Trop tôt, Trop tard/Too Soon, Too Late (Danièle Huillet/Jean-Marie Straub/1981)

8:30 pm/monday/april 7th/2014
black hole cinematheque/1038 24th street x linden/oakland

Trop tôt, trop tard/Too Soon, Too Late
(Danièle Huillet/Jean-Marie Straub/1981/105 mins/digital projection)

“Opening upon one of the most memorable shots ever filmed, Trop tôt, trop tard is an essay on the often tentative, yet urgent conditions of revolution. Shot in France and Egypt, the film employs a diptych structure as it attempts to (quite literally) catch the wind of past revolutions, using the writings of Friedrich Engels and Mahmoud Hussein.” (Cinematheque Ontario)

“Too Soon, Too Late inverts the usual relationship in a Straub-Huillet film between landscape and text – the landscape becoming the film’s central text, the verbal text becoming the film’s “setting”. Practically speaking, this reduces the relative importance of the verbal texts in the films – although when I mentioned this notion to Straub, he countered that nevertheless the film could never have been made without those texts.”

“The uncontrolled movements of people, animals and weather function on this terrain like improvisations that play against the “composed” framings and camera movements, somewhat in the manner of jazz. When I proposed this parallel to Straub, he replied that a principal reference point for him and Huillet while shooting the second part of Too Soon, Too Late was the late quartets of Beethoven – particularly the use of suspensions and slow tempos. The very slow pans, according to Dave Kehr, always move in the same direction as the wind, and it is largely the sense one has of the film’s profound attentiveness to the material world that makes the film so singular a documentary – calling to mind the three living quotations cited by Straub before the screening of the film at the Collective for Living Cinema on April 30, 1983:

D. W. Griffith at the end of his life: “What modern movies lack is the wind in the trees.”

Rosa Luxembourg: “The fate of insects is not less important than the revolution.”

Cézanne, who painted Mont Saint-Victoire again and again: “Look at this mountain, once it was fire.”

(Jonathan Rosenbaum from his notes on the film

free and open to the public

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Silent Spring: mute visions of eros and madness for the vernal equinox

Nadia_Sibirska_a_M_nilmontant_1925_wall_marks8:00 pm/thursday/march 20th/2014
Oddball Films - 275 Capp Street San Francisco

Black Hole  Cinematheque co-presents an evening at Oddball Films (curated by Tooth) to welcome the coming of spring with a trio of silent cinema and live musical accompaniment. As the weather heats up and the pheromones begin to swirl, we look to a collection of films that explore the fabric of human desire and its powers, both destructive and transcendent.

Dream Flowers (multiple-projector 16mm expanded cinema performance with live electronic score – by Tooth and Joey Casio)
Un chant d’amour (A Song Of Love) (Jean Genet/1950/26 mins/16mm)
Ménilmontant (Dimitri Kirsanoff/1926/39 mins/16mm)

The night begins with a multi-projector expanded/live cinema piece, by Tooth and accompanying electronic musician Joey Casio; Dream Flowers, which steals its name from a 1930s industrial film that studies, in strikingly gorgeous black and white, the cultivation and production of the opium poppy. The performance will use the visual material of said film as a point of détournement and departure into visions of subjective mysticism and social ritual.

French writer Jean Genet’s only work as a director, the 1950 silent film, Un chant d’amour is a powerful and brooding study of the fantasies and unconssumated passions between two inmates and the guard of a French prison. The film eschews spoken dialogue in favor of a visual poetics of the prisoner’s bodies often framed in intimate, almost claustrophobic close up which seems analogous to the tensions of their confinement. Heavily censored and widely banned for many years due to its explicitly homosexual and erotic content (including a series of notoriously embattled local screenings in 1964 by Saul Landau and the S.F. Mime Troupe in which the film was confiscated), it remains a striking work.

