Support Us

Now Available from Lawrence Jordan: INFERNO on 16mm and New DVDs to Rent

Posted March 5th, 2015 in Announcements, New DVDs, New Films, News / Events

Big news for fans of Lawrence Jordan: several DVDs of the esteemed animator’s works are now available to rent through Canyon Cinema. But that’s not all– Jordan’s Inferno is now available on 16mm!

After the Circus (2013 | 9 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

An exploration into the 19th century death mystiques, which rely heavily on the supernatural, along with a belief in, or at least fascination with, fairy magic, much of it implied through subtle imagery. In all, it is a fascinating and astonishingly replete compendium of spiritual endeavour – the 19th century literary body of work that is, along with such masterful illustratiors as Gustave, Dore and others. These authors were passionately interested in what is noble and what is depraved, a far cry from present day ethics. – LJ

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Beyond Enchantment (2010 | 9.25 minutes | COLOR/B&W | SOUND)

Where all is static motion; where music and light become one; where change and motion become one; and where the end is the beginning. Black and white cut #out animation with touches of color. Ladies of the past encounter science and natural phenomena.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Big Sur: The Ladies (1966 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

“BIG SUR: THE LADIES is a three-minute film by Larry Jordan. Fast-moving impressions of the Big Sur, the water, the ocean, and the Ladies, as part of the landscape, swimming, or running nude, against the sun or part of the sun. The movements of the camera are impregnated with such happiness that they pull you into a world of exuberance, of light, of joy of living. And here is where one could speak, if one wants, about the techniques of the Underground. For much of this joy and exuberance is transmitted to us not through the images themselves, but through the rhythms, through the movements of the camera, that is, the movements of the filmmaker as he shoots – one could say, through the rhythms of his heart. Exactly the same way as the feelings of joy or sadness are determined and transmitted to us in music: through the rhythms, through the pacing, through the timbre.” – Jonas Mekas, “Why Do People Like Morbid Movies?”, The New York Times

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Blue Skies: Beyond the Looking Glass (2006 | 17 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Ever dance the mambo with silent film stars and Jordan animation? That’s what you get with Blue Skies Beyond the Looking Glass. It’s raucus. It’s lush. It’s delirium. Here are just a few stars in the film:

Eric Von Stroheim
Greta Garbo
Gary Cooper
Buster Keaton
Lilian Gish
Mary Pickford
Lionel Barrymore
Lon Chaney
Joan Crawford
Marie Dressler
Charlie Chaplin

What more can I say?

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Chateau/Poyet + Poet’s Dream (2005-2010 | 16 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Chateau Poyet

Animation. The scene is set in front of a French chateau. The camera chases improbable incidents across the screen. Many are constructed out of one of Jordan#s favorite engravings illustrators: Poyet. Duels occur on a tight rope. Heavier-then- air machines fly (and sometimes crash). Below guns spear exploding spheres. The timing of the animation is exquisite, existing in an atmosphere balanced between frenzy and delight.

Poet’s Dream

Animation. The poet’s dreams a maiden’s bubbles through edifices of forest and eclectic contagion.

For more information and to rent this title, click here! 

Cosmic Alchemy (2010 | 24 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

On ancient star maps of magnificent color quality, experimental animator Lawrence Jordan takes the viewer out of this world into a world of cosmic imagination.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Driving Demons (2014 | 21 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

A ‘found-footage’ film, original too shrunk to print on 16mm, it was made as one of four films for a project called GRAVITY SPELLS–an album of film and new music by John Davis, my collaborator in sound.

The title derives from a title in the footage: ‘These Driving Demons Start Young’–and proceeds to show soap box derby races. I made a soap box racer and drove it in the official derby when I was about nine years old.

The footage goes on to show various race cars, races, collisions, road cars racing, and strange mobile contraptions, including rocket cars and exploding motorcycles. And of course mad drivers. All in the1920s.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Enid’s Idyll (2004 | 16 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Animation. Jordan has used 46 engraved Dore illustrations to IDYLLS OF THE KING as settings for his extravigantly romantic saga. As Enid, the protagonist, is seen in a vast array of scenes from deep forests to castle keeps, her champion is sometimes with her, sometimes away fighting archetypal foes. She dies, and through the magic of Gustav Mahler’s resurrection symphony, lives again. Both the black and white and the color-tint versions are equally affecting. Main themes love, death, and resurrection. Please note that there is a separate black and white version of this film.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Entr’acte (2013 | 3 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

A series of Vaudeville acts inserted between the lines of reality, meant to demonstrate the ephemerality of all things.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Hamfat Asar (1965 | 15 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

Animation. The strangeness of this film is laced with carefully molded apocalypses as the filmmaker explores a vision of life beyond death – the Elysian fields of Homer, Dante’s Purgatorio, de Chirico’s stitched plain. A moving single picture.

