Ericka Beckman: Out of Hand
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Ericka Beckman: Out of Hand
Sunday May 25, 2014, 7:30 pm
Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90028
Ericka Beckman in person!
Los Angeles Filmforum is proud to present two screenings with the genre-defying, highly original filmmaker Ericka Beckman. Described as a key figure of the Pictures Generation, Beckman often uses games as structuring devices in films and videos that combine minimalist and punk aesthetics. As Amy Taubin writes: "Milking the Surrealist roots of Pop, Beckman creates brightly colored, psychologically threatening, sexually charged worlds in which her avatars are hurled to and fro, trapped inside a game plan whose rules they desperately try to discern."
Tonight, Beckman's second Los Angeles screening presents a further selection of films and a new digital video from her important and highly original oeuvre, including Out of Hand (1980); You the Better (1983), which nearly caused a riot at its premiere at The New York Film Festival; as well her more recent work Hiatus (1999); and Tension Building, a work in progress.
Tickets: $10 general; $6 students/seniors
FREE for Filmforum members. Tickets available in advance at Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.
INFO www.lafilmforum.org or 323/377-7238
"Like primitive cartoons, Beckman's enigmatic allegories are filled with nervous activity and comic violence, sexual imagery and syncopated energy, perceptual game-playing and ingenious homemade optical effects." --J. Hoberman, Artforum
Presented in collaboration with MOCA. Beckman will be present at MOCA on Thursday May 22 at 7:00 pm.
Out of Hand (1980, Super-8 to 16mm; color, sound; 30 min.)
Produced, directed, shot and edited by Ericka Beckman; Music and vocals by Beckman/Brooke Halpin; Starring Paul Mc Mahon; Featuring James Welling, Matt Mullican, Nancy Chunn, April Gornik
"Out of Hand is a search film, where a small boy returns to a house that is being evacuated, to search for something that he left behind. His method is to follow hidden clues in this house and to respond to the hidden aids in his memory. Back and forth, between inquisition and logic, he constructs a search with two unknowns 'What it is' and 'Where it is.' Each object he chooses has multiple functions, which extend both into the physical space of his search, and into the imaginary world of his perception and memory." --EB, 1980
You the Better (1983, 16mm; color, sound; 30 min.)
Produced, directed, shot and edited by Ericka Beckman; Starring Ashley Bickerton; Music and vocals by Beckman/Brooke Halpin
"You the Better is a film based on games of chance, and as games such as roulette, or craps go, this one is closed meaning that the player cannot really affect the outcome. A team of uniformed players, led by the artist Ashley Bickerton, performs the mechanics of a game servicing an off-camera betting entity, the 'House.' Although the game keeps changing and players are swapped out, one thing remains the same, the 'House' is hidden and controls the bets, the 'chance' of winning is nil. The game, in fact, is not between the players, but rather between the 'House,' and the 'Bettor.'" --EB, 1983
"As one of the protagonists, against all odds, repeatedly wins at the wheel of fortune, his adversaries grow hostile and jealous--the very moods provoked in Beckman's NY Film Festival audience, who were busy feigning not to understand. Beckman's was the one truly vanguard achievement in the Festival, and the only analysis and indictment of the competition that keeps the wheel of fortune spinning. Beckman made an art movie, when the audience clamored for Art." --Carrie Rickey, Artforum, December 1983
Hiatus (1999, 16mm; color, sound; 30 min.)
Produced, directed, shot and edited by Ericka Beckman; Starring Madi Distefano and Daniel Ruth; Sound Design by Bruce Darby
Produced with funds from The National Endowment for the Arts, Massachusetts Council on the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, and the Experimental Television Center
Hiatus features a woman playing a VR interactive game with logged-on game players and game identities, which confuse and trick her into consciousness. In this game, MADI, a female player, enters Level One, where the player has been asked to create a habitat that she feels most comfortable in, that she has complete control over and which empowers her. MADI creates a "virtual garden" and a construct of herself (called WANDA) to move around in his world. In Level Two she enters an "identity game" using technological power for the benefit of the entire community rather than her own gain. Here she encounters an adversary, "WANG," who threatens her field, property, and power with his own aggressive and expanding encoded architecture A virtual reality sketch of WANG's Palace was built in CAD, rendered and modeled on AVS software and runs off VR software written for DEC Alpha system 5000 workstation.
(work in progress, 16mm to HD; color, sound; 9 min.)
Shot and edited by Ericka Beckman
Tension Building is a composite of linked architectural spaces, some are real and some are models. It combines stop motion and live action filmmaking shot at the Harvard University Coliseum in Boston (1935) and the Municipal Stadium in Florence (1932), built in by Luigi Nervi. It features Boston Symphony Orchestra percussionist Richard Flanagan, and the U Mass Minute Man Marching Band. I used my camera like a surveyor's transit and created some rules for its path around the stadium. Funding in part by the LEF Foundation of New England 2007.
Organized by Madison Brookshire
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; 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.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation. 2014 is our 39th year.
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Spielberg Theater at the Egyptian (View)
6712 Hollywood Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90028
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