Spring 2009 Season
Sunday April 5 at the Egyptian and Monday April 13 at the Silent Movie Theatre – ANIMATED DOCUMENTARIES!
TWO GENRE-STRETCHING SHOWS
“Animated documentaries” – isn’t that an oxymoron? No longer! Documentary has now moved past the notion that it needs to be an exact representation of reality, although many in the United States still resist the expansive concept. And animation has long included more than kids cartoons, although most people only know the films they see on Saturday morning television. Now with the recent success of Waltz with Bashir, a feature-length animated documentary, it is time to bring a survey of the growing subgenre of such films, which date back to 1918. Now is the time to break through the bounds of the real, to get into the minds of real people in real situations, to find visuals for events that weren’t documented, to raise issues of perception and experience and reality. Why are most animated documentaries linked still to an acceptable aural interview – an illustrated radio documentary? Where does animation fall short, and what objections does it raise? And where does it open up the realm of the possible, and provide a new way to visualize truth? There will be screenings at two locations on April 5 and 13, 2009, and more in the Fall.
Sunday April 5, 7:00 pm – Animated Documentaries part 1 – Portraits
Tonight we look at the range of possibilities of portraits – biographical moments, short profiles, and pointed interviews. Going beyond the filmmaker (we’ll look at autobiographical films later), these play with external representations to bring out key aspects of the personalities of the subjects.
At the Silent Movie Theater
Tonight we’ll look at difficult and entertaining assortment of films where the animation serves as visual reportage, representing “the facts.” From the winsome or rough tales of the loss of virginity in Jonas Odell’s Never Like the First Time to the bouncy remixed score of sweetpea growers in England in Samantha Moore’s Success with Sweetpeas, these films draw upon interviews and historical events. We’ll also be including such works as the “Men in Black” segment of Richard Robbins’ Oscar-nominated documentary Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, Jennifer Sachs’ The Velvet Tigress which looks at a 1930s murderess, and the original animated documentary, The Sinking of the Lusitania by Winsor McKay, which also raises the question of where documentary meets propaganda.
Four young film-makers–Vera Brunner-Sung, Haeyong Moon, Erika Vogt, and Laida Lertxundi —celebrate the commonplace and the contingent. They lead us to notice anew what we might miss in our everyday surroundings. They celebrate the memories made in a stone, in a field, in a song. Are these places sacred then? We live in a ruined paradise, and in ruining it, we have made it our home, and since it is our home, we must learn to love it and to value it. That is the lesson of these movies. – Thom Andersen
With Jeff Lambert, Assistant Director of the National Film Preservation Foundation, and Mark Toscano of the Academy Film Archive in person!
This March brought the long-awaited release of the National Film Preservation Foundation’s glorious 2-DVD box set, Treasures IV: American Avant-Garde Film, 1947-1986, the home-video debut of 26 classics of American experimental filmmaking. Treasures IV showcases the preservation work of America’s foremost avant-garde film archives: Anthology Film Archive, the Academy Film Archive of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Museum of Modern Art, the Donnell Media Center of the New York Public Library, and Pacific Film Archive. In honor of its release, Filmforum tonight brings you six of the restored films from the set, on film, in all their glory, the better to whet your appetite for all the glories of the box set.
With FIVE shows over two days featuring presenters and films from around the country!!
The Orphan Film Symposium has had six incarnations since its start in 1999 at the University of South Carolina. Founder Dan Streible has since developed the symposium into a favorite of AMIA members, filmmakers, and historians. Presenters at the symposium speak about orphan restoration and research projects, their processes of discovery for these films and videos, followed by screenings of the works.
Sunday May 17, 2009, 7:30 pm – Descent: Three Stories of Family
Curator and Filmmaker LeAnn Erickson in person!
Descent: Three Stories of Family features three documentaries that explore familial relationships, personal stories, and cultural traditions. Investigating the human landscape through the lens of three distinct stylistic approaches, this documentary program highlights and deconstructs the theme of family.
