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From Vault to Screen: Canyon Cinema at the National Gallery


1) Origins
Curated by Denah Johnston (original program date: July 12th, 2014)

Short, lyrical films from Canyon’s beginnings, featuring work by the organization’s founding members. (95 minutes)

Pastorale D’Ete, Will Hindle, 1958, 9 minutes (sound)
Mister Hayashi, Bruce Baillie, 1961, 3 minutes (sound)
Have You Thought of Talking to the Director?, Bruce Baillie, 1962, 15 minutes (sound)
Thanatopsis, Ed Emshwiller, 1962, 5 minutes (sound)
Big Sur: The Ladies, Lawrence Jordan, 1966, 3 minutes (sound)
Angel Blue Sweet Wings, Chick Strand, 1966, 3 minutes (sound)
Hot Leatherette, Robert Nelson, 1967, 5 minutes (sound)
The Bed, James Broughton, 1968, 20 minutes (sound)
Cornucopia, Leonard Lipton, 1968, 8 minutes (sound)
Offon, Scott Bartlett, 1969, 10 minutes (sound)
My Name is Oona, Gunvor Nelson, 1969, 10 minutes (sound)


Sweet California

2) Sweet California
Curated by Denah Johnston and Antonella Bonfanti (original program date: July 13th, 2014)

“I’m definitely not interested in passing along intellectual information about California. There’s plenty of that everywhere. I’m trying to get at some feeling state.” -Robert Nelson. A personal intricate essay about his home state, Tijuana to Hollywood via Death Valley is the first half of Nelson’s travelogue Suite California Stops & Passes (1976). It is paired with other films about Californian culture and environment. (100 minutes)

Pasadena Freeway Stills, Gary Beydler, 1974, 6 minutes (silent)
L.A. Carwash, Janis Lipzin, 1975, 8.5 minutes (sound)
Hard Core Home Movie, Greta Snider, 1989, 5 minutes (sound)
The Red Thread, Larry Gottheim, 1987, 17 minutes (sound)
Degrees of Limitation, Scott Stark, 1982, 3 minutes (silent)
Split Description, Andy Moore, 1994, 8 minutes (sound)
Silence, Jules Engel, 1968, 3 minutes (silent)
Suite California: Stops and Passes Part 1: Tijuana to Hollywood via Death Valley, Robert Nelson, 1976, 46 minutes (sound)


3) Lost and Found: Stan Brakhage
Curated by Mark Toscano and Marilyn Brakhage, with assistance from Antonella Bonfanti (original program date: August 9th, 2014)

A central figure in the American avant-garde, Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) continues to influence generations of experimental filmmakers with his poetic visions. This program offers a selection from his prodigious film catalog, spanning forty-five years of work. (88 minutes)

Reflections on Black, 1955, 12 minutes (sound)
Mothlight, 1961, 4 minutes (silent)
“He Was Born. He Suffered. He Died.”, 1974, 7 minutes (silent)
Made Manifest, 1980, 11 minutes (silent)
I…Dreaming, 1988, 7 minutes (sound)
Faust IV, 1989, 38 minutes (sound)
Ephemeral Solidity, 1993, 4 minutes (silent)
Stately Mansions Did Decree, 1999, 5 minutes (silent)


A Minor Cinema

4) A Minor Cinema
Curated by Antonella Bonfanti (original program date: August 16th, 2014)

In response to the inaugural International Experimental Film Congress held in Toronto in 1989, film scholar Tom Gunning published the influential essay “Towards A Minor Cinema.” Focusing on the work of six young experimental filmmakers, Gunning argued that theirs was a practice that embraced the “outsider” status of personal cinema: “I believe that these filmmakers profoundly understand their place in film history and in the economic realities of film distribution and exhibition. These films assert no vision of conquest, make no claims to hegemony.” (93 minutes)

Note to Pati, Saul Levine, 1969, 8 minutes (silent)
Altair, Lewis Klahr, 1994, 8 minutes (sound)
Department of the Interior, Nina Fonoroff, 1986, 8 minutes (sound)
The Sleepers, Mark LaPore, 1989, 16 minutes (sound)
The Secret Garden, Phil Solomon, 1988, 23 minutes (sound)
Nocturne, Peggy Ahwesh, 1998, 30 minutes (sound)