Russian born French avante-garde filmmaker Dimitri Kirsanoff’s earliest surviving work, the masterful Ménilmontant (1926), was profoundly ahead of its time. One of the first narrative silent films to unfold its story entirely without intertitles and employing a wide range of new techniques in rapid montage and multiple exposures to create a visionary and often hallucinatory atmosphere. It follows the story of two sisters, orphaned by a tragedy that opens the film, and their lives, loves, and struggles in the working class neighborhood of Ménilmontant in Paris.

Ménilmontant will be scored live on cello and electronics by the duo of Angela Roberts and Scott Goff. (

All films screened on 16mm prints from the archive.

Date: Thursday, March 20th, 2014 at 8:00pm
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to or (415) 558-8117


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Black Hole presents: what Free Spirit News & PMOMA presented:
“A Light Spray” a very special evening of film and video curated by Ashby Lee Collinson (of Princess Dies, Portlandia)

Intro Performance by: Plus Whatever (Lister sisters)

Featuring new work by: John Meyer, Kelsey McCurdy, Stephanie Lister, Melanie Lister, Jake Dibeler, Carol Nhan, Mark Gonzalez, Ralph Fugay, Fred Armisen, Abby Lloyd, M. Blash, Chase Biado, Chris Irick, Dan Wilson, Grace Glenn, Espen Friberg, Sara Magenheimer, Chris Lux & Julia Leonard, Linda McAllister, Phillip Iosca, Kersti Jan Werdal, Chase Allgood, Jeem Rinse, Madison Wood, Jeffery Kriksciun, Saoirse Wall, Francesca Ghabrier, Anna Zusman, Michael Gaughen, Alan Resnik, Rebbeca Peel, Underlords Take Acid, Donald Morgan, Sissy Williams, Zefrey Thowell, Sarah Applebaum, Lia Marion, Nika Kaiser, Brenna Murphy, Caley Feeney, Jay Winebrenner, Sylvie Spencer, Rebbeca Carlisle-Healy, Thomas Arsenault..and many more!!

“Something mysterious dripping on you, the transition of states from dry to moist, freedom, Grandma’s breath, sweat that goes cold, effervescence, a shower accident.”

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Adventures Close To Home ((small gauge dream archaeology))

8:30 pm wednesday  march 12th 2014
black hole cinematheque/1038 24th street x linden/oakland

a night of détourned home movies, abandoned work prints, amateur auteur fragments and other mysterious celluloid outcasts – all lost and found in junk shops, salvage yards, dumps and garbage cans of the east bay.

regular and super 8mm, 16mm and 35mm slides will weave and overlap their way on to the screen in a continuos mesh, coupled with a concrète collage of found and live sounds created by an in-house ensemble.

free and open to the public.
free wine.

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LA CONCHITA N=AMOUR and other recent films by Christina McPhee

8:30 pm wednesday march 5th 2014
black hole cinematheque/1038 24th street x linden/oakland, ca

***Join us to welcome filmmaker Christina Mcphee in person to present a program of new and recent works***

This program will focus on recent landscape and marine video works shot at sites of environmental crisis by Christina McPhee. Shot in California, Louisiana, and the Gulf of Mexico, and montaged in abstract layers of image, with ambient sound design by the filmmaker and with music composed by three contemporary composers– Ava Mendoza, Pamela Z and Pauline Oliveros.

“Between the hypotheses and processes of scientific investigation and my empirical observations of the life and landscape around us connective threads: ideas. Since 2002 I’ve collaborated with marine biologists, botanists, geologists and micro-climatologists since in a search of this conceptual commons in mediated forms of life. Remote performances in the landscape, acts of documentation, montage/collage of these images of both landscape and the performance attempt to visually map the internal and external ecologies of our minds and spirits within a nature that exceeds the human.” – Christina McPhee

