Radical Light

September 17, 2010–April 3, 2011

Located at the edge of the continent, the Bay Area has long been home to utopian projects, cross-disciplinary explorations, edgy experiments, and psychedelic extravaganzas.

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Past Films

  • Preserving the Avant-Garde at PFA

    • Sunday, April 3 3:00 PM

    Introduced by Jon Shibata. Featuring PFA Preservation Prints. A program highlighting PFA's preservation of films by Bay Area artists. Includes films by James Broughton, Dion Vigné, Lenny Lipton, George Kuchar, and others. (84 mins)

  • Different Tongues: Film in Dialogue with Music, Literature, and Dance

    • Wednesday, March 30 7:30 PM

    Introduced by Konrad Steiner. Nathaniel Dorsky, and Jim Flannery in Person. Featuring PFA Preservation Films and Videos. A program that highlights films that couple and combine with dance, music, and poetry.

  • Experimental Animation

    • Sunday, March 20 5:00 PM

    Karl Cohen in Person. Featuring PFA Preservation Prints. Little-known animations by Bay Area artists, focusing on abstract films from the late 1940s and 1950s but extending into the 1980s. Includes a light show interlude by Karl Cohen. (85 mins)

  • The Video Collectives: Lord of the Universe, Media Burn, and Game of the Week

    • Sunday, March 6 5:15 PM

    Lynn Adler, Doug Hall, Chip Lord, Jim Mayer, John Rogers, Allen Rucker, and Megan Williams in Person. Spotlights the collectives of the 1970s that aimed to infiltrate, subvert, or parody the corporate media. Includes Ant Farm's seminal Media Burn.

  • Pieces of Eight: Fragments, Curiosities, and Hidden Realities

    • Wednesday, March 2 7:30 PM

    Bob Branaman, Keith Evans, Janis Crystal Lipzin, Steve Polta, Jeff Warrin, and Jacalyn White in Person. The films in this program consciously work with the small-scale 8mm image, conveying an intimate connection to their subjects or discovering a new delicacy and formal delights in otherwise familiar objects. (77 mins)

  • Abstraction in Film

    • Wednesday, February 16 7:30 PM

    Nathaniel Dorsky in Person. This program features films that fragment, distort, or otherwise transform reality. Ranging from the 1950s to the 1990s, it includes films by Patricia Marx, Dion Vigné, Jordan Belson, John Schofill, Barry Spinello, Vincent Grenier, Elise Hurwitz, and Nathaniel Dorsky. (85 mins)

  • Tongues Untied

    • Wednesday, February 9 7:30 PM

    Marlon Riggs (U.S., 1989). Introduced by Vivian Kleiman. Tongues Untied breaks the silence that envelops the lives of black gay men. The words of poets, personal testimony, rap tableaux, dramatic sequences, and archival footage are woven together with a seductive palette of video effects. With Binge (Lynn Hershman, U.S., 1987), a confessional on overeating and self-image. (85 mins)

  • Versions of Veracity: Video, the 1980s

    • Sunday, February 6 5:30 PM

    Jeanne C. Finley, Dale Hoyt, and Doug Hall in Person. Though wildly varied in form, these videoworks each concern an encounter with veracity, implicitly asking, “How do you represent truth in a medium that favors illusion?” Includes videos by the guest artists, as well as by Tony Labat. (88 mins)

  • Found Footage Films

    • Wednesday, February 2 7:30 PM

    Jeanne C. Finley, Michael Wallin, Greta Snider, and Craig Baldwin in Person. This program features Bay Area filmmakers who have appropriated a diverse array of footage and twisted the original meanings to their own, often subversive, ends. Films by Bruce Conner, Jeanne C. Finley, Michael Wallin, Greta Snider, Julie Murray, and Craig Baldwin. (81 mins)

  • Punk, Attitudinal: Film and Video, 1977 to 1987

    • Sunday, January 30 5:30 PM

    Dale Hoyt, Barney Haynes, and Mindaugis Bagdon in Person. While punk music was churning in the clubs, video artists were mangling the medium (so here punk performance collides with bratty artmaking). Works by Mindaugis Bagdon, The Residents, Richard Gaikowski, Dale Hoyt, Ivar Smedstad, and Joe Rees take us into the hardcore maelstrom. (85 mins)

  • Post-Conceptual Performance: Video, 1977 to 1997

    • Sunday, January 23 5:30 PM

    Jordan Biren, Tony Labat, and Anne McGuire in Person. By the mid 1970s, the concept of the artist's body as medium had evolved from arid performance to effusive provocation, as seen in works by Tony Labat, Leslie Singer, Doug Hall, Cecilia Dougherty, Jordan Biren, Anne McGuire, and the HalfLifers. (80 mins)

