A master of many experimental forms, Ken Jacobs has played a pivotal role in the history of film, helping to shape poetic, abstract, structural, political, and 3D cinema in a career spanning nearly six decades.
Although Jacobs had studied painting with Hans Hoffman in the 1950s, he gravitated to film, finding kindred spirits in radical filmmakers such as Jonas Mekas and Hollis Frampton. An early friendship with Jack Smith yielded several collaborations, including the seminal underground films Blonde Cobra (which Jonas Mekas dubbed “the masterpiece of Baudelairean cinema”) and Little Stabs at Happiness.
Jacobs has always been interested primarily in the act of viewing. As he points out, “my work is experiential, not conceptual. I want to work with experiences all the time.” A masterpiece of cinematic deconstruction, Tom, Tom the Piper’s Son (1969-71) is, in its total concentration on the formal and material properties of the medium, perhaps the quintessential work of 1970s structuralist filmmaking. It was also an indication of the direction in which Jacobs would proceed, wherein actors and narrative would fall away, replaced by a concentration on the rigorous pleasures of the cinematic unconscious.
Ken Jacobs has received numerous awards, including the Maya Deren Award and a Guggenheim Fellowship, as well as grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and Creative Capital. His films, videos and performances have played at the Berlin Film Festival, the Hong Kong Film Festival, the New York Film Festival, and the Museum of Modern Art. In 1966, he and his wife, Flo, founded Millennium Film Workshop, and he was a cofounder of one of the country’s earliest departments of cinema, at Binghamton University.
Jacobs’ career-long interest in stretching 3D filmmaking and perception will be highlighted in two programs presented with the Aurora Picture Show and Blaffer Cinema. Jacobs will present a live “Nervous Magic Lantern” performance at Aurora on November 14 and will screen his 3D film, Blankets for Indians,which stereoscopically explores both an Occupy Wall Street march and a City Hall water fountain. More 3D photography and videos, ranging from Jacobs’ Orchard Street (1955)through his 2014 work, Canopy and Wire Fence,will be on view in the “Street Scenes” exhibition at the Brandon Gallery.
Friday, November 14 at 7:00 PM
Show Blankets for Indians
Saturday, November 15 at 1:00 PM
exhibition: November 12 to December 12
DeeDee Halleck is best known as a media activist and co-founder of Paper Tiger TV and Deep Dish Satellite Network, the first grass roots community television network.
Halleck’s first film, Children Make Movies (1961), was about a film-making project at the Lillian Wald Settlement in Lower Manhattan. Her film, Mural on Our Street, was nominated for an Academy Award in 1965. In the 1970s, Halleck befriended and collaborated with many artists, including Richard Serra, with whom she made Bronx Baptism and shot Rainbow Turnbridge; Robert Frank, with whom she worked on Keep Busy; and Robert Smithson and Nancy Holt, for whom she shot and edited Pine Barrens and the recently completed The Making of Amarillo Ramp. Halleck received two Rockefeller Media Fellowships for The Gringo in Mañanaland, a feature film about stereotypes of Latin Americans in U.S. films, which was featured at the Venice Film Festival. Her recent film, Ah! The Hopeful Pageantry of Bread and Puppet, has also been widely screened.
Halleck has received three awards for lifetime achievement: The George Stoney Award from the Alliance for Community Media, The Life Time Achievement Award of the National Alliance for Media Arts and Culture (NAMAC), and the Herbert Schiller Award in 2003.
As President of the Association of Independent Video and Film Makers (AIVF) in the 1970s, she led a media reform campaign in Washington, testifying twice before the House Sub-Committee on Telecommunication. She is Professor Emerita in the Department of Communication at the University of California at San Diego, and her book, Hand Held Visions: the Impossible Possibilities of Community Media, is published by Fordham University Press.
In addition to showcasing her activist work in a program co-hosted by SWAMP, HCAF will be highlighting an important and neglected facet of Halleck’s storied career — her collaborations with visual artists such as Robert Frank and Nancy Holt.
DeeDee Halleck: Collaborations with Artists
Thursday, November 13 at 1:00p.m.
Robert Frank: C’est Vrai and Keep Busy
Friday, November 14 at 2:00p.m.
Museum of Fine Arts Houston
Free Speech on the Margins of the Media Empire: A “Meet the Makers” presentation by DeeDee Halleck
Sunday, November 16 from 11:00p.m. – 1:00p.m.
Rice Media Center
Marcelo Gomes is a director and screenwriter, whose films have screened to great acclaim at Cannes and in the MFAH Latin Wave series. Born in Recife, Pernambuco in Northeastern Brazil, Marcelo Gomes studied filmmaking at Bristol University in the United Kingdom. His early works were videos, for which he received numerous prizes at international festivals. With Karim Ainouz, Gomes created a video installation for the 26th International Art Biennial of São Paulo in 2004.
Together with Ainouz, Gomes wrote the screenplay for Madame Satã, the portrait of the legendary singer from Rio de Janeiro, Joao Francisco dos Santos. Madame Satã premiered in the series Un Certain Regard at Cannes in 2002 and was a great success at cinemas worldwide. Gomes’ own feature debut, Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus, was screened in the Un Certain Regard section at the 2005 Cannes Film Festival. The adventurous film was both a road movie about travel through the northeast of Brazil and simultaneously the story of a friendship between a German deserter and a Brazilian in the year 1945. Reuniting with Karim Ainouz, he created the film I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You[Viajo Porque Preciso, Volto Porque Te Amo], which premiered at the Venice Film Festival in 2009.
In 2012, his third feature film, Once Upon a Time Veronica[Era Uma Vez Eu, Verônica], won the best film prize at the Brasília and Amazonas film festivals..His latest film, The Man of the Crowd, is loosely based on the short story of the same name by Edgar Allan Poe. The film, made in collaboration with Brazilian artist and filmmaker Cao Guimarães and shot with extraordinary visual style, tells the story of a man who suffers from extreme loneliness, from which he can only escape in the anonymous mass of the 20-million person metropolis of São Paulo.
The Man of the Crowd
Saturday November 15 at 3:45p.m.
Once Upon a Time Veronica
Sunday, November 16 at 5:00p.m.