Monday Night Film and Video Series at Civic Square

The Visual Arts Department Media Area is launching the Fall 2015 Monday Night Film and Video Series at the Civic Square Building. Films and videos run bi-weekly and screen at 6:30 p.m. in Room 110. Admission is free and open to all. The schedule is as follows:

October 26, 2015
Chantal Akerman, Jeanne Dielman, 23 Quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles
1975, 201 mins.

"One of the most original and audacious films in the history of cinema." - The New Yorker

A singular work in film history, Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles meticulously details, with a sense of impending doom, the daily routine of a middle-aged widow—whose chores include making the beds, cooking dinner for her son, and turning the occasional trick. In its enormous spareness, Akerman’s film seems simple, but it encompasses an entire world. Whether seen as an exacting character study or one of
cinema’s most hypnotic and complete depictions of space and time, Jeanne Dielman is an astonishing, compelling movie experiment, one that has been analyzed and argued over for decades.

November 9, 2015
In conjunction with the November 17 Mason Gross Presents panel, Radical Means: Technology and Media Activism in the New Millennium
Akosua Adoma Owusu, Me Broni Ba (My White Baby)
2009, 22 mins.

Weaving sequences of hair-braiding salons in Ghana, voice-over of Oprah Winfrey rhapsodizing about brown-skinned dolls and animated clips of signature hairstyles, Me Broni Ba (My White Baby) is an artfully composed, thought-provoking work that investigates the fraught relationship between images of beauty and power.

Unfinished, Sophie Calle in collaboration with Fabio Balducci
2005, 30:14 mins.

Upon receiving a series of photographs taken from an ATM security camera, Calle becomes involved in a perplexing 15-year investigation. She manages to steal three surveillance tapes, and interacts with strangers, bank employees, and a pawn shop merchant in an attempt to clarify the meaning of money, security, and the anonymous photographs.
The images, originally exhibited in an installation entitled Cash Machine, are now presented as the central narrative in this unresolved investigation.

Harun Farocki & Andrei Ujica, Videograms of a Revolution
1992, 47 mins.

Built around amateur videos, demonstration footage, and excerpts from a demonstrator-controlled Bucharest TV studio in late December 1989, this rigorous chronology of the Romanian uprising that overthrew dictator Nicolae Ceausescu shows clearly, and often with real suspense, how the mediated image not only records but engenders historic change. The studio was occupied for 120 unbroken hours and became a courtroom/interrogation center/report hub for the seismic events unfolding outside. A Marker-esque voice-over occasionally guides our reading, but it's left primarily to the images to narrate themselves, and they offer a ringside seat for this revolution of the image. Watch out for the extraordinary moment early on when the state newscaster coughs slightly after reading out some blatant double-speak a ministerial suicide, marking perhaps the moment when it all starts to unravel.

November 23, 2015
Allan Sekula and Noël Burch, The Forgotten Space
2012, 112 mins.

The "forgotten space" of Allan Sekula and Noël Burch's essay-film is the sea, the oceans through which 90 percent of the world's cargo now passes. At the heart of this space is the container box, which, since its invention in the 1950s, has become one of the most important mechanisms for the global spread of capitalism. The film follows the container box along the international supply chain, from ships to barges, trains, and trucks, mapping the Byzantine networks that connect producers to consumers (and more and more frequently, producing nations to consuming ones). Visiting the major ports of Rotterdam, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Guangdong province, and many places between, it connects the economic
puzzle pieces that corporations and governments would prefer remain scattered.

December 7, 2015
Stanya Kahn and Harry Dodge, Can’t Swallow It, Can't Spit It Out
2006, 26:05 mins.

Roberta Smith writes in The New York Times, "Ms. Kahn is seen with a bloodied nose, a Viking helmet and a large wedge of rubber Swiss cheese, rambling around Los Angeles, talking to the camera, Ms. Dodge and us. The one-sided conversation turns variously competitive ('You should have been there for that'), testy ('This was mostly your idea') and weird, as in a bit that begins, 'When I was in hell...'; Jeffrey Kastener writes, "What at first might seem like random decisions in the works—unorthodox choices for location, wardrobe, and editing—are carefully poised to produce scenarios that flirt with slapstick without
diluting their characters' basic humanity. This balancing act is particularly vivid in the pair's Can't Swallow It, which charts the relationship that develops between that logorrheic Valkyrie and her voyeur-cum-documentarian as the two move from confrontation to empathy during the course of an off-kilter dérive through Los Angeles. Wandering a largely depopulated city, the woman regales her newfound companion with tales that run from personal reminiscences to insane ramblings."

William Greaves, Symbiotaxiplasm
1968, 75 mins.

It's 1968, and director William Greaves begins filming a movie scene in Central Park: an argument between a couple. At the same time, a documentary crew films the crew filming the movie. Meanwhile, a third crew films the filming of the two films. As Greaves plays the role of clueless artist, and on-set conditions deteriorate, his collaborators mutiny. The result is a head-spinning landmark of experimental film that playfully smears the line between fiction and reality, art and artifice.


Posted October 2015