Thursday, April 28, 2011

How to Assemble an Oxberry

The recently donated Oxberry animation stand gets put together at Millennium Film Workshop:


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Optipus> Kodachrome Funeral at Participant Inc

At Participant Inc for the Optipus film group's Kodachrome screening:

Optipus film group   
celebrates  &  mourns    
the Death of Kodachrome   
@ Participant Inc gallery  
253 East Houston St
Friday, April 22, 8pm

All Kodachrome Films   
(original & found, new & old, 16mm, S-8, R-8 & slides)  
& the premiere of our new ‘Zine   

Bradley Eros    Lary Seven   Victoria Keddie  
Rachelle Rahme   Rachael Abernathy   Katherine Bauer  
Tim Geraghty   Sarah Halpern     Pancho/Oscar   
David Baker   Jay Hudson    Lisa Kletjian   Feliz Solomon  

Viva!   Kodachromanticism!        

As with many such expanded cinema events watching the elaborate set-up take place was almost like a second show in itself:

Projectors, projectors, projectors (16mm, super 8, 8mm, 35mm slide), portable Victrolas, sound-producing objects for musique concrete, the "koda crowns" referred to Bradley's eulogy "Koda Crows," and still more projectors.

Along the wall the Optipus Kodachrome Zine was tacked up, and copies for sale for $5, "Even though it cost us about $20 a copy to produce," remarked Bradley.  But so it was, since you couldn't have a "Kodachrome" zine without a lot of color copying.


The program began with Bradley and Lary wearing their "koda crowns" introducing the show.

Bradley read his "Koda Crows" ode by flashlight.  Kodachrome closeups of fire were accompanied by the crackling sound of color gels being crumpled by the Optipus group, the sound coming from different directions all around the room.

David Baker handed out balloons to the audience, warning everyone not to inflate the balloons until he gave the signal.  Following a poem, also read by flashlight, he announced that everyone could now inflate their balloons as "I Did It My Way" began to play from a boom-box, and pandemonium broke out with the audience volleying balloons into the air, the round shadows of the drifting balloons crisscrossing the screen, accompanied by a chorus of bleating "balloon music" made by pitching the end of the deflating balloons.  Marianne suggested that someone needed to create a balloon orchestra.  "With guest conductor David Baker!"

A roll of footage of Elvis impersonators followed.  From the back of the room Lary Seven explained, "These are 'Elvii'." (Elvii, the plural for Elvis, of course. "Elvis-es"? that would just be silly.)

Kodachrome slides from Sarah Halpern's family brought us into the home movie part of the program, and tied together with her essay "Kodachrome and Death," in the aforementioned zine.

The expanded cinema Kodachrome mash-up ended things.  Slides, and 16mm, and super 8, and regular 8 all at once!  But with several pauses, as the circuit breaker tripped from all the projectors going at once, followed by the power strip doing the same.  Each time a collective "Aww," from the audience as the room went dark and silent.  But a lovely thing to see in those moments when it wasn't all shutting down.
Bradley reads "Koda Crows"
"Yes cry you koda crows! black birds beyond the chromatic spectrum"
David Baker reads by flashlight.
The power went off more than once during
the expanded cinema portion of the show.


Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Vanessa Renwick at Flaherty NYC

A screening by Vanessa Renwick, "founder and janitor" of the Oregon Department of Kick Ass, as part of Flaherty NYC at Anthology.  The program was culled together from her prolific oeuvre, with the curatorial theme centering on that of nature and the northwest.  Still remembering "Portrait #2: Trojan" and its eerily views of a defunct nuclear plant; images that had a more powerful poignancy in these days of such dire news from Fukushima.  During the Q&A mention was made of Vanessa's installation work, including a piece with a forest-like environment of greenery, logs, and branches, where one lay upon a bed of moss and gazed up at a video projected on the ceiling.  It was then revealed that visitors to that exhibit had told Vanessa they had sex in her installation.  A unique complement indeed.


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

BYOK: Bring Your Own Kodachrome! at Microscope Gallery

At Microscope Gallery a packed house for an open screening of the last of the Kodachrome movies, organized by Stephanie Gray and Pip Chodorov.  Some lush, beautiful rolls of film by Moira Tierney, Jeanne Liotta, Lynne Sachs, Rachael Abernathy, Andrew Lampert, Joshua Lewis, Stephanie Gray, Jason Martin, Virginia Eubanks, Bradley Eros, Georg Koszulinski, Stefan Grabowski & Mariya Nikiforova, and Pip Chodorov, with some unannounced rolls by Sarah Halpern, Fabio Roberti, and Lary Seven at the end of the evening.

But the unexpected aspect was the large number of rolls shown that looked not at all like Kodachrome.  Expired stock people were rushing off to Dwane's for the last batch and getting back these bleached-out, pinkish images.  I joked with Pip, "So, do you think it would be better to shoot a fresh roll of Ektachrome or a stale roll of Kodachrome?"  And joked with Bradley, "Kodachrome, known for it's delicate, pinkish, desaturated color."

The evening ended with an impromptu birthday dinner celebration for Lary Seven!

Super 8, and regular 8!

Pip Chodorov & Stephanie Gray introduce the show.

A moment from Lynne Sachs "Morivivi" in regular 8mm.

Bradley reads "Koda Crows." His eulogy to Kodachrome.

Pip shot some Kodachrome that expired in 1980.
A ghostly pink image was the result.
Not exactly the lush color one associates with Kodachrome.


Monday, April 11, 2011

Guy Maddin at The New School

Guy Maddin chatted about his films, and screened shorts and excerpts at The New School, including some examples from Hauntings, his installation of lost works of cinema recreated in Guy Maddin fashion.  Maddin is a master of witty self-deprecation when speaking about his work.  A memorable quip was his attribution of the screenings his early films to the closing of the Bleecker Street Cinema.

I did see Maddin's Archangel when it ran at the Bleecker Street Cinema, way back when.  Perhaps the remembrances of those long lost citadels of cinema, the old revival theaters and out-of-the-mainstream movie houses, are yet another cinematic haunting?


Sunday, April 10, 2011

78s!! - "The Vamp"

The Vamp—Fox Trot
(Byron Gay)
Joseph C. Smith's Orchestra
with Vocal Refrain
For Dancing
Victor 18594-B

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Canyon Cinema

Financial troubles for the venerable Canyon Cinema.

You can read the organization's message to the community here:


The shift from rentals of 16mm films to DVD and on-line access is certainly a major factor.  And to the extent that this change has been troubling to the finances of Canyon Cinema as an organization it in turn has an effect on the experimental filmmakers themselves.  To make a work of personal cinema you can have some other job to pay for your filmmaking art; or get donations, discounts, and discards; or get funding through a grant (if you're lucky); or maximize the use of cheap DIY techniques; or all of the above.  The filmmaker is subsidizing the work. As a filmmaker you might send work to a film festival and pay an entry fee (but not get a share of the ticket sales).  On-line distribution also leaves the filmmaker subsidizing the work. (Has UbuWeb ever sent a filmmaker a royalty check? I doubt it.)

The cooperative distributor is a model where funding actually flows back to the artist who made the work.  Let's hope that model can continue in some form or fashion!

Friday, April 1, 2011