The Films of Barbara Hammer – E105 AJB – December 19 at 7pm – FREE

For the last experimental film event of the season, Headroom and Vertical Cinema are appropriately teaming up to present a memorial screening of collaborations by Barbara Hammer, curated by Deborah Stratman!

With a career spanning fifty years, Barbara Hammer is recognized as a pioneer of queer cinema. A visual artist working primarily in film and video, Hammer created a groundbreaking body of experimental work that illuminates lesbian histories, lives and representations. Stated Hammer, “My work makes these invisible bodies and histories visible. As a lesbian artist, I found little existing representation, so I put lesbian life on this blank screen, leaving a cultural record for future generations.”

Barbara Hammer was born in 1939 in Hollywood, California. She lived and worked in New York until her death in 2019.

This set of films, collaborations made by, with, and for Barbara Hammer was curated by Deborah Stratman, who will be in attendance at the screening.

PROGRAM:

Jane Brakhage
Barbara Hammer w/ Jane Brakhage
1974, 10 min, b&w, sound, 16mm

A documentary on the pioneer woman, her wisdom, philosophy and common sense: Jane Brakhage as herself is the viewpoint rather than Jane Brakhage, wife of the filmmaker, Stan Brakhage.


Dyketactics
Barbara Hammer w/ Dyke Nymphs
1974, 4 min, b&w and color, sound, 16mm

“A popular lesbian ‘commercial,’ 110 images of sensual touching montages in A, B, C, D rolls of ‘kinaesthetic’ editing.” — BH

“Hammer’s films of the ’70’s are the first made by an openly lesbian American filmmaker to explore lesbian identity, desire and sexuality though avant-garde strategies. Merging the physicality of the female body with that of the film medium, Hammer’s films remain memorable for their pioneering articulation of a lesbian aesthetic.” – Jenni Sorkin, WACK! Art and The Feminist Revolution, 2007.


Superdyke Meets Madame X
Barbara Hammer w/ Max Almy
1975, 20.5 min, b&w, sound, digital

Winner of the Louise Riskin Prize at the 1976 San Francisco Art Festival, Superdyke Meets Madame X documents the Barbara Hammer’s relationship with Max Almy on a reel-to-reel ¾” videotape recorder and microphone. This was Hammer’s first foray into recording with the Sony Portapak and was produced as part of a skill swap with Almy.


Double Strength
Barbara Hammer w/ Terry Sendgraff
1978, 14.5 min, color, sound, 16mm

“A poetic study of the stages of a lesbian relationship by two women performance artists from honeymoon, through struggle, to break-up, to enduring friendship. Starring Terry Sendgraff on trapeze.” — BH

“The poetry of Barbara’s images carries us through the duration of a relationship: its intensely erotic beginnings, its sense of serenity, its playfulness and comedy and its closure — the alienation, pain, anger and loss of contact. The death of the body, a theme tenderly interwoven into the ageless strength and agility of Terry Sendgraff’s body, becomes the death of a relationship, a closing out, a leaving of the body behind. The body becomes a source of life. Its movement, grace, pain and happiness are contrasted with the inertness of things and the stillness of photos that merely document the brief passage of light.” — Jacquelyn Zita, Jump Cut

 

A Month of Single Frames
Lynne Sachs w/ Barbara Hammer
2019, 14 min, color, sound, digital

In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. While there, she shot film, recorded sounds and kept a journal.  In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her personal archive. She gave all of her images, sounds and writing from the residency to filmmaker Lynne Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material.  Through her own filmmaking, Lynne explores Barbara’s experience of solitude. She places text on the screen as a confrontation with a somatic cinema that brings us all together in multiple spaces and times.


Vever (for Barbara)
Deborah Stratman w/ Barbara Hammer
2019, 12min, color, sound, digital

A cross-generational binding of three filmmakers seeking alternative possibilities to the power structures they are inherently part of. Each woman extends her reach to a subject she is outside of. Vever grew out of the abandoned film projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer. Shot at the furthest point of a motorcycle trip Hammer took to Guatemala in 1975, and laced through with Deren’s reflections of failure, encounter and initiation in 1950s Haiti.

A vever is a symbolic drawing used in Haitian Voodoo to invoke Loa, or god.

16mm prints of Double Strength and Jane Brakhage were preserved by Electronic Arts Intermix and the Academy Film Archive through the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant program and The Film Foundation. Funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation.

 Images courtesy of Electronic Arts Intermix (EAI), New York, Lynne Sachs, and Deborah Stratman

TRT: 83min

www.barbarahammer.com
www.pythagorasfilm.com
www.lynnesachs.com
www.canyoncinema.com
www.eai.org



HEADROOM and VERTICAL CINEMA are sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Duke & Battersby – FilmScene at the PedMall – November 16 at 8pm – FREE

With only two HEADROOM shows left in the season we’re counting our lucky stars to have Duke & Battersby with us to present a new program of short works!

