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We'll be back to our regular screening schedule in October.

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August 17, 2023

Back and Forth: Between Art and Film

Films by Philipp Fleischmann and other cinematic experiments from Austria

Time: 7:30pm

Location: Brain Dead Studios

Address: 611 N Fairfax Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90036

Los Angeles premieres! Philipp Fleischmann in person!

 

One of the world's most singular film artists, Philipp Fleischmann has, over the past decade, quietly forged one of the most unique projects in contemporary cinema. Since 2013, the Austrian filmmaker has taken as his primary subject institutional spaces of a certain cultural-historical significance. But rather than merely record or reflect on these spaces—which have ranged from Vienna’s Secession Building (Main Hall, 2013) to a hallowed theater at the Austrian Filmmuseum (The Invisible Cinema 3, 2018)—Fleischmann instead utilizes his films as ideological tools to mediate and comment on the finer points of each institution’s art-historical legacy. His highly unique process, in which the light and spatial coordinates of a given location are inscribed on strips of 35mm film through the direct exposure of hand-built, site-specific cameras, turns the cinematic apparatus itself into a kind of critical-conceptual conduit. At their best, Fleischmann's films act as a both a spatiotemporal intervention and an implicit statement about the value institutions place on cinema.

Tonight's three-part program will include the majority of Fleischmann's films made for the cinema to date, a trio of complementary works by three of the artist's contemporaries (Johann Lurf, Björn Kämmerer, and Viktoria Schmid) who take up a similar structural-materialist impulse, as well as a live 16mm performance in which Fleischmann will hand-project a selection of classic Austrian expanded cinema pieces by Valie Export, Hans Scheugl, and Peter Weibel.

TRT: 60 min (approx.)

 

Fleischmann subversively and playfully intervenes in the production processes of cinema, constructs singular, often space-consuming analogue film cameras in order to measure the black boxes and white cubes in institutions in new ways and means, and finally finds ways to open up new conceptual as well as concrete places for film.

Alejandro Bachmann, Austrian Film Museum

Unlike so many experimental filmmakers, Fleischmann is not primarily concerned with cinematic perception or problems of signification. [He's] in league with a small group of individuals who have used celluloid as a material marker for the tangible recording of light events, a kind of scientific registration of certain occurrences that, while 'photo-graphic' in the strictest sense, do not yield conventional images. 

Michael Sicinski, MUBI Notebook

In Johann Lurf's Cavalcade, which was shot on 35mm and lit with a projector beam and strobe light, a hypnotic spinning wheel atop a verdant summer stream becomes a site of double trickery. Through a dizzying trompe l'oeil, the film reveals the incongruities between what is heard, seen, and actually present.

Vancouver International Film Festival

Viktoria Schmid’s A Proposal to project in 4:3 asks us to reconsider the rectangle upon which our cinematic delights are projected. Filmed on 35-mm over the course of one day, surrounded by dunes, sea and forests on the Lithuanian coast, Schmid reconfigures the screen as a blank canvas upon which sunlight, wind, and shadow create an alluring new form of cinematic art. 

Neil Young, Vienna Shorts

Björn Kämmerer's Navigator picks up where loose ends of Modernism dangle, and it projects into yet untrodden territory: Steel and dazzling chrome frame reflective glass, a combination that does not yield cold functionality but rather an unforeseen abundance of form; a form of self-reflexivity that disables recognition of what is inside and what is out – although both categories are relentlessly in play; a measurement of space that interlocks object and subject, matter and access to such a degree that a new kind of space emerges.

Christian Höller, sixpackfilm

 

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August 23, 2023

Of Time and the City: New Films by Tsai Ming-liang

Where and Where Do You Stand, Tsai Ming-liang? (2022)

Time: 8:00pm

Location: 2220 Arts + Archives

Address: 2220 Beverly Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90057

Los Angeles premieres!

Where Do You Stand, Tsai Ming-liang? (Tsai Ming-liang, 2022; 21 min)

"Où en êtes-vous ?" is a collection introduced by the Centre Pompidou which, since 2014, has systematically commissioned guest filmmakers to make a free-form homemade film with which they respond to this question that is both retrospective and introspective and turned toward the figure, their desires, their projects. To date, the collection comprises more than twenty films. Tsai's entry is both a companion piece to Afternoon (2015) and a beautiful meditation on the artists' frequently unacknowledged work as a painter.

"For health reasons, Lee Kang-Sheng and I have moved to the mountains.  We have no neighbours. Our house is surrounded by dilapidated properties. I love these abandoned houses. I often go there. I think they're magnificent. I said to Kang-Sheng: We no longer need to travel to make films. I'm going to film everything here. I got some old chairs and some of my paintings  and I placed them in these abandoned houses. That's how the film was made." —Tsai Ming-liang

Where (Tsai Ming-liang, 2022; 91 min)

The ninth installment in Tsai's beloved Walker series, Where reunites Lee Kang-Sheng (in his iconic role as a slow-walking monk) and Anong Houngheuangsy from Days (2020), pitting the pair on a star-crossed journey across Paris, culminating in a stunning encounter at the Pompidou.

"Anong hums songs from his hometown in an unknown foreign city.  Perhaps he's looking for something, or waiting for someone. He comes across the walker. The meeting is like a dream. He wakes up with an impression of déjà-vu." —Tsai Ming-liang

TRT: 112 min

 

One of the more delightful long-running series in contemporary cinema.

Sean Gilman, InReviewOnline

Where [is] the most accomplished of the Walker pieces... [plays] like Days's hyper-formalist inverse.

Michael Sicinski, Patreon

[Where Do You Stand, Tsai Ling-liang? is] a stunningly beautiful treatise on the limbo of the Covid era.

Daniel Gorman, InReviewOnline

In demanding the viewer’s attention and readjusting expectations around the cinematic use of time, [Tsai] allows for incredible moments of human connection and discovery.

Dan Schindel, Hyperallergic

A melancholic meditation... Lee’s presence as a controlled variable in [Where's] social experiment contests the binary of fiction and nonfiction, embodying Tsai’s capture of authentic behaviors toward the unusual.

Edward Frumkin, The Film Stage

 

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