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April 5 – Animated Documentaries Part 1: Portraits


The Even More Fun Trip

Sunday April 5, 2009, 7:00 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Animated Documentaries Part 1 – Portraits

At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas.  7:00 pm.  Tickets are $10 general, $6 students/seniors, cash or check only at the door.  We’ll be selling tikcets at a table in the courtyard.  Tickets are NOT available through the website for the Egyptian Theatre.

“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.
But 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?

Backseat Bingo

Backseat Bingo

Join us as we survey the remarkable and burgeoning genre of animated documentaries.

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.

Part 2 coming on Monday April 13, 8:00 pm at the Silent Movie Theatre, co-resented with Cinefamily.  For details, check out the Upcoming Shows tab.

Tonight’s film will include:

Talking About Amy by Yurico Murakami (2006, 8:20, USA/Japan)

Repetition Compulsion (1997)

Repetition Compulsion (1997)

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)

Uncle Ma’an (2007)

Uncle Ma’an (2007)

The Beloved Ones by Samantha Moore (2007, 6 min, UK)

by Helen Hill (1999, 16mm, USA)

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)

The Beloved Ones (2007)

The Beloved Ones (2007)


April 4 – Journey From Darkness into Light: Films By Kerry Laitala

Saturday April 4, 2009, 8:00 pm

The Echo Park Film Center and Los Angeles Filmforum present
Journey From Darkness into Light: Some Films By Kerry Laitala

Note change in day, time, and location!

Echo Park Film Center
1200 N. Alvarado Street LA CA 90026
(213) 484-8846
8PM, $5 admission

This “spooktacular” program includes nine short 16mm films from visiting Bay-area filmmaker Kerry Laitala. “For every work [Laitala] produces, she places her fingers on the pulse of the piece and allows it to grow organically without a script or prescribed plan. She prescribes to the concepts laid down by Germaine Dulac, maker of surrealist films in the 1920’s, that cinema should not be enslaved by narrative and theatre, and is interested in expansive forms of media production. Laitala is deeply invested in the process of working directly with the film medium basically is involved in all aspects of production: shooting, developing, editing and sound design as well as optical printing much of material to further re-work it into another form.“ (filmmaker’s bio)

A Fragment from a Lost Film (1992, 3 min., 16mm, silent)
Introduction to a walking anachronism

Orbit (2006, 9 min., 16mm, hand-made soundtrack)



Candy apple light emissions create a series of photic stimulating events that tickle the retinas. “Orbit” takes one into the realm of the mistake…. a playful pulsation of mis-registered images made when a
lab accidentally split the film from 16mm to regular 8. This format was then reconstituted on the optical printer making the colors and contrast further blow out into the atmosphere. Kodachrome color fields create tremulous vibrations whose flickerings hypnotize. The Kodachrome Series, of which “Orbit” is a part, deals directly with chromatic motion studies and creates an illusion of frozen light fields; holding light captive and exploring the phenomenon of retinal afterimage. The soundtrack is comprised of the flutterings of optical noise reverberating to the splices of the film that is intermixed with hand drawn extensions of the visual plane onto the soundtrack area. By combining a series of abstract shapes with permanent marker, the rhythm and tempo of the image is directly enhanced through this mark making process. The fanciful sputterings crackle and snap, tickling the tympanum of the eardrums. We enter through the oval window, while the Gravitron spins eternally.

Out of the Ether (2003, 11 min., 16mm, sound)
A hand crafted 16mm film composed on the optical printer and toned to bring out pulsating hues of oozing greens and yellows. “Out of the Ether” poses the following questions: “What do we
leave behind? Are institutional forces using our hysteria to reap the benefits of possible infection? Whose environment could we possibly be affecting? What unseen forces would unscrupulous beings want to use to infiltrate our bodies and perhaps our consciousness? Who is the enemy? “Out of the Ether” unleashes upon an unsuspecting audience septic musings about fear in the guise of microbial menace and mayhem.

Awake, But Dreaming (2000, 8 min., 16mm, Color, sound)
“This completely hand processed 16mm film was shot in the Hirschgang Oberer, an extended arched hallway at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, where she was in residence intermittently from 1998-2001. “Awake, but Dreaming” recreates a sense of an endless, cyclical dreamscape that is conjured up from the deep recesses of the imagination. A disembodied hovering presence evokes a menace that is intimated through the sonorous resonance, but never manifests itself. However, the dreamer
never reaches the apex of consciousness; only lingers repeatedly in the periphery of alchemically enhanced light and shadow. The cavernous intrauterine space is one of potentials where anything can happen if the viewer can enter the porthole of experience.”