Cooper Battersby and Emily Vey Duke have been working collaboratively since June 1994. They work in printed matter, installation, new media, curation and criticism, but their primary practice is in art video. They live in rural New York State in a house full of animals.

Their work has been exhibited in galleries and at festivals in North and South America, Asia and throughout Europe, including the Walker Center (Minneapolis), The Institute of Contemporary Art (Philadelphia), The Vancouver Art Gallery (Vancouver), The Renaissance Society (Chicago), The New York Video Festival (NYC), Oberhausen, The European Media Arts Festival (Osnabruck), Impakt (Utrecht), The Images Festival (Toronto), The Musee d’Art Contemporain (Montreal), DUMBO (Brooklyn), and the International Film Festival of Rotterdam.

Their 2019 work You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born has shown at Rotterdam, the Berwick Film and Media Festival, the Camden International Film Festival, Ji.Hlava International Documentary Film Festival, and Antimatter Film Festival.

Their recent work Dear Lorde won the Grand Prize at the European Media Arts Festival and showed at Videonale in Bonn Germany. In 2011, they were shortlisted for the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s most prestigious prize for artists under 40. They have received prizes from festivals across the globe and their work is in the libraries at Harvard and Princeton.

A book about their work called The Beauty Is Relentless, was published on Coach House Press/MOCCA in 2012.

In 2015, a book of Duke’s writing in collaboration with Shary Boyle was published called The Illuminations Project.

They are both tenured faculty in the Transmedia Department at Syracuse University in Central New York.

PROGRAM:
You Were An Amazement on the Day You Were Born
(2019, digital, 33min)
You Were an Amazement on the Day You Were Born is a visually rich film that follows a woman through a life characterized by damage and loss, but in which she finds humor, love, and joy. With a score that follows the span of Lenore’s life, from her birth in the early 70s to her death in the 2040s, the film takes us from moments of harrowing loss to those of poignancy and dark humor. Her life is told through voice over, narrated by performers who range in age from nine to sixty-nine, and is beautifully illustrated with images of animals (including humans), insects and landscapes.

Film theorist Eli Horwatt writes “You Were an Amazement… conveys how the human animal’s ineluctable death drive can be the source of both profound comedy and tragic cruelty. In the many stories relayed across this short but voluble film, viewers are invited into an intimate identification with the experiences of marginalized others.”

Featuring Becca Manley, who played Shelly in Clio Barnard’s The Selfish Giant, Barbara Woodford in Shane Meadows’ This is England 86, 88 and 90 and Mary in the recent adaptation of PK Dick’s Electric Dreams for BBC Channel 4.

Curious About Existence
(2003, digital, 6.5min)
Curious about Existence is collection of short episodes incorporating music, animation, and live action. It deftly combines humour and humanism to maintain the engagement of the viewer as s/he is drawn through a number of divergent narrative worlds. The thread that holds these worlds together is a sense of curiosity about the world, (spiritual and material) and its inhabitants: humans, animals, the laws of nature, and so on.

Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure
(2006, digital, 14.5min)
Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure marks our return to the episodic structure of our earlier works Rapt and Happy, Being Fucked Up and Bad Ideas for Paradise. As with earlier works, Songs of Praise… takes on difficult, often painful subject matter. Themes of addiction, violence, the destruction of the natural world and the agonies of adolescence are woven through the work.

“anything but depressing… [it is founded in] a sense of wonder at the endearing weirdness of life and all the vulnerable, furry little creatures immersed in it (especially us).” Sarah Milroy The Globe and Mail

“a moving yet relentless experience of contemporary life (human and biological) in the face of moral, physical and environmental degradation” Emily Jones, Catalogue Essay, Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure, Dalhousie Art Gallery, 2007

“…a series of pagan hymns that unearth slight but potent saving graces amid seemingly inescapable pain and anguish.” Jon Davies, Canadian Art, Fall 2006

Civil Twilight at the Vernal Equinox
(WIP, digital, 10.5min)
Civil Twilight at the Vernal Equinox (WORK IN PROGRESS) engages two topics in parallel: the complexities of interspecies kinship in an age of mass extinction; and addiction through the lens of pathology and pathologizing apparatuses (medicine, “recovery”, the family, the church, the state). We are interested in both interfering with and exploiting formulaic representations of addiction. Despite the gravity of the topics, our tone in Civil Twilight will be wry and playful. To illuminate these ideas the film uses an epistolary framework through an imagined dialogue between two teen activists: an environmentalist and a school shooting survivor turned gun rights activist. These two characters, based loosely on Greta Thunberg and Kyle Kashuv, will become foils for discussing ideas about animals, nature and the power of cute to generate a revolution.

Duke and Battersby website 
Facebook Event Page 
FilmScene Event Page

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts and FilmScene.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Nicolas Rey w/ Differently, Molussia – E105 AJB – September 25 at 7pm – FREE

Join us for Headroom’s first show of the season, an unmissable event and visit from filmmaker Nicolas Rey, co-founder of the artist-run film lab L’Abominable in Paris.

