 35 min

Eileen Maitland Award 47th AAFF

Shot in Southern Africa, this film powerfully illustrates the personal journey of dancer Nora Chipaumire, who was born in Zimbabwe in 1965. With stunning cinematography and choreography, her stories are brought to life through movement, sound, color and text.

“Blue Tide, Black Water”

Blue Tide and Black Water

Eve Gordon & Sam Hamilton | Auckland, New Zealand | 10 min

Amid an ocean of wax one might chance upon a garden of flowering chemicals, where the filmmakers have circumnavigated microscopic reactions, creating an epic in miniature. In 35mm!

This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.  Additional support generously provided by the American Cinematheque.

November 15 – D.W. Griffith in California, with talk by Tom Gunning

Sunday November 15, 2009, 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

D.W. Griffith in California, with talk by Tom Gunning

At the Echo Park Film Center

D.W. Griffith

D.W. Griffith

1200 N. Alvarado Street (@ Sunset Blvd)

Los Angeles, CA 90026


For reservations, email

Note change in location!

For fans of early film, and of Southern California history!  We’re delighted to host the internationally-renowned film scholar Tom Gunning, who will talk about Griffith’s time in California, and these selected, rarely screened films made in So Cal in the years before World War I.  All in 16mm with live musical accompaniment by Cliff Retallick.

In 1910, retreating from the harsh East Coast winter which confined them inside the narrow limits of their NYC studio in a 14th st. brownstone, D.W. Griffith transported the Biograph film company to southern California.  For the next four winters the company made over a hundred one reel (15 minutes) films in the area around Los Angeles, covering every genre in a range of locations: westerns in the deserts and hills; a caveman film in Griffith Park; tales of lost lovers by the seaside; Mexican dramas among the cacti.  These brief films laid the foundation for cinema as a narrative art, but, even more, the displayed a beauty of landscape and detail that year later Griffith claimed Hollywood had completely forgotten. – Tom Gunning

Special Thanks to Tom Barnes for the silent speed projector and to all our print sources: David Shepard, USC Hugh Hefner Moving Image Archive, Academy Film Archives, and Budget Films.

Man’s Genesis (1912, 17 min)

Griffith took on the somewhat daring task of illustrating Darwin’s theory of man’s evolution with Bobby Harron as a cavemen who proves intelligence triumphs over brawn. With Mae Marsh

The New Dress (1911, 17 min.)

A psychological story of Mexican life showing Griffith’s genius for building a story around an object. With Dorothy West.

The Massacre (1914, 20 min)

A true epic in small form, showing Griffith’s ambitions to create a panoramic landscape of action. As he often did, Griffith showed how the American westward expansion destroyed the peaceful lives of Native Americans. With the magnificent Blanche Sweet and Wilfred Lucas.

The Unchanging Sea  (1910, 14 min.)

Griffith used the seaside as a poetic motif to express longing and loss, combined with a deft use of parallel editing to express the cycles of life.  With Mary Pickford and Charles West

The Sands of Dee (1912, 17 min)

One of Griffith most poetic films, based on a poem by Charles Kingsley, as Mae Marsh plays an abandoned lover who haunts the shore.

The Female of the Species (1912, 17 min)

A grim melodrama of survival in the desert in which women play out the central drama of jealousy and revenge (including a rather murderous Mary Pickford).

Tom Gunning is the Edwin A. and Betty L. Bergman Distinguished Service Professor in the Department of Cinema and Media at the University of Chicago.  He is the author of the books, D. W. Griffith and the Origins of American Narrative Film: The Early Years at Biograph and The Films of Fritz Lang: Allegories of Vision and Modernity and of over a hundred essays , especially on early cinema and the avant-garde.  He is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Getty Research Institute researching the theory and history of the moving image.

