The Nightingale is excited to present a solo screening of (mostly) 16-millimeter shorts by Los Angeles based artist and filmmaker Mike Stoltz.
Stoltz’s films are rooted in a bodily encounter with the subject; engaging with performers (and performing) from behind the camera, through chance-based interventions in landscape, through camera movements in concert with architectural structures, and directly addressing the audience in the form of gesture and language. This physicality is also present within Mike’s editing process, cutting directly on 16mm film and composing soundtracks from tape music and live sound generated with collaborators.
Images in these shorts reveal satellite dishes perched on the ocean, punk bands practicing in storage units, stroboscopic office park architecture, body parts careening across the screen, and kitsch relics overcome by moss and mold. There is a correlation here between the constant and the variable; a concrete wall begins to spin through the sky, performers place the camera between their bodies, nature overtakes the man-made, and history folds in on itself.
Mike Stoltz works and teaches in Los Angeles, where he is a programmer at the Echo Park Film Center. He will be in attendance to introduce the program.
Toward The Concrete Program Notes: (Total Running Time: 47 minutes)
Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day (2012, HD, 4:30)
“…The camera in Ten Notes on a Summer’s Day fixes on a young woman standing against a painted blue wall, the sun partially lighting her face, the sound of distant traffic in the background. Offscreen, a guitarist plucks single notes, and the woman hums along. When the music falls outside of her vocal range, she switches to a lower octave, her mouth turned up in a small grin. Later, she frowns slightly, seemingly unable to find her note. Gradually her confidence builds and her smile returns, though her humming is no longer anywhere close to the guitar’s pitch. Ten Notes is a marvel; it’s as unhurried and refreshing as this woman’s singing, which, though off-key, produces an unexpected harmony, a little song discovered in the process of its own making.”
-Genevieve Yue, Reverse Shot, Issue 33
In Between (2010, 16mm, 4:30)
“An exercise in permeable architecture, an attempt to walk through a wall.” -MS
Under The Atmosphere (2014, 16mm, 14:30)
“Filmed on the Central Florida “Space Coast”, site of NASA’s launch pads. Dormant spacecraft, arcane text, activated landscape, and the surface of the image work towards a future-past shot reverse shot.” -MS
With Pluses and Minuses (2013, 16mm, 5:00)
“…Stoltz shakes and dislocates audio and image with volume and pitch variations, editing the 16mm film in camera, varying the focus and the shot length of every frame, shifting background and foreground, turning and spinning the camera hand-held positions, and allowing sequences of black that punctuate the image’s algorithms. The filmmaker’s dance transforms abstraction into personal experience. He is an active agent of the surrounding world, and of the opportunities that open and close before us.”
-Mónica Savirón, LUMIÈRE Fall 2013
Half Human, Half Vapor (2015, 16mm, 11:00)
“This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture. I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy. Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.” -MS
Spotlight On A Brick Wall, in collaboration with Alee Peoples (2016, 16mm, 8:00)
A performance film that navigates expectations of both the audience and the makers. A series of false starts. Dub treatment on the laugh track.” -AP&MS