Thursday, July 29, 2010

Black August Sun



Tuesday August 3rd, 8pm, The Pavilion, Cork.

Another Black Sun darkens the horizon... The latest edition of Vicky Langan's 'weirdo / outer limits music + film' event features the live acts Mark Durgan (Putrifier), Michael Prime (Organium, Morphogenesis) and The Quiet Club. These are, as always, curated by Vicky.

The film programme is selected by me. What follows are the programme notes I put together for it:

This projection of the haunting, penumbral Stricnina (Italy, 1969, 7 mins) brings the work of legendary Italian underground filmmaker maudit Piero Bargellini to Irish audiences for the first time. According to Bargellini, this silent, richly atmospheric short traces a dog’s “voyage into death – the transfiguration – the images that return, only to disappear from memory, emerge from the recollections in a purifying vortex that takes them back to their essence. It’s the gradual breaking down of the image into form and then into colours and then into light and finally it’s the beginning: the vibration that is the matrix of sound, of light, of life…”

San Francisco filmmaker David Sherman's lyrically nightmarish yet darkly soothing Tuning the Sleeping Machine (USA, 1996, 12 mins) continues the mood of oneiric inner voyaging. In so doing, it manages to reclaim for celluloid the televised impression of antique horror films. As critic Brian Frye describes it: “Fragments of unidentified and yet strangely familiar films, pregnant with allusion and implication, drift into one another, obscured by the haze of rephotography, electricity and the residue of (al)chemical formulae, renamed time and memory. Tuning the Sleeping Machine resurrects the cinema projected on the unconscious…”

Ivan Zulueta's masterpiece A Mal Gam A (Spain, 1976, 35 mins) remains one of the most important Spanish experimental films ever made, a visionary 8mm tour de force of overflowing subjectivity trippily reconfiguring private space. It stars the director ‘Jim Self’ as a man alone in his apartment, interacting with the objects and surfaces that surround him as the spatial and tactile collapse in on each other with a vividness only Zulueta could conjure.

The late Zulueta, who died last December, is a seminal figure in Spanish avant-garde cinema, but remains criminally neglected abroad. His ‘pop’ sensibility and early access to the ‘60s American underground placed him in a different universe to the repressive Spain of the Franco regime- and in the vanguard of that country’s cultural renaissance after its fall. Although his career was tragically derailed by drugs in the early ‘80s, by that time he had created an impressive body of short films and the astonishing cult classic feature Arrebato (1979).

3 Comments:

Blogger esperanza collado said...

Congratulations for the terrific programme, Max. Beautiful notes about Zulueta, who -as Ive been told- would have loved to see his films screened in Ireland.

Viva Black Sun!

1:29 pm  
Blogger Maximilian Le Cain said...

Thank you! And you know I couldn't have arranged the Zulueta screening without your help. He acquired several new Irish fans tonight...

4:21 pm  
Blogger esperanza collado said...

Very happy to hear!

11:15 am  

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