Chris Kennedy Eight Films
Made over the course of six years, these recent films by Chris Kennedy investigate how meaning is made and how the world is seen. Concentrating either on the documents that construct a history or on the elements that create an image, his films propose a variety of ways to re-see what is right before our eyes. Featuring the Los Angeles premieres of most of these films (although Filmforum has previously screened The Acrobat in our Festival of (In)Appropriation)!
"Often combining a careful concern with the apparatus and a high degree of formal rigour with thoughtful attention to social reality and history, Kennedy's films examine the interpenetration of a kind of phenomenology how the things of the world appear to consciousness with the material possibilities of film (multiple exposures, hand processing, found footage, multi-frame presentations)." - Scott Birdwise, Canadian Film Institute
Films by Chris Kennedy except where noted.
Jane's Window (2005, 35mm, 11 min. silent)
My grandmother cherished her large dining room window for the opening it afforded her onto the world. From this perspective she would see the arrival of friends and family, contemplate the change of seasons and reflect on time past. On the shelves of this window she collected mementos of a childhood in China, life as an artist, and the travels in between. Combining images of my own travels through Japan and China with images of the home my grandparents built, Jane's Window reflects on the passing down of memory, curiosity and creativity across generations.
4x8x3 (2004, 16mm, 3 min.)
8mm unsplit. Streetcars circle. The ferry leaves and returns in one gesture. Camera and character dance.
Memo to Pic Desk, Chris Kennedy & Anna van der Meulen, (2006, 16mm, 6 min.)
An idiosyncratic look at staging in news photography, using materials from the archives of a Toronto daily. Moral codes, delinquency & autonomy are pulled into an altered coherence, as vintage photos are examined next to their type-written paper trail.
Tape Film (2007, 16mm, 5 min. silent)
Made as an experiment in handprocessing, the film cycles through five different film stocks and a variety of processing methods. The result creates dimensional havoc in the image. The concept of inside and outside is troubled and the act of enclosure creates a screen on which to project the filmmaker's own image.
the acrobat (2007, 16mm, 6 min.)
Inspired in part by a poem by Toronto poet Ryan Kamstra, the acrobat is a consideration of the relationship of gravity and politicsthe beauty and necessity of rising up, but also, perhaps, the significance of allowing oneself to fall. If the force of gravity is in relation to both mass and proximity, how does the force of politics resonate across space and time?
Simultaneous Contrast (2008, 16mm, 5:30 min. silent)
The striped pattern of the municipal bus shelters in San Francisco becomes a fixed foreground behind which the city passes. Spatial oscillations provide a constantly permutating play of figure, ground and space, imaging the possibility of being two places at once.
Tamalpais (2009, 16mm, 14 min.)
Shot on Mount Tamalpais, a spatial matrix replaces temporal causality with contiguous space. A view of landscape is taken apart, to be reconstituted through memory. The grid, a reference to the "veil of threads" invented by Albrecht Dürer as an aid for perspective drawingto transfer vision to a sheet of paperis used for an opposite effectto disperse a landscape across time. The viewer is asked to remember the space as it passes and reconstitute it from memory, actively connecting the image across space and time.
lay claim to an island (2009, 16mm on video, 12 min.)
Texts from the 1969 American Indian Occupation of Alcatraz and letters from supporters propel an exploration of political yearning, emancipatory architecture and failed utopias. What does it mean to claim land that has more value as a symbol than as a potential home? And how does that symbol function beyond the boundaries of its geographic limits?
Chris Kennedy is an independent filmmaker, programmer and writer currently living in Toronto. He programmed for the Images Festival (2003-06), Pleasure Dome (2000-06) and recently co-founded the screening series Early Monthly Segments. His short experimental films have screened at over one hundred film festivals worldwide and he has presented film programs in Egypt, Belgium, Germany, the US and Canada. He holds an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute, where he was co-founder and host of a weekly film salon. His work as an artist and programmer operates in dialogue with the history of film as art, exploring the medium's materiality in a contemporary context.
This screening series is supported, in part, by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission and the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. Additional support generously provided by the American Cinematheque.
Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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