Winter/Spring 2006All films shown in 16mm unless otherwise noted.
- January 31 - Sandra Gibson + Luis Recoder + Daniel Menche
- March 10 - Four Films by African-American Women 1979-1992
- April 4+5 - Seventeen by Jeff Kreines and Joel DeMott
- May 9+10 - Hart of London by Jack Chambers
SANDRA GIBSON + LUIS RECODER + DANIEL MENCHE
January 31, 2006 - 8PM
425 SE 3rd, #400
A Collaborative Sound & Light Performance Curated by Barry Esson Kill Your Timid Notion, Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee, Scotland
40 Frames presents the premiere of a collaborative, improvisational sound and light performance with Portland native and internationally acclaimed sound artist Daniel Menche and New York filmmaking duo Sandra Gibson & Luis Recoder. What will ensue is a layering of four separately projected images playing in relation to a sound score designed to hypnotize and submerge the listener.
“...[W]ith this festival we’re trying to look at projects that make the leap over the traditional boundaries between sound and image and on their own terms interrogate and establish a language between the two media.”
DANIEL MENCHE creates work straddling many hard-to-define boundaries and genres; it is an effort to provoke confusion in order to enhance the mystery of it; an effort to establish each release as a sonic identity. Menche has amassed a sizable discography on some the most discerning independent labels in the world, and has performed extensively through out North America, Europe and Japan.
SANDRA GIBSON and LUIS RECODER have shown their collaborative film performances and installations at film festivals, museums, galleries, and alternative venues since 2001. Their work touches upon the material-physical properties of the film medium - its sculptural, painterly, and tactile potential. In addressing the materials and processes of their medium via performance and installation, Gibson and Recoder play with and against the illusory currents of cinema. They have exhibited work at the Whitney Museum of American Art (NYC), Images Festival (Toronto), Collectif Jeune Cinema (Paris), Hartware Medien Kunst Verein (Germany), Museo do Chiado (Portugal), and Image Forum Festival (Japan).
FOUR FILMS BY AFRICAN-AMERICAN WOMEN 1979-1992
March 10, 2006 - 7:30pm
705 N Killingsworth (between Kerby and Borthwick)
co-presented by Cascade Festival of African Films
Portland Community College, Cascade Campus, Terrell Hall, Rm 122
CHRONICLES OF A LYING SPIRIT (BY KELLY GABRON) by Cauleen Smith
(1992, 13 mins)
“Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron) is less a depiction of ‘reality’ than an exploration of the implications of the mediation of Black history by film, television, magazines and newspapers. Using her alter ego, Kelly Gabron, Smith fabricates a personal history of her emergence as an artist from white-male-dominated American history (and American film history). Smith collages images and bits of text from a scrapbook by ‘Kelly Gabron’ that had been completed before the film was begun, and provides female narration by ‘Kelly Gabron’ that, slowly but surely, makes itself felt over the male narration about Kelly Gabron. The film‘s barrage of image, text and voice is repeated twice, and is followed by a coda. That most viewers see the second presentation of the imagery differently from the original presentation demonstrates one problem with trusting any media representation.”
CYCLES by Zeinabu irene Davis
(1989, 17 mins)
Rasheeda Allen is waiting for her period, a state of anticipation familiar to all women. Drawing on Caribbean folklore, this exuberant experimental drama uses animation and live action to discover a film language unique to African American women. The multilayered soundtrack combines a chorus of women’s voices with the music of Africa and the diaspora-including Miriam Makeba, acappella singers from Haiti and trumpetiste Clora Bryant.
KILLING TIME and FANNIE’S FILM by Fronza Woods
(1979/1981, 9 mins & 15 mins)
Part of the mediamaking movement that first gave centrality to the voices and experiences of African American women during the late Seventies and early Eighties, these two re-releases are no less groundbreaking today. “Killing Time”, an offbeat, wryly humorous look at the dilemma of a would-be suicide unable to find the right outfit to die in, examines the personal habits, socialization, and complexities of life that keep us going. In “Fannie’s Film”, a 65-year-old cleaning woman for a professional dancers’ exercise studio performs her job while telling us in voiceover about her life, hopes, goals, and feelings. A challenge to mainstream media’s ongoing stereotypes of women of color who earn their living as domestic workers, this seemingly simple documentary achieves a quiet revolution: the expressive portrait of a fully realized individual.
