Soundfigures: Films by Aura Satz

Wednesday, May 13, 2015 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Michèle Smith

(Near) extinct technologies make sound visible in this program of shorts delving into ideas of knowledge, memory, and communication. On a Chladni Plate, a device that marked the birth of acoustics, grains of sand, moving like Busby Berkeley dancers, form intricate patterns in response to changing sound frequencies, their shapes recalling the utopian quest for a “pure,” onomatopoeic alphabet. Wax cylinder recordings combine with modern scientific instruments to animate a text by Rainer Maria Rilke on the possibility of hearing the dead by playing their skulls with a gramophone needle. A histrionic voice-over, translated into a wave of small flames on a Ruben’s Tube, provokes unexpected associations, from the biblical burning bush to various acts of ventriloquism in pop culture. Hand-drawn compositions by electronic music pioneer Daphne Oram are run through her radical invention, the Oramics Machine. Kaleidoscopic effects in the lamphouse of a 35mm-film printer honour Natalie Kalmus, colour consultant on masterpieces of the Technicolor era. The eyes of the George Eastman family and early Hollywood stars reveal chromatic distortions in some early colour film tests. And in a dramatic finale, Satz and experimental filmmaker Lis Rhodes encode their voices as abstract light patterns on 16mm mono and 35mm stereo filmstrips in a collaborative exploration of sound-image synchronicity.

Onomatopoeic Alphabet | Great Britain 2010.  DCP. 5:35 mins.
Sound Seam | Great Britain 2010. DCP. 14:47 mins.
Vocal Flame | Great Britain 2012. DCP. 9:29mins
Oramics: Atlantis Anew | Great Britain 2011. DCP. 7:27 mins.
Doorway for Natalie Kalmus | Great Britain 2013. DCP. 8:45 mins
Chromatic Aberration | Great Britain 2014. DCP. 9 mins
In and Out of Synch | Great Britain 2012. 16mm. 20mins.
Aura Satz is a London-based artist whose practice encompasses film, sound, performance and sculpture. She was nominated for the Film London Jarman Award in 2012. Recent solo exhibitions include Colour Opponent Process at Paradise Row, Impulsive Synchronisation at the Hayward Gallery, London (both 2013), Chromatic Aberration, Tyneside Cinema, Newcastle (2014), and Eyelids Leaking Light, at George Eastman House, New York (2015). This past year her work was included in the group exhibitions Mirror City: London Artists on Fiction and Reality, Hayward Gallery, and They Used to Call it the Moon, Baltic, Newcastle. 
Image: Universal Language, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

Films for One to Eight Projectors

Thursday, March 26, 2015 - 7:30 pm


Experimental filmmaker Roger Beebe’s 2015 touring program of multiple-projector performances and single-channel HD video includes the premiere of his latest multi-projector mayhem, Sound Film. These works take on a range of topics, from the forbidden pleasures of men crying and the secret logic of the book of Genesis to Las Vegas suicides and companies jockeying to be at the start of the phone book. “Beebe’s films are both erudite and punk, lo-fi yet high-brow shorts that wrestle with a disfigured, contemporary American landscape” (Wyatt Williams, Creative Loafing).
Co-presented with Iris Film Collective
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RELATED EVENT! Co-presenter Iris Film Collective hosts a talk by filmmaker Roger Beebe at 7:30 pm on Thursday, April 2 at Falaise Park Fieldhouse (3434 Falaise Avenue) in Vancouver. www.irisfilmcollective.com
Roger Beebe is an associate professor in the Department of Art at Ohio State University. He has screened his films around the globe at such unlikely venues as the CBS Jumbotron in Times Square and McMurdo Station in Antarctica (and in more likely ones like Sundance and MoMA). Recent solo shows of his work include the Laboratorio Arte Alameda (Mexico City), the Wexner Center for the Arts, and Anthology Film Archives. Beebe is also a film programmer: he ran Flicker, a festival of small-gauge film in Chapel Hill, NC, from 1997-2000 and was the founder and artistic director of FLEX, the Florida Experimental Film Festival from 2004-2014.
Image: Money Changes Everything, 2011.

Eric Baudelaire: Now Here Then Elsewhere

Wednesday, March 25, 2015 - 6:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith

The scenario for a revolution must be written in the manner of a film script -- JRA manifesto, 1995.

While in Japan researching extreme leftist groups gone underground, the French artist Eric Baudelaire struck a deal with Masao Adachi, the renegade director/screenwriter who had abandoned filmmaking in the 1970s to join the Japanese Red Army in Lebanon and fight in the Palestinian cause. In return for his story, Adachi asked Baudelaire to shoot scenes for him in Beirut based on his cinematic theory of landscape, fukeiron. In return for this super-8 footage, Baudelaire asked Adachi to write a script, a semi-autobiographical fiction, to be made after the completion of The Anabasis, Baudelaire’s dark and suspenseful documentary about the JRA. “Anabasis” is the name given, since Xenophon, to a soldier's journey into the unknown and the return home in a changed state. The new screenplay, about a group of former Palestinian militants haunted by their pasts, would be the protocol for constructing a film, The Ugly One, on memory, revolution, and cinema, seemingly written and rehearsed before our eyes.