Retrospectroscope (1997, 5 min., 16mm, silent)
The “Retrospectroscope” apparatus has gone through many incarnations; its presence belies the processes that have created it. As a pre-cinematic device, it traces an evolutionary trajectory, encircling the viewer in a procession of flickering fantasies of fragmented lyricism. The “Retrospectroscope” is a reinvention that simulates the illusion of the analysis of motion to recall early mysteries of the quest for this very discovery now taken for granted. The Muses of Cinema represented by the female figures on the disk, have emerged from a dark Neoclassical past. Streams of images revolve around, in an attempt to harness notions of a cinematic prehistory tracing past motions and gestures to burn their dance on the surface of the retinas. This film known as the “Retrospectroscope” was described in the San Francisco Bay Guardian as “A spinning flashing UFO/roulette wheel of Athenian proportions.”

Hallowed (2002, 11 min., 16mm, color, sound)
Hallowed is a 16mm film that portrays a mystical voyage made back in time by an unconscious woman in the throes of a cataleptic state. She finds herself in Plato’s cave where flickering flames incite prehistoric cinematic reverie evoking an experience of magical proportions. She is a spectral being who is transformed from within as viewers witness a chasm between the physical self and psychical self become one.

Secure the Shadow…’Ere the Substance Fade (1997, 9 min., 16mm, color, sound)
Secure the Shadow is a meditation on disintegration and mortality. The film utilizes antique Medical stereoscopic images from the Victorian era, which are simultaneously disturbing and beautiful. The filmmaker’s intention is to reveal universal truths about the overwhelming quality of disease to render us ultimately mute, immobilized within a corporeal shell that has succumbed to imminent forces beyond our control. The filmmaker also wants the film to address the myth that dignity is automatically restored upon the visage when facing death. In analyzing the original function of the stereoscopic images, the filmmaker intends to expose their classificatory nature. These anonymous subjects were reduced to paradigms of pathology, embalmed in time within their exterior presence. By re-photographing them on the optical printer and placing them in a mythical home, the filmmaker endeavors to re-animate these visages to ensnare them, or allow them to roam free on the surface of celluloid. Absence transforms to presence as the latent image reveals the manifest content, the slippery territories in between unraveling like the threads joining the crazy quilt that connects images together. An anachronistic Victorian sensibility places the images in a chimerical, historical context that embodies the film with a mind that is paradoxical and alien to our modern day perspective. The title “Secure the Shadow…’Ere the Substance Fade, let nature imitate what nature has made”, comes from a Nineteenth century post mortem photographer who advertised his services. This reference speaks about the function of photography as a democratizing medium that assists in the process of mourning and serves as a physical reminder of loss.

The Adventure Parade (2000, 5 min., 16mm, Black, White & Blue, silent)
A hand processed film that deals with the nature of using found images self-reflexively calling attention to the re-framing imprint of the filmmaker serving to reveal the duplicitous nature of the material. The inherent violence that is hinted at lies beyond the threshold of understanding, and only offers clues of past interventions.
Sponsored By The Princess Grace Foundation-1996

Conquered (2000, 15 min., 16mm, B&W & Color, sound)



Filmed entirely at the Akademie Schloss Solitude, this film comes from the depths of a submerged self. The filmmaker incorporated her own imagery with found material from German industrial films, most notably a film about a youth prison. These images were fused with images from a film brought from the United States entitled “The Epic of Everest” summarizing an attempt to reach the mountain’s summit by George Mallory and Sandy Irvine in 1924. Mallory’s body was just recently
discovered below the North face. Killed after a fall, his innards were subsequently eaten out by Goraks.

Sponsored by the Akademie Schloss Solitude and Hakan Warn

March 29 – Ken Jacobs’s Razzle Dazzle the Lost World (LA Premiere!)

Sunday March 29, 2009, 7:00 pm

At the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
The Los Angeles Premiere of Ken Jacobs’s Razzle Dazzle the Lost World

Ken Jacob’s 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.

Capitalism: Slavery  (2006)

Capitalism: Slavery (2006)

Capitalism: Slavery (2006, 3 min., DVD NTSC, b&w, silent)
An antique stereograph image of cotton-pickers, computer-animated to present the scene in an active depth even to single-eyed viewers. Silent, mournful, brief. – Ken Jacobs

Razzle Dazzle the Lost World (2008, 90 min., DVD NTSC, color and b&w)
Los Angeles Premiere!

Razzle Dazzle the Lost World  (2008)

Razzle Dazzle the Lost World (2008)

Razzle Dazzle The Lost World is an early Edison shot cut off at its head and tail and along its four sides from the continuity of events like any camera-shot from a bygone day; no, like any camera-shot, immediately producing an abstraction. This abstraction pictures a great spinning maypole-like device lined with young passengers dipping and lifting as it circles through space. They look out – from their place at the start of the 20th century – with a remarkable variety of expressions, giddy to pensive. We observe them but of course they see nothing of this, our America, hopelessly gone to rot, its mountaintops leveled for extraction of coal, rivers and air polluted, crisscrossed everywhere with property-lines; they don’t see its prisons or the corporations leaning in from their off-shore tax-bases to see what more they can take. Early stereopticon images also appear, digitally manipulated to reveal their depths. A digital shadow falls upon the scene and yet, grim as things get, as our crimes and failures then and now commingle, the movie proceeds with a cubist/abstract-expressionist zest. -K.J.

