Canyon Cinema Confessions // June 2017

Canyon Cinema Confessions // June 2017

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Canyon Cinema Confessions // June 2017

It’s been a long time since our last Confession, and we have a lot to report.

Can you believe June is nearly over? Canyon Cinema 50 is in full swing, and programming continues throughout the summer. We have a long list of new works and preservation prints in distribution. A slew of DVDs have shown up at our door, courtesy of Canyon filmmakers and our new partnerships with European labels Re:Voir and Index. We spoke with Guy Maddin for the San Francisco International Film Festival, and Gerry Fialka shared a poignant Robert Nelson interview with us. And naturally we want to share all of this with you. Keep reading.


Canyon Cinema 50

Canyon Cinema 50 continues to chart its course. 

In case you somehow missed it, Canyon is celebrating half a century of continuous operation this year with a project we call Canyon Cinema 50. We are commemorating this milestone with a whole lot of screenings and events across the San Francisco Bay Area, as well as a forthcoming educational website and touring programs to be announced later in the year. If you haven’t been able to make it to anything Canyon has done so far, don’t worry: we have plenty of ways for you to experience it vicariously. Watch a kaleidoscopic trailer created for the occasion by filmmakers Adrianne Finnelli and Bryan Boyce. Take a look at pictures from our events here, or buy a beautiful commemorative poster (silkscreened, edition of 100) in our shop. Read the questions Guy Maddin answered for us at an April screening on our blog, and while you’re there, take a look at Robert Nelson’s answers to a poignant 2011 questionnaire mailed to him by Gerry Fialka. Canyon Cinema 50 is far from over, so be sure to keep an eye on our website for more screenings and announcements.

Would you like to celebrate Canyon Cinema’s 50th anniversary in your town? The Canyon Cinema 50 tour will launch this fall, and include 4 programs curated by David Dinnell. Details will be announced later in the year. In the meantime, if you’re interested in bringing these programs to your cinema–micro or otherwise–drop us a line at


New Filmmakers

Canyon welcomes three filmmakers to the collection.

With more than 3,200 of the world’s best independent and experimental films, our collection is a beautiful, living thing. We are proud to introduce the films of three new Canyon artists, who live and work as near as our own backyard and as far afield as China. James Sansing situates himself among detritus and decay to see what material can teach us about memory. His films Verses and Forsaken are now available to rent. Jason Halprin is another Bay Area-based filmmaker new to the catalog. His contribution, War Heb Je Voor Het Gekeken, is concerned with the way geography can be observed and constructed through film. Elsewhere, Sandy Ding joins us from across the world to share a series of works concerned with mysteries and the subconscious.


Recent Acquisitions

New films and DVDs from our friends. 

Established Canyon filmmakers remain as prolific and vital as ever. Longtime collaborator Janis Crystal Lipzin has sent us copies of Found and Lost, and we have them on sale now, along with Larry Gottheim’s Chants and Dances for Hand, which documents and enacts Haitian Vodou ritual. Jon Behrens shared six films newly collected onto a single Blu-ray, also available now. Over the last six years, Gary Adlestein and Jerry Orr worked tirelessly on their joint film Septuagenarian Collaborations, which we have for both individual and institutional purchase. And social documentarian Lynne Sachs has supplied us with a number of DVDs that encompass her vast body of work, including her 2013 feature Your Day is My Night–take a look at  all of them here.It’s not just individual filmmakers sharing their work with us, though. As a North American distributor of DVDs from Re:Voir and Index, we are proud to be able to stock some of the most compelling experimental cinema from Austria, France, and beyond. We hope these partnerships will broaden exposure to the avant-garde’s many international currents; you can see the full list of what’s available here.

Of course, we haven’t given up on celluloid, and never will: we have plenty of new 16mm works for rental. Mark Toscano’s tone poem The Song Remains the Same is now available, as is Amy Halpern’s Newt Pauses. Jerome Hiler’s most recent films Marginalia and Bagatelle II demonstrate his lyrical and visual power, and Canyon legend Lawrence Jordan’s surreal collage work continues in Night Light.


New Prints

Restored, reprinted, reintroduced–now is a great time to revisit some of the most seminal work in our catalog. 

Our mission is to provide access to beautiful and well-preserved distribution prints. We’re committed to providing audiences with the opportunity to see film as it was intended, and carry on this work by collecting new preservation prints from some of our most revered filmmakers. Now available are Warren Haack’s protest film Selective Service System, Stan Brakhage’s “found object” Gift, and founder Bruce Baillie’s Roslyn Romance (Is It Really True?). Toney Merritt’s Welcome to the House of Raven is also back in distribution. Camp king Curt McDowell’s work has meanwhile been collected into three thematic programs, two of which are currently available for rental and all of which are presented on gorgeous, newly struck prints. 

Canyon Cinema 50