California Sound/California Image

Date: 13 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

13—19 June 2003
London Barbican Screen

From Hollywood to San Francisco: The West Coast and the Avant-Garde

A trip through 70 years of artists’ filmmaking in, on and around the American West Coast, featuring expressionist experiments, pioneering psychodrama, freewheeling Beat Culture and the psychedelic explosion. The post-war avant-garde began in Los Angeles with the revolutionary trance films of Kenneth Anger, Maya Deren and Gregory Markopoulos, but San Francisco soon established itself as a major centre in the 1960s when Bruce Baillie, Chick Strand and Bruce Conner founded Canyon Cinema, organising screenings and distribution. This unique season includes rare works by these filmmakers, and many others including Jordan Belson, Ernie Gehr, George Kuchar and Gunvor Nelson, plus Andy Warhol’s scenario based on the real-life arrest for shoplifting of Ecstasy starlet Hedy Lamarr.

CALIFORNIA SOUND/CALIFORNIA IMAGE is curated by Mark Webber for Barbican Screen and LUX.

West Coast Beat

Date: 13 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

Friday 13 June 2003, at 7pm
London Barbican Screen

The cellular, celluloid merger of the literary and artistic underground, featuring Michael McClure, Jack Hirschman, Henry Jacobs, Jay DeFeo, Wallace Berman, Christopher MacLaine. Beat Poets + Beat Artists = Beat Cinema.

Larry Jordan, Visions of a City, 1957/78, sepia, sound, 7 min
Frank Stauffacher, Sausalito, 1948, b/w, sound, 10 min
Wallace Berman, Untitled (Aleph), 1958/76, colour, silent, 10 min
Bruce Conner, The White Rose, 1967, b/w, sound, 7 min
Jane Belson, Odds and Ends, 1958, colour, sound, 5 min
Christopher MacLaine, The End, 1963, b/w & colour, sound, 35 min
Henry Hills, Kino Da!, 1981, b/w, sound, 4 min


Hollywood Be Thy Name

Date: 14 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

Saturday 14 June 2003, at 7pm
London Barbican Screen

Four of the avant-garde’s most momentous flirtations with the glamorous world of The Movies. The dark shadow of Tinseltown looms large on the horizon.

Robert Florey & Slavko Vorkapich, The Life and Death of 9413 – A Hollywood Extra, 1927, b/w, silent, 15 min
George Kuchar, I, An Actress, 1978, b/w, sound, 10 min
Andy Warhol, Hedy (The Shoplifter), 1966, b/w, sound, 66 min
Kenneth Anger, Puce Moment, 1949/70, colour, sound, 7 min


Film Time / Film Motion

Date: 15 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

Sunday 15 June 2003, at 7pm
London Barbican Screen

West Coast structuralism meets avant-garde vagary as time is lapsed, stretched, condensed and compressed using the methods and mechanics of motion pictures.

Morgan Fisher, The Director and His Actor Look at Footage Showing Preparations for an Unmade Film: 2, 1968, colour, sound, 15 min
Gary Beydler, Pasadena Freeway Stills, 1974, colour, silent, 6 min
Ernie Gehr, Eureka, 1974, b/w, silent, 30 min
Michael Rudnick, Panorama, 1982, colour, sound, 13 min
Bruce Baillie, Castro Street, 1967, b/w & colour, sound, 10 min
Owen Land (formerly known as George Landow), A Film of their 1973 Spring Tour commissioned by Christian World Liberation Front of Berkeley, California, 1974, b/w, sound, 11 min


In Between Moments

Date: 17 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

Tuesday 17 June 2003, at 7pm
London Barbican Screen

Personal emotions and experiences are documented and disclosed in three intimate films of private moments. Luminous glances at everyday life and a sensitive affirmation of female sensuality.

Nathaniel Dorsky, Variations, 1992-98, colour, silent, 24 min (18fps)
Chick Strand, Soft Fiction, 1979, b/w, sound, 54 min
Warren Sonbert, Noblesse Oblige, 1981, colour, sound, 25 min 


Los Angeles in the Forties

Date: 18 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

Wednesday 18 June 2003, at 7pm
London Barbican Screen

Trance and psychodrama, Surrealist montage, symbolism and sexual longing: The beginnings of the modern avant-garde and a new creative film language.

Maya Deren, Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943, b/w, silent, 14 min
Curtis Harrington, Fragment of Seeking, 1946, b/w, sound, 14 min
Kenneth Anger, Fireworks, 1947, b/w, sound, 15 min
Gregory Markopoulos, Psyche, 1947-48, colour, sound, 25 min

“In Los Angeles in 1947, while Kenneth Anger was editing Fireworks, Gregory Markopoulos began to shoot Psyche, the first film of his trilogy Du Sang de la Volupté et de la Mort. […] A few months before he began shooting Psyche, he had assisted Curtis Harrington in making his first film, Fragment of Seeking, where a young man pursues an elusive blonde woman through a maze of corridors reminiscent of Maya Deren’s pursuit of the mirror-faced figure in Meshes of the Afternoon. —P. Adams Sitney, Visionary Film


California Consciousness

Date: 19 June 2003 | Season: California Sound/California Image

Thursday 19 June 2003, at 7pm
London Barbican Screen

The California Dream became a psychedelic hallucination when eastern mysticism fused with drug-fuelled fantasy in the heady 60s & 70s. Transcend trance end.

James Whitney, Lapis, 1963-66, colour, sound, 10 min
Scott Bartlett, 1970, 1972, colour, sound, 29 min
James Broughton, This is it, 1971, colour, sound, 9 min
Jordan Belson, Re-Entry, 1964, colour, sound, 6 min
Pat O’Neill, 7362, 1965-67, colour, sound, 10 min
Gunvor Nelson, Take Off, 1972, b/w, sound, 10 min
Charles I. Levine, Apropo of San Francisco, 1968, colour, sound, 4 min