Sunday October 25, 2009, 7:00 pm
Robert Beavers in Person
First time in Los Angeles! None available on DVD.
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
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.