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

Wednesday, February 2, 2011
7:30 p.m. Found Footage Films

Jeanne C. Finley, Michael Wallin, Greta Snider, and Craig Baldwin in Person

Beginning with Bruce Conner’s mind-altering 1958 A Movie (shown earlier in our series), Bay Area filmmakers have appropriated a vast array of footage—including newsreels, educational footage, cartoons, and Hollywood melodramas—and twisted and turned the original meanings to their own, often subversive, ends. Conner’s own beautifully edited Valse Triste is, in part, an autobiographical evocation. Jeanne C. Finley combines snippets of sound and music with slides to tell a far-ranging tale of waiting for aliens, talking with monkeys, and lost weekends in Against a Single Match, The Darkness Flinches, while Michael Wallin’s Decodings uses autobiographical overtones to reveal disturbing societal undertones. Futility, by Greta Snider, tells two personal tales of diminished expectations. Julie Murray’s Conscious creates mysterious and witty associations by combining footage of animal life with instructions in how to resuscitate human life. ROCKETKITKONGOKIT, found footage master Craig Baldwin’s “prank documentary” of news, cartoon, documentary, and narrative images, spirals out from a history of the Congo to a critique of neocolonialism and beyond.

Valse Triste (Bruce Conner, 1979, 5 mins, Sepia, PFA Collection). Against a Single Match, The Darkness Flinches (Jeanne C. Finley, 1988, 18 mins, Color/B&W, Slide show performance, From the artist). Decodings (Michael Wallin, 1988, 15 mins, B&W, From Canyon Cinema). Futility (Greta Snider, 1989, 9 mins, B&W, From Canyon Cinema). Conscious (Julie Murray, 1993, 8 mins, Silent, Color/B&W, From Canyon Cinema). ROCKETKITKONGOKIT (Craig Baldwin, 1986, 30 mins, Color, From Canyon Cinema).

—Kathy Geritz

• Total running time: 81 mins, 16mm, unless indicated otherwise