Please note that all Laughtears.com events are listed on the calendar on our website http://www.laughtears.com/ - The calendar on the opening page is the best source for the most updated information.
DOCUMENTAL meets regularly at Unurban on second Mondays 6-10pm. Free street parking across the street behind US Bank, not Chase Bank.
for immediate release contact: Gerry Fialka 310-306-7330 firstname.lastname@example.org
DOCUMENTAL shows films at the Unurban Coffeehouse, 3301 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA, 90404, 310-315-0056, free admission from 6-10pm. Info: 310-306-7330 Laughtears.com
March 10, MON - Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death, & Technology (2011, 82m) at 6pm With wonderful heart and an impressive sense of scale, Tiffany Shlain's vibrant and insightful documentary, Connected, explores the visible and invisible connections linking major issues of our time-the environment, consumption, population growth, technology, human rights, the global economy-while searching for her place in the world during a transformative time in her life. She artfully employs a splendidly imaginative combination of animation and archival footage. Plus The Tribe (2006), an exploration of American Jewish identity through the history of the Barbie doll, and Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness (2003), about reproductive rights in America. 8pm - Sneak preview - Test screening of new political health film.
Mon, April 14 - NEGLECTED CINEMA - Curator Lance Richter screens rare 16mm films that are marginalized, yet very worthy of seeing, including art, music, educational, travelogues, experimental, documentary and more. Experience the phenomenon of viewing celluloid in all its splendor, depth and REEL color.
MON, May 12 - HASKELL WEXLER (in person) DOCUMENTARIES -
6pm = WHO NEEDS SLEEP ? - In 1997, after a 19-hour day on the set, assistant cameraman Brent Hershman fell asleep behind the wheel, crashed his car, and died. Deeply disturbed by Hershman's preventable death, filmmaker and multiple-Oscar-winning cinematographer Haskell Wexler shows how sleep deprivation and long work hours are a lethal combination. WHO NEEDS SLEEP? is a commentary on our quality of life.
8pm= FOUR DAYS IN CHICAGO - Academy Award-winning filmmaker and lifelong activist Haskell Wexler takes a personal look at Chicago (and its OCCUPY Movement) over four days in May 2012 -- four days filled with politics, protest and police. Hear Gerry Fialka interview Wexler at https://archive.org/details/WEXLERMp3
MONDAY, June 9 at 6pm - SWEET BLUES: A Film About Mike Bloomfield & more music films - Filmmaker Bob Sarles (in person) together his longtime partner Christina Keating, through their production company Ravin’ Films have produced documentary and concert films about artist is including Jefferson Airplane, John Lee Hooker, Dr. John, Phil Lesh, Otis Redding, Buddy Guy, Stax Records and the psychedelic music era for clients including The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Stax Museum of American Soul Music, VH1, Columbia Records, Time Life and PBS. They are currently in production on a documentary film about American satirist and counter culture hero Paul Krassner. We will be presenting their latest film about the late great blues guitarist Mike Bloomfield as well as some choice nuggets from their extensive body music related films.
Mon, July 14 - Folk Music Films
Mon, Aug 11 - Philosophy Films - from Zen to Gurdjieff
Mon, Sept 8 - Experimental Films
Mon, Oct 13 - Avant-Garde Jazz Films
MON, Nov 11 - VANISHING OF THE BEES (2011, 90 min.) - Honeybees have been mysteriously disappearing across the planet, literally vanishing from their hives. Known as Colony Collapse Disorder, this phenomenon has brought beekeepers to crisis in an industry responsible for producing apples, broccoli, watermelon, onions, cherries and a hundred other fruits and vegetables. Commercial honeybee operations pollinate crops that make up one out of every three bites of food on our tables. Vanishing of the Bees follows commercial beekeepers David Hackenberg and Dave Mendes as they strive to keep their bees healthy and fulfill pollination contracts across the U.S. The film explores the struggles they face as the two friends plead their case on Capital Hill and travel across the Pacific Ocean in the quest to protect their honeybees. Filming across the US, in Europe, Australia and Asia, this documentary examines the alarming disappearance of honeybees and the greater meaning it holds about the relationship between mankind and mother earth. As scientists puzzle over the cause, organic beekeepers indicate alternative reasons for this tragic loss. Conflicting options abound and after years of research, a definitive answer has not been found to this harrowing mystery. HOLLY MOSHER interview at 6pm, film at 8pm.http://www.vanishingbees.com Holly Mosher is an award-winning filmmaker who brings socially-conscious films to the public. Holly graduated with honors from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. In 2004 she made her directorial debut with the documentary, Hummingbird. Afterwards, she produced two films on the pharmaceutical industry: Side Effects, starring Katherine Heigl, and Money Talks: Profits Before Patient Safety. She co-produced Maybe Baby, And then went on to executive produce Vanishing of the Bees, FREE FOR ALL! and Pay 2 Play: Democracy’s High Stakes. The second film she directed, Bonsai People – The Vision of Muhammad Yunus,is currently airing on American Public Television.
