The city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, animation and video art.

January 27: First Sight Scene: New Works by Southern California Filmmakers


Sunday January 27, 2008, 7:00 pm

At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
First Sight Scene: New Works by Southern California Filmmakers
Curated by Jaimie Baron and Victoria Meng

First Sight Scene is Filmforum’s celebration of the bounty of creative work being made by local filmmakers. It was started in 1992, and was last held in 2000. This year’s First Sight Scene program, which brings together new work by experimental filmmakers in Southern California, emphasizes the creation of different kinds of spaces and reflects the continuities and breaks between film and video, the analog and the digital, the real and the perceived, documentary and fiction. While Madison Brookshire’s Opening meditates on everyday landscapes through long, beautiful film takes, Christina McPhee’s video Carrizoprime fragments the space of the San Andreas Fault, creating a new layered and polymorphous digital landscape. John Cannizzaro’s Fountain of Youth mourns the passing of time and the Super8 format by portraying the ideal space of childhood, and Gwenaelle Gobe’s cut-out animation The Old Noise uses stop-motion to create a impossible space, events, and juxtapositions, while Thomas Helman’s df/dx generates a world of nightmares through digital manipulation. Erik Deutschman’s Stare Gently plays tricks on viewers’ perceptions, inducing animation of static shots through optical illusion, and Dena DeCola and Karin E. Wandner’s Five More Minutes blurs the line between fiction and documentary in order to explore the experience of past traumas in the present moment.

Festivities to follow the screening.

Films include:

Opening (Madison Brookshire, 16mm, 25 min, with live sound accompaniment)
“Using everyday images of overlooked spaces, Opening shows that the city casts a shadow. A collection of off-ramps, power lines and alleys reveals the city in the landscape and the landscape in the city. Three musicians playing very clear, very quiet, very long tones accompany Opening. The score transforms the film, infinitely repeatable, into an indeterminate work, different from one performance to the next.” (Madison Brookshire)

Carrizoprime (Christina McPhee, 2006, video, 13 min)
“Polymorphous layers explore seismic distortion between waking and sleeping. Traveling along the San Andreas Fault, traces of events in the landscape appear without the possibility for their prediction, only for their probabilities. Remnants charted. Fault activities backdrop ruined homesteads, abandoned schemes in California Valley on the Carrizo Plain. The images are accompanied by the sound of P-waves from the 2004 Parkfield Quake. Shot on location at the San Andreas Fault, Soda Lake, and Wallace Creek, in the Carrizo Plain National Monument, California, 2002-2006.” (Christina McPhee)

Stare Gently (Erik Deutschman, Super8, screening on DVCam, 2.5 min)
“Follow the instructions and see.” (Erik Deutschman)


Fountain of Youth (John Cannizzaro, Super8, screening on mini-DV, 13 min).
“The last home movie. Shot in the now discontinued Kodachrome 40 Super8 film stock. A cine-poem to time, childhood and the color of memory.” (John Cannizzaro)

The Old Noise (Gwenaelle Gobe, 35 mm, 4 min)
“The Old Noise tells the story of Stephanie, a two-headed girl who wakes up panicked, realizing she has given birth to four babies, four chairs, and a table. This experimental animation, using silhouette cutout techniques, explores the emotion of fear when confronted with the unexpected and the unusual.” (Gwenaelle Gobe)

df/dx (Thomas Helman, HD screening on mini-DV, 2007, 6:16 min)
“An overexposed spiraling descent of false-awakenings into the recurrent nightmare of alienation and the subsequent clockwork manufacture of an insatiable desire for unity – df/dx is an abject refutation of the closure of any form.” (Thomas Helman)

Five More Minutes (Dena DeCola and Karin E. Wandner, DV Cam, 17:23 min)
Five More Minutes is an exploration of grief. Two women spend an afternoon recreating lost time. What begins as play-acting breaks open into a world where the tenderness and sorrow of having to say goodbye exist untempered.” (Dena DeCola and Karin E. Wandner)

Five More Minutes has a perfect pleasurable tension that sustains and builds throughout. There are complex layers of interest – the subtle profound relationship between mother and daughter, friends and performers, reality breaking through artifice, artifice through reality. It is haunting and grows in the mind.” (Larry Gottheim)

“We live in such a buttoned-up, fearful, cautious culture. Five More Minutes is an attempt to open us up. And it’s not afraid to take chances to do it. It’s not afraid to be emotional.” (Ray Carney)

“I only want to see movies by people who are desperately trying to figure out how to live, Five More Minutes is one of those movies. Dena DeCola and Karin E. Wandner obviously risked a lot to make themselves this vulnerable, and they did it because they had to.” (Miranda July)

Total Running Time: 75 minutes