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Film at REDCAT Unveils Fall Lineup

Entering its tenth year in the fall 2012, Film at REDCAT plays an enthusiastic homage to different forms of cutting-edge filmmaking new and old, from here and afar.

Entering its tenth year in the fall 2012, Film at REDCAT plays an enthusiastic homage to different forms of cutting-edge filmmaking new and old, from here and afar. While embracing novel forms of creativity made possible by digital media, such as the disturbing, minimalist and mysterious long takes, haunted by the words of The Unabomber, of James Benning's Stemple Pass (October 1), or Thom Andersen's merging of Muybridge techniques with the form of the essay film to decipher the work of Portuguese architect Souto de Moura (November 19) - Film at REDCAT is also showcasing the work of artists dedicated to mining 16mm film's continuing expressive possibilities: Los Angeles-based Timoleon Wilkins's romantic and diaristic experiments on reversal stock (September 24); David Gatten's archival explorations of the intersection between the printed word and the moving image (October 29); and the vibrant pixilated nature compositions of French experimental filmmaker Rose Lowder (November 5). We are also happy to organize the revival screening of one of the major classic of post-colonial and experimental cinema, 23 years later, Trinh T. Minh-ha's Surname Viet, Given Name Nam (November 7).

Animation is given center stage this season, with a weekend of innovative programming from The Platform Festival, showcasing artists such as Michaela Pavlatova, Stephen Irwin, Eamonn O'Neil, internet sensation PES and pioneering stop-motion master Ladislaw Starewicz (October 26-28). Each with her distinctive, witty style, both Kathy Rose (October 8) and Laura Heit (October 15) combine experimental animation and performance, pushing further the relationship between flatness and multi-dimensionality. Film at REDCAT is also proud to partner with the UCLA Confucius Institute and host two screenings of the inaugural China Onscreen Biennial, including Animated, Golden and Restored, a program of classic animation shorts by the Wang Brothers, Te Wei and A Da, restored by the China Film Archive (October 22).

A second China Onscreen Biennial screening brings back to Los Angeles one of the most audacious auteurs of the new Chinese cinema, Zhang Yuan, with the US premiere of his latest film, Beijing Flickers (October 23).

Mon Sept 24 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

Edge Effects: Color Reversal Films by Timoleon Wilkins

The sublime 16mm films of Los Angeles experimentalist Timoleon Wilkins trace their roots to the romantic and diaristic traditions of the American avant-garde. Making a virtue of working on the edge of celluloid history, he is among a handful of cinematographers still using reversal film. His sumptuous Kodachrome and Ektachrome images resonate with an ecstatic love of color and contrast, relentlessly uncovering beauty amid the untenable realities of modern life across the Americas. Wilkins' magnum opus Drifter (1996-2010)-winner of the Ann Arbor Film Festival's prestigious Stan Brakhage Film at Wit's End Award-is "the ballad of a lone wanderer, an atmospheric anthology of places and faces." The program also includes Los Caudales (2005), The Crossing (2007) and a series of in-camera originals.

In person: Timoleon Wilkins

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"Timoleon is not only in love with film, but is the love of film." - Nathaniel Dorsky

"Simply honest, personal work of art. Escritura del alma." - Bruce Baillie (On Drifter)

"Wilkins discovers abstractions found in macro-shots of nature, and the mysterious evanescent play of light and color that hint at a higher meaning." - Robin Menken, Cinema Without Borders

"Eschewing issues of contemporary frivolity, Wilkins has grounded his work in the central concerns of experimental cinema's most productive phase: the development in cinematic terms of Romantic imagination and passion." - Brecht Andersch

Mon Oct 1 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

James Benning: The Second Cabin.Stemple Pass(USA, 121 mins, video)World PremiereComposed of four static shots of the same landscape, each taken from the same angle but during different seasons, Stemple Pass is the last installment in a series of films by James Benning-following Two Cabins (2011) and Nightfall (2011)-made in relation to cabins he built in the Sierra Nevada. His two cabins are replicas: one of the retreat described by Henry David Thoreau in Walden and the other of the hideout of Ted Kaczynski, the notorious Unabomber, where he fabricated explosive devices from the early 1970s to 1995. The Kaczynski cabin is seen at a distance, with smoke from the chimney indicating an unseen human presence; on the soundtrack, in between moments of pregnant silence (inhabited by natural sounds), Benning's voice can be heard struggling with Kaczynski's texts- including a very disturbing diary.

