Here: A Survey of Films and Videos by Vincent Grenier
Sunday, October 24, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Here: A Survey of Films and Videos by Vincent Grenier
At the Echo Park Film Center
1200 N Alvarado St. (@ Sunset Blvd.) Los Angeles, CA. 90026, (213) 484 - 8846
Note the change in location!
Admission for Filmforum screenings: $10 general, $6 students/seniors, free for Filmforum members
Vincent Grenier in person!
Grenier has visited Filmforum several times in the past, and we're delighted to host him again.
Vincent Grenier is a pioneering North American film-and-video artist who has left his distinctive mark on the San Francisco, Montreal and New York avant-gardes. Grenier's work evinces a keen photographic eye and a subtle sense of how images combine to create feeling. With influences as disparate as Eastern painting, Dryer's Jeanne d'Arc and Ernie Gehr, Grenier has charged his cinema with an electric self-reflexivity whose energy does not preclude moments of absolute clarity and even meditative stillness. The evening will range widely in terms of technique, form and format, but each work achieves a unique poetry that can be at once tough, tenuous and tender. – Madison Brookshire
Vincent Grenier will have another screening at REDCAT with different films on Monday, October 25: http://www.redcat.org/event/vincent-grenier
Vincent Grenier is a North American artist born in Quebec City who now resides in the US. As well as being a vital member of the New York avant-garde, he was also a frequent contributor to the San Francisco and Montreal Art scenes of the 1970's and 1980's. He also did pioneering film programming first for Canyon Cinema (later renamed the San Francisco Cinematheque) and then the Collective for Living Cinema in New York City. Grenier made over two dozens films and, in 1990, was one of the first of a wave of experimental filmmakers to move to video. Grenier's films and videos have earned myriad awards and have been shown all over North America, Europe and China at major museums and festivals, including perennial appearances at the New York Film Festival's Views from the Avant-Garde. His work was recently the subject of major retrospectives at Media City in Windsor, Ontario and the Images Film & Video Festival's Canadian Images Spotlight in Toronto. In 2010, he received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship. He currently lives in Ithaca, New York and teaches cinema at Binghamton University. —Madison Brookshire & Vincent Grenier
INTERIEUR INTERIORS (TO AK) (1978, 15 min., Silent, black and white 16mm film)
With special assistance from Ann Knutson.
A photographic, yet abstract painting-in-time whose ambiguous (but unchanging?) space is at times claustrophobic, at others infinite. Cleverly timed shifts in the representation of space give rise to philosophical questions about perception itself and the foundations of knowledge. —MB
"We are back with magic, made possible with black and white film, shadows and lights, the limitations of the screen and the depth of field. …when film grains, dots in deep space, disintegrate the solidity and enclosureness of a wall, the intentions of the film and the transforming events accumulate at a very intimate level of the viewer, that is, at the level of the mechanism of his understanding." —VG
"... And although we may repeatedly be laced back through the spatial ambiguities and the similarities of light reflection (a kind of sensuous and tendentious voyage), what Grenier leaves us with is finally not the realization that lines and shapes become objects, nor that objects deliquesce into abstraction, but that both object and abstraction can be accessible at the same moment."— Martha Haslanger, Downtown Revue, Winter 1980
TREMORS (1984, 13 min., Color, 16mm film with sound)
Grenier writes that "the Kinemacolor process was used in 19l5 to obtain fairly illusionistic colors from black and white films by filming and projecting them through synchronized, red and green filters." In TREMORS, Grenier pushes this mimetic technology beyond the limits of verisimilitude into pure poetry. It is at once familiar and uncanny, representational and yet at a striking distance from ordinary vision. The contrasting colors assault first the world then the audience, rending time and space; the result is a strange and quiet calm. It is, in a word, sublime.—MB
"Sturdiness jousts with fragility, past with present, alienation with tenderness, abrasiveness with sensuality, red with green."—VG
SHADE / TOILE (1975, 16 min., Silent, color 16mm)
"SHADE is a near exhaustion of the possibilities between camera (aperture, focus) and nature (sun, wind). It is a beautiful study-poem on the undying presence that renders the world perceptually. In this minimal area, the variations are pursued with quiet doggedness, each frame revealing the secret of the next." - Mike Reynolds, Berkeley Barb
Travelogue (2010. 8 min., Color HD video with sound, orig. MPEG4, 16:9)