Monday, Dec 8 - PXL THIS 24 - two shows: 7&9pm, 6pm pre-show - 24th annual festival features films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy camcorder. PXL THIS is one of the longest running film festivals in the entertainment capital of the world. Celebrating "cinema povera" moving image art, it evokes Marcel Duchamp's axiom "Poor tools require better skills." Pixelators from across the globe hoick up inventive approaches to the unassuming throw-away of consumer culture. These low-tech hi-jinx films come through loud and clear by reframing a new cinema language. "If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly.
Free film screenings with fiery discussions at different venues: Beyond Baroque, Unurban - 310-306-7330 Laughtears.com
"Gerry Fialka is Los Angeles' preeminent underground film curator." - Robin Menken, CinemaWithoutBorders.com
Documental - 2nd Mondays at Unurban 6-10pm http://www.laughtears.com/documental.html at 3301 pico blvd santa monica ca 90401 310-315-0056, free
7 Dudley Cinema - Fourth Sundays at Beyond Baroque 7-10pm http://www.laughtears.com/7dudleycinema.html at 681 venice blvd venice ca 90291 310-822-3006, free
Subversive Cinema - Looking for new venue
"Gerry Fialka is Los Angeles' preeminent underground film curator." - Robin Menken, CinemaWithoutBorders.com
We welcome your input. Thank you,
Bio - http://www.laughtears.com/bio.html
Workshops/Screenings/Lectures - http://www.laughtears.com/workshops4.html
MON, Jan 14, 2013 - AVANT GARDE MUSIC FILMS - Films about music which is thought to be ahead of its time, i.e. containing unique or original elements, or unexplored fusions of different genres.
MON, Feb 11 - Kubrick's Odyssey II Secrets Hidden in the Films of Stanley Kubrick Part Two Beyond the Infinite: In this deeply provocative examination of Stanley Kubrick’s masterpiece 2001: A Space Odyssey, filmmaker and researcher Jay Weidner reveals that besides being a great science fiction movie, 2001 is also a multi-layered revelation concerning the human condition and our place in the universe. Weidner unveils new insights into this most mysterious of films and shows us that Kubrick was telling us another story underneath the story we are watching on the screen. In this secret story we can see that 2001: A Space Odyssey is a actually a work of alchemy; a film that initiates the viewer into a higher consciousness and opens the mind and heart to new vistas for the entire human race. Kubrick uses powerful symbols in 2001 that were designed on purpose to reveal the secret of transformation and the path to our spiritual evolution. Discover the truth behind the blockbuster Hollywood classic and see why 2001: A Space Odyssey has captivated audiences since it’s release in 1968. Plus interview with Weidner and more Kubick docs.
MON, March 11 - Mark Street's (in person) TALES OF URBAN FASCINATION - Urban wanderings inspire these six experimental films -- from a collage of movie trailers found outside a Brooklyn theater, to an evocation of an Uruguayan poet's life as a bookkeeper, to a compendium of vox populi interviews gleaned from city streets. Created over 10 years, this collection reveals the urban experience with verve and insight. " Mark Street combines the strengths of the city symphony, the essay-film, and the experimental film in one tender, dazzling package which conveys the weirdness and fresh humanity of daily life”. - Phillip Lopate, Author, Film Critic. “ The globe is Mark Street’s cinematic canvas onto which he impresses shimmering reflections and lyric montage sequences”. - Jon Gartenberg, Tribeca Film Festival. "This second volume of Street’s work ends up being symbolic of the current preoccupation with the death of film. …Yet, the vitality of his use of film is so life-affirming that it would appear that this art form will no doubt evolve and only disappear when Kodak shuts down operations. Highly recommended for film studies, cultural studies, and art". - EMRO http://www.talesofurbanfascination.com/index.html and email@example.com, 6pm=Street films, 8pm= Tales of Urban Fascination program
MON, April 8 - ESSAY FILMS - The film essay (or "cinematic essay") consists of the evolution of a theme or an idea rather than a plot per se; or the film literally being a cinematic accompaniment to a narrator reading an essay. From another perspective, an essay film could be defined as a documentary film visual basis combined with a form of commentary that contains elements of self-portrait (rather than autobiography), where the signature (rather than the life story) of the filmmaker is apparent. The cinematic essay often blends documentary, fiction, and experimental film making using a tones and editing styles. The genre is not well-defined but might include works of early Soviet parliamentarians like Dziga Vertov, present-day filmmakers including Chris Marker, Agnès Varda, Jean-Luc Godard and Georges Méliès.Film essay an "intimate and allusive" genre that "catches filmmakers in a pensive mood, ruminating on the margins between fiction and documentary" in a manner that is "refreshingly inventive, playful, and idiosyncratic".
