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Apr 24, 2010 at 7:30 pm
Joel Schlemowitz: Film Portraits and Experimental Documentaries
With Joel Schlemowitz
Silo (2007, 3 minutes, color, sound, 16mm)
A single camera roll shot in time lapse documenting the final night of the arts and performance center, ISSUE Project Room, at their former space inside of a converted silo on the Gowanus Canal, Brooklyn. Accompanying this on the soundtrack is a montage of field recordings from the Gowanus environs.
Teslamania (2007, 6 minutes, color, sound, 16mm)
Two camera rolls shot at the Collective Unconscious during a performance of “Teslamania” featuring Gecko Saccomanno and Tesla Coil Engineer Jamie Mereness. The film’s visual effects, double exposures, and refracted images, were all done in camera, just as we see them here.
On the soundtrack Gecko provides various “Tesla tidbits,” including Tesla’s scheme to provide free electricity transmitted through the air, anecdotes about the Collective’s Tesla Coil performances, “Tesla cooking,” and a list of the inventor Nikola Tesla’s many exotic phobias.
Music by Dorit Chrysler.
Dame Darcy – a film portrait (2007, 5 minutes, b&w, sound, 16mm)
A short and lively 16mm portrait of comic book artist and performer Dame Darcy, seen through a filmic rollercoaster tour of her comic book, “Meat Cake,” and ending with the artist herself. On the soundtrack, a turn-of-the-last-century recording from a 78rpm Victrola record.
Loudmouth Collective / Ugly Duckling Presse (2003, 20 minutes, b&w, sound, 16mm)
A film-portrait of the Loudmouth Collective and Ugly Duckling Presse. These poet-provocateurs are the creators of the infamous “Anti-Reading” series, a carnival-like alternative to the traditional poetry reading. On the film’s soundtrack we hear how the Anti-Readings were started, descriptions of various Anti-Reading activities including the Poetry Fishing Pond, the Typewriter Inferno, Poetry-Poker, Poem Portraits, the smokable poems known as Poetry Cigarettes, the memory tester called “I Forgot,” and the Diary in the shape of a Bunny. The film includes footage shot at Anti-Readings, with time-lapse, double exposures, distorting lenses, and frenetic non-traditional camerawork evocative of the playfully chaotic spirit of the events.
Awarded BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT, Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2004
Moving Images – the Film-Makers Cooperative relocates (2001, 14 minutes, b&w/color, sound, 16mm)voices: Jonas Mekas, MM Serra
Jonas Mekas, one of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative’s founders, and MM Serra, the current executive director, describe the Coop’s beginnings, the organization’s recent struggles, and the difficulties of finding space for the arts, over richly layered images of the Coop’s recent move.
The Film-Makers’ Cooperative, founded in 1962 as a filmmaker-run distribution center, is now the largest archive and distributor of independent and avant-garde films in the world, with over 5,000 films and videos. Since 1967 the Coop had its offices at Lexington and 31st Street, but as documented in this film, it has now relocated to the Clocktower Gallery at 108 Leonard Street, New York City.
Awarded SILVER PLAQUE, Chicago International Film Festival
Joel Schlemowitz has made over forty short experimental films, and numerous film installation pieces. He has received grants from the Jerome Foundation and New York State Council on the Arts. His work has been shown at the Whitney Museum of American Art, MoMA, Anthology Film Archives, Millennium Film Workshop, Berks Filmmakers, and at various festivals including the London Film Festival, the Sydney Film Festival, the Chicago International Film Festival, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Denver Film Festival, the New York Underground Film Festival, and elsewhere. His short film Reverie was broadcast on the Sundance Channel in the “Underground Shorts” series. Another short work, Moving Images – the Film-Makers’ Cooperative relocates, received Honorable Mentions from the Thaw02 Film & Video Festival and NY Short Film Expo, and was awarded a silver plaque from the Chicago International Film Festival. He has received Best Short Documentary awards at the Chicago Underground Film Festival in 2004 and 2005. He teaches filmmaking at the New School, and is President of ACT-UAW, Local 7902, union of adjunct and part-time faculty at New School and NYU.