Around the Factory

Date: 25 October 1998 | Season: Underground America

Sunday 25 October 1998, at 8:45pm
London Barbican Cinema

When Andy Warhol decided to retire from fine art to concentrate on movies it was a major endorsement that increased awareness of the avant-garde film. He recreated the history of cinema from the kiss through the silents to the talkies before developing his own commercial features. By the time of Lupe he had formed his own style that now owed little to his early influences like Jack Smith and Ron Rice. Edie Sedgwick stars in this beautiful film which will be shown here in a double screen format. Marie Menken’s film is a portrait of Warhol in his studio, and her husband the poet Willard Maas shot the silver balloon show at Leo Castelli’s gallery. Super-Artist is a long lost documentary of the Warhol Factory shot in 1965. Andy made Screen Tests for inclusion in Match Girl – a neglected but beautiful work made in the Factory by Andrew Meyer. Taylor Mead’s fast paced film diary includes on location footage from the unreleased San Diego Surf.

Marie Menken, Andy Warhol, 1965, 22 min
Willard Maas, Andy Warhol’s Silver Flotations, 1966, 5 min
Andy Warhol, Hedy (double screen), 1965, 33 min
Andrew Meyer, Match Girl, 1966, 26 min
Bruce Torbet, Super-Artist Andy Warhol, 1967, 21 min
Taylor Mead, Home Movies: NYC to San Diego, 1968, 19 min


The Kuchar Brothers

Date: 26 October 1998 | Season: Underground America

Monday 26 October 1998, at 6:30pm
London Barbican Cinema

Mike and George Kuchar caused an uproar at the 8mm Motion Picture Club when they showed Pussy On A Hot Tin Roof to the society fuddy-duddies in the early 60s. The Kuchar’s home movies were low budget views of life in The Bronx seen through glorious Technicolor sunglasses. Their short films and stable of stars like Bob Cowan and Donna Kerness became a permanent fixture on the Underground scene, and were personal favourites of director John Waters. George’s Hold Me While I’m Naked is one of the classics of the genre, and is shown here alongside other astounding films of dimestore Hollywood.

Mike & George Kuchar, Pussy On A Hot Tin Roof, 1961, 9 min
George Kuchar, Lust For Ecstacy, 1963, 35 min
George Kuchar, Lovers Of Eternity, 1963, 36 min
George Kuchar, Hold Me While I’m Naked, 1966, 16 min
Mike Kuchar, The Craven Sluck, 1967, 23 min

Please Note: Lovers of Eternity missed its flight in Memphis and was replaced by two George Kuchar epics – Eclipse of the Sun Virgin (1967) and Pagan Rhapsody (1970). The programme notes below reflect this change and list the correct running order for the films that were shown at the screening.


Female Underground

Date: 27 October 1998 | Season: Underground America

Tuesday 27 October 1998, at 6:30pm
London Barbican Cinema

The underground was not solely a male domain. Mary Ellen Bute was an early pioneer of abstract film. Marie Menken and Shirley Clarke were two of the most important new filmmakers to emerge in the late 1950s and remain respected film artists to this day. In the early 1960s the female filmmakers made some of the most erotic and personal films – Fuses and the double projection piece Christmas On Earth are unique expressions, and Naomi Levine’s Yes is a rare and beautiful pastorale. Joyce Wieland and Gunvor Nelson were both married to filmmakers but were artists of merit in their own right. In 1933 and Sailboat, Wieland shows she was one of the first people to make Structural films.

Mary Ellen Bute, Mood Contrasts, 1954, 7 min
Marie Menken, Hurry, Hurry, 1957, 3 min
Shirley Clarke, Bridges Go Round, 1958, 7 min
Naomi Levine, Yes, 1963, 24 min
Barbara Rubin, Christmas On Earth (double screen), 1963, 31 min
Carolee Schneemann, Fuses, 1964-68, 22 min
Joyce Wieland, 1933, 1967, 5 min
Joyce Wieland, Sailboat, 1967, 5 min
Gunvor Nelson, My Name Is Oona, 1969, 10 min


Magick & Shamanism

Date: 28 October 1998 | Season: Underground America

Wednesday 28 October 1998, at 8:45pm
London Barbican Cinema

An exhibition of two masters of cinema. Kenneth Anger made the legendary Scorpio Rising and several other films based around his theories of Magick. La Lune Des Lapins is shown here for the first time in its 15 minute version. Invocation Of My Demon Brother features a soundtrack by Mick Jagger. Lucifer Rising was Anger’s last completed film and features Marianne Faithfull and the director Donald Cammell. Harry Smith used his ideas about alchemy to make important animations from the 1940s on, and here we have the rare opportunity to see his later films incorporating live footage. Also, Marie Menken contributes an homage to Anger.

