Saturday, May 19, 2018

ARCHEOPSYCHIC TIME ZONES: New Films & Videos by Georg Koszulinski

This collection of short experimental works attempts to engage the history of colonization in the Americas, primarily through intersecting and overlapping time zones that span from thousands of years into the past, to 6.5 million years into the future, when humankind has found a way to travel to the edge of the known universe. Works in this collections may employ science-fiction tropes and other fictive story structures in order to make truth claims about the historical world. Works in this collection may employ flicker film experiments to psychologically challenge the viewer's conception of social and historical reality. Works in this collection may be surrealist experiments in observational documentary, or personal essay films on highly impersonal topics. This program includes a live soundscape performance.

June 5th, 2018
Grand Illusion Cinema
7:00 pm

Thursday, March 29, 2018


Guest curator Jon Behrens brings a collection of films by friends including: Caryn Cline, Ryan K. Adams, Steve Demas, Ruth Hayes, Linda Fenstermaker, Merie Menken, Jim Davis, and others.
April 24th, 2018
Grand Illusion Cinema
7:00 pm

Thursday, March 1, 2018


EXcinema presents our 4th annual Exquisite Corpse Cinema, The Spaces Between Countries: Mexico & USA. For this edition we asked twenty filmmakers, half from Mexico, half from the US and a few who live, or lived in both to make short films that will connect exquisite corpse style into one feature length film. Each filmmaker addresses life in their surroundings and many include events of the past year. For instance there’s crowds on both US coasts under the path of the eclipse, independent vendors making tortillas and thread from scratch, a beach full of pelicans, the aftermath of earthquakes in Mexico, and hurricanes and forest fires in the US. There’s police in the streets, resistance marches, real estate scammers, and there’s the housing crisis affecting most of us. This and much more. For more information on how the corpse is made check out the Exquisite Corpse Cinema link on our blog.
Made with the support of 4Culture.

Filmmakers are: Brenda Avila, Ivan Avila, Rafael Balboa, Anthony Buchanan, Brenda Contreras, Sasha Water Freyer, Ivonne Fuentes,  Elijah Hasan, Dalia Huerta, Salise Hughes, Pedro Jimenez, Roberto Lopez, Pam Minty, Artemio Narro, Eric Ostrowski, Elena Pardo, Chloe Reyes, Luke Seiczek, Bruno Varela, Dustin Zemel

Watch Trailer

March 27th, 2018
Grand Illusion Cinema
7:00 pm


Untitled (Just Kidding) is an ever-evolving suite of films and performative interjections made over the last half decade.

The works play in creative reading, studied density, the one-(hundred)-liner, choirs, screen texts, the bootleg, the cover, jokes, speculative etymologies, accents, loops, the cinemagical, body swaps, poetry, citation and human voice. Conceptually engaged, language-intensive and visually mesmerizing, the suite scrambles somewhere in the intersects of conceptual comedy, dizzying illogics, the poetic plu-future and sustainable sourcing. Through deliberate mistranslation and strategic denaturing of languages and codes, Malmed revels in and reveals their extra-communicative potential as sound, as image, as object, and shift audiences’ concepts of the show, of the cinema.

Screening to include collisions and confoundments between textual forms—written, spoken, sung and otherwise enunciated; variations on versioning; shifting registers of spectatorial engagement; jokes that are poems that turn out to be videos. Unexpect the expected.

Selected press about Untitled (Just Kidding) :

Jesse Malmed is an artist and curator living and working in Chicago. His work in moving images, performance, text and occasional objects has exhibited widely in museums, cinemas, galleries, bars and barns, including recent and upcoming solo presentations at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, San Francisco Cinematheque, Microlights, Echo Park Film Center, and the University of Chicago Film Studies Center. His platformist and curatorial projects include the Live to Tape Artist Television Festival, programming at the Nightingale Cinema, instigating Western Pole, the mobile exhibition space and artist bumper sticker project Trunk Show (with Raven Falquez Munsell), programming through ACRE TV and organizing exhibitions, screenings and performance events both independently and institutionally. Originally from Santa Fe, he earned his BA from Bard College and his MFA from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he currently teaches.

March 26, 2018
Grand Illusion Cinema
7:00 pm

Wednesday, January 3, 2018


Working primarily in 16mm and Super 8mm film, experimental Seattle filmmaker Linda Fenstermaker explores the interactions and relationships between body and landscape while discovering new avenues for female perspectives. Linda will be on hand to present a selection of her work, including Abandoned Generations (2015, 10 mins.), which, told through the perspective of a 1940s female farmer, juxtaposes daily life against modern society’s distance from the Earth from which it came; Erased Etchings(2017, 9 mins.), in which the essence of four Seattle homes slated to be demolished are captured on celluloid, providing a record of that which no longer exists. Linda currently lives in Bellingham and splits here time making films with owning and running First Cut Farm.

February 13th, 2018
Grand Illusion Cinema
7:00 pm

Thursday, December 14, 2017


On January 2nd, 2018, Portland's Pam Minty will join us with a program of her films.

Pam Minty’s work navigates sense of place, home and community through still photography and motion pictures. Her work has been exhibited at Anthology Film Archives, Center for Documentary Studies, Co-Prosperity Sphere, Film Studies Center at University of Chicago, Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, International House Philadelphia, Los Angeles Filmforum, Place Gallery, Portland International Film Festival, Northwest Filmmakers' Festival, San Francisco Cinematheque, UnionDocs, Experiments in Cinema Festival, Vancouver International Film Centre, as well as other venues throughout North America.

January 2nd, 2018
Grand Illusion Cinema
7:00 pm

Wednesday, November 15, 2017


On December 12th we present a special 16mm screening of Potamkin by Toronto filmmaker Stephen Broomer.

