Lights (1966)

  Lights (1966) Poetry comes alive through associative meanings full of sound. Words are the medium, bringing with them a history of usages and allusions. What would the poetry of film involve? A movie comes to life from optical illusions of motion because of a rapid flow of single frames; the primary medium becomes the … More Lights (1966)

Cheyenne (1947)

  Cheyenne (1947) Everybody wants to be The Poet. Jane Wyman is married to him; Janis Page is having an affair with him. That’s because The Poet [Bruce Bennett] has been successfully robbing stagecoaches, until he is discovered and shot dead by gambler and Wells Fargo Agent Jim Wylie [Dennis Morgan]. Raoul Walsh directs this … More Cheyenne (1947)

Ballet Mécanique

Ballet Mécanique (1924 ) This short experimental film was conceived by Fernand Léger in collaboration with the filmmaker Dudley Murphy (with cinematographic input from Man Ray) and music by George Antheil. Its juxtapositions of the human and the mechanical suggest a world succumbing to the mechanistic, a dehumanizing production line. The French model Alice Prin, … More Ballet Mécanique

You Never Can Tell

  You Never Can Tell (1951) Lou Breslow came up with the original story and directed this twist on reincarnation. It adds a dimension to Hollywood’s notion of “heaven,” here creating a “Bestiary” to which all sentient animals go after death, from which Dick Powell, a German Shepherd unjustly poisoned, returns to earth as a … More You Never Can Tell

La Jetée

La Jetée (1962) Using optically printed photographs in varying rhythms, Chris Marker experimented with persistence of vision to explore the complexities of memory. Underground researchers, survivors disrupted by atomic war, enlist a prisoner to travel back in time, then forward in order to find a device that can save human society. A voice-under narrator recounts … More La Jetée

Meshes of the Afternoon

Meshes of the Afternoon (1943) Maya Deren broke through the glass ceiling to create this significant surreal statement of women’s consciousness during the conformist forties and fifties. As the Museum of Modern Art has indicated, “A non-narrative work, it has been identified as a key example of the ‘trance film,’ in which a protagonist appears … More Meshes of the Afternoon

Les Parents Terribles

Les Parents Terribles (1948) Jean Cocteau adapted his successful play to film, keeping the original cast and emphasizing the claustrophobia of the set, to enhance a mother’s obsession for her son within a family dynamic of resentment and betrayal. Yvonne de Bray is formidable as the Intimidating, spoiled matriarch, and Jean Marais coils into her lap … More Les Parents Terribles

Faces/Places

Faces/Places [Villages Visages] (2017) Documentary filmmaker Agnès Varda joins forces with instillation photographer J. R. on a road trip across France, visiting coal mines, stockyards, factories, farms, and enlarging photographic images of the people who live and work there, to plaster across buildings, silos, train cars, crates, etc. The impermanence of art is J. R.’ … More Faces/Places