A Cinema of Industrial Noise

Sunday, October 21, 2012, 6:45 p.m.

Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2

Includes the following films:

  • Symphonie mécanique

    1955. France. Directed by Jean Mitry. An abstract ballet of industrial images and sounds. The celebrated French composer Pierre Boulez, known for his musique-concrète arrangements from the 1950s, scored his sole electro-acoustic piece to accompany Mitry’s busy triptych widescreen collage. Filming machines and sundry factory activity, Mitry creates unexpected poetic symmetry out of mechanical shapes and movements. Preserved print courtesy Tamasa Distribution. 13 min.

  • Punking Out

    1978. USA. Directed by Maggi Carson, Juliusz Kossakowski, Fredric A. Shore. With the Ramones, Richard Hell and the Voidoids, Lydia Lunch. A film of screaming immediacy, Punking Out documents the scene at CBGB at its height. Writing on the movie after a screening at the 2001 New York Underground Film Festival, Mike Everleth found its “most engaging aspect” to be the interviews with the music’s fans. “High on the excitement of seeing their favorite punk bands playing live, and possibly high on other substances, the fans’ barely coherent ruminations on their passion are hysterical. People caught in the heat of the moment and asked the right questions are necessary fodder for a great doc.” Preserved by the Reserve Film and Video Collection of The New York Public Library for the Performing Arts, with funding from the Carnegie Corporation of New York. 25 min.

  • NYC Street Scenes and Noises

    1929. USA. 1929. USA. Fox Movietone News. Recording synchronous-sound footage for the New York City's "Noise Abatement Commission" (defunct since 1932, to the detriment of the city's auditory health), the newsreel equipment van becomes the subject itself in this journey through Times Square and "Radio Row" (Cortlandt Street). Capturing the aural debris of radio shops and various street activities, the result is an inadvertent, yet unforgettable, city symphony. Preserved by the University of South Carolina, Moving Image Research Collections. 12 min.

  • Gerald McBoing Boing

    1950. USA. Directed by Robert Cannon. The Academy-Award winning Gerald McBoing Boing, a breakthrough success for the great independent cartoon studio UPA, was based on a story by Theodore (“Dr. Seuss”) Geisel and heralded a modern era for animation, with its cool jazz score by Gail Kubik, its emphasis on pictorial flatness and abstraction, and its story of a suburban boy who craves acceptance but whose strange speech impediment—every time he opens his mouth, machine sounds burst forth—first leads to ostracism among his friends and family but then to a lucrative career creating sound effects for radio. Preserved by Sony Pictures Repertory. 7 min.