D.W. (David Wark) Griffith (1875-1948)

Griffith was born in rural Kentucky to Jacob “Roaring Jake” Griffith, a Confederate Army colonel and Civil War hero. He grew up with his father’s romantic war stories and melodramatic nineteenth century literature that were to eventually mold his black-and-white view of human existence and history. In 1897, Griffith set out to pursue a career both acting and writing for the theater but for the most part was unsuccessful. Reluctantly, he agreed to act in the new motion picture medium for Edwin S. Porter at the Edison Company. Griffith was eventually offered a job at the financially struggling American Mutoscope & Biograph, where he directed over 450 short films, experimenting with the story-telling techniques he would later perfect in his epic The Birth of a Nation (1915). Griffith and his personal cinematographer G.W. Bitzer collaborated to create and perfect such cinematic devices as the flashback, the iris shot, the mask, and crosscutting. In the years following Birth, Griffith never again saw the same monumental success, and, in 1931, his increasing failures forced his retirement. Though hailed for his vision in narrative film-making, he was similarly criticized for his blatant racism. Griffith died in Los Angeles in 1948, one of the most dichotomous figures in film history. – from imDb,

This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.

November 8 – Yvonne Rainer’s Film About a Woman Who…

Sunday November 8, 2009, 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

Bodies, Objects, Films: An Yvonne Rainer Retrospective (part 2 of 8 )

Film About a Woman Who… (1974)

Film About a Woman Who...

Film About a Woman Who...

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles

Over the course of our 2009-2010 seasons, Filmforum is proud to present a full retrospective of the media works of Yvonne Rainer.  One of the most significant artists in dance and film of the last fifty years, this is the first full retrospective of her films in Los Angeles.

Please note that Yvonne Rainer will not be present at this screening.  We were going to screen Trio A and Lives of Performers tonight, but we will screen those on a night in 2010 when Rainer can be present.  We apologize for any inconvenience.

Film About A Woman Who… (1974, 105 mins, b&w, 16mm)

Rainer’s landmark film is a meditation on ambivalence that plays with cliché and the conventions of soap opera while telling the story of a woman whose sexual dissatisfaction masks an enormous anger.

“If Lives of Performers is a compendium of possibilities, then Film About a Woman Who… is their fruition.  Again in black and white, again photographed by Babette Mangolte, this film pushes even further Rainer’s initial thoughts on representation, narrative, sexual relationships, and the politics of personal power manipulations.  The effects of feminist thinking becomes even clearer in this work, especially as reflected in hindsight by Rainer’s own remarks (in 1973) on the attraction of film over dance: that since “rage, terror, desire, conflict et al” were not unique to her experience in the way that her body had always been, now she ‘could feel much more connected to my audience, and that gives me great comfort.’  It was during this period, in fact, that a whole new audience was opening up for the work of women filmmakers, and an equally new context for their work….” — B. Ruby Rich, from “Yvonne Rainer: An Introduction”, in The Films of Yvonne Rainer (Indiana University Press, 1989), p. 7.

One site’s note on the film

On Yvonne Rainer:

When Yvonne Rainer made her first feature-length film in 1972, she had already influenced the world of dance and choreography for nearly a decade. From the beginning of her film career she inspired audiences to think about what they saw, interweaving the real and fictional, the personal and political, the concrete and abstract in imaginative, unpredictable ways. Her bold feminist sensibility and often controversial subject matter, leavened with a quirky humor, has made her, as the Village Voice dubbed her in 1986, “The most influential American avant-garde filmmaker of the past dozen years, with an impact as evident in London or Berlin as in New York.”

Rainer was born in San Francisco in 1934. She trained as a modern dancer in New York from 1957 and began to choreograph her own work in 1960. She was one of the founders of the Judson Dance Theater in 1962, the beginning of a movement that proved to be a vital force in modern dance in the following decades. Between 1962 and 1975 she presented her choreography throughout the United States and Europe, notably on Broadway in 1969, in Scandinavia, London, Germany, and Italy between 1964 and 1972, and at the Festival D’Automne in Paris in 1972. In 1968 she began to integrate short films into her live performances, and by 1975 she had made a complete transition to filmmaking.

