|Welcome to our website for our ongoing series of experimental cinema in San Francisco. We show films every Saturday at ATA Gallery, 992 Valencia (@ 21st). Showtime 8:30pm, admission* $6 .|
|SAT. 9/13: ATA SUPERSTARS!: BOYCE + HONG + SCHEDELBAUER
The funky/punky media projects at 992 Valencia St. celebrate their 30th anniversary in the Mission trenches with a series of screenings to honor a home-grown DIY culture of radical vision and critical verve. This OC/ATA co-production sets it off with a dazzling showcase of the work of 3 of our “family” members who got their starts in our incubator storefront, then moved on up to international art-stardom. In person, Bryan Boyce introduces a recombinant raft of his righteously satiric shorts, including hits from the 90s as well as new instant-masterpieces like the Reality Factory and Google Mission. James Hong, Biennial regular now based in Taiwan, represents with a trove of trenchant geopolitical works: Condor, Behold the Asian, Suprematist Kapital, and A Portrait of Sino-American Friendship. Like her fellow Hall-of-Famers in archival/collage approach, now-Berlin denizen Sylvia Schedelbauer, most recent ATA grad to grab world headlines, rewards us with Way Fare, False Friends, and her exquisite Sounding Glass. Free champagne and 50% discount on OCD titles!!.
|SAT. 9/20: ANOMALIES FROM THE ARCHIVE: TECHNICOLOR N.G. +
Surfing the wave of fascination with analog media and its steam-punk processes, comes now a couple of the country’s smartest film archivists to not only perform their 16mm “exploded view” of a Technicolor lab error, but also to introduce jaw-dropping discoveries from today’s burgeoning folk-archive scene. Vets of both the Orphans confabs and the infamous Bastards pow-wow, Walter Forsberg and John Klacsmann apply their considerable media-archeological expertise to this most unusual collection of kino-curiosities: choice artifacts from the Prelinger Archives (Electro-Shock Therapy), SF Media Archive (Knowledge Industry), A/V Geeks (Exercise Sauna), and Other Cinema’s own local repository (bed-wetting, pay-phone pilfering). PLUS Bill Morrison’s and David Sherman’s respective odes to the Library of Congress, Salise Hughes’ Yugoslavian Home Movies, lost-–and found--news footage of The Beatles, and more! Come early for free beer and the book-launch of Forsberg’s Starvation Memoir.
|SAT. 9/27: MARTINEZ’ AUTUMN SUN + THE UPRISING + BLACK BLOC +
Morally uncompromised and masterly in doc technique, here in person is local hero David Martinez with his award-winning diary of Oakland’s Occupy movement. In the works for years, David’s compelling chronicle, here in its West Coast premiere(!), is a riveting half-hour re-visitation with the many faces and powerful forces of that epochal moment in East Bay activism. CO-BILLED: Back by popular demand is The Uprising, Peter Snowdon’s cathartic compendium of Arab Spring footage, painstakingly compiled from amateur-video and cell-phone verité posted online! This crowd-sourced thunderbolt has shaken awake audiences around the world in a moving demonstration of how personal communications technology has impacted both journalism and political history itself. ALSO: Franklin Lopez primer on Black Bloc tactics, Doug Katelus’ Bronson/Zuckerberg mash-up, and Kelly Gallagher’s musical animation for The Coup.
| SAT. 10/4: PRELINGER’s YESTERDAY AND TOMORROW IN DETROIT +
One of the delightfully enlightened sensibilities behind the world-changing Internet Archive, Rick Prelinger has invented a novel form of cinema in his audience-narrated Collective Memory events. Many are surely familiar with the dozen-plus he’s already presented, lovingly woven from rescued home movies of our own San Francisco. But Rick also has a history with Detroit, and tonight we actively participate in the West Coast premiere of his latest exploration of that Motor City. Mixing amateur footage with industrial films, traversing work and leisure cultures, and montaging material from both Black and White communities, his program counters the “ruin porn” stereotypes of today’s Detroit with rich images of a vibrant multi-cultural city. Come early for Michigan camaraderie, ambient cityscapes, and refreshments at the reception for Mr. Prelinger. $8.
|SAT. 10/11: OPTRONICA1: DAVIS/TOOTH + DARR/LAITALA + ROURKE +
Cresting the new wave of expanded cinema, the Bay Area is discovering new correspondences between the audio and the visual realms. Intermedia pioneers John Davis and Sweet Tooth manage to create a third voice from the sum of two disciplines--old Soviet newsreels and hand-patched analog synthesizer--in the world premiere of their Spontaneous Order. Brian Darr also brings his own synth, and gongs and ratchets, to conjure up ingenious soundtracks to silent films—Mack Sennett’s frolic of Fatty Arbuckle at our own 1915 World’s Fair and local muse Kerry Laitala’s Sadistic Seaweed, a feral homage to the Musee Mechanique, just a short swim away from Treasure Island! Current artist-in-residence at the SF Dump, Jeremy Rourke compresses a garbage-truck of Frisco effluvia into a wildly inspired live-musical animation, Lyrics on the Paper. PLUS Len Lye, Mary Ellen Bute, and Dan Gunning on Flexi-Discs (and free 78rpm records!). $7.77.
