Celebrating Stan: A Brakhage Screening
The Blackest Sea (Peggy Ahwesh, 2016, 9 min.)
“Refashioning the original intention of animation lifted from an online Taiwanese news outlet, is this cautionary tale about the inexplicable sea--our poetic obsession to conquer the great whale and the crisis of the sea journey of migrants as they flee war.”--Ahwesh
The Glass System (Mark LaPore, 2000, 20 min.)
“The Glass System,made from images shot in New York and Calcutta, looks at life as it is played out in the streets. The disjunction between what you hear and what you see evokes reflections about the impact of globalization and the hegemony of Western-style capitalism. “--LaPore
Alluvium (Peggy Ahwesh, 2015, 25 min.)
“A visual essay drawn from my experience of living for some time in a place, one that is both beautiful and ancient but also an abysmal war zone---the occupied territory of Palestine. The video quotes Toufic, Genet and Lovecraft , drawing poetic lines between the familiar tropes of the revenant, the undead and the disembodied with the lives of the Palestinians… refugees, between worlds, yearning for their original soil, in limbo, lost in the labyrinth…”--Ahwesh
Kolkata (Mark LaPore, 2005, 35 min.)
“A portrait of North Kolkata (Calcutta), this film searches the streets for the ebb and flow of humanity and reflects the changing landscape of a city at once medieval and modern.”-- LaPore
Elephants (and other immensities around remembering)
Dreams and Apparitions of Mark Lapore (Ericka Beckman) (Saul Levine, 2006-7, 9 min., excerpt)
“Each person recounts dreams or visions of LaPore. It was made in response to his suicide. Shot with a Black & White Panasonic studio tube camera.”--Levine
A Depression in the Bay of Bengal (Mark LaPore, 1996, 29 min.)
Shot while LaPore was on a Fulbright Scholar Fellowship to Sri Lanka in 1993-1994.
“I have made a film about travelling and living in a distant place which looks at aspects of daily life and where the war shadows the quotidian with a dark and rumbling step.”--LaPore
Three Miniatures (Jonathan Schwartz, 2014, 9 min.)
“a kind of quiet situated amid the in between of ascending and descending. it seems hard to land and when this happens something else might disappear. an aging process located in the peonies blooming and in the early summer river and in the light that falls across playful bodies. a certain worry enveloped in the covering of the ground, illuminated around a face, light on something ferocious, touch upon something gentle.”--Schwartz
The Five Bad Elements (Mark LaPore, 1997, 27 min.)
“A filmic Pandora's Box full of my version of ‘trouble’ (death, loss, cultural imperialism) as well as the trouble with representation as incomplete understanding.”--LaPore
A Mystery Inside of a Fact (Jonathan Schwartz, 2016, 17 min.)
“It arrives, in a fog, with songs, through dance or majestic animals or faces (gliding on the street), and in shapes of light, maybe on a large bird of prey in flight--gesture skyward. Some origins can be difficult to pinpoint, others blink back--infinitely.”
A Brakhage Book Signing
Suranjan Ganguly will sign copies of his recent book, Stan Brakhage Interviews, available at a special, discounted price of $40. All proceeds from the sale go to the Brakhage Center.
(For detailed program notes, click here)
In Memoriam (Mark LaPore, 1952-2005)
Home movie montage/monologue
"Since that fateful day when I met Mark LaPore after one of Saul Levine's Introduction to Filmmaking classes at Binghamton in the fall of 1973, we found that we shared a mutual love for art, cinema and rock and roll that lasted across our 32 years of friendship. I will be screening and narrating a variety of film and video clips that were shot over the years with Mark.”--Solomon
The Sudan Trilogy
Medina (Mark LaPore, 1983, 20 min.)
Medina, shot on Super 8, belongs to a loose trilogy of films set in Sudan. “The shifting camera movements in Medina pursue a shallow tactile space of the hand rather than a deep perspective of the eye, as their lateral motions caress surface patterns and textures.”--Tom Gunning
Work and Play (Mark LaPore, 1983, 10 min., excerpt)
Shot also on Super 8 in Sudan, LaPore’s use of a fixed camera and unedited camera rolls, generates a certain “modesty of technique which allows for a deeper participation in the enframed action.”--Gunning
The Sleepers (Mark LaPore, 1989, 16 min.)
“Memory, as well as the residue of information in text and film from Sudan, led me to make The Sleepers in order to resolve the impression that the third world is present in the first world as an idea and a condition.” --LaPore
Crossroad (Phil Solomon & Mark LaPore, 2005, 5 min.)