Nicolas will be presenting his 2012 feature film DIFFERENTLY, MOLUSSIA, projected on 16mm. A film in nine chapters, shown in random order and based on fragments from “The Molussian Catacomb,” the novel Günther “Differently” wrote between 1932 and 1936. Prisoners sitting in the pits of an imaginary fascist state, Molussia, transmit one another stories about the outside world like a series of political and philosophical fables. The film won the Grand Prize of Cinéma du Réel 2012 and the 3rd Prize at Media City.

Nicolas Rey is a French filmmaker, born in 1968 (not to be confused with Nicolas Ray, the American Hollywood director). Since 1993, Rey usually shoots on expired Super-8 or 16mm films. In 1995, he contributed to the founding of the L’Abominable, a collective workshop in Paris, a place to develop and edit films. His first two films, the short Terminus for You (1996) and Opera Mundi or the Time of Outerwear (1999), are 16mm in black and white. The third film The Soviets More Electricity, directed in 2001, which is Super-8 swelled to 16mm and his first full length feature (170 min.) and there he retraces his father’s communist roots. According to Christa Blümlinger, cinema and contemporary art critic, Rey “renews the artistic and artisanal traditions of cinema, finding in ancient technics and materials the opportunity of a plastic renewal, this film finds itself making a kind of reconciliation of the two avant-gardes, separated for a long time and ignoring each other mutually: the one of the experimental cinema, originated in fine arts environment and coming from New York, and the other which shaped itself in Europe, as a result of post-war modernist cinema, which we could call essayist.” Then Nicolas Rey was interested by the economic decline of the industry and showed Schuss! (2005), set in the Alps. His last movie Differently, Molussia (2012), from adapted Günter Anders’ tales about fascism, garnered much attention: it was selectioned in the Berlinale (Forum Expanded), took the Grand Prix in the festival Cinema of the Real in Paris, and was entered in competition in Brussels for the Prix de l’Âge d’or (Golden Age Prize).

PROGRAM:

DIFFERENTLY, MOLUSSIA
2012 | 16mm | 81 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
A film in nine chapters, shown in random order and based on fragments from “The Molussian Catacomb,” the novel Günther “Differently” wrote between 1932 and 1936. Prisoners sitting in the pits of an imaginary fascist state, Molussia, transmit one another stories about the outside world like a series of political and philosophical fables.

Writes Olaf Möller in Film Comment (Jan/Feb 2012):
“Nine reels of unbelievably gorgeous 16mm, eight of which feature allegories drawn from philosopher Günther Anders’ posthumously published 1931 novel The Molussian Catacomb which exposes the Fascism inside Capitalism and vice versa. The sequencing of the reels—i.e. the stories and the way certain motifs, aesthetic strategies, and cinematic devices are introduced and worked through—is interchangeable; what carries over from reel to reel are the colors and textures. Few works so perfectly combine cinesensuality and Marxist dialectics: here, beauty is praxis and agitation becomes thought.”

Shooting was done between 2007 and 2011 on outdated Gevaert 722 and 732 16 mm stock. The processing of the original material and the printing of 16mm prints were self-made at L’Abominable, an artist-run film lab installed in Asnières until last June and now in La Courneuve.

More on L’Abominable here: http://www.l-abominable.org
More on artist-run film labs here: http://www.filmlabs.org

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Melika Bass – E125 VAB – April 26 at 7pm – FREE!

Don’t miss the last Headroom event of the season, a night of slow-burning and speculative fictions that deconstruct the familiar to reveal narrative worlds organized by their own habits, rituals, and codes. Incorporating elements from theater and dance, these abstract and striking narratives are not like anything you’ve seen before!

We’re teaming up with the School of Art and Art History to present Melika’s screening in a new space, room E125 in the Visual Arts Building (VAB). Hope to see you there!

“American filmmaker Melika Bass…author of a unique cinema of atmosphere and historical reminiscences…one of the revelations of the festival.” – Roberto Manassero, Torino Film Festival.

Recently named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2018,” Melika Bass is the recipient of an Artadia Award (NYC), 2 Media Arts Fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the Kodak/Filmcraft Imaging Award from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, an Experimental Film Prize from the Athens International Film Festival, and a Special Mention Prize from the International Jury of the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

Bass was one of a dozen international filmmakers (including Ragnar Kjartansson, Ryan McGinley, Alma Har’el, John Cameron Mitchell, and Ramin Bahrani) commissioned by Icelandic band Sigur Ros to create an original film for their Valtari Mystery Film Experiment. Melika Bass’s film Shoals is featured in Indie-Outlook’s “180 Essential Films by Female Directors,” and her Prairie Gothic Trilogy films (Songs from the Shed, Shoals, and Waking Things) are streaming online at Fandor.

Screenings and exhibitions include the BAMcinemaFest, Brooklyn; Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (solo exhibition); Torino Film Festival, Italy; Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York; Kino der Kunst, Munich; Ann Arbor Film Festival; Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Anthology Film Archives, New York; BFI London Film Festival; Athens International Film Festival; Segal Center for the Performing Arts, Montreal; International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany; and the Split Festival of New Film, Croatia. Her work has been profiled and reviewed in Filmmaker Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Bad at Sports, Art Daily, Rolling Stone Italy, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Pitchfork, and the Chicago Sun-Times.

