The Films of Saul Levine I: Tunes of Sound and Silence
Saul Levine in attendance!
Chins Push, Backyard (outdoor screening)
4917 York Blvd LA CA 90042
NOTE THE CHANGE IN OUR USUAL DAY AND LOCATION.
In 1965, Saul Levine misjudged a leap from a sailboat to a buoy, falling into the Long Island Sound with his 8mm camera rolling in his hands. He’s been busy making films ever since, mostly in the small gauge format of Super-8. Saul’s output is constant, and his work is illuminated by a improvisatory energy, the rhythm of his life as a teacher and working artist. Tonight at Chins Push, we are proud to present the first evening of Saul’s first screening series in Los Angeles. The films shown tonight are a selection of film work made between 1969 and 2011, from his Notes series to his more formal experiments with Light Licks. They will be projected, and the program will be followed by a Q+A.
A program of Saul’s video work will be presented at VeggieCloud the following evening, Thursday, August 27th, at 7:30 PM. Saul will be in attendance at both screenings.
“Saul Levine is the foremost dissenting filmmaker in America. With about 35 years of consistent production behind him, and no signs of fatigue, he can show us the shape of a life passionately and uncompromisingly devoted to filmmaking. His works are high-energy messages of friendship, records of sexual love and political activism, radiated by humor, prophetic anger, loneliness and even though rarely, representing repose. His incessant, chaotic outpouring of political energy seems less geared to a naïve notion of bettering the world than to a perpetual pressure to keep it from getting worse.” — P. Adams Sitney.
Saul Levine, born in New Haven Connecticut, is a maker and advocate of avant-garde film and more recently video. He is currently a professor at MassArt where he has taught for over 30 years and programmed the longstanding MassArt Film Society. His work has been screened nationally and worldwide, most recently in Ontario, MOMA (NYC), Lima and Prague. He is based in Boston and hardly leaves town. www.saullevine.com
Programs curated by Matthew Doyle.
Notes of an Early Fall (Part I & II)
1976, S8mm, 18fps, color, sound, 33 min.
NOTES OF AN EARLY FALL was mostly made in Binghamton in 1976--a warped record constructed out of visits to the zoo, relatives and various locations. Appearances by obsessive birds, caged bears and hungry rams.
"Notes of an early fall refers to the season in which he returns to his family home with his new camera to celebrate Rosh Hashanah, as well as to the aesthetic fall from the grace of pure vision into the worldly cacophony of synchronous sound (in a hyperbole of Brakhage's polemics) and the fall from a prestigious position in what was at the time the strongest academic program in avant-garde filmmaking in America..."
Taking Note: P. Adams Sitney on the films of Saul Levine
ArtForum, May, 2007 by P. Adams Sitney
Note to Pati
1969, R8, 7.5m
Something of an aesthetic convergence between the diaristic autobiographies and quotidian images of Jonas Mekas (as illustrated in his Diaries, Notes and Sketches chronicles) and the hand crafted dissonance and material violence of Stan Brakhage, “Note to Pati” presents a seemingly typical winter scene – the day after a snow storm as a suburban neighborhood digs out from under the accumulation and children make the most of an unexpected day off from school by playing in their winter wonderland. Saul Levine’s images are diffused, faded, and ephemeral, made all the more dissociating by Levine’s disorienting rapid cut editing, restless and twitching camerawork, and destabilized, quick pan sequences – an evocation of a transitory and wide-eyed innocence. —filmref.com
Notes After Long Silence
1984 - 1989, S8mm, sound, 16 min.
"Hard-edged poetry. How else could one characterize the films of Saul Levine, which cut as they do between jackhammers and B.B. King singing the blues? Levine is Boston's own outsider. In the culture of public television and whiz bang computer-generated images, Levine sticks to his expressionist, tactile guns as the king of Super 8. Perhaps better known nationally than in his adopted home city, Saul Levine has made a reputation for himself as a prime maker and promoter of the American avant-garde film..."
-- Marjorie Keller, VISIONS MAGAZINE Film/Television Arts
N.7 Summer ‘92
Full Article here
Note to Poli
1982-83, Super 8, Silent, 2.5m
"A note to the filmmaker Poli Marechal 'about' penetration: matter and light, substance and smoke. Images of drinking coffee and having sex evaporate as smoke is blown into a shaft of light on a refrigerator."
- Marjorie Keller
"NOTE TO POLI, part of a series of intimate 'notes', represents a burst of sexual energy as the prelude to a cigarette in the sunlit kitchen, as if the balancing of eros and narcosis precluded the intervention of splicing."
- P. Adams Sitney, Village Voice
A few tunes going out: Groove to Groove
Part 2 of A FEW TUNES GOING OUT series
w/ MAI CRAMER & JESSE GREEN BLUES BAND
1978-1982, S8mm, sound, 12 min.
“[GROOVE TO GROOVE] continues this kind of portraiture, concentrating on Mai Cramer and Levine, and develops the 'bi-lingual' paradigm of film and music. The phantasmagoria of splices becomes the lexicon for Levine's improvisational study of making film, music and jokes." - Marjorie Keller
Light Licks: Daily Camera
2011, s8 mm, 8.5 min
LIGHT LICKS are a series of films, which are made frame by frame often by flooding the camera with enough light to spill beyond the gate into the frame left unexposed. LIGHT LICKS are ecstatic flicker films inspired by jazz and mystic visionary practice. "His 2011 film DAILY CAMERA gets its name from the Boulder newspaper building seen in the film before the figurative portrait of the Colorado town gives way to visual instability, images superimposed one over another and pulsing colors and abstract shapes created by the play of light on the lens and the film. - Sean Axmaker
1993, S8, sound, 5 min.
A conversation with Pelle Lowe.