SAT. 10/18: OPTRONICA2: GEDULDIG/MOON + BALDWIN/DUMPTRUCK + BECKER +
OC hosts the NorCal return of Bruce Geduldig of Tuxedo Moon! Bruce packs the last half of the program with a plethora of rarely- and never-seen TM material, including Ghost Sonata and the North American premiere of Tapeman. ALSO sublime Super8-sourced performance-visuals from Cell Life, Frankie and Johnny, and Bound Feet. Opening, Tommy Becker moves effortlessly between keyboards and computers in his new media confessionals, Lemons and Primary Colors. Craig Baldwin and Sam DUMPTRUCK Manera conspire to fuse and confuse the senses in the SF debut of their 3-D Nth Dimension. PLUS: Gesture Piece, Vicki (People Like Us) Bennett’s marvelous trans-cinema montage, sound-tracked by 7 sonic maestros (incl. Matmos, Wobbly, and Jason Willett). AND Negativland’s Booper, Soviet Theremin, and the Dream Machine. $7.77.
SAT. 10/25: KASHMERE’s FROM DEEP + DYEMARKALVA + McGUIRE +
Part video essay, part a/v mixtape, From Deep looks at basketball and its profound role in American life—as an everyday street game, a force in fashion and music, and a platform for broader issues of race and class. Drawing imagery from neighborhood pick-up games, contemporary films, music videos, and broadcast sports footage, Brett Kashmere charts a history of the game over the last century, including its rapid cultural rise in the 80s with the global branding of Michael Jordan, its growing connection with hip-hop culture, and its expanding fan base. PLUS: Local lights Steve Dye and Alfonso Alvarez team up for their “immersive audio” In This Tunnel, a 16mm double-projection on the, yes, visual poetry of hand-processed sports films. AND Anne McGuire’s evergreen Joe DiMaggio. At pre-show reception, double-tasking zine editor Kashmere also launches his next Incite issue!!
|SAT. 11/1: GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND + CHRISTIAN DIVINE +
For this kaiju-crazed Halloween weekend in Godzilla’s 60th anniversary year, we’re unspooling a 16mm print of the most monster-dense of all the Godzilla titles! AND we’re running the optical soundtrack through a sub-woofer for maximum mayhem!! This celluloid spectacular is considered the second-to-weirdest of the Goji filmography, with a kid’s theme park as the main location, ludicrous human anti-heroes, and the only instance of the lovable behemoth talking! Introducing this sublimely ridiculous rarity is the one-and-only Christian Divine, our resident—yet world famous—expert on all films cult. Christian drops knowledge as heavy as Godzilla himself in an amazing amalgam of anecdote and analysis, following spooky cameos from Bigfoot and The Addams Family, and campy kaiju commercials. Free trick-or-treats and hot sake for Kevin Garcia and his obsessively collected action-figures. *8PM.
|SAT. 11/8: MOON FAILS + VIRTUAL BOYS + TRANSFORMERS PRE-MAKE +
The second of our GENRE-X sessions is on failed or corrupted initiatives into new technologies, and the fabulous mise-en-scenes that result. David Cox’ lofty Soviet Moon Fails is in fact a latter-day operetta about the doomed USSR lunar-landing program, with orchestration, twin screens, and John Smalley as lead baritone, and Jen Tait as mezzo soprano! CO-BILLED: Kevin B. Lee’s Transformers: The Pre-Make, a genius digital deconstruction of blockbuster-fandom-via-social-media. ALSO: Andre Perkowski’s Virtual Boys, on the new trend of consumer VR headsets, the third of the 20-min. premieres above. PLUS: Shanna Maurizi in person with her Late Night with Carl Sagan, Soda_Jerk’s new cyber-feminist Undaddy Mainframe, Aaron Zegher’s Conspiracy, Megan Prelinger’s Rockets of Yesterday, Jordan Belson’s space oddity, and The Numbers Stations Mystery! Mini-heli in the house!! $6.66.
|SAT. 11/15: GALLAGHER’s FILMMAKING HERSTORY + KLAHR + MACK + GAL +
The US experimental animation scene is spontaneously combusting, and OC proudly fuels the fire for the leading lights of this intensely energized frame-by-frame form. That rad wunderkind out of Iowa, Kelly Gallagher appears in person to debut debuts her 15 min. Herstory of the Female Filmmaker, alongside mentors Martha Colburn's Monticello, Jodie Mack’s Lily, Jo Dery’s Peeks, Vicki Bennett’s We Are Not Amused, and Helen Hills’ foundational Madame Winger. CO-BILLED is the SF premiere of Lewis Klahr’s cut-out Rain Couplets, plus Jim Trainor’s Moschops and Len Lye’s 1937 color(!) Rainbow Dance. Opening in person is Omer Gal’s animation-cum-performance The Shitheads, and for those hungry for a bonus at close: the irresistible featurette Mel Blanc, the Man of a Thousand Voices. Free toast and nutella. *8PM.