PROGRAM:

SHOALS
16mm to HD, 2011, 52min.

A slow-burning prairie grotesque. On the grounds of a rural sanitarium, three young women search for wellness, as a cult leader seeks to control their bodies through labor and daily rituals.

Directed by Melika Bass.
Featuring Carolina Gonzalez Valencia, Emily Irvine, Chris Sullivan, and Kayla Wroblewski.

 

CREATURE COMPANION
Super16mm film to 2K, 2018, 30min.

In the American suburbs, two women mysteriously and sensuously entwine in this slow-burning, saucy, abstracted fable on the longing and laboring female body.

Directed by Melika Bass.
Featuring Selma Banich and Penelope Hearne.
Co-produced by Dave Tolchinsky and Dan Silverstein.

Total Running Time: 82min.

www.tenderarchive.com
https://www.facebook.com/HeadroomIC

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the School of Art and Art History, and the Public Digital Arts Cluster..

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

For the Mending: The Films of Jonathan Schwartz – 105 AJB, Friday, March 29 at 7pm – FREE!

It’s with a great range of emotions that Headroom Screening Series presents FOR THE MENDING: The Films of JONATHAN SCHWARTZ. Beloved filmmaker, Jonathan Schwartz, was just 45 when he died last October, leaving the experimental film community and the world in a shadow of his absence. He bent time with his love of light, poetry, and sound; and we’re fortunate to begin to mend and pay tribute with a program of his beautiful films.

Jonathan Schwartz (1973-2018) was a filmmaker, teacher, and source of inspiration for all his friends and students. Jonathan incorporated found and collected materials in many of his films, and simultaneously developed his unique 16mm vision through intimate exchanges with his subjects, handheld gestures, in-camera superimpositions, and a profound attention to the transient qualities of the world around us. Whether in his short collage films or works shot in his home, on his many walks, or during cinematic journeys to Israel, India, Turkey, or Iceland, his work simultaneously embodies a devotion to the ephemerality of external worlds and a gestural responsiveness to evanescent internal states. Often incorporating aurally textured poetic readings, and other times eschewing all words, Jonathan’s films both lacerate and console as we confront his unique cinematic expression of sorrow, disquiet, and exultation.

Jonathan received his MFA at Massachusetts College of Art where he studied under professors Mark Lapore, Erika Beckman, and Saul Levine. Over the years he taught courses at the School of Museum of Fine Arts and Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston and at Bennington College in Vermont. From 2008 to 2018 he was Associate Professor at Keene State College in New Hampshire. He lived in Bratteboro, Vermont.

Jonathan’s films have screened nationally and internationally at venues such as New York Film Festival’s ‘Views from the Avant-Garde’ and ‘Projections’ programs and Toronto International Film Festival’s ‘Wavelengths’ program. Other festival screenings include International Film Festival Rotterdam, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Images Film Festival, Media City Film Festival, Rencontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Exis (Seoul, Korea), and TIE. His films were also presented in solo shows at the Austrian Film Museum, UnionDocs, Cinema Project, and San Francisco Cinematheque as well as alongside the work of Mark Lapore at the 13th Brakhage Center Symposium. In 2010, he was included in The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Avant-Garde Poll in Film Comment as one of 25 Filmmakers for the 21st century.

Biography courtesy of Irina Leimbacher.

PROGRAM:

Animals Moving to the Sound of Drums
2013 | 8 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
That fall it was not intentional to have a Galway Kinnell book on the table near where the caterpillar in the doorway, feeding on our offerings, became the butterfly, feeding on honey water, staying in our house until we let it go. Or it was not known about the deer in Putney or that the baby birds in the raspberry bushes would cry to us in summer. A beloved, old friend once visited Vermont to do some work for Galway Kinnell and she described a stone table in the field where they ate meals in the afternoon — it sounded like a song and so I looked at the book and from Little Sleep’s-Head Sprouting Hair in the Moonlight here is that line: “The still undanced cadence of vanishing.” – JS

For a Winter
2007 | 16mm | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
“for a winter without much snow, we can all see the evidence in the exhales.
or I was wondering if shadows pass faster and faster then, collectively, we might all see you by our sides.” – JS

If the War Continues
2012 | 16mm | 5 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
“and before I could be noticed again and taken to task, I spoke to the tiny blessed star within me, shut off my heartbeat, made my body disappear into the shadow of a bush, and continued my previous voyage without thinking about returning home ever again.” -H.Hesse

90 Years
2008 | 16mm | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
…refers to Schwartz’s grandfather-in-law’s age during the making of the film–an anniversary celebrated with the gift of piloting a U.S. army light aircraft, the kind he used to maneuver in the Second World War. While he rises and falls, watched by the impassive but attentive look of a woman who could be his wife, he is the protagonist of a flight into the past. Again, there is tension emphasized by an impending sound in crescendo, this time the one of the jet engine. This jump into the void is a recurrent creative preoccupation that might refer to distance, wounds, and risks. – Monica Saviron