In 1972 she completed a first feature-length film, LIVES OF PERFORMERS. In all she has completed seven features: FILM ABOUT A WOMAN WHO… (1974), KRISTINA TALKING PICTURES (1976), JOURNEYS FROM BERLIN/1971 (1980, co-produced by the British Film Institute and winner of the Special Achievement Award from the Los Angeles Film Critics’ Association), THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN (1985), PRIVILEGE (1990, winner of the Filmmakers’ Trophy at the Sundance Film Festival, Park City. Utah, 1991, and the Geyer Werke Prize at the International Documentary Film Festival in Munich, 1991), and MURDER and murder (1996).

Rainer’s films have been shown extensively in the U.S. and throughout the world, in alternative film exhibition showcases and revival houses (such as the Bleecker St Cinema, Roxy-S.F.; NuArt-L.A; Film Forum-NYC, et al), in museums and in universities. Her films have also been screened at festivals in Los Angeles (Filmex), London, Montreux, Toronto, Edinburgh, Mannheim, Berlin, Locarno, Rotterdam, Creteil, Deauville, Toulon, Montreal, Hamburg, Salsa Majori, Figueira da Foz, Munich, Vienna, Athens (Ohio), Sundance, Hong Kong, Yamagata, and Sydney.

A half-hour video tape entitled YVONNE RAINER: STORY OF A FILMMAKER WHO… was aired on Film and Video Review, WNET-TV in 1980. THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN was aired on Independent Focus, WNET-TV in, 1989, and PRIVILEGE on the same program in 1992 and during the summer of 1994.

In the Spring of 1997—to coincide with the release of MURDER and murder—complete retrospectives of the films of Yvonne Rainer were mounted at the Museum of Modern Art in San Francisco and at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in New York City.

In 2006 MIT Press published Yvonne Rainer’s memoir, Feelings Are Facts: A Life.

She most recently presented new dance works at REDCAT in June 2009.


Two extended articles on Yvonne Rainer on Senses of Cinema:

“Yvonne Rainer” by Erin Brannigan

“From Objecthood to Subject Matter: Yvonne Rainer’s Transition from Dance to Film” by Jonathan Walley

Another biography of Rainer

Upcoming in the Yvonne Rainer Retrospective:
December 6 – THE MAN WHO ENVIED WOMEN with Rainer in person, moderated by Berenice Reynaud

Five more screenings in 2010!

Reservations available by emailing but not necessary

Tickets $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members

This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.  Additional support generously provided by the American Cinematheque.

November 1 – AFI FEST comes to Filmforum with 3 premieres!

Sunday November 1, 2009, 4:30 and 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum and the AFI FEST present 3 premieres!

4:30 Los Herederos with A Letter to Uncle Boonmee

7:30 The Anchorage


Filmforum at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028

Admission free!  But you need to get tickets through AFI – and the ones available pre-show are already taken.  There will be a Rush line and some remaining tickets will be available at the door.  See details below.

Full AFI Film Festival details at

4:30 pm

LOS HEREDEROS directed by Eugenio Polgovsky

(2008, 90 min., Mexico, HDCAM) – Los Angeles premiere! Los Herederos

Here as in his first film TROPIC OF CANCER, Eugenio Polgovsky uses his camera as an exploratory tool to venture where other filmmakers might easily turn away. And few filmmakers have managed to so intensively document and reflect upon the poorest of the poor. The “herederos” of the title —children who have “inherited” a legacy of grinding poverty—live on the land. They plow, they harvest, they load wood and they build walls with the bricks that they made with their hands. They also frolic, and play and dance. Polgovsky and his extraordinary sound recordist Camille Tauss immersed themselves for three years in the lives of these children as they toil in the states of Guerrero, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Sinaloa, Puebla and Veracruz. LOS HEREDEROS is both extremely intimate (the camera’s point of view is like that of a tiny creature scurrying to keep pace with the kids) and pointedly universal, while rigorously refusing to draw conclusions.

–Robert Koehler

One article on Los Herederos

Preceded by

A LETTER TO UNCLE BOONMEE directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul (2009, 18 min., Thailand/U.K., Digibeta)Los Angeles premiere!

Winner of two prizes at the 55th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

In Apichatpong’s hauntingly poetic piece—one part of his ambitious “Primitives” project—the voices of three young men describe to an uncle how their Thai village of Nabua has been abandoned in the wake of war.

