Chris Kennedy

“Within Mirrors: Films by Paul Clipson.” January 23, 2019

Celebrated San Francisco filmmaker Paul Clipson died at the beginning of 2018, leaving behind a community that cared deeply for both him and his films. Shooting predominantly on Super 8 and, when chance permitted, on 16mm, he was a prolific filmmaker whose work grew out of a long-term collaboration with the post-rock group Tarentel (for years he provided live visuals to their concerts), and whose films echoed the spirit of improvisation and searching beauty that informed the band’s music. As his acclaim grew, Clipson collaborated with a growing roster of musicians (most notably Grouper, Lawrence English, Jefre Cantu-Ledesma, and Tashi Wada) to created short films that maintained his previous work’s sense of spontaneity despite their more fixed form.

Clipson’s films are notable for their saturation (he pushed vivid Fujicolour Super 8 to its extreme through superimpositions of city lights and architecture) and their attunement to nature, transforming diminutive details such as insects or morning dew into lyrical subjects of light and colour play. This programme features Clipson’s five currently available films: four Super 8 films that were blown up to 16mm, and one 16mm film commissioned by the Exploratorium, San Francisco’s Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception (three areas that Clipson exhibited a strikingly creative grasp of).

Sphinx on the Seine | USA 2009 | 8 min. Super 8 on 16mm
Union | USA 2010 | 14 min. Super 8 on 16mm
Chorus | USA 2011 | 6 min. Super 8 on 16mm
Another Void | USA 2012 | 11 min. Super 8 on 16mm
Light Year | USA 2013 | 10 min. 16mm