|Welcome to our website for our ongoing series of experimental cinema in San Francisco. We show films every Saturday at ATA Gallery, 992 Valencia (@ 21st). Showtime 8:30pm, admission* $6 .|
|SAT. 2/19: KUCHAR’S SECRET OF WENDEL SAMSON +
In the afterglow of Valentine’s, the season opens with a celebration of all things erotic. Headlining is Mike Kuchar (in person) with his ‘66 masterpiece, The Secret of Wendel Samson. Co-billed is the world premiere of a three-part sex suite, Absinthe, by Jason Mitchell and Stacey Ransom (in person). ALSO Ximena Cuevas’ The Bed, Arlene Sanders’ The Mulberry Bush, Kronhausen’s legendary PsychoMontage, and in person, Kerry Laitala’s Pin-Up in 3-D! PLUS Mike Olenick’s Rabid, Julia Ostertag’s SexJunkie, Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez’ XXX, Jean Painlevé’s Sex Life of an Octopus, and an ultra-rare found fragment of Jack Smith and Gerard Malanga rolling around in bed! Come early to this inaugural event for PornOrchestra music, free sangria and condoms, bouquets of flowers, and Ms. Laitala’s stereoscopic peep-shows!
|TRUTH WILL OUT|
Information wants to be free! Julian Assange has bravely advanced a new model for transparency in government and business, and he has been made to suffer for his bold initiatives. Here’s a benefit event to demonstrate our support for this information warrior who now has to defend himself against legal and other threats. We’ll screen Jesper Huor and Bosse Lindquist’s hr-long Wiki-Rebels, with introductory remarks by David Cox. After intermission, we’ll unspool Rick Goldsmith’s inspiring Daniel Ellsberg doc, The Most Dangerous Man in America, on the earlier Vietnam-War whistle-blower. $6-$10.
|SAT. 3/5: GOLDWAVE + WRONGDISCO + Katelus +
Celebrating the launch of the new Omori EP, Cyrus Tabar and Shemoel Recalde
—as Goldwave—unleash a new live A/V piece in our electro-cabaret. Lana Voronina mobilizes Granny Zebra’s WRONGDISCO for a circuit-bent set, including her self-made aerobics video. Doug Katelus arranges his own Hammond organ version of Pink Floyd’s Atom Heart Mother, synching perfectly with the end of Kubrick’s 2001 (didn’t you know?). Patrick Wilkinson debuts his 7-min. Radio Dark; Kevin Gordon also appears in person with Tuned In, a portrait of Very-Low-Frequency radio wizard Steve McGreevy; Paper Rad chips in P-Unit; and Semiconductor offers Magnetic Movie. Come early for the Dream Machine on the high-art-bar—$2 homebrew! $6.66.
|MESSAGE IN A BOTTLE|
| SAT. 3/12: SAM GREEN’S HISTORY OF THE TIME CAPSULE +
In the first of four Prodigal Sons sessions, Sam Green, in his new “live documentary,” explores the time capsule as an expression of cultural imagination and self-portraiture, tracing the phenomenon from its roots in the ancient era through the present. From the famous capsule buried at the ‘39 World’s Fair, to the Voyager Spacecraft and its Golden Record launched into the cosmos in ‘77, to the Bay Area’s own Long Now Foundation (rep in the house!) and its 10,000 Year Clock, Green narrates while cueing a collage of photographs, moving images, and sounds. PLUS Monty Cantsin’s own slide show on ATA’s Art Strike time capsule, and Cathleen O’Connell’s Message in a Bottle, a 50-min. overview of the practice. AND scenes from World’s Fairs (including the ’15 Pan-Pacific Exposition) and visions of the future!
|SAT. 3/19: PAX AMERICANA + ARBONA's DRONES + WILSON's RAPTORS +
On this eighth anniversary of the US invasion of Iraq, here’s a multi-media critique of the American military-industrial complex. Denis Delestrac's Pax Americana shines a much-needed cautionary light on the reckless weaponization of space that the US is instigating. The Cali premiere of Andrew Norman Wilson’s half-hr. More than Meets the Eye frames the research and development of the F-22 Raptor, the world’s most expensive fighter jet, within the context of “global outsourcing.” Andrew engaged with a 25-year-old Bangalore resident Akhil in a conceptual collaboration, animating military fantasy and fact. Javier Arbona, Nick Sowers, and Kate Chandler present a live slide- and video-show, Decoding the Military Landscapes, on the emergence of drones as America’s killing machine of choice. PLUS Steev Hise’s American Business Adventures and Code Pink’s confrontation with the Blackwater mercenaries. Free bread and roses!
