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Home Movies and the Avant-Garde (Program 2)

Sunday,October 14, 2012 ,  7PM

Cinema Borealis
1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 4th Floor , go to map

Admissions: $10 Suggested Donation

To celebrate Home Movie Day’s 10th anniversary (Saturday, October 20th at the Chicago History Museum!), we’ve teamed up with the Northwest Chicago Film Society (NWCFS) to co-present HOME MOVIES AND THE AVANT-GARDE - two programs of rare avant-garde films that appropriate and remix home movies and other amateur footage.

This two part series was programed by the folks over at the NWCFS, and here’s what they have to say:

“For decades, home movies and avant-garde films were jointly denigrated as ‘amateur’ in the least appealing sense: precious, obscure, endless, and immeasurably handicapped by a lack of professional polish. They were judged as failed attempts at Hollywood-style filmmaking, though their aspirations and implications often could not be more removed. In the 1960s, avant-garde filmmakers like Jonas Mekas and Stan Vanderbeek began reclaiming the epithet of ‘home moviemakers,’ producing work that challenged the borders of amateur cinema and domesticity itself. In honor of the tenth anniversary of Home Movie Day, the Northwest Chicago Film Society will be screening two programs of avant-garde films that exalt, appropriate, and reshuffle home movies. All titles will be authentically projected from 16mm film prints. Both programs will be presented at Cinema Borealis, the cozy screening room located in the heart of Wicker Park. Seating is limited; arrive early.”


The Persistence of Memory (Ricardo Block, 1984, 16.5 min, 16mm from Filmmaker’s Coop)

“This film surpasses all the autobiographic films I’ve seen in the past decade in its insight, humor, and visual richness. Block explodes, in poetic and ironic terms, the meaning and emotional contradictions of his past. He evokes, in the viewer the universal desire to examine one’s own place in a particular family, place and time. — Melinda Ward, executive producer, Alive from off center, for Public Television THE PERSISTENCE OF MEMORY is an autobiographical/collage film about a childhood lived within different cultures and languages. Born and raised in Mexico City of French/Jewish parents, the filmmaker uses found footage and excepts from home movies to construct a personal mythology. Hollywood stars, a Mexican president, family members, people riding the Mexico City subway and cartoon characters cohabit in this imaginary world.” Film-makers’ Coop Catalog

A Trip to the Land of Knowledge (Zoe Beloff, 1995, 65 min, 16mm from Filmmaker’s Coop)

“A young girl escapes from her drab black and white reality into Kodachrome fantasy only to find herself face to face with her worst fears. Juxtaposing documentary footage of my old high school in Scotland with found home movies and staged melodrama, the film describes what if feels like to be a trapped adolescent girl. Pressured by parents and teachers, she refuses to fulfill their expectations experiencing the scary awakening of sexuality as her body grows out of control.” Film-makers’ Coop Catalog

Reflexfilm/Familyfilm (Dana Hodgdon, 1978, 22 min, 16mm from Chicago Filmmakers)

“Chicagoland film professor sets out to make the world’s first structural home movie. Simultaneously an academic exercise in amateurism and a completely sincere and touching family portrait.” NWCFS

To learn more about Program 1 of the series, click here
& To learn more about Chicago Home Movie Day on October 20th, click here

Cinema Borealis
1550 N. Milwaukee Ave, 4th Floor
go to map
Admissions:$10 Suggested Donation