F.I.L.M. Series

Scott MacDonald

Fall 2015 Schedule

Unless otherwise indicated, events are scheduled for Sunday afternoons at 2:00 in the Bradford Auditorium—Room 125, in the Kirner-Johnson Building


9/27: The Alloy Orchestra accompanies The Man with a Movie Camera (1929)

In 2014 the British cinema magazine, Sight & Sound, published the results of its poll of the Greatest Documentaries of All Time. Number 1? Dziga Vertov’s 1929 Russian masterpiece, The Man with a Movie Camera. We’ll screen a brand new restoration of the Vertov classic, accompanied, live, by F.I.L.M. favorite, the Alloy Orchestra, named by Roger Ebert, “The best in the world at accompanying silent film.” The Best Doc and the Best (silent film) Accompaniment ever—can you really afford to miss this event and call yourself a cineaste?


10/4: Beth B, in person, with EXPOSED! (2013)

Among the most prominent of the so-called “punk” or “No Wave” filmmakers of the late 1970s and early 1980s, Beth B (with her then-partner Scott B) made “B” films: low-budget, edgy, sometimes raucous political films about contemporary issues. In the years since, Beth B has made music videos, sculpture, multi-media gallery installations, and photographs. She returned to filmmaking in 2013 with a feature documentary on the new wave of burlesque performance: sexually political, often outrageous performances that are meant to shock conventional attitudes and cinematic sensibilities—by Mat Fraser (of American Horror Story: Freak Show), Dirty Martini, Bambi the Mermaid and others. 

Roger Ebert called Exposed! “jaw-droppingly provocative and genuinely endearing.” The Times of London: “Glittertastic!” Time Magazine: “Likely to blow the cobwebs off any preconceptions about gender, sexuality, empowerment and the body.”

Thanks to the Kirkland Endowment and the Days-Massolo Center for support of this event.


10/25: Animator Stacey Steers, in person with Night Hunter (2011) and other films

2014 Guggenheim Fellow, Stacey Steers was the subject of two special tribute screenings at the 2015 International Festival of Animation in Annecy, France. Animation has always been the most labor-intensive form of filmmaking and, working alone, Steers has been an important contributor to this tradition. Night Hunter is a 15 ½-minute, hand-made animation, composed of 4,000 collages and shot in 35mm color. It re-appropriates legendary actress Lillian Gish, plunging her into a haunting new role. Steers will show Night Hunter and other work, including a brand-new film, and talk with us about her process.

Thanks to the Kirkland Endowment for support of this event.


11/1: Paweł Wojtasik returns to F.I.L.M. with Single Stream (2013) and other films

In the wake of a mystic experience, video artist Paweł Wojtasik became a master at cinematically confronting those things we normally avoid and investing them with a mystic glow. We’ll be showing Single Stream, his investigation of the process of recycling, shot in Boston with Sensory Ethnography Lab veterans Ernst Karel and Toby Lee (it was part of the 2014 Whitney Biennial), and a retrospective of other short videos, including his breakthrough Dark Sun Squeeze, Naked (about one of Earth’s most unusual animals), and the stunning Nine Gates.

Those attending will be invited to a second, preview screening, later in the day, of Wojtasik’s new feature. Details at the 2:00 screening.


11/15: Sarah Christman, in person, with As Above, So Below (2012) and other films)

Sarah Christman is a cine-philosopher-poet of the environment, whose fascination is transmutation. As Above, So Below, which won the Jury Prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, intimately examines various transmutations, both microscopic and massive, that reshape matter and its meanings—including the transformation of what was once the world’s largest landfill (and the resting place of the remains of the World Trade Center) into a public park. Christman teaches filmmaking at Brooklyn College.

Thanks to the Kirkland Endowment for support of this event.


12/6: Bill Morrison, in person, with The Great Flood (2013)

Guggenheim Fellow and Alpert Award winner, Bill Morrison is among the master “recyclers” of American cinema. Prolific and inventive, he is the ultimate cine-alchemist, transforming decay into cinematic gold. His feature The Great Flood, about the great flood of the Mississippi River in 1927, won the 2014 American Ingenuity Award for Historical Scholarship from Smithsonian Magazine and was described in the New York Times as “gorgeous and haunting and altogether human and important.” With music composed by Bill Frisell.