Chris Kennedy

“Themes and Variations.” December 1, 2016

Themes and Variations

Material reflexivity has had a remarkable longevity in experimental and avant-garde practice. The self-conscious revelation of a film’s own constructedness has proven a valuable device for a range of aesthetic and political purposes, from distilling filmic elements into “pure form” to dissecting the constructedness of other fabricated systems (nationhood, gender, ideology, etc.).

While this programme is primarily focused on works from the last decade, it is bracketed by recent 35mm restorations of two films by the pioneering avant-garde filmmaker Germaine Dulac, poetic fragments whose visual experiments and stylistic gestures foreshadow decades’ worth of experimental practice. Annabel Nicolson’s Slides is a feminist reclamation of abstract expressionism, while Esther Urlus’ Konrad & Kurfurst evokes an equestrian mishap at the 1936 Olympics that bolstered Germany’s interwar identity. K (Exil) belongs to Frédérique Devaux’s multi-part series on the Kabyle Berbers of Algeria; Sara MacLean offers a Melvillian tribute to the Bluenose with Fore-and-Aft; while Rhayne Vermette’s Les Châssis de Lourdes offers a dream-logical exploration of the suburban village of Notre-Dame-de- Lourdes, Manitoba.

Étude cinématographique sur une arabesque dir. Germaine Dulac | France 1929 | 8 min. | 35mm
Slides dir. Annabel Nicholson | UK 1971 | 11 min. | 16mm
Konrad & Kurfurst dir. Esther Urlus | Netherlands 2013-14 | 7 min. | 16mm
K (Exil) dir. Frédérique Devaux | France/Algeria 2008 | 9 min. | 16mm
Fore-and-Aft dir. Sara MacLean | Canada 2007 | 6 min. | 35mm
Les Châssis de Lourdes dir. Rhayne Vermette | Canada 2016 | 18 min. | video
Thème et variations dir. Germaine Dulac | France 1928 | 11 min. | 35mm

Sara MacLean in person.

Thursday, December 1 9:00pm