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The Sounds of Silence

Sunday, February 3, 2013
5:00 p.m. A Kind of Hush: Experimental Works

In Person/Barry Spinello


Experimental filmmakers engage silence in a variety of different ways: Maya Deren’s unnerving nightmare, Meshes of the Afternoon, thrives on an anxiety-inducing lack, whereas Stan Brakhage’s The Riddle of the Lumen finds its crux in the subtle alignment of illuminated compositions that makes sound extraneous. Nathaniel Dorsky banishes the distraction of sonority for the bliss of image in Threnody, while Nam June Paik’s Zen for Film accretes visual noise in the buildup of unintentional image. Finally, Steve Roden transposes a musical score into a synesthetic rendering in his silently syncopated four words for four hands while Barry Spinello’s percussive Soundtrack lets the image speak for itself.

Meshes of the Afternoon Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid, U.S., 1943, 14 mins, Silent, B&W, 16mm, From Film Studies Collection, UC Berkeley

Lossless #2 Rebecca Baron, Douglas Goodwin, U.S., 2008, 3 mins, Sound, B&W, Mini-DV, From Video Data Bank

The Riddle of the Lumen Stan Brakhage, U.S., 1972, 17 mins, Silent, Color, 16mm, From Canyon Cinema

Zen for Film Nam June Paik, U.S., 1962–64, 8 mins, Silent, Color, 16mm, Permission Nam June Paik Estate

Threnody Nathaniel Dorsky, U.S., 2004, 25 mins, Silent, Color, 18fps, 16mm, PFA Collection

four words for four hands (apples.mountains.over.frozen.) Steve Roden, U.S., 2006, 7:30 mins, Silent, Color, Blu-ray, From Susanne Vielmetter Los Angeles Projects

Soundtrack Barry Spinello, U.S., 1969, 10 mins, Sound, B&W, 16mm, From the artist

Total running time: c. 85 mins