Website of Apichatpong Weerasethakul

7:30 pm

THE ANCHORAGE directed by C.W. Winter and Anders Edstrom The Anchorage

(2009, 87 min., U.S./Sweden, 35mm)

U.S. premiere! C.W. Winter and Anders Edstrom in person!

Winner of Locarno’s Golden Leopard for Filmmakers of the Present

Immersing the viewer in magnificent Swedish landscapes, this sober and meditative film reveals the beauty of nature and the beings that co-exist in harmony there: a Rousseauesque vision of a relationship between a human being and her environment. Ulla, the central character, relates in voiceover how it will be when it snows, but her expectations are disturbed with the arrival of a hunter, whose flashily colored clothing is out of place amidst the island’s greens and browns. Shot with a minimal crew, CalArts graduate C. W. Winter’s and photographer Anders Edström’s first fiction feature unobtrusively combines silence and the sounds of nature in contemplative sequences, sometimes adding snatches of songs about local folklore. Ultimately, the film serves as an ode to a woman whose strength and grace are in perfect harmony with nature.  –Locarno Film Festival


Filmforum is also delighted to be the community sponsor for the following Los Angeles premiere at the Mann Chinese:

Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New OrleansBad Lieutenant: Port of New Orleans
USA | DIR Werner Herzog
CAST: Nicolas Cage, Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Jennifer Coolidge, Fairuza Balk, Alvin “Xzibit” Joiner
After RESCUE DAWN, Werner Herzog returns to American genre cinema, this time taking on the mythic, audience-friendly framework of the gritty urban cop film. Working from William Finkelstein’s tightly compelling script, Herzog sets the plot in New Orleans, which allows for a few surreal Herzogian touches—decaying buildings, men communing with alligators. But this dark, shockingly funny drama keeps the focus on the title character, Detective McDonough, who scarfs down narcotics to cope with his back pain—making bets his body can’t cover—while neck-deep in a murder investigation. Nicolas Cage, in one of his strongest performances, invests McDonough with urgency and compassion, and gets terrific support by Eva Mendes, Val Kilmer, Vondee Curtis-Hall and Brad Dourif. Having positioned himself, in deed and word, as the ultimate Hollywood outsider, Herzog suddenly earns comparison with masters including Don Siegel, Nicholas Ray and Sidney Lumet. – Larry Gross
Wed. Nov 4, 7:00 pm, Mann 1 / Wed. Nov 4, 7:00 pm, Mann 3


AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi takes place October 30th – November 5 in the heart of historic downtown Hollywood at Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the neighboring Mann 6 Theater (in the Hollywood and Highland Center) and the Roosevelt Hotel, then moves to Santa Monica for two days of screenings November 6 & 7 at the American Film Market (AFM) at Laemmle’s Monica 4-plex, 1332 2nd St..

As our gift to moviegoers, free tickets are available to all festival movies, including a limited number of free tickets to evening red carpet galas. Get your tickets starting October 16 at or, or by calling 1-866-AFI-FEST. You can also obtain tickets by going to the Festival Box Office located at the Mann 6 Theatre starting on October 26th, or on the day of the screenings via rush lines.

Become a patron of the festival and purchase an AFI FEST Patron Pass, available now. The AFI FEST Patron Pass provides early entry to screenings, lounge access and other benefits. By becoming a festival patron, you help make this free festival possible and support the art of film. For more details, visit or call 1-866-AFI-FEST.

Seating is limited, so get your free tickets starting OCTOBER 16TH! Festival program schedule details will be announced on October 13 at


AFI FEST 2009 presented by Audi is making an unprecedented gift to moviegoers: free tickets to all screenings and events at the Festival.

24 hours a day, 7 days a week

1.866.AFI FEST
Oct 16-29: Mon-Fri, noon-7 pm
Oct 30-Nov 7: every day, 10 am-7 pm

Oct 26-30: noon-7 pm
Oct 31-Nov 5: 10 am-10 pm
AFI FEST Box Office, lobby of the Mann Chinese 6
6801 Hollywood Blvd.

