|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|
|COLD WAR, SPACE RACE|
| SAT. 9/20: WELCOME TO MARS + SHAW PRELINGER + DAVIS +
Kook-expert Ken Hollings jets in from London-town for the North American book-launch of his sub-pop Cult Study of Fifties America, on the bizarre intersection of cybernetics, behavior modification, atomic weapons, and UFOs, highlighting how these currents were refracted through the visual surfaces of popular culture, domestic design, and suburban living. Responding from the US side, Megan Shaw Prelinger, representing her own forthcoming book Another Science Fiction: Advertising the Space Race, recalls the Eisenhower years with a fascinating flight through a pictorial history of aerospace ads, retrieved from her own SoMA library. For the third leg of this Cold War re-visitation, local A/V artist John Davis returns from, yes, Moldavia (formerly part of Romania), with the media-archeological remains of the very last Soviet newsreels, reflecting on this same period, but from the other side of the "Iron Curtain"! He screens the most astonishing agit-prop artifacts, and in fact performs an original sonic score, to a particularly uncanny iteration of Socialist Sur-Realism.
|SAT. 9/27: GREEN/LOZANO + DEUTSCH + MCINNIS + RIVERS +
Ever committed to artist-projects around "sense of place" we're featuring Sam Green and Carrie Lozano, who present The Biggest Shopping Mall in the World, an incredible journey to an eerily empty Chinese architectural White Elephant. ALSO: Katherin McInnis' Disaster Drills, a scale-shifting short on the Bay Area Floodwater Model, Salise Hughes' (in person) reworking of the New Orleans' Katrina residue, Enid Blader's personal commentary on the early Imperial Valley flood, and Roger Deutsch's own fluid montage of personal road movies. PLUS Laida Lertxundi's (in person) 16mm Footnotes to a House of Love, Andrew Wilson's Transcendent Power and the Mirrored Rhombus Prism, and the West Coast premiere of Ben Rivers' Ah, Liberty!, a sublime cine-poem on living close to nature.
|SAT. 10/4: ATA FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL
Now in its third year, the ATA Fest presents contemporary, cutting-edge shorts from around the world. Beauty abounds in this consummating program, an ensemble set to marvelous visions and radical subjectivities...and spiked with Somnambulant Ghouls! Curated by Isabel Fondevila and Shae Green (in person), tonight's program features Kerry Laitala's Retrospectroscope, John Davis' What for What, Carl Diehl's Nocturnal Emissions, and Mack McFarland's In Search of a Mystic Bartone. ALSO: provocative pieces by Daya Cahen, Neil Ira Needleman, Esther Maria Probst, Mike Rollo, Douglas Schultz, and Telemach Wiesinger. PLUS window installations, gallery loops, and delicious libations at the bar! Complete program at www.atasite.org. A portion of the $10 admission goes to support our feisty sister-organization.