Kenneth Anger, La Lune Des Lapins (long version), 1950/72, 15 min
Harry Smith, Early Abstractions (No.7), 1951, 7 min
Marie Menken, Arabesque For Kenneth Anger, 1961, 5 min
Harry Smith, Mirror Animations (No.11), 1962-76, 11 min
Harry Smith, Late Superimpositions (No.14), 1964, 31 min
Kenneth Anger, Invocation Of My Demon Brother, 1969, 11 min
Kenneth Anger, Lucifer Rising, 1980, 31 min


Visual Alchemy

Date: 1 November 1998 | Season: Underground America

Sunday 1 November 1998, at 7:00pm
London Lux Centre

A programme to demonstrate the magical properties of colour as it was manipulated by expert film artists. The abstract film-makers developed techniques in order to represent their cosmic visions without the use of recognisable imagery. Early pioneers like the Whitney Brothers made unique innovations. La Couleur De La Forme is like a masterclass of editing and printing technique. Jordan Belson was visual director of the legendary Vortex Concerts and went on to make special effects sequences in Hollywood for films like The Right Stuff. He rarely shows his work today because time has faded the perfect colours. Stan Vanderbeek made animated collages before developing multi screen expanded cinema pieces. Diffraction Film presents a sea of colour and was used in USCO’s sound and light presentations. Pat O’Neill and Scott Bartlett were two of the first film-makers to utilise video in their work. The Tattooed Man is a major work of graphic invention and image manipulation by the poet and film-maker Storm De Hirsch. Tom Chomont’s Oblivion provides stereoscopic visions when viewed through 3D glasses.

James Whitney, Yantra, 1950-55, 10 min
Hy Hirsh, La Couleur De La Forme, 1952, 5 min
Jordan Belson, Allures, 1961, 9 min
Jordan Belson, Re-Entry, 1964, 6 min
Stan Vanderbeek, Breathdeath, 1964, 10 min
Jud Yalkut, Diffraction Film, 1965, 10 min
James Whitney, Lapis, 1963-66, 9 min
Pat O’Neill, 7362, 1965-67, 10 min
Scott Bartlett, Offon, 1968, 9 min
Storm De Hirsch, The Tattooed Man, 1969, 35 min
Tom Chomont, Oblivion, 1969, 5 min


Ways of Seeing

Date: 5 November 1998 | Season: Underground America

Thursday 5 November 1998, at 7:00pm
London Lux Centre

An exploration of life on film through the eyes of different film-makers. In Recreation almost every subsequent frame is composed of completely disparate images. Stan Brakhage is one of the most productive and highly regarded masters of avant-garde film and Prelude: Dog Star Man is a major work. Death In The Forenoon is a short comedy utilising live action and animation. Ed Emshwiller was a remarkable technician and visionary, Relativity is his epic work about man’s place in the universe. Nightspring Daystar is a poetic notebook of images. The actor Jerry Joffen made unique film diaries and Bill Brand demonstrated a formal and direct way of presenting life through film that was important to the Structural movement.

Robert Breer, Recreation I, 1956-57, 2 min
Stan Brakhage, Prelude: Dog Star Man, 1961, 25 min
David Brooks, Nightspring Daystar, 1964, 18 min
Jerome Hill, Death In The Forenoon or Who’s Afraid Of Ernest Hemmingway, 1933-65, 2 min
Ed Emshwiller, Relativity, 1966, 38 min
Jerry Joffen, How Can We Tell The Dancer From The Dance?, 1970, 10 min
Bill Brand, Moment, 1972, 23 min


Ken Jacobs & Bob Fleischner

Date: 5 November 1998 | Season: Underground America

Thursday 5 November 1998, at 9:00pm
London Lux Centre

Ken Jacobs has been a constant innovator in the field of cinema. His early work with Jack Smith heralded a new underground aesthetic. The extraordinary Blonde Cobra was shot by Bob Fleischner and later edited by Jacobs, who added a soundtrack of Smith’s unique monologues. It is a remarkable achievement. Baud’larian Capers is a fantasy home movie starring Fleischner, who’s own film Grandma’s House is a tender labour of love set in Coney Island. Towards the end of the decade Jacobs utilised a more Structural approach, investigating space and composition in Soft Rain and making Globe, which blossoms into 3D when seen through a special viewer. In 1969 he made the monumental Tom, Tom, The Piper’s Son, a two hour epic shot by meticulously rephotographing a 1905 film of the same name.

