|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* $7.|
|FEB. 6: JACK SARGEANT's FLESH AND EXCESS +|
OC roars into its 31st year with an all-too-rare visit by the world’s leading writer on transgressive cinema. Now based in Australia, Jack Sargeant leap-frogs into SFO on his way back from the Slamdance jury to unveil his provocative new Amok Books title. With earlier works Against Control, Deathtripping, and Naked Lens also on the table, Jack’s here to talk bodies, Bataille, Ballard, and Burroughs, his frank insights framing a set of exemplary works from Ian Kerkhof, Usama Alshaibi, and others from cinema’s libidinal realms. Opening, we exploit themes from the Sargeant oeuvre: Otto Muehl’s Materialactions, Andre Perkowski’s Nova Express, Antony Balch’s ultra-rare Psychomontage, and a debut by bass-guitarist/dominatrix Miss Burge, all after a book-signing reception for both Jack’s and our own new OtherZine release. Dream Machine in full effect!
|BLACK LIVES MATTER|
|FEB. 13: THE BLACK SPIRITUALS + LAST DAY OF FREEDOM +
For Black History Month, a benefit for the new radical videozine NOW!: Our annual celebration of Afro-American culture is inaugurated by the manic sonic dynamics of the world-renown 2-piece Black Spirituals. Zach Watkins and Marshall Trammell play out delicious Afrofuturist atmospheres shot through with irresistible polyrhythms, before UCSC’s Alex Johnston, co-editor of this first Journal of Urgent Praxis, steps up to illuminate his enlightened mission. He brings to our screen all-new Black Consciousness works that recount crucial histories: Billy Woodberry(!) on Ousmane Sembene(!), Kelly Gallagher on John Brown, Alex himself on Harlem Prison, Nomi Talisman’s (in person) Last Day of Freedom, and of course Soda_Jerk’s Sun Ra. $8.
|RECLAIM THE STREETS|
|FEB. 20: BUTLER/MIRZA's DEEP STATE + ARTBREAK/SOS-SF +
Courtney Fellion’s freshly-inked “Manifestoes and Declarations” issue of Canyon Cinemazine#4 kicks off the media-art component of SOS-SF, a 2-week course of creative resistance to the corporate onslaught on our City. As artists’ and cultural spaces are daily steamrolled, we fight back with the Anti-Eviction Mapping’s Project’s oral histories, Jeff Taylor/Whispered Media’s Boom (exc.), Rio Yanez on Mission galleries, Peter Menchini’s brave reports on the Midtown, Vanguard, and Ed Lee shams, Jonathan Youtt and Josh Wolf’s chronicles of CELLspace activism…and Karyn Smoot’s ATA window installation! Anchoring these tactical reports is the oh-so-strategic West Coast debut of Deep State, a long-form Flaherty-nominated cine-tract on the global wave of opposition against the neo-liberal “market”. Inspired by the Occupy Movement, written by China Miéville, and masterfully montaged by Brad Butler and Karen Mirza—also displaced from their London underground film lab no.w.here--this Vertovian essay ponders possible actions against Capitalist monoculture. $6.
|FEB. 27: RHODY + TOOTH + HARPER + ORACLE PLUS +
Vernacular Visions is the fearless project of local photo phenom Justin Clifford Rhody, who renders 35mm slide detritus into marvelous displays of the American Uncanny. Tonight, the keen-eyed collector projects two of his masterworks—Western Lands (his original landscapes) and Moldy Marvels (diptychs of exquisite coloration and abstract form), both accompanied by evocative music and his own impromptu asides. The evening is abetted by four other East Bay auteurs: Other Cinema’s own Joshua Leon Harper premieres his sci-fi found-photo narrative AI-33 (S-Class) Explores the 20th Century, the winsome twosome of Oracle Plus perform a multimedia space-jam by way of video sleight-of-hand, and cosmic inspiration/impresario Sweet Tooth turns a 16mm double-projection into an ecstatic ascent into one of his “charmed” black holes. $8
|O PTRO NICA1|
|MAR. 5: KRAFTWERK: POP ART + YOUNG + BECKER +
Opening our semi-annual Optronica suite is) Kraftwerk: Pop Art, the BBC’s absorbing doc on the godfathers of electronic music. Produced in conjunction with (and including performance clips from) their famous 2013 Tate Modern shows, the 55-min. report, like the band itself, proceeds effortlessly from expert interviews to fascinating music excerpts, some as early as 1970! Opening is local dorkbot Kit Young, here with a ingenious joy-station of video-loopers and analog FX boxes for his 20-min. Plumb the Depths. ALSO: The unstoppable Tommy Becker premiering his Aquarium, Vicki (PLU) Bennett's Matmos homage, and jolts of juice from Len Lye, Anna Spence, and Negativland (RIP Don Joyce). $8.
