|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. 3/3: SOFTSERVE + GOLDWAVE + SODA_JERK + ASCHER +
OC takes the offensive, opening its Spring season with a session devoted to the Right to Remix! We’re proud to premiere what could very well be the anthem of the anti-SOPA subculture, Soda-Jerk's Hollywood Burn, a 45-min. battle-cry that has cult classic written all over it. Elvis the Rebel takes on Moses the Lawmaker and a horde of other pop-cult antagonists in a righteously hilarious collage-narrative argument against copyright. ALSO, initiating our 4-show OptrOnica thread, Erik Wilson—aka Softserve—evokes a sonic space wherein live samples rhyme with energized audio gestures, in sync with Goldwave’s visual abstractions. PLUS Rodney Ascher’s The S from Hell, Everything Is a Remix, Hitler Reacts to SOPA, and an Animal Charm party platter! Come early for free TV Sheriff DVDs, People Like Us pastiches, and our legendary Hi-Art Bar, with $2 homebrews from Lone Mountain!
|AGAINST THE IDEOLOGY OF THE SELF|
|SAT. 3/10: ADAM CURTIS' ALL WATCHED OVER BY MACHINES OF LOVING GRACE +
Frequently invoked but all too rarely screened, UK wunderkind Adam Curtis’ obsessive collage-essays usher in a fascinating new fold in the documentary tradition. Though criticized by orthodox fact-finders, Curtis’ works indisputably introduce a speculative platform that encourages the most audacious sort of associative thinking—some would say conspiratorial—that’s a true pleasure to behold. Never before projected in SF, tonight we unveil the entire 2011 triptych All Watched Over By Machines of Loving Grace. The first of three hour-long episodes, Love and Power features a riveting Mike Wallace interview with Ayn Rand, whose libertarian philosophy serves as the foil for Curtis’ argument. Balance of Nature and Monkey in the Machine follow, with short interstitial breathers. Free coffee, plain or spiked!
|SAT. 3/17: PRELINGER’s LEARNING WITH THE LIGHTS OFF + THE FILLINGERS +
Celebrating the book-release of Learning with the Lights Off: Educational Film in the United States, Rick Prelinger hosts a smörgåsbord of exemplars from the golden age of educational filmmaking. Made for American classrooms, these mid-century shorts are both artful and banal, timely and dated, stimulating and campy. Preceded by the NorCal premiere of the pithy Re-Presenting Prelinger, Rick’s PowerPoint highlights Jam Handy, the acknowledged master of the genre. He also focuses on the sinister scare tactics of Sid Davis in a 10-min. clip from Ken Smith’s Sidvision, and with a 16mm excerpt of Davis’ Dangerous Strangers. In fact, there’s over an hour of sublimely ridiculous celluloid, with Carol Ballard’s Pigs, Daddy’s Girl, We Live in a Trailer, The Day I Died, a Science in Action fragment, and Skip (AV Geeks) Elsheimer’s Vandalism pick. PLUS Paul and Glenda Fillinger, here in person after a career in the ed-film business, to share a pair of their extraordinary pieces. Free toast and jam! $7.77.
| SAT. 3/24: HEROLD + JACOBSON + LOSIER + MCGUIRE +
Honoring Int’l Women’s Month, here’s new work by and about women, with mistress of ceremonies/celebrity DJ Anne McGuire! Kara Herold’s spoken-word performance Warrior Three gives voice to her dilemma as an A/V tech whose work supports her experimental filmmaking, but is at odds with both her second-wave feminist Mom and her Zen abbot. A recipient of the Sarah Jacobson Grant, Marie Losier’s Electrocute Your Stars, in its West Coast theatrical premiere, is a precious peek at sorely-missed underground maestro George Kuchar. Also lost to cancer, Jacobson herself is represented by her Fabulous Stains…, a behind-the-scenes explication of that cult movie’s radical potential, made with Sam Green. The program closes on an apocalyptic, even reactionary note with Dominic Gagnon’s Pieces and Love All to Hell, the second in his infamous trilogy of banned YouTube screeds—in this case, all by women. ALSO Stunt Double by Julie Wyman, Teaserama by Sietske Tjallingii, protestations by proto-Libber Susan B. Anthony(!), and delicious sangria. $7.
