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Mar 7, 2019 at 7:30 pm

Frisco Grit: Baldwin Selects Other Cinema

With Craig Baldwin

UnionDocs presents a special night of Other Cinema’s greatest hits with a program of rare, and diverse works selected by Craig Baldwin himself, ‘FRISCO GRIT: CRIT-cum-WIT.’ We’re delighted to have him here in town for a week of celebration including two nights (don’t miss CLOSE ENCOUNTERS WITH CRAIG: ORBITING OTHER CINEMA) at UnionDocs and a run of his feature-length and short work over at Metrograph on March 3 and 4. I If you aren’t familiar with the legendary status of Other Cinema and its founder and fearless leader, Craig Baldwin, Jim Knipfel in The Believer helped to capture his energy in saying, “one way to think about San Francisco-based filmmaker, archivist, and artist Craig Baldwin is as the dialectical result of a collision between the Dadaists, the Situationists, the Beats, and the punks. He exists today as a kind of figurehead, a holdover anarchist beatnik from the Bay Area’s pre-tech boom days.”

Other Cinema is a long-standing bastion of experimental film, video, and performance where artists are inspired and sustained by the ongoing practice of fine-art filmmaking, as well as engaged essay and documentary forms. But OC also embraces marginalized genres as media-archeological core-samples, and blows against consensus reality and the sterility of museum culture. SF Cinematheque curator Steve Polta, who will be co-publishing a history of Baldwin and Other Cinema, describes the last twenty years of programming in Incite: Journal for Experimental Media: It’s an “insane amalgam of underground cinema, genre film, media and community activism, performance and sound art, and unique and astounding lost-and-found orphan works from Baldwin’s infamous film/video archive as well as hosting a dizzying array of artists, curators, community activists, conspiracy freaks, and other indescribable and wonderful wackos.”

We are excited to bring the exploratory, and otherworldly vibes of Other Cinema all the way to UnionDocs for the night. We’re passing the reins over to Craig Baldwin, who will unearth our VCR from the basement to share some rare VHS archives, and screen a 90 minute ride of a reel all the way from SF to UnionDocs!



1 min., 2015
By Bryan Boyce

Urine Man

5 min., 2000, 16mm
By Greta Snider

The Urine Man, a longtime neighbor, agreed to be interviewed but with a great many stipulations. One of these was that he would only discuss his philosophical platform, and would not answer any questions. Nor were we to turn the camera on or off without permission. It became an enormous power struggle. Thus, this eloquent rant of the Urine Man’s unique cosmology.

Mysteriously, the Urine Man and his schoolbus/home disappeared the week after the filming, after being in the same location for at least ten years.

Turbine: Russian Scissors

4 min., 2002, 16mm
By Gibbs Chapman

A commissioned alternative “music video” for (firstly) DVD release, to accompany a musical piece called russian scissors by the euro-trash parody techno ensemble, turbine. The band’s only suggestion was that the piece visually contain some reference to a pre-elite-seized San Francisco, and with this in mind, “out came the box of miscellaneous SF singularities and urban landscapes.”

St. Louise

5 min., 1998, 16mm
By Thad Povey
With music by Soul Coughing

Walk Long Inside Upon Your Land

8 min., 2013
By Jeremy Rourke

Condor: A Film From California

7 min., 1999, 16mm
By James T. Hong

The condor within us.

Manhole #452

12 min., 2011
By Jean Finley and John Muse

Despite assurances from local municipalities, manholes occasionally blow sky-high, more than most people realize.  The fictionalized film is a first person narrative that follows the reflections of a middle-aged man whose car was hit by an exploding manhole; he now rides the Geary Limited bus the length of Geary Street to his job fitting prosthetic limbs.  The narrative explores his obsession with calculating odds and the possibility of miracles amid random violent occurrence.

Other Basement

5 min., 2013
By Bryan Boyce

A virtual tour in ChromaDepth 3D of Craig Baldwin’s basement studio at Artists’ Television Access in San Francisco’s Mission District.

Song For KOKO

4 min., 2015
By Tommy Becker

A life force is being held against its will or running wild through the streets. The moment the lion lunges at the tamer we understand their motives. We relate viscerally to their oppression as we connect to the soul of their being.

After-Image: A Flicker of Life

11 min., 2010
By Kerry Laitala

Beginning with an animated wood-cut of a beating heart, Afterimage: A Flicker of Life traces a trajectory of Eadweard Muybridge and Etienne Jules Marey’s 19th Century motion studies using iconic representations of artifacts that they left behind. It then takes the viewer into the 21st Century using three dimensional technology. Human beings are reduced to their gestures and movements in space, becoming forms of pure colored light. Afterimage: a Flicker of Life employs graphic tracings to create kinesthetic inscriptions that speak to the physicality of working with the film medium. Just as Marey and Muybridge strove to make motion visible to the naked eye, this archival/live action 16mm-to-digital hybrid takes a whimsical approach to envisaging human and animal locomotion by illuminating the traces of their presence.

Walt Disney's Taxi Driver

5 min., 2011
By Bryan Boyce

Walt Disney’s re-imagineering of Martin Scorsese’s classic film Taxi Driver follows Mickey Mouse-obsessed Travis Bickle as he looks for love in a rapidly transforming New York City.

Astroblack: We are the Robots

6 min., 2010
By Soda_Jerk

Astroblack: Race for Space

6 min., 2010
By Soda_Jerk

Titled in tribute to Sun Ra’s 1972 album, Astro Black is an ongoing multi-channel video cycle informed by cultural theories of Afrofuturism. Taking the cosmic jazz musician Sun Ra as a point of departure, this 5-part speculative history seeks to draw out the nexus of science fiction and social politics in Black Atlantic sonic culture. Astro Black: Race for Space considers the origins and politics of Sun Ra’s Afrofuturist mythology. At stake in this episode is the cultural politics implicit in the territorialization of outer space, both as a geography and a virtual field of possibility. Astro Black: We are the Robots considers the impact of German electronic music on Afrofuturist sonic culture, pointing towards a transnational conception of cultural production that unsettles linear conceptions of time.

Sounding Glass

10 min., 2011
By Sylvia Schedelbauer

A man in a forest is subject to a flood of impressions; structurally rhythmic waves of images and sounds give form to his introspection.

Lot 63, Grave C

10 min., 2006
By Sam Green

The mystery behind the man who died at Altamont.

115 min.

Craig Baldwin is a filmmaker and curator whose interests lie in archival retrieval and recombinatory forms of cinema, performance, and installation. He is the recipient of several grants, including those from the Rockefeller Foundation, Alpert Award, Creative Capital, Phelan, AFI, FAF, and California Arts Council. Over the last two decades, his productions have been shown and awarded at numerous international festivals, museums, and institutes of contemporary art, often in conjunction with panels, juries, and workshops on collage and cultural activism. His own weekly screening project, Other Cinema, has continued to premiere experimental, essay, and documentary works for over a quarter century, recently expanding into DVD publishing.

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Mar 7, 2019
7:30 pm – 10:30 pm
Free – $10.00


352 Onderdonk Avenue
Ridgewood, NY 11385 United States
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