Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Temple Cinematheque: Experimental Shorts

The next screening in the Temple Cinematheque series will be a program of experimental shorts from the 1960s, 70s, and 80s. All of the titles will be screened in 16mm:

Director: Jan Krawitz
16mm, b/w, 10 minutes, 1976

Jan Krawitz has been making documentary films for 35 years. Her work has been exhibited and awarded at film festivals in the United States and abroad, among them: In Harm's Way, Mirror Mirror, Drive-In Blues, Little People, Cotton Candy and Elephant Stuff, Afterimage, and Styx. Her film Styx is in the permanent collection of The Museum of Modern Art in New York. She is a Professor in the Graduate Program in Documentary Film and Video at Stanford University. She has a B.A. from Cornell and a Master of Fine Arts in Film from Temple University.

"...it quickly establishes a tempo, a rhythm, and an almost symphonic kind of form that brings the everyday into a superbly balanced conjunction with the realm of the extraordinary suggested by the title..."
San Francisco Chronicle

Director: Standish Lawder
16mm, b/w, 11 minutes, 1969

An underground classic, cited by Richard Linklater (SLACKER, A SCANNER DARKLY), as one of his favorite shorts, NECROLOGY is an anthropological film about life and death in New York City - a roll call of the recently deceased. Shot in Grand Central Station, director Standish Lawder, who is best known for his photography, captured 12 minutes of anonymous commuters in their daily routine. The finished film shows lines of people ascending and disappearing into a shadowy abyss with the haunting suggestion of people on their eventless way to hell. Lawder added a lengthy list of bogus credits to the end for a touch of morbid humour that leaves viewers to ponder their own fate.

"The film is one of the strongest and grimmest comments upon the contemporary society that cinema has produced." Jonas Mekas, The Village Voice

Life is a Bitch and Then You Die
Director: Nina Gilberti
16mm, b/w, 5 minutes, 1985

Re-editing film footage from Joris Ivens’ 1928 silent film, THE BRIDGE, Nina Gilberti added music and narration to create a completely new work that is different in mood and meaning from what Ivens’ intended. The individual shots have been re-assembled to work more closely with the narrative content. Flipping shots and screen direction, combined with rapid editing and a frenetic score, the filmmaker offers us a humorous glimpse into the narrator’s thoughts and feelings.

Last Movement of a New World Symphony
Director: Nikola Kulish
16mm, color, 11 minutes, 1974

Using the music from the last movement of Dvorak’s New World symphony as a foundation, Kulish directed this harried tale of a man on a seemingly desperate mission. With a montage that rises and subsides in conjunction with the protagonist’s energy and resolve, the film compels us to empathize with the hero until he confronts what ultimately awaits him.

The program screens this Friday, April 8, at 3 PM in Annenberg Hall (Room 3), 13th and Norris St.

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