Wednesday May 27, 2009, 7:30 pm – Restoring the Los Angeles Avant-Garde: Thom Andersen and Morgan Fisher
Thom Andersen, Morgan Fisher and Academy preservationist Mark Toscano in person!
While films produced by artists in New York and San Francisco have historically been given an inordinate precedence in accounts of such work, an astonishingly diverse and extensive world of vital avant-garde filmmaking was–and still is–going on right here. Accordingly, the title of this special two-night screening series has a double meaning.
All of the films presented in this program are by Los Angeles artists featuring prints restored by the Academy and making their Los Angeles restoration premieres. But in addition to highlighting the important work of the Academy–and by this selection of film artists, in particular–this series aims to contribute to the growing recognition of Los Angeles, then and now, as a significant center of avant-garde production.
Friday May 29, 2009, 7:30 pm – Restoring the Los Angeles Avant-Garde: Things Are Always Going Wrong
New Restorations of Los Angeles Experimental Films
Pat O’Neill, Grahame Weinbren, Fred Worden, David Wilson, Roberta Friedman and Academy preservationist Mark Toscano in person!
Since its formal inception in 1992, the Academy Film Archive has been working diligently to preserve and restore independent and experimental films. However, over the last five years, the Academy Archive has trained an additional focus on the work of Los Angeles-based artists. As more films have come to the Academy, and more have been preserved or restored, a fascinating portrait of the Los Angeles avant-garde scene has begun to emerge.
Sunday May 31, 2009, 7:30 pm – Dialogues, by Owen Land – Los Angeles Premiere!
Owen Land in person!
Filmforum is delighted to welcome back legendary filmmaker Owen Land (formerly known as George Landow) for the official Los Angeles premiere of his newest work Dialogues. Dialogues is a feature-length self-reflexive experimental film by Apollo Jize (aka Owen Land). On one level, it is a parody of Scorpio Rising, using era-specific hit records to locate scenes in time; on another level, it’s an interpretation of Plato’s dialogue ‘Phaedo’, in which Socrates proves the doctrine of re-incarnation; on still another level, it is a polemic for the Tantric belief in the sacredness of male-female polarity in the form of thirty “Platonic Dialogues.”
Sunday June 7, 2009, 7:30 pm – The Festival of (In)appropriation: Contemporary Found Footage Filmmaking
Curated by Jaimie Baron and Andrew Hall
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.
Sunday June 21, 2009, 7:30 pm – Sarah Pucill: Taken by the Frame – Los Angeles premieres!
At the Echo Park Film Center
The Echo Park Film Center and Los Angeles Filmforum host British artist, photographer and filmmaker Sarah Pucill. Pucill’s films and photographs play with boundaries of self and other, frequently involving mirrors or mirroring and strong performances. Sometimes rigorously formal, other times humorously enamored with the possibilities of light, surfaces, and bodies, while exploring the range of possibilities vested in the camera. Los Angeles premieres of all works from this award-winning experimental filmmaker.
In conjunction with Cinefamily, at the Silent Movie Theatre
On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Robert Frank’s landmark publication, The Americans, and in conjunction with MOCA’s exhibition From the Permanent Collection: Robert Frank’s “The Americans,” MOCA collaborates with Cinefamily and Los Angeles Filmforum to present a rare series of films by and about the renowned photographer.
For this second screening of four, MOCA and Cinefamily present an evening of early films by Robert Frank.
In conjunction with MOCA
The first screening, Portraits of Robert Frank, was held at MOCA on June 21. The second screening featuring Frank’s early films will be held at the Silent Movie Theatre on Saturday July 18. This third of four screenings features Films By and About Robert Frank.
In conjunction with MOCA
This third screening, at the Egyptian on July 19, features Films By and About Robert Frank. And for this final screening, MOCA and Los Angeles Filmforum present a selection of Robert Frank’s newest films, some never screened in Los Angeles.