|SAT. 3/31: JEREMY ROURKE + THOMAS CARNACKI + QUAY / STOCKHAUSEN +
In the second iteration of our OptrOnica series, here are two live acts and several pre-recordings towards an appreciation of creative soundtracking. Mr. Rourke juggles guitar, voice, and singing bowls in a refreshing accompaniment to his own charming pixillations, including Rollinsville, Honey the Moon, Snow and Buffalo in SF, Eyes Hearing Stars, and more! Greg Sharpen’s experimental ensemble Thomas Carnacki enlists Jim Kaiser, Jesse Burson, and Gregory Hagan in performing new audiotracks to Jan Svankmajer’s Poe-penned House of Usher (live vox by Dean Santomieri), and Ladislas Starewicz’ marvelous The Mascot. PLUS Karlheinz Stockhausen’s composition for the Brothers’ Quay In Absentia, musical cartoons, and free vinyl. $7.77.
|SAT. 4/7: JOHN SMALLEY ON CAGE AND DADA + JOHN ROY ON PARTCH +
John Smalley’s enlightening lecture-demo John Cage and the Spirit of Dada examines Cage in relation to collage and experimental techniques pioneered by the Dadaists and Constructivists. Embedding copious Cage musical clips and documentary excerpts, John also explores the complex exchanges with other avant-gardists such as Duchamp, Satie, Ono, La Monte Young, and the Fluxus circle. ALSO: John Roy flies in from Atlanta to introduce his in-progress Bitter Music, on another beloved “hobohemian,” Harry Partch. Doc sequences and a historic newsreel from Mills College flesh out Roy’s tribute. $7.
|SPROCKETS AND SOCKETS|
| SAT. 4/14: JOHN DAVIS ON THUNDERBOLT PAGODA + LORI VARGA’s TOY SYNTHs + COX' KORGs +
The first in our Psychedelia series, tonight’s show resonates with the switched-on groove of the analog synthesizer subculture. Headlining is John Davis’ live-track to Ira Cohen’s legendary Invasion of the Thunderbolt Pagoda. PLUS: We welcome back to the Bay Area Ms. Lori Varga, who cleverly demonstrates 9 “modified” oddities from her mini-synth collection, inviting audience into hands-on experience! David Cox shows off both the impossibly funky Optigan and also its iteration as an iPhone app! Concluding the evening is Matthew Bate’s What the Future Sounded Like, a half-hr. BBC doc on the early synth scene in ‘60s England, with clips of Roxy Music-era Brian Eno, Hawkwind, and Dr. Who. Come early for Bob Moog clips, early Soviet Theremin, Raymond Scott initiatives, Negativland Boopers, and bio-feedback bliss! $6.66.
|SAT. 4/21: KEN ADAMS' MCKENNA EXPERIENCE + GOLDWAVE + DMT +
In this West Coast launch of Incite’s New Ages issue, Adams (former Rose X), having ejected from Texas for new digs in the Bay Area, unveils the NorCal debut of his hr.-plus Terence McKenna Experience. Adams has crafted an experimental electronic essay by and about the rogue intellectual, spoken-word artist, and psychedelic visionary, infused into a multi-temporal cascade of imagery, ideas, and mesmerizing music. Supporting this hallucinatory homage, as the final installment of our OptrOnica thread, is the live-cinema collective Goldwave (Cyrus Tabar, Shemoel Recalde, Josh Roberts) with its ravishing A/V synthesis. PLUS Mitch Schultz’ DMT: The Spirit Molecule, with Erik Davis and Ralph Abraham. Come early for Jordan Belson, the Whitney Brothers, and the Dream Machine.
