"Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area"


In conjunction with the publication of Pacific Film Archive’s first book, Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000, edited by Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz, and Steve Seid, the UCLA Film & Television Archive has partnered with the PFA, Los Angeles Filmforum and REDCAT to present a film and video series that explores the themes and movements, and traces the historic chronology of alternative film and video in the Bay Area. The history of avant-garde cinema in the Bay Area goes back to the 1940s, when surrealist-influenced films were created through San Francisco Art Institute workshops, in some of the country’s earliest filmmaking classes. From those early days sprung a vibrant, heterogeneous community of filmmakers that came to include over the decades such as Harry Smith, Jordan Belson, Bruce Conner, Lawrence Jordan, Gunvor Nelson, George Kuchar and many others. Highlights of the series include archival prints, recent preservations and the rediscovery of long-forgotten works. Various prints for this series were provided by the Pacific Film Archive Collection. The tour is organized by the Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive.

UCLA Friday January 14 2011, 7:30PM  Billy Wilder Theatre
San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area offer an astonishing landscape that combines shifting and surprising natural visual qualities with a teeming urban culture. Tonight’s program explores and reflects the wonder and cinematic character of this urban landscape featuring works by Dion Vigne, Chris Marker, Michael Glawogger, Ernie Gehr, Lawrence Jordan, Bruce Baillie, Scott Stark, and Lynn Marie Kirby.
Various formats, approx. TRT: 93 min.
In person: Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz, Steve Seid
The UCLA Film & Television Archive – Billy Wilder Theatre, Hammer Museum  10899 Whilshire Blvd, Westwood

LOS ANGELES FILMFORUM  Sunday January 16, 2011, 7:30 pm
Egyptian Theatre, 6712 Hollywood Blvd.
The 1980s was a period of rebirth for personal experimental cinema in the Bay Area, with many filmmakers carrying seminal artistic traditions into new territory. Subjective vision, celluloid materiality, irreverent spontaneity, found footage, formal exploration, and social critique were reclaimed and often combined, distinctively and expressively, into single films.

By the 1990s, many Bay Area filmmakers were products of Bay Area film programs, with some, such as Jay Rosenblatt, Greta Snider, and Cauleen Smith going on to teach. Dominic Angerame continued to run Canyon Cinema, a distributor of experimental cinema; Scott Stark founded Flicker, which documents alternative cinema online; and Jenni Olson programmed for the local lesbian and gay film festival. These were artists who spent a lot of time viewing and thinking about cinema, which nurtured an interest in the particularities of the medium. For Greta Snider, this included hand exposing and processing her film. Jay Rosenblatt found new meaning in footage he found or collected, while Cauleen Smith fabricated a personal history in her collage film. In their films, Angerame and Timoleon Wilkins each beautifully evoked a specific place.

This program includes from this period Gunvor Nelson’s witty conundrum, “Field Study #2”. It ranges from Charles Wright’s ecstatic collage of image and sound spaces, “Sorted Details”, to Nina Fonoroff’s devastating evocation of a mind divided against itself, “Department of the Interior”; and Lynn Marie Kirby’s brief but deeply resonant personal narrative, “Across the Street”.

Filmmakers Timoleon Wilkins and Cauleen Smith, and curators Steve Anker and Kathy Geritz in person!

“Sorted Details” (Charles Wright, 1980, 13 mins, Color).

“Field Study # 2” (Gunvor Nelson, 1988, 8 mins, Color).

“Across The Street “(Lynn Marie Kirby, 1982, 3 mins, Color).

“Department of the Interior” (Nina Fonoroff, 1986, 8.5 mins, B&W).

“Short of Breath” (Jay Rosenblatt, 1990, 10 mins, Color).

“Flight” (Greta Snider, 1996, 5 mins, Silent, B&W).

“Premonition “(Dominic Angerame, 1995, 10 mins, B&W).

“Lake of the Spirits” (Timoleon Wilkins, 1998, 7 mins, Color).

“Chronicles of a Lying Spirit” (by Kelly Gabron) (Cauleen Smith, 1991, 13 mins, Color).

Total running time: 78 mins.  All 16mm prints from Canyon Cinema.

REDCAT Monday January 17, 2011
“In Radical Light, San Francisco’s deep countercultural roots reemerge as an unbroken antitradition stretching from the postwar proto-Beats to the identitarian activists and small-gauge geeks at century’s end.” —Artforum

Radical Light: Alternative Film And Video in the San Francisco Bay Area, 1945–2000 is a rich compendium of essays, reminiscences and striking visuals that attests to the vital experimental film and video scene that has existed in the Bay Area.

This companion screening focuses on landmark films from 1949–1959, including Christopher Maclaine’s apocalyptic Beat comic-tragedy “The End”, Sidney Peterson’s wittily caustic tale of murder and incest “The Lead Shoes”, Jane Belson Conger Shimane’s playful image and sound arrangement “Odds and End”s, Bruce Conner’s pioneering found-footage “A Movie”, and films by Hy Hirsh and Patricia Marx. In person: Co-editors Steve Anker, Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid, with book signing.

REDCAT 631 West 2nd Street Los Angeles, CA 90012-2599
Friday January 21 2011, 7:30PM   Billy Wilder Theatre
Avant-garde and experimental film flourished during the sixties in the Bay Area, and scores of filmmakers relished freedom of expression with often brazenly anti-establishment and always joyfully self-expressive works. This program is a journey through these revelatory and rebellious years with works by Robert Nelson, Gunvor Nelson and Dorothy Wiley, Lawrence Jordan, Alice Anne Parker Severson, Bruce Baillie and Lenny Lipton.
Various formats, approx. TRT: 87 min.
In person: Steve Anker
The UCLA Film & Television Archive- Billy Wilder Theatre, Hammer Museum  10899 Whilshire Blvd, Westwood

Sunday January 23, 2011, 7:30 pm
At the Echo Park Film Center
Los Angeles Filmforum presents “Radical Light: Small gauge”
Curator Steve Anker in person!
Radical Light: Small Gauge highlights super 8 and regular 8mm films made in the Bay Area. Even though regular 8mm and later super-8mm were designed as amateur home mediums during the middle decades of the last century, artists using these small-scale tools increasingly appreciated the intimacy of the screening situations and the low-key and fragile qualities of the image and spontaneity that 8mm filming allowed. This program showcases a wide range of ways that San Francisco based moving image artists consciously worked with the small-scale nature of 8mm, using home distributed found footage, working with daily ‘home movie’ subjects to create expressive and direct diaries and cinematic reveries, or using the nature of these tools for formal exploration. Filmmakers include Bruce Conner, Scott Stark, Nathaniel Dorsky, Bob Branaman, Janis Crystal Lipzin, silt, Julie Murray, and Ellen Gaine.
1200 N Alvarado St. (@ Sunset Blvd.) Los Angeles, CA. 90026 | (213) 484 – 8846


About Author

Robin Menken

Robin Menken Robin Menken lives in Los Angeles. She was the Artistic Director of the Second City Workshops, taught at UC Berkeley, USC, Barcelona\'s Ateneu and the Esalin Institute. She was Roberto Rossellini\'s assistant, and worked with Yevgeny Vevteshenku, Glauber Rocha and Eugene Ionesco. She sold numerous screenplays and wrote the OBIE winning The FTA SHow (touring with Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland and Ben Vereen.) She was a programming consultant and Special Events co-ordinator for numerous film festivals, including the SF, Rio, Havana and N.Y Film Festivals. Her first news outlet was the historic East Village Other.

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