In person: James Benning

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"Over the past thirty-five years James Benning has played a central role in the history of American independent cinema by offering his rigorously structured yet wonderfully graceful films as extended meditations on the American landscape and its social and environmental histories." - Harvard Film Archive

"The artist is someone who pays attention and reports back." - James Benning.

"The Cabins Project, James Benning's tribute to the American vernacular yard art tradition, is equal parts design-build demonstration project, historical echo chamber, political statement, conceptual-outsider art installation, living museum, artists' retreat and secessionist compound. It remains, at its core, stubbornly recalcitrant and singular." - Dick Hebdige

Mon Oct 8 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

Kathy Rose - Video/Performances:Cathedral Of Emptiness & Interiosity

Long hailed for exploring mysterious inner worlds through pioneering integrations of live performance and projected film, video and animation, Kathy Rose presents two recent choreographic fantasies in which she appears live as a solitary figure, traversing lush and layered invented landscapes. Rose's surreal environments-adorned with forests of human arms, glistening waters, and floating moon faces-shape poetic alternate universes inspired by Noh theater. Rose has received numerous awards for her multimedia performances, and her early hand-drawn films, rightly considered classics of personal animation, are held by major museum collections worldwide. Also screening are Rose's videos She (2008), The Inn of Floating Imagery (2007), and excerpts of several other works.

In person: Kathy Rose

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"Kathy Rose has pursued her singular vision of integrating film, animation and live performance throughout her career, and this has led her to create works of astonishing beauty and mystery." - Miriam Seidel, Art in America

"Kathy Rose offered moments of transcendent strangeness and visual wonder... Working with images projected on herself and other dancers, the New York-based Rose is evolving a highly individual performance voice that, I believe, is headed for greatness." - The Philadelphia Weekly

Mon Oct 15 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]Invisibilities:Animated Films and Live Performance by Laura Heit

Using numerous animation techniques, puppetry and live-action video, Laura Heit's exquisitely crafted, subversively witty work makes visible hidden corners of the human psyche, where monsters, wolves and imaginary creatures tread. Look for Me (2005) employs 2D computer animation with monoprints, while The Deep Dark (2011) combines cutout stop-motion animation, live-action video and drawing to evoke elemental fears. The Amazing, Mysterious, and True Story of Mary Anning and Her Monsters (2003) calls on toy-theater puppetry and drawn animation to tell a fanciful tale. Collapse (2002), a reflection on a tragic moment, is a 2D computer animation with pastel drawings, and the allegorical Parachute (1997) a hand-painted and animated multiplane cutout. Heit's program concludes with a new version of the critically acclaimed Matchbox Shows in which she performs tiny puppet vignettes inside matchboxes.

In person: Laura Heit

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"Laura Heit explores that symbol of wildness - the wolf - in the layered, animated The Deep Dark, revealing how a deep-seated fear of the woods affects our perception." - Serena Donadoni, Indiewire 

"The Matchbox Shows deftly reveal the big emotions lurking within seemingly tiny details." - Joel Del Signore, The Gothamist

"With childlike simplicity and arresting nonchalance, in The Matchbox Shows, Heit offers 30-second vignettes that make Mr. Bill seem positively Rococo." - Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader

Mon Oct 22 | 8:30 pmTue Oct 23 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

China Onscreen BiennialRipples of Time and Modernity

Co-presented with the UCLA Confucius InstituteThe inaugural edition of the three-week bicoastal showcase of Chinese cinema brings two evenings of eye-opening animated and live-action film, respectively, to REDCAT. On October 22, the program "Animated, Golden and Restored" offers a rare glimpse at the luminous output of the "Twin Golden Ages of Shanghai animation" (1950s-60s and late 1970s-early 80s). Digitally restored by the China Film Archive, the shorts include Pigsy Eats Watermelon (1958), a vibrant paper-cut animation by the pioneering Wan brothers; Baby Tadpoles Look for Their Mother (1960), the first of the ink-wash masterpieces by ASIFA lifetime achievement honoree Te Wei; and, as a bonus, China's earliest extant animation, The Mouse and the Frog (1934), showing Disney and Fleischer influences. On October 23, Zhang Yuan, the best- known exponent of the post 1990s "Urban Generation" of Chinese filmmakers, presents Beijing Flickers (2012), an incisive yet lyrical exploration of the lives of young people "trying to make it" in the melting pot of social contradictions and hybrid cultural values that Beijing has become.  