Ken Jacobs & Bob Fleischner, Blonde Cobra, 1959-62, 33 min
Ken Jacobs, Baud’larian Capers, 1963-64, 20 min
Bob Fleischner, Grandma’s House, 1965, 25 min
Ken Jacobs, Soft Rain, 1968, 12 min
Ken Jacobs, Globe, 1971, 22 min


Gregory Markopoulos

Date: 6 November 1998 | Season: Underground America | Tags:

Friday 6 November 1998, at 9:00pm
London Lux Centre

Gregory Markopoulos is one of the most respected figures in the history of film art. Today it is almost impossible to evaluate his work as he withdrew his films from distribution in the late 1960s and they have been rarely shown since. In his later years he developed plans for the Temenos, a dedicated archive and film theatre devoted to his work, and the Eniaios cycles incorporating over 100 of his films which were edited but not printed before his death in 1992. His works are often based on epic myth and classical texts. The Illiac Passion, which took 3 years to complete, is widely considered his masterpiece and features many important figures from the Underground including Andy Warhol, Jack Smith, Beverly Conrad and Taylor Mead. With Ming Green, Markopoulos made a portrait study of his apartment, it was shot in one day and edited in camera. This is a unique opportunity to see films by one of the greatest stylists of the New American Cinema. The programme will be introduced by Robert Beavers.

Gregory Markopoulos, Ming Green, 1966, 7 min
Gregory Markopoulos, The Illiac Passion, 1967, 92 min


Bruce Baillie & Chick Strand

Date: 7 November 1998 | Season: Underground America

Saturday 7 November 1998, at 7:00pm
London Lux Centre

An evening of films by the founders of Canyon Cinema, the west coast’s version of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative, which is still one of the major distributors of experimental work. Bruce Baillie is one of the most American of directors and he exposes and investigates American myths and dreams in complex multi-layered masterpieces such as Mass (For The Dakota Sioux) and Quixote. Chick Strand’s short films are simple and sensuous haiku poems.

Bruce Baillie, Mass (For The Dakota Sioux), 1964, 24 min
Bruce Baillie, Quixote, 1964-67, 45 min
Bruce Baillie, Castro Street, 1966, 10 min
Bruce Baillie, All My Life, 1966, 3 min
Chick Strand, Kulu Se Mama, 1966, 3 min
Chick Strand, Waterfall, 1967, 3 min
Chick Strand, Anselmo, 1966, 4 min
Chick Strand, Angel Sweet Blue Wings, 1966, 4 min


Flicker Films

Date: 7 November 1998 | Season: Underground America

Saturday 7 November 1998, at 9:00pm
London Lux Centre

Not for the faint hearted – two hours of apparently empty frames! Unknown to the American artists, the Austrian film-maker Peter Kubelka developed his imageless portrait Arnulf Rainer in 1960. Five years later in New York composer Tony Conrad, artist Paul Sharits and theorist Victor Grauer each conceived their own flicker style by combining black and white, or colour, frames in rapid succession to give a strobe effect. Whilst these films can provide for enlightening viewing, members of the audience should be aware of their ability to induce epileptic seizures in susceptible people.

Peter Kubelka, Arnulf Rainer, 1960, 6 min
Victor Grauer, Angel Eyes, 1965, 10 min
Tony Conrad, The Flicker, 1965, 30 min
Paul Sharits, Ray Gun Virus, 1966, 14 min
Victor Grauer, Archangel, 1966, 10 min
Tony Conrad, The Eye of Count Flickerstein, 1966/75, 7 min
Paul Sharits, N:O:T:H:I:N:G, 1968, 36 min
Tony Conrad, Straight & Narrow, 1970, 10 min

WARNING: If you suffer from photogenic migraine or epilepsy you are not advised to attend this screening – as with stroboscopic lights, flicker films have been known to cause seizures or headaches for susceptible people. The intensity of the light from the screen, or the rate of flicker, cannot damage the eye but may possibly lead to discomfort or nausea. As a member of the audience, you are advised to proceed with caution, and to step outside into the foyer if you sense any ill affect.