Los Angeles Filmforum presents
The Festival of (In)appropriation #10
Sunday November 18, 2017, 7:30 pm
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
Curators Jaimie Baron, Greg Cohen, and Lauren Berliner and Filmmaker Brice Bowman
in person! Multiple LA premieres!
Collage or compilation. Found footage film or recycled cinema. Remix or détournement. Whatever one might call it, the practice of incorporating preexistent media into new artworks engenders novel juxtapositions, new ideas, and latent connotations… often entirely unrelated to the intentions of the original makers. In that regard, such works are truly “inappropriate.” Indeed, the act of (in)appropriation can reveal unimagined relationships between past and present, here and there, intention and subversion, artist and critic, and perhaps even compel us to reexamine what it means to be the "producer" or "consumer" of visual culture itself.
Fortunately for our purposes, the past decades have witnessed the emergence of countless new kinds of audiovisual material available for artistic (in)appropriation. In addition to official state and commercial archives, resources like vernacular collections, home movie repositories, and digital archives now provide the artist with a wealth of fascinating matter to reprocess, repurpose, and endow with new meaning and resonance.
Founded in 2009 and curated by Jaimie Baron, Greg Cohen, and Lauren Berliner, the Festival of (In)appropriation is a yearly showcase of contemporary, short-form, audiovisual works that appropriate existing film, video, or other media and redeploy them in “inappropriate” and inventive ways. This year marks the culmination of the Festival’s first decade, with a program that ranges from militant political documentary, uncanny TV supercuts, and raucous re-mix juggernauts, to quasi-DIY orphan film animations, haunting YouTube mash-ups oozing with existential teen angst, and a brooding digital experiment performed upon a single, black-and-white, still photograph.
Watch this conversation about Festival of (In)appropriation #8 between Curator Greg Cohen and film scholar Constance Penley at UCSB’s Carsey-Wolf Center (10/27/2016): https://vimeo.com/191083847
Read this review of Festival of (In)appropriation #7 (2015) in Artillery magazine: http://artillerymag.com/festival-inappropriation-7/
Check out this interview by Laura Wissot with curators Jaimie Baron and Greg Cohen in Filmmaker magazine: https://filmmakermagazine.com/84086-the-festival-of-inappropriation-6-at-los-angeles-filmforum/
Tickets: $10 general admission; $6 students (with ID)/seniors; free for Filmforum members.
Tickets available at https://inappropriation10.bpt.me or at the door
For more event information: www.lafilmforum.org, or 323-377-7238
Visit the Festival of (In)appropriation at https://festivalofinappropriation.com/
Identity Parade by Gerard Freixes Ribera
Spain, 2017, digital video, b/w, sound, 4:18
West Coast Premiere!
A private conversation between a couple at a costume ball gets increasingly bizarre as the two characters reveal their true faces to each other, again and again. Delving into the archive to forage for found footage, Ribera deploys the tools of digital manipulation to warp the time and space of film history. Identity Parade, in turn, asks us to imagine the many masks we wear and how they shape our most intimate interactions. (Lauren Berliner/Greg Cohen)
Nothing a Little Soap and Water Can’t Fix by Jennifer Proctor
USA, 2017, digital video, color, sound, 9:15
In films, as in life, the bathtub is often considered a private space for women – a place not only to groom, but to relax, to think, to grieve, to be alone, to find sanctuary. For Hollywood, though, it’s also a place of naked vulnerability, where women narratively placed in harm’s way have no escape. Using appropriated movies, this experimental found footage work deconstructs the representations of women in this domestic space as historically framed in popular film. (Jennifer Proctor)
Acting Erratically by Tuff Guts, Hazel Katz, Daniel Goodman
USA, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 15:08
West Coast Premiere!
“Acting erratically” is a term typically used by law enforcement when they believe they are encountering someone experiencing mental distress. This short film explores the connections between freedom of movement and state sanctioned violence in the lives of NYC-based women and gender-non-conforming people of color by critically engaging with the archive and using found footage as metaphorical architecture. A narrative of resistance is explored through the first person by Mecca, who re-appropriates the idea of Acting Erratically as a powerful and performative response to systemic oppression and police violence. This film was made collaboratively with members of Picture The Homeless and Black Youth Project 100 (NYC Chapter). (Tuff Guts, et. al.)
Normal Appearances by Penny Lane
USA, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 5:00
Los Angeles Premiere!