MON, May 13- TBA
MON, June 10. IN BLOOM - Celebrate James Joyce's Bloomsday with rare film clips and live readings from The Marshall McLuhan-Finnegans Wake Reading Club http://www.venicewake.org/ who prioritize effects before causes. The gap is where the action is. Mash up resonating intervals with magical parallelisms. As McLuhan is music of the future, Joyce's doubleness in Ulysses bridges the ancient and modern worlds by a continuous parallel of the interface between myth and realism, order and anarchy. "Joyce uses the pun as a way of seeing the paradoxical exuberance of being through language. - McLuhan. Percept plunder for the recent future. Explore James Joyce and Experimental Film http://www.laughtears.com/wakedreamawake.html
MON, July 8 CINEMA EXPERIMENTALISTS - Featuring filmmakers who excel at avant garde cinema
MON, Aug 12, 2013 - SOMETHING BLUE (93 min, 2009) Sean Gannon (in person) screens this engaging personal documentary. He videotaped two friends as they planned their wedding. The groom-to-be's idea was to create a goofy "making of the wedding" video to show at the rehearsal dinner. But as the camera rolled and family tensions flared, Sean found himself recording a much different story than everyone bargained for. The intended 10-minute cutesy comedy instead became a documentary on whether the couple's marriage could survive its first obstacle -- the wedding. "With just a hint of Christopher Guest in his deadpan approach, director Sean Gannon tells the story behind the story, wherein ordinary, true-to-life encounters reflect deeper issues of human connection." —Denver Film Festival www.somethingbluefilm.com Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, 310-927-6913;
Monday Sept 9: PSYCHEDELIC HESSE - Films on Herman Hesse, the influential German-Swiss poet, novelist, and painter. who combined autobiographical and psychoanalytical elements to explore Anarchy at the Magic Theatre - For Madpeople Only, Price of Admission: Your Mind. His search entails authenticity, self-knowledge and spirituality.
Monday, Oct 14: PSYCHOLOGY FILMS - “(James Joyce, in conversation with Carl Jung:)"Literary artists know more about the human mind than you fellers have a hope in hell of knowing. Ha. My craft is ebbing. I am yung and easily freudened. One of these days I'll show the lot of you what the unconscious mind is really like. I don't need any of you. In a sense I am Freud." Jung looked gloomily guilty at the name. "Yes?" "What's Freud in English?" "Joy.""Joy and Joyce. There's little enough difference. Except that I add C and E for Creative Endeavour. I spit in all your eyes.” – A. Burgess
Monday Nov 11: Experimental Documentaries – Rare film clips incite new questions about Grierson's definition of documentary as "creative treatment of actuality." Probing the philosophies of documentarians, fresh insights will arise concerning stagings and reenactments, and the different viewpoints on degrees of involvement with the subjects. Vertov argued for presenting "life as it is" (that is, life filmed surreptitiously) and "life caught unawares" (life provoked or surprised by the camera). What is endemic to this genre and why? Wiseman calls docs "reality fiction, Alan King "actuality dramas," and Richard Leacock "historical fantasies." Why ? "I am for anyone who seeks the truth, but I part ways with them when they claimed they found it." - Bunuel.
Mon, Dec 9: PXL THIS 23 - two shows: 7&9pm, 6pm pre-show - 23rd annual festival features films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy camcorder. PXL THIS is one of the longest running film festivals in the entertainment capital of the world. Celebrating "cinema povera" moving image art, it evokes Marcel Duchamp's axiom "Poor tools require better skills." Pixelators from across the globe hoick up inventive approaches to the unassuming throw-away of consumer culture. These low-tech hi-jinx films come through loud and clear by reframing a new cinema language. "If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly.
Mon, June 11, 2012 - THE BOOK AS LIVE COMEDY - Zeigeisty Gerry Fialka and other acclaimed comedians and performers supply the live soundtrack and reword a documentary on books. In the tradition of Woody Allen's What's Up Tiger Lily? and Mystery Science Theater, they will overdub the film's soundtrack with original dialogue. Not only will they make fun of the original in the style of a movie-theater peanut gallery, but will also provide epiphanies on current events.This is a live comedy and film event as performance art.
Mon, July 9 - HOW TO MAKE A PIECE OF ART THAT IS NOT A PIECE OF ART - Gerry Fialka screens rare film clips and leads discussion that will delve deep into flipping that line into HOW TO MAKE A PIECE OF NON-DUCHAMP-CLONED ART THAT IS NOT NON-DUCHAMP-CLONED ART ala culture jammers and renegade artists. "The English language is the only language where a double negative is a no-no." - Alfred E. Newman.
MON, Aug 13 – HIPPIE REVOLUTION FILMS – Tune in, turn on and drop out ! Rare films on music, politics and communes. The hippies were heirs to a long line of bohemians that includes William Blake, Walt Whitman, Emerson, Thoreau, Hesse, Rimbaud, Oscar Wilde, Huxley and utopian movements like the Rosicrucians and the Theosophists, and most direcly the Beats.
