Eight Short Films
Thursday, August 21, 2008, 8:00 p.m.
Theater 2 (The Roy and Niuta Titus Theater 2), T2
Includes the following films:
1958–76. USA. Directed by Wallace Berman. Berman uses Hebrew letters to frame a hypnotic, rapid-fire montage that captures the go-go energy of the 1960s. Aleph includes stills of collages (created using a Verifax machine, a precursor to the photocopier) depicting a handheld radio that seems to broadcast signs, symbols, and diverse mass-media images. Infinitely shuffled, these images allow the viewer to construct his or her own set of interpretations. The transistor radio, the most ubiquitous portable form of mass communication in the 1960s, exemplifies the democratic potential of electronic culture and serves as a metaphor for Jewish mysticism. Distributed by Canyon Cinema. 10 min.
1959–62. USA. Directed by Jack Smith. 16mm Kodachrome footage shot on the rubble-strewn site of the future Lincoln Center. The title arises from a piece of scotch tape that had become wedged in the camera gate. Distributed by Canyon Cinema. 3 min.
Stockhausen's Originale Doubletakes
1964–94. USA. Directed by Peter Moore. The film documents the U.S. premiere of Originale, a happening by German composer Karlheinz Stockhausen, at the second annual Avant Garde Festival of New York. Performers included Nam June Paik, Charlotte Moorman, Jackson Mac Low, and Allen Ginsberg, among others. Distributed by EAI. 30 min.
Digital Experiment at Bell Labs
1966. USA. Directed by Nam June Paik. Paik created this starkly minimal experiment in digital imaging using Bell Labs' pioneering research facilities; in the film, numbers and shifting dots appear on a black background. Distributed by EAI. 4 min.
Straight and Narrow
1970. USA. Directed by Beverly and Tony Conrad. A stroboscopic film of unusual intensity by the makers of the classic strobe film, The Flicker. Although it is printed on black and white film, the hypnotic pacing of the images will cause most viewers to experience a programmed gamut of hallucinatory color effects. Through the intermediary of rhythm, the maximal impact is drawn from the simplest of images: straight horizontal and vertical lines. Distributed by LUX, London. 10 min.
1970–78. USA. Directed by Steina. The artist is first seen in footage from the early 1970s, playing the violin and singing along to The Beatles' "Let It Be." As succeeding segments trace a chronological progression, Steina experiments with layers of imagery and time. Connected to various imaging devices, the violin becomes an image-generating tool, creating abstract visual transpositions of sound and vibration. This unconventional self-portrait is a study of the relationship between music and electronic image. 10 min.
1976. USA. Directed by Bill Viola. Viola describes this film as "a slow, continuous journey through changes in scale, punctuated by the sounding of a gong." 7 min.
2004. USA. Directed by Andrew Deustch. An electro-acoustic sound composition. 7 min.