In person: Zhang Yuan

"The Wan Brothers achieved... impressive feats. Cherished by both children and adults, their masterpieces brought major recognition for China in the field of animation." - Marie-Claire Quiquemelle, Centre Pompidou

"Te Wei is one of the best animation filmmakers in China." - Zhiwei Xiao

"Internationally acclaimed director and producer Zhang Yuan has become one of China's leading cinematic voices with his urban realist works." - Harvard Film Archive

The China Onscreen Biennial (COB) is presented by the UCLA Confucius Institute October 13-31 in partnership with REDCAT, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the UCLA Film & Television Archive, etc. The program at REDCAT is curated by Cheng-Sim Lim, in collaboration with Bérénice Reynaud.

For more information, please visit:

Fri Oct 26 | 8:00 pm & 10:00 pmSat Oct 27 | 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm, 6:00 pm & 8:00 pmSun Oct 28 | 2:00 pm, 4:00 pm & 8:00 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

Platform International Animation Festival

Held for the first time in Los Angeles, this edition of the acclaimed festival launched in Portland, Oregon in 2007, is also the first ever in which festival director Irene Kotlarz collaborates with a new generation of curators-drawn from CalArts' animation programs-to reflect the interests and tastes of young artists today. Over the course on one weekend, the festival offers highlights from the Annecy International Animation Festival, including Michaela Pavlátová's Grand Pix winner Tram (2012), experimental artist Stephen Irwin's Ottawa Grand Prix-winning Moxie (2011), and a host of films from the world's top animation schools. Other screenings celebrate 40 years of CalArts animation; the formative influence of MTV on the internet generation; rarely screened surrealist films by stop-motion pioneer Ladislaw Starewicz; and, finally, a program by internet sensation PES that includes his own The Deep (2011) and Michael Patterson's Commuter (1981).

Check back on September 1 for full program and screening information.

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Irene Kotlarz, Jeanette Bonds, Sean Buckelew, Thalia Fry, Jess Moser and Melody Yenn.

With thanks to Platform Founding Sponsor Cartoon Network

"I congratulate the Platform Festival for expanding the landscape of animation with such innovative programming." - Joanna Priestley

"Ladislaw Starewicz is one of those cinemagicians whose name deserves to stand in film history beside those of Mélies, Emile Cohl and Disney." - Charles Ford

"Clicking on a PES film is to open a safe and suddenly see a million ideas glittering and exploding." - Michel Gondry

Mon Oct 29 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

Silent Mountains, Singing Oceans, And Slivers Of Time:  Six Films By David Gatten  

Over the last 15 years, David Gatten has explored the intersection of the printed word and moving image with a depth and imagination unique to cinema. Making connections across fields of knowledge and meaning, Gatten's films generate tactile compositions and draw novel conclusions from 19th-century scientific treatises, "outdated" 20th-century instructional texts, and rare books from 17th- and 18th-century personal libraries. Gatten, a leading figure dedicated to mining 16mm film's continuing expressive possibilities in the digital era, was recently included in Cinema Scope's "Best Fifty Filmmakers Under Fifty." This program, Part 3 of a touring retrospective, consists of six films made between 1998 and 2010. Part 1 screens at the Velaslavasay Panorama on October 27 and Part 2 at Los Angeles Filmforum on October 28.

