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Experimental Film Coalition: The Monthly Screenings

This is Part Two in a series about Chicago’s Experimental Film Coalition; and covers their screening series. You can read Part One here.

Formed in 1983, the Experimental Film Coalition started holding regular monthly screenings starting in 1984. The screenings brought to Chicago the work of independent, experimental filmmakers across the country, as well as screening local work.

Screenings were held at the Randolph Street Gallery, an alternative performance and exhibition space located at 756 N. Milwaukee Ave. The Gallery eventually closed down in 1998 and donated their archives to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago; which exhibits some of the Coalition’s flyers on their website.

Below is a sample of screening information culled from those archives, listed in chronological order:

1984

March 23

2 Razor Blades, dir. Paul Sharits

Make Me Psychic, dir. Sally Cruikshank

Unsere Afrikareise, dir. Peter Kubelka

Roslyn Romance, dir. Bruce Baillie

Musical Poster #1, dir. Len Lye

April 27

Rainbow Dance,
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‘Twin Peaks’ Is More Satisfying If You Stop Trying to Figure Out What It Means

‘Twin Peaks’ Is More Satisfying If You Stop Trying to Figure Out What It Means
My work is described as beautiful, horrible, hogwash, genius, maundering, precise, quaint, avant-garde, historical, hackneyed, masterful, trivial, intense, mystical, virtuosic, bewildering, absorbing, concise, absurd, amusing, innovative, nostalgic, contemporary, iconoclastic, sophisticated, trash, masterpieces, etc. It’s all true. —Bruce Conner

What does it all mean? This question, when applied to the ever-expanding mythology of “Twin Peaks,” typically leads to a series of murky pathways and dead ends, but they’re usually irrelevant. Sure, it’s fun to dig through the pileup of circumstances that led FBI Agent Dale Cooper from investigating a small-town murder to becoming trapped in the red-hued inter-dimensional prison known as the Black Lodge. Play that game if it makes you happy — IndieWire’s TV team has done it beautifully — but that doesn’t mean Lynch or co-creator Mark Frost will always make the journey worthwhile.

The show, which has recreated its appeal from the ground up in
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J. Hoberman’s Best Movies of the 21st Century

There have been a lot of lists about the best films of the 21st century. IndieWire has been digging through the last two decades one genre at a time; meanwhile, the New York Times’ top movie critics provided their own takes. J. Hoberman, the longtime Village Voice film critic who now works as a freelancer, decided to join the fray. Here’s his take, also available at his site, and republished here with permission.

People have been asking me, so I thought I might as well join (or crash) the party initiated by the New York Times and put in my two cents regarding the 25 Best Films of the 21st Century (so far). I don’t see “everything” anymore and I haven’t been to Cannes since 2011.

There is some overlap but this is not the same as the proposed 21-film syllabus of 21st Century cinema included in my book “Film After Film.” Those were all in their way pedagogical choices. Begging the question of what “best” means, these are all movies that I really like, that I’m happy to see multiple times, that are strongly of their moment and that I think will stand the test of time.

My single “best” film-object is followed by a list of 11 filmmakers and one academic production company (in order of “best-ness”) responsible for two or more “best films,” these followed by another eight individual movies (again in order) and finally four more tentatively advanced films (these alphabetical). I’m sure I’m forgetting some but that’s the nature of the beast.

Christian Marclay: “The Clock

Lars von Trier: “Dogville” & “Melancholia” (and none of his others)

Hou Hsiao Hsien: “The Assassin” & “Flight of the Red Balloon

Jean-Luc Godard: “In Praise of Love” & “Goodbye to Language”

David Cronenberg: “Spider,” “A History of Violence,” “Eastern Promises,” & “A Dangerous Method

David Lynch: “Mulholland Drive” & “Inland Empire

Ken Jacobs: “Seeking the Monkey King,” “The Guests” (and more)

Cristi Puiu: “The Death of Mr Lazarescu” & “Aurora

Chantal Akerman: “No Home Movie” & “La Captive” (assuming that 2000 is part of the 21st Century)

Paul Thomas Anderson: “The Master” & “There Will Be Blood

Kathryn Bigelow: “The Hurt Locker” & “Zero Dark Thirty

Alfonso Cuarón: “Gravity” & “Children of Men

Sensory Ethnology Lab: “Leviathan,” “Manakamana,” & “People’s Park”

“The Strange Case of Angelica” — Manoel de Oliviera

“Corpus Callosum” — Michael Snow

“West of the Tracks” — Wang Bing

“Carlos” — Olivier Assayas

“Che” — Steven Soderbergh

“Ten” — Abbas Kariostami

“Russian Ark” — Aleksandr Sokurov

“The World” — Jia Zhangke

Citizenfour” — Laura Poitras

Day Night Day Night” — Julia Loktev

“Once Upon a Time in Anatolia” — Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Wall-e” — Andrew Stanton

