Winter 2009 Season


Winter 2009 Season


Wednesdays in January (January 7, 14, 21, and 28 ) – Avant-garde silent films at the Silent Movie Theatre

Racing hearts, dashed hopes, insanity, violence, devastating betrayals–and tiger maulings! For those who doubt the expressive capacity of silent film, prepare to have your skepticism completely decimated. Covering the full spectrum of emotional tsunamis, from sweeping melodrama to the highest camp, this batch of rarely-screened films will render audiences speechless. Not even the presence of formidable stars–Garbo, Barrymore, a rabid tiger–can cool the fiery core of these volcanic silents. So, don’t speak! Just watch in bemusement as manic heroes and crazed heroines forego civilized behavior in favor of infinitely more cinematic pursuits. Full details on all indivdual shows in this series can be found here.


Sunday January 11, 2009, 7:00 pm – Brakhage with Brakhage: Marilyn Brakhage introducing Films by Stan Brakhage

Filmforum is delighted to open its 2009 season with a marvelous program of films by the master avant-garde filmmaker Stan Brakhage, hosted by Marilyn Brakhage in her first appearance in Los Angeles. Every show of films by Brakhage contains wonders of vision, color, and light. Some of tonight’s films haven’t been screened in Los Angeles in years, if ever. Not to be missed. Full details on this show can be found here.


Saturdays in January (January 10, 17, 24 and 31) – The Artist and the Archives (at the Silent Movie Theatre)
Four special events revolving around archival film projects, with special guests on selected evenings.

There’s a certain romance those with artistic inclinations often have for archives. Before we feel the urge to create, we fall in love with books, records, movies, and not just what’s in them. A certain tenderness can emerge for the physical objects themselves, pages we can touch, film we can run through our fingers. And, en masse, we love the boundless possibilities, the stored potential of our collective human output buried like treasure in our vaults and libraries. The artists in this series have each gone through acres of archival film and shaped it into something new. For them, the archive is a muse, a mother of invention, and the clay from which they have sculpted their work. Full details on all indivdual shows in this series can be found here.


Sunday January 18, 2009, 7:00 pm – Crawford, A Documentary Film by David Modigliani – The Farewell Tour
Los Angeles Premiere!
Filmmaker David Modigliani in person!

Crawford (2008, color, sound, 74 minutes), an extraordinary documentary by first-time filmmaker David Modigliani, provides a unique perspective on the Bush presidency: through the eyes of the 705 residents of Crawford, Texas. An often funny, deeply human story told by unforgettable characters. As witness to one man’s (and his spin doctor’s) decision to intertwine his life with the real small town America, the film ultimately becomes a microcosm of a nation in flux — a unique and poignant reflection on the Bush era. Full details on this show can be found here.


Sunday February 15, 2009, 7:00 pm – Binaural: New Media Art from the Nodar Artist Residency Center in Portugal

Binaural is a Portuguese media arts collective that promotes the exploration and research in sound, visual and new media arts, focusing on the crossing of media and languages and on the articulation between artistic production and the surrounding context, particularly through its activities in the rural space of Nodar.

Binaural runs Nodar Artist Residency Center, located in an ancestral rural mountain community of northern Portugal. Through an annual program of residencies, are organized and produced the development of media arts projects from international artists, followed by public presentations in the surrounding villages. The resident artists are encouraged to establish interactions with the place, its inhabitants, geographic space and memory. Full details on this show can be found here.


Sunday March 1, 2009, 7:00 pm – Takahiko Iimura: 60s Experiments and Early Conceptual Videos

Takahiko Iimura is considered one of the most influential and important experimental filmmakers of our time. In an era of the explosion of Underground Film in the States, Iimura, almost alone in Tokyo, began making experimental film just reading the news from abroad without actually seeing them. His work explores wide range of experiments from poetic cinema with Dadaist and Surrealist influence and Absurdist filmic play in the 1960’s through more formal and conceptual investigations in the 1970’s and the later. Tonight is part of a ten-day multi-venue retrospective celebration of Iimura’s work. Takahiko Iimura will be in person at ALL screenings. More details to come!

Tonight the following films will be screened: 60s Experiments, Kuzu (Junk) (1962, 16mm, b/w, sound, 10 min., Music by Takehisa Kosugi); Ai (Love) (1962, 16mm, b/w, sound by Yoko Ono, 15 min.); On Eye Rape (1962, 16mm, b/w, silent, 10 min.); A Dance Party in the Kingdom of Lilliput No. 1 (1964, 16mm, b/w, sound, 14 min.); Onan (1963, 16mm, B/W, 7min., Music: Yasunao Tone); Early Conceptual Videos (from DVD, 23 min. total)

Sunday March 8, 2009, 7:00 pm – Takahiko Iimura: Recent Works

See above (March 1) for full description of Takahiko Iimura series.

Tonight the following films will be screened: John Cage Performs James Joyce (1985, DVD, color, 15min, Music: John Cage); Aiueonn Six Features (1982-1994, DVD, 15 min.); Observer/Observed and Other Works of Video Semiology (1976 (First Version), B/W, DVD, 22 min); Seeing / Hearing / Speaking (2002, DVD, b/w, 33 min.); I Am (Not) Seen (2003, DVD, color, 5min. Music; Makoto Sato)

More details to come!


Sunday March 15, 2009, 7:00 pm – Do You See What I See? New works on vision and digitization by Adele Horne, Rebecca Baron & Doug Goodwin

Filmforum is delighted to welcome back some of our good friends with new films. We last hosted Adele Horne with her documentary The Tailenders, which went on to win an Independent Spirit Award. Her new short works investigate realms of vision and interpretation of visual phenomena in delightful ways. We’ve screened Rebecca Baron’s films in a couple of different shows, most recently How Little We Know of Our Neighbors. With the Lossless Series, she and filmmaking partner Doug Goodwin look into the small and large changes done to film images through digitization, compression, and digital manipulation, and by extension raise questions of the potential of the de- and re-construction of all images from/of the past. More details to come!