"This video was taken using a small digital still camera on multiple bus trips between New York City and Upstate NY. The buses' many large windows afforded dramatic reflections to this perched passenger feeling as if floating through the landscape. Lulled by the noises of the tires on the road, the incessant tremors, muffled conversations and trying to keep the digital camera steady while being thrown from side to side, visual wedges kept uncannily intersecting and gesturing." —VG
Burning Bush (2010, 9 min., Color HD video with sound, orig. XDCAM-EX, 16:9)
"In Eastern Orthodoxy a tradition exists that the flame Moses saw was God's Uncreated Energies/Glory , manifested as light, thus explaining why the bush was not consumed. Hence, it is not interpreted as a miracle in the sense of an event, which only temporarily exists, but is instead viewed as Moses being permitted to see these Uncreated Energies/Glory, which are considered to be eternal things; the Orthodox definition of salvation... ." — New World Encyclopedia
"The Euonymus' mid-fall, 'natural' leaves are startling, their colors so saturated as to appear unreal, their purity so uniform as to appear manufactured. It has long been a fascination of mine to activate shared qualities living in parallel universes; always, that which is present in the make up of the digital cinema image and that of the physical world it is representing. Assumptions we make about the real world, the way it is recorded, or more appropriately translated, are cultural constructs." —VG
YOU (TALKING PORTRAITS, Part 1) (1990, 16 min., Color, 16mm film with sound)
Another confrontation of audience expectations, the ambiguous space in YOU is psychic as well as visual—a further, development of the purely perceptual ambiguities in INTERIEUR INTERIORS. This film uses unquestioned conventions of narration to create a poetic space, something between documentary and, not quite fiction, but allusion that—unlike so many films that came after—does not rely on either cleverness or trickery. The potential for slippage—just who is this "you"?—is medium specific, not simply capricious. The film itself is about the beauty of anything that resonates within us, even things that leave a bad residue. —MB
"I had been looking for someone's unnerving encounter, that conversation that one just couldn't get out of their head, the kind of event that leaves one still debating out loud while walking in the streets or doing one's tidies in the bathroom. After interviewing a few people, I found Lisa Black who obliged with one of her own and became the film's main character."—VG
This, and This (2006, 10.5 min., Color video with sound, orig. Mini DV)
"The image is a pure creation of the mind, it cannot be born from a comparison, but comes from the bringing together of two distant realities … An image is not powerful because it is brutal and fantastic, but because the association of ideas is distant and true." —Pierre Reverdy, as quoted by Jean-Luc Godard
This, and This may be the culmination of a long series of films and videos by Grenier that push the limits of associative montage. The tenuous connective tissue loosely binding these shots together threatens to dissolve, allowing the images to just drift away. And yet the edits are sharp enough to reclaim the term "cut." Far from meek and mild, This, and This derives energy from its interstices. Its generosity, sense of space and evocative power all come from the cuts, giving it the thrill of Cassavetes' comedies and the clarity of Haiku. —MB
WORLD IN FOCUS (1976, 20 min., Silent, color 16mm film)
In WORLD IN FOCUS, the screen becomes the two dimensional support of an amazingly versatile three-dimensional object (the Atlas) which contains, in turn, two-dimensional pictures of other three-dimensional objects. The physicality of the book offers an area no less real than its language. (i.e. text, pictures, etc.) which is itself presenting a dislocated image of "the world." To look at the objectness of the book is in fact to look at the real thing, something which is contained in what it portends to describe. The film inventories and builds [on a] number of camera/book affinities and the ramifications of the resulting deconstruction of the book's "language." —VG
"An homage to the primitive cinema of the flip-book, and the ultimate armchair travelogue, WORLD IN FOCUS was a deserved prize winner at this year's (1978) Ann Arbor Film Festival and is a beautiful idea, beautifully realized." —J. Hoberman, The Village Voice
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 American Cinematheque.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2010 is our 34th year.
Memberships available, $60 single or $95 dual
Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. www.lafilmforum.org
Echo Park Film Center
1200 N Alvarado St. (@ Sunset Blvd.)
Los Angeles, CA 90026
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