part one : works with ambient sound design by the artist


LA CONCHITA N=AMOUR (excerpt) 21′ 0″ 2008

DEEP HORIZON 7′ 32″ 2010


part two: films with music by composers Mendoza, Z and Oliveros

PENUMBRA BLIND 4′ 55″ 2012 music by Ava Mendoza

SOLAR CIRCUIT PARTS PER MILLION 5′ 02″ 2013 music by Pamela Z

TESSERAE OF VENUS GHOSTDANCE 17′ 44″ ambient sound and music by Pauline Oliveros

Christina McPhee’s practice in media and visual arts deals with topologic poetics. She lives and works in central coast California. Projects on mark-making, inter-subjective names and objects, and tectonic form surround a practice based in site and landscape. Solo museum exhibitions include American University Museum, Washington, DC; Bildmuseet, Umea, Sweden; and Freies Museum, Berlin (video retrospective). She has made works with and for Kunsthalle Detroit Videonale 2014, Bucharest Biennial 3, Museum of Modern Art Medellin; Headlands Center for the Arts, Los Angeles County Museum of Art (with Center for Visual Music), Berkeley Art Museum- Pacific Film Archive, and Documenta 12 Magazine Project. In the Bay Area, her moving images have most recently unfurled at Krowswork, Oakland in 2012, and Joe Goode Annex at Project Artaud (Carbon Song Cycle with Pamela Z), 2014.

For more information about the filmmaker’s practice, please see: “A ‘deep ecology’ of performance, landscape and scientific visualization in Carbon Song Cycle and related films”

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Lettre de Sibérie/Letter From Siberia (Chris Marker/1957)

wednesday 2/26/14 8:30 pm
black hole cinematheque
1038 24th street x linden
oakland, ca

Lettre de Sibérie/Letter From Siberia
(Chris Marker/1957/62mins/digital projection)

Chris Marker’s iconic yet rarely screened early travelogue which André Bazin was perhaps the first to argue represented a newly emerging form of filmmaking he called “the essay documented by film”.

“Letter From Siberia unfolds as a collage offering Siberia from different angles and through various modes of cinematic representation, with the object of conveying the complexity of the country and at the same time exposing the role of the film itself in negotiating and composing different versions of Siberian reality. Marker revels in energetic litanies detailing the flora, fauna, human inhabitants, geographical features and principle industries of the region, which often take wry swipes at contemporary political sensibilities. Ducks are resolutely collectivist (‘there are no kulaks among ducks’), and the domesticated bear Ouchatik is less frightening than the police. The location footage is periodically interrupted by forays into still photography and animation… The generic digressions and shifting perspectives of Letter From Siberia converge to frame its subject as a land of paradox, midway between ‘the Middle Ages and the 21st century, between the earth and the moon, between humiliation and happiness’…
The film’s energy and inventiveness come from a self-conscious dialectical mobilization of these contrasts, which purposely avoids resolving them into a tidy synthesis.”
-Catherine Lupton

presented in a newly restored digital transfer.

free and open to the public.

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Love Meetings/Comizi d’amore (Pier Paolo Pasolini/1964)

Snapshot 2014-02-10 01-57-49
8:30 pm thursday february 13 2014
black hole cinematheque
1038 24th street x linden/oakland

Love Meetings (Comizi d’amore)
(Pier Paolo Pasolini/1964/90mins/digital projection)

“The remarkable Love Meetings is nothing less than a cinema-vérité Kinsey Report – with occasional Godardian touches – on Italian sexual mores in the 1960s. Traveling across Italy, Pasolini and his camera interview people on the street, sunbathers at the beach and soccer players on the pitch about their attitudes towards marriage and divorce, homosexuality, prostitution, machismo and gender roles. While a notable consensus agrees that things are changing it remains less clear what, if anything, these changes mean. In one of his few essays on cinema, Michel Foucault wrote admiringly of the film’s ability to capture the complex ambiguity of reactions to the so-called ‘sexual revolution.’”
-Harvard Film Archive

free and open to the public

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