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Canyon Cinema Confessions // July 2014

 

 

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Coming Attractions, Peter Tscherkassky (2010)
This month from Canyon: lots of new DVDs, our filmmaker spotlights return, more screenings at the National Gallery, a big announcement about our new nonprofit status, and more…

Canyon becomes a nonprofit!
Canyon Cinema Foundation is pleased to announce it has achieved Federal 501(c)(3) status. It has been a long and hard-won process, and we would like to express our sincere gratitude to the many community members who have made this transition a possibility: staff, board members, our pro-bono legal team, and, of course, our filmmakers. As a nonprofit, we are eligible for new forms of support that will allow us to continue educating the public about our films and filmmakers far into the future. To make a tax-deductible donation directly to Canyon, click here, and to read a full press release about our nonprofit status, click here.
Robert Huot, Rolls: 1971 (1971-1972)
Robert Huot is a radical painter-cum-filmmaker who makes works of deceptive simplicity. In his autobiographical portrait Rolls: 1971, he plays with duration (the one second shot and the complete unedited roll of film) to involve his audience in the unfolding of lived and cinematic time. The result is an unusual and egalitarian depiction of human life and some of what it can entail: physical intimacy, child-rearing, moments of solitude, and time spent with family. For the first time here at Canyon, we are offering excerpts from Rolls: 1971, available to rent on DVD, and we invite you to read Scott MacDonald’s excellent survey of Huot’s early film work here.
Spotlight on Abigail Child
Abigail Child has made more than thirty films since the eighties–and she shows no signs of letting up. Her work straddles genres and media; to date, she has produced documentary films, narrative features, poetry, video installations, and musical collaborations, all united by their formal precision and political boldness. We are grateful to Abigail and her work, much of which is in our collection. We will soon be offering her new work on DVD; until then, you can find production stills and read some of Child’s writing on our blog, buy her book This is Called Moving here, and contact her to purchase a monograph on her series Is This What You Were Born For?
Spotlight on Peter Tscherkassky
Peter Tscherkassky’s work emanates from a dark room, quite literally. Without a camera and one frame at a time, Tscherkassky meticulously contact prints found footage, using a variety of tools, to create beautiful meditations on film’s materiality and history. The stories he tells are inextricable from the medium through which he tells them, which is why our collection of his films is so important, and why we are pleased to now distribute his most recent film, Coming Attractions. Several DVD compilations of his work are en route, and our Tumblr now contains a chapter from his book Film Unframed, a photo of his workspace, a very special cocktail, and much more.
Brakhage @ YBCA
All too often we think of cinematic exhibition as a series of passive acts. The projectionist turns the film on, and the audience sits quietly in rapt attention. Of course, there is more going on here, and Barbara Hammer’s film and video work makes this quite clear. In an essay from Caboose Books’ excellent series “Planetary Projection,” Hammer describes her notion of an “active cinema”–which moves its audience around the room. “I choose film because it moves, because it represents a life of change, i.e. my life,” she writes, and so naturally her performances don’t adhere to traditional cinematic precepts of silence, immobility, and the rectangular screen on the wall.
From Vault to Screen @ National Gallery of Art
Have you made it out to the National Gallery of Art yet? We hope so, because all summer Canyon has been collaborating with the NGA to bring you “From Vault to Screen,” an eight-part series exploring the full scope of our collection. After getting started this month, six more screenings are planned for August. From a spotlight on Stan Brakhage to a program inspired by Tom Gunning’s famous essay “A Minor Cinema,” with art world hits and archival finds in between, this month is going to be packed! “From Vault to Screen” concludes on August 31st with a screening of new works, but continues throughout the month, so take a look at the full schedule here.
From the Archives
Phil Solomon provides a beautiful and varied collection of film and video on his Vimeo page. Between home movies and excerpts from his film and video work, Solomon has made available a remarkable index of his long friendship with Stan Brakhage. The videos–which feature Brakhage at work, in conversation, and hosting his legendary Salon series–are derived from a long-term project Solomon has been working on, A Snail’s Trail in the Moonlight: Conversations with Brakhage. Browse all of the videos here, and read Phil’s explanation of the material–and his moving tribute to Brakhage–on our Tumblr.

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