MON, Sept 10 - CINEMA ABSTRACTIONS & AVANT GARDE FILMS - Rare films that evoke this quote: "Early in life I experimented with peyote, LSD and so on. But in many ways my films are ahead of my own experience. The new art and other forms of expression reveal the influence of mind-expansion. And finally we reach the point where there virtually is no separation between science, observation and philosophy." - Jordan Belson. Many of the filmmakers have been featured in the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Bryan Konefsky's Experiments In Cinema.
MON, Oct 8 - MARTIAL ARTS FILMS - Filmmaker/musician Xaime Casillas email@example.com (in person) will screen his exciting 12 minute short film ENTER THE I-HOP http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sle9o26d2Ts showing at 6pm and 8pm. This '70s Super 8mm kung fu documentary about the West LA "Kung Fu Studio" visits locations near the Unurban with spectacular fun footage of West Side youths learning kung-fu moves in the back alleys. Plus rare martial arts film clips to fill out the evening. "Enter the I-Hop" captures the influence Bruce Lee had on neighborhood teenagers. It colorfully documents the little known lineage and influence "Ark Yuey Wong" (the Grandfather of Kung Fu) had on the West Side. The Kung Fu Studio was located right next door to Arlene's Donuts at the corner of Bundy and Santa Monica Boulevard, now the new I-Hop restaurant. It shared space with the Odyssey Theatre back in the day. Xaime Casillas is creator of the "Arizona gonna get Knocked Out" project in 2010, (a nationally recognized recording featured on NPR by music aficionado Betto Arcos). Casillas presents an evening of kicks, punches and snaps of circa 70's Schwinn bicycles. If you like Martial Arts, Kung Fu, and Westside History, come join us for a fun evening of kiai yells and other overdone voice overs.
MON, Nov 12 - PROTEST MUSIC FILMS - Rare films that evoke these quotes: "Say it loud, I'm black and I'm proud" and "A protest song is a song that's so specific that you cannot mistake it for bullshit". Films on songs which are associated with movement for social change and revolution.
Mon, Dec 10. PXL THIS 22 - two shows: 7&9pm, 6pm pre-show - 22th annual festival features films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy camcorder. PXL THIS is one of the longest running film festivals in the entertainment capital of the world. Celebrating "cinema povera" moving image art, it evokes Marcel Duchamp's axiom "Poor tools require better skills." Pixelators from across the globe hoick up inventive approaches to the unassuming throw-away of consumer culture. These low-tech hi-jinx films come through loud and clear by reframing a new cinema language. "If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly.
Documental 2011 archives-
MON, Jan 10, 2011. VISION-CORE THREE from 6-10pm - These stellar experimental and documentary short films reinvent cinema language. Avant garde moving image artists include: David Finkelstein, Ertrok, Wago Kreider, Laurel Ann Petty, Jorge Lorenzo, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Roger Deutsch, Aine Carey & David Emery, Fred Worden, Peter Rose, Scott Nyerges, Jesse Drew, Will Erokan, Donigan Cumming, Scott Stark, Coleman Miller, Jeanne C. Finley & John Muse, Eli Wentzel-Fisher, Debra Sea, Jack Cronin, Michael Langan & David Sheppard. Many of the filmmakers have been featured in the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Bryan Konefsky's Experiments In Cinema.
MON, Feb 14. THE CAGE WE ARE TRICKED INTO at 730pm - Collaborators for fifteen years, experimental filmmakers Tony Gault and Elizabeth Henry (in person) screen a body of work that examines the human impulse toward dualism and narcissistic command of the planet Earth. Their films create "a cinematic poetry of paranoia as a higher state of consciousness"- Film Threat and "illustrate the perverse means by which narrative shapes our consciousness" - Slant Magazine. Inching ever closer to some resolution, these experimental and documentary films reflect an ongoing investigation of how we might cultivate a new approach to physical, mental and environmental equilibrium. The films include PICTURE #4 ('93, 5m), NOT TOO MUCH REMEMBER ('03, 11m), TABERNACLE ('98, 10m,) IT COULD HAPPEN TO YOU ('04, 8m), HATS CAN BE A SCARY THING ('92, 4m), HOUSESITTING ('99, 16m), THROUGH THESE TRACKLESS WATERS ('07, 12m), COUNT BACKWARDS FROM FIVE ('07, 8m), FOSSIL LIGHT ('09, 7m), CASE HISTORIES IN PSYCHOTHERAPY ('08, 8m), FLEDGLING ('09, 7m). 6pm preshow-Gault's experimental picks.
