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November 25, 2019

Playful Perversions: Shorts Films by Gabriel Abrantes

Time: 8:30pm

Location: REDCAT

Address: 631 W 2nd St., Los Angeles, CA. 90012

Los Angeles premieres!

Director Gabriel Abrantes in person!

Since emerging in 2006, Gabriel Abrantes has carved a unique niche for himself at the vanguard of contemporary cinema. As de facto figurehead of a loose ensemble of collaborators with art school ties and a taste for the transgressive, the Lisbon-based artist (co-director of the acclaimed comedy Diamantino) brings a playfully perverse spirit to the tradition of experimental filmmaking. Shot on 16mm, Abrantes’ absurdist allegories tackle issues of colonialism, gender, sexuality, and desire through a bold conflation of history, aesthetics, and politics—like pop art by way of Pasolini. Dizzyingly prolific, he continues to add to a shapeshifting body of work whose pleasures and provocations are wholly indivisible.

Tonight's program will include the following films: Liberdade (2011), Fratelli (2012), Taprobana (2014), The Artificial Humors (2016), and The Extraordinary Misadventures of the Stone Lady (2019).

 

In person: Gabriel Abrantes. Financial Support provided by Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

 

While completely different on paper, these shorts feel surprisingly complementary. Like the filmmakers, there seems to be an organic chemistry binding the works together — a personal joke, too good not to share.

Kat Herriman, The New York Times Magazine

 

Since 2007, Abrantes has matched an affinity for abstruse, looping narrative with a bawdy sense of humor. Although his work frequently draws on sources like Manet or Aristophanes, it’s never hindered by the dictates of good taste.

Alice Stoehr, MUBI Notebook

A body of work that intoxicates, titillates, tickles, and scandalizes. The films of Abrantes and co. challenge outmoded distinctions between 'art cinema' and artists’ films, between work
that travels the festival circuit and work that belongs in a gallery.

Dan Sullivan, Film Comment

With a penchant for genre subterfuge and a style that distinctly shuttles between a jerky (and somewhat quirky) amateurism and a stately Super 16mm grandeur, [Gabriel Abrantes] evokes, twists, and turns Hollywood’s conventions into beguiling and breathtaking devices.

Andréa Picard, Cinema Scope

From the beginning, Abrantes has interrogated the concept of privilege, cross-examined the privileged perspective and made it [his] prevailing subject. His bewitching movies deal in the imbalance hardwired into desire across lines of class and culture and, as Gang of Four put it, 'The problem of leisure / What to do for pleasure.'

Nick Pinkteron, Sight & Sound

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December 7, 2019

Projections: Los Angeles

Artists' Cinema from the New York Film Festival

Time: 5:00pm & 7:30pm

Location: Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian

Address: 6712 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90028

Los Angeles premieres!

The New York Film Festival’s annual Projections section presents a diverse selection of film and video works from some of the most adventurous moving-image artists in contemporary cinema. For this special event, Acropolis Cinema and the American Cinematheque have partnered with Film at Lincoln Center to present a two-part program of highlights from the 2019 Projections shorts lineup, including new works by Beatrice Gibson, Tomonari Nishikawa, Kevin Jerome Everson and Claudrena N. Harold, Ben Russell, and Zachary Epcar. With its aim to “expand upon our notions of what the moving image can do and be,” Projections is at the forefront of bringing exciting and innovative filmmaking to US audiences. Acropolis and the Cinematheque are proud to offer Projections a Los Angeles home, and to provide local audiences with a unique taste of America’s most storied film festival.

Projections LA is co-presented by Acropolis, MUBI, and the American Cinematheque, with additional support and funding provided by the Tadashi Yanai Initiative for Globalizing Japanese Humanities.

 

 

Few films this year, short or long, display the sheer exuberance of the bracing, exhilarating Black Bus Stop

Tony Pipolo, Artforum

Captured on both an iPhone and in 16mm, Patrick Staff's wondrous short film The Prince of Homberg creates a vertiginous journey through time, space and psyche.

Ela Bittencourt, Hyperallergic

Joshua Gen Solondz's (tourism studies) ultimately asks us to reflect on the epistemology for a unifying film form, one that assigns all images an equal value, making of them a kind of crypto-currency. 

Michael Sicinski, MUBI Notebook

Beatrice Gibson’s new work conveys the fragile, complex and emotional condition of our moment. Her films evoke a sense of confusion and anxiety in the face of world events, but they also celebrate the transformative capacity of family and the tenderness of collective living. 

Ellen Mara De Wachter, frieze

Billy effects an intriguing rebalance of the suburban elements Zachary Epcar has torqued into strange forms over the last five years. In moving from an oblique to a perpendicular relationship to his material, he’s produced a comic portrait of the bland paranoia and emptiness of life inside the late-American McMansion worthy, in the cruel accuracy of its caricature, of John Currin. 

Phil Coldiron, Filmmaker Magazine

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