In Normal Appearances, Penny Lane’s nearly-silent recut of the reality TV show The Bachelor, we see a series of different women perform the same gestures in succession, thereby exposing not only the scripted nature of all of the movements in the show, but also the ways in which femininity itself, as narrowly defined by popular culture, is a set of performed elements that – once isolated and repeated – reveal its arbitrary nature. Even when the emotion appears to be real, the way in which the women brush away their tears indicates their learned compulsion to perform their gender according to the unspoken rules of contemporary “romance.” (Jaimie Baron)
E by Anna Malina Zemlianski
Germany, 2018, digital video, sound, color, 2:21
In the unearthly world of E, hand-made meets hi-tech as characters appear to consume one another with their own, trafficked liknesses. Constructing her work entirely from laser-printed film stills (approximately 770 in total) lifted from Niklaus Schilling’s 1972 horror film, Nachtschatten, Zemlianski rips, layers, and paints these images with pastels and charcoal, then scans them back together into a bracing animation set to the eponymous song (“E”) by the Berlin-based band, Comb. (Lauren Berliner/Greg Cohen)
Only the Dead by Aaron Valdez
USA, 2016, digital video, color, sound, 3:45
Repetition gives rise to hilarity as a dramatic male voiceover pronounces the word “dead, “the phrase “where he dies,” or variations thereof over and over again in Aaron Valdez’s Only the Dead. Yet, the silliness of the supercut form is countered by the awareness that we are looking – however briefly and obliquely – at images of actual dead bodies aired previously on the reality show The First 48. The televisual iconography of real human death – a motionless hand or foot, a spatter of blood, a slumped body only partially visible behind a door – is articulated as an impoverished vocabulary for representing genuine trauma. In this film, each cut is literally correlated with the extinguishment of a human life. (Jaimie Baron)
derivation of the mean lifetime by Phoebe Tooke
USA, 2015, digital video, b/w, sound, 08:40
West Coast Premiere!
A single black and white photograph of scores of children sprawled in a field of grass, shot from overhead and at an appreciable distance. Slowly, subtly, a series of “meditative gestures” (as the artist refers to them) begin to “animate” the stillness of the original image. Something has gone awry. Time and loss pervade the stillness, though nothing appears to have changed… or has it?.. The result is a deeply evocative, disquieting investigation of attention, memory, disappearance, and human folly, made all the more poignant (if no less mysterious) by the revelation of the photo’s title and date at the end of the work. (Greg Cohen)
Drive with Persephone by Mille Feuille
Canada, 2018, HD video, color, sound, 10:30
On the most basic of levels, Drive with Persephone recasts the ancient myth of Persephone’s abduction in the language of YouTube “drive-with-me” vlogs. On closer inspection, the work is so much more, perhaps above all in its compassionate register of the perils and exultations of adolescence, and the wisdom and cruelty of old age. A timely, potent rumination on the enduring, immutable cycle of life and death, Mille Feuille’s video confronts—with a mixture of stoicism and defiant hope—the unmooring of social life in our apparently hyper-connected world. (Greg Cohen)
Sand by Brice Bowman
USA, 2015, 8mm transferred to digital video, color, sound, 8:48
Filmmaker Brice Bowman in person!
At the outset of Brice Bowman’s Sand, the frame of the rephotographed home movies that furnish the raw material for his film appears shunted slightly towards the lower right quadrant of the screen. It is a harbinger of the spectral, mesmerizing experiment to ensue, alerting us to the uncanny sense of loss that comes with the recovery of private documents. Here, the medium of film is adapted to the format of the family album… in this case one that is scavenged from an estate sale, a flea market, a rummage store somewhere. To the vaguest sounds of beach-goers and ocean waves, we scroll and scan, sift and sort—turning slowly here, flipping more quickly there—through a humble catalogue of past lives and forgotten places, in all their affecting, comforting anonymity and triviality. (Greg Cohen)
The Was by Soda_Jerk
Australia, 2016, HD video, color, sound, 13:40
Los Angeles premiere!
A sample-based video for now, about the time before now. Part experimental film, part music video and concept album, The Was is the collaborative meeting of Australian sample artists Soda_Jerk and The Avalanches. Constructed from over a hundred rotoscoped film samples, The Was is a de/tour de force through the neighborhoods of collective memory. (Soda_Jerk)
Jaimie Baron (Festival Director) Jaimie Baron is an Assistant Professor of Film Studies at the University of Alberta. Her work on documentary, experimental film and video, audiovisual appropriation, and digital media has been published in numerous journals and anthologies. Her first book, The Archive Effect: FoundFootage and the Audiovisual Experience of History, was published in 2014. She is also a co-founder of Docalogue, an online space for scholars and filmmakers to engage in conversations about contemporary documentary.
Greg Cohen is an artist, Associate Programmer at Los Angeles Filmforum, and Lecturer in Latin American Cinema and Visual Culture at UCLA. His work in video, photography, and multi-media installation has been exhibited nationally and internationally, and draws on diverse intellectual and aesthetic interests, from landscape theory and aesthetic philosophy to cultural memory and experimental archives, and from the history and theory of architecture to the intersections of moving-image media and radical politics. As a founding associate of REASArch (group for Research on Experimental Accumulation and Speculative Archives), Cohen has also produced The Valaco Archive, an ongoing visual research project (https://valacoarchive.com), parts of which were recently featured in Limn magazine (http://limn.it/).
Lauren S. Berliner is an Assistant Professor of Media & Communication and Cultural Studies at University of Washington Bothell. Her research focuses on participatory media production practices, gender and sexuality, and pedagogy. Also a filmmaker, she has screened her work internationally and has facilitated video production programming for girls and queer youth. She earned her PhD. in Communication from UC San Diego, an MA in Visual and Media Art from Emerson College, and a BA in English and Anthropology from Wesleyan University.
This program is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2018 is our 43rd year.
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