Legendary experimental film distributor Canyon Cinema celebrates its fiftieth anniversary with a national tour of four programs that represent a rich panoply of independent artist-made films.
Program Three: DECODINGS is named after Michael Wallin’s found-footage masterpiece, “a profoundly moving, allegorical search for identity from the documents of collective memory” (Manohla Dargis). The program begins with Duo Concertantes, a classic animation by one of Canyon’s earliest filmmakers, Lawrence Jordan, and Billabong, an underappreciated impressionistic documentary of a boys’ youth camp by another key Canyon figure, Will Hindle. Tom Palazzolo’s 1973 film, Love It/Leave It, offers a portrait of the USA that feels particularly relevant to our current political moment. Lie Back & Enjoy It, JoAnn Elam’s lucid examination of the representation of women in film; artist and filmmaker Cauleen Smith’s 1992 Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron), an “exploration of the implications of the mediation of Black history by film, television, magazines and newspapers” (Scott MacDonald); and Naomi Uman’s classic 1999 found-footage film Removed, which deploys nail polish, bleach, and 1970s pornography to fashion a film where the female figure exists only as an empty, animated space. Total running time: 87 minutes
Duo Concertantes (Lawrence Jordan, 1964, 8 min.)
Billabong (Will Hindle, 1969, 9 min.)
Love It / Leave It* (Tom Palazzolo, 1973, 15 min.)
Chronicles of a Lying Spirit (by Kelly Gabron)* (Cauleen Smith, 1992, 6.5 min.)
Point de Gaze (Jodie Mack, 2012, 5 min.)
Removed* (Naomi Uman, 1999, 6 min.)
Encounters I May or May Not Have Had with Peter Berlin (Mariah Garnett, 2012, 14 min.)
Lie Back & Enjoy It (JoAnn Elam, 1982, 8 min.)
Decodings (Michael Wallin, 1988, 15 min.)
*recent restorations and new prints
The Canyon Cinema 50 project is organized by the Canyon Cinema Foundation and supported in part by the George Lucas Family Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation, and The Fleishhacker Foundation.