Razzle Dazzle the Lost World  (2008)

Razzle Dazzle the Lost World (2008)

“An eye-popper and brain-boggler, Razzle Dazzle is also, remarkably, a thing to stir the soul, delivering in its final stretch an astonishing, unexpected political jolt that elevates what appeared to be a mere (if marvelous) formal triumph into a shattering confrontation.” – Nathan Lee, New York Times, June 27, 2008See the full review here.
J. Hoberman on the film.


Ken Jacobs was born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1933. He studied painting with one of the prime creators of Abstract Expressionism, Hans Hofmann, in the mid-fifties. It was then that he also began filmmaking (Star Spangled To Death). His personal star rose, to just about knee high, with the sixties advent of Underground Film. In 1967, with the involvement of his wife Florence and many others aspiring to a democratic -rather than demagogic- cinema, he created The Millennium Film Workshop in New York City. A nonprofit filmmaker’s co-operative open to all, it made available film equipment, workspace, screenings and classes at little or no cost. Later he found himself teaching large classes of painfully docile students at St. John’s University in Jamaica, Queens.

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March 22 – A World Rattled of Habit: Films by Ben Rivers

Sunday March 22, 2009, 7:00 pm

At the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
A World Rattled of Habit – Films by Ben Rivers
Ben Rivers in person!

His films play as fragments of stories, like the crumbly bits of dreams that cling to waking consciousness. — Ed Halter, The Village Voice

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

Tonight we’ll be screening:

We The People (2004, 1 min, 16mm, b/w)
The mob rages. The person flees.

House (2005/7, 5 min, 16mm, b/w)
The old dark house, where only fragments remain of a once animated domestic history, reoccupied by a history of horror films. Crumbling interiors. Stained, peeling walls and forgotten furniture. Dust sheets on rotting floorboards. Shattered windows. The unfolding process of abandonment, decay and renewal.
Searching this landscape for signs of half remembered narratives; obsessively making models to re-imagine the boarded up, gently decomposing remnants of a home.

This Is My Land (2006)

This Is My Land (2006)

This Is My Land (2006, 14 min, 16mm, b/w)
A hand-processed portrait of Jake Williams – who lives alone within miles of forest in Aberdeenshire, Scotland. Jake always has many jobs on at any one time, finds a use for everything, is an expert mandolin player, and has compost heaps going back many years. He has a different sense of time to most people in the 21st Century, which is explicitly expressed in his idea for creating hedges by putting up bird feeders. It struck me straight away that there were parallels between our ways of working – I have tried to be as self-reliant as possible and be apart from the idea of industry – Jake’s life and garden are much the same – he can sustain himself from what he grows and so needs little from others. To Jake this isn’t about nostalgia for some treasured pre-electric past, but more, a very real future.

The Coming Race (2006, 5 min, 16mm, b/w, Ireland)
A film in which thousands of people climb a rocky mountain terrain. The destination and purpose of their ascension remains unclear. A vague, mysterious and unsettling pilgrimage fraught with unknown intentions.

The title The Coming Race is after a Victorian novel by E.G.E. Bulwer-Lytton, published 1870, concerning a subterranean super-race who live under a mountain – which at the time was considered by some to be a work of fact.

Astika (2006, 8 min, 16mm, Denmark/UK)
A portrait of Astika, who lives on an island in Denmark. He has lived in a run down farm house for 15 years and his project has been to let the land around him grow unchecked, but now he has been forced to move out by people who prefer more pristine neighbours.

Astika by Ben Rivers was the next film, a piece that I wish was a living installation! I absolutely didn’t want to leave this zone the second it began; with incredible textures of rock and cement, like a micro/macro world much like our newly coined sister planet Gliese 581. The depiction of overgrowth with red and gold contrast objects injects a richness to the environment this man Astika, a man living on an island in Denmark, lives in. His project has been to let his farmhouse grow over around him, now being forced to move because of his inherent eccentric lifestyle. The kind of overgrowth captured by Rivers is a kind laden with richness, life and magic. The field recordings of the garden and Astika speaking are ambiguous to the point where you can’t tell if he’s talking about killing himself, or the beauty of the birds who fear his presence. The haptic screen and gorgeous interference of glass and foliage only add to the haunting and rich view of this film. It is a vision of freedom I can’t wait to approach in my real life.’ Ashby Collinson (review from PDX festival, Portland)

Ah, Liberty! (2008)

Ah, Liberty! (2008)

Ah, Liberty! (2008, 20 min, anamorphic 16mm, b/w, 2008)
A family’s place in the wilderness, outside of time; free-range animals and children, junk and nature, all within the most sublime landscape. The work aims at an idea of freedom, which is reflected in the hand-processed Scope format, but is undercut with a sense of apocalyptic foreboding. There’s no particular story; beginning, middle or end, just fragments of lives lived, rituals performed.

