Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Contemplative Cinema at The Texas Theatre

Contemplative Cinema and The Texas Theatre are proud to present a special "Underground Dungeon" screening curated by Mike Morris.

Screenings will take place at 9pm on Friday November 11th and Saturday November 12th at The Texas Theatre in the dank, underground area known as "Cinema 17".

Screening will be New and In-Progress handmade 16mm films by San Francisco based artist Eric Stewart. These films explore themes of deep ecology and landscape through direct manipulation of the film surface.

plus 3 iconic handmade films:
"Mothlight" by Stan Brakhage,
"Fuses" by Carolee Schneeman,
"Film Feedback" by Tony Conrad.

Program total running time is about 45 minutes. All films are silent and projected on 16mm.

$5 or FREE w/ Texas Theatre Membership

The Texas Theatre • 231 W. Jefferson Blvd Oak Cliff, TX 75208 • Box office: (214)948-1546 • Fax: (214)948-1525 • info@aviationcinemas.com

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Two Films by Melika Bass - May 28th

On May 28th, Contemplative Cinema will screen two new works by Chicago filmmaker Melika Bass. Please join us in Oak Cliff (address below) at 8pm for her two 2011 films Shoals and Waking Things. After the screening, there will be a QandA via Skype. We hope to see you there!

301 N. Waverly Dr.
Dallas, TX 75219

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Thursday, March 31, 2011

Shoals + Waking Things /// two films by Melika Bass - May 28th

At the next installment of Contemplative Cinema, we will be showing two brand new films by Chicago filmmaker Melika Bass. Over the past several years, she has been composing a body of curiously beautiful short films that quietly tempt the viewer to enter a world of fable. Each piece is stunningly crafted and unfolds at its own pace, creating a timelessness her characters inhabit, surrounded by an earthly magic that isn't entirely benevolent.

Shoals, a short feature that also functions as an installation, has been described as a "lulling, singular peculiarity." A description from Melika's website reads, "A prairie grotesque. On the grounds of a rural sanitarium, three young women search for wellness, as a cult leader seeks to control their bodies through labor and daily rituals." Also included in the program is a short film entitled Waking Things that features the Chicago based performance troupe Every House Has A Door.

The whole program will run about 92 minutes.

***After the screening, a Q&A will be held with Melika via skype. Don't miss it!***

Melika's work has been shown internationally at film festivals, museums, galleries, and alternative spaces including the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, and many more.

Contemplative Cinema will be moving to a new venue from LaGrange, where the previous screening was held. Location and more information to be announced soon.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blood, Shame, Pain, and Ecstasy - March 4th, 6:30pm at LaGrange

Blood, Shame, Pain, and Ecstasy is the first installment of Contemplative Cinema, a new screening series of experimental and alternative film and video that will take place at LaGrange in Deep Ellum on the first Friday of every month starting on March 4th. This first screening is a group of short films and videos programmed around a film entitled A Fire In My Belly, made by artist David Wojnarowicz in 1986-87, that was at the center of the recent controversy brought on by its removal from an exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery after comments by Catholic League president William Donahue and U.S. Representative John Boehner. This screening is one of many being staged worldwide in response to this insulting act of censorship. Included in the program will be two separate cuts of footage shot and edited by Wojnarowicz for this film, which was in fact never completed before his death in 1992, and 5 other pieces by artists including Dani Leventhal, Doug Ischar, George and Mike Kuchar, and Richard Kern. The title is drawn from The Cinema of Transgression Manifesto, a document published by Nick Zedd in 1985 that embodied the reaction of a young generation of filmmakers to the dominant trends of the day’s avant-garde film and the stiflingly conservative cultural atmosphere. Loosely associated with the New York No Wave music scene, this group of transgressive filmmakers included Wojnarowicz, though his films represent only one aspect of his large body of work that includes photography, painting, sculpture, and performance. This screening seeks to address this attitude of transgression and to reinterpret it through the present controversy around A Fire In My Belly. One claim is that the piece is an attack on religion, as in the words of Donahue when he called the piece “hate speech, pure and simple.” In fact, the religious imagery in the piece is far from simple or hateful. One iconic image in the film depicts a pair of hands trying to sew a broken loaf of bread back together, recalling Jesus’ words “Take, eat: this is my body which is broken for you.” It’s difficult not to interpret this imagery through the lens of the AIDS crisis that was breaking so many bodies and claiming so many lives during the time of the film’s making, and which would soon claim Wojnarowicz and his partner. We ought to remember the way in which religious leaders and politicians alike turned their backs on this suffering. Still, this image and others in the film suggest that Wojnarowicz felt art could play a redemptive role. As Zedd’s manifesto concludes: “We propose transformation through transgression - to convert, transfigure and transmute into a higher plane of existence in order to approach freedom in a world full of unknowing slaves.” The films and videos in this program, while not all addressing AIDS specifically, gaze into the face of mortality. In interpreting transgression, this selection does not dwell exclusively on shock, but opens up to include quieter meditations on the boundary lines of life and how moving images mediate the crossing of those lines and transform the painful into the sublime.

Upcoming programs will include group and solo screenings of emerging and established film and video artists from around the country. These will be announced soon. Contemplative Cinema, with support from The Video Association of Dallas, seeks to give exposure to works of art that challenge viewers to contemplate the relationship of moving images to their daily lives. It is our goal to enrich the local community by showing works that might not otherwise be seen and to encourage dialogue around the possibilities of film and video being made outside of a commercial setting.

LaGrange is located in Deep Ellum at 2704 Elm Street. The screening will take place Friday, March 4th, beginning at 6:30 pm. There will be a suggested donation of $7. 21+ only.