|MAR. 12: ELEKTRO MOSKVA + DAVIS + PAYNE/BALDWIN +
Our second Op installment is anchored by the North American premiere of this riveting Russian report on electronic music from the former USSR, directed by Elena Tikhonova and Dominik Spritzendorfer. Opening is John Davis, the pillar of NorCal’s analog synth scene, who sets off his 20-min. Soviet Hiss, a sublime reading of the obscure optical tracks of Soviet 16mm “propaganda” films! These rarities fell into John’s hands on his 2014 Tajikistan residency; tonight he transmogrifies their electronic interludes into pure sonic poetry! PLUS “twins” from John’s now-legendary Gravity Spells fest: Craig Baldwin’s Time Bomb against Maggie Payne’s Black Ice/STATIC, seen and heard in asynchronous playback for the first time publicly. AND Leon Theremin (of course!), the Trololo Man, Russian rockers, vodka shots, etc. $8
|MAR. 19: ROURKE + GALLAGHER + PUPPETS FACING WEST +
A star-studded lineup is showcased for this latest in our series of engagé experimental animation! In person is Dee Hibbert-Jones with her (and Nomi Talisman’s) rotoscoped tour de force Last Day of Freedom, following films from Jodie Mack, Nancy Jean Tucker, and the Quay Brothers. Martha Colburn affords us the world premiere of her Drumpf and Booo, a cut-out cut-up of Donald Trump! Kelly Gallagher is represented with a few of her feminist flame-throwers, while regional genius Jeremy Rourke embodies and embellishes his two new pieces with glockenspiel and harp, and maybe a trapeze, and surely a trampoline. PLUS Facing West, Lydia Greer’s plucky puppet troupe, performing their live-musical shadow-show. AND Gerry Anderson, talking ostriches, and Brother Gilbert’s Temescal home-brew!
|MAR. 26: DARR/MACLAINE's THE END + ARCHIMEDIA + GREEN +
With research support from celluloid savant Brecht Andersch, Hell on Frisco Bay blog-god Brian Darr plots a magical map of our much-loved City, through a re-visitation of key locations in Christopher Maclaine's 1953 Beat masterpiece The End (screened in its half-hour entirety). Darr's revelatory tour is mirrored in Archimedia's (David Cox & Molly Hankwitz) Cine-Francisco, a 20-min. live-musical commentary on SF, through the lenses of locally-shot noir features. PLUS a hearty deli-plate of San Fran shorts, including the debut of Mark Brecke's Symphony of City and County, Sam Green's lot 63, grave c, Chris Marker's Junkopia, Bryan Boyce's Google Mission, Steve McQueen's Bullitt promo, and of course Playland, the Bridge, and...ATA!
|APR. 2: TURNER/CHRISTENSEN's KORLA + KATELUS
With his sparkling jeweled turban, organist Korla Pandit (1921-1998) was an alluring enigma, television pioneer, and the godfather of exotica music. Though he never spoke a word on any of the 900 episodes of his 1950s TV program, Korla nevertheless captured the hearts of countless housewives with his soulful, hypnotic gaze and theatrical performances, showcasing both popular tunes and East Indian compositions on the new Hammond B3 organ. In the ‘90s he re-surfaced as a cult figure among tiki/lounge aficionados, immortalized in the 1994 film Ed Wood. Korla lived up to his reputation as a “man of mystery” by taking an amazing secret with him to his grave—which tonight’s film finally reveals! Admirers Carlos Santana, Booker T. Jones, and many more appear in this long-overdue bio by John Turner and Eric Christensen, both present for Q&A. And here for a fitting homage to Mr. Pandit is the Mission’s own master of the Hammond, Doug Katelus, turban-clad and with a new album of his own! $6.