“To name an attitude black and white suggests reduction, but in this rural, ethnographic portrait the artist unravels a thousand tones of each. How long does it take until this overflowing bath becomes a lake, until the simple forest drive (there is nothing simple here) tranforms these children into airborne angels of light? There is a tender brutality at work here, nothing is polished or smooth or well rounded, instead the advventure of seeing is undertaken ready to fall and bruise, to be wounded by its search. And it is from this necessary wound that the artist joins in with the life of a family grown wild out of doors with the horses and chickens. For its compassion, its refusal of the sentimental, its quick witted montage and dramaturgy of the everyday, the Tiger Award goes to Ah, Liberty!” (Jury Statement, Rotterdam International Film Festival 2008)

Origin of the Species (16 min, 16mm, colour, sound)
A film begun as a portrait of S, a 75 year old man living in a remote part of Inverness-shire. S has been obsessed with Darwin’s works for much of his life. Since a child he has wondered at life on Earth and, though he never became an academic, found in Darwin many answers to his questions. The film images concentrate on the mysterious geography of his world; his garden – from the microcosmic to the grand; the contraptions and inventions he’s made; his isolated patch of land where he has built his house after a life of travelling and working around the world. The soundtrack has S heard discussing his take on life on Earth and humans place upon it. The film attempts to span from the beginnings of the world up to an uncertain future.

A World Rattled Of Habit (2008)

A World Rattled Of Habit (2008)

A World Rattled Of Habit (2008, 10 min, 16mm, col/b+w)
A day trip to Suffolk, to see my friend Ben and his dad Oleg…

More on Ben Rivers:
Ben Rivers was born in Somerset, England, in 1972. Studied Fine Art at Falmouth School of Art, 1990-93. He has exhibited at many international film festivals and galleries, and won numerous awards, most recently Tiger Award for Short Film, IFF Rotterdam 2008 and Best Experimental Film, Vila do Conde 2008. He has been the recipient of a number of commissions, including a London Artist’s Film and Video Award, for which he made two new works – On the Origin of Species and Ah, Liberty!
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March 15 – Do You See What I See? New Works from Adele Horne, Rebecca Baron and Doug Goodwin

Sunday March 15, 2009, 7:00 pm

At the Egyptian Theater in Hollywood

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Do You See What I See? New works on vision and digitization by Adele Horne, Rebecca Baron & Doug Goodwin
With Adele Horne, Rebecca Baron, and Doug Goodwin in person!

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 few 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.

Tonight we will be screening:

15 Experiments on Peripheral Vision (2008)

15 Experiments on Peripheral Vision (2008)

15 Experiments on Peripheral Vision by Adele Horne and Paul VanDeCarr
(2008, 29 minutes, 16mm, color, sound)
This film is a series of short experiments, each of which explores peripheral vision in a different way: attempting to capture it on film, conducting perceptual experiments, and telling stories about interpreting things seen from the corner of the eye.

The Image World (2008)

The Image World (2008)

The Image World by Adele Horne
(2008, 6 minutes, 16mm, black and white, silent)
The world seeks to replicate itself. Smooth surfaces create reflections, objects cast shadows, and apertures transmit the appearance of what lies beyond them. When sunlight falls through the spaces between leaves on a tree, the “pin-hole” apertures in the foliage create images of the sun on the ground below. This film records replicas of the sun as they appear and disappear in the dappled light under trees.

Quiero Ver (2008)

Quiero Ver (2008)

Quiero Ver by Adele Horne
(2008, 6 minutes, filmed on 16mm and finished on Digibeta, color, sound)
On the 13th of each month, hundreds of people gather at a site in the Mojave Desert to see visions of the Virgin Mary appear in the sun. They point Polaroid, cell phone, and video cameras at the sun, and compare interpretations of the resulting images.

The Lossless Series by Rebecca Baron and Douglas Goodwin
“Lossless” is a series that explores the effects of digital compression and file sharing on the film image. “Lossless” investigates film’s dematerialization, foregrounding the structural components of digital media. The project also considers the impact of the digital age on filmmaking and film watching, its social aspects and its political economy.

Lossless #2 (2008)

Lossless #2 (2008)

Lossless #2 (2008, 3 mins, b/w, sound)
What happens when a treasure of the avant-garde becomes a bittorrent in a peer-to-peer scenario? Lossless #2 is part of a series of works that unearths the effects of compression and distribution on the digitized film image.

Lossless #3 (2008, 10 mins, color, sound by Ernst Karel)
Lossless #3 is a deconstructed version of John Ford’s The Searchers, in which missing keyframes turn the American West into a melting ribbon of ochre and rust.

Lossless #4 (2008)

Lossless #4 (2008)

Lossless #4 (2008, 14 mins, b/w, silent)
Lossless #4 is derived from Ernie Gehr’s Serene Velocity. We ran a debugging routine on a digital version of the original film that uses vectors to follow movement in the image to instruct the subdivision of the video’s macro-blocks. We then removed Gehr’s image entirely, leaving only the movement of the vectors, The formal qualities of Gehr’s film are detectable, and the hypnotic effect of the shifts in the lens’s focal length in the original are now substituted with a purely graphical representation, creating a perverse replacement of the optical effect of the original.

