Wednesday, September 9, 2009

A Moveable Feast: A Tribute to the New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative Part 1: Filmmakers Speak!

A Moveable Feast: A Tribute to the New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative
Part 1: Filmmakers Speak!

Sunday, September 20, 7 PM
All screenings are at the Millennium Film Workshop,
66 East 4th Street, NY NY 10003.
Programs are subject to change.
Advance tickets:
Admission: $10

A Tribute to the NY Film Maker’s Coop Part 1: Filmmakers Speak !

This program celebrates almost a half-century of the Coop’s existence, and the archive of more than 5,000 films that it makes available for distribution.

The Film-Makers' Cooperative, founded in 1962 as a filmmaker-run distribution center, is now the largest archive and distributor of independent and avant-garde films in the world. Since 1967 the Coop had its offices at Lexington Ave and 31st Street New York City. It then relocated to the Clocktower Gallery at 108 Leonard Street, and is currently in the process of moving to a new state-of-the-art facility at 475 Park Avenue South, thanks to the generosity of real estate developer Charles S. Cohen. All films and videos courtesy of the New York Film-Makers’ Coop.

Introduction by Jonas Mekas, founder of the New American Cinema Group and the New York Film-Makers Coop:
SPECIAL SURPRISE SCREENING, presented by Jonas Mekas

Cast: M.M. Serra (voiceover), Jonas Mekas (voiceover). Color, sound, 14 min. (16mm print)
“The day the Film-Makers' Cooperative was forced by loss of lease to move from their offices at Lexington Ave and 31st Street in New York City filmmaker and Coop member Joel Schlemowitz showed up with a camera to document the historic moment. Rather than record the event per se, a freewheeling use of roving handheld, time lapse and double exposure were employed to create a visually evocative, impressionistic documentary about the Film-Makers' Cooperative. On the soundtrack Jonas Mekas, one of the Coop's founders, and MM Serra, the current executive director, describe the Coop's beginnings, the organization's recent struggles, and the difficulties of finding space for the arts.” (New York Flm-Makers Cooperative Catalogue)

Introduction by Saul Levine, filmmaker:
SERRA’S MORNING, 2001, directed by Saul Levine.
Cast: M.M. Serra. Color, sound, 10 min. (VHS video)
“Director of the Film-makers Coop M.M. Serra recollects her morning on September 11, 2001. The Coop is a few blocks from the New York Worlds Trade Center. The tape was shot a month after, while we were waiting to have lunch together.” (Saul Levine)

Followed by a presentation and screening from each current Coop filmmaker Board member of a work from the collection that has influenced his or her work.

Introduction by M.M. Serra,
filmmaker and Executive Director, The New York Film-Makers’ Coop:
VIET-FLAKES (1966), directed by Carolee Schneemann.
B/W, sound, 11 min. (16mm print)
“VIET-FLAKES was central in ‘Snows,’ the Kinetic Theater work I presented at the Martinique Theater, New York, 1966, in conjunction with Angry Arts Week. ‘Snows’ concretized imagery and the denied ravages of the war and did its part in heightening moral outrage at the endless destruction. James Tenney's sound collage intercuts three-second fragments of Vietnamese religious chants and secular songs with fragments of Bach and 1960s ‘Top of the Charts.’” (Carolee Schneemann)

Selection by Jack Waters, filmmaker and Coop Board Member:
FRAGMENTS (1967), directed by Mike Kuchar.
Color, sound, 10 min. (16mm print)
“A visual drift into the realm of electric colors, sensual curves and dark, dank grasslands, where one is lost with himself.” (New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative Catalogue).

Introduction by Lynne Sachs, filmmaker and Coop Board Member:
ANGEL BLUE SWEET WINGS (1966), directed by Chick Strand.
Color, sound, 4 min. (16mm print)
“A visual drift into the realm of electric colors, sensual curves and dark, dank grasslands, where one is lost with himself.” (New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative Catalogue).