A Mystery Inside of a Fact
2016 | 16 mm | 17 minutes | COLOR | SOUND

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. – JS

In a Year with Thirteen Deaths
2008 | 16mm | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
a film structured by the directly recorded cyclic sound of a needle on the silent track of a vinyl album. The picture from the title, and the subsequent mirror images, lightly shake and abruptly jump in a tractile movement that resembles the pulse of the heart, sizing memories into the present. Light painting and nature imagery are captured in 13 shots of different points of luminescence, on the 13th anniversary of Schwartz’s mother’s passing, and as a homage to Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s personal In a Year with Thirteen Moons (1978). In this film, Fassbinder reacts to his lover Armin Meier’s suicide by telling the story of Elvira, who visits some of the important places and people of her life before ending it all. As the circular sound repeats itself, Schwartz’s film also remains unended–he seems to know that these motifs are not resolved, they are not behind, but below consciousness, and he will not sign off with his name and year, as he does with the rest of his work. – Monica Saviron

New Year Sun
2010 | 16mm | 13 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
…in which Schwartz approaches light traveling through water in all its forms. His macro lens strives to get closer to the essence, to the transparency of things, and yet, the tenebrous and doomed cry of a church’s bell, and the ascending, unstoppable pitch that accompany the images end up close to the sound of a derailed train–and the unfocused, unclear vision that comes with it. – Monica Saviron

A Set of Miniatures: A Certain Worry; (an aging process); A Kind of Quiet
2014 | 16mm | 9 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
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. – JS

For Them Ending
2005 | 16mm | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
“swallowed up in the sky, the sound sustained by echo, always fading.
the nature of a season, moving forward with growth or death or growth.
or I was wondering how to make New England fall colors linger so if you couldn’t visit soon the yellow oranges and reds would still be waiting for you” – JS

A Leaf is the Sea is a Theater
2017 | 16mm | 17 minutes | COLOR | SOUND
‘Facts are perceptions of surfaces.’
– Susan Howe

‘You cannot describe a house on fire until the actual event takes place. Perhaps there will be no fire. Either you’ll have to deny the description as a fiction, or burn the house in accordance with the script.’
– Dziga Vertov

You cannot put a fire out;
A thing that can ignite
Can go, itself, without a fan
Upon the slowest night.
– Emily Dickinson

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Jodie Mack – 105 AJB, Saturday, February 9 at 7pm – FREE!

Join us for an incredibly exciting spring kickoff event: the inimitable force of avant-garde animation, Jodie Mack, will present her first feature, The Grand Bizarre, which premiered at the 2018 Locarno Film Festival and has gone on to screen around the world to rapturous acclaim.

With jaunty rhythms and an exuberant palette, the film weaves together 5 years of footage collected across several countries in dazzling lines of flight. By the end of the film’s sixty vertiginous minutes, we arrive at a surprising and surprisingly affecting conclusion that’s touched upon issues of globalization, ethnography, labor, capital, joy and spectacle.

Jodie Mack is an experimental animator who received her MFA in film, video, and new media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007. Combining the formal techniques and structures of abstract/absolute animation with those of cinematic genres, her handmade films use collage to explore the relationship between graphic cinema and storytelling, the tension between form and meaning. Musical documentary or stroboscopic archive: her films study domestic and recycled materials to illuminate the elements shared between fine-art abstraction and mass-produced graphic design. The works unleash the kinetic energy of overlooked and wasted objects and question the role of decoration in daily life.

Mack’s 16mm films have screened at a variety of venues including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, Projections at the New York Film Festival, and the Viennale. She has presented solo programs at the 25FPS Festival, Anthology Film Archives, BFI London Film Festival, Harvard Film Archive, National Gallery of Art, REDCAT, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale, and Wexner Center for the Arts among others. Her work has been featured in publications including Artforum, Cinema Scope, The New York Times, and Senses of Cinema. She is an Associate Professor of Animation at Dartmouth College and a 2018/19 Film Study Center Fellow at Harvard University.


PROGRAM:

The Grand Bizarre
(2018, 60m30s, 16mm, color, sound)


A postcard from an imploded society. Bringing mundane objects to life to interpret place through materials, The Grand Bizarre transcribes an experience of pattern, labor, and alien[-]nation[s]. A pattern parade in pop music pairs figure and landscape to trip through the topologies of codification. Following components, systems, and samples in a collage of textiles, tourism, language, and music, the film investigates recurring motifs and how their metamorphoses function within a global economy.

http://www.jodiemack.com/
https://www.facebook.com/HeadroomIC

HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Announcing the Spring 2019 Lineup

Excited/saddened/thankful/humbled/amazed and astounded to announce the Spring 2019 lineup for Headroom. Stay tuned for more info about each…

Saturday, Feb 09 at 7pm
JODIE MACK
at the the Franklin Miller Screening Room, 105 Adler Journalism Building 