|APR. 9: SALISE HUGHES' SPACES BETWEEN CITIES +
A collaboration, and a celebration, shot in many formats and with a inspiring spectrum of styles! Twenty experimental makers across four continents have joined, Exquisite Corpse-style, the heads to the tails of their respective contributions, towards the compilation of this expansive yet radically subjective ”road movie”. Among the cohorts taking up this omnibus challenge are Pip Chodorov, Margaret Rorison, Jesse Malmed, Ben Popp, Charles Chadwick, Stephen Broomer, Dustin Zemel, Reed O’Beirne, and Salise Hughes, and Doug Katelus, the latter slated for intros and Q&A. Locations include Berlin, Barcelona, Baltimore, Seoul, Newcastle, Toronto, New York, Chicago, Portland, Los Angeles, the Bay Area (Post Costa and Colma!!), and Seattle, where this ecumenical project was cooked up by Salise and her EXcinema org—an enlightened effort to build our precarious community across national and geographical borders. Come early for Doug’s long-haired keyboard flourishes accompanying The Drifting of the Continents. $6.
|APR. 16: RICK PRELINGER's NO MORE ROAD TRIPS +
Conscientiously caretaking the Cultural Commons, our Genial Helmsman Rick Prelinger graces the gallery once again with his open-hearted audience-participatory feature. His Lost Landscapes screenings are legendary for their communal memory-sharing and respect for the “human scale” of the amateur. Here Rick stitches and hitches a dream-ride through the American Century out of a collection of 9,000 personal travelogs filmed 1924-1979, its narrative tracing a composite auto journey from Atlantic to Pacific. Viewers supply the track with out-loud commentary, not only revealing stories embedded in the landscapes, but also speculating on what we do now, with the necessity of a fossil-fuel halt at hand. Come early for eye-poppers from OC’s own library, including the dazzling Car of Your Dreams, the Grand Canyon in 3-D, and the West Coast launch of Incite#6, the “Forever” issue, with free Artists’ Multiples!
| APR. 23: BANKSY DOES NEW YORK + HOWZE's STENCIL NATION +
Possibly the world's leading expert on sidewalk stencils, street art, and the Artist Known As Banksy, Russell Howze returns to SF from an international tour behind his Manic D Press publication Stencil Nation, to throw up/down a crucial visual lesson on the illegal public art of Banksy. Focusing on the Greatest Hits from his SF blitz some years back, Howze’s obsessed slide-show spills the beans on the local battle between “vandalism” and the Art world, and so sets up Chris Moukarbel’s hour doc on Banksy’s more recent, uh, “residency” in NYC. ALSO: Pussy Riot’s new music video Refugees In, shot at Banksy’s Dismaland site, and funky chunks of our own Mission School art-crimes, including clips of Twist, Margaret Kilgallen, and Bill (Bozo Texino) Daniel, whose signed(!) 847 photozine is again available, a collab with local graf-art periodical Hamburger Eyes.
|APR. 30: NIK NERBURN RETROSPECTIVE +
Erstwhile OC miracle-worker, the now at-large Mr. Nerburn bounces back into our Mission District safe-house for a feature-length review of his "punk-documentarian" practice. In the Shadow of Paul Bunyan criss-crosses the outsized myth of the jolly logger with the hidden history of the US-Dakota Indian War, told from the perspective of a native Minnesotan. Today I Am Going to Kill Myself but First I Am Going to Dance is Nik's other Midwestern historiography, in this case about an immense insane asylum in Fergus Falls, where he excavated the ghosts in the graveyard and the local community that keeps their memory alive. MANIUM is an abstract exploration of the folk knowledge surrounding the black houses of Olympia, Washington, while Officer-Involved Shooting surveys the landscapes where Trayvon Martin, Walter Scott, and Jordan Davis died at the hands of white policemen. $6.
