Simply Because You're Near Me: Films by Phil Solomon
Sunday May 19, 2013, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Simply Because You're Near Me: Films by Phil Solomon
With Phil Solomon in person!
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.
Filmforum is delighted to host two evenings with filmmaker Phil Solomon, as part of a multi-venue celebration of his work. In our second night, Solomon brings an array of 16mm classics from throughout his career, and presents the world premiere of a new work!
In the other shows of Solomon's stay in LA, Solomon's epic installation American Falls, and other works, are opening at Young Projects Gallery in the pacific Design Center on Thursday May 16. http://www.youngprojectsgallery.com/
Try to make the opening, and definitely see these works while they are on view. Filmforum has another screening night tomorrow, Sunday May 19th, at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. And there is a third night of Solomon's works screening at REDCAT on Monday May 20th. http://www.redcat.org/event/phil-solomon
Solomon will be present at all events!
Special Thanks to Steve Anker, Berenice Reynaud, Paul Young, Sara Velas, REDCAT, Cal Arts, and Young Projects
Phil Solomon has been making films since 1975 and is currently Professor of Film Studies at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He was recently awarded received a USA Artists Fellowship (2012), received a Guggenheim Fellowship in 1994 and has exhibited his films in every major venue for experimental film throughout the US and Europe, including 2 Whitney Biennials and three one- person shows at MoMA. He collaborated on three films with his friend and Boulder colleague, the late Stan Brakhage, who named Solomon's Remains to be Seen on his top ten films of all time list for Sight and Sound. Solomonʼs recent Grand Theft Auto series, In Memoriam, has received numerous awards and was named in the Top Ten experimental films of the year by the Village Voice. He has begun work on a book entitled A Snailʼs Trail in the Moonlight: Conversations with Brakhage, transcriptions of several years of Brakhageʼs film salons. His three channel installation, American Falls, was recently exhibited at the Museum of the Moving Image in Queens, NY. This work was originally commissioned by the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. and had its premiere as a six-channel installation in 2010. Solomon's 48 minute digital video "EMPIRE" (2008-2012) premiered at "Views from the Avant-Garde" at the New York Film Festival in October, 2012. In a recent poll taken by Film Comment of the top 50 filmmakers of the first decade of the new century, Phil Solomon was placed at number 5, tied with Stan Brakhage. (http://www.filmcomment.com/article/best-of-the-decade-avant-garde)
"Etched in black and vivid color and infused with melancholy, Mr. Solomon's stunningly beautiful films have an emotional power that might well attract more viewers, if not for the maddening divisions that find a few rarefied films classified (read: ghettoized) as art, while the vast majority are relegated to the commercial trough...Although part of a long avant-garde tradition, Mr. Solomon makes films that look like no others I've seen. The conceit of the filmmaker as auteur has rarely been more appropriate or defensible...Created in the shadow of the mainstream, films like these underscore the stultifying sameness of most movies, an industrial uniformity that reminds me of a film project Bertolt Brecht conjured up while living here titled "Boy Meets Girl, So What." The liberating effect of Mr. Solomon's work suggests a rather different realm: Film Meets Vision, Rejoice!" -- Manohla Dargis, An Artist Who Inspires New Ways of Seeing, The New York Times, November 18, 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/18/movies/18solo.html?_r=0)
Animated gifs from films by Phil Solomon:
Nocturne (1980/89, 16mm, b&w, silent, 10 min.)
Finding similarities in the pulses and shapes between my own experiments in night photography, lightning storms, and night bombing in World War II, I constructed the war at home.
"A screaming comes across the sky."
- Gravity's Rainbow
"NOCTURNE strongly evokes one of Brakhage's most exquisite films, FIRE OF WATERS (1965). Its setting is a suburban neighborhood populated by kids at play and indistinct but ominous parental figures. A submerged narrative rehearses a type of young boy's nighttime game in which a flashlight is wielded in a darkened room to produce effects of aerial combat and bombardment. A sense of hostility tinged with terror seeps into commonplace movements .... Fantasy merges with nightmare, a war of dimly suppressed emotions rages beneath a veneer of household calm .... In NOCTURNE, found footage is worked so subtly into the fabric of threat that its apperception comes as a shock ploughed from the unconscious." - Paul Arthur
The Secret Garden (1988, 16mm, color, silent, 23 min.)
"No filmmaker reveals the faith in the multiple layers of visual images that the eighties have re-affirmed more than Phil Solomon. Solomon continues the Brakhage tradition of creating a succession of images whose logic comes from a number of sources, rhythmic, formal,
and associational, and whose coherence constantly switches from one source to another. As with Brakhage, one must abandon oneself to the trance-like authority of a Solomon film, and be sure-footed enough to follow a structure that relies on overtones as well as melody, on
sudden flashes of metaphor as much as narrative line. THE SECRET GARDEN is one of Solomon's most exquisite films. As with Thornton and Khlar there is the shadow of a story here, one which deals with the passage from innocence and experience and invokes equally terror and ecstasy ...." - Tom Gunning, Mecano Touring Program Catalogue
Seasons... by Phil Solomon and Stan Brakhage (2002, color, silent, 16mm, 15 minutes)
Brakhage's extraordinary hand carvings into the film emulsion illuminated and textured by Solomon's lighting, inspired by the woodcuts of Hiroshige. An offshoot of Brakhage's multipart series entitled "...".
The Snowman (1995, 16mm, color, sound, 8 min.)
A meditation on memory, burial and decay - a belated kaddish for my
The Snow Man
One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pinetrees crusted with snow;
And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter
Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,
Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place
For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.
- Wallace Stevens
Psalm III: "Walking Distance" (1999, 16, color, sound, 23 min)
Inspired by Kiefer and Ryder, dedicated to Stan Brakhage.
Imagining one of those rusted medieval film cans having survived centuries, a long lost Biograph/Star, a Griffith/Méliès co-production, a two-reeler left to us from, say, the Bronze Age, a time when images were smelted and boiled rather than merely taken, when they poured
down like silver, not be to fixed and washed, mind you, but free to reform and coagulate into unstable, temporary molds, mere holding patterns of faces, places, and things, shape-shifting according to whim, need, the uncanny or the inevitable... Walking Distance is a
simple Golden Book tale of horizontals and verticals, a cinema of ether and ore...
"Mr. Solomon's supremely lyrical PSALM imagines a movie extracted from a rusted medieval film can left over from the Bronze Age. What unfolds on the screen suggests an ancient abstract painting encrusted with rust and sand behind which human faces half-form and disappear,
suggesting eons of time and civilizations rising and falling. As the film's hues metamorphose in tandem with a shifting abstract soundtrack, PSALM evokes not only rust and sand but fire, wind and oceans as well, a never-ending cycle of creation and destruction."
- Stephen Holden, The New York Times
Simply Because You're Near Me (2013, color, sound, HD video, 12 minutes) World Premiere!
The many moods and shades of love, set in a virtual Hong Kong. Inspired by the films of Wong Kar Wai. World Premiere.
This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
June 2 Highlights from the Oberhausen Film Festival
June 23 Highlights from the Oberhausen Film Festival
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2013 is our 38th year
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Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian (View)
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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