Evolving the structure or script for the film involved a process of controlled hallucination, whereby I sat quietly without moving, looking at the background until the pieces began to move without my inventing things for them to do. I found that, given the chance, they really did have important business to attend to, and my job was to furnish them with the power of motion. I never deviated from this plan.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Inferno (2014 | 11 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

Dante’s fantasy of hell, and his yearning after the Epic Poetry form of Virgil, the Latin poet. Again the magnificent illustrations of Gustav Dore–the actual inspiration for the film. Presented on each of the 76 illustrated first edition plates, a fast-moving condensed version of INFERNO takes place, with a voice speaking the appropriate lines of Dante, according to the Lawrence Grant White English translation.

For more information and to rent this title (on DVD or 16mm), click here!

Man is Pain (1954 | 4 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

A woman reads Philip Lamantia’s poem (from which the film gets its title), which evokes masculine angst as the hand acts out the scenario of the poem.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

The Miracle of Don Cristobal (2008 | 11 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

“For a long time,” writes director Lawrence Jordan, “I have wanted to construct a melodrama (animated) from the funky engravings of the 19th century which illustrated ‘young peoples’ adventure stories. Eventually, through a great deal of selection, such a film fell into place. I have attempted to present the high emotional overlay of very mundane events in this ‘alchemical melodrama.’ To that end, Puccini combines with blatant sounds of police sirens and old door buzzers on the sound track, while ‘real’ and nightmare images compete for screen time.”

For more information and to rent this title, click here! 

Moments of Illumination (2010 | 45 minutes | COLOR/B&W | SOUND)

A 45 minute documentary film with many excerpts from Jordan’s films repertoire, including scenes of Lawrence working on Cosmic Alchemy in his studio

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Our Lady of the Sphere (1969 | 10 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Animation. The mystical Lady with the orbital head moves through the carnival of life in a Surreal Adventure. A classic. Show it to anyone who likes movies.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Pink Swine (1963 | 3 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

In the dada tradition: ball bearings, horses and angels dance with gears, wheels and hair brushes, to the Beatles song. “Pink Swine” is a sleeper in the repertoire of Jordan’s many animations.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Portrait of Sharon (1963 | 9 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Beat Era poets, Kirby Doyle and Sharon (DiDi) Morrill, in a jazz duet of motorcycle, trumpets and foliage.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Postcard from San Miguel (1996 | 11 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

The mystery and the beauty of Mexico’s high desert colonial town, its churches, its abandoned silver mine, its statues and colored streets. Lines from Garcia Lorca.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Rodia-Estudiantina (1964 | 4 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

Simon Rodia, an uneducated Italian immigrant in Los Angeles built one of the most famous works of primitive art, the Watts Towers.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Solar Sight (2011 | 15 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

A question I had in mind was: what’s the place of the human being in the cosmos? More and more we think about what is ‘beyond.’ Less and less is art concerned. I don’t know why. The question seems a bit grandiose, but I approached it quite simply. I have never worked with color photography as primary background to cut-out animation before. I was surprised that the result was so powerful (helped by John Davis’ very resonant music). It was liberating to release human figures into an apperception of suggested space, along with the primordial enigma of the revolving sphere. – LJ

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Solar Sight II (2012 | 10 minutes | COLOR |SOUND)

Many of the approaches to the cut-out material are the same as in part I, however II is a much different film. It is more meditative. It has a somewhat slower pace. I tried to let the cut-outs float more gracefully. Again, John Davis’ music forms an integral part of the meditation. I have used that word ‘meditation’ because that is how some very astute friends of mine described it to me on first viewing.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Solar Sight III (2013 | 16 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

In Solar Sight III I have continued the dream-like form of disparate animated scenes, each with its own “romantic-with-an-edge” slightly surreal flavour. Scenes are sometimes run-on, sometimes separated by brief periods of darkness to relax, as in breathing, the viewing eye. There are no fancy superimpositions now, nor excessive visual trickery–only a comparatively straight forward presentation of the improbable images, which have formed themselves in my improbable mind. – L.J.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Triptych in Four Parts (1958 | 12 minutes | COLOR | SOUND)

One of the few remaining authentically “Beat” films, made from the inside of that particular North Beach movement. Features artists Wallace Berman and family, poets Michael McClure and Phillip Lamantia, and artist John Reed, plus the growers of peyote in southern Texas. The film begins with a North Beach portrait of John Reed, proceeds to a grail-like search (and discovery) of the sacred peyote grounds, then returns to the Berman’s home in SF. A spiritual drug odyssey seeking religious epiphany, a thing which many people believed in at that time.

For more information and to rent this title, click here!

Trumpit (1956 | 6 minutes | B&W | SOUND)

Ostensibly it’s a card game played on the body of a nude woman. This bizarre concept could only come from a very young, inexperienced would-be filmmaker. I shot it in one night in the basement apartment of the small Victorian house rented by Robert Duncan and Jess (both now very famous). Stan Brakhage lived in the basement and “stared” in the movie. Yvonne Faire was the woman. At that time Stan and I were still in our psychodrama period a la Maya Deren. But Christopher MacLaine liked the film and produced the sound track (his voice and various ‘instruments’ which he manipulated).

For more information and to rent this title, click here!