Lossless #5 (2008, 3 mins, b/w sound by Ernst Karel)
A Busby Berkley water ballet turns into geometrical abstraction.

Filmmakers’ Bios:
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Takahiko Iimura City-Wide Retrospective including shows at Filmforum on March 1 & 8


The Japanese filmmaker and artist Takahiko Iimura will be the subject of an unprecedented ten-day multi-venue celebration in Southern California, with Iimura in person, from February 27 to March 9, 2009.  This series of events was organized by Adam Hyman of Los Angeles Filmforum and made possible by a grant from the Japan Foundation.

Iimura will make in-person public appearances at Los Angeles Filmforum, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, REDCAT, the University of Southern California East Asian Studies Center and School of Cinematic Arts, Cal Arts Bijou Theatre, and UC Irvine.  He will also be conducting student workshops at UCLA and USC.

Takahiko Iimura

Takahiko Iimura

“To review all of Iimura’s work is an important occasion for all who are concerned with the development and pleasures of cinema as an art.” — Jonas Mekas (Director, Anthology Film Archives, New York)

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. He is also a widely established international artist, having numerous exhibitions including installation and performance in Japan, the USA, and Europe.

One of his early films, “Onan”, was awarded Special Prize at the legendary Brussels International Experimental Film Festival, l964.  He has continued working through the present, creating a fruitful and far-ranging oeuvre in multiple manifestations exploring light, space, time, nature, semiology, philosophy, and technology with the background of Japanese arts.  Recently he has been involved in using the computer, publishing multimedia CD-ROMs/DVDs combining film, video, graphics, text, and animation.

Takahiko Iimura will be in person at ALL screenings.  The series was organized by Adam Hyman of Los Angeles Filmforum.  This is an unparalleled example of cooperation among Southern California screening organizations and universities.  Full program notes for the Filmforum shows to be posted separately.
These programs supported by a grant from the Japan Foundation.    japan-fdn-new_logo

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization that screens non-commercial experimental and avant-garde films and video art, documentaries, and animation. 2009 is its 33rd year.


Friday Feb 27, 7:30 pm – Venue: UCLA Film & Television Archive at the Billy Wilder Theater
Admission $10 general online, $9 general at window, $8 students/seniors/Cineclub members
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.

“FILM POEMS”: 1960-70s
Iro (Colors)  (1962, 16mm (8mm Blow Up), color, Music: Yasunao Tone, 12 min.)
Taka and Ako (1966, 16mm (8mm Blow Up), b/w, silent, 16FPS, 15 min.)
White Calligraphy  (1967, 16mm, b/w, silent, 11 min.)
Kiri (Fog)  (1970, 16mm (8mm Blow Up), b/w, silent, 16FPS, 7 min.)
Film Strips I  (1970, 16mm, b/w, silent, 11.5 min.)
Film Strips II  (1970, 16mm, b/w, silent, 13.5 min.)
The Pacific Ocean  (1971, 16mm (8mm Blow Up), color, silent, 16FPS, 13 min.)
Total 83 min.

Sunday March 1, 7:00 pm– Venue: Los Angeles Filmforum (at the Egyptian Theater)
Admission $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members
At the Egyptian theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028
Parking on streets, or validated, 4 hours for $2 at the City lot at the Hollywood & Highland complex
For reservations, email the name & number in your party to

On Eye Rape

On Eye Rape

“60s EXPERIMENTS”: Early experimental films from 60s
Kuzu (Junk) (1962, 16mm, b/w, sound, Music: Takehisa Kosugi, 10 min.)
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” (DVD, 23 min. total) – Early conceptual videos from 70s (DVD)
Includes A Chair (1970, 6 min.), Blinking (1970, 2 min.), Time Tunnel (1971, 5 min.) Man and Woman (1971, 2 min.), Visual Logic (and Illogic) (1977, 8 min.)
Total 72 min.

Tuesday March 3, 7:00 pm – Venue: The California Institute of the Arts (Bijou Theater)
California Institute of the Arts – 24700 McBean Parkway, Valencia, CA 91355 (661) 255.1050
Exit on McBean Parway on the 5 North, then turn to the right on McBean.
Admission Free
Kuzu (Junk) (1962, 16mm, b/w, sound, Music: Takehisa Kosugi, 10 Min.)
Ai (Love) (1962, 16mm, b/w, sound by Yoko Ono, 15 Min.,)

Ai (Love)

Ai (Love)

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.)

PERFORMANCE/MYSELF (Or Video Identity) (1972-1995, DVD, 7 pieces, total 29 min.) which includes
Self Identity (1972, 1 min. extract)
Double Identity (1979, 1.5 min. extract)
Double Portrait ( 1973-1987, 5 min.)
I Love You (1973-1987, 4.5 min.)
This Is A Camera Which Shoots This (1982-1995, 5 min.)
As I See You You See Me (1990-1995, 7 min.)
I Am A Viewer, You Are A Viewer (1981, 4 min.)
Total: 78 min.