Art World Crossover

5) Art World Crossover
Curated by Denah Johnston (original program date: August 17th, 2014)

The gallery space and the screen as exhibition sites are very often synonymous, as evidenced by this program of experimental films by artists lauded for their work in both the white cube and the black box. (95 minutes)

Scotch Tape, Jack Smith, 1962, 3 minutes (sound)
On Eye Rape, Takahiko Iimura, 1962, 10 minutes (sound)
Standard Time, Michael Snow, 1967, 8 minutes (sound)
…Remote…Remote…, Valie Export, 1973, 12 minutes (sound)
Andy Warhol’s Unfinished Symphony, Babeth, 1975, 26 minutes (sound)
Passage a L’Acte, Martin Arnold, 1993, 12 minutes (sound)
Outer Space, Peter Tscherkassky, 1999, 10 minutes (sound)
The Man We Want to Hang, Kenneth Anger, 2002, 15 minutes (sound)


Archival Finds

6) Archival Finds
Curated by Denah Johnston (original program date: August 23rd, 2014)

This program presents only the unique or unusual–archival findings of very rarely screened 16mm film prints. (94 minutes)

Vineyard IV, Robert Fulton, n.d., 3 minutes (sound)
In Marin County, Peter Hutton, 1970, 10 minutes (sound)
A Fall Trip Home, Nathaniel Dorsky, 1964, 11 minutes (sound)
Five Artists: BillBobBillBillBob, Gunvor Nelson and Dorothy Wiley, 1971, 70 minutes (sound)



7) Revitalization
Curated by Denah Johnston and Antonella Bonfanti (original program date: August 30th, 2014)

The decade of the 1990s was important for Canyon Cinema. A new generation of artists’ works in 16mm film resulted in a dynamic resurgence of film art and exhibition. (90 minutes)

Prelude, Guy Sherwin, 1996, 12 minutes (sound)
Thine Inward-Looking Eyes, Thad Povey, 1993, 2 minutes (sound)
Shipfilm, Stephanie Barber, 1998, 4 minutes (sound)
Market Street, Tomonari Nishikawa, 2005, 5 minutes (silent)
Ruby Skin, Eve Heller, 2005, 5 minutes (sound)
Revolver, David Sherman, 1993, 9 minutes (sound)
Terrace 49, Janie Geiser, 2004, 5 minutes (sound)
Faux Paw, Janice Findley, 1998, 4 minutes (sound)
On This Day, Naomi Uman, 2008, 5 minutes (sound)
Journals and Remarks, David Gatten, 2009, 15 minutes (silent)
Chronicles of a Lying Spirit by Kelly Gabron, Cauleen Smith, 1992, 13 minutes (sound)



8) Metamorphosis
Curated by Denah Johnston and Antonella Bonfanti (original program date: August 31st, 2014)

A glimpse into newer films by artists whose work has been the bedrock of Canyon Cinema, as well as of filmmakers working in their influential lineage. (90 minutes)

Sources, Rose Lowder, 2012, 6 minutes (sound)
Entr’acte, Lawrence Jordan, 2013, 3 minutes (sound)
Little Girl, Bruce Baillie, 1966/2013, 9 minutes (sound)
Decroux’s Garden, Baba Hillman, 2012, 4 minutes (silent)
Discoveries on the Forest Floor 1-3, Charlotte Pryce, 2007, 5 minutes (silent)
For a Young Filmmaker/A une jeune cineaste, Sandra Davis, 2014, 6 minutes (sound)
anomie, Denah Johnston, 2004, 8 minutes (sound)
Friend Good, Jay Rosenblatt, 2003, 5 minutes (sound)
Another Void, Paul Clipson, 2012, 11 minutes (sound)
Trypps #6, Ben Russell, 2009, 12 minutes (sound)
Push Button: A History of Idleness and Ignorance, Gibbs Chapman, 2004, 16 minutes