|MAY 7: GATEWOOD: THE TOOTHPASTE IS OUT OF THE TUBE + WEIRD SF +|
Last week the world was shocked to learn of the death of our beloved Bernal Heights neighbor, internationally renown photographer Charles Gatewood, a trail-blazing documentarian of outsider sub-cultures for the greater part of his life. Despite the extremity of his subject matter, Charles remained a wonderful, charming gentleman, a model of healthy curiosity, acceptance, and generosity who constantly gave back to the tribal communities he passed through. His later work shifted into video recording of body modification and ritual, paving the way for the Modern Primitive movement. Opening for the US premiere of Carl Abrahamsson's Toothpaste doc is an hour's worth of tributes and shorts, including clips from his Weird San Francisco series, scenes from Dances Sacred and Profane, highlights from Anthony Buchanan's recent visit, and a personal memorial from his multi-talented collaborator Justin Clifford Rhody.
|MAY 14: ALEX RIVERA's SLEEP DEALER +
In his first feature, our long-time ally Alex (PapaPapa) Rivera oh-so-artfully turns speculative fiction into a terrifying critique of a paranoid future. This Sundance-winner spins a fantastic narrative on the dystopian outcomes of globalization, particularly the privatization of water and the place of immigrant labor in the neo-liberal economy. Rivera’s wildly imaginative fable is set in tomorrow’s fearfully militarized world, a technological work-camp marked by closed borders, virtual labor, and a worldwide cyber-network that joins minds and experiences. When a Mexican youth’s family is wiped out by a misguided drone, he must head North. But migrant workers cannot cross the new world border--it's been sealed off! Instead, he ends up in a human/cyborg “virtual” factory on the frontier, where he connects his body to a robot in the US. Tragically marginalized upon its ‘08 release, Alex recently regained control of his potent parable, and immediately dispatched it to OC with his blessings.
MAY 21: ERIK DAVIS + MARK MCCLOUDSAMPLE THE MICROGRAM +
Now that the official “Psychedelic Renaissance” is upon us, tune in and turn on to this brain-melting trip into the history and art of LSD-25. After his long PhD quest at Rice U, counterculture historian Dr. Erik Davis finally returns to OC with a clipadelic discourse on High Weirdness, focusing on the new generation of academic research advocates and globetrotting ayahuasceros. Davis is joined by the curator of San Francisco’s LSD Museum, the Mission’s own notorious non-felon Mark McCloud, unveiling a visual history of blotter art, and rare scans of the DEA’s own in-house newsletter. From drug-scare clips to Hollywood trip sequences to EDM imagery to Shulgin memorials, tonight’s set and setting celebrate the visual legacy--and continued influence--of “Hofmann’s potion”. And of course a liquid lightshow, by Joshua “Crystal Castles” Harper! $8.
|AVANT TO LIVE|
|MAY 28: NEW EXPERIMENTAL WORKS
An energized evening that champions personal expression and radical form, with most of the makers in person: Featured are the West Coast premieres of Sarah Lewison’s March, Patrick Tarrant’s The Take-Up, and Sydney Kovar’s The Pursuit of Profit. ALSO, in the house: Our man Max Godino with his PK Dick-inspired Days of Perky Pat, Mike Kuchar with Museum of Damaged Art, Greta Snider with Prayer for the Torture Memos, Stephen Graves with Bicicletas por la Paz, Faith Arazi with Untitled Marxist Pop, and Bryan Boyce and Anne McGuire, both with respective debuts. PLUS the world premieres of live film-performances by Kristin Cato (Zero…One…Two), and Linda Scobie & Isaac Sherman (END UP). Come early for a very rare 16mm glimpse of Chick Strand in KEBS’ 1970 Underground Film! Free pencils!..tho admission is $8.