Wednesday, November 02, 2005

True Vine Film Series

Hey, this looks good...True Vine doesn't have a Web presence, so I'm passing this on, with the addition of some descriptive text I found on the Web. Thanks to the curators - Megan, Ian, Peter, Catherine, et. al. - for putting together such a great film program!

"Visions of Excess" - an evening of classic underground film
8 P.M. Sunday, November 6, 2005
The True Vine, 1123 W. 36th Street, Hampden

(on "The Avenue" in Hampden at Falls Road, right across
from the 7-11 on the same block as the Golden West)

(Kenneth Anger, 1954, color, 38 minutes, 16mm)
This avant-garde work combines aspects of the occultist, psychedelic, underground, Sternberg, gay and camp sensibilities, all in one gaudy 38 minute package. The film is derived from one of Aleister Crowley's dramatic rituals in which people in the cult assume the identity of a god or a goddess and act out a role, as in a masquerade party. And it features Anger's friend, erotica author Anais Nin! It is a beautiful classic, especially notable for its rich use of color. It probably influenced such later films as Paradjanov's The Color of Pomegranates (1969) and Martin Scorsese's Kundun (1997). The shots in Kundun, showing the small deliberate forward steps of the protagonist, recall those of the hero of Anger's film. Source: Mythic Film/Kenneth Anger discussion (Classic Film and Television homepage)

(George Kuchar, 1967, color, 15 minutes, 16mm)
Kuchar wrires, "I dedicate this film poem to the behemoths of yesteryear that perished in Siberia along with the horned pachyderms of the pre-glacial epoch. This chilling montage of crimson repression must be seen. Painstakingly filmed and edited, it will be painful to watch, too." Source: Canyon Cinema's Kuchar Page

(Suzan Pitt, 1979, color, 19 minutes)
This candy colored animated nightmare rocked audiences upon its release - it ran theatrically with David Lynch's Eraserhead on the Midnight Movie Circuit - and catapulted Suzan Pitt to the front ranks of indie animation. From its opening scene of a woman defecating an asparagus spear into her toilet bowl to the concluding set piece (also very Lynchian and reminiscent of the theater scene in Muholland Drive) in which the artist opens her Medusa's box to release rare wonders before a claymation audience, stunning cel animation propels its blank-faced protagonist into a world of Freudian symbolism and Jungian archetypes. Winner of the grand prize at the Oberhausen Short Film Festival. Suzan Pitt also worked on some Peter Gabriel music videos. Source: Suzan Pitt Web Page and other reviews

(George Melies, 1903, b&w, 11 minutes, 16mm)
In Les Royaumes de Fées (The Kingdom of the Fairies), Prince Bel Azar attempts to rescue his betrothed Princess Azurine from a witch who has kidnapped her and locked her in a tower in the middle of the ocean. With the help of the 'Fairy of the Waters', the lovers are reunited. Melies' film was based on a stage trick titled 'La Biche aux Bois' by Guignard Freres, which was first performed in 1845. Source: Melies and the New Century

(Guy Maddin, 2000, b&w, 6 minutes)
In 2000, Maddin was commissioned to make a six-minute “prelude” for the Toronto International Film Festival in celebration of their 25th anniversary. Reminded of the Soviet dictator Josef Stalin's habit of inviting artists to write symphonies for him, Maddin's tribute was a frenzied bit of Soviet-style propaganda. The resulting short film, THE HEART OF THE WORLD, was proclaimed by many festival-goers and critics to be the best film of the entire festival and became the most acclaimed film to date of Maddin’s career. It won a special award from the National Society of Film Critics as the best experimental film of the year, won a Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival for best narrative short, and was voted one of the ten best films of 2001 by both J. Hoberman of The Village Voice, and A.O.Scott of The New York Times, a highly unusual honor for a six-minute film. Source: Zeitgeist Films and CBC Archives


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