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A Movie

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

Wednesday, October 6, 2010
7:30 p.m. 1953–60

During the fifties, the art scene in San Francisco was small yet intertwined. Filmmakers, musicians, painters, and poets attended each other’s events and collaborated on projects. The community that had developed around Frank Stauffacher’s Art in Cinema screenings in the late 1940s continued into the early fifties and included photographer/filmmaker Hy Hirsh and painter Patricia Marx, who are represented here by two vibrant animations. When Stan Brakhage moved to San Francisco, he lived with the artist Jess and poet Robert Duncan, and made the film In Between. During a later stay, he saw the films of the Beat poet Christopher Maclaine, which had a profound effect on him. Philip Greene, Allen Willis, and David Myers joined forces to make a film with poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Have You Sold Your Dozen Roses?, while Jane Belson Conger Shimane worked with the experimental musician Henry Jacobs on Odds and Ends. Will Hindle’s Pastorale d’été marked the rebirth of personal filmmaking, but it took assemblage artist Bruce Conner’s A Movie to turn avant-garde cinema toward a new direction of examining film itself.

—Kathy Geritz

Eneri (Hy Hirsh, 1953, 7 mins, Color, Courtesy iotaCenter, permission Angie Pike). Things to Come (Patricia Marx, 1953, 3 mins, Color, From Academy Film Archives, permission Angie Pike). In Between (Stan Brakhage, 1955, 10 mins, Color, From Canyon Cinema). Pastorale d’été (Will Hindle, 1958, 9 mins, Color, PFA Collection). Have You Sold Your Dozen Roses? (Allen Willis, Philip Greene, David Myers, 1957, 9.5 mins, B&W, PFA Collection). Beat (Christopher Maclaine, 1958, 6 mins, Color, From Film-makers’ Cooperative). A Movie (Bruce Conner, 1958, 12 mins, B&W, 16mm, PFA Collection). Odds and Ends (Jane Conger Belson Shimane, 1959, 5 mins, Color, From Academy Film Archives, permission Angie Pike)

• (Total running time: 62 mins, 16mm)