The Zanzibar Films - Le révélateur (w/ live score by Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler)
The Zanzibar Films
Aug 10 – 31
At Cinefamily, 611 N Fairfax Avenue, Los Angeles CA 90036
In the storied tradition of French cinema, the New Wave may be the most famous break with tradition – but there were also the underseen, so-called Zanzibar films, named for a 1969 voyage to that then-Maoist country, and made in and around the student protests of May ‘68 by a long-haired, Parisian Warhol’s factory-esque cast of painters, models, artists, amateurs, dandies, and film techs – everyone but established filmmakers. The loose constellation of films they produced were unified by a mystical, hippie kind of avant-garde – one that rubbed up against, but didn’t define itself by, the political – instead the group’s greatest interventions were formal: long takes, drug-fueled improvisation, and purely counter-cultural amateurism. The filmmakers weren’t the only ones making a radical intervention in the world of French cinema – their patroness was too. French heiress Sylvina Boissonnas financed twelve of these films, apparently holding court at the Coupole restaurant, ready to sign checks for virtually anyone with an idea – making rather costly 35mm film stock available to a fascinating crowd. Still underseen today, the Zanzibar films, more than anything, are the products of a group that undertook filmmaking without traditional credentials, and without any intention to distribute, release, or capitalize on the work.
Special thanks to Jackie Raynal, Jacob Perlin, and Zanzibar scholar Sally Shafto.
Tickets $14 general, free for Cinefamily and Filmforum members.
Le révélateur (w/ live score by Mary Lattimore and Jeff Zeigler)
For those who favor the hallucinatory and the abstract, start revving your psychedelic engines for a dose of French master Philippe Garrel’s potent, shimmering physicality. Tragically unknown in the U.S. despite a significant global following, Garrel has charted an unlikely course from avant-garde provocateur to festival favorite in a revelatory four-decade career. Tonight, one of his earliest, most incendiary shorts is live-scored by harpist Mary Lattimore and multi-instrumentalist Jeff Zeigler, whose albums for the Thrill Jockey label (Slant of Light and The Withdrawing Room) weave an elaborate web of picturesque synthscapes. Le révélateur — made during Garrel’s youthful Zanzibar period spent on the Paris ‘68 frontlines and named for the revealing of images by film developer — “is a fractured and elliptical, but instinctive, elemental, and haunting rumination on the process of awakening, maturation, psychological trauma, and transformation of childhood memory” (Strictly Film School)
Dir. Philippe Garrel, 1968, digital presentation, 67 min.