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December 18 (Monday) 7 pm

The Silents of Sound: Three Films

Over one hundred years have passed since the birth of cinema, yet the silent era continues to inspire contemporary filmmakers. This program presents three films which draw on the formal devices of groundbreaking artists such as Eadweard Muybridge, Thomas Edison and the Lumière brothers, whose pioneering efforts inform these innovative works.

This program was curated by Dominique Bluher.


Berlin Horse

Directed by Malcolm Le Grice
UK 1970, 16mm, color, 8 min.

Reworking his own 8mm footage and an early newsreel, Le Grice’s two-part experimental short considers the temporal relationship between the process of production and the act of exhibition.

 

 

Workers Leaving the Factory

Directed by Harun Farocki
Germany 1995, video, b/w & color, 36 min.

Drawing inspiration from the Lumière’s famed short, German artist and filmmaker Harun Farocki reexamines the first film exhibited to the public through a fascinating essayistic lens. Interweaving footage from the original Workers Leaving the Factory (1895) with such films as Lang’s Metropolis, Pudovkin’s Deserter, and Antonioni’s Red Desert, Farocki poses a stimulating series of questions on the nature of observation and realism in cinema.

Cowards Bend the Knee

Directed by Guy Maddin
Canada 2003, video, b/w, 60 min.
With Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart

Situated primarily in a hockey arena and a beauty salon/abortion clinic, Maddin’s serialized film (comprised of ten short chapters) details a Winnipeg hockey star’s encounters with an oversexed Chinese woman named Meta and her hairdresser/abortionist mother. The player’s name is Guy, and Maddin has conceded that the film is partially autobiographical: “A lovingly self-loathing peek at myself but only as I would have enough courage to look—through a cracked glass made foggy by hairspray.” Initially shown as a peephole installation, the film offers a complex exploration of voyeurism through both form and content.

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