“One of contemporary avant-garde cinema’s greatest proponents of fellowship and happiness in the cinema space,” Jodie Mack will present her first feature-length film, The Grand Bizarre: “Made up of tens of thousands of individually shot frames filmed in a dozen countries, it extends some of Mack’s recent shorts—animations of vibrant geometric textiles, busted electronics, and marbled endpapers—into a dizzyingly abstract, fiercely analog worldwide symphony of ragged geometrics.” – Leo Goldsmith, Artforum

Mack’s 16mm films have screened at a variety of venues including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, Projections at the New York Film Festival, and the Viennale. She has presented solo programs at the 25FPS Festival, Anthology Film Archives, BFI London Film Festival, Harvard Film Archive, National Gallery of Art, REDCAT, International Film Festival Rotterdam, Shenzhen Independent Animation Biennale, and Wexner Center for the Arts among others. Her work has been featured in publications including Artforum, Cinema Scope, The New York Times, and Senses of Cinema. She is an Associate Professor of Animation at Dartmouth College and a 2018/19 Film Study Center Fellow at Harvard University.
http://www.jodiemack.com/

 

Friday, March 29, at 7pm
FOR THE MENDING: The Films of JONATHAN SCHWARTZ
at the Franklin Miller Screening Room, 105 Adler Journalism Building

Beloved filmmaker, Jonathan Schwartz, was just 45 when he died last October, leaving the experimental film community and the world in a shadow of his absence. He bent time with his love of light, poetry, and sound; and we’re fortunate to begin to mend and pay tribute with a program of his beautiful films.

Schwartz’s solo screenings include UnionDocs (Brooklyn), Cinema Project (Portland), and San Francisco Cinematheque. His films have regularly exhibited in many film festivals including New York Film Festival “Views from the Avant-Garde”, the Toronto International Film Festival “Wavelengths”, IFF Rotterdam, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Images, Media City, Recontres Internationales, Exis, and others. In 2010, he was included in The Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Avant-Garde Poll in Film Comment as one of 25 Filmmakers for the 21st century.  Schwartz was an Associate Professor at Keene State College.

 

Friday, April 26, at 7pm
MELIKA BASS
Location TBD

Rescheduled from last season, we’re thrilled Melika Bass can visit to share a suite of her slow-burning films that reside at the boundaries of experimental dance and abstracted narrative.

Named one of Filmmaker Magazine’s “25 New Faces of Independent Film 2018,”  Bass is the recipient of an Artadia Award (NYC), 2 Media Arts Fellowships from the Illinois Arts Council, the Kodak/Filmcraft Imaging Award from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, an Experimental Film Prize from the Athens International Film Festival, and a Special Mention Prize from the International Jury of the 2018 International Short Film Festival Oberhausen.

Screenings and exhibitions include the BAMcinemaFest, Brooklyn;  Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago (solo exhibition); Torino Film Festival, Italy; Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York; Kino der Kunst, Munich; Ann Arbor Film Festival;  Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit; Anthology Film Archives, New York;  BFI London Film Festival; Athens International Film Festival; Segal Center for the Performing Arts, Montreal; International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, Germany; and the Split Festival of New Film, Croatia. Her work has been profiled and reviewed in Filmmaker Magazine, Time Out Chicago, Bad at Sports, Art Daily, Rolling Stone Italy, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Reader, Pitchfork, and Criterion.
http://www.tenderarchive.com/

 

Catching Z’s at the End of Language – 105 AJB, Friday, December 07 at 7pm – FREE!

Join us for Catching Z’s at The End of Language, a program of films curated by Jason Livingston.

Amos Vogel, legendary short film programmer and founder of the influential Cinema 16, has written “What we know of the world comes to us primarily through vision. Our eyes, however, are sensitive only to that segment of the spectrum located between red and violet; the remaining 95 percent of all existing light (cosmic, infrared, ultraviolet, gammas, and x-rays) we cannot see. This means that we only perceive 5 percent of the “real” world.”

This program of shorts asks us to see, if we dare, beyond the 5% of our habitual viewing habits to a political landscape over and beyond the frames that so dominate our vision.

Catching Z’s at The End of Language traverses geography and history, interior states and external realities, perception and politics, and the expressive possibilities of language despite the power structures that manifest themselves through oppressive grammar.


PROGRAM:

SUPREMATIST KAPITAL
Yin-Ju Chen and James T. Hong
video, 5:21, 2006

A Symbolic History of Kapital. Inspired by Kasimir Malevich’s minimalist artworks and the struggles for resources in the age of peak oil, Suprematist Kapital was born of the want to create a visual artwork that could be displayed on many different-sized mediums regardless of resolution, e.g., theater screens, mobile devices, ipod’s, etc.
Where once technology as progress was an end in itself, it became the handmaiden of capitalist accumulation and war, and is now a form of capital itself in the age of peak oil.