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See full article at Indiewire »

Tribeca 2017 Review: The Lovers, Break Up To Make Up, That's All They Do

Azazel Jacobs is a young filmmaker who’s continuing a family tradition. His father is avant-garde cinema legend Ken Jacobs, and his mother Flo and sister Nisi are also participants, all of them having worked on each other’s films. (Ken and Flo played the protagonist’s parents in Azazel’s 2008 feature Momma’s Man.) Azazel Jacobs makes films of a very different sort than his father’s, opting to work in a more commercially oriented, narrative realm, albeit in lower-budgeted independent features rather than in studio films. However, Jacobs is, in a way, also an experimental filmmaker, finding novel approaches and uniquely observational angles to familiar-seeming scenarios. Momma’s Man comically mined the pathos existing beneath the developmentally arrested, man-child characters of the sort often played in other films by Seth Rogen or Will Ferrell, while Terri was a wonderfully nuanced and richly textured take on the teen movie.
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Berlinale 2017 Top Picks and Coverage Roundup

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Below you will find our favorite films of the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival, as well as an index of our coverage.Awardstop PICKSGiovanni Marchini CamiaI.On the Beach at Night AloneII.Bright NightsIII.Ulysses in the Subway, The Other Side of Hope, The Party, El Mar La Mar, Railway Sleepers, UntitledYaron DahanI.El Mar La MarII.The Other Side of HopeHave a Nice DayIII.On Body and SoulCOVERAGEGiovanni Marchini CamiaRead | How Political Is the Berlinale?: On Berlin's Critics' Week and Étienne Comar's DjangoRead | Family Dinners and Parisian Hotels: On Oren Moverman's The Dinner and Neïl Beloufa's OccidentalRead | Getting Better—and Funnier: On Aki Kaurismäki's The Other Side of Hope and Sally Potter's The PartyRead | Chromesthetic Delirium and Documentary Spontaneity: On Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, Flo Jacobs & Ken Jacobs' Ulysses in the Subway and Michael Glawogger & Monika Willi's UntitledYaron DahanRead | Elemental Poetics: On J.
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Berlinale 2017. Chromesthetic Delirium and Documentary Spontaneity

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Untitled. © Lotus-FilmA pretty amazing aspect of the Berlinale is that a lot of the festival venues are multiplexes usually devoted to blockbusters, meaning that smaller films from the sidebars are often screened in theaters with gigantic screens and state-of-the-art sound systems. It’s in one such cinema that I got to experience the chromesthetic delirium of Ulysses in the Subway by Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, Flo Jacobs and Ken Jacobs. And, let me tell you, it was mind-blowing. Describing the film is about as difficult as describing a drug trip—indeed, watching Ulysses in the Subway is what it might be like if you were to drop acid and ride around the New York subway with your eyes closed. With the intention of visualizing sound, the four artists took an audio recording Ken Jacobs made of a long subway ride home (Jacobs used the same recording in live performances of
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New Ways to See Non-Fiction: How MoMA Doc Fortnight Brings a Fresh Perspective to Documentary Films

  • Indiewire
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) kicks off its 16th annual Doc Fortnight on Thursday, a 10-day festival that includes 20 feature-length non-fiction films and 10 documentary shorts. This year’s lineup includes four world premieres and a number of North American and U.S. premieres.

Read More: 2017 New Directors/New Films Announces Full Lineup, Including ‘Patti Cake$,’ ‘Beach Rats,’ ‘Menashe’ and More

The festival is far from the only major North American showcase for non-fiction cinema. Festivals ranging from Hot Docs to True/False have played key roles in the expanding documentary festival circuit. However, Doc Fortnight has maintained its own niche on the scene, by aiming to expose undiscovered stories and filmmakers, screening a range of documentaries from around the world and capturing the ways in which artists are pushing the boundaries of non-fiction filmmaking.

“It’s not an industry festival, there aren’t awards, and distributors aren’t all coming looking to buy,
See full article at Indiewire »

Weekly Rushes. Carrie & Debbie, Tarkovsky's Diaries, Scorsese Talks "Silence"

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Get in touch to send in suggest cinephile news and discoveries.NEWSAs the remarkably disheartening year of 2016 came to a close, we lost two great figures in the film industry: Debbie Reynolds and Carrie Fisher. Revisiting some of their best films over the holidays has given us new fortitude with which to start 2017.It looks like we're closer to seeing Terrence Malick's film centering on the Austin music scene. Previously called Weightless, it's now officially titled Song to Song and has a March release date—perhaps premiering at the Berlin Film Festival?And news from another of our favorite impressionists: Claire Denis seems to have pushed back shooting her Robert Pattison-starring sci-fi, High Life, to shoot a small movie starring Juliette Binoche, Gérard Depardieu and Xavier Beauvois, Dark Glasses. Whichever we get first, we simply can't wait.Near the complete program of the International Film Festival Rotterdam has been announced,
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Sea Voyages, Failed Surgeries, and Folk Art: the Viennale 2016