Wednesday March 4, 12:00 pm – Venue: UC IRVINE
Admission Free
UC Irvine Humanities Instructional Building 135
Programs Sponsored by the UCI Center for Asian Studies and the UCI  Program in Visual Studies.
For further information about the Irvine shows. Please email

Map: Download a free UCI Campus map at:
Directions: From the 405 or I-5, exit Jamboree and go west. Turn LEFT on Campus Dr. Turn RIGHT onto the UCI Campus at W. Peltason Drive. The Pereira  Parking Structure is on your left and the Humanities Instructional Building is right in front of you.
From SR73, exit University Dr. and go EAST. Turn RIGHT on Campus Dr.
Turn RIGHT onto the UCI Campus at W. Peltason Drive. The Pereira  Parking Structure is on your left.
Parking is available in the Pereira Parking Structure.

New York Day and Night

New York Day and Night

Air’s Rock – [DVD, including Moments at the Rock, (1984, color, sound, 12 min.) and A Rock in the Light (1985/2008, 18 min. Music: Haruyuki Suzuki, 2008)]
New York Hotsprings (1984, DVD, b/w, 10 min. Part of Experiments in New York)
New York Day and Night  (1989, DVD, color, Music: Takehisa Kosugi, 58 min.)
Total:  90 min.

Wednesday March 4, 8:00 pm – Venue: UC IRVINE
Admission Free
UC Irvine Humanities Hall 178
Programs Sponsored by the UCI Center for Asian Studies and the UCI Program in Visual Studies.
Map: Download a free UCI Campus map at:
Directions: From the 405 or I-5, exit Jamboree and go west. Turn LEFT on Campus  Dr. Turn RIGHT onto the UCI Campus at W. Peltason Drive. The Pereira  Parking Structure is on your left and the Humanities Instructional Building is right in front of you.
From SR73, exit University Dr. and go EAST. Turn RIGHT on Campus Dr.
Turn RIGHT onto the UCI Campus at W. Peltason Drive. The Pereira  Parking Structure is on your left.
Parking is available in the Pereira Parking Structure.

Selections from “FILM POEMS”: 1960-70s
Iro (Colors)  (1962, 16mm (8mm Blow Up), color, Music: Yasunao Tone, 12min.)
Taka and Ako (1966, 16mm(8mm Blow Up), black and white, silent, 16FPS, 15 min.)
White Calligraphy  (1967, 16mm, black and white, silent, 11 min.)
Kiri (Fog)  (1970, 16mm(8mm Blow Up), black and white, silent, 16FPS, 7 min.)
Film Strips I  (1970, 16mm, black and white, silent, 11.5 min.)

Onan (1963, 16mm, B/W, 7min., Music: Yasunao Tone)

And from early conceptual videos:
PERFORMANCE/MYSELF (Or Video Identity) ( 1972-1995, DVD, 7 pieces, total 29 min.) which includes
Self Identity (1972, 1 min. extract)
Double Identity (1979, 1.5 min.extract)
Double Portrait ( 1973-1987, 5 min.)
I Love You (1973-1987, 4.5 min.)
This Is A Camera Which Shoots This (1982-1995, 5 min.)
As I See You You See Me (1990-1995, 7 min.)
I Am A Viewer, You Are A Viewer (1981, 4 min.)

Thursday March 5, 2:30 –  Venue: University of Southern California

Social Sciences Building, room B-40
Free and open to the public.  Reception for filmmaker at 5 PM, followed by USC Cinematheque screening at 7 PM.  Social Sciences Building is central on campus, across from Taper Hall.
Campus map (F4):
Parking is available for $8. Enter campus through Gate #3 off of Figueroa St. and USC McCarthy Way. Off-campus metered parking is also available on Jefferson Blvd. and Figueroa St.
For more information and to RSVP for the workshop, please send email to or call 213-740-2991.
Program Sponsored by the East Asian Studies Center

Ma: Space/Time In The Garden Of Ryoan-Ji (1989, 16mm, Color, Music: Takehisa Kosugi, 16 min.)
The Making Of “Ma” In Ryoan-Ji (1989, B/W and Color, 8 min., Sound);
Ma : The Stones Have Moved (2004, B/W and Color, 10 min., Silent);
Ma (Intervals) (1977, B&W and Color, 10 min., Excerpt out of 22 min.,)
Total 44 min

Thursday March 5, 7:00 pm  – Venue: University of Southern California School of Cinematic Arts (Cinematheque 108 Theater, George Lucas Building, 1st floor)
Admission free

Filmmakers (1969, 28min., Portrait of filmmakers: Andy Warhol, Stan Vanderbeek, Stan Brackage, Jonas Mekas, Jack Smith, and Takahiko Iimura)
In the River (1971, 16mm, color, sound, 12min/revised, 2009)
Shutter (1971, 16mm, b/w, Music: Keijiro Satoh,  25min.)
1 To 60 Seconds  (1973, 16mm, b/w, 31min.)
Total 96min.

