Reading the cinephiles's reflections on the past decade, it suddenly occurred to me that I completed my first film, and screened it in my first film program at Millennium Film Workshop in July, 2000. From that time on, I curated approximately 13 programs for Millennium and Ocularis, and I have completed many films and videos. The past 10 years belong to me! It was an invisible cinematic renaissance here in NY! For now, I would like to honor all of the film/video artists I have met in the past decade as a curator. I've included a few flyers (remember those?) from the film series I curated:
This is the NY experimental film community! These artists taught me how to make an experimental film! Be sure to add these names to your "best of cinema" lists! :)
Ned Ambler, Kate Balsley, Mary Billyou, Diane Bonder, Stan Brakhage, Chika, Melanie Chopko, Martha Colburn, Marianna Ellenberg, Bradley Eros, Brian Frye, Sandra Gibson, Gary Goldberg, Stephanie Gray, Andy Graydon, Robert Greene, Howard Guttenplan, Courtney Hoskins,Ken Jacobs, Nisi Jacobs, Tom Jarmush, Jesse Johnson, Janene Knox, Mike Kuchar, Huckleberry Lain, Zach Layton, Jonathann Lees, Jeanne Liotta, Marie Losier, Bruce McClure, Ross McLaren, Jennifer Matotek, Jonas Mekas, Hans Michaud, Ramon Rivera Moret, Mike Olshan, Mike Park, Tim Reardon, Luis Recoder, Jennifer Reeves, Cliff Roth, Lynne Sachs, Joel Schlemowitz, MM Serra, Athena Soules, Kelly Spivey, Caspar Stracke, Mark Street, Ray Sweeten, David Teague, Naomi Uman, Madame Von X, Suara Welitoff, Sean Williams, Sheri Wills, Nick Zedd . . .
My first curatorial attempt, The Invisible Film Fest, July 28, 2000 at Millennium Film Workshop, NY, NY. Cinema is an endless river . . .
The Invisible Film Series! My first experimental film program, curated with my friend, Mike Park. Mike was the projectionist and Millennium Film Workshop, and I convinced him to start a film series with me. Howard Guttenplan, The Director of Millennium, gave us our first opportunity to work as curators. At this first program, I was so nervous, so many dazzling artists were participating, I was screening my second film and speaking in front of 100 people. I was so scared! We screened many different formats: 16mm, super 8, mini dv, later going on to include ephemeral expanded cinema performance. Fortunately, the renowned Mike Kuchar was the projectionist! It was a blast!
design: Andrew Belletty, photo: JPL/NASA
As curators for The Invisible Film Series, Mike Park and I emphasized spontaneity and surprise! My program notes were composed of a long paragraph of symbolist poetry. We were very influenced by the amazing cinema programs happening at Robert Beck Memorial Cinema and the New York Underground Film Fest. I knew that if I was to have freedom as a curator, I had to resist being defined . . . Somehow it caught on that Mike and I preferred to screen new, unseen work, and this became a theme to our film programs. We found ourselves in the privileged role of premiering new films by Mike Kuchar, Marie Losier, Bradley Eros, Joel Schlemowitz, Nisi Jacobs, Marianna Ellenberg, Tim Reardon . . . and an entire community of friends that participated in these shows!
design: Stefanie Schalles, film still: Stan Brakhage
Often we never knew what we were screening until a few days before the film program! I am so proud of how we were able to create amazing shows by trusting in our friends' talents and knowing that whatever work they gave us would be incredible, because it was created by these people we loved. As a theme for this series, we explored the idea of seeing the invisible (revealing new films no one had seen!), illustrated with scientific imagery such as this:design: Stefanie Schalles, photo: STScI
I remember being so thrilled to see my flyers at Anthology Film Archives, in the St. Mark's Bookstore, at Kim's Video . . . It's the little things! :)
Here's a sample from Millennium Film Workshop's Fall 2005 calendar. I worked damn hard on this poetry! :)
Our research discoveries on poetry, sound, and cinema:
A daydream suspended in centuries of moonlight dissolves into
extralucid surprise. Amethystine music becomes visible in water
droplets. Petals fluoresce, eyes flame, the poetic state requires
oxygen to combust. The Sun, the Moon, & the Earth spin in a
bizarre love triangle. We have observed the sexiest film alive, and it
devours its prey! Common sense is useless. Tomorrow’s memories are
thrill seeking. For a moment, it is possible to dream the same dream
together . . . -JM
My curatorial pièce de résistance: Aerodynamics of the Hovering Hummingbird: Science, Cinema, and Ways of Seeing, April 29, 2006
photo: Doug Warrick
After curating the film program, AERODYNAMICS OF THE HOVERING HUMMINGBIRD, I felt that I completed a perfect circle in my life as a curator. So the last film program of the Invisible Film Series was May 20, 2006. Of course, I still have the blogosphere! :) For this last show my friend, Athena Soules, created collage postcards. Here is the one she made for me:credit: Athena Soules
Cinema led me to friendship, to poetry, and to an entire universe I was so surprised to discover! Cinema is love! :)