Cinema Soiree with Anthony Buchanan - Domestic Dystopias: Lost, Found, and Reimagined - Thur. Mar. 31 - 8PM

Oddball Films welcomes film collector, filmmaker and found footage expert Anthony Buchanan all the way from Colorado for our Cinema Soiree Series, a monthly soiree featuring visiting authors, filmmakers and curators presenting and sharing cinema insights. Buchanan will be swinging into Oddball to unspool some of his new super8 films--predominantly found footage--which deal with issues of media hypnosis, distorted perception in American life, satirical but poignant commentaries on home movie traditions and ideologies, and other American mythologies. Source material for the films include orphan home movies from the '70s, Hollywood classics remixed with personally-shot footage, audio pulled from dumpsters, discarded VHS tapes, Buchanan's own one-reelers, and other media ephemera. Buchanan's super8 mm films include KneelReel (2015), Manipulating the T-Bone (2015), Flip Flick (2015), I, CHRIS (2016), and ATA Lives (2016). Also included in the program are 16mm vintage satires on consumer culture from Buchanan's own archive, as well as gems pulled from Oddball's collection including Report (1967) by Bruce Conner and Future Shock! (1972) narrated by Orson Welles!!

Date: Thursday, March 31st, 2016 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117

Films Include:

KneelReel, 2015, super 8, silent, 2 minutes

The first in an on-going series that expose middle-class American ideals as enacted through the history of “small film history”--home movie--tradition, as opposed to “Film History,” with a capital “H.” Emphasis was on how the secondary body--the apparatus and the filmmaker’s movement--shape the subjective interpretation of the objective physical world.
One roll of super 8, kneeling in a church, four times, in a circle, simple transition into the same gesture, into “Nature:” four kneels, forming a circle. A simple comment on the transference of Holy Worship from religion onto that of so-called “Nature.”

Manipulating The T-Bone, 2015, super 8, silent, 2.5 minutes

The second in the series, playing with the inevitable historical domestic associations embedded within the super 8 format; home movies, cooking, etc... and how, through the process of photographing, banal events become significant, even mythical, in the Barthesian sense. The T-Bone in question is the age-old signifier of Good Ol’ Americana. Title is a reference to the famous Bruce Nauman minimalist piece.

FlipFlick, 2015, super 8, silent, 2.5 minutes 

The first in a series that literally challenges/questions the physical limits and endurance of both the human body and the camera’s body, and their dependency on one another. Also a satire on minimalist Structuralist film, based on a pun. A one-reeler inside a heavily-padded super 8 camera, which was turned on, facing a mirror, and literally tossed into the air and caught by me, over and over, like a child tossing a ball, until the reel ran out.

I, CHRIS version 1 2016, found super 8, sound with accompanying CD, 9 minutes

The first of two films with the same audio. A serious investigation into the absence of an idealized self, a collaboration between two discarded and refound cultural pieces--audio and visual--both of which are blatant signifiers of lack. The audio is a disturbing self-hypnosis tape discovered by Joel Haertling in a dumpster in Boulder, CO, in the ‘80s. The visuals are from a slightly edited super 8 reel of shot-off-TV-screen-images of glamour, pageants and other late-night media shot by an unknown filmmaker in the ‘70s, and given to me by the Bay Area-based filmmaker Thad Povey in 2011. The obviously re-photgraphed images of desire, distorted by the super 8 camera lens, add further distance to the fantasy of self-fulfillment, as the photographer tries desperately to capture something that they themself are so obviously not. 

I, CHRIS version 2 2015-2016, super 8, sound with accompanying CD, 9 minutes

“No signifier is more imaginary in cinema, more primordally elsewhere, perhaps, then that of the moving body. The moving, gesturing body in cinema signals its presence in the world...but also its withdrawl, its status as an imaginary signifier that becomes a figure for absence; a figure of the absent figure.” 
--Akira Lippet, “EX-Cinema, 2012 

The second version with the same audio, this time the visuals are from re-photographed/manipulated images of VHS Yoga exercize tapes found around Boulder, CO. The fact that the audio--and the VHS tapes--were found in Boulder is significant, as this version is a critique of Boulder’s image as a New Age haven of yuppie leisure, success and “self fulfillment,” all of which hide a desperate existential crisis underneath. Once again, the awareness of the re-photographed image of movement, signaling further distance and absence, combined with the “seizuring” of the image, brings the imaginary signifier of success to ruin. Two New Age byproducts of unfulfilled personal crises, turned against themselves through manipulation, to expose the desperate unfulfillment and failure that they are manufactured to mask. NOTE: This version is a work in progress, as it will later have a hand-made abstract element applied to it from New Age “Healing” chemicals found at local stores, furthering the foregrounding of simulated bodies and absence. 

ATA Lives!!! 2016, super 8, silent, 11 minutes

A cinematic Holiday card to our dearly-loved San Francisco microcinema, ATA and Other Cinema. A short film I made with my own footage as well as a super8 print of "It's A Wonderful Life" to celebrate Artists' Television Access's success in renewing their lease for five years as of 2016, despite all the odds, in the increasingly-gentrified Mission District of San Francisco. Edited in four nights with a hot splicer, plenty of beer, and lots of love. A Tragedy-turned-Triumph.

Anthony Buchanan is a filmmaker, curator, and internationally-published scholar of underground and experimental film. His films investigate--and interrogate--simulated narratives and myths embedded within landscapes, narratives and various media, as well as emphasizing issues of absence, displacement, and the trace within archival/”found” media and in constructed human “desire,” oftentimes literally testing and incorporating the physical limitations of the technology.  Buchanan has been an adjunct professor of critical studies at Santa Fe University Of Art And Design and guest-lectures at CU Boulder and has freelance-lectured on topics as varied as Barthes, Conner, Derrida and the Trace in Found Footage film, History of Experimental Film in the San Francisco Bay Area, History of the Occult in World Cinema, and  Paracinema in Performance, and his interviews with found footage and deconstructionist experimental filmmakers have been published in Abraxas Journal and Otherzine. He has screened and lectured at numerous venues including Other Cinema, ATA, EXPLODED VIEW, as well as many New Mexico and Colorado-based spaces. In 2014, Buchanan spearheaded the Denver-based microcinema Cinema Contra.  

Selections from the Oddball Archive:

Future Shock (Color, 1972)
Alvin Toffler predicted the electronic frontier of the internet, prozac, youtube, cloning and the self-paralysis of too many choices, instant celebrities and the end of blue-collar manufacturing. Not bad for 1970.

Narrated by Orson Welles and screened at the 1973 Cannes Film Festival this filmed version of Toffler’s much hailed book provides a glimpse of the collision between the present and the future and how proliferating technology is affecting human behavior. It also documents the disturbance, the dislocation and the disorientation that rapid technical developments can cause.

(Bruce Conner, 1967, B+W)

"Report” can mean an account of events or a blast of a rifle and both meanings are apt for this incendiary work. Using found footage, footage the news coverage captured from his home TV and even mostly blank film, Conner arranges familiar images and audio against each other in throbbing juxtapositions. Events in Dallas had a clear before and after for America, but Conner's careful structure plays with the sequence of events to shocking effect. Report ultimately fuses images of promise and plenty with those of cataclysm and oblivion.

About Oddball Films
Oddball Films is a stock footage company providing offbeat and unusual film footage for feature films like Milk, documentaries like The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, Silicon Valley, Kurt Cobain: The Montage of Heck, television programs like Mythbusters, clips for Boing Boing and web projects around the world.

Our screenings 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.