|SAT. 3/26: RACHEL +GREENE’S OLYMPIA-RAFAH MURALS +
The film that rocked the Jewish Film Festival, Simone Bitton’s Rachel is a startlingly rigorous and deeply moving investigative documentary that examines the death of peace activist and International Solidarity Movement (ISM) member Rachel Corrie, who was crushed by an Israeli army bulldozer in the Gaza Strip while defending Palestinian homes. Susan Greene shares excerpts from her doc on murals in both Washington state and Gaza. PLUS clips from Iara Lee's raw footage of the Israeli attack on the Mavi Marmara. A portion of proceeds go to Middle Eastern Children's Alliance, for clean water in Gaza.
| SAT. 4/2: SPY CLANDESTINE + BANKSY + PRANKS + STAR WARS MOCKUMENTARY+
The joke is that it’s actually the day after, but we’re carrying the prankster spirit of April
Fool’s to our gallery tonight. But seriously, we’re celebrating two book launches: David
Cox’ Sign Wars and Brett Kashmere’s Incite, both on counter-archival practices.
Headlining is Gideon C. Kennedy and Marcus Rosentrater’s Clandestine, a wholly appropriated concoction that narrates the fascinating tale of the Conet shortwave-radio broadcasts. These “Numbers Stations” anachronistically use human voices to encrypt classified intelligence in haunting, repeated cadences of simple numerals. ALSO: Damon Packard's insanely funny Star Wars Mockumentary, Banksy in B-Movie, David (Wax) Blair’s Telepathic Cinema of Manchuria, and Mark Amerika’s Spectacle Remix. Come early to browse the books at our Negativland-enriched reception with toast and jam, Yes Men clips, and free TV Sheriff DVDs!
|INCREDIBLY STRANGE MUSIC|
|SAT. 4/9: ALL 16MM, ALL RETRO MUSIC-ON-FILM PARTY!
Gleefully gleaned from an extremely generous bequest from archivist extraordinaire Rick Prelinger, this eye-popping program of 16mm musical anomalies mostly features “Soundies,” performances on film produced for visual jukeboxes of the ‘40s and ‘50s. More than just kitsch, these oft transcendent artifacts reveal a post-war pop-cultural world of naive charm and irrepressible surrealist imagination. Among this jazz/R&B/pop bonanza are: Steve Lawrence’s Mine and Mine Alone; Vanita Symthe’s Low, Shorty, and Squatty; Buddy Clark’s Moonlight Cocktail; Mousie Powell’s Crazy Things; Ving Merlin’s Enchanted Violins; a ten-year-old Michael Jackson (with the other four); and a man-killing Judo femme fatale. Oh, and did we mention free beer at the bar?
|SAT. 4/16: JESSE & GLENDA DREW: BIG COUNTRY +
We welcome back the Drews to their old Mission stomping grounds; they bring more than a few surprises after years of music-doc research. This work-in-progress glimpse makes for a marvelous opportunity to apprehend the roiling controversies around the legacy of Country music. We’ve witnessed the gradual co-optation of folk music’s grass-roots authenticity by increasingly corporatized commercial interests, with the politics perversely rightward-leaning. Jesse and Glenda demo and discuss the hijacking of this proletarian tradition. Highlights include rare, hell-raisin’ performances and clips from the filmmakers’ interviews with Pete Seeger, Billy Bragg, Utah Phillips, Hazel Dickens, and many more! Come early for live yodeling from cult-star Toshio Hirano, 16mm recordings of Johnny Cash, Wanda Jackson, Deuce Spruggins, Tex Ritter, and free moonshine in Mason jars!
|SAT. 4/23: BILL DANIEL’S TUMBLEWEED CROSSROADS
Our third Prodigal Son, Bill Daniel, returns to the Bay Area with a totally new approach to story-telling. Our gallery seats are turned sideways to view a multi-projector array of still and motion pictures. In this post-petroleum swap-meet scenario, Bill paces the space between the changing scenes, spinning tales of real and imagined road trips. The maker of the rail-graffiti opus Who Is Bozo Texino?, Mr. Daniel has lately been focused on landscape photography and installation work, including the mobilization of his legendary SailVan vehicle. A continuous audio montage coheres this desert-rat panorama, capped by large-format photo-awning, thrown-up Slab-City stylee! Bring your own milk crate seat for a free Frito pie!
