Around 1900, the issues of poverty and poor relief were the source of heated controversy. This DVD illustrates in seven chapters how examinations of the ‘Social Question’ were presented in magic lantern slide sets and early films. On the screens of auditoriums, Sunday schools, music-halls, cinemas and churches, visitors could witness orphans freezing to death in the snow, drunkards plunging their families into misery and helpless old people begging for a scrap of bread. Audiences experienced poignant moving pictures in performances with music, singing and recitations. The photographic and film industries delivered glass slide sets and films in very large runs on a variety of themes relating to poverty. Continue reading
Synopsis by Dan Pavlides
Six directors combined efforts for this 1967 documentary, a searing anti-American indictment of U.S. involvement in Vietnam. Alain Resnais, William Klein, Joris Ivens, Agnes Varda, Claude Lelouch, and Jean-Luc Goddard all direct segments. They are quick to point out that the U.S. is radically divided about their country’s policy to stop the threat of communism. Continue reading
the first short film collection of its kind, bringing together sex and art in a series of short films created by some of the world’s most visual and provocative artists and directors
Balkan Erotic Epic
Marina Abramović, 2005, 13 min
Performance art legend Marina Abramović delves into Balkan folklore to create an instructional series of mis en scènes that explore the crude, magical and mysterious rites of ethnic fertility and virility.
Matthew Barney, 2004, 14 min 36 sec
American fabulist Matthew Barney stages the erotics of sexual encounter as it takes place between ‘green man’ and the lubricated drive shaft of a customised deforestation vehicle destined for the Carnival de Bahia.
CAVALCANTI MAAS PETERSON BROUGHTON BUTE KESSLER WHITNEY KIRSANOFF MURPHY MARC’O WATSON HUFF
From THE Collection of THE GEORGE EASTMAN HOUSE AND FROM THE RAYMOND ROHAUER COLLECTION
From the little theaters of the 1920s to the ad hoc film societies of the ’50s, avant-garde cinema knew no established form and held no predictable position. The boundaries of its history are still hotly debated, but its rough sensibilities informed and permeated the city symphonies of Alberto Cavalcanti, the visual music of Mary Ellen Bute and John Whitney, the classroom films of Sidney Peterson, the confessional film poems of Willard Maas and John E. Schmitz, the Lettrist cinema of Marc’O, and even marginal exploitation films and home movies. Drawn from the rich collections of Raymond Rohauer and the George Eastman House, Kino’s third volume of experimental films continues to illuminate the degree to which cinema’s evolution has been influenced by those filmmakers who occupy its periphery. Continue reading
Disc two travels back in time for two late-Twenties American shorts before heading off to France for three late-Forties/early-Fifties films, including the epic Lettrism manifesto, Jean Isidore Isou’s Venom and Eternity (also known by the far better title Treatise on Slime and Eternity, 1951). From the former group only James Watson and Melville Webber’s expressionist adaptation of The Fall of the House of Usher (1928) is of any note, while two of the three later films, Jean Mitry’s Pacific 231 (1949) and Dimitri Kirsanoff’s Arriere Saison (1950), serviceably employ techniques that had reached their fulfillment thirty years prior. Venom and Eternity is supposed to be the cherry on the cake—a rarely seen controversial feature with 34 minutes of restored footage. Continue reading
In the latter half of the 20th Century, Raymond Rohauer was one of the nation s foremost proponents of experimental cinema. This two-disc collection continues Kino s tribute to the Rohauer Collection, including the early works of Stan Brakhage and influential films by Willard Maas, Gregory Markopoulos, Marie Menken, Dimitri Kirsanoff, Jean Mitry, Sidney Peterson and others.
the major pioneers of the period that came before the American avant-garde crested in the late Fifties to mid Sixties are all in attendance on the collection’s first disc: Willard Maas, Marie Menken, Sidney Peterson, James Broughton, Gregory Markopoulos, and Stan Brakhage. That period’s two seminal achievements—along with nearly the entirety of Deren’s oeuvre—are accounted for in Maas’s Geography of the Body (1943) and Peterson’s The Cage (1947). The former brings to cinema an unconventional depiction of the nude figure, with Maas’s extreme close-up photography transforming familiar parts into exciting, undiscovered terrains of flesh, an erotic revolution in vantage point that would inform everything from Carolee Schneemann’s Fuses to Brakhage’s entire film philosophy. Continue reading
The 24 avant garde shorts of the 1920s and ’30s chosen for this Kino set from the collection of curator Raymond Rohauer span the gamut of movements and styles—dada, surrealism, city symphony, environmental terrarium, direct exposure. The diversity already makes the proposition of plowing through the pair of discs from start to finish not only daunting but perhaps ill-advised. Especially when lurking among the unassailable landmarks of silent avant garde cinema like Joris Ivens’s Regen (an evocative socio-environmental replication of the civic reaction to a rainy downpour on city streets) and Fernand Léger’s Ballet Méchanique (a rhythmic Parisian melange that’s kaleidoscopic in both its prismatic cinematography and its undulating circles of repetition) are at least two (possibly three) works that aim to take the piss out of the concept of non-narrative art cinema. The Hearts of Age, Orson Welles’s fraternal collaboration with William Vance (made when Welles was a mere 19 years of age), is a backyard farce that Welles later admitted to Peter Bogdanovich was made in benign mockery of the Buñuel/Dali collaborations that were inescapable in the day, though it scarcely owes any tangible debt to the style of Un Chien Andalou. Continue reading