|A CIVIL AFRICA|
|SAT. 11/22: MARK BRECKE’s SOMALIA IN THE PICTURE + FRAMED
Photo-essay vet of non-fiction projects in Kosovo, Palestine, Rwanda, and Sudan, our much-missed colleague Mark Brecke is back after two years in the Horn of Africa with fascinating material to screen, as both art-photographic stills and motion-picture rushes. After a tireless campaign of research and discovery in Kenya and three daring trips to Mogadishu, Brecke returns unscathed to our balmy salon to live-narrate a powerful hour of lost regional film culture and his own committed quest for its recovery and appreciation. ALSO: Cassandra Herrman and Kathryn Mathers’ W-i-P Framed, an enlightened inquiry into received ideas about African identity and agency. Filmmakers in person for mid-production discussion about “victim” stereotypes and the selling of suffering seen in the West. Come early for long-lost artists’ reception. $7.
|SAT. 11/29: BERMAN’s BALLAD OF VAN TASSEL + NERBURN’s SHADOW OF PAUL BUNYAN
Jonathan Berman, famous for his astute inquiry into the 60/70s NorCal sub-culture of Commune, slips into a personal narrative mode with this decidedly psychedelic account, whilst retaining his focus on the ultra-rich history of groups who have expanded “California” sensibility through outsider visions, beliefs, and lifestyles. The deft documentarian trucks all the way here from LA for a work-in-progress of his fascinating feature on Van Tassel’s imaginative cosmology, his immersive montage abducting us into the marvelous multiverse of Giant Rock, flying saucers, and desert-dome time-machine The Integraton. ALSO: Long-striding cross-country for his own world premiere is Nik Nerburn with his myth-busting critical essay on another larger-than-life American hero, In the Shadow of Paul Bunyan. Free zines, tofurkey, hosted bar. $7.
|SAT. 12/6: LA CACA COLECTIVA
This feisty trio of Latina makers is so named because they give a shit! And in the second of our 3-part BEST WESTERN suite, Dolissa Medina, Vero Majano, and Angela Reginato parlay their shared interest in archival films, personal memory, and collective consciousness into a provocative program that showcases the work of each. Medina in fact flies in from Berlin to world-premiere her magnum opus The Crow Furnace, a half-hour collage narrative about displacement and loss in San Francisco. Majano enacts an embodied performance with rare 16mm footage of the Mission District in the 70s, bearing specifically on the Los Siete murder case that so rallied the local community. Reginato unspools her lovely memoir Polvo, which explores the omnivorous process of memory-formation, centered on a real-life “disappearance”. Come early for Angela’s Portrait loops, festive tequila toasts, and quite possibly a piñata. $7.
|SAT. 12/13: THE TEXAS KICK-ASS SAMPLER
Experimental Response Cinema, our boot-strapping sister salon in Austin, Pony-Expresses in a program of Texas’ best personal-cinema pieces to our plucky Pacific venue in the spirit of regional reciprocity. Featured is Mutable Commute, a live performance by the Mission’s prodigal son Scott Stark and his Optic Flare collaborator Allison Leigh Holt, a multi-VHS musing on America’s plunge and plunder post-9/11. PLUS even another risky projection-performance by co-founder Ekrem Serdar, and singular cine-poems by ERC exponents Caroline Koebel, Rachel Stuckey, Lyndsay
Bloom, Jarrett Hayman, et alia. AND Tumbleweed Talk, a testifyin' artifact by our favorite SW desert rat, Bill (Bozo Texino) Daniel. Come early for frito pies and cowboy Soundies.
|AVANT TO LIVE|
|SAT. 12/20: NEW EXPERIMENTAL WORKS
Here’s an energized evening of new cinema that champions personal expression and radical form, with many of the makers in person! Josh Harper offers up his tour de force Tabulimancy, John Davis unleashes Demolished Every Second, Robert Edmondson debuts Grand Design, and Linda Scobie unveils her own new piece. They are all part of a generous group-show, also boasting Vanessa Renwick’s Layover, Ben Rivers’ A World Rattled by Habit, Katherin McInnis’ Artificial Persons, Peter Lichter’s Look Inside the Ghost Machine, Bill Domonkos’ The Ambient Medium, Frederic Moffet’s Post-Face, Linda Fenstermaker’s A Day’s Plead, Kelly Gallagher’s I Am the Mace, and Andre Perkowski’s astonishing montage/homage to the WS Burroughs Centenary, Nova Express. $7.