Henry Hills: Rhythmic States
Sunday May 4, 2014, 7:30 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Henry Hills: Rhythmic States
At the Velaslavasay Panorama, 1122 West 24th Street, Los Angeles CA 90007
Henry Hills in person!
"Hills breaks down standard sounds and images, transforming them into perceptive alternatives, political critiques, and a search for occult, creative expressions that have not been said or explored before." Mónica Savirón
"Henry Hills...has been a distinguished film artist for several decades. He is intimately connected and acknowledged by many of the most influential poets in the United States as one of the filmmakers most closely connected to the poetics of the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E movement." -- P.Adams Sitney
"Accepting the speed of contemporary life and an exponentially increasing mass of information moving at a constantly accelerating velocity as given, Henry Hills composes films which present models of concentration, condensing masses of imagery to their essential moments and radically juxtaposing these to create pathways for thought. Rapid editing as generally employed in the mass media presents a mindless profusion of trivialities whose function is to lull the viewer into a semihypnotic state of receptivity. By contrast, Hills' work demands (and creates the conditions for) intensely directed attention. Rhythmically complex and varied, his films probe the depths of the topics at hand and in doing so expose new ways of seeing, educating the eye for a more critical viewing of the immense flow of images with which we are daily assaulted and suggesting fresh approaches to looking at the world at large. Closely allied to new developments in music, dance, and poetry, Hills' work remains fresh over the years. Films he made over a decade ago seem new today. Their ready accessibility belies their extreme density, which encourages and rewards multiple viewings."
HENRY HILLS has been making dense, intensely rhythmic experimental films since 1975. A longtime resident of New York's East Village, he has ongoing working relationships with the L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E Poets, composer John Zorn, and choreographer Sally Silvers. Since 2005 he has been Visiting Professor at FAMU, the Czech national film academy in Prague, and currently lives in Vienna. He received a 2009 John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship & his films, which are included in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, are available on DVD from Tzadik (www.tzadik.com). His most recent work, "arcana", was awarded Best Experimental Film at both Curtas Vila do Conde festival in Portugal and the Melbourne International Film Festival in Australia. His films, with an eccentric humor, seek abstraction within sharply-focused naturalistic imagery & the ethereal within the mundane, promoting an active attentiveness through a relentlessly concentrated montage. http://www.henryhills.com/
Henry Hills will be presenting a different program at REDCAT on Monday April 28, 8:30pm. For more information see http://www.redcat.org/event/henry-hills
In collaboration with REDCAT
For more event information: www.lafilmforum.org, or 323-377-7238
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets or at the door.
GEORGE (1976, revised 1988, silent, 2 min.)
George is a portrait of George Kuchar composed on a J-K optical printer with 4 scenes always running simultaneously through frame alternation (frame 1 = frame 1, scene 1; frame 2 = frame 2, scene 2; frame 3 = frame 3, scene 3; frame 4 = frame 4, scene 4; frame 5 = frame 5, scene 1; frame 6 = frame 6, scene 2; etc.), with Melinda MacDowell and Virginia Giritlian. Shot & reshot 1976, edited 1988.
RADIO ADIOS (1982, 11 min.)
Radio Adios is a monologue in 12 plaited strands; an extremely precise, condensed and intensely rhythmic Busby Berkeley-ish spectacle of an examination of conversational and literary language over a fair range of vocal timbre, microphones, volume settings and single-system sync peculiarities and its dissolution into music to the accompaniment of simultaneous Manhattan ambiances punctuated by fragments of jazz, personalized handheld camera movement, movement from cut to cut--juxtapositions of scale, pulsating changes in light intensity, a varying palette of various film stocks, generations, etc., at an appropriately furious pace and in strict one-track sync, offering simultaneously several levels of apprehension or interpretation to encourage multiple viewings.
SSS (1988, 6 min.)
