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Meditations from our Lady of the Angels

Restorations of the Los Angeles Avant-Garde from the Academy Film Archive

Preservationist Mark Toscano will present a specially-curated selection of restored Los Angeles artists’ films from the Academy Film Archive.

The diversity of this programme – comprising animation, conceptual and performative pieces, diaristic work, abstraction, and more – has a deliberate purpose: there is no single, quintessential Los Angeles artists’ film style, form, or tendency.

Mark Toscano

Invocation

  • Director Amy Halpern
  • USA 1982
  • 16mm Colour 24fps
  • Silent
  • 2 mins

Academy Preservation world premiere. Gesturing hands emerge from the darkness, readying us for the cinematic experience.

Projection Instructions

  • Director Morgan Fisher
  • USA 1976
  • 16mm B/W
  • Sound
  • 4 mins

Regrettably, the labour of projectionists is usually only considered by the audience when they ‘screw up’. This film offers an alternative opportunity.

Venusville

Venusville

  • Directors Fred Worden, Chris Langdon
  • USA 1973
  • 16mm Colou
  • Sound
  • 10 mins

No montage, no human subjects, minimal visual content, and the artists basically pissing on the fourth wall by calling attention in every way possible to the artifice of what they’re doing.

Aether

Aether

  • Director Daina Krumins
  • USA 1972
  • 16mm Colour
  • Sound
  • 5 mins

A sci-fi/occult/psychedelic performance film set to an original soundtrack by Rhys Chatham.

Our Lady of the Angels Part 1: Entrance Entrance

  • Director Chris Regan
  • USA 1976
  • 16mm B/W
  • Sound
  • 15 mins

Academy Preservation world premiere. The inevitable subjectivity and diaristic potential of landscape is foregrounded in this semi-structuralist work of weird poetic beauty.

Squirt Gun/Step Print

  • Director Pat O’Neill
  • USA 1998
  • 35mm 1.37 Colour
  • Silent
  • 3 mins

A squirt gun filled with developer was used to create the images, whereas a step printer was used to give them an articulate temporal form.

Coreopsis

  • Director Pat O’Neill
  • USA 1998
  • 35mm 1.37 Colour 24fps
  • Silent
  • 6 mins

Academy Preservation world premiere. Automatic drawings were executed by scratching on celluloid, which was then printed with a pre-determined rhythmic structure to suggest a sort of trembling vitality/decay.

Hand Held Day

Hand Held Day

  • Director Gary Beydler
  • USA 1975
  • 16mm Colour 24fps
  • Silent
  • 6 mins

An entire Arizona day in six minutes of Kodachrome, breathtakingly contained in a small mirror held in the filmmaker’s hand.

Permutations

  • Director John Whitney
  • USA 1968
  • 16mm Colour
  • Sound
  • 8 mins

Academy Preservation world premiere. An utterly formative computer animation classic, Permutations is an early apotheosis of John Whitney’s deep- and far-reaching ideas about image, motion, and the complementarity of music and visual art.

Kristallnacht


Open image gallery

  • Director Chick Strand
  • USA 1979
  • 16mm B/W
  • Sound
  • 7 mins

A bewitching, mysterious work of enveloping beauty, the film’s ominous title and a dedication to Anne Frank deeply inform our reading of its haunting subtext. Preserved by Pacific Film Archive and Academy Film Archive with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation.

I Don’t Know

I Don’t Know

  • Director Penelope Spheeris
  • USA 1970
  • 16mm B/W
  • Sound
  • 20 mins

Academy Preservation world premiere. A truly major work, I Don’t Know observes the relationship between a lesbian and a transgender man who prefers to be identified somewhere in between male and female, in an expression of personal ambiguity suggested by the film’s title. This nonfiction film – an unusual, partly staged work of semi-verité – is the first of Spheeris’s films to fully embrace what would become her characteristic documentary style: probing, intimate, uncompromising.


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