Bruce Conner - The White Rose 1967 7 minutes B&W sound
Lawrence Jordan - Visions of a City 1957/1978 8 minutes B&W sound
Bruce Baillie - Castro Street 1966 10 minutes color / B&W sound
Wallace Berman - Aleph 1956-1966 10 minutes color silent 18fps
Saturday February 25th, 2017 8pm Free Admission
The Beverly Lounge 224 Foxhall Avenue Kingston, New York
I am happy to announce the second screening in Kingston at The Beverly Lounge. This program focuses on a group of artists and filmmakers who were part of the West Coast scene of the late 50s onward covering multiple areas of California, most noticably in these works, the San Francisco Bay Area. Bruce Conner, Jay Defeo, Lawrence Jordan, Michael McClure, Bruce Baillie, and Wallace Berman & his world take part. Some notes on the films below.
The White Rose
Bruce Conner’s film documents the removal of Jay Defeo’s massive painting The White Rose which weighed 2300 pounds from her second floor apartment on Fillmore Street that she shared with her partner, the artist Wally Hendrick. Defeo worked tirelessly on this painting from 1958 through 1966. Because of a dramatic rent increase on the apartment the two shared, raising the rent from $65 to $300, they were forced to move and the painting had to be taken out through the apartment windows by professional movers. Conner’s film documents the removal of the painting from their apartment, and is a double portrait of the work and of his close friend. The film is an homage and a collaboration, an artwork about another artwork, as well as a lyrical documentary. Conner later subtitled the film Jay Defeo’s painting removed by Angelic Hosts. The film includes music from Miles Davis’ album Sketches of Spain.
Visions of a City
Originally shot in 1957 and edited in 1978.
The protagonist, poet Michael McClure, emerges from the all-reflection imagery of glass shop and car windows, bottles, mirrors, etc. in scenes which are also accurate portraits of both McClure and the city of San Francisco in 1957. At the same time it is a lyric and mystical film, building to a crescendo of rhythmically intercut shots of McClure’s face, seemingly trapped on the glazed surface of the city. Music by William Moraldo. I don’t think of this as an “early film” anymore, since it never came together until ‘78. Now it’s tight. –Jordan
Inspired by a lesson from Erik Satie; a film in the form of a street—Castro Street running by the Standard Oil Refinery in Richmond, California. . . switch engines on one side and refinery tanks, stacks and buildings on the other—the street and film, ending at a red lumber company. All visual and sound elements from the street, progressing from the beginning to the end of the street, one side is black and white (secondary), and one side is color—like male and female elements. The emergence of a long switch-engine shot (black and white solo) is to the filmmaker the essential consciousness. –Baillie
Filmed between 1956 and 1966. Originally shot and worked on in 8mm, this film, known during Berman’s life as Untitled, was usually projected on a white wall or a white refrigerator for a small audience or on a one-on-one basis. The images in Aleph are closely aligned with Berman’s other visual artwork, including his publication Semina. The film was shot in B&W, with Berman adding some hand-painted elements and rubbed-on letters to the actual film surface. The film has no beginning or end, and reads more like a notebook or ongoing work in progress. After Berman’s death, Stan Brakhage preserved the damaged 8mm film and transferred the work to 16mm.
“This film took a decade to make and is the only true envisionment of the sixties I know.” –Stan Brakhage
Film still above of Jay Defeo from Bruce Conner’s The White Rose.