SSS is composed from footage of movement improvised on the streets of pre-gentrified East Village by Sally Silvers, Pooh Kaye, Harry Shepperd, Lee Katz, Kumiko Kimoto, David Zambrano, Ginger Gillespie, Mark Dendy, and others, painstaking synched to music previously improvised for the project at Noise New York by Tom Cora (cello), Christian Marclay (turntables), and Zeena Parkins (harp). Beauty emerging from rubble.
NAKED CITY SERIES (1990-1, 5 min.)
Gotham is a music video commissioned by Elektra Records to the Naked City song "Batman". Naked City is John Zorn (alto), Bill Frisell (guitar), Wayne Horvitz (keyboards), Fred Frith (bass), Joey Baron (drums), and Yamatsuka Eye (vocals). Taking the band's name and first album cover as a clue, I drew heavily on themes in WeeGee's photographs (his major collection, Naked City, inspired the title of Jules Dassin's great 50's film noir classic which inspired the TV show of the same name, of which I obtained and employed a portion of an episode), recreating many of his pictures in their actual Lower East Side/Little Italy locations (a rare home movie shot of WeeGee--smoking a cigar--is also included.)
Igneous Ejaculation, my second Naked City video, was made as a gift to John Zorn who felt that Elektra's choice of a song to represent the group was too conservative. This was during his hardcore period and I wanted to give him something hardcore. Starring Desireé Cousteau in her most overflowing performance. Named one of the Ten Best Films of the Year (1995) by the San Francisco Bay Guardian.
Osaka Bondage was conceived and commissioned by John Zorn as the second Naked City video. Composed from imagery from Zorn's extensive "Roman Porn" video collection, it presents a violent thrash video version of Hell to counterpose the Bali vision of Heaven.
GOA LAWAH (1990-91, 4 min.)
Goa Lawah is a sacred bat cave on the east coast of Bali. Actual footage.
BALI MECANIQUE (1992, 11 min.)
A self-reflective study of the dance and rhythms of life in Bali, Bali Mécanique presents a luscious spectacle for the eye and a momentary vision of paradise for the soul. The casual documentary-style cinematography combines with an intricate jigsaw-puzzle-style of music-driven editing to create for the viewer a feeling of being in the center of the action. Dances to the precise accompaniment of a full gamelan orchestra.
PORTER SPRINGS 4 (1999, 15 min.)
A "remake" of my first film, Porter Springs 4 (1999) is composed from footage shot over 20 years (reversal, negative, 8 mm, super-8, 8mm video, mini-DV, & old photos), with an audio track composed from the video sync, ambient recordings, and a tape I made in highschool of my uncle telling stories and playing piano & of selections from his record collection that we listened to on family vacation in my childhood. My father growing old & feeble, my only footage of my dead sister and grandmother (Gonga) and of my log cabin (the Bug House) which was struck by lightning and burned to the ground in 1990, memories of my two ex's, eternal nature, endless walks in the woods, building my new cabin and dream time there, the rotting boathouse, and various typical family scenes, assembled and presented in the rhythms of my mind and body.
ELECTRICITY (2007, 7 min.)
A Bohemian architectural dance film with an edge. The inner city landscape of Prague, its beautifully integrated accretion of structures, 1000 years history repressed but un-bombed, is viewed through the rhomboidal electricity-catchers on the tops of its moving trams. Trams define the rhythm of the city, & so their looped noises define the rhythm of this film.
FAILED STATES (2009, 10 min.)
"Guru Guru Gatha" performed by Jackson Mac Low
Boys love to spin until they collapse. Is the world then spinning out of control? Preparations for renegotiating the Nonproliferation Treaty.
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.
Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:
May 18 Some cool films programmed by Julie Murray
May 22 Ericka Beckman, at MOCA
May 25 - Ericka Beckman, at the Egyptian
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The Velaslavasay Panorama (View)
1122 West 24th Street
Los Angeles, CA 90007
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