Date: Friday, January 23rd, 2015 at 8:00PM
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com
Holography: Memories in Light (Color, 1985)
A fascinating look at the invention, development and use of holography in industry and art; from holographic space ships to a holographic Andy Warhol.
Kinetic Art in Paris (Color,1971)
The works of Kinetic artists Julio Le Parc, Victor Vasarely, John Rock Yvar aren’t the only things explored in detail in this ultra rare, quirky documentary that features music from the short-lived cult British pop duo White Trash. Viscerally challenging, this kaleidoscopic homage to light, sound, motion and restraint is quintessential viewing for anyone with a desire to be fascinated by anything…even if just for a moment. Don’t miss this!
This rarely seen documentary aired on CBS at the height of the revolutionary and hopeful changes sweeping the art world (not to mention the rest of society). The film takes an inside look at some of the leading figures in art during the decade, including rare glimpses into their studios and workshops. Highlights include soft-sculpture pop iconographer Claes Oldenburg who states “My work is not meant to be funny or even art, my work is just made to be important”, Jackson “The Dripper” Pollock, conceptualist Sol Lewitt, Les Levine, and other artists who have since become emblematic of the wild experimentation of and use of industrial processes (Rauschenberg’s silkscreens, Barnett Newman’s steel fabricated sculptures) of the 60s. We also follow pioneering filmmaker, sculptor and engineer Len Lye as he demonstrates his large-scale kinetic sound sculptures.
Arabesque (Color, 1975)
John Whitney‘s Arabesque, is considered by many to be the seminal computer film. Set to the music of Manoochelher Sadeghi, and created during a residency at IBM Whitney balanced science with aesthetics as he experimented with the eccentricities of Islamic architecture creating whirling, exotic flows of computer generated images. Arabesque was one of the first computer generated films that married technology and art is a focused, cinematic manner. Working with his early home-made computerized motion-control set-up, Whitney could produce a variety of innovative designs and metamorphoses of text and still images, which proved very successful in advertising and titling of commercial projects. He also did various commercial assignments including the title design for Hitchcock's feature Vertigo (in association with Saul Bass), and the preparation (in association with Charles Eames) of a seven-screen presentation for the Buckminster Fuller Dome in Moscow.
Binary Bit Patterns (Color, 1969) The spectacular, fast-paced film features quilt-like tapestries of polyhedral and crystalline figures pulsating and multiplying with a kind of universal logic eliciting a hypnotic, trancelike effect from the viewer. This film echoes a preoccupation with the mandala image and the interest in Eastern meditative philosophy that is seen in the work of the whole Whitney family. Employing computer generated imagery with optically introduced color and flicker effects, Michael Whitney creates a hypnotic, psych-folk audiovisual experience that suggests a secret symbiosis between the digital and the organic as various Persian inflected graphic permutations appear, dissolve and undergo metamorphoses on the screen. With original sound-score.
Lapis (Color, 1965)
This film, by film pioneer James Whitney consists entirely of dot patterns. Like a single mandala moving within itself, the particles surge around each other in constant metamorphosis, a serene ecstasy of what Jung calls "individuation." For 10 minutes, a succession of beautiful designs grows incredibly, ever more intricate and astounding; sometimes the black background itself becomes the pattern, when paths are shunned by the moving dots. A voluptuous raga soundtrack by Ravi Shankar perfectly matches the film's flow, and helped to make LAPIS one of the most accessible "experimental films" ever made.
The images were all created with handmade cels, and the rotation of more than one of these cels creates some of the movements. John Whitney Sr. had built a pioneer computerized animation set-up—the prototype for the motion-control systems that later made possible such special effects as the "Star Gate" sequence of 2001. James used that set-up to shoot some of his handmade artwork, since it could ensure accuracy of placement and incremental movement.
For more information about John, James and Michael Whitney’s work:
Another link to James Whitney’s influences and life:
Finally, we offer up 3 Rarely Seen Experimental Films. These wondrous top-secret surprises incorporate aspects of yoga, INFINITY and Indian mysticism, exploring the relationship between LIGHT, scientific theories as well as CHAKRA-based spirituality. These moving images reflect the actual visual and auditory phenomena the filmmaker experienced in heightened states of meditative concentration. Many of the films share certain images which the filmmaker regarded as "hieroglyphic-ideographic" visual units that express complex ideation not easily stated in verbal terms.
About Oddball Films
Oddball films is the film component of Oddball Film+Video, a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Summer of Love, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.
Our films are almost exclusively drawn from our collection of over 50,000 16mm prints of animation, commercials, educational films, feature films, movie trailers, medical, industrial military, news out-takes and every genre in between. We’re actively working to present rarely screened genres of cinema as well as avant-garde and ethno-cultural documentaries, which expand the boundaries of cinema. Oddball Films is the largest film archive in Northern California and one of the most unusual private collections in the US. We invite you to join us in our weekly offerings of offbeat cinema.