Canyon Cinema Confessions // November 2014



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Tomonari Nishikawa, 45 7 Broadway
In this volume: new prints from Huot, Dorsky, and Nishikawa, spotlights on Lewis Klahr and Daina Krumins, NGA recaps, curated programs, and more…


Robert Huot, Rolls 1971


Two radically different documents of time, space, and the passing moment have arrived in our offices this month. Tomonari Nishikawa, who has crafted beautiful cinematic geographies of San Francisco and Tokyo, turns his attention to Times Square in 45 7 Broadway, which uses optical printing and color filters to replicate the experience of so many different sensory inputs vying for attention. Robert Huot, by contrast, provides the solitary pleasure of a diary; in Rolls 1971, he alternates between long, unedited rolls of film and rapid sequences of second-long shots to develop a very different kind of rhythm–the quiet rhythm of daily experience.


New from Nathaniel Dorsky


Nathaniel Dorsky is indomitable. Following the premiere of four films at the San Francisco Crossroads festival this past April, he traveled to Vienna to participate in the 2014 Viennale, which just wrapped up last week. The Viennale’s excellent (and exhaustive) tribute “Revolutions in 16mm” provided the stage for two brand new works, Avraham and February–each shot and edited in 2014 and now available to rent from the Canyon catalog. All of this, and coming very soon: a revised third edition of Dorsky’s slim metaphysics of film, Devotional Cinema, published by Tuumba Press and available to order from Small Press Distribution.


Spotlight on Lewis Klahr


Lewis Klahr brings to life mid-century pop cultural detritus in his atmospheric collage films. No wonder he prefers to think of himself as a “re-animator.” Klahr’s output is prodigious–he has finished eight of a planned twelve films this year–and he has been gaining some well-deserved recognition as of late, with recent premieres at the New York and London film festivals. If you’re in the Bay Area, be sure to see his work at Artists’ Television Access on Saturday; if you aren’t, take a look at our blog to glimpse inside his studio and discover a wide-reaching constellation of his personal influences, or visit Fandor to watch a selection of his work.


Spotlight on Daina Krumins


The short films of Daina Krumins are intricately produced texture studies. Coming from a professional special effects background (she worked as rotoscoper and optical printer operator for Pat O’Neill), Krumins combines surrealist sensibilities with meticulous technical attention; her first two films, The Divine Miracle and Babobilicons, constitute no more than twenty minutes of film, but were each years in the making. With the advent of digital effects, she has found a less labor-intensive way of realizing her unique view of the world, and the result is her first feature length film, Glass. All are available to rent from Canyon, or to buy as a compilation DVD.


Curated Programs


Over the years, a number of people affiliated with Canyon have helped us put together a vast list of curated programs. Organized around people, place, theme, and format, these programs are educational tools, meant to help you navigate the fifty years of experimental and artist-made cinema available in our archive. As a part of this series, the Brakhage estate has organized Stan Brakhage’s work into a series of programs priced at special discounted rates, available here. For anyone interested in Brakhage’s films, these programs provide an essential clarity to his artistic development and illuminate the many threads of his diverse body of work.


From Vault to Screen


The National Gallery of Art’s Canyon Cinema retrospective, “From Vault to Screen,” came to a close at the end of the summer. In eight screenings, the NGA gave a clear image of the vibrant alternative forms of cinema we support. We have posted responses and reports from conservationist Lauren Sorensen and filmmaker Sandra Davis on our Tumblr, and our curated programs page now contains a complete list of the NGA programs. Documenting Canyon’s roots and growth, shedding light on rarely seen works, identifying critical currents and art world crossovers–it’s enough to make you want to do a retrospective of your own.


Canyon Cinema Salon Series


The Canyon Cinema Salon is a free ongoing dialogue and screening series; our guest this month is multimedia artist Tyler Turkle. He will be joining us at New Nothing Cinema in San Francisco on November 24th to present a screening of works that introduced him to filmmaking while he was a student at Kent State. The program, “Plastic History: Independent and Experimental Filmmaking in the Age of Acetate,” features works by Kenneth Anger, Robert Nelson, Richard Myers, and others. For full details, click here, and be sure to check our website for announcements about future Salons, including an evening in December with Nathaniel Dorsky.


From the Archives: Curt McDowell


Confession: this newsletter takes its name from Curt McDowell’s 1972 film epistle to his parents. McDowell, a pioneer in the queer underground, has been getting a lot of love in San Francisco: Confessions was just one of many films screened at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts as part of their Bay Area Now 7 series, followed up by a program of his lesser known works put on by our friends at the Roxie Theater. If you missed it, you can read Michael Guillen’s edifying summary on his blog here, or visit the Internet Archive to listen to a 1977 tape of McDowell discussing his “kinky art porno horror film” Thundercrack with Marion Eaton.

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