Saturday October 17, 2009, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
At the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles
The GoodTimesKid and The Whirled
With Azazel Jacobs and Ken Jacobs in Person to introduce the show!
In a Los Angeles (and maybe a global) first, we host the father and son filmmakers Ken and Azazel Jacobs. Ken Jacobs comes with The Whirled, a short long unseen in Los Angeles (if ever) a series of improvisations with Jack Smith. Azazel Jacobs presents his second feature film The GoodTimesKid.
Note change in day!
This screening is part of a weeklong residency by Ken Jacobs at CalArts, REDCAT, UCLA and Los Angeles Filmforum. Special thanks to Steve Anker and Cal Arts for arranging the week, and Mark Rance and Benton Films for arranging tonight’s screening.
Check out Manohla Dargis’s new NY Times profile on Ken Jacobs in anticipation of this series.
The Whirled by Ken Jacobs (1956-61; 18 min)
The Whirled is a collection of four short improvisations, three of them featuring Jack Smith for the first time on film. Saturday Afternoon Blood Sacrifice (1956) was shot in front of Jack’s downtown NY loft on 150 feet of 16mm film, exactly as seen here. Next day I shot Little Cobra Dance on the remaining 50 feet (also intact). We fell off the couch laughing at what we’d done in this off-hand way, which marked the end of my fastidious art-film approach. In 1963 a snatch of the first film was shown on TV when I was somehow invited to participate in a quiz program (another poor chump participating was the painter and Happenings performer Carolee Schneemann). After years of shooting my raging epic Star Spangled To Death starring Jack as The Spirit Not of Life But of Living, and after a few months of being on the outs with each other, we got together for one last stab at friendship and filmmaking with The Death Of P’Town, 1961.
The GoodTimesKid by Azazel Jacobs (2005/2009; 77 min.)
A story about stolen love and stolen identities, literally shot on stolen film… Momma’s Man writer-director Azazel Jacobs’ second feature is an absurdist comedy of errors, a punk-rock slice of DIY rebellion, and a warmhearted frolic that captures the “amour fou spirit of the early French New Wave” (The Village Voice).
Hot-tempered Echo Park slacker Rodolfo Cano (Jacobs) enlists in the army to escape a meaningless existence with his free-spirited girlfriend Diaz (Diaz). When his call-for-service letter somehow winds up in the hands of another Rodolfo Cano (Gerardo Naranjo, director of Drama/Mex and I’m Gonna Explode), a quietly dignified loner who lives on a sailboat, their three lives intersect in odd and beautifully unexpected ways. Evoking the inventive gags of Chaplin and Jacques Tati, plus the deadpan minimalism of Kaurismäki and Jarmusch, The GoodTimesKid “finds poetry in wordless scenes of observation” (The New York Times).
“”Evoking Giulietta Masina in Nights of Cabiria, Chaplin’s dinner roll dance <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xoKbDNY0Zwg> in The Gold Rush, and that staple of nouvelle vague coolness, The Madison <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I6pOXjQLh7Y> from Godard’s Band of Outsiders, Diaz’s whimsical solo in a chocolate-stained dress and black Converse is one of those rare moments of fleeting joy whose ephemerality is only enhanced by its capture on film.” – Cullen Gallagher, L MAGAZINE
“The GoodTimesKid has a whimsy, a passion, a sophistication and, above all, a vigor that’s mostly drained out of Amerindie cinema over the last decade or so. ” — Andrew O’Hehir, SALON
“Descended from a long line of minimalist filmmakers, from Jacques Tati up through Jim Jarmusch, The GoodTimesKid dances in its own sweet style. Beguiling!” — Matt Zoller Seitz, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“Every moment consequently is a sheer delight, doing its best to shake up all those depresso filmmakers who have done it all before and all you depresso cinemagoers out there who have seen it all before, and maybe remind you what the joy of making films and the joy of watching films is all about.” DVD Times
“A film like 500 Days of Summer bends over backwards to convince you it takes place in a world where cultural totems of disaffection still mean something. The GoodTimesKid actually creates and takes place in such a world, without strain.” Karina Longworth, SPOUT.com
“Before there was Momma’s Man there was The GoodTimesKid. In Azazel Jacobs’s second feature you can see his style beginning to take form, meshing a punk-rock attitude with cinema influences as wide ranging from Chaplin to Jarmusch.” Jason Guerrasio, Filmaker Magazine
More on it: http://www.goodtimeskid.com
Now available on DVD as well: Benten Films <http://www.bentenfilms.com/
Also this week:
Monday October 12, 2009, 8:30 pm – REDCAT
Ken Jacobs: Towards The Depths of The Even Greater Depression
A Nervous Magic Lantern Performance
West Coast premiere
“Makes Monsters vs. Aliens in 3-D look as flat as an episode of South Park.” The New York Times
Thursday October 15 2009, 7:30PM – UCLA Film & Television Archive
Ken Jacobs in Person with some of Jacobs’ most recent work
Sunday October 18, 2009, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom with Puffy Cheeks) by Ken Jacobs
Los Angeles Premiere! Ken Jacobs in Person! 3-D!
Filmforum at the Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd. at Las Palmas, Los Angeles CA 90028
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.
Curated by Steve Anker. This screening concludes a weeklong residency by Jacobs at CalArts, REDCAT, UCLA and Los Angeles Filmforum
ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom With Puffy Cheeks) (2008, 118 minutes, DV-Cam)
The real subject of ANAGLYPH TOM (Tom With Puffy Cheeks) is depth-perception itself. Our beloved performers from the 1905 TOM, TOM, THE PIPER’S SON again encapsulate human absurdity for our amusement but this time in entirely illusionary 3-D. They step from -and back into- the screen surface. This is cosmic play with all strings pulled. – Ken Jacobs
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.
In 1969, after a week’s guest seminar at Harpur College (now, Binghamton University), students petitioned the Administration to hire Ken Jacobs. Despite his lack of a high school diploma, the Administration -during that special period of anguish and possibility- decided that, as a teacher, he was “a natural.” Together with Larry Gottheim he organized the SUNY system’s first Department of Cinema, teaching thoughtful consideration of every kind of film but specializing in avant garde cinema appreciation and production. (Department graduates are world-recognized as having an exceptional presence in this field.) His own early studies under Hofmann would increasingly figure in his filmwork, making for an Abstract Expressionist cinema, clearly evident in his avant garde classic Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son (1969) and increasingly so in his subsequent devising of the unique Nervous System series of live film-projection performances. The American Museum Of The Moving Image in Astoria, Queens, hosted a full retrospective of his work in 1989, The New York Museum Of Modern Art held a partial retrospective in 1996, as did The American House in Paris in 1994 and the Arsenal Theater in Berlin in 1986 (during his 6 month stay as guest-recipient of Berlin’s DAAD award). He has also performed in Japan, at the Louvre in Paris, the Getty Center in Los Angeles, etc. Honors include the Maya Deren Award of The American Film Institute, the Guggenheim Award and a special Rockefeller Foundation grant. A 1999 interview with Ken Jacobs can be seen on the Net as part of The University Of California at Berkeley’s series of Conversations With History: http://globetrotter.berkeley.edu/conversations/
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. Additional support generously provided by the American Cinematheque.