Welcome to the Spring Schedule for Other Cinema. We have a exciting lineup of new cinema initiatives this season and we hope you will come often. A number of the films we are showing have video clips available for preview in Quicktime format. These clips are indicated by a projector icon in the applicable sections. If you don't have the Quicktime plug-in, you can download it for free at www.apple.com/quicktime.

The Lyrical Eye


Our season kicks off with an extraordinary event: an in-person appearance by the legendary small-gauge master, Mr. Jem Cohen. Based in NYC, Jem comes out to the Coast for a very rare visit and personal exchange with enthusiasts of his first-person camerawork, “thriving on the collision between documentary, narrative, and experimental approaches.” In the show’s opening half, he will share a selection of his poetic works—several on celluloid!—that rhapsodize on the lives and musics of Elliot Smith, Sparklehorse, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, and others. The anchor of the show is Jem’s exquisite Super 8-shot meditation on history and memory in Eastern Europe, Buried in Light. Special admission: $7.

Click here for Quicktime Preview



Soapbox Satirist


Stoney’s fearless voice of liberty has given so much to the Bay Area over the years that the SF Board of Supervisors recently declared a Stoney Burke Day! Putting his body on the line, the epitome of free speech in action, our favorite street comedian has railed against war and injustice for decades now, earning for him a place in the hearts of many citizens—and several stays in jail! Finally, the best recorded performances of this live-improvising raconteur have been compiled into a Greatest Hits collection, taking us through the turbulent years between 1977–2007. Stoney opens the show with a set of political stand-up, and then introduces each piece with an improvised comic anecdote. Doors open at 8pm for a meet ‘n’ greet amidst free Nutella and jaunty roller-rink melodies from David Cox on the mighty Korg.


Click here for Quicktime Preview





Satisfying OC’s wanderlust, here’s a sublime survey of works that explore the country’s southern margins, moving from West to East. Erik (Visionary State) Davis initiates our drift with a slideshow on Leonard Knight, Charles Manson, and other SoCal desert-rats. Prodigal son Bill Daniel floats back to Frisco, setting up his Sail-van right here on Valencia St., for “field” projections in the urban jungle! After Aptos–based Enid Blader shares her tone-poem on the Salton Sea, Sabrina Alonso shows her Mischief at 16th and Florida on the Hamms Brewery vat-rat squat, and Jenny Stark shuttles in from Sacto with her Floods, Ghosts, & Contamination, on turf issues in her home-state of Texas. Our passage pauses for a moment at New Orleans, where we honor the memory of recently-deceased Helen Hill—to whom this evening is dedicated—with a screening of her last composition from Katrina-damaged footage, accompanied by pieces from Thad Povey and Alfonso Alvarez. The final stop on the Southern arc takes us to the Mason–Dixon line and Roger Deutsch’s deeply moving Dead People. $7.

Click here for Quicktime Preview





Loquacious Landscapes




Following our strand of topographic work, in fact here’s the crown prince of the critical travelogue, Bill Brown, who’s in town for a teaching turn at USF. This review of three of his 16mm pieces will serve as an entrée to his signature style. Mountain State, an oblique history of West Virginia, uses historical markers as portals to the ghost stories of the Appalachian past. Hub City, an examination of both the real and the imagined Lubbock, Texas (Bill’s hometown), meanders between Buddy Holly, windswept prairies, and truck-stop diners. The Other Side details the filmmaker’s journey through the Southwest, navigating along the tangled web of social forces and geographic features bound up in immigration and national-identity issues. The entire evening is introduced by our darling Dr. Melinda Stone, a fellow psycho-geographer and an irrepressible game-show hostess, laden with door prizes, perforated pastries, and concertina sing-alongs! $7.


Click here for Quicktime Preview




Art and The Accused


Well-loved as half of the video cut-ups Animal Charm, Jim Fetterley returns to our gallery after a 4-year absence on an urgent mission: Rockefeller Fellow Paul Chan initiated an enlightened project connecting artists with activists, and Fetterley took the commission to convey the particularly troubling trials of Steve Kurtz, seminal member of the Critical Art Ensemble, who’s been charged with bio-terrorism under the Patriot Act. Jim’s (and collaborator Angie Waller’s) segment is nested within the larger omnibus of 4 other interviews, Charged in the Name of Terror, which consists of similar visits with those who have been targeted by the government as security threats: Lynne Stewart, Mohammed Yousry, Kathy Kelly, and Frida Berrigan. Offering one small solution to our geopolitical ills, Fetterley greets tonight’s attendees with a dynamic demonstration of his amazing electric bike, riding around the gallery walls velodrome-style. A portion of the proceeds go to the CAE Defense Fund. $7.

