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Alternative Visions

September 5, 2012 - November 28, 2012


This rendition of our annual series of experimental films, presented in conjunction with the UC Berkeley course on avant-garde film taught by Jeffrey Skoller, features an exciting opportunity to view cinema by women filmmakers working around the world. We are pleased that many of these filmmakers will join us in person for the screening of their films: Ute Aurand from Germany, Paz Encina from Paraguay, Janie Geiser from Los Angeles, Lamia Joreige from Lebanon, and Rose Lowder from France. Alternative Visions also highlights experimental animations by Geiser and Chris Sullivan, preservations from the Avant-Garde Masters program of the National Film Preservation Foundation, and our annual Bay Area Student Film Festival. Each program is introduced by an artist, critic, or curator from the community. And stay tuned—Alternative Visions continues into November.

Kathy Geritz, Film Curator

Wednesday, September 5, 2012
7:00 p.m. The Nervous Films of Janie Geiser
Janie Geiser (U.S., 2002–12). Janie Geiser in person. Geiser’s origins in puppet theater are evident in her affinity for cutout figures and antique toys. She collages these and other elements, along with fragments of sounds or music, to construct mysterious worlds that are as beautiful as they are haunting. Films include the Nervous Film series and a premiere of a new film. (60 mins)

Wednesday, September 12, 2012
7:00 p.m. Nights and Days: A Decade of Lebanese Short Films
Lamia Joreige in person. Introduced by Apsara DiQuinzio. All of the films in tonight’s program are concerned with the act of recalling the past—a heavy burden given Lebanon’s history. Films include Lamia Joreige’s Replay (Bis) and Nights and Days, Jalal Toufic’s Saving Face, and Akram Zaatari’s Tomorrow Everything Will Be Alright and In This House. (71 mins)

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
7:00 p.m. As Above, So Below and Short Films
Larry Clark (U.S., 1973) New Print! Introduced by Leigh Raiford. A rediscovered masterpiece, director Larry Clark’s portrayal of black insurgency imagines a post-Watts rebellion state of siege and an organized black underground plotting revolution. Preceded by three visionary films, Ben Caldwell’s Medea and I & I: An African Allegory, and Don Amis’ Ujamii Uhuru Schule Community Freedom School. Presented as part of our series L.A. Rebellion. (100 mins)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
7:00 p.m. Paraguayan Hammock
Paz Encina (Paraguay, 2006). Paz Encina in person. Introduced by Natalia Brizuela. In rural Paraguay circa 1935, an elderly husband and wife wait for their son to return home. “Present blurs with past, life shades to death, and things unseen haunt the melancholy shadows, delicately cast, in this entrancing Paraguayan clearing” (New York Times). Preceded by Encina’s newest film, A Wind from the South. (101 mins)

Wednesday, September 26, 2012
7:00 p.m. Paraguayan Hammock

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
7:00 p.m. Universal, Unique, Untouched: Bay Area Student Film Festival 2012
(U.S., 2011–12). Student filmmakers in person. Introduced by student curators. Tonight’s program—presenting the work of fourteen gifted college student filmmakers—includes pieces that explore the less-traveled alleys and alcoves of the Bay Area, unearth fleeting images and sounds of memories long untouched, and employ innovative cinematic structures and forms. (c. 73 mins)

Wednesday, October 3, 2012
7:00 p.m. Universal, Unique, Untouched: Bay Area Student Film Festival 2012

Wednesday, October 10, 2012
7:00 p.m. Short Films by Rose Lowder
Rose Lowder (France, 1979–2010). Rose Lowder in person. Introduced by Greta Snider. French filmmaker Rose Lowder has made over fifty experimental films, many of them shot frame-by-frame in rural Europe. Scott MacDonald has observed, “The most memorable of Lowder's films are experiments in creating distinct visual experiences.” Films include Colored Sunflowers, Poppies and Sailboats, Sun Garden, and Sea Salt Flower. (77 mins)

Wednesday, October 17, 2012
7:00 p.m. Consuming Spirits
Chris Sullivan (U.S., 2012). Chris Sullivan in person. Introduced by Jeffrey Skoller. Chris Sullivan’s intricate mix of hand-drawn animation, cutouts, and collage is an enigmatic, emotional tale centered on the intertwined lives of three intimate strangers in a small rust-belt town. “An artistic achievement so ambitious that most projects seem mundane in comparison” (Daniel Walber, Movies.com). (134 mins)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012
7:00 p.m. Intimate Portraits: Films of Ute Aurand
Ute Aurand (Germany/Japan, 2011). Ute Aurand in person. Introduced by Susan Oxtoby. This program of German filmmaker Aurand’s beautiful observed films features her most recent work, a meditation on Japan and portraits of her friends and godchildren. Films include Young Pines and Paulina, Franz, Maria, Susan, Lisbeth. (63 mins)

Wednesday, October 31, 2012
7:00 p.m. Avant-Garde Masters: A Decade of Preservation
Introduced by Jeff Lambert. A celebration of the Film Foundation and National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters program, with three films that portray San Francisco: Ernie Gehr’s Side/Walk/Shuttle, Frank Stauffacher’s Notes on the Port of St. Francis, and Abigail Child’s Pacific Far East Line. (75 mins)

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
7:00 p.m. The Films of John Smith
John Smith (U.K., 1976–2011). John Smith in person. Introduced by Craig Baldwin. Fascinated by narrative, British filmmaker John Smith delights in image/sound relationships and often employs puns and puzzles, while also venturing into documentary. Films include Om, The Girl Chewing Gum, The Black Tower, Worst Case Scenario, The Kiss, and more. (89 mins)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
7:00 p.m. Fig Trees
John Greyson (Canada, 2009). John Greyson in person. Introduced by Damon Young. Legendary Canadian videomaker and activist John Greyson’s latest feature, narrated by an albino squirrel and riffing off a Gertrude Stein classic, is a genre-bending, jaw-dropping “doc-op” centered on two early AIDS activists. (104 mins)

Wednesday, November 28, 2012
7:00 p.m. Early Films of Gunvor Nelson
Gunvor Nelson (Sweden/U.S., 1966–84). Gunvor Nelson in person. Introduced by Lynn Marie Kirby. Nelson, who taught at San Francisco Art Institute for two decades, returns from Sweden for a rare visit to the Bay Area. Films include the early underground classic made with Dorothy Wiley, Schmeerguntz, and Take Off, both witty critiques of mainstream representations of women, and Red Shift, a portrait of two families. (75 mins)

Alternative Visions is made possible in part by the William Randolph Hearst Foundation and the continued support of the BAM/PFA Trustees. The September 26 program with Paz Encina is presented with the support of the Department of Spanish & Portuguese, Office of the Dean of Arts & Humanities, The Doreen B. Townsend Center for the Humanities, and The Arts Research Center, all at U.C. Berkeley. Universal, Unique, Untouched: Bay Area Student Film Festival 2012 on October 3, is presented with support from the Theresa Hak Kyung Cha Endowment. The films in the October 31 program were preserved through the National Film Preservation Foundation’s Avant-Garde Masters Grant program funded by The Film Foundation. John Smith’s visit is presented with support from Filmforum, Los Angeles and John Greyson’s is cosponsored by the UC Berkeley Department of Film and Media’s 2013 Berkeley Film and Media Seminar. Gunvor Nelson's visit is made possible in part by the support of the Swedish organizations Film i Värmland, Konstnärsnämnden, and Filmform.