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I attended the Viennale for the first time this year, both because I was already in Vienna and had been there since the summer with the purpose of improving my German and because the festival was presenting my own film, Short Stay. Below are some fading impressions written in the days following the festival of films I was happiest to have seen.In Memory of Zsóka Nestler (Metrokino, 16mm & Dcp)Up the DanubeThe only other Nestler film with which I am familiar is Ödenwaldstetten (1964), a documentary shot in Bayern in static, black and white images profiling people who live and work in the German countryside, speaking in a variety of dialects. In a tribute to Nestler’s recently deceased collaborator and wife, Zsóka, the festival screened a program of three films the two had directed together: I Budapest (In Budapest,1969), Uppför Donau (Up the Danube, 1969) and Zeit (Time, 1992). When I Budapest began with a brief,
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NYC Weekend Watch: Alain Resnais, Theo Angelopoulos, ‘Last Tango In Paris’ & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Metrograph

“Welcome to Metrograph: A to Z” has a packed weekend with a slate that includes Alain Resnais‘ Je t’aime, je t’aime, Nicholas Ray‘s The Lusty Men, Jackie Brown, and, yes, Jackass 3D.

Baumbach & Paltrow‘s De Palma plays with a Jim McBride feature on Saturday and two De Palma shorts on Sunday.
See full article at The Film Stage »

NYC Weekend Watch: ‘Far from Vietnam,’ Warren Oates, Ken Jacobs & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Metrograph

It’s a French New Wave take on America’s worst era — what else could you want? The great Far from Vietnam plays as part of “Welcome to Metrograph: A-z” on Saturday, along with Varda‘s Lion’s Love and Tsai‘s The Hole.

“Summer In the City” brings Dog Day Afternoon and Spike Lee
See full article at The Film Stage »

NYC Weekend Watch: Robert Downey Sr., Anna Mangani, ‘Black Girl’ & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Film Forum

The amazing films of Robert Downey Sr. play as part of “Robert Downey (The Original).” The still-shocking Putney Swope screens throughout this weekend; Greaser’s Palace can be seen on Saturday and Sunday, while the latter day offers a print of Chafed Elbows.

The restoration of Fritz Lang‘s Destiny begins its run.

The King and the Mockingbird
See full article at The Film Stage »

NYC Weekend Watch: Nervous Magic Lantern Festival, Minnelli, ‘Dracula’ & More

Since any New York cinephile has a nearly suffocating wealth of theatrical options, we figured it’d be best to compile some of the more worthwhile repertory showings into one handy list. Displayed below are a few of the city’s most reliable theaters and links to screenings of their weekend offerings — films you’re not likely to see in a theater again anytime soon, and many of which are, also, on 35mm. If you have a chance to attend any of these, we’re of the mind that it’s time extremely well-spent.

Anthology Film Archives

Friday sees the start of a weekend-long Nervous Magic Lantern Festival, a tribute to Ken Jacobs‘ device which, according to the site, “uses lightweight fans and an exterior spinning shutter – along with the hands and creative mind of an active projectionist – to fill the screen with moving 3D forms that can be seen from every possible angle,
See full article at The Film Stage »

NYC Happenings: Get Your New Year's Cinephilia On With MoMI's First Look 2016

Starting this Friday and running for three consecutive weekends (1/8-1/24), in their beautiful state of the art theater in Queens, Astoria, the Museum of Moving Image's First Look Film Festival is fast becoming a new New York institution for many film aficionados. Selecting its roster from cinema's most cutting edge filmmakers, the 5th edition of First Look opens with the Us premiere of Alexandr Sokurov's new film Francofonia. Switching gears a bit this year with guest programmers such as Jean-Pierre Rehm of FIDMarseille, and Aliza Ma of Metrograph and Mónica Savirón, along with chief curator David Schwartz and associate curator Eric Hynes, this year's eclectic roster is heavy on the experimental/avant-garde/documentary. It includes renowned experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs' new films in 3D, Canadian video artist...