Click here for Quicktime Preview













Psychic Hearts and Radical Love


Itinerant filmmaker Ben Russell brings a frenetic mix of DIY post-psychedelic/noise works—all in 16mm!—straight from the dirty warehouses of Providence, RI. Filmmakers Jo Dery, Xander Marro, Mat Brinkman, Leif Goldberg, and Ara Peterson imaginatively deploy Group Trance Rituals, Direct Dumpster-Dive Animation, Bat-Eye History, Cut-up Eyeballs, Puppet Chaos, Analog Transcendence, Live Soundtracks, and so much more. Featuring music by Lightning Bolt, Mystery Brinkman, Carly Ptak (Nautical Almanac), Wind-Up Bird, Dave Lifrieri (Manbeard), and the Shirelles vs. the Suicidal Tendencies. The prolific Russell orchestrates it all, climaxing with a live intervention in his The Red and the Blue Gods. PLUS Liquid lights, live psychedelic sounds, and free peanut butter!

Click here for Quicktime Preview


Cameras on Catastrophe



Globe-trotting photog Mark Brecke walks us through his work-in-progress, They Turned Our Desert into Fire, framed by a pair of ’06 journeys: First, to Western Sudan to retrieve images of the human calamity there; on the second sojourn, Brecke brought his prints for an installation to the US Capitol by way of a cross-country Amtrak train, sharing the depicted stories with fellow passengers. During the same period, compatriot freelancer David Martinez, also locally based, was circling through the war-scarred streets and countryside of Iraq on his own journalistic quest. In the show’s second half, Martinez introduces and answers questions about the personal documentary that resulted from his gutsy junkets, 500 Miles to Babylon: A Film about Iraq under US Occupation. A portion of the proceeds go to Doctors Without Borders. $7.

Cooked up by the Kat’s meow, filmmaker Kerry Laitala stirs her cauldron of cinemati

Click here for Quicktime Preview







Storm Over Asia


As the first half of this season’s installment of our Historical Reversionism series, our program exploits the contradictions between and within various and varying official histories of China, Japan, and the US. Featured in this mortal combat between propaganda, political fantasy, and critique, is the world premiere of 731: Two Versions of Hell, a 27 min. master-stroke of (re)deconstruction, crafted by Goldie awardee James Hong and collaborator Yin-Ju Chen. This ingenious ideological puzzle takes as its subject the infamous Japanese military lab (731) that housed experiments using Chinese prisoners as live guinea pigs. In a telling structural move, Hong re-presents the same assembly of shots with an altogether different soundtrack, demonstrating ever-so-artfully (and with more than a little morbidity) the critical principle at stake. This inquiry into the construction of History serves as healthy response to the blatantly racist and nationalistic “war information” films (16mm) that open the show (Why We Fight, My Japan, Our Job in Japan). A similar service is performed by JD Ligon’s Ha Ha Ha America, an audaciously provocative skewering of assumptions about China vs. US global supremacy and pride.

Click here for Quicktime Preview


Political Science Fiction


Honored by San Francisco magazine as the “Robin Hood” of the City’s librarians, Megan Shaw Prelinger proffers a privileged preview of her upcoming book project, Another Science Fiction: Illustrating the Space Race, a post-Barthes interpretation of a particularly rich media-archeological niche of early ‘60s aerospace advertising. Frédéric Moffet’s Jean Genet in Chicago also rewrites the Sixties, through the restaging, with masks and archival footage, of Genet’s engagement in the protests against the ‘68 Democratic Convention. PLUS a slew of other works that, too, offer alternative and aberrant readings of the received historical record: Rodney Ascher’s Triumph of Victory, Greg Sholette’s Return of the Atomic Ghosts, Scott Calonico’s Mondo Ford, Geoff Adam’s Shadow of Liberty, and Aaron Valdez’ Life and Times of Robert Kennedy Starring Gary Cooper. Doc-comet Sam Green hosts, utilizing this forum for historiographic agency to update us all on his Sarah Jacobson Film Fund. Come early for the spot-on pseudo-doc Dark Side of the Moon.

