Summer Cinema on Center Street


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Berkeley, CA, June 28, 2012-The University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) has announced that it will host a series of free outdoor movies and music/art happenings in Downtown Berkeley the first three Saturdays in August. A copresentation with the Downtown Berkeley Association, Summer Cinema on Center Street is being held in the Bank of America parking lot on Center Street between Shattuck and Oxford Streets, next door to the future site of the new BAM/PFA, expected to open in 2015. Each of the three evenings starts with an engaging hour of music and art, followed by the screening of cerebral cinema on the exterior wall of the future home of the new museum, the former UC Printing plant. The eclectic series, programmed by BAM/PFA Video Curator Steve Seid, playfully celebrates Berkeley's artistic and intellectual legacy as a worldwide center for scientific and academic research, and social and cultural innovation. Rare screenings of campy classics The Atomic Brain, Donovan's Brain, and The Brain That Wouldn't Die follow brain-altering live music and DJ sets, as well as IQ-raising talks and art performances that are sure to keep central nervous systems stimulated.

“It's been a terrific pleasure working with the Downtown Berkeley Association on the Summer Cinema on Center Street series, which we hope will become an annual tradition,” says BAM/PFA Director Lawrence Rinder. “We hope these evenings will not only provide an entertaining glimpse into our extraordinary film collection, but also serve to introduce BAM/PFA's spirit of excellence, edge, and engagement to new East Bay audiences.” According to John Caner, CEO of the Downtown Berkeley Association, “We are delighted to be working with BAM/PFA as a future anchor partner in Downtown, and with a creative program and audience totally in line with our new marketing campaign, ‘Taste, Create, Experience Downtown Berkeley-It Starts Here.'”

Summer Cinema on Center Street events will take place in the Bank of America parking lot on Center Street between Shattuck Avenue and Oxford Streets in Berkeley. Pre-movie activities begin at 7:30 p.m. for each event, with the films screening at twilight. A limited amount of seating will be provided; patrons are encouraged to bring their own chairs.

Summer Cinema on Center Street Calendar

Saturday, August 4, 7:30 p.m.
The Atomic Brain Joseph V. Mascelli (U.S., 1963)
Smooth Toad jug band, artist Michael Campos-Quinn's sensored sculptures that emit neural sounds, and UC Berkeley's own Jeremy Martin-Shepard's introduction to Connectomics (the newest thing in mapping the brain's neural connections) jumpstart our first evening of cerebral cinema. Then in The Atomic Brain (70 mins, B&W, 16mm, PFA Collection), an aging spinster finances the brain transplant experiments of a mad scientist in the hope that her brain can be transplanted into the bod of a younger babe. A pair of au pairs are abducted and used for these crazed experiments, turning them into empty-headed zombies. Eventually, the demented doctor replaces the model's brain with one taken from a feline. Meow. The original catwoman.

Saturday, August 11, 7:30 p.m.
Donovan's Brain Felix Feist (U.S., 1953)
A set by KALX's DJ Citizen Zain; a sound performance that draws on deep metaphors of the unconscious to caress our crania by sound artist Binta Ayofemi; and short films about evolution, chimp behavior, and stimulants accompanied by the live sounds of Shudder (Kyle Bruckmann, Lance Grabmiller, and Paul Greenlief) get us in the mood for Donovan's Brain (83 mins, B&W, 16mm, PFA Collection). A crazed surgeon has been extracting the brains of monkeys, keeping them alive outside their bodies. When a plane crashes nearby, the police rush the survivor to the surgeon's lab for emergency care. Despite their best efforts, terrible tycoon Walter Donovan dies, so the scientist liberates his lobes, keeping them alive in a jar. Soon the megalomaniacal brain asserts its influence over the doctor, who must do its evil bidding.

Saturday, August 18, 7:30 p.m.
The Brain That Wouldn't Die Joseph Green (U.S., 1962)
A set by Aaron Harbour, a.k.a. DJ Timber; a reading about a bullet passing through a brain by artist Dean Santomieri; and a preview of Tiffany Shlain's new short film about the brain as it spreads out over the Internet set the scene for The Brain That Wouldn't Die (71 mins, B&W, 16mm, PFA Collection). A demented surgeon performs experimental organ transplants. When his fiancée is decapitated in a car accident, he manages to keep her brain alive in a tray. He then abducts a disfigured model, so that he can graft his fiancée's head onto her body. Eventually the mind-mass goes wireless, using telepathy to summon the creatures of experiments past. A mind-expanding film featuring a heroine who can't believe her boyfriend loves her just for her brain.

Summer Cinema on Center Street is copresented by BAM/PFA and the Downtown Berkeley Association. Support is provided by the continued contributions of the BAM/PFA Trustees. Thanks to Bank of America for the use of their parking lot. Special thanks to our media sponsors: Berkeleyside, KFOG, East Bay Express, East Bay Loop, and Yelp.


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Founded in 1963, the UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive (BAM/PFA) is UC Berkeley's primary visual arts venue and among the largest university art museums in terms of size and audience in the United States. Internationally recognized for its art and film programming, BAM/PFA is a platform for cultural experiences that transform individuals, engage communities, and advance the local, national and global discourse on art and ideas. BAM/PFA's mission is “to inspire the imagination and ignite critical dialogue through art and film.” BAM/PFA presents approximately fifteen art exhibitions and 380 film programs each year. The museum's collection of over 16,000 works of art includes important holdings of Neolithic Chinese ceramics, Ming and Qing Dynasty Chinese painting, Old Master works on paper, Italian Baroque painting, early American painting, Abstract Expressionist painting, contemporary photography, and video art. Its film archive of over 14,000 films and videos includes the largest collection of Japanese cinema outside of Japan, Hollywood classics, and silent film, as well hundreds of thousands of articles, reviews, posters, and other ephemera related to the history of film, many of which are digitally scanned and accessible online.

About the Downtown Berkeley Association
Downtown Berkeley Association is a nonprofit membership organization and the Owner's Association for the new Property-Based Business Improvement District (PBID), representing 187 property owners and approximately 850 of their merchant and business tenants. The purpose of the PBID is to create and sustain a vibrant and prosperous City Center by: 1) Producing a consistently clean, welcoming, and attractive Downtown experience; 2) Attracting and retaining new businesses; 3) Cultivating a fun and vibrant Downtown “living room;” 4) Enhancing property values, sales, and occupancies; 5) Helping Downtown businesses compete locally and regionally. The district encompasses 25 blocks bounded by Delaware, Oxford/Fulton, Dwight, and MLK Jr. Way.


Posted by admin on June 28, 2012