|SAT. 10 / 11: CHRISTIAN DIVINE'S PROTEST-PLOITATION + THE PEOPLE NEXT DOOR Having moved from the East Bay to LA, our cinematic soul-mate Christian Divine was positioned to grasp Holllywood product as an object of serious Cultural Study. Divine deconstructed Preminger's Skidoo at his last OC outing; tonight's lecture-demo digs up the dead bodies around several infamous youth films, all made in 1970, which he has grouped under the rubric "Protest-ploitation": Ice, Zabriskie Point, The Revolutionary, Getting Straight, Revolutions Per Minute, The Strawberry Statement, and The Magic Garden of Stanley Sweetheart. His contextualization of this curious faux-political subgenre sheds light on the needs of the industry to appropriate the politics of the day. Christian's anecdotes and scintillating analysis is followed by a complete 16mm screening of David Greene's mind-blowing psychedelic melodrama, The People Next Door!|
|SAT. 10/18: MELINDA STONE + NATALIE JEREMIJENKO +USF force-of-nature Melinda Stone and her How-to-Homestead posse disseminate rich folk wisdom and new-fangled experiments on contemporary urban homesteading by way of video, sing-a-longs, and dandelion wine. The centerpiece is Maya Donelson's Graze the Roof, demonstrating her local, sustainable, Do-It-Ourselves approach to food sovereignty, via her rooftop gardening project on top of the Tenderloin's Glide Memorial Church. In the show's second half, NYU luminary Natalie Jeremijenko presents pieces from her Environmental Health Clinic (such as her Urban Space Station), a living critique of dominant medical and environmental models. Please join guest-curator Andrew Wilson in collectively re-imagining our relationship to natural systems in an urban context.|
|SAT. 10/25: SCHNEIDER'S 1, 2, 3 WHITEOUT + ARCHIMEDIA +
Longtime OC ally James June Schneider has managed a prolific rate of output even after moving to Paris for an advanced degree. He's bringing back a 16mm print of his exquisitely stylized sci-fi feature 1, 2, 3, Whiteout, an allegorical, speculative, late New Wave take on human trajectories through the City of Light. Extrapolating on the architectural, David Cox and Molly Hankwitz of Archimedia present Guy Debord's Paris -obsessed short On the Passage of a Few Persons Through a Rather Brief Period of Time, towards an understanding of both the Situationists and the Schneider. ALSO: Caspar Stracke's Rong Xiang, on the (de)construction of the Chinese copy of Le Corbusier's iconic Notre Dame du Haut.
| SAT. 11/1: ERIC DAVIS ON CROWLEY AND ZEPPELIN
On All Soul's Day, we're hosting that ghostly Gnostic master Erik Davis, following up on his 33 1/3 commentary on Led Zeppelin's fourth album. Erik essays out on the immense influence of Aleister Crowley on contemporary pop- and subculture, specifically tracing that irresistible Thelemite force through the creative work of Kenneth Anger and Led Zeppelin. Among the elements folded into his provocative 'performative-lecture' are Sir Richard Bishop's God Damn Religion, Curtis Harrington's Wormwood Star, Malcolm Leigh's Legend of the Witches, and the Jimmy Page version of Anger's Lucifer Rising. ALSO excerpts from Crowley: The Other Loch Ness Monster, Joe Schimmel's Rock 'n' Roll Sorcerers, and Craig Baldwin's Mock Up On Mu. Free wine and séance, with Doug Katelus on the electro-gothic Optigan. *$9.
|NECROSIS AND NOISE|
| SAT. 11/8: SEX, SPACE, AND SICKNESS IN THE JAZZ AGE
The Earl of Orphan Films, Rick Prelinger has recently un-earthed a cache of anomalous silent hygiene films from the Twenties! Not the familiar SexEd and social-guidance films of the 1950s, these sometimes preachy, often elemental cine-tracts open onto a world of persuasion few people now alive can recall. These extremely rare industrial-film artifacts are here interpreted through the electronic compositions of Mission audio artist Hans Grüsel. Among the medical oddities are Personal Hygiene for Young Men (1918), General Personal Hygiene (1918, excerpted), If We Lived on the Moon (ca. 1920s), and Social Diseases of Men (ca. 1920). "The sex impulse is like a fiery horse. Uncontrolled, it may be destructive and dangerous. Controlled, the sex impulse, like the horse, may be a source of power and service." *$7.77.
| SAT. 11/15: ALEX RIVERA'S SLEEP DEALER +
We are thrilled to host an old friend whose creativity and strength of vision have propelled him to the launch of his first international 35mm release, Sleep Dealer. Since we don't have 35mm facilities, we'll instead be showing substantial clips on digital video, as Alex guides us through his process on this provocative political allegory. It's a fable for this globalized age, a moral tale focusing on the all-too-true phenomenon of virtual workforces delivering their alienated labor from across the border. Featuring eye-popping 3-D animation, Alex's highly imaginative magical-realist masterpiece elaborates on the themes of Latin-American relations, immigration, and digital culture that also drive his earlier work. So to open the show, we'll screen his shorts Why Cybraceros?, Dia de la Independencia, and maybe even PapaPapa in their entirety, properly situating Señor Rivera in his meteoric artistic arc. Come early for reception, cerveza, and yes, another of our (in)famous piñatas. *$7.
