Sweet Dreams, Dark Nightmares and Haunting Hallucinations - Thurs. August 9 - 8PM

Oddball Films and guest curator Louis Steven present Sweet Dreams, Dark Nightmares and Haunting Hallucinations, an exploration of the surreal, inspiring, nonsensical and uncanny nature of dreams. The depiction of dreams always calls for extraordinary styles of narrative, and special effects. This program aims to show excellent filmmakers at their most indulgent, experimental and absurd.  The program includes La Jetee (1962), a post-apocalyptic story, from the recently deceased Chris Marker, where time-travel is sought through powerful dreams.  Watch the surreal, beautiful and disturbing images of horses in the ocean in Denys Colomb de Daunant's innovative film, Dream of the Wild Horses (1962), suitably scored by Jacques Larsy.  Enjoy a laughing gas induced space trippy dream in the Ub Iwerks classic cartoon, Stratos-Fear (1933).  See the beautiful development of the poppy flower on its path to being the notorious opiate drug in Dream Flowers (date unknown).   Always remember your childhood dreams with the amusing self help film Dreaming (1981) and take a flight over 1960s San Francisco in the award-winning Amateur film Flight to Fantasy (1960) directed by Bay Area filmmaker Lloyd Sullivan.  And for the darker side of restful reverie there is Kenneth Anger’s Invocation of My Demon Brother (1969), a satanic fueled vision with a droning music score by Mick Jagger; and more!

Date: Thursday, August 9th at 8PM
Venue:Oddball Films, 275 Capp St. San Francisco
Admission: $10.00, Limited seating RSVP to programming@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117

La Jetee (B+W, 1962)
Chris Markers classic avant-garde film. Earth lies ruined in the aftermath of a nuclear war. The few surviving humans begin researching time travel, in hopes of sending someone back to the prewar world in search of food, supplies, and hopefully some sort of solution to mankind's imminent demise. The protagonist is a man whose retention of a single, vague childhood memory (that of witnessing a murder on the jetty at Orly airport) is the basis for his being chosen to travel back in time. His journey leads him towards an enigmatic and paradoxical destiny.

Dream Flowers (B+W, date unknown) 
Beautiful black and white time lapse footage of the development of poppy flower and the various stages, both fascinating and otherworldly, that it goes through on the road towards becoming fit for opium smokers.

Dream of the Wild Horses (Le songe des chevaux sauvages) (Color, 1962)
Directed by Denys Colomb de Daunant with innovative musical score by Jacques Lasry this cinematic poem uses slow motion and soft focus camera to evoke the wild horses of the Camargue District of France, showing them as they roam on the beach running through walls of fire and water.  A remarkable film.

Meshes Of The Afternoon (B+W, 1943)
Directed by Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid. One of the greatest avant-garde films of the 20th century in which Deren practically invents the modern era of dadaist experimental film, merging a myriad of original approaches to camera composition, lighting, editing and movement with Teiji Ito's minimalist music.

Stratos-Fear (B+W, 1933)
Ub Iwerks produced many surreal cartoons based-on a tall-tale tellin' Baron Munchausen kid named Willie Whopper. The wilder the tales, the better the cartoon. Here is one of the wildest, Stratos-Fear, from 1933. This cartoon was thought to have been directed and largely animated by the legendary Grim Natwick. Considered one of the most surreal and offbeat cartoons of the 1930s.

Two Men and a Wardrobe (B+W, 1958)
Roman Polanski’s darkly comic early film has many of the director’s preoccupations already present: alienation, crises in identity, and a bizarre view of humanity that sees us as some very strange animals. In this quasi-surrealist jaunt, two otherwise normal looking men emerge from the sea carrying an enormous wardrobe, which they proceed to carry around a nearby town. Seeking fun, solace, or maybe some place to put the damn thing, all the two find is rejection at every turn. Watch Polanski in a bit part he later reprises in “Chinatown”. “Two Men and a Wardrobe” initiated Polanski’s collaboration with Krzysztof Komeda, the greatest jazz musician in Poland at the time that lasted for decades.

Invocation of My Demon Brother (Color, 1969)
In Invocation of My Demon Brother, filmmaker Kenneth Anger creates an altered state of consciousness through the use of cinematic and psycho-spiritual magick techniques.
The film is described by Anger asAn assault on the sensorium” and featuresunderworld powers gathering at a midnight mass to shadow forth Lord Lucifer in a gathering of spirits. Invocation is a quintessential late 1960 freak-out, containing a montage of drug use, pagan rituals, an albino, stock footage of the Vietnam War, the Rolling Stones in concert and abstract imagery all played at various speeds. The film is accompanied by a repetitive, droning Moog musical score created by Mick Jagger. In the words of avant-garde film critic P. Adams SitneyIt is Anger's most metaphysical film: here he eschews literal connections, makes images jar against one another, and does not create a center of gravity through which the collage is to be interpreted... the burden of synthesis falls upon the viewer.

Dreaming (Color, 1981)
Amusingly dated self-help video that inspires you to always hold onto your childhood dreams and warns against becoming just another mindless cog in the machine. Creative and alternation thinking is beautiful represented by hot air balloons and colorfully clad dancers.

Sullivan Collection Flight to Fantasy (Color, 1960)
A fantastic amateur film telling the story of a boy whose enthusiasm for his model airplane infiltrates his dreams. Fortunately for us we get a front seat in this dream-flight over San Francisco, gliding past the Golden Gate Bridge and underneath the Bay Bridge. This film was among the winners of Ten Best of the West 1960 S. California Amateur Movie Association award and received an Honorable Mention at the 1961 PSA International Cinema Competition.

Curator's Biography
Louis Steven is a student of English Literature and American studies at The University of Manchester, England. After finishing up a year of study abroad at UC Berkeley he clung to legal residency in the East Bay, while simultaneously pursuing his interest in film, with an internship here at Oddball Films. To bring together a collection of films based around dreams is to address his curiosity sparked by a spat of vivid dreams that seemingly all formed out of his anxiety and nostalgia about returning back to the UK, the flight of which is but a month away.