MON, March 14. DECONSTRUCTING DAD - THE MUSIC, MACHINE & MYSTERY OF RAYMOND SCOTT (2010, 98m) at 8:00pm. Stan Warnow's (in person) “enthralling film that tells the story of a truly pivotal figure in 20th-century music whose madly eclectic achievements remain largely obscure. An essential view inside the wonders of creative genius, American-style.” -LA Weekly. This touching documentary is a music-filled biography and a personal investigation into the father/son dynamic — what it means to have a famous father obsessed with his work and the consequent impact on the parent/child relationship. With John WIlliams, Devo's' Mark Mothersbaugh, DJ Spooky and more. http://scottdoc.com/ 6pm preshow: LIVE INTERVIEW with STAN WARNOW, who was an editor and cameraman for the Academy Award®-winning concert film WOODSTOCK. He produced, directed, and was supervising editor for the award-winning feature documentary,IN OUR HANDS. Much of his work has been with music films such as the concert feature NO NUKES, and MESSAGE TO LOVE, the story of the 1970 Isle of Wight Music Festival. He also edited the 1968 cult classic THE HONEYMOON KILLERS. Other work includes the feature film adaptation of the classic Broadway musicalHAIR, editing work for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, the television series THE WONDER YEARS, and THE EQUALIZER. He was also editor on the Emmy®-nominated PBS documentary THE TRIAL OF ADOLF EICHMANN,produced by Great Projects.Recent work has been as editor on the documentary featuresRITTENHOUSE SQUARE, directed by Robert Downey Sr.; MUSIC FROM THE INSIDE OUT, produced and directed by Danny Anker; and LA MAESTRA IN THE HOUSE, produced and directed by Julia D’Amico.
MON, April 11. MOMZ HOT ROCKS ('09, 90m) at 8pm. Kate Peroti's (in person) jubliat film documents the trials and tribulations of small-time rock bands composed entirely of women who happen to be moms. Momz Hot Rocks shows how this particular generation of women (now in their 40s) are mediating the identities of “mom” and “rocker” and shifting them at the same time. It’s best viewed while keeping in mind that male musicians have historically enjoyed the freedom of being as punk-rock as they want to be without the question of whether they’ve had a child being relevant. The documentary brings to light some juicy feminist questions about autonomy, female archetypes, generational differences and deeper cultural values and assumptions. http://www.momzhotrocks.com/ 6pm Live interview with filmmaker Kate Peroti.
MON, May 9. BEHIND THE BELLOWS ('09, 60m) at 9pm. Steve Mobia's sqeezebox documentary chronicles the accordion’s variety, history and it's effect on popular culture. Interviews with accordion legends Gall-Rini, Guy Klucevsek, and Dick Contino. Venture through concertinas, button boxes as well as a presentation of MIDI accordions. See historic clips of Guido Diero, Art Van Damme, Lawrence Welk and Frankie Yankovic. Discover why "Lady of Spain" is associated with the accordion. And listen to where the accordion might be headed in the future. 6pm - rare accordion films.
MON, June 13. CALIFORNIA IS AN ISLAND ('09, 19m) at 9pm. Bay area filmmaker Sarolta Jane Cump's (in person) experimental documentary draws on accounts of the conquistador Hernando Cortes' attempt to settle Baja California, revisits 16th Century cartographies and a romance adventure novel ripe with fierce Amazons. 'California is an Island' uses lushly shot re-enactments, animations of re-appropriated map graphics, and text to investigate the fantasies, fears and fetishes of European explorers with a post-colonial, queer lens and a bawdy sense of humor to boot. REVOLUTION AS ART, ART AS REVOLUTION at 6pm - Cultural Revolutionary Gerry Fialka explores politics and the mysteries of art with rare film clips and discussion. "Nelson Rockefeller supposedly once told Franz Kline ('jokingly') that the only reason collectors bought art was to keep artists from becoming revolutionaries. For a while in the sixties this strategy stopped working." - Lucy Lippard. Examine the book Who Paid the Piper – The CIA and the Cultural Cold War by Frances Stoner Saunders, who explores CIA connections with the Abstract Expressionist movement. Survey the work of Joseph Beuys and art's potential to transform society. Why is the mission of Bruce High Quality Foundation "examining the structures that make art what it is today with the intention of offering improvement" ? "Anarchy is making laws for yourself, not others." - Utah Phillips. "There is nothing more bourgeois than wanting not to appear bourgeois." - Andy Warhol.
MON, July 11. RICHARD LEACOCK FILMS 6-10pm Ishan Shapiro & Marija Coneva of Not This Body (in person) screen rare films by Leacock, who spawned the Direct Cinema movement in the US along with Robert Drew, D.A. Pennybaker and the Maysles brothers. In France at the Cinémathèque Française, when Drew and Leacock screened Primary and On the Pole, Henri Langlois introduced the films as "perhaps the most important documentaries since the brothers Lumiere". After the screening, a monk in robes came up to them and said, "You have invented a new form. Now you must invent a new grammar!" He worked on Happy Mother's Day, Don't Look Back, Monterey Pop, A Stravinsky Portrait and many others ending with the remnants of Jean-Luc Godard's One A.M. - One P.M. (1972).
Mon, Aug 8. TBA
MON, Sept 12. VISION-CORE FOUR from 6-10pm - These stellar experimental and documentary short films reinvent cinema language. Avant garde moving image artists include: Catie Eller, Wago Kreider, Peter Snowdon, Ed Rankus, Taylor Lane, Charles Lum, Kerry Laitala, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Roger Deutsch, Fred Worden, Peter Rose, Scott Nyerges, Jesse Drew, Will Erokan, Donigan Cumming, Scott Stark, Coleman Miller, Jeanne C. Finley, John Muse, Julie Perini and lots more. Many of the filmmakers have been featured in the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and Bryan Konefsky's Experiments In Cinema.