  • Luminous Projections: Light in Bay Area Film and Performance

    • Wednesday, January 19 7:30 PM

    Kerry Laitala, Michael Wallin, and Nathaniel Dorsky in Person. Film projection performance by Sandra Gibson and Luis Recoder. The films and performance featured in this program deal with light, treating it as an especially compelling feature of the Bay Area environment, as an object of amazement in early electronic technology, or as the essential component of cinema. (74 mins)

  • Tribulation 99

    • Wednesday, December 1 7:30 PM
    Craig Baldwin

  • Tribulation 99

    • Wednesday, December 1 7:30 PM

    Craig Baldwin (U.S., 1999). Craig Baldwin in Person. “This masterpiece is at once a sci-fi cheapster, a skewed history of U.S. intervention in Latin America, a satire of conspiratorial thinking, and an essential piece of current Americana.”-Village Voice. With Sherry Millner's Disaster, a two-screen Super 8 work called the first situationist film made in the U.S. (78 mins)

  • 1990–1999

    • Sunday, November 21 5:15 PM

    Artists in Person. Moving among filmmaking, teaching, and curating, filmmakers in the 1990s were interested in the particularities of the medium and explored techniques such as hand processing and collage. Includes films by Sandra Davis, Jay Rosenblatt, Greta Snider, Dominic Angerame, Scott Stark, Jenni Olson, and more. (c. 80 mins)

  • 1980–1989

    • Sunday, November 14 5:00 PM

    Artists in person. Works by Peter Herwitz, Rock Ross, Gunvor Nelson, Mark Street, and more represent the fertile Bay Area filmmaking scene in the 1980s, when many artists carried seminal artistic traditions into new territory. (84 mins)

  • 1969–79

    • Wednesday, October 20 7:30 PM

    The experimental turns personal in this collection of vibrant, comic, and transgressive works from the seventies, including pieces by George Kuchar, Barbara Hammer, Freude, Bruce Conner, and others. (97 mins)

  • Procession of the Image Processors

    • Sunday, October 17 6:30 PM

    Artists in person. Live video synthesis performance with Skip Sweeney, Warner Jepson, and Robert Pacelli. Processors, video synthesizers, and television modulators fuel this program of image manipulators, syntho-sorcerers, and feedback fanatics. Works by Hy Hirsh, Skip Sweeney, Loren Sears, Stephen Beck, and more. (100 mins)

  • Stories Untold

    • Saturday, October 16 6:00 PM

    George Kuchar, Chip Lord, and Anne McGuire in person. It's not just the tale, but how it's told that's investigated in this collection of satiric, sensual, and striking stories. Works by James Broughton, Curt McDowell, George Kuchar, Chip Lord, Anne McGuire, Max Almy, and Scott Stark. (95 mins)

  • The Erotic Exotic

    • Saturday, October 16 8:30 PM

    Introduced by Eric Schaefer. Alice Anne Parker in person. Post-Summer of Love, many experimental filmmakers turned to investigating the body as erotic object and to liberating sexuality-especially female sexuality-from taboo. Works by Alice Anne Parker Severson, Scott Bartlett, Karen Johnson, and more. (85 mins)

  • 1961–71

    • Wednesday, October 13 7:30 PM

    Peter Hutton and other artists in person. Often brazenly anti-establishment and always joyfully self-expressive, the films from the Bay Area in the sixties channeled the zeitgeist and expanded the possibilities of film as art. With films by Bruce Baillie, Robert Nelson, Lenny Lipton, Peter Hutton, and more. (87 mins)

  • 1953–60

    • Wednesday, October 6 7:30 PM

    Best known for the Beat Movement, the mid-to-late fifties in the Bay Area was a fertile time for all cultural and artistic scenes, as these films by Hy Hirsh, Stan Brakhage, Christopher Maclaine, Bruce Conner, and more attest. (62 mins)

  • 1946–53

    • Wednesday, September 29 7:30 PM

    Introduced by David Meltzer. Wilder Bentley II in person. Essential films by James Broughton, Sidney Peterson, Harry Smith, Sara Kathryn Arledge, Christopher Maclaine, and Frank Stauffacher help redefine and expand our history of postwar Bay Area culture. (81 mins)

  • Landscape as Expression

    • Sunday, September 19 6:30 PM

    Ernie Gehr and Lawrence Jordan in person. The Bay Area's astonishing natural and urban landscapes are the subject of these works by Ernie Gehr, Dion Vigne, Chris Marker, Lawrence Jordan, Michael Glawogger, and more. (93 mins)