Sunday March 22, 2009, 7:00 pm – A World Rattled of Habit – Films by Ben Rivers

This year’s most noteworthy new discovery was the work of Britain’s Ben Rivers, a relatively young and highly prolific artist filmmaker. What’s most striking about Rivers’ work, apart from the sheer physical pleasure of his hazy chiaroscuro, is its resonance with specifically British cinematic traditions… Here’s hoping North Americans receive more opportunities to experience Rivers’s gentle, poignant cinema.
– Michael Sicinski, GreenCine Daily, (Oct 2007)

Tonight we’ll be screening We The People (2004, 1 min, 16mm, b/w); House (2005/7, 5 min, 16mm, b/w); This Is My Land (2006, 14 min, 16mm, b/w); The Coming Race (2006, 5 min, 16mm, b/w, Ireland); Astika (2006, 8 min, 16mm, Denmark/UK); Ah, Liberty! (2008, 20 min, anamorphic 16mm, b/w, 2008); Origin of the Species (16 min, 16mm, colour, sound); A World Rattled Of Habit (2008, 10 min, 16mm, col/b+w)

More details to come!

Sunday March 29, 2009, 7:00 pm – The Los Angeles Premiere of Ken Jacobs’s Razzle Dazzle the Lost World

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, Razzle Dazzle the Lost World (2008, DVD, color and black & white, 90 min.), along with his 2006 film Capitalism: Slavery (2006, DVD NTSC, b&w, silent, 3 min.).


Sunday April 5, 2009, 7:00 pm – Animated Documentaries part 1 – Profiles

Monday April 13, 8:00 pm – Animated Documentaries part 2 – Rendering the facts


“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.

What: Animated documentaries – two shows

Animated Documentaries part 1 – Portraits
Sunday April 5, 7:00 pm
Filmforum at the Egyptian Theatre
6712 Hollywood Blvd at Las Palmas

Parking on the streets or at Hollywood & Highland – the Egyptian has a validation stamp, 4 hours for $2.
Admission $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members
Reservations available by emailing
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. Sometimes it’s a more traditional biopic, as in McLaren’s Negatives by Marie-Josee Saint Pierre. Sometimes it’s a more impressionistic portrait, as in Yurico Murakami’s Talking About Amy or the influential Kid Stays in the Picture (with its use of stills manipulation) by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen; others illustrate sharp political points through the tragic tales of interviewees, as in Sheila Sofian’s Conversation with Haris or Samantha Moore’s The Beloved Ones. Bob Sabiston’s popular work is represented by the fabulously humorous tale of Ryan’s trip to the amusement park in The Even More Fun Trip, and Helen Hill mixes family films, imaginative fancy, paper cut-out animation and traditional drawing in her delicately sad film of her grandfather’s death, Mouseholes. What do you do when an interviewee doesn’t want himself shown on screen? Animation is one strategy, as seen in Liz Blazer’s Backseat Bingo, which brings the humorous views of senior citizens on sex, or in Ellie Lee’s harrowing depiction of abuse in Repetition Compulsion. And we’ll see how students today are using such materials in new portraits, with Sahar Alsawaf’s tale of her Iraqi relative, Uncle Ma’an.
Talking About Amy by Yurico Murakami (200?, 8:20, USA/Japan)
McLaren’s Negatives by Marie-Josee Saint Pierre (2006, 11 min., Canada)
Backseat Bingo by Liz Blazer (2003, 5:25, USA)
Repetition Compulsion by Ellie Lee (1997, 7 min., 35mm, USA)
Excerpt from The Kid Stays in the Picture by Nanette Burstein and Brett Morgen (2002, 93 min, US)
Conversation with Haris by Sheila Sofian (2001, 6 min, 16mm, USA)
The Beloved Ones by Samantha Moore (2007, 6 min, UK)
Mouseholes by Helen Hill (1999, 16mm, USA) – portrait of grandfather
Uncle Ma’an by Sahar Alsawaf (2007, 4 min, video, USA/Iraq)
The Even More Fun Trip by Bob Sabiston (2007, 20:45, video, USA)

Animated Documentaries part 2 – Rendering the Facts
Monday April 13, 8:00 pm
The Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre
611 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles, 90036

Admission $12 general, $8 for Cinefamily and Filmforum members
Tickets and more details for this show at

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. And more!
The Sinking of the Lusitania by Winsor McKay (1916, 12 min, USA.)
Enter Life by Faith Hubley (1982, 6 min., USA, for Smithsonian Natural History museum)
Adventures in Music: Toot, Whistle, Plunk and Boom! (1953, 10 min., Disney Studios)
The Velvet Tigress by Jen Sachs (2001, 11 min, 16mm, USA)
Excerpt from Shay’s Rebellion – America’s First Civil War by R.J. Cutler, animation by Bill Plympton (2004, 45 min, video, USA)
Forest Murmurs by Jonathan Hodgson (2006, 12:30, UK)
Success with Sweetpeas by Samantha Moore (2006, 6:30, UK)
Hidden by David Aronowitsch and Hanna Heilborn (2002, 8 min., video, Sweden)
“Men in Black” segment from Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience, by Richard Robbins (2007, 6 min., from video, USA)
His Mother’s Voice by Dennis Tupicoff (1997, 15 min, 35mm, Australia)
Never like the First Time by Jonas Odell (2005, 14:30, video, Sweden)


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s