[Read the whole post on twitchfilm.com...]
See full article at Screen Anarchy »

Daily | First Look 2016 Lineup

New York's Museum of the Moving Image has announced the lineup for the fifth edition of its annual First Look Festival, running from January 8 through 24 and featuring a slew of Us and NYC premieres. Opening with Aleksandr Sokurov’s Francofonia, highlights also include Manuel Mozos’s portrait of João Bénard da Costa, the late director of the Portuguese Film Museum; a playful autobiographical work by the French film critic and filmmaker Louis Skorecki; and a duo of intimate behind-the-scenes films about Jim Jarmusch. Plus films by Margaret Honda, Ken Jacobs, Bjoern Kammerer, and the late Andrew Noren; and formally innovative films such as Jonathan Perel’s structuralist study of oppressive Argentine architecture, and Dominic Gagnon's gonzo YouTube assemblages. » - David Hudson
See full article at Keyframe »

Daily | First Look 2016 Lineup

New York's Museum of the Moving Image has announced the lineup for the fifth edition of its annual First Look Festival, running from January 8 through 24 and featuring a slew of Us and NYC premieres. Opening with Aleksandr Sokurov’s Francofonia, highlights also include Manuel Mozos’s portrait of João Bénard da Costa, the late director of the Portuguese Film Museum; a playful autobiographical work by the French film critic and filmmaker Louis Skorecki; and a duo of intimate behind-the-scenes films about Jim Jarmusch. Plus films by Margaret Honda, Ken Jacobs, Bjoern Kammerer, and the late Andrew Noren; and formally innovative films such as Jonathan Perel’s structuralist study of oppressive Argentine architecture, and Dominic Gagnon's gonzo YouTube assemblages. » - David Hudson
See full article at Fandor: Keyframe »

Nyff 2015. Projections: Flipping Through Channels

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The New STYLEThis is the second year that the New York Film Festival has presented Projections, its extensive showcase of experimental film and video that for years had been called Views From the Avant-Garde. The name change (or "rebranding," in the parlance of our ugly times) corresponded, of course, to the departure of longtime programmer Mark McElhatten. Under his stewardship, Views became one of the premiere experimental film festivals in the world, a long weekend of high caliber dispatches from established masters, alongside bracing discoveries by up-and-coming makers whose work somehow caught Mark's eye. His programming partner, Film Comment's Gavin Smith, often brought along selections that complemented Mark's, even as they were out of his usual bailiwick.The Views era was not without its dissenters. Some complained that McElhatten rounded up the usual suspects year after year, sometimes without regard to the relative quality of their latest offerings. Others, most prominently Su Friedrich,
See full article at MUBI »

Tiff 2015. Wavelengths, Part One: The Short Films

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Youth On The MARCHThere are 48 individual films screening in the Wavelengths section of this year’s Toronto International Film Festival. The relative importance of this section, amidst the vast array of offerings in this relatively huge festival, depends on your taste in movies, of course, to say nothing of your specific objectives. If you’re coming to Toronto to try to score a hot tip in this year’s Oscar race, well . . . I feel sorry for you on a number of levels. But Wavelengths is unlikely to be your jam. Originally conceived exclusively as a showcase for experimental and non-narrative films (hence the section’s title, a direct tribute to avant-garde master and Toronto native son Michael Snow), Wavelengths now encompasses the edgier, less commercial side of art cinema. This is the first of two preview essays, and my aim is to cover everything in the section. These are the
See full article at MUBI »

Weekly Rushes. 8 July 20158

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Rushes collects news, articles, images, videos and more for a weekly roundup of essential items from the world of film.Above: Nastassja Kinski & Jean-Pierre Léaud are on the poster for the 2015 Venice Film Festival.At the New York Times, A.O. Scott and Manohla Dargis are in dialogue reflecting on feminism and summer movies.There's a new festival in the works from producer/distributor Karin Chien, critic/curator Shelly Kraicer, and filmmaker/anthropologist J.P. Sniadecki: "Cinema on the Edge! Bestof the Beijing Indie Film Festival." With the 2014 Biff thwarted, these three are essentially transposing the festival and its films to New York this summer. They've launched a Kickstarter to support the venture.Above: Lauren Bacall in a 1943 issue of Harper's Bazaar. Via bettybecallbeauty.Film Comment's latest issue is out, and much of it is available to read online, including Kent Jones on Horse Money, reports from Cannes and Tribeca,
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Extending the Window: A Conversation with Ken Jacobs

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Ken Jacobs. Photo by María Meseguer.This past June in A Coruña, Spain (S8) 6th Mostra de Cinema Periferico hosted a retrospective of Ken Jacobs. A legend of experimental filmmaking, this New Yorker gave a master-class about the influence of abstract paintings on his work, presented a broad selection of films in his filmography to the audience, and premiered New Paintings by Ken Jacobs (2015), a new film performance using his famous Nervous Magic Lantern, consisting of a series of abstract slides that he projects with a special device of his own creation. The program focused on Jacobs’ first films, close to a kind of Brakhage-like documentary style, the long series he made along with Jack Smith as an actor/performer, and his experiments with 3D, both in film and digital formats. After all these screenings, we had a coffee or two with him and talked about the films in the program.
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