Mon, Oct 10. COMEDY FILMS
Mon, Nov 14. SAM GREEN FILMS - 6-10pm: The award-winning San Francisco-based documentary filmmaker SAM GREEN (his The Weather Underground was nominated for an Oscar) is featured tonite. SHORTS at 9pm- Utopia Part 3: World’s Largest Shopping Mall(2009, 13 mins, co-director Carrie Lozano) - More than twice the size of the Mall of America, the South China Mall in Dongguan, China, seems to have it all: gondolas, carnival rides, palm trees, Teletubbies. It has everything. Everything but people. This short takes us on a tour of the empty hallways and lonely storefronts of this 7 million square foot failed monument to consumerism. Pie Fight 69 (2000, 10 mins, co-director Christian Bruno) -The 1969 San Francisco International Film Festival opens on the steps of City Hall, but people walking in are unexpectedly attacked by independent filmmakers with pies. This footage was long lost until the filmmakers found it and made it into a movie in the late 1990s. lot 63, grave c (2006, 10 mins) - The name of Meredith Hunter, the man killed in front of the stage at Altamont, has been almost totally forgotten. Green seeks out what may be the final reminder of Hunter’s existence, an unmarked grave.
Mon, Dec 12. PXL THIS 21 - two shows: 7&9pm - 20th annual festival features films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy camcorder. PXL THIS is one of the longest running film festivals in the entertainment capital of the world. Celebrating "cinema povera" moving image art, it evokes Marcel Duchamp's axiom "Poor tools require better skills." Pixelators from across the globe hoick up inventive approaches to the unassuming throw-away of consumer culture. These low-tech hi-jinx films come through loud and clear by reframing a new cinema language. "If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly. 6pm pre-show. Details: http://www.laughtears.com/PXL-THIS-21.html
Mon. Jan 9. FISHBONE doc http://www.fishbonedocumentary.com/thefilm.html
Mon, Feb 13. POLITICAL ACTIVISTS FILMS 6-10pm. SPECIAL Screening at 8pm: Garrett Sergeant - Editor's screening of #whilewewatch - The gripping new 40 minute film portrait of the #Occupy Wall St media team. The rest of the films probe these themes: "Anarchy is making laws for yourself, not others." - Utah Phillips. "There is nothing more bourgeois than wanting not to appear bourgeois." - Andy Warhol. "When injustice becomes the law, resistance becomes duty" - Thomas Jefferson. ( PLEASE NOTE: the previous scheduled Mary Beth Ross' film is postponed. )
MON, March 12 - KUBRICK'S ODYSSEY (2011, 70m) at 8:30pm - Jay Weidner's provocative and insightful film is the first in a series of documentaries that will reveal the secret knowledge embedded in the work of the greatest filmmaker of all time: Stanley Kubrick. This famed movie director who made films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, A Clockwork Orange, The Shining and Eyes Wide Shut, placed symbols and hidden anecdotes into his films that tell a far different story than the films appeared to be saying. In Kubrick's Odyssey, Part I, Kubrick and Apollo, author and filmmaker, Jay Weidner presents compelling evidence of how Stanley Kubrick directed the Apollo moon landings. He reveals that the film, 2001: A Space Odyssey was not only a retelling of Arthur C. Clarke and Stanley Kubrick's novel, but also a research and development project that assisted Kubrick in the creation of the Apollo moon footage. In light of this revelation, Weidner also explores Kubrick's film,The Shining and shows that this film is, in actuality, the story of Kubrick's personal travails as he secretly worked on the Apollo footage for NASA. THE ALCHEMICAL DREAM (2008, 55m) at 7pm - In the mid-1990's Terence McKenna and Mystic Fire's Sheldon Rocklin teamed up to make this rich and exciting film. Little did they know that this would be their last film. Filmed in Prague with Terence portraying his usual erudite rendition of the Irish Bard, this filmed classic takes us on a journey into the alchemical renaissance of King Frederick V and his wife Queen Elizabeth of Bohemia. Playing the role of John Dee, court magician for Queen Elizabeth of England, Terence McKenna shows us how the promise of a return to the tradition of alchemy was almost instituted in Europe. Plus more metafilms at 6pm
MON, April 9 - ROBINSON CRUSOE AS FAKE MEMOIR, NOVEL & FILM - Gerry Fialka screens rare film clips and leads discussion that will delve deep in form and content issues via Defoe's fictional autobiography - epistolary, confessional and didactic. James Joyce, who wrote "Robins in crew so" in Finnegans Wake,noted that the true symbol of the British conquest is Robinson Crusoe: "He is the true prototype of the British colonist. The whole Anglo-Saxon spirit is in Crusoe: the manly independence, the unconscious cruelty, the persistence, the slow yet efficient intelligence, the sexual apathy, the calculating taciturnity." Karl Marx analyzed Crusoe in his classic work Capital, mocking the heavy use in classical economics of the fictional story. In Marxist terms, Crusoe's experiences on the island represents the inherent economic value of labour over capital. Crusoe frequently observes that the money he salvaged from the ship is worthless on the island, especially when compared to his tools. Discover the hidden meta-meanings via film and written word.
