8th screening: Ladies' Night
August 11th, 2013
Culturefix 9 Clinton st. New York, NY 10002
Black Mariah Films is pleased to announce the beginning of an ongoing screening series to take place monthly at Culturefix, one of the most dynamic open arts venues in the Lower East Side.
Join us for an eclectic mix of curated film programming and performances at Culturefix every month on the 2nd Sunday, 8pm!
This month's screening will trace the city’s proud lineage of independent female directors, from the early silent era pioneers, to the noted avant-gardists of the 50’s, to the exciting and diverse filmmakers of today.
The program will be followed by a Q&A with the directors Jaclyn Gramigna, Rachael Guma, and Marina Fernandez
Presenting short films by: Maya Deren, Shirley Clarke, Lois Weber, Mary Ellen Bute, Jaclyn Graminga, Rachael Guma, Marina Fernandez,
1913 • USA • 10 min • dir. Lois Weber
America’s first female director. At the height of her career in the early era of cinema, the creative force of Lois Weber was matched only by that of that other great silent auteur, D.W Griffith, in terms of quantity of films produced and number of innovative techniques introduced to the cinema. Weber never shied away from controversy, featuring the first full-frontal nude scene in Hypocrites (1915) and tackling such sensitive topics of the day as religious discrimination in The Jew’s Christmas (1913) and birth control in Where Are My Children? (1916). In Suspense, Weber employs a familiar narrative—the vulnerable wife alone at home, the frantic husband racing to her rescue—in order to showcase her impressive technical skills. High-angle shots, inventive use of reflections to frame actions, and the very first use of a split-screen demonstrated Weber’s mastery of the camera and solidified her position as a true pioneer of the silent era.
1936 • USA • 6 min • dir. Mary Ellen Bute
“What is Seeing Sound?” This is the question that drove Mary Ellen Bute, the avant-garde animator whose work regularly preceded feature films at large-venue theaters such as Radio City Music Hall in the mid-1930s, to create a series of visual music pieces based on complex mathematical algorithms. Set to Richard Wagner’s Evening Star, Sychromy No. 2 is a sinuous and elegant example of abstraction at its finest.
MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON
1943 • USA • 14 min • dir. Maya Deren
Widely regarded as the godmother of the New American Cinema, Maya Deren was one of the key figures in promoting an experimental film scene in New York in the 1940s and 50s. A multi-talented artist whose career spanned choreography, film, ethnography, poetry, and photography, Deren had the uncanny ability to combine facts of objective reality with subjective perspective to create works that were simultaneously singular and universal. In films like Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), At Land (1944), Mediation on Violence (1947) and The Very Eye of Night (1959), Deren used editing techniques such as slow-motion, superimpositions, and jump cuts to full cinematic effect in order to demonstrate the non-linear nature of experience and perception. Harrowingly beautiful with touches of sinister surrealism, Meshes of the Afternoon depicts a woman lost on the blurred boundary between dream and reality. Symbolic motifs—the key, the flower, the masked figure—are filled with enigmatic significance as time and space become increasingly unglued in this masterpiece of the avant-garde.
1958 • USA • 4 min • dir. Shirle Clarke
Another seminal figure in the New American Cinema scene, Shirley Clarke ran in the same circles as that of Maya Deren and would eventually go on co-found the Film-Makers’ Cooperative in 1962 with other members of the New York avant-garde. In films like The Connection (1961), Robert Frost: A Lover’s Quarrel with the World (1963), The Cool World (1963) and Portrait of Jason (1967) Clarke displayed a cinema verité ethos that gazed unblinkingly at the lives and circumstances of those on the outskirts of New York society. A New York native, Bridges-Go-Round is an early example of Clarke’s fascination with the city. Utilizing numerous superimpositions, a color process known as “bi-packing” to produce the vivid tones of the film, and a disorientingly gripping soundtrack by jazz musician Teo Macero, Clarke transforms the bridges of New York into dancers whose graceful rhythms perfectly capture the mood and pace of urban living. After her death in 1997, Clarke’s films and reputation were largely neglected, but have recently come back to popular attention through the efforts of an ongoing restoration project to re-release all of her work, sponsored by Milestone Films.
2013 • USA • 10 min • dir. Marina Fernandez Ferri
From the Director: Dreams that New York inspires are not always sweet, even less so for the young Spaniard who yearns for connections in the city of frozen streets and lost glances. Temblor is a quiet short film from the intimate perspective of an immigrant struggling to adapt in the barren New York winters. Her imagination and fears come to life through a hybrid of live action and animated sketches. Based on the deeply personal experiences of first-time director Marina Fernandez Ferri, Temblor explores the isolation of every outsider in a foreign land.
2013 • USA • 3 min • dir. Jaclyn Gramigna
From the Director: What if a girl has a very private moment in a very public place?
18FPS, 45RPM, 3SPI
2005 • USA • 3 min • dir. Rachael Guma
From the Director: Super 8 found-footage film of the needle of a sewing machine blown up to 16 mm, hand-sewn, re-photographed back to Super 8, and hand-processed. The image of a pulsating needle as the thread punctures through the surface of the film strip, while the sound of a stylus needle scratches the surface of a rotating record player.
2013 • USA • 3 min • dir. Rachael Guma
From the Director: Festival des Artes Autochtones du Solstice d’été et des Compétitions Internationales du Powwow Annual.
© 2013 Black Mariah Films