Barbara Hammer – Maya Deren’s Sink (2011)

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This evocative tribute to the mother of American avantgarde film calls forth the spirit of one who was larger than life as recounted by those who knew her. Friends and contemporaries float through her homes, recalling in tiny bits and pieces words of Deren’s architectural and personal interior space. Clips from her films are projected back into the spaces where they were originally filmed. Fluid light projections of intimate space provide an elusive agency for a filmmaker most of us will never know.”
BERLINALE Continue reading Barbara Hammer – Maya Deren’s Sink (2011)

James Clayden – Hamlet X (2004)

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James Clayden, described by Adrian Martin at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival as ‘one of Australia’s best kept artistic secrets’, returns to MIFF following the screening of his highly acclaimed Ghost Paintings series in 2003. His latest audiovisual collage is a meditation in image and sound on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Employing a symphonic structure, this latest UFO (Unidentified Filmed Object) from Clayden is a haunting and atmospheric work. Continue reading James Clayden – Hamlet X (2004)

Stephen Dwoskin – Chinese Checkers (1965)

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Chinese Checkers
Two women play Chinese checkers. Halfway through the film, the women are transformed through masks, make-up and costumes and they drift from a concentration on the board game to a concentration on each other’s hands and eyes, engaging in a game of seduction and lovemaking. Chinese Checkers was shot in New York in 1964 just before Dwoskin moved to the UK. It features Joan Adler and Beverly Grant and is based on a story by American experimental filmmaker Harry Smith. This film is not suitable for young audiences. Continue reading Stephen Dwoskin – Chinese Checkers (1965)

Barbara McCullough – Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979)

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acqueline Stewart wrote:
Made in collaboration with performer Yolanda Vidato, Water Ritual #1 examines Black women’s ongoing struggle for spiritual and psychological space through improvisational, symbolic acts. Shot in 16mm black-and-white, the film was made in an area in Watts that had been cleared to make way for the I-105 freeway, but ultimately abandoned. At first sight, Milanda (Vidato, wearing a simple dress and scarves on her head and waist) and her environs (burnt-out houses overgrown with weeds) might seem to be located in Africa or the Caribbean, or at some time in the past. This layering of locations and temporalities continues to the film’s striking conclusion, in which a now nude Milanda squats and urinates inside an urban ruin. By making “water,” Milanda evokes the numerous female water-based figures in African-Diaspora cosmology as she attempts to expel the putrefaction she has absorbed from her physical environment, while symbolically cleansing the environment itself. Continue reading Barbara McCullough – Water Ritual #1: An Urban Rite of Purification (1979)

Patrice Enard – Pourvoir (1981)

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He was part of the french underground from the late 60’s to begging 80’s. He was related to directors such as Philipe Bordier, Jean-Pierre Bouyxou, Marcel Hanoun, etc. His early stuff is quite political (maoïst), and then his cinema tends towards psychoanalysis.

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Patrice Enard’s ‘Pourvoir’ is a film mainly comprised of images of women in nature, his style is stark and repetitive, shots are angular, which both hide and reveal. There is though a visual poetry to his work – once the smoke dissipates, a sexual liberation emerges, with subtle flourishes in the staging and editing threaded together by Marxist and Freudian discourses.

Enard was as much an academic and critic as he was a filmmaker, his work is at times highly theoretical, emerging out of his interests in psychoanalysis. Pourvoir is his longest work. Continue reading Patrice Enard – Pourvoir (1981)

Richard Myers – 37-73 (1974)

“I think 37-73 is an extraordinary work, and the best of [Myers’] long films. I am astonished by his skill in image making, and his power to evoke the crazy pain of being an artist. It is a haunting work, with unforgettable scenes ….” – James Broughton

“Richard Myers’ 37-73 was far and away the most noteworthy film in the Exposition (9th Annual Independent Filmmakers Exposition). In fact, Richard Myers is, in my opinion, one of the few innovative conceptually oriented filmmakers in the country. As powerful and complex as is AKRAN, 37-73 is more taut, richer in associative meaning …. 37-73 is about dreams, about memory and its associations with nightmare and magic.” – Owen Shapiro

“Through Myers’ so eloquently expressed dream world we’re able to perceive the entire panorama of the specifically American imagination. It’s as if he’s tapped our collective subconscious.”—Kevin Thomas, LA Times. Continue reading Richard Myers – 37-73 (1974)

Anne Charlotte Robertson – Five Year Diary [Incomplete] (1982)

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Includes reels : 01, 02, 03, 09, 22, 23, 26, 31, 40, 47, 80, 81, 83

Anne Charlotte Robertson, born in 1949, was a Massachusetts-based filmmaker who used her Super-8 camera and acute self-awareness to forge a radically intimate mode of first-person cinema. Although she was celebrated as an artist in her lifetime, only today is Robertson finally being acknowledged as an influential pioneer of the first-person diary cinema that has long flourished in the Boston-Cambridge area, perhaps best known in the work of Ed Pincus and Ross McElwee. Gripped by mental illness, Robertson discovered a vital form of self-therapy in the diaristic filmmaking practice invented and refined across her magnum opus, Five Year Diary (1981­–1997), whose eighty-one individual chapters, or “reels,” meld bold formal experimentation, self-depreciatory humor, and raw emotion into a charged yet lyrical chronicle of an often painfully difficult life. Cathartic and devastating, rough-edged and poignantly delicate, disarmingly funny and meditative, Robertson’s Five Year Diary offers a remarkably frank and revealing self-portrait of an artist and woman struggling to understand the overwhelming desires and dark shadows that defined her world. Continue reading Anne Charlotte Robertson – Five Year Diary [Incomplete] (1982)