Fall 2007 - A Living History of 16mm

Programs are presented in co-sponsorship with the Northwest Film Center and Portland State University’s English Department and Film Studies Minor.

All programs, unless otherwise noted, will take place at the Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium at the Portland Art Museum, located downtown at 1219 SW Park Avenue.


Music by Curtis and Michael Knapp + special guests

September 25, 2007 - 8pm
Oak Street Building, Fourth floor, 425 SE 3rd

Devon Damonte

Co-presented by 40 Frames and Marriage Records

Come join us for a collaborative visual and musical performance involving multiple 16mm film projection loops with musical score, all taking place on the fourth floor of the Oak Street Building.

“Multiple projectors manipulate handmade cameraless 16mm motion graphics. Imagery is textures and text forms rubbed from beach glass fragments onto variegated grids of engineering plotting papers. Magical contact plastics, photocopies and lots of adhesive tape are also involved.”

– Devon Damonte


October 9, 2007 - 7PM
Whitsell Auditorium 1219 SW Park Avenue

Kazuo Hara

“Hara’s second film, and without doubt his most outrageous, personal and masochistic work. Shot over several years, mostly in handheld black-and-white and often with out-of-synch sound, this raw confessional has Hara following his ex-wife, 26-year-old radical feminist Miyuki Takeda. The two lived together for three years and share a child, as this documentary captures their post-break-up relationship and her new life without him. This was a brutal dose of reality for Japanese viewers, as it matter-of-factly tackles heartache, sex, insecurities, gender politics, and even on-camera childbirth. This is an extraordinarily intimate portrayal of the ideology, philosophy, and lives of radicals in the Vietnam era, revolving around the postwar relationship of Japan, Okinawa, and the United States.”

– Anthology Film Archives

“Noted Japanese documentary director Kazuo Hara makes an obsessive, compelling film about Takeda Miyuki, his former lover. Drawn by her letters, he goes to Okinawa and documents this remarkably strong-willed woman as she has a relationship with an African-American soldier, bears their interracial child alone, and discusses the director’s shortcomings with Hara’s producer and lover, Sachiko Kobayashi. This film is a landmark in the development of Japanese documentaries, as it began a shift in perspective from collective films about social issues, as seen in Shinsuke Ogawa’s early works, to intensely personal works about individuals.”

– Jonathan Crow, All Movie Guide

Gokushiteki erosu: Renka 1974
Extreme Private Eros: Love Song 1974

(1974, B&W, 98 mins)


October 23, 2007 - 7PM
Whitsell Auditorium 1219 SW Park Avenue

James Benning

Filmmaker in Attendance

“In 1977, concerned about the decaying nature of his native Milwaukee, Benning shot One Way Boogie Woogie, an hour long film composed of 60 shots of industrial urban landscape: smokestacks, sidewalks, three Volkswagens, people few and far between, an animal here and there. In characteristic fashion, Benning’s apparently simple, static shots are exercises in meticulous painterly composition, and their careful sequencing ensures that the director’s playful humour is given full expression. For 27 Years Later, Benning returned to Milwaukee to shoot ‘the same film again’. The shot by shot re-staging uses very obviously different stock - the colours are brighter, there’s a distinctly modern tone. Buildings are showing their age, or gone; people likewise. Seen together, these two films offer a cogent illustration of how America has changed in the intervening years, fraying in places, gentrified in others. Benning’s method, and his affinity with his subjects is extraordinary - as if he completely absorbs the landscape, imbues it with geo-political and cultural relevance, and re-presents it to us in a unique mix of formal rigour and mischievous invention.”

– Sandra Hebron, London Film Festival

“In 1977, Milwaukee structuralist filmmaker James Benning took his Bolex camera through his decaying hometown. In 60 one-minute static shots, One Way Boogie Woogie mined urban blight for droll comedy. While its pop colors and dynamic compositions referenced Mondrian, the film also evoked Buster Keaton stripped to the essentials of landscape, light, color and wit. Now Benning has completed 27 Years Later (2004), a shot-by-shot restaging of the first film. In the new version, the buildings are repainted or razed, the filmmaker’s friends middle-aged or missing; the colors are richer, the light heavier and the jokes quieter. The resulting work is a look back as haunted and bracing as Benning’s recent California Trilogy.”

– RedCat, Los Angeles

“A conceptual sequel to (or rather expansion of) Benning’s second feature, 1977’s ONE WAY BOOGIE WOOGIE. The first hour of this ‘new’ film is the original, hour-long film in its entirety: sixty shots, each lasting a little less than a minute, with the camera fixed in place, showing various out-of-the-way corners of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Twenty-seven years later, he returned to each of the sixty locations and repeated the exercise. As the title suggests, the second half presents these new shots – but accompanied by the soundtrack from the original film. Some of the locations have barely changed, some are unrecognisable – in the latter case, our memory is jogged primarily by what we hear rather than what we see. As is often the case with Benning, much sly humor is deployed to leaven what might otherwise seem an arid academic exercise – but there’s no mistaking the political elements of his approach (are we seeing evidence of Milwaukee’s decline, or signs of its economic revival?). The result is a quirky kind of time-travel: an exploration of how memory functions, specifically in terms of how it relates to our external environment.&rduo;

– Neil Young, Jigsaw Lounge, London

One Way Boogie Woogie-27 Years Later
(2005, color/sound, 120 mins)


December 4, 2007 - 7PM
Whitsell Auditorium 1219 SW Park Avenue

William Greaves

“In this film-within-a-film, director William Greaves dares to break the accepted rules of cinema. It is 1968 and Greaves and his crew are in New York’s Central Park, ostensibly filming a screen test. The drama involves a bitter break up between a married couple, but this is just the ‘cover story.’ The real story is happening ‘off” camera, as the enigmatic director pursues his hidden agenda. The growing conflict and chaos—accompanied by moments of uproarious humor—explode on-screen, producing the energy, and the insights, that the director is searching for. Mixing multiple cameras, split-screen images, and cinema-verité and conventional shooting styles, Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One offers multiple levels of reality that reveal, and comment upon, the creative process.”

– William Greaves

“…a witty, still-timely and extraordinary satire on filmmaking theory and technique that ranks with the liveliest formal experiments of Jean-Luc Godard, John Cassavetes and Andy Warhol.”

– Armond White, The City Sun


Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One
(US 1968, 74 mins)

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