| SAT. 11/22: TREVOR PAGLEN'S THE HEAVENS ABOVE +
Mr. Paglen presents work from his current project, a series of meditations on the night sky, the sublime, classical empiricism, and democracy, exploring these issues through narratives and photographic observations of 187 US reconnaissance satellites. ALSO: Jeanne Liotta's Observando El Cielo, a marvelous time-lapse tracing of stellar movement, with a soundtrack by Peggy Ahwesh; and Mike Welt's Miles Above, a 4-braided record of the tragic trajectory of the 2003 Columbia shuttle crash. PLUS: Semiconductor's Brilliant Noise (from x-ray photographs of the sun); clips from Peter Mettler's Picture of Light (on the Aurora Borealis), Peter Kuran's Rainbow Bombs; and ambient Astronomy educationals.
| SAT. 11/29: BRECKE'S THEY TURNED OUR DESERT INTO FIRE
OC vet Mark Brecke brings it all back home with the Bay Area debut of his award-winning documentary, They Turned Our Desert Into Fire. Mark started this long-term project right here in our gallery with a spoken-word slideshow. After two more W-I-P iterations, he finally returns with the finished feature, on the human disaster in Darfur, Sudan. Brecke brought his pictures of the war back to the US, stirring debate on an Amtrak trip to the US Capitol, there to in fact mount his powerful photographs! Documentation of this geo-political journey frames interviews with Africa experts, politicians, and critics of genocide in this inspiring essay, exquisitely edited by Jason Mitchell (also in person). A portion of the $7 admission goes to Doctors Without Borders.
|SAT. 12/6: FLicKeR
Nik Sheehan's FLicKeR recounts the history of Brion Gysin's hypnotic Dream Machine, a simple yet ingenious variety of strobe-light that produces a drugless high. With interviews from some of the counterculture's most eccentric icons--Iggy Pop, Genesis P-Orridge, Marianne Faithfull, and our man Bill Burroughs--this hr-plus doc limns Gysin's enlightened quest to transform human consciousness. With DJ Onanist.
|NEW HISTORY ZERO|
| SAT. 12/13: JAMES T. HONG'S LESSONS OF THE BLOOD +
Now based in Berlin, the globetrotting Mr. Hong rewards his fans in Frisco with a privileged 'sneak peek' at his feature-lengthLessons of the Blood, a personal crusade to expose Japanese historical revisionism of war crimes. In response to Japan's controversial erasure of atrocities against its Asian neighbors, particularly China, James has generated, through repeated research trips, many interview hours with survivors, and has now wrapped this doc material in his own inimitable polemic-cinema style. This powerful essay on historical memory, slave labor, and biological warfare is preceded by a special screening of the first 16mm reel of Hong's extremely rare Spear of Destiny, an allegory on similar themes of political tyranny.
|AVANT TO LIVE|
| SAT. 12/20: NEW EXPERIMENTAL WORKS
Here's an energized evening of new cinematic efforts that champion personal expression and radical form. Constituting the season's most exploratory programming initiative--and with many of the makers in person--are Martha Colburn's Myth Labs, Barbara Klutinis' Severing the Soul, Gerry Fialka's Jammerz, Roger Beebe's TB/TX, Salise Hughes' Shiny Things, and Devo Karaoke by Karl Lind (flying in from Portland to perform the vocals!). ALSO: Recent pieces by Bryan Boyce, People Like Us, Yin-Ju Chen, Richard Mitchell, Shalo P, Pad McGlaughlin, Sylvia Schedelbauer, et al. PLUS Eli Marias'/ Amos Natkin's Daddy, a Shana Moulton performance video, and, in honor of the late, great Bruce Conner, a clip from George Kuchar's Tempest in a Teapot, a charmed portrait of that obsessive artist. *$7.