The Andre Trilogy: Three Films by James N. Kienitz Wilkins
Los Angeles Filmforum and Acropolis Cinema present
Sunday, April 29, 2018, 8:00 pm
At the Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles CA 90012, 213-617-1033
Filmmaker James N. Kienitz Wilkins in person! Los Angeles premieres!
One of most exciting and unpredictable filmmakers working today, Brooklyn’s James N. Kienitz Wilkins has made a name for himself over the last half-decade with an idiosyncratic collection of works that foreground language and performance while simultaneously upending expected formal boundaries. Tonight’s program features the Los Angeles premiere of the Andre Trilogy, three films that helped establish Wilkins’ playfully provocative, self-reflexive sensibility.
Tickets: $12 general; $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available in advance at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3403537 or at the door.
James N. Kienitz Wilkins is a filmmaker and artist based in Brooklyn. His work has been presented at international film festivals and venues including the New York Film Festival, CPH:DOX, MoMA PS1, Rotterdam IFF, Migrating Forms, Whitney Biennial, and beyond. Past movies includes the experimental documentary feature, Public Hearing (2012), and the short, Special Features (2014), which in 2015 won the Founder’s Spirit Award at the Ann Arbor Film Festival and a Grand Prix at the 25 FPS Festival. In 2016, he won the Art Award from the Lichter Filmfest Frankfurt, as well as the Kazuko Trust Award presented by the Film Society of Lincoln Center. He is a graduate of the Cooper Union School of Art in New York City. www.automaticmoving.com
This program is supported by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences; the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.
Los Angeles Filmforum is the city’s longest-running organization dedicated to weekly screenings of experimental film, documentaries, video art, and experimental animation. 2018 is our 43rd year.
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(2014, DV-to-HD, color, sound, 12 min.)
Special Features is an apparent interview with three highlights. Presented as a lo-fi fragment from a forgotten video production, an interviewee interacts with an interviewer, recounting a special experience at once unique and shared.
“Special Features is a short movie assuming the familiar form of a sit-down interview, until it turns into something else. The role of the “interviewee” is revealed as an edited performance, and depending on one’s “behind-the-scenes” knowledge, a performed interview, or a document of actors performing text they are reading in real-time from a teleprompter, covering seemingly personal and uncomfortable topics normally left unsaid."
(2015, BetaSP-to-HD, color, stereo, 30 min.)
A private eye type guy recounts a tricky case, set against the unedited duration of a found BetaSP tape.
At its simplest, TESTER is found-footage experiment. It is an “editor-less” film which presents the uncut contents of a videotape I discovered in a BetaSP VCR purchased off eBay.com. The tape had the word “tester” scrawled on its surface, and was indeed a tape used to test machinery. As such, it’s impossible to verify by whom, when, and over what duration the material was recorded (and rewound and re-recorded, again and again). The complete footage of the thirty minute tape is preserved within the movie.
The voice-over (performed by me) and original music by Eugene Wasserman seek to precisely match yet redefine the footage. The voice-over is admittedly boorish, grabby, and aggressive, suggesting an ego-centric filmmaker mixed with a film noir detective speaking a vernacular of cliches particularly inspired by Dashiell Hammett’s novel, The Thin Man (the movie adaptation of which was filmed in the famous California studio town, Culver City, where the “tester” videotape is presumed to have originated, according to the eBay return shipping address). -- James N. Kienitz Wilkins
B-ROLL with Andre
(2015, HD, color, stereo, 18:30)
An anonymous and mediated testimonial about one man’s dangerous dream.
B-ROLL with Andre is equally a standalone movie and the unofficial “sequel” to Special Features (2014) and TESTER (2015). At some point in an unspecified future, the internal narrative picks up a thread of characters introduced in Special Features and discussed in TESTER, remixing current events, personal theories and video technology in an unholy alliance. The three movies were produced in sequential video formats (BetaSP, MiniDV, HD) which correspond to the timeframes of each story (prequel, original, sequel).