The Ecstasy of Art - Thur. Dec. 5th - 8PM

Oddball Films presents The Ecstasy of Art, a visually striking and tantalizing program of vintage 16mm films that display the exquisite ability of film to capture and immortalize not only artwork, but the conception, creation and even reception of it as well.  Yves Klein utilizes the nude bodies of women as his Human Paintbrushes in this provocative excerpt from Mondo Cane (1962).  Delve into the world of multi-media master Robert Rauschenberg in the fascinating portrait USA Artists: Robert Rauschenberg (1966).  Ken Rudolph takes us through the history of Art in 8 pulsing minutes in Gallery (1969). Bruce Beresford's Lichtenstein in London (1968) is a tour de force on site doc of the American pop artist’s famous Tate Modern show featuring commentary by Lichtenstein, gallery views and shots of some of his most well known paintings and sculptures. Martha Graham's visionary choreography and Isamu Noguchi's sets play off one another in an excerpt from the powerful Seraphic Dialogue (1970).  Don't understand modern art?  Neither does the old curmudgeon in Will "California Raisins" Vinton's Academy Award winning claymation short Closed Mondays (1974).  Plus, an excerpt from Woo Who? May Wilson (1970), a genuine and ballsy portrait of a grandmother turned cheeky New York Art Star and more surprises from the archive.

Date:Thursday, December 5th, 2013 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Human Paintbrushes (Color, 1962)
This excerpt from “Mondo Cane” has famed artist Yves Klein utilizing human paintbrushes on a giant canvas. Klein, a student of Eastern spirituality was on a quest for pure color and form. His live performances were groundbreaking precursors to minimalism, conceptual, land and performance art. Klein was a showman and one of his most famous events was the imprinting of paper with naked models smeared with his trademark blue paint, as he directed their performance to music. As well as his monochrome works, Klein created sculptures using sea sponges, paintings made with fire, and is well known for his exhibit called The Void, in which he chose to exhibit an empty gallery room, void of everything but a large cabinet.

USA Artists: Robert Rauschenberg (B+W, 1966)
A fascinating portrait of Robert Rauschenberg, one of the forerunners of Pop Art and one of the most influential artists of the 20th century. Rauschenberg’s legendary explorations into painting, mixed media, theater, performance art and costume design influenced generations of artists and together with Pop artists like Jasper Johns, collaborators like composer John Cage and dancer/choreographer Merce Cunningham stretched and redefined the boundaries of the American art. From his patricidal “Erased DeKooning”* work to his co-founding of (E.A.T.) Experiments in Art and Technology in 1966, (formed as a collaborative link between artists and engineers), to his pioneering “combine paintings” using revolving discs to his work incorporating found objects and photo silkscreened images, Rauschenberg’s work is legendary. 

Gallery (Color, 1969) 
The fastest Art History course you’ll ever take. A pulsing, speedy slideshow of some of the most important pieces of art, shown chronologically from DaVinci to Dali. With a Moog soundtrack by infamous Clockwork Orange composer and synth God/Goddess Walter (Wendy) Carlos. Directed by Ken Rudolph.

Lichtenstein in London (1968, 
A British Film Institute Bruce Beresford directed film shot at the Tate Modern show in London in 1968. This film records the impact of American artist Roy Lichtenstein's (b.1923) work on the public and their reactions to it in the context of a retrospective exhibition at the Tate Gallery, London, which attracted unprecedented attention and proved one of the most popular ever held there. Shows his early paintings based on magazine ads and comic strip cartoons, such as Stove 1962 and Whaam! 1963, groups of girls' heads and landscapes and several sculptures. Commentary juxtaposes remarks by the public approving, questioning, or even rejecting the work, with extracts from previously recorded interviews with the artist made by the critics Alan Solomon for WNET, New York, and David Sylvester for the BBC. 

Seraphic Dialogue (Color, excerpt, 1970) 
In 1955 Martha Graham presented the world with one of her greatest pieces, “Seraphic Dialogue”. “Seraphic Dialogue” was a powerful, poetic and moving meditation of the story of Joan of Arc with austere sets by the famed sculptor Isamu Noguchi. This is an excerpt from that legendary work. Martha Graham’s impact on dance was staggering and often compared to that of Picasso’s on painting, Stravinsky’s on music, and Frank Lloyd Wright’s on architecture. Her contributions transformed dance as an art form, revitalizing and expanding the concept of modern dance around the world.

Closed Mondays (Color, 1974) 
This breakthrough film created by Will Vinton (The California Raisins) and Bob Gardiner won an Academy Award in 1975. In an after-hours visit to an art museum, a drunken man encounters the world of modern art. As he wanders through the gallery, paintings and sculptures shift from illusion to reality, an abstract painting explodes with rhythmic movement, a Rousseau jungle releases its captive images, a Dutch scrub woman talks about her plight, and a kinetic sculpture comes briefly and breathtakingly to life. A tour-de-force of clay animation that set the standard for Claymation as an art form.

Woo Who? May Wilson (Color, 1970, excerpt)
A portrait of artist May Wilson, former "wife-mother-housekeeper-cook" and a grandmother who, at age 60 after the break-up of her 40-year marriage, moves to New York City and discovers an independent life of her own for the first time. With humor and insight the film shows her acquiring new friends and a new self-image, and we watch her gain success as "Grandma Moses of the Underground."  Her mixed-media collages predated and influenced Cindy Sherman among others.

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.