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Spring 2007 Film & Video Artists Series

LECTURE HALL 6 AT 7:30 (Unless otherwise noted) 
Series sponsored by Filmmaker's Coop
All artists will be on hand to present their works.

( See Phil Hoffman new date: Mon. April 16 CANCELLED)

Mon February 26, 2007
Larry Gottheim

larry gotheim image
Still from Your Television Traveler

Former faculty, and seminal Avant Garde filmmaker, Larry Gottheim, was the visionary who conceived and then founded with Ken Jacobs, the Cinema Department back in the early seventies. He is coming back to show his work for the first time since he left in 1999.

"Gottheim's Cinema is a quest of origins. The films elaborate a response to the fictions of our world, the construction of images and sounds, the repeating cycles of life and nature. The profoundness of Gottheim's act is to elaborate a body of work outside of fashion and within a search for an authentic language of cinematic discourse." - John Handhardt, on the occasion of the presentation of the full "Elective Affinities" cycle at the Whitney Museum, 1981

Blues (1969) 8 1/2 minutes, silent speed

A bowl of blueberries in milk, changing light radiant on the berries and on the glazed bowl, the ever more radiant orb of milk transforming into glowing light itself, with a brief shadow coda answering the complex play of shadows. The regular pulses of light framing the looser rhythmus of the spoon, itself a frame. A charging of each of the frame's edges with its own particular energy.

Natural Selection (1983) 35 minutes

Radiating from the Darwinian text-fragments outward through the material is much pictorial and spoken signifying text having to do with issues such as communication, translation, dynamics of perception, art, science, isolation and social interaction etc. In a certain sense a meaning does arise from all of this. At the same time the endless groupings and regroupings of material suggest yet another realm of meaning. Finally it is the experience of our own selection of a pattern among the myriad richness of combining materials, superimposed on my own composed pattern, that opens up the real film--L.G..

Mnemosyne Mother of Muses
 (1986) 18 minutes

A mirrored form in counter-movement, dense with emotion-charged memory - a rapidly sparking dynamism of image and afterimage, swirling resonant words/music, juxtaposing loss, my father's stroke, Toscanini, Siodmak's The Killers, the Red Robin Diner. ... I seem to be quickening.

Your Television Traveler (1991) 20 minutes or less

The history of space, the place of mystery, the mystery of trace, the space of history.

Wednesday April 11, 2007 
Ernie Gehr

ernie gehr image
Still from Essex St Market (Double click on Photo for larger size) 

Former visiting faculty, Ernie Gehr began making films in the regular 8mm format in the 1960s and has worked steadily since then, completing more than 24 films. A self-taught artist, Gehr has established himself as one of the true masters of film form, and his graceful sense of style and subtle, poetic sensibility have deeply affected the cinematic avant-garde. His films have screened internationally, including retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, The Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris, the Musee du Cinema in Brussels and at the San Francisco Cinematheque, and he has received awards and grants from numerous institutions, including the National Endowment for the Arts, a John Simon Guggenheim fellowship and the Maya Deren Award from the American Film Institute. Currently a faculty member at the San Francisco Art Institute, Gehr has also taught and lectured at the University of California at Berkeley, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Deutcher Akademischer Austauschdienst in Berlin. In March 1995 he received the 1995 Adaline Kent Award Exhibition, an award presented annually to a California artist. Ernie Gehr and Bruce Conner are the only two filmmakers to have received this prestigious award, which includes an honorarium and a solo exhibition entitledBrother Can You Spare Some Time? in the San Francisco Art Institute's Walter/McBean Gallery.

Wait, (1968) 7 min

"I saw Ernie Gehr's two films, MORNING and WAIT, twice. The first time they seemed like light events. On second viewing Gehr's films began to appear to be two light narratives. ... Two people sitting in a room. Silent. Nothing seemingly happens. They slightly change positions from time to time. Window. Room. Furniture. Action between the frames. And the light, between them, around them, over them. The story is not told by way of usual situations, happenings, actions, emotion clashes, because the story is not the usual one. It's happening on some mental level. The light, no doubt, is the key to it, it punctuates the events, it tells the story, it sets the tone." 

