Holiday

1995
Spin

Pirated satellite feeds revealing U.S. media personalities’ contempt for their viewers come full circle in Spin. TV out-takes appropriated from network satellite feeds unravel the tightly-spun fabric of television—a system that silences public debate and enforces the exclusion of anyone outside the pack of journalists, politicians, spin doctors, and televangelists who manufacture the news. Spin moves through the L.A. riots and the floating TV talk-show called the 1992 U.S. presidential election.

1993
Strange Space

Thornton asks viewers to question how one sees “space" — whether literally or figuratively — and what is being revealed? Images of a sonogram session grant viewers access to what is typically reserved for medical analysis — “inner space.”

1995
Swallow

Based on accounts of girlhood anorexia, Swallow unravels the masked and shifting symptoms that define clinical depression. With a densely layered soundtrack, humorous and painful scenes of potential psychological breakdown reveal a critical loss of meaning, and the failure to diagnose mental illness. Weaving narrative, documentary, and experimental strategies, Swallow intimately traces the awkward steps from unacknowledged depression to self-recognition.

1999
 The Target Shoots First

“Christopher Wilcha’s fascinating feature-length video reminds us how seldom we’re allowed to see certain businesses operating from the inside. Wilcha, a 22-year-old college graduate and alternative-rock enthusiast, was hired by the Columbia Record and Tape Club—apparently as a fluke—to help launch a whole new niche-marketing division, which brought him face-to-face with the contradictory meanings of the term ‘alternative’ once it’s been embraced by the mass market.

1988
This is a History of New York

A history of New York City from Prehistoric times through the Space Age, composed entirely from documentary street footage.

"The richness of Cohen's vision is found in his haunting imagery and the perception that the thriving city of New York is really the accumulation of humanity's failures, as well as its triumphs."

-- Steve Seid, Seduced and Abandoned: The Homeless Video by Sachiko Hamada & Scott Sinkler and Jem Cohen (Berkeley: Pacific Film Archive, 1989)

1999
Tinseltown

A big splashy rendering of Hollywood in hot action. The babes, the boobs, the boo-boos and the inner triumphs all brought to the screen by the uncorked youth and uncouth old bats of the San Francisco Art Institute.

1993
Tomboychik

A series of intimate video-8 vignettes depicting the fierce love between Malverna and Sandi, 88 and 22, grandmother and grandson. The two playmates dress up drag-esque for this moving portrait of a woman’s lifetime struggle with gender and sexuality. Since Malverna's death, Tomboychik has become a living memorial to the intensity of her spirit.

2010
Tummy Ache Times

It's the season of joy once again and this video depicts the tasty and the troublesome in big, heaping spoonfuls.  Witness a social whirlpool of whipped confections and stripped confessions tastefully prepared in soupy symbolism.  See man and domesticated mammals share in the bounty of a cosmopolitan cornucopia.  Feast your eyes and ears on the snap-crackle-and-pop culture of a city simmering in smut. Swallow it all in the 4:3 format and good luck in the digestive department.

2009
The Unmentionables

Frisco anxiously awaits the pyrotechnic birth of a New Year while the remnants of holiday greenery still burn bright in all the right places. One of those places gives shelter to an Abyssinian animal of lethargic nature, while all about her the rumblings of tummies in turmoil foreshadow the gluttony of her bipedal guardian.

1996
Unruly Fan/Unruly Star

TV's invasion of viewers' domiciles gets turned upside down in the video as a fan's (Millner) domestic life is superimposed onto the set of Roseanne, driving home unexpected reverberations as the nuclear family teeters on the edge of dysfunction. A schmooze-fest between Millner and Roseanne ends by detonating the UNcommon desire that both fan and star articulate, to GO TOO FAR. Note: This tape is a director’s cut of the version originally telecast as part of the PBS mini-series, Signal to Noise, about the videomaker’s obsession with Roseanne.

1996
Urban Doodles

Cartoonist Ben Katchar is profiled in his old diamond district studio. A Big Apple pumpkin patch that's 100% kosher.

2006
The World of George Kuchar

Beloved by filmmakers such as John Waters and Todd Solondz, George Kuchar worked with the moving image for over half a century. In the 1950s, Kuchar and his twin brother Mike began producing ultra-low-budget underground versions of Hollywood genre films, with names like I Was a Teenage Rumpot and The Devil’s Cleavage.

2008
X MASS

A California winter turns the left coast into a brew of foaming festivities while landlubbers leap for joy in the spray of salty slurpings.

2000
Yuletide Surfers

From the crashing waves of a wintry Pacific to the haunted vestibules of a Bay Area mansion, allow entry to this motley crew of ravished revelers who bring their choppers down on an assortment of improvised bon-bons. The acting talents of those in search of holiday happiness find release in this smorgasbord of seasonal shenanigans that feasts on the bounty of the sea and the booty of the breadbasket to bake a nutty fruitcake of feisty spirits and smoked ham.