Nov 6-7: 8:30 am-7 pm
AFI FEST Box Office, lobby of Laemmle’s Monica 4
1332 Second St.
Santa Monica


Starting October 26, tickets will be held at the AFI FEST Will Call Desk in the Mann Chinese 6 main lobby. On November 6, the AFI FEST Will Call Desk will relocate to Laemmle’s Monica 4.


PATRON PASS         $500/$450 for AFI Members
• Two Gala Tickets*
• Early seating at all regular screenings**
• Access for one to the AFI FEST Lounge on a space-available basis

FRIEND PACKAGE         $1,000/$900 for AFI Members
• Two FEST Patron Passes (four Gala Tickets)*
• Access to the AFI FEST Lounge for two on a space-available basis

CONTRIBUTOR PACKAGE         $2,500/$2,250 for AFI Members
• Four FEST Patron Passes (eight Gala Tickets)*
• Recognition as a Festival Contributor
• Private thank-you cocktail reception
• Access to the AFI FEST Lounge for four on a space-available basis

STAR PACKAGE         $5,000/$4,500 for AFI Members
• Four Festival Patron Passes (eight Gala Tickets)*
• Recognition as a Festival Contributor at the highest level
• Private thank-you cocktail reception
• Private appreciation dinner
• One Tribute ticket*
• Access to the AFI FEST Lounge for four on a space-available basis

Each Festival Patron Pass includes two Gala Tickets.
*Requires RSVP and hard ticket for admission
**Patrons must be in their seats 15 minutes before the scheduled screening time or admittance cannot be guaranteed.

Hollywood & Highland parking garage
6801 Hollywood Blvd.
$2 for up to four hours with theater, restaurant or shopping validation; $1 for every 20 minutes thereafter, with a daily maximum of $10

Santa Monica
Santa Monica City Parking Structure #4
Across the street from the theater
Prior to 6 pm, the first two hours are free; $1 for each additional half hour.
After 6 pm, there is a flat rate of $3.

Ride the Metro to the Hollywood/Highland Metro station.


Grauman’s Chinese Theatre
6925 Hollywood Blvd.

Mann Chinese 6
6801 Hollywood Blvd.

Laemmle’s Monica 4
1332 Second St.
Santa Monica


Audi Suite
The Audi Suite/Bridge, AFI FEST’s premier upscale lounge for Festival filmmakers and special guests, is open daily during the Festival from 6 pm to midnight, serving complimentary alcoholic beverages.

Cinema Lounge
The Cinema Lounge is located in the historic, newly restored Blossom Ballroom at the world-famous Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. A relaxed environment for Pass holders, open daily from 11 am to midnight, offering an open bar and unique special events. A great place to meet and mingle with fellow Pass holders.

October 25 – Robert Beavers in person at the UCLA Film & Television Archives

Sunday October 25, 2009, 7:00 pm

UCLA Film & Television Archive, Los Angeles Filmforum, Getty Research Institute, CalArts Film/Video, and REDCAT present

Robert Beavers in Person

First time in Los Angeles! None available on DVD.

The Ground by Robert Beavers

The Ground by Robert Beavers

At the UCLA Film & Television Archive, Billy Wilder Theater, in the UCLA Hammer Museum

**Note change in time and place – 7:00 pm, at the Billy Wilder Theater in Westwood

The Billy Wilder Theater is located in the Hammer Museum, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., at the northeast corner of the intersection of Wilshire and Westwood Blvds., just east of the 405.  Parking is $3 in the lot under the theater. Enter from Westwood Blvd., just north of Wilshire.

For advance tickets and directions, please visit the UCLA Film & Television Archives website.

This presentation of work by avant-garde filmmaker Robert Beavers represents the filmmaker’s Los Angeles debut, after a career spanning from the mid-1960s to the present day, and is organized in conjunction with the Pacific Film Archive in Berkeley, who will present Beavers’ complete cycle earlier in October.

