Nocturno 29 begins where “Don’t Count on your Fingers” left off: facing a blank screen and the materialness of the projection. It goes in depth into the future Eisenstein-like structure of Portabella’s films which do not advance through a lineal narrative, but rather by a succesion of semi-autonomous scenes and almost always unexpected links. “A series or suite of situations that, although apparently unconnected, always turn about a thematic development that gives body and unity to the story without resorting to the use of an anecdote for plot continuity” (Portabella 1968). Antonioni, Bergman or Buñuel come to mind in this, Portabella’s most “anti-bourgeois” film. Continue reading
Stephen Dwoskin was born in New York in 1939 and began making independent shorts there in 1961. In 1964 he followed his research work to London where he settled and participated in the founding of the London Filmmaker’s Co-op. His experimental films, for which he himself does the camera work, play with ideas of desire, sexual and mental solitude and the passage of time. In his films he also explores representation in cinema, performances, personal impressions and his own physical handicap which has been a source of inspiration for him throughout his career. His sensitive and emancipating works have been the subject of various international presentations. Continue reading
UBU Films was a Sydney-based independent film-making co-operative which operated from 1965 to around 1970. Its members produced many of the most important experimental and underground films made in Australia in the Sixties. Ubu was also a pioneer of psychedelic lightshows in Australia, and during the late Sixties the UBU collective was Sydney’s leading lighting provider for dances, discos and other special events.
Formed by Albie Thoms, David Perry, Aggy Read and John Clark at Sydney University in 1965, UBU FILMS was Australia’s first group dedicated to making, exhibiting and distributing experimental films. Although these four are considered the key members, the UBU circle took in many young film-makers who were to become very prominent in later years including Matt Carroll, Peter Weir, Phillip Noyce and Bruce Beresford. Continue reading
Lost Lost Lost
Walden may have been Mekas’ first diary film, but the film that incorporated Mekas’ earliest footage was the one that told the story of his postwar arrival in America, Lost Lost Lost. The film is divided into two parts: the first concerns life in the Lithuanian community of Williamsburg, and the second chronicles Mekas’ move to Manhattan and his integration into the independent film and art scenes of New York.
Here Mekas is at his most deeply personal. He describes the loneliness and struggle of those early years with mournful music and spoken laments: “Long, lonely days; long, lonely nights. There was a lot of walking through the nights of Manhattan. I don’t think I have ever been as lonely.” Mekas also closely follows the lives of his fellow Lithuanian immigrants. During a gathering in Connecticut, he explains, “occasionally we used to escape to Stonybrook, places where immigrants exchanged their memories. We all gathered there, we all lived on memories there.” As the first section progresses, however, a tension develops between Mekas and the other immigrants. Though Mekas sympathises with them, he grows increasingly disenchanted with their hopes to reform and return to Lithuania. By the end of the reel, he leaves the community in Williamsburg and moves to Manhattan. Continue reading
A simple guide on how to end relationships before they begin. Continue reading
From the Life of the Marionettes (German: Aus dem Leben der Marionetten) is a 1980 film directed by Ingmar Bergman. The film was produced in West Germany with a German language screenplay and soundtrack while Bergman was in “tax exile” from his native Sweden. It is filmed in black and white apart from two colour sequences at the beginning and end of the movie. It is set in Munich. The title is a quotation excerpted from a passage in The Adventures of Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi:
“Most unfortunately in the lives of the Marionettes there is always a BUT that spoils everything”.
Unlike Collodi’s story, however, Bergman’s is unremittingly bleak in tone. Continue reading
J. Hoberman in the Mar. 16, 2006 Village Voice: “Part ‘Dr. Strange,’ part ‘Inauguration of the Pleasure Dome,’ [‘The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda’ is] so High ’60s that you emerge from its 20-minute vision perched full-lotus on a cloud of incense, chatting with a white rabbit and smoking a banana…. ‘Invasion’ is a languidly opiated costume ball in which an assortment of masked and painted bohos, some sporting outsize elf ears, loll about a candlelit, Mylar-lined set, blowing soap bubbles and nibbling majoon. …In lieu of action, Cohen uses all manner of superimposition and prismatic image-splitting; his big effect, however, is the deliquescent Mylar reflection. What saves ‘Invasion’ from preciosity is the vague menace of Angus MacLise’s improvised pan-piping, tabla-tapping, creature-yipping score. Although this masterpiece of Tibetan-Moroccan-Druidic trance music was reissued on CD several years ago, it truly blossoms in conjunction with the exotic smorgasbord served at Cohen’s psychedelicatessen.” Continue reading