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Geography of the Body of the World

Geography of the Body of the World

Paradise Springs, by Brigid McCaffrey

Thursday, July 14, 2016, 7:00pm

Los Angeles Filmforum at MOCA presents

Geography of the Body of the World

At MOCA Grand Avenue, 250 South Grand Ave., Los Angeles CA 90012

In Person: Brigid McCaffrey

This program comprises four films that use the poetic as a means to investigate the real. Bruce Baillie’s abstract elegy Mass for the Dakota Sioux (1964) asks, how do we make images after a catastrophe? Sky Hopinka’s Jáaji Approximately (2015) uses audio recordings, lyrical camera work, and visual layering to reframe history. Brigid McCaffrey will be present to screen and discuss two of her films: Paradise Springs (2013), a portrait of geologist Ren Lallatin and her intimate relationship with the land, and a new work about the same subject.  Programmed by Madison Brookshire

Tickets: $12 general, $7 students with valid ID; free for Filmforum & MOCA members.  Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door.

MORE INFO - 213/621-1741 or 

Brigid McCaffrey is a Los Angeles-based documentary and experimental filmmaker. Her films have screened at various venues including BAFICI, Bradford International Film Festival, Cinema du Reel, DocLisboa, L’Alternativa, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, Torino International Film Festival, Other Cinema in San Francisco, and Los Angeles Filmforum. Her film Castaic Lake was awarded Best Cinematography at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in 2011. Paradise Springs received the Marian McMahon Award at Images Festival in 2014. She received an MFA in Film and Video from CalArts and a BA in Photography and Film from Bard College.

Paradise Springs (2013, 33:00, HD)
Castaic Lake (2010, 28:30, 16mm)
AM/PM (2010, 9:00, 16mm)
Tjúba Ten/The Wet Season, co-directed w/ Ben Russell (2008, 47:00, 16mm)
Lay Down Tracks, co-directed w/ Danielle Lombardi (2006, 61:00, 16mm)



Mass for the Dakota Sioux

Mass for the Dakota Sioux

Mass for the Dakota Sioux

By Bruce Baillie (1964)

A film Mass, dedicated to nobility and excellence. The film begins with a short introduction, "No chance for me to live, Mother, you might as well mourn." Sitting Bull, Hunkpapa Sioux Chief. Applause for a lone figure dying on the street. INTROIT. A long, lightly exposed section composed in the camera. KYRIE. A motorcyclist crossing the San Francisco Bridge accompanied by the sound of Gregorian chant, recorded at the Trappist Monastery in Vina, California. The sounds of the "mass" rise and fall throughout. GLORIA. The sound of a siren and a short sequence of a '33 Cadillac proceeding over the Bay Bridge and disappearing into a tunnel. The final section of the Communion begins with the OFFERTORY in a procession of lights and figures to the second chant. The anonymous figure from the introduction is discovered again, dead on the pavement. The body is consecrated and taken away past an indifferent, isolated people, accompanied by the final chant. The Mass is traditionally a celebration of Life; thus the contradiction between the form of the Mass and the theme of Death. The dedication is to the religious people who were destroyed by the civilization which evolved the Mass.


Paradise Springs

Paradise Springs

By Brigid McCaffrey

(2013, color, sound, HD, 1920x1080, 33 min.) World premiere!
A geologist, Ren Lallatin, studies the Mojave Desert; she traces its volcanic and seismic actualities, locates water sources and the relics of previous inhabitants, and identifies landscape features that will conceal her mobile shelter from public view. Five years of traveling through and living within this desert have shaped intimate relations to its geologic formations. The film consists of a succession of roving soliloquies and terrain crossings as the wandering geologist describes her interactions with the natural world, while declaring her rejection of the persistent claims on land regulation. This portrait offers an invitation into the contemplations of solitude and fragments of a personal mythology set within a geologic existence.

jaaji 2

Jáaji Approximatel

Jáaji Approximately

By Sky Hopinka (2015, 7:36)

Logging and approximating a relationship between audio recordings of my father and videos gathered of the landscapes we have both separately traversed. The initial distance between the logger and the recordings, of recollections and of songs, new and traditional, narrows while the images become an expanding semblance of filial affect. Jáaji is a near translation for directly addressing a father in the Hočak language.

Badmamawhocares01 smaller

Bad mama, who cares, by Brigid McCaffrey

Bad mama, who cares, by Brigid McCaffrey

2016 (work in progress), 16mm on video, color, silent, 12 minutes

The geologist has taken shelter. A railroad without, a garden within, the situation of the house is unknown. She outlines the terrain and tampers with the radiant moves of metal, stockpiling, sorting, and circulating. The less she sees, the more she holds.  —BM