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Duo Concertantes

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

Wednesday, October 13, 2010
7:30 p.m. 1961–71

Peter Hutton and Other Artists in Person


Avant-garde, experimental film flourished during the sixties in the Bay Area, and scores of filmmakers relished freedom of expression. Often brazenly anti-establishment and always joyfully self-expressive, these films channeled the zeitgeist and expanded the possibilities of film as art. This program is a journey through these revelatory and rebellious years. Robert Nelson’s Oh Dem Watermelons lampoons racial stereotypes and revels in San Francisco’s anarchic spirit; Gunvor Nelson and Dorothy Wiley’s Schmeerguntz is a two-fisted assault on stereotypes of women. Lawrence Jordan’s Duo Concertantes uses old illustrations to create an elegant and wistful vision of longing; I Change I Am the Same by Alice Anne Parker Severson is an amusing contemplation on gender, while Bruce Baillie’s Valentin de las Sierras portrays small town Mexico, lovingly rendered through lush and finely orchestrated detail. Lenny Lipton’s Doggie Diner and Return of Doggie Diner satirizes and excels in formal, conceptual filmmaking and Peter Hutton’s July ’71 in San Francisco conveys sixties’ ideals through a series of beautiful, haunting tableaux.

—Steve Anker

Oh Dem Watermelons (Robert Nelson, 1965, 11 mins, Color, PFA Preservation Print). Schmeerguntz (Gunvor Nelson, Dorothy Wiley, 1966, 15 mins, B&W, PFA Preservation Print). Duo Concertantes (Lawrence Jordan, 1964, 9 mins, B&W, From Canyon Cinema). I Change I Am the Same (Anne Severson, 1969, 1 min, B&W, PFA Collection). Valentin de las Sierras (Bruce Baillie, 1967, 9 mins, Color, PFA Preservation Print). Doggie Diner and Return of Doggie Diner (Lenny Lipton, 1969, 7 mins, Color, From Canyon Cinema). July '71 in San Francisco, Living at Beach Street, Working at Canyon Cinema, Swimming in the Valley of the Moon (Peter Hutton, 1971, 35 mins, Silent, B&W, From Canyon Cinema)

• (Total running time: 87 mins, 16mm)