Sunday March 8, 7:00 pm – Venue: Los Angeles Filmforum (at the Egyptian Theater)
Admission $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members
At the Egyptian theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028
Parking on streets, or validated, 4 hours for $2 at the City lot at the Hollywood & Highland complex
For reservations, email the name & number in your party to



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)
Total 90 min.

I Am (Not) Seen

I Am (Not) Seen

Monday March 9, 8:30 pm – Venue: REDCAT (Roy & Edna Disney Cal Arts Theatre)
Admission $9 general, $7 students, $5 Cal Arts students, faculty& staff
REDCAT is located in the heart of downtown Los Angeles at 631 W. 2nd St., on the northeast corner of the intersection with Hope St. We are housed in the Walt Disney Concert Hall complex but have our own separate street entrance on 2nd St.
Tickets may be purchased by calling 213.237.2800 or at or in person at the REDCAT Box Office on the corner of 2nd and Hope Streets (30 minutes free parking with validation). Box Office Hours: Tue-Sat | noon–6 pm and two hours prior to curtain.
Funded in part with generous support from Wendy Keys and Donald Pels.

“ON TIME IN FILM, 1970s”
2 Min. 46 Sec. 16 Frames (100feet) (from Model, Reel 1, 1972, 16mm, black and white, sound, 9 min,)
24 Frames Per Second (1975, 16mm, B&W, 12 min.)
Timed 1,2,3 (from Models, Reel 1, 1972, 16mm, B/W, 11 min., Sound)
One Frame Duration (1977, 16mm, B/W, 12 min., Sound)
+ & – (Plus and Minus) (1973, 16mm, B/W, 26 min, Sound)
I Am (Not) Seen (2003, DVD, color, 5 min. Music; Makoto Sato)
Total 75 min.

February 15 – Binaural: New Media Art from the Nodar Artist Residency Center in Portugal

Sunday February 15, 2009, 7:00 pm

Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Binaural: New Media Art from the Nodar Artist Residency Center in Portugal
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas
With Maile Colbert and Rui Costa in person!

Binaural - Nodar, Portugal

Binaural - Nodar, 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.

“Contos do Paiva”  by Martin Clarke and Alicja Rogalska (England, Poland)[2007, 23’, DVD]

Los Angeles Premiere!

Martin’s sound work involves travel and the capturing of specific sonic spaces, and he is particularly interested in catching and reproducing a kind of “distilled” sense of place”.

Contos do Paiva

Contos do Paiva

Alicja’s photographic practice is to a great extent participatory, which is to say that she likes to involve her subjects as much as possible in the creative process.

Joining these two work perspectives, the artists during their residency in Nodar produced a series of audio-visual plateaus based on video footage and sound recordings taken from the surrounding area and of local people.

Each as a staged imaged with an emphasis on the creation of magical atmosphere in order to represent and create a set of alternative mythologies of the place and its people.

Martin Clarke is a sound artist, recordist and filmmaker, based in Birmingham since 2003. His work makes use of environmental material to create semi abstract non-representational spaces where sounds are treated as though filmed, with varying depths of field and images are treated as sounds, layered and composed. Recent projects include participation in The Sound of Snow and Ice for Gruenrekorder, The Urban Lighthouse for Architecture Week 2006, and Voyager, a large-scale sound and video work.

Alicja Rogalska is an artist from Poland, based in the UK since 2006. Her work utilises participation, photography and installation but she is currently planning projects that involve use of performance and video. Alicja has been working internationally for a number of years, managing and delivering arts projects in Poland, Sweden and the UK. One of her current projects includes collaborations with women from diverse backgrounds across the West Midlands to create self-portraits.

“Souvenirs de Carmella” by Vered Dror (Israel) [2007, 11’, DVD]  Los Angeles premiere!

Souvenirs de Carmella

Souvenirs de Carmella

A fiction character of an Israeli merchant arriving in the village, opening a small souvenir stand in the center of the village, selling souvenirs- postcards, key holders, little flags. The images on the souvenirs are of the village itself, of people living there and different moments that were captured in the eye of the camera. The Israeli merchant speaks to her clients in her own mother tongue, which is Hebrew, a language, that is a kind of Gibberish to the people of the village. The public does not know the merchant is an actor.

In my work I wish to touch the people of Nodar, to question and express the fear of loosing their tradition and the will and need to preserve it.

By placing a non-Nodar, non-Portuguese, non-European merchant to sell memories of Nodar, I wish to create a space of extreme expression of the situation and conflict the inhabitants of Nodar are experiencing. The character – a very out going sales woman, represents both the immigrant who does not belong and does not speak the language of the area and of the intruder, the one that enters the private space of the village and threatens its known orders.

