Strange Sinema 81: Time, Space and Movement - Fri. Oct. 24 - 8 PM

Oddball Films presents Strange Sinema 81: Time, Space and Movement, a monthly screening of new finds, old gems and offbeat oddities from the archive. Drawing on his collection of over 50,000 16mm film prints, Oddball Films director Stephen Parr has compiled his 81st program of classic, strange, offbeat and unusual films. This eye-popping program explores the themes of Time, Space and Movement (the representational essence of film). By slowing and accelerating time, compressing and distorting space (and distance), arresting and suggesting movement, these filmmakers explode the boundaries of conventional film, inducing a meditative, trance-inducing and in some cases a near-epileptic response in the viewer.  Films include: Spacy (1981), a stunning, hypnotic experimental short by Japanese avant garde maestro Takashi Ito; USA Film (1977) a single framed drive across the USA in 17 minutes; Allegro Ma Troppo (1963), the astonishingly beautiful ode to Paris; The Story of Time (1949), a beautiful and surreal stop-motion film about time sponsored by Rolex; Passion (1961) A hip, stylish and stunning puppet animation about a dare-devil boy who speeds his bicycle past the girls, eventually graduating to hot rods and motorcycles getting into more and more dangerous situations; Cosmic Zoom (1968), this short animation that transports us from the farthest conceivable point of the universe to the tiniest particle of existence; Rendezvous(1976), Claude Lelouche’s brilliant, high-speed drive across Paris via sports car (an oddball favorite!); Fantasy (1975), a hallucinatory handmade animated film from San Francisco animation legend Vince Collins evokes his mind-blowing brand of surrealist psychedelia; and The Wizard of Speed and Time (1979), a hilarious/ridiculous short by Mike Jitlov (the original short, later turned into a feature film) and more strange surprises!

Date: Friday, October 24th, 2014 at 8:00pm

Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


Spacy (Color, 1980-81, Takashi Ito)

Hypnotic avant-garde rarity by Japan’s celebrated avant-garde filmmaker Takashi Ito.  This experimental stop-motion film takes place in a gymnasium: we approach a picture on a frame, which turns out to be a picture of the gymnasium.  We enter the picture and approach another frame, which turns out to be a picture of… and so on.  A mesmerizing electronic soundtrack completes this trance-inducing meditation on time and space.

The Story of Time (Color, 1949)
Sponsored by the Rolex watch company this truly unique Technicolor short pulls out all the stops in its history of time telling from prehistory through the modern age. With music from the London Philharmonic Symphony in the background The Story of Time utilizes surreal stop motion claymation, optical printing and over-the-top narration to give us a dazzling perspective on time through the ages.

 Passion (Color, 1961)
A boy grows up with a need for speed.  Like a dare-devil, he speeds his bicycle past the girls, eventually graduating to hot rods and motorcycles; all the while getting into more and more dangerous situations.  Hip and stylish, this beautiful puppet animation is both a charmer and a stunner!

Rendezvous (Color, 1976, Claude Lelouch) 
Brilliant, high-speed drive across Paris via sports car.  Director Claude Lelouch (A Man and a Woman) mounted a camera to the bumper of his Mercedes 450SEL and zooms through the early morning streets of Paris at speeds up to 140mph, narrowly missing several stunned pedestrians (he was arrested immediately after the first screening). One take, real time- you won’t believe your eyes. Oddball has several copies of this gem; tonight we will be showing a simultaneous double projection- stereo mayhem!

USA Film (Color, 1977, Eric Martin)
Directed by Eric Martin at the Carpenter Center for Visual Arts at Harvard University the film collapses 4,000 coast-to-coast miles (From Washington DC to San Francisco) into a high speed 17 minute single-framed opus incorporating found sound and radio broadcasts, creating a jittery, pulsating whirlwind of images.

Allegro Ma Troppo (Color, 1963, Paul Roubaix)
A Parisian evening, conveyed through automatic cameras and imaginative cinematography of the life of Paris between 6PM and 6AM shot at two frames per second utilizing automatic cameras. From strippers to car crashes, Paul Roubaix’s Allegro Ma Troppo evokes the intensity and variety of nocturnal life in the City of Light through speeded-up action, freeze-frame, and virtuoso editing.

Cosmic Zoom (Color, 1968, Eva Szasz)
The film starts with an aerial image of a boy rowing a boat on the Ottawa River. The movement then freezes and view slowly zooms out, revealing more of the landscape all the time. The continuous zoom-out takes the viewer on a journey from Earth, past the Moon, the planets of the Solar System, the Milky Way and out into the far reaches of the known universe. The process is then reversed, and the view zooms back through space to Earth, returning to the boy on the boat. It then zooms in to the back of the boy's hand, where a mosquito is resting. It zooms into the insect's proboscis and on into the microscopic world, concluding at nucleolus level. It then zooms back out to the original view of the boy on the boat.

Fantasy (Color, 1975, Vince Collins)
A hallucinatory handmade animated film from San Francisco animation legend Vince Collins evokes his particular brand of surrealist psychedelia. Mind-blowing!

The Wizard of Speed and Time (Color, 1979, Mike Jitlov)
A young man in a green wizard costume runs throughout America at super speed, much like the superhero The Flash. Along the way, he gives a pretty girl a swift lift to another city, gives golden stars to other women who want a trip themselves and then slips on a banana-peel, and comically crashes into a film stage, which he then brings to life in magical ways. A tour-de-force of fast-paced fun!

Curator's Biography:
Stephen Parr’s previous programs have explored the erotic underbelly of sex-in-cinema (The Subject is Sex), the offbeat and bizarre (Oddities Beyond Belief), the pervasive effects of propaganda (Historical/Hysterical?) and oddities from his archives (Strange Sinema). He is the director of Oddball Film+Video and the San Francisco Media Archive (, a non profit archive that preserves culturally significant films. He is a co-founder of Other Cinema DVD and a member of the Association of Moving Archivists (AMIA) where he is a frequent presenter.

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.