Click here for Quicktime Preview






Roaring out of the LA underground in 2001, the “video band” TV Sheriff and the Trailbuddies have pioneered a new mode of scratch video, both producing and performing wildly energized mash-ups of popular TV entertainment that take tour-de-force VJ’ing to a new level of media-crazed performance art. Headed by editorial sharpshooter Davy Force, they make mincemeat out of the mediocrity that is broadcast television, creating rhythmic collages from appropriated clips of the most absurd telecast tropes. Tonight OCD will demo their debut digital-video disc as the major component of this found-footage show. Co-billed is a set of shorts by master-of-irony Kent Lambert whose canny composites also take American pop culture to task, though in a more cerebral way. PLUS: PLU, PHO, EBN, Animal Charm, Damon Packard, and Scott Miller’s cult classic Uso Justo. Doors open at 8pm for free beer, Pop Tarts, and VHS tapes.

Click here for Quicktime Preview



Images of Resistance


On the occasion of Cinco de Mayo, we’ll attend to the profoundly fractured state of Mexican civil society. For years, Greg Berger has been the OC correspondent on the front lines there, appearing in the flesh, doing live phone hook-ups, or sending up urgent communiqués to a constituency hungry for news on the ground. Forming the core of this screening are his new piece on the New Zapatista Movement, a couple of commentaries on the electoral crisis, and a sneak preview of Jill (This Is What Democracy Looks Like) Friedberg’s doc on the recent rebellion in Oaxaca. We’ll also see Friedberg’s Grain of Sand, plus work from the collective Canal Seis de Julio. Framing the program with first-person testimony, extended Q&A, and an excerpt of her own Oaxacan report, is artist-activist and veteran videographer Caitlin Manning.

Click here for Quicktime Preview



Lo-fi Hi-jinx


As is our wont, OC hosts the latest iteration of Gerry Fialka’s plucky low-tech fest. The Pixelvision camera, in case you didn’t know, is a plastic toy that records picture and sound on an audiocassette. It failed in the marketplace in the ‘80s, but in the decades since, electronic folk artists have embraced the minimal B&W aesthetic, creating a quirky new subculture within the field of personal cinema. This year’s edition features Michael Almereyda’s Aliens, John Trubee’s Remember the Good Old Days, Eli Elliott’s Burnt Popcorn 2, Robert Dobb’s Empath, and a chronology of the war in Iraq in L.M. Sabo’s Gestures. But the highlight might end up being Gerry’s legendary introduction, trading on lofty McLuhanisms, Joycean run-ons, and goofy puns. D. Cox on Korg keyboards gilds our own Black & White (micro-)Ball.

Click here for Quicktime Preview


Incredibly Strange Music


Haute culture meets gutterpunk in the virtuoso performance of these outrageous musical conceptualists, whose clashing of forms stokes the fires of aesthetic frisson to new peaks of surprise and delight. Lifting voice (Laurie Amat!) and bow à la classical chamber ensemble, they punctiliously prance into covers of the Sex Pistols, Dead Kennedys, the Avengers, et al. Opening this audio atrocity exhibition is the curdled crème de la crème of the World’s Worst Music Videos, painstakingly curated by Nate Malmgren, including William Shatner, Herve Villechaize, Bollywood rockabilly, Russian disco-dance lessons, and too much more! PLUS a mind-bending set of bizarre novelty tunes on 16mm, featuring Spike Jones, Desi Arnaz, Joe Cavalier, Eddie Peabody, Josie and the Pussycats, and oodles of others. Doors at 8pm for sonic mayhem and Butthole Surfer bootlegs. $7.

Click here for Quicktime Preview


Avant To Live


Comes now an energized evening of new efforts that champion personal expression and radical cinematic form. Constituting the season’s most exploratory programming initiative—and with many of the makers in person—are Johan Grimonprez’ Looking for Alfred, Jeanne Liotta’s Foucault’s Pendulum, Martha Colburn’s Destiny Manifesto, David Cox’ Dr. Yes, Damon Packard’s Bug Nuts, Jim Minton’s Cumpleaños, Anthony Jolley’s Magic Bus, Nate Boyce’s Mind over Matter, Tom Borden’s Surveillance, Chuck Hudina’s In the City, Lauren Woods’ Teenth of June, and Lynne Sachs’ Atalanta. ALSO works by Matt McCormick, Steve Polta, Molly Hankwitz, Ben Folstein, Yin-Ju Chen, and Sylvia Schedelbauer.

Click here for Quicktime Preview