Experimental Film

2009
Lead

Lead is a tale of an early 20th Century Robin Hood, based on a story by James Williams, involving jumping trains and throwing coal off for needy Southerners.

Cast: Chris Barkley, Hassen Mahamud, Kenny West, James Williams. Cinematography: Jonathan Taee. Sound: Ayesha Ninan.

This title is only available on Broad Daylight and Other Times: Selected Works of Kevin Jerome Everson.

2013
Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget

"We are happy. (Silence.) What do we do now, now that we are happy?"

-- Samuel Beckett, Waiting for Godot

1996
Lost Book Found

The result of over five years of Super-8 and 16mm filming on New York City streets, Lost Book Found melds documentary and narrative into a complex meditation on city life. The piece revolves around a mysterious notebook filled with obsessive listings of places, objects, and incidents. These listings serve as the key to a hidden city: a city of unconsidered geographies and layered artifacts—the relics of low-level capitalism and the debris of countless forgotten narratives. The project stems from the filmmaker's first job in New York—working as a pushcart vendor on Canal Street.

1997
Lucky Three

An independent film portrait of singer/songwriter Elliott Smith in Portland, Oregon in 1996, wherein he plays three songs. The songs were done live acoustic--in his old studio, a living room, and a bathroom (it was quiet in there). It's also a small portrait of Portland, Oregon.

The songs are "Between the Bars", "Angeles", and a cover of "Thirteen" by Big Star.

This is Elliott as I remember him, at his simple finest as musician. 

2014
Ephraim Asili "Many Thousands Gone"

The Diaspora Suite

Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, NY ( an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to use an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of the score.

1989
Martina's Playhouse

“In Martina’s Playhouse everything is up for grabs. The little girl of the title oscillates from narrator to reader to performer and from the role of baby to that of mother. While the roles she adopts may be learned, they are not set, and she moves easily between them. Similarly, in filmmaker Peggy Ahwesh’s playhouse of encounters with friends, objects aren’t merely objects but shift between layers of meaning. Men are conspicuously absent, a ‘lack’ reversing the Lacanian/Freudian constructions of women as Ahwesh plays with other possibilities."

1987
Mayhem

Through a catalogue of looks, movements, and gestures, Mayhem presents a social order run amok in a libidinous retracing of film noir conventions. Sexuality flows in an atmosphere of sexual tension, danger, violence, and glamour; antagonism between the sexes is symbolized in the costuming of women in polka dots and men in stripes. Censored in Tokyo for its use of Japanese lesbian erotica, this tape creates an image bank of what signifies the sexual and the seductive in the history of imagemaking, pointing to the way we learn about our bodies, and how to use them from images.

1985
Jonas Mekas: An Interview

An intimate interview with filmmaker, videomaker, film critic, poet, lecturer, and curator Jonas Mekas. Born into a farming family in Lithuania on December 24, 1922, Mekas was imprisoned in a forced labor camp in Nazi Germany from 1944 to 1945, studied philosophy at the University of Mainz from 1946 to 1948, and relocated to the U. S. in 1949. In 1954, Mekas became editor-in-chief of Film Culture magazine and wrote a film column in The Village Voice from 1958 to 1975.

1985
Mon ami Imad et le taxi (My Friend Imad and the Taxi)

In 1985, Hassan Zbib and Olga Nakkas separately started to develop film scenarios based on simple narratives, and would shoot them on Super 8, which was still possible to develop in Beirut at the time. Their work featured the city as a stage where lonely characters drifted: a taxi driver in his car, a man walking around, talking to a Rambo poster.

2005
Music Works

This compilation features 11 of Jem Cohen's collaborations with musicians. Made on 16mm, Super 8 and Video, the works include the music of R.E.M., Gil Shaham and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, Void, Elliot Smith, Jonathan Richman, Miracle Legion and Olivier Messiaen.

Nightswimming

2009
Night Scene New York

Chance observations of New York's Chinatown, commissioned by the Museum of Chinese in the Americas. 

"A sleepwalker's circumnavigation of one of the less homogenized parts of the city."

--Jem Cohen

2002
Nocturne

Nocturne is a 5-minute film shot entirely at night in deserted streets of London. The film attempts to find images of the city that reveal the presence of the past, or the presence of the dead, hinting at a concealed history. The deserted streets around the east end of London and Docklands reflect an echoic city filled with shadows. Nocturne is composed of long static viewpoints, each shot slowly unfolding in time as though by looking long enough the city's secrets will be revealed.

1995
Obsessive Becoming

This surreal, free-form autobiography is concerned with childhood and adult rituals, and the longing for meaning and connection during the often wildly absurd events of early life. Obsessive Becoming returns to Reeves’s early exploration of personal narrative forms, poetry, and his interest in creating a more spontaneous and direct fusion between language and video. Words and images of the expectations and disappointments of coming of age break down the boundaries of both mediums.

2009
Old Cat

Old Cat will eventually and pleasantly get to a destination. Shot in the summer of 2009, in a single take, on a lake in Virginia.

Cast: Chad Bowles, Marcus Bowles.

This title is only available on Broad Daylight and Other Times: Selected Works of Kevin Jerome Everson.

Om
1986
Om

A film about haircuts, clothes, and image/sound relationships.

"This four-minute film explores our response to stereotypes—aural, visual and ideological. Smith signals these stereotypes to the viewer through a chiefly associational system, which deftly manipulates the path of our expectations. The structure is stunningly simple and deceptively subtle. We are taken on a journey from one concrete stereotype to its diametric opposite, as images transform and juxtapose to, ultimately, invert our interpretation of what we see and hear."

—Gary Davis