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“Preserving the Avant-Garde” in San Francisco

This Monday the 4 Star Theater in San Francisco will screen a program of experimental films to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Avant Garde Masters grant program, a fruitful partnership between the NFPF and The Film Foundation.

Remembrance (1969), screening in the program "The Film Foundation: Preserving the Avant-Garde."

Screening as part of the series “Scorsese: More than a Gangster,” the program is titled “The Film Foundation: Preserving the Avant-Garde.” Started in 1990 by Martin Scorsese, The Film Foundation has furthered the cause of film preservation by ensuring the survival of nearly 1,000 works of world cinema. Among these are 214 works (by 83 artists) preserved through Avant Garde Masters grant program, which is supported by the Film Foundation, administered by the NFPF, and receives funding from the Hobson/Lucas Family Foundation.

Since 2003 the AGM grants have preserved a kaleidoscopic array of experimental works, and a representative sampling has been selected by the San Francisco Cinematheque to screen at the 4 Star, with an introduction by NFPF Executive Director Jeff Lambert. Tickets can be purchased here.

The line-up:

  • Remembrance: A Portrait Study (1967, preserved by the Chicago Film Society), Edward Owens’s avant-garde home movie of his mother Mildred at home with her friends.
  • Orange (1970, Pacific Film Archive ), a sensual depiction of the peeling and eating of a navel orange by Karen Johnson.
  • Ophelia and The Cat Lady (1969, UCLA Film & Television Archive), two film portraits by Tom Chomont.
  • Prefaces (1981, Harvard Film Archive), part one of Abigail Child’s abstract film cycle, Is This What You Were Born For?.
  • Psychosynthesis (1975, Electronic Arts Intermix), an autobiographical film by Barbara Hammer.
  • FF (1986, Bard College), Julie Murray’s assemblage of rephotgraphed images from pop culture
  • Note to Pati (1969, Anthology Film Archives), an entry from Saul Levine’s “Notes” series celebrating daily life.
  • Nocturne (1998, Anthology Film Archives), Peggy Ahwesh’s disquieting invocation of gothic horror films incorporating stark black-and-white imagery with PixelVision video footage.

Tags: avant-garde, grant film, screenings

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