The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 Years Without Images (L'Anabase de May et Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi et 27 années sans images) | Eric Baudelaire/Japan-Lebanon-France 2011. 66 min. DCP
The Ugly One | Eric Baudelaire/Lebanon-France 2013. 101 min. DCP
There will be a 10-minute intermission between the two films.
Eric Baudelaire is a Paris-based filmmaker and visual artist whose research-based practice includes printmaking, photography and publications. These have been shown in installations alongside his films in solo exhibitions at the Fridericianum, Berkeley Art Museum, Bétonsalon, Bergen Kunsthall, Beirut Art Center, Gasworks, La Synagogue de Delme and The Hammer Museum. His recent feature films were selected for the FIDMarseille, Locarno, Toronto, New York and Rotterdam film festivals. He has also participated in the Sharjah Biennal, Seoul Mediacity Biennal, Yokohama Triennal, the Taipei Biennial, Berlin Documentary Forum 2, La Triennale in Paris, and the Baltic Triennial of International Art. His films and installations are in the collections of Reina Sofia Museum, MACBA, Centre Pompidou and The Whitney Museum of American Art. 
Films courtesy of LUX
Image: The Anabasis of May and Fusako Shigenobu, Masao Adachi, and 27 Years Without Images, 2011.

The World Question Center: James Lee Byars

Wednesday, February 25, 2015 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith

"Could you offer us a question that you feel is pertinent in regards to your own evolution of knowledge?” asks the voice at the end of the line. It’s James Lee Byars calling, the American performance and installation artist “whose idiosyncratic, Zen-influenced blendings of Minimal and Conceptual art stressed questions over answers, absence over presence, and a lush momentary experience of beauty over permanence” (Roberta Smith, New York Times). Byars's initial idea was to lock 100 brilliant minds together behind closed doors and invite them to ask each other the questions they were asking themselves. It evolved into The World Question Center, a live broadcast on Belgian TV, during which the artist, supported by a panel of guests (including Marcel Broodthaers) and a ring of university students (the entire cast dressed in pink robes, but, alas, filmed in B&W) telephoned thinkers, scientists, and artists with his question. Filmmaker Jef Cornelis documented the proceedings: “That the network even broadcast this adventure, let alone at 10 o’clock on a Friday evening, is still a puzzle to me.” 
James Lee Byars, Antwerpen 18 April — 7 Mei 1969 | Jef Cornelis/Belgium 1969. 32 min. DCP.
The World Question Center | Jef Cornelis/Belgium 1969. 63 min. DCP
Image: The World Question Center, 1969. Courtesy of Argos Centre for Art and Media

Phil Collins's Tomorrow is Always Too Long

Wednesday, January 14, 2015 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith
British artist Phil Collins giddily mixes genres — documentary and musical, silhouette animation and late-night television — in this love letter to the city of Glasgow. At the heart of the film is a song cycle by Cate Le Bon interpreted by non-professionals filmed in their everyday environments to the accompaniment of the Royal Scottish Orchestra. The musical sequences are punctuated by public-access broadcasts from a disused 1960s TV studio, its doors re-opened by Collins to people from every walk of life, and by a series of short animations by Matthew Robins, soundtracked by Mogwai’s Barry Burns, which follows a group of characters on a night out. From children to pensioners, from poets to prisoners, Collins’s Glaswegians talk, sing, and dance us deep into the soul of their city and beyond, exploring the need for human interaction amid the alienating information overload of the digital age. Great Britain 2014. Dir: Phil Collins. 82 min. DCP
Image: Courtesy of Shady Lane Productions.

The And in Wieland

Monday, December 8, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith

“I thought I was Leni Riefenstahl. It was due perhaps to editing Trudeau. Would he be a good leader? Or just a politician? Irony came wandering in, in the porn of applause for his statement ‘Reason over passion, that is the theme of all my writing.’ It should be reason and passion in a person.” JOYCE WIELAND

Two Pierres are the keystones in these twin portraits of a nation at a historical turning point, playfully interlocking the main themes of Joyce Wieland’s art. Reason Over Passion explores Canada’s landscape, symbolism, and bilingualism, while taking issue with the famous "reason over passion" statement by Pierre Trudeau, whose every gesture is anatomized in footage Wieland shot during the 1968 Liberal leadership convention, when his election signalled the possibility of change. Pierre Vallières incorporates reel changes and camera breakdowns as it attempts a tightly-framed unbroken shot of the lips of Vallières, the FLQ’s intellectual leader, as he holds forth, with reason and passion, on labour issues, Quebec independence, and women's liberation. Ironically, the balance of qualities lacking in Trudeau can be heard in the voice of a revolutionary whose sovereigntist politics threaten the national harmony Wieland sought through her work.
Reason Over Passion / La raison avant la passion | Joyce Wieland/Canada 1968. 84 min. 16mm 
Pierre Vallières | Joyce Wieland/Canada 1972. 32 min. 16mm
Image: Reason over Passion, 1968. Courtesy of CFMDC