|ART FROM BELOW|
|SAT. 4/30: LUCY WALKER's WASTE LAND
Walker’s Waste Land follows renowned artist Vik Muniz as he journeys from his home base in Brooklyn to his native Brazil and the world’s largest garbage dump, Jardim Gramacho, located on the outskirts of Rio de Janiero. There he photographs an eclectic band of “catadores”—or self-designated pickers of recyclable materials. His collaboration with these inspiring characters as they recreate photographic images of themselves out of garbage reveals both the dignity and despair of the catadores as they begin to re-imagine their lives. With a score by Moby, this moving doc speaks to zthe transformative power of art and the alchemy of the human spirit.
|BEHOLD THE ASIAN|
|SAT. 5/7: THE ESSAYS AND ARGUMENTS OF JAMES T. HONG
The last of our long-lost Prodigal Sons, cine-essayist James T. Hong has marched into ideological battles in China, Taiwan, Germany, and recently the Netherlands. Despite the distances, Mr. Hong has been unceasingly churning out his idiosyncratic amalgam of history, ethos, sarcasm, and rant, in an effort to critique and redress cultural amnesia. He introduces at least five recent pieces, including End Transmission, Submission to a Small World, A Peaceful Drowning, and The Duck of Nature/The Duck of God. The evening is consummated with the new closing chapter of his masterwork Lessons of the Blood. This 45-min. section serves as a powerful platform for Hong’s abiding obsession with the Japanese atrocities in Nanking, China.
|SAT. 5/14: STONE + GAAR + BLADER +RUDNICK +
Riffing off the particular sensibilities of specific spaces, Melinda Stone enacts a live performance of her Foursquare Trolley Dolly, a real-time audience-interactive switching of the legendary 1906 Trip Down Market Street with her centennial version. Greg Gaar rolls in another kind of history—a natural history of SF flora. In his narrated slide-show, Greg minces few words in a provocative commentary on the fate of native plants in our fair City. ALSO on the program are the Cali premieres of Enid Baxter Blader’s (in person) The Ord, Jeanne Liotta’s Crosswalk, Roger Deutsch’s Preludes, and Doug Graves’ Palms: A Neighborhood. PLUS Michael Rudnick’s Dugout on Berry St., Rich Bott’s LA Dives, Bill Brown’s Chicago Corner, Michael Goodier Love Lafayette, and Ian Sundahl’s Ghost Beach in 16mm Bolex Duo-Vision!! AND Ben Wood's Bartlett St. mural update!
|OLD FILMS, NEW MUSIC|
|SAT. 5/21: GRAHAM CONNAH COMBO’s TRAVELOGUE TONE-POEMS +
For another sort of psycho-geography, Graham Connah and his motley crew of musical treasures have composed original scores for personal travelogues, for our ongoing live cinema series. Variants of the home movie, these marvelous 16mm mementos are fascinating first-person perspectives on “exotic” destinations and extraordinary sites. We visit New York’s Central Park and Coney Island, ‘20s Europe, ‘30s Japan, Bali, India, South Pacific cruises, Cuba–Panama–California excursions, and Kodachrome escapes into the natural wonders of the Heartland. Their live performance is garnished with copious clips from jazz and experimental music history, including choice cuts and commentary on the undersung Raymond Scott. PLUS Gene Krupa, Harry Partch, and the Cotton Club Tramps. $7.
|AVANT TO LIVE|
|SAT. 5/28: NEW EXPERIMENTAL WORKS
Here’s an energized evening of new cinematic efforts that champion personal expression and radical form. Constituting the season’s most exploratory programming initiative—and with many of the makers in person—are Martha Colburn’s DOLLS VS. DICTATORS, Kelly Sears’ Devil’s Canyon, Carl Diehl’s Polterzeitgeist, and Salise Hughes’ Celluloid Heroes Never Really Die. PLUS recent pieces by Zach Iannazzi, Doug Katelus,Tommy Becker, Karl Lind, Bryan Boyce, Richard Mitchell, Molly Hankwitz, James T. Hong/Yin-Ju Chen, and others TBA. Come early for artists’ reception, free pencils, and the Dream Machine!