Artist Synopsis:

In 1933, at age 33, Harry Alan Potamkin died of complications related to starvation, at a time when he was one of the world's most respected film critics. In his writings, he advocated for a cinema that would simultaneously embrace the fractures and polyphony of modern life and the equitable social vision of left radical politics. This film-biography is assembled out of distorted fragments of films on which he had written, an impression of erupting consciousness.
At the Odessa steps, trampling gives breath to the child. The bullet miraculously reforms the face. The Cossacks march backwards, retreating unseen into their nothing, the unfired rounds of their rifles restored to their menacing potential. Feet tread backward up the steps as the steps themselves collapse in splintering emulsion. The carriage is set upright.

Review from desistfilm: online film journal:

By Ivonne Sheen
Experimental cinema inquires about the spirit of cinema itself. Its research spreads out through the experimentation with the medium and the language. The common sense that cinema art has built of itself, losses sustainability and it dilutes before its poetic force. Avant-garde cinema form emerges as an anti-establishment reply to hegemony, in the Film Industry field and in the social sphere. From the foundation of surrealism, to the New York underground cinema, experimental filmmaking context has always been a platform for new radical ideas which challenge spectators and artists.
This way of creation with the cinematographic image, relates to a personal creative process of an author-artist who works with the film medium material. Nowadays, experimental filmmaking has developed organically, with the sprout of an immense diversity of filmmakers who mostly unfold their work as individual legacies that dialogue in between them. They appeal the kinesthetic experience of cinema from its poetic essence.
Among young artists of experimental filmmaking, Stephen Broomer (1984) stands out. He was born and grew up in Canada, where he was influenced by the avant-garde cinema since early age. He studied Film, and he works as a filmmaker and film preservationist. His concerned about film archive is reflected in his work, in which is shown a thorough work with the images, that also dialogues with its historical value.
Potamkin is introduced as a biographical film of the deceased film critic, Harry Alan Potamkin, who believed in the force of the film structure analogue to the marxist dialectical ideology. Potamkin’s writings were conceived as essays about cinema language evolution as a semantic structure, but also about the poetry within it. The intense passion of Potamkin’s beliefs about cinema and communism, are condensed in its poetry.
Broomer gets inspired by Potamkin’s passion to reinterpret fragments of films that the russian critic valued as examples of the becoming of film as an engaged art form. Along Potamkin (Canadá, 2017), we are faced to the disintegration and superposition of distressed scenes of The Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1927), Jeanne of Arc (Theodor Dreyer, 1928), and Metropolis (Fritz Lang, 1927). In an interview, Stephen Broomer tells that he worked with a found-footage, that he got by reshooting VHS copies in 16 mm. This method let him focus in particular scenes that he considered that evoke the suffering and sacrifice of Potamkin’s life. But also, let him start with the format he used to watch and re-watch those films when he was younger. A way of working with found footage that begins in the personal memory that one has of those images.
The quest of a spectral spirit that destroyed spaces and dead people leave in this world, is a motive in some of Broomer’s work. In films like Christ Church – Saint James (Canadá, 2011), and Brébeuf (Canadá, 2012), the author reinterprets the history of those places and approaches to pass through them with the cinematic image. We can see superpositions, also used in Potamkin, that evoke an inner life in those places, a interstice between the present and the past, an intermediate space that is multiplied and fragmented. Broomer goes further than the tacit cinema capacity of apprehending a temporality in a new one. He interprets the past from the trace it has left in the present. In Potamkin’s case, his trace can be reached in his poetry and texts of film criticism. Nevertheless, Broomer -with tremendous sensitivity- achieves to build a new audiovisual poem that takes us closer to Potamkin’s spirit, from cinema. Also, lets us think about a social engaged film culture, that sets the film critic as an intermediary between the films and the public. A kind of film criticism that reaches a dialogue with cinema itself, in a way that it is transformed and affected by the ideas it evokes to other, at the same time that the critic gets affected too, in an essential level.
The physical interpretation of Potamkin’s spirit is visualized by a disintegrated, contrasted, and superimposed filmic material. The scenes repeated along the film, are near-death climax scenes. Scenes of an essential suffering caused by the unavoidable death. A metaphor of Potamkin itself, from the mutable and organic vitality of the filmic medium. Broomer amalgamates different scenes, with the superimposition method, to give more intensity and condensation to the sentiment that Potamkin embraced about those films. His spirit pass through them and unified them. The film starts with one of his verses: “Sooner or later all delicate things. Are butterflies with severed wings”. A poetic image that portrays him and his world view, with a tragic destiny, such as the characters resurrected by Broomer, but with the persistence of their unavoidable death. All of them, including Potamkin, were victims of a mechanism that oppresses all kind of social transformation and social justice.
In Potamkin, a mass of spectators react and turn their heads from side to side. They appear as a reminder of the past of those images we are watching and of their purpose. Thinking of film as a device of social change, set questions about the rol of the spectators, the filmmakers and the film critics. Film is an art form that erased the boundaries to its access, thats why its ideological potential made of it a dangerous weapon of domination. Nevertheless, during the years of Harry Potamkin’s life, cinema got involved with the revolutionary causes lived in Russia before World War II. He took part of it with his writings, that worked as intermediary between spectators and the movies, based in his marxists beliefs. But the value of Potamkin’s legacy -even though his life was short- lives in his poetic approach to cinema and social change. He was a person who lived intensely, praising every sentimentalism with the conviction of a better world. In that way, Broomer achieve a portrait of the deceased critic, free of the sense of an exclusively historical archive, to become into the new intermediary -closer to a medium- between us and Harry Alan Potamkin’s spirit, in a cinematic rite of invocation.

December 12th, 2017
Grand Illusion Cinema
7:00 pm

View trailer