Material Experiments: Films by Richard Tuohy

Monday, November 17, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Richard Tuohy in attendance
Active in film since the late 1980s, Richard Tuohy has spent the past decade immersed in the materialist tradition of experimental filmmaking — work that tests the absolute limits of the medium itself. Drawing primarily on natural forms and environments as subject matter for his celluloid manipulations — an array of classic and novel in-camera, darkroom, printing, and editing techniques — Tuohy “abstracts out the fleshiness of the particular” to create dynamic studies of form, structure, time, and pattern, an approach he describes as “cine-cubism.” The filmmaker will present a series of 16mm films, culminating in a live performance using two projectors.
Co-presented with Cineworks and Iris Film Collective
On November 15 & 16, Iris Film Collective and Cineworks present a two-day workshop with Richard Tuohy on his Chromaflex technique. For more information and to register: www.irisfilmcollective.com
Image: Flyscreen, 2010. Courtesy of the artist.

Pierre Huyghe's The Host and the Cloud

Monday, October 20, 2014 - 7:30 pm
Programmed by Michèle Smith
“Huyghe’s strength lies in his understanding . . . [that] images have become masks for universal media ventriloquism.” (Jean Baudrillard)
DIM Cinema is delighted to present the Vancouver premiere of Pierre Huyghe’s The Host and the Cloud, a feature-length film by the acclaimed French artist (a major Huyghe retrospective was recently presented at the Pompidou in Paris and is coming soon to LACMA in Los Angeles). Combining staged and improvised action, this live film project, shot in a building that once housed the French National Museum of Art and Popular Traditions, follows a group of actors through a series of fragmented narratives, fantastical visions, and dreamlike rituals as they freely interpret three public holidays — Halloween, Valentine’s Day, and May Day. “The film might be Huyghe’s most elaborate, intriguing and, quite possibly, weirdest offering to date” (Naomi Fry, Frieze). France,  2009. Dir: Pierre Huyghe. 121 min. DCP

Joanna Hogg's Exhibition

Monday, September 15, 2014 - 7:30 pm

Programmed by Michèle Smith
The third feature from writer-director Joanna Hogg (Unrelated, Archipelago) “reaffirms Hogg's status as a distinctive, singular, and challenging voice of British cinema” (Mark Kermode, The Guardian). Doyenne of punk Viv Albertine and Turner-nominated artist Liam Gillick play a married couple who decide to move house, a midlife upheaval that awakens dreams, memories, and fears that have imprinted themselves on the home they have shared, as artists and lovers, for two decades. Shot chronologically, with dialogue improvised by the actors, in a modernist house that confounds distinctions between interior and exterior, the film plays with the idea of the house as psyche or unconscious, an arena for encounter and emotion, and tests how private space is created within a relationship, and within a house that is very hard to keep secrets in. Great Britain , 2013. Dir: Joanna Hogg. 104 min. Blu-ray Disc

Scenes from America

Monday, August 18, 2014 - 7:30 pm


Programmed by Michèle Smith
For his 1982 travelogue 66 Scenes from America, Jørgen Leth recorded a more-or-less random cross-section of the country’s people and places in postcard-like tableaux — most famously a four-minute homage to Andy Warhol’s screen tests, in which the pop artist wordlessly eats a Whopper. The Stars-and-Stripes fluttering across these archetypal images evoke The Americans, Robert Frank’s iconic mid-century photo essay. Frank’s own C’est Vrai/One Hour, his nearly unknown late masterpiece, is a perverse buddy movie shot in a single take and a single hour on July 26, 1990, during which the camera moves from Frank’s Manhattan studio onto the street and into the back of a minivan that careens around the neighbourhood, now and then stopping to jump out and capture a bit of action: candid, staged, improvised — it can be hard to tell. “C’est Vrai is a one-of-a-kind stunt, both street theatre and an urban road movie” (J. Hoberman). “How much this is a tossed-off home movie about Frank’s neighbourhood and how much it’s a contrived board game spread out over several city blocks ultimately becomes a metaphysical question” (Jonathan Rosenbaum).
66 Scenes from America (66 scener fra Amerika) | Jørgen Leth/Denmark 1982. 42 min.
C’est Vrai/One Hour | Robert Frank/France 1990. 60 min.
Image: Andy Warhol in Jørgen Leth's 66 Scenes from America. 1982