Mon, May 14 - MUSIC AS MENIPPEAN SATIRE - Gerry Fialka screens rare film clips and leads discussion that will delve deep into questions about music and humor. How can instrumental music make one laugh? Explore avant garde jazz, theatrical rock, novelty music and more. "Laughter is the reconciliation of yes and no" - Gurdjieff. "Music will not save your soul, but it will make your soul worth saving." - Korla Pandit. "Beta music for beta people for a beta world." - Sun Ra.
Mon, March 8- VISION-CORE TWO from 6-10pm - These stellar experimental and documentary short films reinvent cinema language. Avant garde moving image artists include: Fred Worden, Peter Rose, Scott Nyerges, Danny Plotnick, Monica Gazzo, Jesse Drew, Will Erokan, Christine Carter, Jamie Hafler, Juan Camilo Gonzalez, Douglas Graves, Donigan Cumming, Scott Stark, Coleman MIller, Matt Nixon, Filemon Tesfamariam, Jason Britski, Jean C. Finley & John Muse. Many of the filmmakers have been featured in the Ann Arbor Film Festival.
Mon, April 12 - CRAZY WISDOM SAVES THE WORLD AGAIN! ('09, 75m) at 8:30pm - Friends! Earthlings! Humans! Who are we, why are we here, and how did we get into the mess we’re in? Is there any hope for us and our species? In this unique filmed comic monologue, Wes 'Scoop' Nisker explores the foolish human condition and the joys and sorrows of living in the modern age. He reveals the secrets of the Big Bang and anti-matter, explores the issues of war, species extinction and global warming, and exposes the true heart of the New Age spiritual movement. Mr. Nisker places today’s headlines in the context of biological evolution and all of human history, and thereby offers us the relief and laughter that only vast perspectives can bring. This is comedy for the rest of us.“His performance, laced with his original songs, manages to make suffering a knee-slapper. He delivers Zen zingers with Borsht Belt timing.” -NYTimes. "Scoop's show is not just crazy. It is wisdom, exactly the kind we need today. It points to satiric truths about science, the American empire, and the humanoid condition. Also, the show is very, very funny." Lawrence Ferlinghetti."Nisker is the missing link between sit-down meditation and stand up comedy.” -Paul Krassner. 6pm preshow.
MON, May 10. THE FOLKSINGER- A TALE OF MEN, MUSIC & AMERICA ('08, 105m) at 7:45pm - Director M.A.Littler's moving music portrait. Troubled by religious demons, anger, doubt and the need to supply for his unborn child, folk blues singer JON KONRAD embarks on a gruesome month long tour through Texas and Louisiana. Armed with nothing but a fiddle, a banjo and a beat-up suitcase, Jon hits the road. Throughout his journey he crosses paths with musical peers, Honky Tonk proprietors, country folk & religious mavericks. The road leads him from small town bars and Honky Tonks to a dismal New Orleans motel room where it comes to a final clash between JON KONRAD and his demons. This unique film blurs the line between fiction and documentary, creating a gritty, thoughtful, often humorous and stunningly emotional ride that won it 'Best Feature Length Film' at Deep Blues Film Festival, 2008, 2nd Place Award at In-Edit Film Festival Barcelona. 6pm live music preshow: Seminal blues/country-Greg Cruz & Wolf.
Mon, June 14 - REJOYCE BLOOMSDAY - 6-10pm - Celebrate James Joyce's Bloomsday with live performances and ultra rare film clips of Joyce and Marshall McLuhan, whose translation of FINNEGANS WAKE reveals the cloned ESP of global memory theater probing. venicewake.org
Mon, July 12. THOMAS H. INCE & INCEVILLE - (2010, 40 minutes) - 8pm - Local historian ERIC DUGDALE's (in person) colorful documentary on the motion picture studio pioneer Thomas Harper Ince. He was involved with famous & powerful people including Thomas Edison, William Randolph Hearst, Marion Davies and Charlie Chaplin. Ince invented many of the systems of modern movie making, working with D.W. Griffith & Mack Sennett. He built studios where Sunset Blvd. now meets Pacific Coast Highway and later in Culver City. Ince used real cowboys & Indians from a wildwest show in Venice Beach. He filmed in natural settings, pioneering production-line techniques, and produced hundreds of films. Hearst's newspapers reported Ince's death in 1924 from indigestion at his home, but there is evidence Ince was shot at his birthday party on Hearst's yacht. 6pm preshow.