In person: David Gatten

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"Gatten continues to find new creative possibilities in the continuing premonitions of film's demise." - Scott MacDonald, The Garden in the Machine

"The films of David Gatten brand the brain and the retina with equal force. They consist partly of cerebral puzzles and partly of lyrical reveries, and their central drama lies in the space between, where facts transform into poetry and transient experiences are assimilated into systems of knowledge." - Tom McCormack, Moving Image Source

"One of the most singular and focused bodies of film being produced today." - Chris Stults, Wexner Center for the Arts

Mon Nov 5 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

The Poetics of Place:Films By Rose Lowder

Rose Lowder is one of Europe's most influential and celebrated cinematic treasures-a filmmaker and scholar who first trained as a painter and sculptor, then later studied with filmmaker Jean Rouch. Since 1977 Lowder has made more than 50 films that create complex single-frame matrices, bordering eerily on the edge of animation. Whether filming the view from her Avignon window, the French countryside, or centuries-old structures, Lowder composes highly charged, multiple-perspective mosaics that explore nature's visual wonders and the underlying ecology of specific places. She investigates the world around her with a scientist's precision, and exalts it with a singular vibrancy of form and color. The program includes the early masterwork Rue des Teinturiers (1977), the series of stunning one-minute cinematic studies, Bouquets 11-20 (2005-10), and the recent tour-de-force Jardin du sel (Garden of salt, 2011).

In person: Rose Lowder

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"Lowder is not only a major master of our time but a kind of inevitability, one of the essential pillars of cinema as a material artform." - Michael Sicinski

"The most memorable of Lowder's films create distinct visual experiences that, in their reduction of day-long phenomena into brief, precise, intense cinematic moments, sing the potential of an ecological film aesthetic." 

- Scott MacDonald, Millennium Film Journal

"Drawing from the pattern, color and texture of the lush landscape of Avignon, Lowder focuses her lens on the world outside her window, capturing nature in pure and radiant moments." - Tara Merenda Nelson

Wed Nov 7 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

Revival Screening:Trinh T. Minh-ha's Surname Viet, Given Name Nam(USA, 108 mins, 16mm, 1989)Twenty-three years after its premiere, Trinh T. Minh-ha's film remains a post-colonial classic, tackling issues of translation and untranslatability: from a Vietnamese transcript of half-spoken voices recorded at night, to the French publication of these interviews, to their re-translation into English by a native Vietnamese speaker, to the patient efforts of ordinary Vietnamese women to memorize and utter them-then to the lyrics of Vietnamese ballads translated into English subtitles-and finally to Trinh delivering, in English, fragments of oral history, epic poems, and folk sayings about women's role in society. What is lost and what is gained in this multiple-entry process, in this palimpsest of half-erased texts? What is not gained is a "knowledge-about" a certain object: Vietnam. And what is not lost is a certain truth about the bodies of Vietnamese women.

In person: Trinh T. Minh-ha

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"Independent in thought and delicate in craftsmanship, the film is strung with the tensile strength of piano wire." - Karen Jaehne, Film Comment

"Keenly intelligent, sensuously multilayered... Emotionally, Surname Viet Given Name Nam leaves you with an impression of the courage and persistent strength of Vietnamese women, not in terms of propaganda-poster heroics but on the human level." - Stuart Klawans, The Nation

Mon Nov 19 | 8:30 pm

Jack H. Skirball Series$10  [members $8]

Thom Andersen Meets Souto de Moura: Reconversão(Portugal/USA, 65 mins, video)With Reconversão (Reconversion), Thom Andersen opens another fascinating chapter of his ongoing investigation of architectural landscapes, their filmic representation, and their relation to history, by focusing on 17 buildings and projects by the often-controversial Portuguese architect Eduardo Souto de Moura -winner of the 2011 Pritzker Prize. Echoing Dziga Vertov's concepts and Eadweard Muybridge's techniques (shooting only one or two frames per second), Andersen masterfully brings forward what makes Souto de Moura's artistic originality: the incorporation of the passing of time into architectural designs, positing them within a history fraught with class struggle and societal changes, in a continuum with ruins-from which they may originate, and to which they will return-and with nature-which they frame, and by which they are framed.

In person: Thom Andersen

Funded in part with generous support from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud

"... an elegiac quest into the essence of Eduardo Souto de Moura's architecture." - Celluloid Liberation Front

"Thom Andersen's essay films look at cinema as a technology of political imagination and a secret repository of cultural memory." - Whitney Museum of American Art

"Change the past, it needs it." - Thom Andersen

"Andersen's intellectually challenging, politically incisive film essays are masterfully woven counter-histories, distinctive for their invaluable examination of neglected aspects of cultural history." - Northwest Filmforum 

Source: Film at REDCAT