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Canyon Cinema at 50: Studies in Natural Magic / Associations

Canyon Cinema at 50: Studies in Natural Magic / Associations

Canyon Cinema 50

Friday July 13, 2018, 7:30pm

UCLA Film & Television Archive, the Hugh M. Hefner Classic American Film Program, and Los Angeles Filmforum present

Canyon Cinema at 50: Studies in Natural Magic / Associations

At the UCLA Film and Television Archive, Billy Wilder Theater, 10899 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024. Courtyard Level, Hammer Museum

In-person:  David Dinnell, curator Antonella Bonfanti, director of Canyon Cinema, filmmaker Betzy Bromberg

Los Angeles Filmforum members receive free admission at the box office!

Bay Area-based non-profit film and media arts organization Canyon Cinema has, for 50 years, served as a bastion of “artist-made moving image work” not just as an archive, but as a distributor and champion of experimental, avant-garde, alternative and otherwise underserviced filmmaking voices. Curated by David Dinnell, visiting faculty at California Institute of the Arts and former Program Director at the Ann Arbor Film Festival, UCLA Film & Television Archive is proud to serve as the Los Angeles home for four 16mm programs that draw exclusively from Canyon’s vast collection. Deriving titles from lesser-known Canyon films, these programs span seven decades, and include work by Saul Levine, Barbara Hammer, Curt McDowell and Canyon founders Bruce Baillie and Chick Strand, which together offer a vital roadmap for artist-made cinema.  

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, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and The Fleishhacker Foundation.

Special thanks: Antonella Bonfanti, David Dinnell, Mark Toscano.

Tickets: $10 general in advance; $9 general at the door; $8 for seniors/non-UCLA students; free for Filmforum members and UCLA students. Available in advance at or at the door.

For more information:


Program One: Studies in Natural Magic (16mm, b/w and color, 79 min.)

Program One features recent films by Saul Levine, Charlotte Pryce and Christopher Harris; rarely screened films by Standish Lawder and Jean Sousa; sublimely filmed and acutely perceived portraits of cities, seas, skies and landscapes by Peter Hutton, Julie Murray, Gary Beydler, Robert Fulton and Emily Richardson; Betzy Bromberg’s audacious and energetic feminist punk city symphony; Degrees of Limitation, one of Scott Stark’s earliest films, a humorous three-minute structuralist gem; and Portland, a mid-‘90s travelogue and playful Rashomon-like inquiry into the nature of truth by Greta Snider. 

Program Two: Associations (16mm, b/w and color, 90 min.)

Program Two is titled after John Smith’s 1975 film, a joyfully dense rebus-like image-word construction. Smith’s film is preceded by Sara Kathryn Arledge’s rarely seen 1958 work What is A Man, a film years ahead of its time, and Mark Toscano’s 2012 piece Releasing Human Energies, which utilizes film laboratory test footage of a “China Girl” set to a found text read by Morgan Fisher. The program also features Abigail Child’s classic 1989 film Mercy, from her celebrated “Is This What You Were Born For?” series; canonical works by Phil Solomon, Barbara Hammer, Robert Breer, and Robert Nelson; and two recent restorations: the humorously poignant Confessions by Curt McDowell and Akbar, Richard Myers’ extraordinary 1970 portrait of young black filmmaker and student, Akbar Ahmed.