MON, Aug 9. ROCATERRANIA ('09, 74m) at 8:30pm Brett Ingram's fascinating documentary explores the secret world of scientific illustrator and visionary artist Renaldo Kuhler. In the last four decades, seventy-six-year-old Renaldo Kuhler has created hundreds of plates for the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences, illustrating diverse flora and fauna for obscure scientific journals and reference books. Before the making of this documentary, no one knew that Kuhler is also a prolific visionary artist, and one of the most important discoveries of outsider art since Henry Darger. Kuhler also worked with Stan Brakhage. 6pm preshow.
MON, Sept 13. CRY DR. CHICAGO (1971, 90m) at 8pm - George Manupelli's under-seen classic stars venerable composer Alvin Lucier as a sex-change surgeon on the run from the law, forever on his way to Sweden and always out to make a buck. Along for the ride are his faithful companions Sheila Marie (the delightfully zonked-out Mary Ashley) and Steve (brilliantly, and silently, portrayed by the great dancer Steve Paxton). Together they must face the fiendish plots of their French nemesis Clo Clo (played by the riotously funny Claude Kipnis) who will stop at nothing to exact bloody revenge. Shot in glorious color and set amid the sprawling gardens and lush landscapes of Bucyrus, Ohio, CRY DR. CHICAGO is superbly crafted, perfectly timed and arguably the best film of the DR CHICAGO series. One need not see the other DR. CHICAGO films to enjoy the nonsense contained herein, and truth be told you have not lived, or laughed, until you’ve heard Lucier’s stunning recitation of Edgar Allen Poe’s THE RAVEN. Restored and ready for a brand-new audience, CRY DR. CHICAGO is by far one of the most enjoyable feature films to come out of the 1960s underground era. Plus: AUGUST 2009 ('10, 18m) New short by George Manupelli, founder of the Ann Arbor Film Festival. 6pm preshow
MON, Oct 11. WASTELAND UTOPIAS (2010, 91m) at 8pm - David Sherman's (in person) engaging cine-essay featuring visionary developer Del Webb (Sun City) and legendary radical psychiatrist/naturalist Wilhelm Reich (Orgone Energy). What on earth could these two possibly have in common? The sunny Sonoran Desert for one thing, a shadowy CIA Operative for another. Desert landscapes, desert soulscapes, sex, sustainability, Emotional Plague, cloudbusting, water retention, cosmic intervention—these and other relevancies link the 1950s with our present moment in surprising, and seemingly prophetic, ways. Swing through Sherman's stunning earlier works from 6-8pm: TO RE-EDIT THE WORLD ('02, 32m) California beatnik blowout experimental doc featuring luminaries of the 50's-60's underground including Kenneth Anger, Anton Szandor LaVey, Bobby Beausoleil, Christopher Maclaine. Also Sherman's multi-award winning film TUNING THE SLEEPING MACHINE ('96, 13m) which plays out like a cross between David Lynch and Luis Bunuel, and his prophetic post 9/11 video collage mash-up THE GRACELESS ('03, 11m)
MON, Nov 8. EIGHT WOMEN (2009, 29m) at 8:30pm- Laura Bouza's (in person) moving portrait of eight women, now in their eighties, reflecting on the delicate balance of their lives as homemakers and members of a 1960s modern dance group. Beginning as suburban housewives in 1950's Connecticut, each were swayed to join a community dance ensemble later to be led by Charles Weidman and other prominent modern dancers of the time. Some were professional level dancers, others were just curious. Regardless of ability, regardless of intent, this evolving group of women created an engaging ensemble that extended past the stage, into their lives. A rendering of the intersections of motherhood, marriage, and movement. Plus Bouza's short- NAOMI & IRVING ('07, 4m) In Boyton Beach, Fla., Naomi (age 80) and Irving (90) share the exercise routines that keep them mobile and energetic. An exploration of choreography and the everyday, Naomi’s movements in the pool make maps out of water and light while Irving’s footsteps add rhythm and asphalt to the flow of water. "A delicate documentary on daily exercises practiced by surprisingly fit Naomi and Irving." – Movement on Screen Festival. 6pm preshow: Rare avant-garde dance films and LIVE experimental dancing.
MON, Dec 13. PXL THIS 20 - two shows: 7&9pm - 20th annual festival features films made with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy camcorder. PXL THIS is one of the longest running film festivals in the entertainment capital of the world. Celebrating "cinema povera" moving image art, it evokes Marcel Duchamp's axiom "Poor tools require better skills." Pixelators from across the globe hoick up inventive approaches to the unassuming throw-away of consumer culture. These low-tech hi-jinx films come through loud and clear by reframing a new cinema language. "If movies offer an escape from everyday life, Pixelvision is the Houdini of the film world." - SF Weekly. 6pm pre-show.
To screen your film, contact: Gerry Fialka firstname.lastname@example.org
"The atmosphere is wildly eclectic and the programming excitingly nonjudgmental: High, low, old, new, obscure, pop, the good, the bad, and the ugly...The place is open to everything and bursting with ideas." - Village Voice on Anthology Film Archives in NY - much like we provide.
Fialka's new book project - AVANT GARDE FILM & The ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL HISTORY BOOK