Sheldon Renan Selects: Light and Time
Sheldon Renan was the founding director of the Pacific Film Archive, where he worked between 1967 and 1973; he is also well known for his writing on underground film.
A selection of classic short films drawn largely from the BAMPFA collection, ranging from the hand-drawn, animated Sisyphus by Hungarian director Marcell Jankovics to Bruce Baillie’s elegiac Mass for the Dakota Sioux, which contrasts formal qualities of a mass for the dead with images of urban America. Jordan Belson’s Re-Entry is a visually abstract recreation of bardo, or the three states of being at the moment of death as defined by the Tibetan Book of the Dead. Chris Marker's La Jetée is an exploration of emotions in the scientific (and post-scientific) age, dealing with the depths of nostalgia associated with memory, time, and time-travel. Len Lye’s ecstatic Free Radicals uses the technique of drawing and scratching designs directly onto film. The program ends with Bruce Conner's extraordinary Cosmic Ray, one of the great examples of found footage collage cut to Ray Charles's "What'd I Say."
Films in this Screening
Marcell Jankovics, Hungary, 1974
Mass for the Dakota Sioux
(Mass for the Dakota Sioux)
Bruce Baillie, United States, 1963, 1964
Jordan Belson, United States, 1964
La jetée (The pier)
Chris Marker, France, 1963
Len Lye, United States, 1958, revised 1979
Bruce Conner, United States, 1962