“Beavers’ films occupy a noble place within the history of avant-garde film, positioned at the intersection of structural and lyrical filmmaking traditions. They seem to embody the ideals of the Renaissance in their fascination with perception, psychology, literature, the natural world, architectural space, musical phrasing and aesthetic beauty.” -Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive

Interview with Robert Beavers, by Tony Pipolo, from Millennium Film Journal, 1998.

Interview with Robert Beavers in the Yale Daily News, 2009

AMOR (1980, 15 min. 35mm, color, Italy/Austria)

AMOR uses themes of cutting and sewing as metaphors. Cloth is cut and fabric is sewn; shrubs are trimmed and hedges form majestic garden archways; and a male figure claps his hands as if to signal a sync cue on which there is a visual cut. Central to this work are the complex emotions surrounding love, separation, and the metonymic twinning of objects, including that of edited image and sutured sound. —Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive

THE STOAS (1991-97, 22 min., 35mm, color, Greece)

The Stoas includes images of the deserted industrial arcades (stoas) of Athens during siesta and the refreshing waters of a bountiful river. “An ineffable, unnamable immanence flows through the images of The Stoas, a kind of presence of the human soul expressed through the sympathetic absence of the human figure” (Ed Halter).—Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive

THE GROUND (1993-2001, 20 min., 35mm, color, Greece)

The Ground uses seemingly simple components – the sun-baked landscape of a Greek island, the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, and images of a man chiseling stone – to conjure the fundamental experience of holding something close to one’s heart. A repeated close up of a man pounding his bare chest, then gesturing with hand outstretched, lends dramatic tension to the film’s expression of devotional love. —Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive

PITCHER OF COLORED LIGHT (2007, 24 min., 16mm, United States/Switzerland)

Beavers’ most recent film, Pitcher of Colored Light is a loving portrait of his mother depicted in her Massachusetts home and garden, shot across several seasons. —Susan Oxtoby, Pacific Film Archive

More on Robert Beavers:

Robert Beavers (1949–) began his extraordinary career in film at the precocious age of seventeen, the same year he met Gregory Markopoulos, the influential avant-garde filmmaker who would become his partner for life, and permanently relocated to Europe. Together Beavers and Markopoulos bravely dedicated themselves to a singular mode of art cinema that adamantly refused all commercial impulses and maintained a careful distance from the major currents of contemporary American experimental cinema. Until the mid- 1990s, Beavers, like Markopoulos, strictly controlled the exhibition of his work, restricting screenings to an annual series of outdoor events in Greece. In the last decade Beavers has selectively exhibited his films in and outside of Europe, always to tremendous critical acclaim.

Frequently drawing inspiration from European art and architecture, Beavers’ films are equally noted for their intricate mosaic-like structure and exquisite framing as their insightful exploration of history and art. The thematic and formal complexity of Beavers’ films is balanced by the sensuous beauty of every image contained within them. For the last ten years Beavers has re-edited and re-worked the sound for almost all of his films and organized them into an ambitious omnibus work entitled My Hands Outstretched to the Winged Distance and Sightless Measure.

From Harvard Film Archives

October 18 – Ken Jacobs & Anaglyph Tom

Sunday October 18, 2009, 7:30 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents

ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom with Puffy Cheeks) by Ken Jacobs

Anaglyph TomAnaglyph Tom

Los Angeles Premiere!  Ken Jacobs in Person! 3-D!

Filmforum at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028

For reservations, email us at, but they aren’t essential.

Parking is now easiest at the Hollywood & Highland complex.  Bring your ticket for validation.  Parking is $2 for 4 hours with validation.  Enter that complex on Highland or Hollywood.  The theater is 1.5 blocks east.

Radical genius Ken Jacobs is one of the leading practitioners of film and video art in the world.  We’re delighted to host the Los Angeles premiere of his newest video work – the 3-D version of Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son.Not on DVD, you won’t have any other chances to see this.