Introduction by Donna Cameron, filmmaker and Coop Board Member:
BRIDGES-GO-ROUND (1958), directed by Shirley Clarke.
Color, sound, 7 min. (16mm print)
“In this film Manhattan Island becomes a maypole around which its bridges, detached from moorings, execute a bewitched and beguiling dance. The filmmaker has magically set them dancing to two different music tracks – an electroic score by the Barrons and a jazz score by Teo Macero. Each track affects the viewer’s response to the imagery of the film differently.” (Donna Cameron)

Introduction by Anne Hanavan, filmmaker and Coop Board Member:
SCOTCH TAPE (1962), directed by Jack Smith.
Color, sound, 3 min. (16mm print)
“16mm Kodachrome shot on the rubble strewn site of the future Lincoln Center. The title arises from the piece of scotch tape which had become wedged in the camera gate.” (New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative Catalogue)

Introduction by Scott Nyerges, filmmaker and Coop Board Member:
COMMINGLED CONTAINERS (1996), directed by Stan Brakhage.
Color, silent, 3 min. (16mm print)
“The film begins with anamorphic lens vision of water, prismatically etched dark blue needles of watery turbulence shifting radically in sudden twists of the anamorphic lens. . . a sense of a violently roughened surface to a stream which cuts to a darkened quietude of gently evolving under-water bubbles, pulsing like living entities. The entire film juxtaposes its water surface tensions and its under-water pulsing forms of light, its blues of water surface reflecting sky, and whites of watery turbulence, and its sub surface world of quiet whites yellows and oranges, ending finally on a surface shot which resolves these tones.” (New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative Catalogue)

Introduction by Bradley Eros, filmmaker and Coop Board Member:
CARTOON LE MOUSSE (1979), directed by Chick Strand.
Color, sound, 12 min. (16mm print)
"Chick Strand is a prolific and prodigiously gifted film artist who seems to break new ground with each new work. Her recent ‘found footage’ works such as CARTOON LE MOUSSE, are extraordinarily beautiful, moving, visionary pieces that push this genre into previously unexplored territory. If poetry is the art of making evocative connections between otherwise dissimilar phenomena, then Chick Strand is a great poet, for these films transcend their material to create a surreal and sublime universe beyond reason." (Gene Youngblood)

Introduction by Colen Fitzgibbon, filmmaker and Coop Board Member
THE WHIRLED, 1961, directed by Ken Jacobs.
Color and B/W, sound, 4 min. (16mm print)
“The following films are early images of Jack Smith: 1) SATURDAY AFTERNOON BLOOD SACRIFICE (1956); 2) LITTLE COBRA DANCE (1956); 3) HUNCH YOUR BACK (1963); 4) DEATH OF P’TOWN (1961). The first two shorts were shot around Jack's loft on Reade Street on two 100' rolls (Sunday morning, following Saturday's sacrifice, I saw there was another 50' left) in an impromptu way very different from my initial fastidious art-film approach. I would never be an art-film true-believer again. In 1963 a snatch of ‘Saturday Afternoon...’ was shown on TV when I was somehow invited to participate in a TV quiz program called HUNCH YOUR BACK (‘Back Your Hunch’). After years of shooting my raging epic STAR SPANGLED TO DEATH starring Jack as The Spirit Not of Life But of Living, and after a few months of being on the outs with each other, we got together for one last stab at friendship and the making of a film in Provincetown, Summer of '61.” (Ken Jacobs)

Introduction by Ghen Zando-Dennis, filmmaker and Coop board Member:
CECI N’EST PAS (1997), directed by Jeanne Liotta. B/W, Sound, 7 min. (super 8mm blowup to 16mm print).
“Hand-developed and unedited, this roll lived in my camera from March to May 1995: A trip to New Orleans, a train ride, the death of a dear friend and artist. This film is the author of itself; its trace function leaves me behind.” (New York Film-Makers’ Cooperative Catalogue).

1 comment:

  1. "Randall Dottin: A Filmmaker's Tale of Perseverance" Read it at