7.24.14
Jason Livingston
16mm/video, 4:15, silent, 2014

Demonstration in support of Gaza and against Operation Protective Edge on July 24, 2014 in Ithaca, NY. A child of the protestors, a white newborn, ghosts into the film flare, and the second half of the film focuses on the young Palestinians killed during the Operation.

Limited Speech Holds Endless Misunderstandings
Orr Menirom
video, 10:00, 2013

A news interview with Noam Chomsky on the Israeli television turns into a surreal dream, revealing the subconscious of both Chomsky and the interviewer.

In 2010, Noam Chomsky was invited to give a talk in Birzeit University near Ramallah. Identified with the radical left, he was denied entry to Israel and sent back to Jordan. Shortly after the incident, Dana Weiss from the Israeli Channel 2 met with him at a hotel lobby in Amman for a 40 minute interview. During the interview, deep ideological tensions between Chomsky and Weiss surfaced. In the video, the interview language is cut apart into individual words, and then recomposed into a new monolog told by an invisible, third character. The character’s speech reference’s Chomsky’s linguistic theory.

According to Chomsky’s theory of Universal Grammar, language enables the pronunciation of endless expressions with a limited amount of words— a vocabulary. Similar to verbal language, the video’s image is a system with an inner grammar, portraying the deserted landscape through a complex of digital fragments. In this landscape, the relations between a limited amount of fragments create endless variations of the image. At the end of the video, the fragment arrangement mimics the shape of the hotel lobby in which the news interview took place.

TATUM’S GHOST
Stephanie Barber
video, 3:07, 2011

A super condensed re-edit of an Unsolved Mysteries episode where cut-aways become the stars and real and imagined Youtube comments mingle together and compete with the original content. The comments on Youtube are my favorite part of that video viewing experience. I love the way they flop so gracefully between cruel and shallow, deep and kind. Strange and wandering they construct dialogs and narratives along an incredibly modular path and expand the viewing of any video making the medium necessarily interactive.

IFO
Kevin Jerome Everson
16mm/video, 10:00, 2017
IFO is about three famous UFO sightings over Mansfield, Ohio.

Farther than the eye can see
Basma Alsharif
video, 12:56, 2012

A woman recounts her story of the mass exodus of Palestinians from Jerusalem. Beginning with the arrival and ending with the departure, the tale moves backwards in time and through various landscapes. The events are neither undone nor is the story untold; instead, Farther than the eye can see traces a decaying experience to a place that no longer exists.

Bethlehem
Peggy Ahwesh
video, 8:28, 2012

Working through my archive of accumulated video footage, I pretended it was found footage from anonymous sources. What began as a tribute to Bruce Conner of the period of Valse Triste and Take the 5:10 to Dreamland, with their deliberate pace and bittersweet memory of home, ended as a dedication to my father as I wound my way through miscellany with distance and another aim.

By foot-candle light
Mary Helena Clark
video, 9:00, 2011

A walk through the proscenium wings. You close your eyes and suddenly it is dark.

Oona’s Veil
Brian Frye
16mm, 8:00, 2000

Whispering Hope, or Grace and How to Get It. I know of only one film-record of Oona Chaplin (nee O’Neill), this screen-test made for a film in which she was cast and never appeared, having met and married Charlie Chaplin before shooting commenced.

ONEIROMANCER
Beatriz Santiago Muñoz
video, 26, 2017

Oneiromancer is the first of a series of works on the sensorial unconscious of the Puerto Rican anti-colonial movement. It centers on the figures, places, and leftover materials of the members of the Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, a clandestine group, who were arrested and sentenced to near-lifetime prison terms for seditious conspiracy, a political crime.

 

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HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Margaret Rorison – 105 AJB, Tuesday, October 09 at 7pm – FREE!

Join us for the season’s kickoff Headroom event with Baltimore-based filmmaker and curator, Margaret Rorison, in town to present a program of short films on 16mm and video!

Rorison’s works often develop from explorations through rural and urban landscapes, combining language, sound and imagery to create installations, films and live 16mm projections. Her recent films explore the visceral nature of memory and its dialogue between space and experience. She is interested in the potentials of storytelling through the use of 16mm projection and sound, often collaborating with sound artists, exploring ways in which the image and machine can converse.

Rorison won a 2018 Baker Artist Award for Film, she is a recipient of a 2016 Rubys Artist Project Grants, a recipient of The Maryland State Arts Council 2016 Individual Artist Awards and 2015 Sondheim Semi-finalist. She was awarded a 2015 Grit Fund Grant in addition to a 2012 and 2014 Launch Artists in Baltimore Grant to start a new experimental film series, Sight Unseen which has been running since 2012.

Her work has been exhibited at Anthology Film Archives, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Edinburgh International Film Festival, Images Festival, Miami PULSE Art Fair, Mono No Aware VI & VII, Microscope Gallery, The Moscow Museum of Modern Art and The National Gallery of Art in Washington D.C.