“It’s wonderfully fitting that, in the year of Hollywood’s much ballyhooed 3-D renaissance, Jacobs has routed the technology back to the very origins of cinema itself. In the feature-length Anaglyph Tom (Tom with Puffy Cheeks), also premiering here this week, Jacobs repurposes another early Edison short — the same one he first stretched like a rubber band into 1969’s Tom, Tom, the Piper’s Son — this time stereoscoping the picaresque one-reeler using red-and-blue anaglyph technology, so that Edison’s prepubescent pig thief and crowds of antic villagers now seem to invade the space between the screen and the audience. In addition, Jacobs uses digital effects to bisect, trisect and otherwise slice and dice the orig inal images, repainting his canvas with a restless vigor.

“Like much of what interests Jacobs, 3-D technology dates back to the turn of the last century, though the filmmaker admits that his initial reaction to the popular 3-D boom of the 1950s was one of little enthusiasm. “Coming from painting, the surface was most important to me,” Jacobs says. “I studied with a great teacher” — German abstract expressionist painter Hans Hofmann — “who said, ‘You mustn’t break the surface. Whatever you do in space, you mustn’t break the surface.’ And [3-D] was breaking the surface in a big way. Gradually, I chose to sin and got deeper and deeper into it.” Still, Jacobs adds, ‘My 3-D is not like the movies coming out now or before; I’m not that interested in the verisimilitude of re-creating a world in depth. I’m playing with depth. I’m playing with the eyes. Curious things can happen.'” – Scott Foundas, LA Weekly.

Read the full profile by Scott Foundas but note that they have the date of tonight’s screening wrong

Also see the profile with Ken Jacobs by Manohla Dargis in the New York Times.

Curated by Steve Anker. This screening concludes a weeklong residency by Jacobs at CalArts, REDCAT, UCLA and Los Angeles Filmforum

ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom With Puffy Cheeks) (2008, 118 minutes, DV-Cam)
In 3-D!

The real subject of ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom With Puffy Cheeks) is depth-perception itself.  Our beloved performers from the 1905 TOM, TOM, THE PIPER’S SON again encapsulate human absurdity for our amusement but this time in entirely illusionary 3-D.  They step from -and back into- the screen surface.  This is cosmic play with all strings pulled.    – Ken Jacobs

Ken Jacobs was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1933. He studied painting with one of the prime creators of Abstract Expressionism, Hans Hofmann, in the mid-fifties. It was then that he also began filmmaking (Star Spangled To Death). His personal star rose, to just about knee high, with the sixties advent of Underground Film. In 1967, with the involvement of his wife Florence and many others aspiring to a democratic -rather than demagogic- cinema, he created The Millennium Film Workshop in New York City. A nonprofit filmmaker’s co-operative open to all, it made available film equipment, workspace, screenings and classes at little or no cost. Later he found himself teaching large classes of painfully docile students at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens.

In 1969, after a week’s guest seminar at Harpur College (now, Binghamton University), students petitioned the Administration to hire Ken Jacobs. Despite his lack of a high school diploma, the Administration -during that special period of anguish and possibility- decided that, as a teacher, he was “a natural.” Together with Larry Gottheim he organized the SUNY system’s first Department of Cinema, teaching thoughtful consideration of every kind of film but specializing in avant garde cinema appreciation and production. (Department graduates are world-recognized as having an exceptional presence in this field.) His own early studies under Hofmann would increasingly figure in his filmwork, making for an Abstract Expressionist cinema, clearly evident in his avant garde classic Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son (1969) and increasingly so in his subsequent devising of the unique Nervous System series of live film-projection performances. The American Museum Of The Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, hosted a full retrospective of his work in 1989, The New York Museum Of Modern Art held a partial retrospective in 1996, as did The American House in Paris in 1994 and the Arsenal Theater in Berlin in 1986 (during his 6 month stay as guest-recipient of Berlin’s DAAD award). He has also performed in Japan, at the Louvre in Paris, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, etc. Honors include the Maya Deren Award of The American Film Institute, the Guggenheim Award and a special Rockefeller Foundation grant. A 1999 interview with Ken Jacobs can be seen on the Net as part of The University Of California at Berkeley’s series of Conversations With History:

This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles.  Additional support generously provided by the American Cinematheque.

Anaglyph Tom

Anaglyph Tom