Visions, Memory & A Machine: Optical Manipulations (Pat O'Neill & Beth Block in person!)

NOTE: Filmforum members also get free admission to all Alternative Projections shows. Students/seniors – $6 admission. To receive your free or discounted rate for online pre-sales, you must purchase your ticket(s) online ahead of time, and you will receive your discount back in cash at the box office before the show.

The optical printer — consisting of film projectors mechanically linked to a film camera for re-photography — played a crucial role not only in the Hollywood special effects industry, but also in certain strains of experimental cinema. Perhaps because of its co-habitation with America’s commercial film center, L.A. artists (more than those of any other experimental film community) produced a substantial body of work that engaged with this versatile and powerful device. 
Although artists such as Pat O’Neill, Beth Block, and Adam Beckett became famous for their facility with the optical printer starting in the late ‘60s, the Whitney brothers had constructed their own printer almost thirty years before. Pat O’Neill is L.A.’s true avant-garde master, creating beautiful, moody films with floating mattes, variable film speeds, ghostly layering, wry wit, and masterful soundtracks, all working together to form a fractured almost-narrative, a reflection on the lost spaces and times of our city. Playing with memory, landscape, animation, humor and more, these films will delight you with their remarkable visions and stories, all made possible by a technology now almost 100% replaced by computers. Filmmakers Beth Block and Pat O’Neill will both be at the Cinefamily in person to introduce the show!

- Foregrounds: An entry on J. Hoberman’s Top 10 List for 1978. (Pat O’Neill, 1978, 16mm, color, 14 min.)
- Saugus Series (Pat O’Neill, 1974, 18 min.)
- Saturn Cycle (David Wilson, 1974, 16mm, color, 16 min.)
- Throbs (Fred Worden, 1972, 16mm, color, 7 min. Restored print from the Academy Film Archive)
- Film Achers: An optical printer poem about film angst, set to the Peter Pan song “I Won’t Grow Up”. (Beth Block, 1976, 16mm, color, sound, 8 min.)
- Heavy-Light (Adam Beckett, 1973, 16mm, color, 7 min. Restored print from the iotaCenter/Academy Film Archive)
- Project One (David Lourie, 1970, 16mm, color, sound, 14 min.)
- Babobilicons (Daina Krumins, 1982, 35mm, color, sound, 16 min.)

Watch an excerpt from Pat O’Neill’s “Foregrounds”!

Watch an excerpt from Adam Beckett’s “Heavy-Light”!