Vered Dror is a visual artist using a range of artistic mediums, combining performing arts. She was born in Tel Aviv, studied and lived in Jerusalem and now have returned to Tel Aviv. In her work Vered Dror explores the relationship between the Public Sphere and the Private people acting their life within it, by playing with the borders between the two and with the way they feed each other.

She often chooses to focus on the ’simple’ people, whose life lie on the ever changing border, which moves between private and socio-political spheres. Their identity is constantly forming and reforming through resistance and acceptance.

These themes can be found in her works, from the latest “Private Home” in which she stamps 3D Brielle graffiti naming and marking “private ” sleeping areas of homeless people, to “Street Tales” (Neighborhood Projects, Train Theater, Jerusalem, 2006) were different places in a neighborhood were newly named according to inhabitants private stories and memories of the area. In “Balcony Tales” (San Salvario mon Amour, Torino, 2005) Inhabitants of one building, were being connected through their balconies by laundry lines and baskets, and were invited to exchange memories, foods etc.

“Over the Eyes”  by Maile Colbert (Portugal, US) [2007, 20’, DVD]

Our sense of identity, of who we are and what we have done, is tied to our life of memory. But a vivid and detailed memory may be based upon inaccurate reconstruction of facts, or self-created impressions that appear to have actually occurred. Continuity of memory is no guarantee of truth; disruption of memory is no guarantee of falsity. Memory is believed to be a reconstructed phenomenon, and so can be strongly influenced by expectation, emotions, the implied beliefs of others, inappropriate interpretation, or desired outcome. Is the measure of a life well lived based on the quality of memories?

Over the Eyes

Over the Eyes

Then what of missing memory? Of a trauma that forces the memory into repression, or forces a disassociation, or a false memory…invented memories taken as true due to gaps in memory.

“Over The Eyes”, inspired by the old saying…”to pull the wool over the eyes”, is a multimedia installation made in October 2007 for a residency based in Nodar, Portugal.

My desire was to create an environment that, using all of the senses, provokes the viewer into thought and contemplation about the mystery of memory. One of Nodar’s main industries is wool. I talked talk with local people about the process of sheep shearing and weaving, recording the conversations. This was incorporated into the sound design of the installation, along with field recordings of the area, and text on physiological, biological, and psychological aspects to memory creation and destruction in humans. For the environment, I used local wool which I wove and felt to create a structure of “gray matter”, much like our minds.

Within these passages I projected images of found home movies, discarded recorded “memories” from thrift stores and junk yards, methodically being erased by a super-imposed act of sheep shearing.

Maile Colbert is a filmmaker, video, and sound artist recently relocated from Los Angeles, US to Lisbon, Portugal. She is currently working for the art organization Binaural. She holds a BFA in The Studio for Interrelated Media from Massachusetts College of Art, and a MFA in Integrated Media/Film and Video from the California Institute of the Arts. She has had multiple screenings, exhibits, and shows, including The New York Film Festival, LACE Gallery, MOMA New York, Los Angeles CountyMuseum of Art, the REDCAT Theater in Los Angeles, The Portland International Documentary and Experimental Film Festival, the Störung Festival in Barcelona, the Teatra Municipal in Guarda, the Observitori Festival in Valencia, and has performed and screened widely in Japan, Europe, Mexico, and the States.

“Nodar Flowlines : Sonzo-Paiva Conflux”  by John Grzinich (US, Estonia) [2008, 16’, DVD]

My interest was to carry out a sonic and visual survey of the landscape around Nodar through a series of site-specific recording sessions. In particular I attempted to compare and contrast the geographic lines caused by the natural water flows towards the river at the bottom of the valley versus the man-made aqueduct that transverses the vertical lines and brings water into the village. Both of these phenomena actually rely on natural forces yet one was created for a specific purpose for the local inhabitants.

Using this theme of natural flow lines, I constructed two distinct audio-visual “narratives” based on the two types of landscapes shaped by water and humans. The surveys include recording methods that stem from the types of flow, that is, I drew inspiration from the behavior patterns of how the flows shape the landscape.

The base sound material relies on the use of ambient sounds, found objects, (natural and man-made materials), and human intervention (improvisation and performance). The visual material focuses on still shots of micro and macro materials and forms in conjunction with the location based activity. These sound and video documents were catalogued and edited afterwards into two part video work that reflects and shows the “flowlines” locations and process. The screening will include one of these two films (“Sonzo – Paiva Conflux”).

John Grzinich is a mixed-media artist who has worked primarily with sound composition, performance and installation since the early 1990s. He has performed and worked on projects extensively throughout Europe and the US and has published a number of CDs of his compositions on such labels as Staalplaat (NL), Edition Sonoro (UK), SIRR (PT), CUT (CH), CMR (NZ), erewhon (BE), Intransitive Recordings (US), Orogenetics (US), Elevator Bath (US), Pale-Disc (JP), Digital Narcis (JP), and Cloud of Statics (CH).

Currently John is a project and media lab coordinator for MoKS – Center for Art and Social Practice, an artist-run international residency center and project space in southeast Estonia.