Table, (1976) 16 min. silent speed

"Table (1976), to take a slightly more elaborate conjuring trick, converts an ordinary kitchen surface, a homely clutter of crockery and utensils, into pure visceral sensation the celluloid equivalent of a Cubist still-life. For 15 minutes, Gehr alternates two slightly different points of view, accentuating individual shots through the use of blue or red filters (and sometimes no filter at all). His simple, if painstaking procedure produces a stuttering hypnotic shutter: Some objects appear simultaneously in 2 positions, others flex their shimmering forms or collide their neighbors, while a few barely seem to "move" at all. "Because Table was shot over the course of a single day, the light is continuously changing shadows deepen, different objects catch the sun. Throughout, Gehr varies the amount of time each shot is held. When he picks up the pace, the overall movement resembles an animated cartoon cycle of objects chasing each other around the table. When he shifts into high gear, the screen starts to flash and ripple, barely able to contain the forces released in it. Rather than a simulation machine, Gehr has employed the motion picture apparatus as a cyclotron. The movies are pulverized into their constituent elements and then recombined." - J. Hoberman, "Ernie Gehr: A Walker in the City," 1995. 

Essex St Market, 29 min.

Glider, 37 min.

Rear Window 1986-1989, 10 min

"[A] view from a Brooklyn apartment sublimates Hitchcock's voyeurism into a frenzied engagement with the visible. The film varies exposure or racks focus so that the flickering, spatially ambiguous patterns that press the limits of the frame momentarily dissolve themselves as tree branches or a fire escape or a shadow caught on the screen of someone's laundry rippling in the breeze. 'I cupped one of my hands in front of the camera lens and attempted to make tactile to myself light, color and image,' Gehr explains in his notes, linking the film to his father's death and calling it a 'hopeless attempt' to render the ephemeral tangible." - J. Hoberman, The Village Voice all 16 mm except for Glider Mini DV.

phil hoffman image

Monday April 16 2007 (Please note change of date from April 23!) 
Phil Hoffman

Since his arrival on the Canadian experimental film scene in the late 1970s, Toronto based filmmaker Philip Hoffman has long been recognized as Canada's pre-eminent diary filmmaker. He has been using aspects of his own life to deconstruct the Griersonian legacy of documentary practice in Canada. Working directly upon the material of film, Hoffman pays careful attention to the way one perceives by foregrounding the image and its creation. Poetic, personal, provocative, and perceptive, the films of Philip Hoffman constitute one of the most important bodies of work in Canadian independent cinema.

Still from Chimera (Double click on Photo for larger size)

O,Zoo! (The Making of a Fiction Film), 16mm, 23 min., 1986

O, Zoo! is a labyrinth fiction constructed out of documentary materials. Shot around the production of Peter Greenaway's A Zed &Two Naughts, the story centers around an unseen death. Brilliantly photographed, O Zoo! was nominated for a Genie Award in 1987. passing through / torn formations, 16mm, 43 min., 1988 through/torn formations, considered to be Hoffman?s masterpiece, wends its way through the often painful and contradictory relations of one side of his family. Shifting between Canada and Hoffman's mother's home in Czechoslovakia, the film uncovers the lingering effects of war and epidemic, displacement and migration.

passing through / torn formations, 16mm, 43 min., 1988

through/torn formations, considered to be Hoffman's masterpiece, wends its way through the often painful and contradictory relations of one side of his family. Shifting between Canada and Hoffman's mother's home in Czechoslovakia, the film uncovers the lingering effects of war and epidemic, displacement and migration.

Kokoro is for Heart, 16mm, 7 min., 1999

"Communication takes a poetic turn in Kokora is for Heart. Originating as a performance piece, the director, Phil Hoffman, screened segments of this film in a random order selected by the audience (Opening Series 3). Accompanying this was the sound poetry of Gerry Shikatani. From this process the film has found its organic and final structure." (Liz Czach, Toronto International Film Festival 1999) Award: Best Experimental at Athens International Film & Video Festival.

Chimera, 16mm, 15 min., 1996

" I took my old super-8 camera out of the closet, and began collecting images, using the single-frame-zoom. Cubist in its visual delivery, the single-frame-zoom builds a splayed reality that brings together disparate vantage points simultaneously, and serves as the glue that blends and bonds peoples, places and spaces in Chimera." (PH)


These artists screenings are funded in part by Presentation Funds from the Experimental Television Center which is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts. Series is co-sponsored by Harpur College Dean's Office. Info: 607-777-4998 or 777-4997

Last Updated: 8/25/16