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Canyon Cinema Confessions // August 2015

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Paul Clipson, Light Year
Summer’s heating up, and Canyon Cinema is ripe with hot new material, including films from Saul Levine and Mark Toscano, new prints, spotlights on Rose Lowder and Tom Palazzolo, filmmaker insight, and more…

 

Denah Johnston Appointed Executive Director

 

We want to take a moment to talk about Canyon Cinema’s channel on Fandor. The streaming site had been a great supplement to showcase filmmakers and their work, the digital medium catering to wider accessibility and dissemination of films.  Currently Canyon has over 130 films available to stream, spanning five decades with work from Scott Stark, Saul Levine and Bruce Bailie to Sandra Davis and Dana Plays. Outside of what Canyon provides, Fandor features tons of work by our filmmakers, including Lynne SachsTom Palazzolo, Peter Tscherkassky and many more.

 

Paul Clipson, Light Year

 

We’re excited to announce a whole slew of new titles available in the Canyon collection. Among the films are eight new 16mm prints from Saul Levine – spanning five decades of his career; the two most recent works – Certain Things, and Releasing Human Energies – by Mark Toscano; Lawrence Jordan‘s Entr’acte II, which premiered earlier this year, and Marian McMahon‘s 1989 film Nursing History.  We are pleased to have an influx of such a wide variety of material and want to thank our filmmakers for contributing to the active life of the collection!

 

Now Available: DVDs from Bill Brand

 

Film maestro James Broughton’s work has often served as a benchmark for the progression of experimental cinema in the 20th century.  In building a  cache of his work we have recently acquired new 16mm prints of his films Hermes Bird, High Kukus, and The Gardener of Eden.  Another recent acquisition, from radical filmmaker Oskar Fischinger, is his brilliantly colored geometric motif Allegretto, available on 16mm.  Also available in the collection are new 16mm prints of Catfilm for Katy and Cynnie, by filmmaker and writer Standish Lawder, and James Otis‘s On Your Own.

 

Claire Bain's Salon

 

Blending theory with cinematic practices, Abigail Child has been at the forefront of avant-garde cinema for decades.  In this short interview, she discusses the narrative and ideological functions of found footage and home movies, as well as the denoted and connoted meanings of images.  This month we are pleased to announce the availability of some of her recent titles on DVD – Elsa merdelamerdelamer, VIS A VISUnbound, Foreign Film Series, and Suburban Trilogy are now available on our site.

 

Spotlight on Dana Plays

 

Tom Palazzolo’s films are cultural time capsules, exhibitions of oddity and the underground. Chicago’s documentarian laureate has been illustrating the idiosyncratic and whimsical richness of culture for nearly half a century, interweaving personal and popular sentiments.  His work, traversing multiple mediums, demonstrates a true artistic terroir, a sense of place rooting the artist in his environment. In addition to the 16mm loan prints, Tom has made a wide variety of his work available for purchase on DVD, including Street Scene: Two Chicago Documentary Photographers (2012), and Marquette Park (Chicago Nazis) – Part 1 and 2 (1976-1980). Check out this silkscreened poster for 1982 fictional comedic fantasy Caligari’s Cure we found in our archive!

 

Update on Lawrence Jordan

 

Rose Lowder continues to be one of the most active filmmakers working today. Amidst filming schedules, work at the Sorbonne, upcoming exhibitions, and recently documenting the Festival d’Avignon, Ms. Lowder is teaming up with Light Cone to publish an ebook showcasing her work.  The ebook, slated for a September release, will include stills from her films and journal entries, in which she diagrams her filmmaking process.  Thanks to Scott Hammen over at Light Cone for providing us with the book’s preface, written by filmmaker Tara Nelson. Look out in the coming weeks for more of Rose Lowder’s films on Canyon’s website!

 

For the past three years filmmaker and Canyon Cinema Executive Director Denah Johnston has been an integral part of the Canyon community. Denah is stepping down from her position at Canyon in order to pursue a teaching position at SF City College – read her open letter here.  While we are sad to see Denah go – though she will no doubt remain an active member of the film community at Canyon – we want to celebrate her move with a reflection of some of her recent activity with Ambulante in Oaxaca. Denah has provided photos and a statement about her experience on our blog.
 

In June we had the pleasure of hosting artist and filmmaker Kate McCabe in the most recent installment of our Salon Series at New Nothing Cinema. The program entitled ‘Betwixt and Between’ premiered McCabe’s newest film You and I Remain, an apocalyptic lullaby musing on the relationship between humanity and the eventuality of its environment.  Shot in Big Sur, Salton Sea, and Joshua Tree, the film parallels the demise of the landscape with the end of celluloid. Canyon intern Lindsay Needles remarkson the experience. Wish you had been there? Relive it through these pics!  
 

Handmade Cinema Resources

 

Nathaniel Dorsky is a long time friend and contributor to Canyon Cinema.  His work involves the evolution of a new film language, with a tendency toward a purely visual representation of forms, and a narrative structure which evades the application of ideology and logical form.  The result is a mysterious and engaging allusion to the void; a pure visual experience.  While touring in Spain with some of his films, Dorsky had the opportunity to sit down to discuss the history of avant-garde film in the United States, structuralism in experimental film, and to recount ways in which film has continually sought to break the conventions of old.



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