This program is titled after John Smith’s 1975 film, a joyfully dense rebus-like image-word construction. Smith’s film is preceded by Sara Kathryn Arledge’s rarely seen 1958 work What is A Man, a film years ahead of its time, and Mark Toscano’s 2012 piece Releasing Human Energies, which utilizes film laboratory test footage of a “China Girl” set to a found text read by Morgan Fisher. The program also features Abigail Child’s classic 1989 film Mercy, from her celebrated “Is This What You Were Born For?” series; canonical works by Phil Solomon, Barbara Hammer, Robert Breer, and Robert Nelson; and two recent restorations: the humorously poignant Confessions by Curt McDowell and Akbar, Richard Myers’ extraordinary 1970 portrait of young black filmmaker and student, Akbar Ahmed. 1958-2012, U.S., 16mm, 90 minutes. Recommended for 16+.
Introduced by Antonella Bonfanti, Canyon Cinema Executive Director
Canyon Cinema 50
Canyon Cinema, the Bay Area grassroots non-profit distribution network for alternative and avant garde cinema, celebrates its 50th anniversary with this touring series of four programs composed of 42 films drawn from its collection of more than 3,400 titles. The thematic programs curated by David Dinnell, visiting faculty at Californian Institute of the Arts and former Program Director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival, celebrates Canyon’s history and relevance as a purveyor of and advocate for artist-made cinema. The Canyon Cinema 50 project is organized by the Canyon Cinema Foundation and supported in part by the George Lucas Family Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and The Fleishhacker Foundation.