PICKING TRIBES by S. Pearl Sharp (aka Saundra Sharp)
(1988, 7 mins)
“In a heartfelt, and often hilarious, attempt to be more than ‘ordinary’, a girl growing up in the 1940s tries to choose between her African-American and Native-American heritages. As a child, she is inspired to ‘lay claim to my one-quarter Indian blood’ because of the track record of the Cleveland Indians baseball team, and the ‘bad PR Negroes were suffering’. She puts feathers in her hair, pretends her name means Gentle Starlight, and dreams of becoming the first Native-American drum majorette. When she becomes a young woman, she is surrounded by images of the civil rights movement and African pride. Suddenly, ‘Indians are out and Mother Africa is in!’ She grows her hair, takes African dance classes and sports tribal dress. When a teacher tells her what tribe he believes she’s from, she runs right to the library to make sure it really exists. ‘Finally’, she says, ‘I belong!’ It is only when her beloved grandfather dies that she is able to reconcile the power of both her heritages and realizes her own uniqueness.
Seventeen by Jeff Kreines and Joel DeMott
April 4+5, 2006 - 8PM
425 SE 3rd #400
Kreines and DeMott’s film focuses on “a small group of white and black teenagers, the children of working class parents, and their lives in school, at home, boozing, smoking pot, getting fatally smashed up in auto accidents and, at one point, preparing for a neighborhood race war. [...] Some of it is funny, much of it is sad, and all of it dramatizes a pervasive aimlessness and ignorance that spells out cultural bewilderment.
Seventeen was not originally designed for theatrical distribution, having been conceived by Peter Davis, the producer, as one of six television documentaries to be broadcast under the collective title of Middletown. Each of the six was made by a different team of film makers who set out to explore some aspect of life in Muncie, Indiana, the locale of those seminal sociological studies by Robert and Helen Lynd, Middletown, published in 1929, and Middletown in Transition (1937).
Five of the Muncie films were presented by the Public Broadcasting Service in March and April 1982. The sixth, Seventeen, was never shown, apparently because PBS and the underwriting sponsor objected to a lot of the content. This would include, I assume, the rough language and also one of the film’s narrative lines about the rather hysterical romance of a 17-year-old white girl named Lynn and a young black man named Robert. Seventeen refuses to observe the niceties of sit-com land where everything comes out happily at the end.”
HART OF LONDON by Jack Chambers
May 9+10, 2006 - 8PM
425 SE 3rd #400
“Jack Chambers is one of Canada’s most famous and greatest living painters. Why then have his films been as neglected as they have been? I feel that it is because his films do not arise as an adjunct to his painting (as is true in the case of most other painter film-makers) but that, rather, Jack Chambers has realized the almost opposed aesthetics of paint and film and has created a body of moving pictures so crucially unique as to fright paint buffery: thus his films have inherited a social position kin to that of the films of Joseph Cornell in this country. The fact is that four films of Jack Chambers have changed the whole history of film, despite their neglect, in a way that isn‘t possible within the field of painting. There are no ‘masters’ of film in any significant sense whatsoever. There are only ‘makers’ of film in the original, or at least medieval, sense of the word. Jack Chambers is a true ‘maker’ of films. He needs no stance, or standing, for he dances attendance upon the coming-into-being of something recognizably new: (and as all is new, always, one must question the veracity of all works, whatever medium, which beseem everything but that truth).”
Thanks to following individuals for assistance:
Katherine Elder, Brett Kashmere, Pip Chodorov, Alex MacKenzie, Izabella Pruska-Oldenhof, and William Wees.
HART OF LONDON
(1969-1970, color/sound, 79 mins)
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