PROGRAM
Clicks Inside My Dreams
Short Films by Margaret Rorison

PULL/DRIFT
2013 | 16mm to video | 9m | sound
This film documents a unique choreographed performance that took place one late summer afternoon in Patapsco State Park in Baltimore, Maryland. Choreographed by Clarissa Stowell Gregory and performed by The Effervescent Collective. Soundtrack composed by Josh Millrod.

Dark Logic
2015 | 16mm to video | 5m | sound
An ode to the restricted space and surveillance in the skies. Sound derived from a live performance by Mario de Vega Shot in Los Angeles, Summer 2015

Funes el memorioso
2015 | 8mm to 16mm to video | 2m | sound
The final footage of a painter, slowed down to lengthen the memory. Sound by Audrey Chen (voice and cello) & Flandrew Fleisenberg (percussion)

Chorus
2017 | 16mm to video | 2m | silent
a cadence of history between one long pause

Gedanken aus der Luft
2017 | 16mm to video | 6m| sound
Studies of Lichtenberg and The Klingenberg Power Plant, in what is formerly known as East Berlin. Soundtrack by Joke Lanz

The Birds of Chernobyl
2012 | 16mm | 7m | sound
This piece was originally made as a performance with a live collage soundtrack. This is an ode to my grandfather, Harry Bennett and our shared interest in solitude and landscape.

vindmøller
2014 | 16mm | 3 min | sound
This short film is a study of the wind turbines along the shores of Amager, Copenhagen. Triple exposed on one roll of color film, then finding four generations of grain. The soundtrack is a recorded live improvisation by artist Mario de Vega using unstable media and acoustic resonators.

SCANSION
2012 | 16mm to video | 8m | sound
SCANSION is a short 16mm film composed of extensive walks through various Baltimore landscapes. The film has been hand edited like a poem, where cuts function like line breaks, working to establish inherent rhythm and meter.

DER SPAZIERGANG
2013 | 16mm to video | 3m | sound
This film documents long walks throughout Berlin, Germany during the cold days of April 2013. The film is edited in camera and composed of single frame snapshots along with longer moments of glance, captured on one 100’ roll of film. The title comes from a story by Robert Walser.

One Document for Hope
2015 | 16mm | 8m | sound
The sterile and procedural narrative of the Baltimore City Police Scanner on Monday April 27 against precious moments of gathering, celebration and protest in Baltimore from April 28 – May 3, 2015.

Memory of August
2016 | 16mm | 5m | sound
A series of moments captured in room 139. Intimate spaces of time spent with my grandmother, Margaret during a month long recovery in a rehabilitation center in Baltimore, Maryland.

Departure
2018| 16mm | 6m | sound
A double loop projection incorporating handmade cyanotypes and sound.

TRT: 63 minutes

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HEADROOM is sponsored by the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, and Little Village Magazine.

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program, please contact Cinematic Arts at 335-0330 or cinematicarts@uiowa.edu

Erin Espelie – 105 AJB, Wednesday, May 09 at 8pm – FREE

Part poetry, part chemistry lesson, part landscape film, part cinematic exploration, part history and geography lesson, part environmental revelation, part magic. The Lanthanide Series is something new under the sun.
–Scott MacDonald

A gorgeous, informative feature-length tone poem about the rare earth elements. Equal parts Farocki and Chambers.
–Michael Sicinski

Join us for the season’s final event, with visiting filmmaker Erin Espelie in person to present a recent feature and short!

ERIN ESPELIE is a writer, editor, and filmmaker, with degrees in molecular and cellular biology from Cornell University and the experimental and documentary arts from Duke University. Her poetic, nonfiction films have shown around the world at the New York Film Festival, the British Film Institute’s London Film Festival, the Whitechapel Gallery, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Copenhagen International Documentary Film Festival, the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, Imagine Science Film Festival, and more.

Her feature-length documentary, The Lanthanide Series, won the grand prize at the Seoul International New Media Festival in 2015; it has shown in Denmark, Portugal, the U.K. and had its New York City premiere at Anthology Film Archives in June 2016.

Espelie currently holds an assistant professorship in Film Studies and Critical Media Practices at the University of Colorado Boulder; she serves as an Associate Director of the Center for Environmental Journalism and is Editor in Chief of Natural History magazine, a centenarian publication for which she has worked since 2001.

PROGRAM:

The Sea Seeks Its Own Level
2013, 5 minutes, Color, Sound, Super 8 film mastered to HD digital videoA distillation of references to the sea in James Joyce’s Ulysses, and a tangible look at the material effects of an aging Super8-mm camera.

They are coming, waves, white-maned seahorses, wind brindled.
Drowning they say is the pleasantest. Salt green death, spiked and winding cold seahorn, music everywhere. No, that’s noise . . . The earth convulses in all its glory.

 

The Lanthanide Series
2014, 70 minutes, Color, Sound, HD digital video & 16mm film mastered to DCPFrom the portals of personal computing devices to ancient obsidian mirrors, optical instruments control how people see, foresee, frame, record, and remember their lives. The Lanthanide Series meditates on how we understand the world through such material means, with a reliance on history, the Periodic Table, and the people we love.

https://www.erinespelie.com
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