|SAT. 4/28: DIVINE'S TECHNICOLOR DREAMS: CINEMATIC PSYCHEDELIA +
Concluding our Psychedelia suite, Christian returns with another mind-bending slide-show on cult cinema, this time trippin’ on freak-out scenes in feature films. This kaleidoscopic genre, peaking in the ‘60s and ‘70s, opened up an opportunity to directly demonstrate a visionary experience in filmic terms. Among the sensory overload of B-fare, obscure anomalies, and even an occasional A-movie, we grok the grooviest vignettes from The Trip, Head, Skidoo, The Tingler, Riot on Sunset Strip, Wild in the Streets, Psych-Out, Easy Rider, 200 Motels, The Big Cube, Performance, and myriad more. Divine has organized his presentation in the shape of an actual trip, with a few longer 16mm interludes (Hallucination Generation and Go Ask Alice). PLUS a cautionary clip from LSD: Insight or Insanity, free Kool-Aid, and a liquid light show! Click here to see a trailer!
|SAT. 5/5: SOE + LORD + SHERMAN + DANIEL + ALFVEGREN +
Valerie Soe world-premieres her Chinese Gardens, a personal exploration of Port Townsend’s hidden history. Dan Boord/Luis Valdovino’s Chinese Ghost Story undertakes a similar excavation of the unknown Asian laborers who built the Western railroads. The debut of David Sherman’s Assassination in Dreamland correlates the McKinley assassination with the early history of cinema, while Kennedy/Rosentrater's Dick-George picks up on the Presidential tip with a '71 Nixon/Wallace photo-op. Chip Lord’s Une Ville de L’Avenir posits a future urbanism by hybridizing Alphaville with his own verité. In person, Bill Daniel’s Mission Bay at Night surveys that haunted SF shoreline. Head of the Cali. Fortean Society, Skylaire Alfvegren rounds it out with her 45-min. The Secret Life of Southern California. Come early to meet the makers, to witness Ben Wood’s 3-D Philippines Projection proposal, and drink in Frank Stauffacher’s 16mm Notes on the Port of St. Francis.
|SAT. 5/12: OCCUPY CINEMA!
OC proudly participates in a national day of honoring, through motion pictures, the ideas and actions of the worldwide Occupy movement. This 2-hr. program proffers a plethora of testimonials, docs and agit-prop, all short-form works that illuminate the many facets of the 99% movement. Among the in-person pieces are David Martinez’ Autumn Sun: The Story of Occupy Oakland, Bill Morrison's Mic Check, Michael Goodier/Jane Martin’s Occupy Telephone, Molly Hankwitz’ Pike Loop, Carla Leshne's Howard Zinn interview, and Julie Wyman’s UCD crowd-sourced project. ALSO: Updates from Caitlin Manning and others, with tentative contributions from Martha Colburn, Jem Cohen, Les Leveque, Mike Kavanagh, and Black Hole. Come early for veggie BBQ on the street! $7 donation (no one turned away); portion of proceeds to OccupySF.
|HYMN TO WOLVES|
|SAT. 5/19: VANESSA RENWICK’S CHARISMATIC MEGAFAUNA +
In this co-presentation with SF’s Exploratorium, Portland personal-doc artiste Vanessa Renwick brings to the Bay Area the ambitious debut of her loving tribute to wolves, with live musical accompaniment! She interweaves Super8 and 16mm footage from her teenage life in inner-city Chicago, living and hitch-hiking with a wolf dog, with stunning documentation of the wolves’ reintroduction into the Western US. Seattle composer/cellist Lori Goldston performs her original score, accompanied by vocalist Jessika Kenney, guitarist Dylan Carlson, and percussion/horn-player Greg Campbell. PLUS Vanessa’s Mighty Tacoma opener, and a live musical interlude. $7.
|AVANT TO LIVE|
|SAT. 5/26: NEW EXPERIMENTAL WORKS
Here’s an energized evening of new cinema that champions personal expression and radical form. Constituting the season’s most exploratory programming initiative—and with many of the makers in person—are Caroline Koebel’s Repeat Photography…, Salise Hughes’ The Swimmer, Roger Deutsch’s First Love, Tony Gault’s Ghost of Yesterday, Semiconductor’s Black Rain, Will Erokan’s Trog Alley, Brian Konefsky’s Miss Yummy Yummy, Greg Haas’ Distant Form, Katherin McInnis’ Snakes and Ladders, and Vanessa Renwick’s Medusa Smack. PLUS recent pieces by Soda_Jerk, Karl Lind, Bryan Boyce, Richard Mitchell, and Sylvia Schedelbauer. Come early for artists’ reception, free pencils, and the Dream Machine!