The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive


Please note - this should be absolutely excellent! - Alan



LESLIE THORNTON
RETROSPECTIVE
Anthology Film Archives
www.anthologyfilmarchives.org


PROGRAM 1:  The Archive
Thursday, September 15 at 8:00

PROGRAM 2:  Early Works and Collaborations
Friday, September 16 at 8:00

PROGRAM 3: A Quest
Saturday, September 17 at 6:00

PROGRAM 4:  PEGGY AND FRED IN HELL: End in New World
Sunday, September 18 at 6:00



Program Summaries:

<I started watching experimental films at the
Unitarian Church in Schenectady, New York when I was
fifteen. Then I went to college and had the extreme
good fortune of taking classes with, well not really
classes, but I got to listen to a lot of the great
filmmakers boast and argue about their work --
Frampton, Brakhage, Sharits, Kubelka, Godard, Leacock.
By the time I started making films (I was painting) I
figured those guys had opened up a lot of space, but
that I wanted to go someplace completely different, to
deal more with the surprising world. I was drawn to
the filmmakers who could dig into emotional states and
tell stories differently, or tell different kinds of
stories, such as the Kuchars, Warhol, Ken Jacobs,
Yvonne Rainer, Alan Sondheim, the surrealists. I was
very interested in textures of speech and gesture,
in-and-of-themselves, like an anthropologist of our
own culture. Early on I realized that I wanted each
film to be like a new leap into the abyss.> --L.T.


         Leslie will be on hand for a Q&A after each
program, & will present a surprise from her personal
archive at every show.




PROGRAM 1: The Archive

Almost all of Thornton^s work includes archival
footage used in a very distinctive way.

  <I want to spark the imagination into sensing
something of a past, while at the same time giving a
place for the images to have a full, awesome present.
Not to privilege the past, but to experience wonder
that it exists, like looking at stars.>
  --L.T.

OH, CHINA, OH (1983, 3 minutes, b&w, 16mm)
ADYNATA (1983, 30 minutes, color, 16mm)
[DUNG SMOKE ENTERS THE PALACE]  (1989, 16 minutes,
b&w, 16mm film & video)
ANOTHER WORLDY (1999, 24 min, b&w-color 16mm)
CHIMP FOR NORMAL SHORT (1999, 7 min, 16mm)
LET ME COUNT THE WAYS: Minus 10, 9, 8, 7~E(2004-05, 20
minutes, color, video)

Total program time: ca. 110 minutes

Thursday, September 15 at 8:00




PROGRAM 2: Early Works and Collaborations

The early works show the influence of both the
structural and minimalist preoccupations of the film
and art world, then fast-forward through a series of
experiments in storytelling. Subjects include
portraits of eccentrics, dying and faith in art;
collaborations are with Ron Vawter, the Wooster Group,
and others.

X-TRACTS (1975, 9 minutes, b&w, 16mm film)
ALL RIGHT YOU GUYS (1976, 16 minutes, b&w, 16mm film)
HOWARD (1977, 20 minutes, b&w, 16mm film)
JENNIFER, WHERE ARE YOU? (1981, 10 minutes, color,
16mm film)
SHE HAD HE SO HE DO HE TO HER (1987, 5 minutes, color,
16mm film)
   Produced in conjunction with Fireworks,  an
experimental theater production
STRANGE  SPACE (1993, 4 minutes, color, video)
Co-produced with Ron  Vawter
RHYME ^EM TO DEATH,   a film by THE WOOSTER GROUP,
cinematography by LESLIE THORNTON
  (1992, 12 minutes, b&w, video)
THE LAST TIME I SAW RON  (1994, 12 minutes, color,
video)

Total program time: ca. 95 minutes

Friday, September 16 at 8:00




PROGRAM 3: A Quest

Thornton became obsessed with the biography of
Isabelle Eberhardt, a late-nineteenth century traveler
and adventurer who passed herself off as a Muslim man
and lived a scandalous life in North Africa. The
program includes her groundbreaking feature-video,
<Unseen Cloud...> and excerpts from an ongoing project
entitled <The Great Invisible>, in which she digs
deeper into Eberhardt^s story and into her ecstatic,
yet devious relation with Islam.

THERE WAS AN UNSEEN CLOUD MOVING (1988, 60 minutes,
color, video)

THE HAUNTED SWING  (1998, 16 minutes, color, video)

Total program time: 80 minutes

Saturday, September 17 at 6:00




PROGRAM 4:  PEGGY AND FRED IN HELL: End in New World

The 2005 version of the on-going series,
90 minutes, 16mm & video

  <Forever unfinished, Thornton^s magnum opus resembles
nothing else known in the cinema avant-garde; two
children, Peggy and Fred, in a setting that could have
been invented by an elder, pessimistic brother of
Samuel Beckett, talk, dance, sing and squabble with
each other as they move through the history of the
20th Century.>

-- Bill Krohn, CAHIERS DU CINEMA

  <There^s something edgy and strong about PEGGY AND
FRED IN HELL... which comes on like a Godard movie
starring children... an audacious film/video you won^t
want to miss.>


   --John Powers

  Total program time: ca. 90 minutes

  Sunday, September 18 at 6:00




  ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
  32 Second Avenue (at Second Street)
  New York City   Telephone: (212) 505-5181

  www.anthologyfilmarchives.org




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