Expedition/Travel

1979
The Laughing Alligator

The personal odyssey recorded in The Laughing Alligator combines methods of anthropological research with diaristic essay, mixing objective and subjective vision. Recorded while Downey and his family were living among the Yanomami people of Venezuela, this compelling series of anecdotes tracks his search for an indegenous cultural identity.

2009
Jem Cohen, Le Bled (Buildings in a Field)

A collaboration with writer Luc Sante made in Tangier, Morocco, a city where neither of us had ever been. En route from the airport to the city center, we found ourselves amazed by the landscape outside of the car windows; a massive construction project under way in all directions. While not in itself unusual, we were by struck dumb by the epic scale and seemingly incomprehensible plan of the development and were drawn to return together to this puzzling zone.

-- Jem Cohen

1990
George Kuchar, Letter from New York

A mother sews; a son yearns for meat; a friend relives the past via glamour shots of a forgotten slab of cheesecake that ferments off-camera. A slice of life with the bowl of cherries missing. A brief visit to a corner of the world that locks itself away with crunchy carbohydrates and six-inch protein protuberances.

2012
Dani Leventhal Videoworks: Volume 1

The work of Dani Leventhal explores the complicated space that exists between decay and renewal, intimacy and disconnection and the sacred and mundane. The six pieces that comprise Dani Leventhal Videoworks: Volume 1 each examine these ambiguous emotional and psychic spaces through a use of montage that is at once both unstructured and dispassionate and lyrically sentimental.

2007
Litau

A tapestry of images and sounds. Tango dancing. A conversation about heaven and hell, with illustrations. Horses nuzzle. A woman reclines. Silent soccer. Street entertainers play classical music. Travel is mysterious and sometimes fraught.

2011
Manhole 452

Despite assurances from local municipalities, a fact of life is that Manholes blow sky high more frequently than most people realize. Manhole 452 directs the viewer’s attention to the shapes, sizes and patterns of manhole covers on Geary Street in San Francisco, and then plunges deep below into the manholes themselves to explore the hidden threat that lies below.

1997
Mapping a City of Fragments

Using the opening of Godard's film Alphaville as a foundation, Lord constructs a vision of the evolving global city during the last years of the 20th Century. Structured as a series of repetitions, the montage of the changing city is offset by shots of corporate Silicon Valley facades. The result is a dialectical contrast between urban and suburban space, body and mind, chaos and order, and the postmodern and the modern. Shot in Hi-8 video in Tokyo, Fukuoka City, Mexico City, Rome, San Francisco, Naples, and Los Angeles.

2014
The Measures

Jacqueline Goss and Jenny Perlin retrace the journey of two 18th-century astronomers tasked with determining the true length of the meter. From the Mediterranean Sea to the English Channel, The Measures explores the metric system’s origins during the violence and upheavals of the French Revolution. Along the way, Goss and Perlin consider the intertwining of political and personal turmoil, the failures of standardization, and the subtleties of collaboration.

1993
Meeting Ancestors

Chief Waiwai recounts for his village the story of a trip he and a small entourage made to meet the Zo’é, a recently contacted group whom the Waiãpi “know” through video. Both groups speak Tupi dialects and share many cultural traditions, but the Zo’é are currently experiencing the phenomena of contact that the Waiãpi underwent 20 years ago. Waiãpi cameraman Kasiripinã illustrates the Waiwai’s account of the trip with video. The Zo’é afford their visitors the chance to re-encounter the way of life and wisdom of their ancestors.

1993
Melody for Marla

Colors swirl and shift amid pulsating blobs of light as a voice from the past takes us on an antiquated journey to the future and beyond. Revel in the mysteries of gizmo-channeled visuals and contactee gibberish as the geometric unknown gyrates before thine own eyes.

1997
Morsel Beach

A short breather that smells of ocean salts and barbecued chicken. Friends gather for a celebration in the sun as the surf rolls in and the smoke heads skyward toward who knows what destiny? A tinge of sadness simmers in the music that weaves its way through these forgotten moments of California dreaming.

1989

Since his early days in Ant Farm, Lord’s evocation of the automobile has been the car as avatar, as the spirit of America—that consummate combination of superior organized corporate technology and the pioneering triumph of the willful individual driver. Motorist is a 69-minute road picture in which the camera rides shotgun with TV actor Richard Marcus as he plays a drifting driver.

2011

Moving Stories strings together scenes of passenger aircraft in flight.  In this short study of the dramatic and narrative power of image and sound, Provost manipulates cinema language and reaches, though minimal means, a strong, emotionally loaded result.  With a limited number of images, an absorbing soundtrack, and a suggestive story line, the viewer's imagination is stimulated to the maximum.

1990
Munchies of Melody Manor

From the fall colors of the Bronx, we travel up the Hudson River to Bard College and chew the fat with some notable faculty in the film department, who live in the shadow of the Catskill Moutains. Then it's down to Sarasota, Florida where we go to prowl the manicured jungles and opulent estates on Tampa Bay. All of the above is punctuated by a symphonic squad of melodic mannequins and cranked-up antiques that spew forth jingles that jangle in jubilation at the bounty deposited in their slots.

2004
Museum Piece

Made in Germany, October 14th, 2004

While the Iraq war continues, a day's sightseeing and the features of a German hotel provoke a stream of thoughts about events large and small.

Museum Piece is the second episode in the Hotel Diaries series, a collection of video recordings made in the world's hotel rooms, which relate personal experiences and reflections to contemporary conflicts in the Middle East.