June 7 – The Festival of (In)Appropriation

Sunday June 7, 2009, 7:30 pm

At the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
The Festival of (In)appropriation: Contemporary Found Footage Filmmaking (click for full show page)
Curated by Jaimie Baron and Andrew Hall

Flicker On Off (2008)

Flicker On Off (2008)

Whether you call it collage, compilation, found footage, detournement, or recycled cinema, the incorporation of previously shot materials into new artworks is a practice that has generated novel juxtapositions of elements which have produced new meanings and ideas that may not have been intended by the original makers, that are, in other words “inappropriate.” This act of appropriation may produce revelation that leads viewers to reconsider the relationship between past and present, here and there, intention and subversion. Fortunately for our purposes, the past decade has seen the emergence of a wealth of new sources for audiovisual materials that can be appropriated into new works. In addition to official state and commercial archives, vernacular archives, home movie collections, and digital archives have provided fascinating source material that may be repurposed in such a way as to give it new meanings and resonances.

In this program, we bring together a selection of recent films that appropriate footage from diverse sources in vastly different ways. Our goal in choosing these films is to show the range of approaches contemporary filmmakers are taking in repurposing found materials. Indeed, tonight’s films push the boundaries of the “found footage” film, raising questions about how we define “found footage” filmmaking in an era in which ever more materials are available for reuse in ever more complex ways. We believe that together, these films reveal how (in)appropriation is flourishing at this social and historical moment. – Jaimie Baron and Andrew Hall

Khan (2008)

Khan (2008)

Khan by Daniel Martinico (2008, video, color, sound, 15-min. loop)
“William Shatner, twitching and tweaking in various poses, occasionally screaming out Khan’s name.” (Daniel Martinico)

The Blockbuster Tapes by Daniel Martinico (2008, video, 5 min.)
“This ‘film’ serves as the documentation of a project completed between 1999-2002. Over a period of 3 years, over 100 videos were rented from Blockbuster, manipulated, re-recorded back onto tape, and returned to the store.” (Daniel Martinico)

Through these Trackless Waters by Elizabeth Henry (2007, 16mm, color, sound, 12:30 min.)
“In the tradition of the collage film, a series of fragments add up to a meditation on the state of nature in which ecology of mind meets ecology of earth, and vice versa.” (Elizabeth Henry)

Time Away (2007)

Time Away (2007)

Utopia Variations by Gregg Biermann (2008, video, sound, 5 min.)
“Utopia Variations is part of a series of video works that use the computational capacity of computers to transform iconic moments in works of classical Hollywood cinema. In this piece the “over the rainbow” sequence from The Wizard of Oz moves forward from the beginning and backwards from the end in half second intercuts. This gradually builds to a 25 voice split-screen canon in which each voice is slightly out of synch. The resulting matrix is mesmerizing, kaleidoscopic.” (Gregg Biermann)

Time Away by Aubriand a.k.a. Carole O’Brien (2007, video, color, sound, 7:15 min.)
“Roads as far as the eye can see. Signposts are glimpsed and people from another time are lost, en route to inner worlds of the mind…Debating the nature of time, three voices navigate the continuously moving space and lead us through grief to the transformative end of the road: time away changes what you thought you knew.” (Aubriand)

The Game by Tasman Richardson (2007, video, color, sound, 3:52 min.)
“A world of remote control warfare, hyper-reality, and military crafted videogames for recruitment. Emilio Estevez, Matthew Broderick and even Burroughs join in. All edits are strictly JAWA style, a.k.a. what you see is what you hear and the edits are 100% responsible for the rhythm and melody. Nothing added and nothing synched. Most importantly, this is done entirely with manual cut and paste and layering. No triggers, no shortcuts. Pure JAWA.” (Tasman Richardson)

Her Heart is Washed in Water and Then Weighed (Sasha Waters Freyer, 2006, 12:45 min., 16mm)
Her Heart is Washed in Water and Then Weighed is a meditation on motherhood and mortality that takes its title from a procedure in the autopsying of a human corpse. Subtle juxtapositions evoke parallels between static monuments and living families and suggests what is lost to time and age.” (Sasha Waters)

TB TX Dance by Roger Beebe (2006, 16mm, 2:30 min.)
“The background of the image is made of patterns of dots directly laser printed on clear leader. That background also doubles as an optical soundtrack with different pitches created by the density of the dots. The dots were inspired by the stockings Toni Basil (‘Antonia Christina Basilotta’) wore in Bruce Conner’s Breakaway in 1966, which also serves as the source footage for the dancer in the film. Toni Basil herself is a source of inspiration for all 30-somethings who haven’t yet made enough of their lives. (She was 39 when ‘Mickey’ was a hit in 1982.” (Roger Beebe)

Untitled (“Tiny Bits”) by Sandra Gibson (2009, 16mm, color, silent, 3 min.)
“Bits and Pieces of film are chopped up and reconfigured in the optical printer. A ‘slide show’ of sorts that moves from fast-to-slow to slow down the tempo of perception.” (Sandra Gibson)

windshield baby gameboy movie (2009)

windshield baby gameboy movie (2009)

windshield baby gameboy movie by Clint Enns, (2009, video, color, sound, 1:47 min.)
“Images of a car crash are digitally interpreted using a Nintendo Gameboy Camera. This video is an attempt to demonstrate the inherently dehumanized nature of video game images.” (Clint Enns)

Intermittent Delight by Akosua Adoma Owusu (2006, 4:20 min.)
Intermittent Delight juxtaposes close-ups of batik textiles, fashion and design from the 1950s and 1960s, images of men weaving and women sewing in Ghana, and fragments of a Westinghouse 1960s commercial – aimed to instruct women on the how-to of refrigerator decoration. Constructed from a combination of 1960s Afrobeat, traditional Asanta Adwa music, and field recordings of West African men and women producing cloths and garments, the soundtrack pulls the piece together and imbues it with a jolty and festive tone.” (Akosua Adoma Owusu)

Intermittent Delight (2006)

Intermittent Delight (2006)

Flicker On Off by Caroline Koebel (2008, video, b&w and color, sound, 20:12 min.)
Flicker On Off is a trilogy applying the idiom of experimental film and artist’s video to big budget movies in order to speak about world affairs in which could be described as an alternative format.” (Caroline Koebel) Part I: Repeat Photography and the Albedo Effect (8:12 min.), Part II: Sunroof (Bhutto Benazir Assassination) (6:10 min.), Part III: All the House (Haditha Massacre) (5:50 min.)

Speechless by Scott Stark (2008, 16mm, color, sound, 13 min.)
“3D photographs of human vulvae are animated and interwoven with surfaces and textures from natural and human-made environments. The genital images were taken from a set of Viewmaster 3D reels that accompanied a textbook entitled The Clitoris, published in 1976 by two medical professionals.” (Scott Stark) Sound by Greg Headley.
*Note: This film is extremely graphic and probably not appropriate for children. In addition, the editing made at least one of the curators feel sick to her stomach.

Total Running Time (with 10 min. intermission): 100 min.

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.

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