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Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area

Sunday, September 19, 2010
6:30 p.m. Landscape as Expression

Ernie Gehr and Lawrence Jordan in Person

San Francisco and the surrounding Bay Area offer an astonishing landscape that combines shifting and surprising natural visual qualities with a teeming urban culture. Crystalline light, undulating hills, mesmerizing fog, and a rugged shoreline captivate and become expressive parts of life. The area is a magnet for wanderers and those seeking something new and unexpected. Filmmakers, fascinated by the phenomena and energy of the place, have been drawn here almost since the inception of the medium. Tonight’s program explores and reflects the wonder of this urban landscape, and includes A Trip Down Market Street, a time capsule that also presents a different consciousness than experienced on movie screens today; Dion Vigne’s ebullient North Beach, which revels in the colors and rhythms of Beat-era North Beach; and Chris Marker’s Junkopia, a contemplation of renegade sculptures erected off shore between cities. Michael Glawogger’s Street Noise tours Oakland’s San Pablo Avenue while Ernie Gehr’s Side/Walk/Shuttle provides a startling experience of San Francisco’s unpredictable skyline. Films by Lawrence Jordan, Bruce Baillie, Scott Stark, and Lynn Marie Kirby further explore the Bay Area’s cinematic character.

—Steve Anker

A Trip Down Market Street (Miles Brothers, 1906, 12 mins, Silent, B&W, 35mm, From Rick Prelinger). North Beach (Dion Vigne, 1958, 5 mins, Color, PFA Preservation Print). Visions of a City (Lawrence Jordan, 1957-1978, 8 mins, B&W, From Canyon Cinema). All My Life (Bruce Baillie, 1966, 3 mins, Color, PFA Collection). Golden Gate Bridge Exposure: Poised for Parabolas (Lynn Marie Kirby, 2004, 5 mins, Silent, Color, Digital Video, From the artist). Junkopia (Chris Marker, 1981, 6 mins, Color, 35mm, PFA Collection). Street Noise (Michael Glawogger, 1981, 9 mins, Color, From the artist). Degrees of Limitation (Scott Stark, 1982, 3 mins, Silent, Color, From the artist). Side/Walk/Shuttle (Ernie Gehr, 1991, 41 mins, Color, PFA Collection)

• (Total running time: 93 mins, 16mm unless indicated otherwise)