Film Love presents
Politics, Narrative, Collage
Friday, April 22, 2016
Atlanta Contemporary | 7:00 pm
$8 admission / $5 for Contemporary supporters with ID
Curated by Andy Ditzler
This season at Atlanta Contemporary, the Film Love series has presented works that undermine standard forms of narrative filmmaking in order to glimpse different political possibilities. On Friday, April 22, we continue this series with three rarely screened works, two American and one from Brazil, which brilliantly use the principles of collage to construct political films.
Saul Levine’s Notes After Long Silence – made in Super 8mm film (and projected here in the same format) – is a complex montage of great energy. Images are seen (and sounds heard) in rapid bursts, and as the subjects (home and family, sex, Vietnam, television, a construction site) begin to recur and circle around each other, the film becomes a dynamic visual and sonic argument on the links between public political activism and the intimacy of family and domestic space.
In Cartoon Le Mousse (named after a French version of Mickey Mouse), Chick Strand combines two kinds of film not often brought into relation. A sharp collage of footage from feature films, educational reels, and cartoons takes a critical look at male-dominated imagery (as Strand puts it, “variations on a bourgeois living room”); this is followed by radically different footage, made by Strand herself, of two women interacting through touch.
Tadeu Jungle’s Heroes of Decadence is a wild ride through the landscape of urban São Paulo and Brazilian society in the 1980s. Priests and poets are juxtaposed in Jungle’s dense montage, facing off with lyrical moments and artists’ confrontational performances in the streets of the city. Throughout, Jungle deftly balances the parts of this video with the whole – though we cannot always know the exact meaning of individual moments, we are powerfully affected as they coalesce into a brilliant overall statement of the confusion and humanity of this political moment. The influence of Brazilian Tropicália is apparent throughout, but especially in the finale, which is keyed to an infamous 1968 onstage political diatribe by musician Caetano Veloso. Like Chick Strand’s film, Heroes of Decadence is not available on video in the United States.
Instead of striving to tell a pre-scripted story, propagandize or manipulate opinion, each of these artists combine their disparate materials into powerful, poetic wholes, with plenty of room for viewers to form their own connections. These artists blur the boundaries between collage and montage and between narrative and non-narrative, suggesting that in film, radical politics are best envisioned through radical artistic forms.
Notes After Long Silence (Saul Levine, 1989), Super 8mm, 15 minutes
Cartoon Le Mousse (Chick Strand, 1979), 16mm, 15 minutes
Heróis 2 (Heróis da Decadên(s)ia) (Heroes of Decadence) (Tadeu Jungle, 1987/2003), video, 32 minutes, Portuguese with English subtitles
535 Means Street NW
Atlanta, GA, 30318
Politics, Narrative, Collage is a Film Love event. The Film Love series provides access to great but rarely seen films, especially important works unavailable on consumer video. Programs are curated and introduced by Andy Ditzler, and feature lively discussion. Through public screenings and events, Film Love preserves the communal viewing experience, provides space for the discussion of film as art, and explores alternative forms of moving image projection and viewing.