"Performed and edited in one evening with Mark LaPore on the very last night I spent with him. All of the material is culled from the notorious videogame series, Grand Theft Auto"--Solomon
So Sure of Nowhere Buying Times to Come (David Gatten, 2010, 9 min.)
"Excerpts from Sir Thomas Browne's 1658 text Hydriotaphia Urne-Buriall Or, A Brief Discourse of the Sepulchrall Urnes Lately Found in Norfolk are superimposed with the stone faces of grave markers and burial urns. This image-text bookends a series of objects framed in the ancient glass window panes of a tiny shop, in a tiny snow covered town, on a mountain top in Colorado. A pocket watch, a postal scale, a small mirror. A stop watch, some stamps, a knife, some bandages, an hour glass. Time is short. Time is running out. The time left is all the time we have."--Gatten
Still Raining, Still Dreaming
(Phil Solomon, 2008, 12 min.)
"Mark LaPore always professed his dream to do a re-make of Basil Wright's great ethnographic essay film, Song of Ceylon. Still Raining, Still Dreaming, the final film of the In Memoriam series, is my homage to that dream, dedicated to his memory."--Solomon
Contemporary Indian Experimental Cinema
Curator: Shai Heredia
En Route or Of a Thousand Moons (Ayisha Abraham, 2011, 20 min.)
En Route is a collage of moving images of postcolonial India shot by amateur filmmakers. These decontextualized, grainy videos, gathered from discarded family archives, offer little in terms of actual documentation of time, place or history but establish a connection between the past and present, memory and imagination.
Jan Villa (Natasha Mendonca, 2011, 20 min.)
After the monsoon floods of 2005 that submerged Bombay, the filmmaker returns to her city to examine the personal impact of this devastating event. In its structure, Jan Villa is a vortex, drawing to its center all that which surrounds it.
Tiger Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival. Best Film, Ann Arbor Film Festival.
There is Something in the Air (Iram Ghufran, 2011, 29 min.)
There is Something in the Air is a call from the periphery of sanity. A series of dream narratives and accounts of spiritual possession as experienced by women “petitioners” at the shrine of a Sufi saint in north India. The shrine becomes a space of longing and transgression. We enter a fantastical world where fear and desire are experienced through dreams and “afflictions of air.”
National Award for Best Direction (Documentary), India.
The Last Mango Before the Monsoon (Payal Kapadia, 2015, 20 min.)
Two technicians from the forest department, one from Tamil Nadu, the other from Kerala, walk through a forest, setting up cameras that have heat-sensitive detection to document animal activities in the night. Somewhere else, a woman yearns for her dead husband and the forest she has left a long time ago. Her desires are manifested in her dreams, triggered by the last mango of the season.
FIPRESCI Award, Oberhausen Film Festival.
Sakhisona (Prantik Basu, 2016, 26 min.)
A surreal, poetic film about the myths hidden in the archeological layers of the earth. Its black-and-white aesthetic evokes a love story framed by the bounty and vitality of nature. A tree reveals the mysteries of the forest. A shaman turns men into goats. At an excavation site, stories buried for too long, spring back to life.
Tiger Award, Rotterdam International Film Festival.
Blood Earth (Kush Badhwar, 2013, 36 min.)
Blood Earth explores the relationship between music, struggle, and cultural responses to violence via word and sound. It offers a portrait of conflict in modern-day India, focusing on a bauxite-rich region in Orissa where the Adivasis (tribals) have been resisting the predatory incursions of the local mining industry. The film seeks to improvise a junction between voice, music, silence, sound and noise.
Adolfas Mekas Award, Experimenta Film Festival.
Noon Day Dispensary (Priya Sen, 2014, 27 min.)
Noon Day Dispensary is part of a video series from the Savda-Ghevra Resettlement Colony in Delhi. These videos-in-making are meant to disrupt easy narratives around eviction, resettlement and city planning. They are produced spontaneously and attempt to reclaim the style and philosophies of cinéma vérité. Consequently, they are also a response to developmental documentaries and rights-based agendas as dominant ways to explain the world and tell stories. Through the “performance” of the filmmaker and her frame, the work describes the transition between the city’s illegal occupants who are being resettled and the range of negotiations and subjectivities that accompanies this shift.
All events are free and open to the public!
The 13th Brakhage Center Symposium is sponsored by:
The Roser Visiting Artist Program
The Graduate Committee on the Arts and Humanities
CU Film Studies Program
The William H. Donner Foundation