The New York Film Festival (NYFF) today launches the 14th edition of Views from the Avant-Garde, the festival’s experimental showcase, which this year includes work by four CalArts faculty members, three alumni and a current MFA candidate. Curated by Mark McElhatten and Gavin Smith, Views comprises 17 separate programs running through Sunday, Oct. 3, with all screenings held at Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater.
The lineup features:
- Film/Video faculty Thom Andersen’s Get Out of the Car (2010, 34 min.), a follow-up to his acclaimed 2003 work Los Angeles Plays Itself, combines shots of disused signs and billboards, half-preserved landmarks, and Latino mural painting with the sounds of Los Angeles rock and soul. In the process, “Andersen turns Angeleno car culture on its head,” according to Michael Sicinski. The film is the centerpiece of the program Since You Were Here…, Saturday, Oct. 2, 8:15 pm. (Get Out of the Car is also screening at REDCAT Nov. 22 at 8:30 pm.)
- Film/Video faculty James Benning’s Ruhr (Germany/USA, 2009, 120 min.), a rapt seven-shot exploration of Germany’s Ruhr Valley, the cradle of heavy industry in that country. Ruhr is Benning’s first-ever digital work and the first film he has made entirely outside the United States. Friday, Oct. 1, 9 pm.
- Three shorts by Theater faculty Janie Geiser. Kindless Villain (2010, 5 min.), which casts war as a “child’s game, played quietly in a forgotten world,” and Ghost Algebra (2009, 7:30 min.), which revisits the original meaning of the word “algebra” (“the science of restoring what is missing”), are both included in the program Séance, Sunday, Oct. 3, 4:30 pm. A third film, The Floor of the World (2010, 8 min.), in which “figures move back and forth between life and death and possibly somewhere else,” is in the program Fatal Attraction: An Introduction to Black and White Magic, Sunday, Oct. 3, 8:30 p.m.
- Three animated shorts from Film/Video and Theater faculty Lewis Klahr’s ongoing Prolix Satori series. A Thousand Julys (2010, 6:30 min.) is shown as part of the program called Mirror of Shadows and Cinders, Saturday, Oct. 2, noon. April Snow (2010, 10 min.) is screened as part of the program Séance, Sunday, Oct. 3, 4:30 pm. Sugar Slim Says (2010, 7 min.), with music by Mark Anthony Thompson, aka Chocolate Genius, is part of the program Fatal Attractions: An Introduction to Black and White Magic, Sunday, Oct. 3, 8:30 pm. (Other “couplets” in Klahr’s Prolix Satori series will be screened at REDCAT Oct. 11 at 8:30 pm.)
- Laida Lertxundi’s (Film/Video MFA 07) Cry When It Happens (Llora cuando de pase) (2010, 14 min.) is inspired by a poem called “The Sky’s Sheets” by Spanish mystic Saint Teresa de Ávila (1515-1582). The short is screening in the Since You Were Here… program, Saturday, Oct. 2, 8:15 pm.
- Film/Video MFA candidate Norbert Shieh’s Washes (2010, 8:40 min.) is a documentation of Los Angeles car washes, a motion painting in which the combination of water, soap and wax makes for a visual play of flickering lights, shadow and colors. Part of the program Since You Were Here…, Saturday, Oct. 2, 8:15 pm.
- Deborah Stratman’s (Film/Video MFA 95) Ray’s Birds (2010, 7 min.) takes an affectionate look at a menagerie of 72 birds of prey kept by a man in northern England. Shown as part of the program Landing on the Edge, Sunday, Oct. 3, 2:30 pm. Her second entry, These Blaezing Starrs (2010, 14:40 min.), is about comets and meteors and their historic ties to divination. Included in the program Fatal Attraction: An Introduction to Black and White Magic, Sunday, Oct. 3, 8:30 pm.
- Fred Worden’s (Film/Video MFA 73) Possessed (2010, 8 min.), an intervention in a sequence from the 1931 film Possessed, starring Joan Crawford, is shown as part of the Séance program, Sunday, Oct. 3, 4:30 pm.
NYFF’s Views from the Avant-Garde
Lincoln Center’s Walter Reade Theater
165 W. 65th St., New York
Sept. 30-Oct. 3