Still Light: Films by Robert Beavers
Los Angeles Filmforum and Acropolis Cinema present
Still Light: Films by Robert Beavers
Wednesday October 24, 2018, 8:00pm
At the Downtown Independent, 251 S. Main Street, Los Angeles CA 90012
Robert Beavers in person!
Co-presented by REDCAT
Robert Beavers is a master of 16mm personal filmmaking whose films are landmarks of independent cinema. Following his magnum opus 18-film cycle, My Hand Outstretched to the Winged Distance and Sightless Measure, Beavers released several works that are considered among the great films of recent decades. Beavers’ focus is on intimate spaces and how they reflect qualities of human character and life. His art is unsurpassed in its sensitivity to seemingly ordinary details, the astonishingly sensual sound and imagery, and its deep grounding in the classical arts. Tonight's program will feature two of Beavers' most celebrated films, including the Los Angeles premiere of the groundbreaking From the Notebook of... (1971/1998, 16mm) and the mid-career masterpiece "The Stoas" (1991-97, 16mm).
“One of the best films in this year’s festival is in Projections: Robert Beavers’s “From the Notebook of …,” a 48-minute masterpiece….
Elegant, beautiful, complex and austere, “From the Notebook of …” (Program 10) is a film about creation, about the transformation of life into art and the loveliness of Florentine sunlight flooding through a window. The whole thing functions somewhat like a rebus, in that you need to fit together its pieces — precisely framed, warmly illuminated images of birds, windows, rooftops, water, mattes, a writing desk, some street scenes — to make sense of the larger, layered meanings. This involves a little work, but the film’s sheer loveliness and its ideas are so inviting and expansive that the experience is intensely pleasurable. Writing is thinking; so is filmmaking and film watching.” – Manohla Dargis, NY Times, Oct 6, 2016
"One of the most distinctive bodies of work in cinema." -- Chrissie Iles, Artforum
"Rarely seen in public, Robert Beavers' remarkable body of work is a celebration of light, life, and color." -- Mark Webber, Tate Modern
Tickets: $12 general; for Filmforum members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3630687 or at the door.
For more information: www.lafilmforum.org or 323-377-7238 or https://www.acropoliscinema.com/
By Robert Beavers, 1991-97, 16mm, color, sound, 22 minutes.
The title refers to the colonnades that led to the shady groves of the ancient Lyceum, here remembered in shots of industrial arcades, bathed in golden morning light, as quietly empty of human figures as Atget's survey photos. The rest of the film presents luscious shots of a wooded stream and hazy glen, portrayed with the careful composition on 19th century landscape painting. An ineffable, unnameable immanence flows through the images of The Stoas, a kind of presence of the human soul expressed through the sympathetic absence of the human figure. (Ed Halter, New York Press).
From the Notebook of ...
By Robert Beavers, 1971/1998, 16mm, color, sound, 48 minutes.
From the Notebook of ... was shot in Florence and takes as its point of departure Leanardo da Vinci's notebooks and Paul Valéry's essay on da Vinci's process. These two elements suggest an implicit comparison between the treatment of space in Renaissance art and the moving image. The film marks a critical development in the artist's work in that he repeatedly employs a series of rapid pans and upward tilts along the city's buildings or facades, often integrating glimpses of his own face. As Beavers notes in his writing on the film, the camera movements are tied to the filmmakers' presence and suggests his investigative gaze. (Henriette Huldisch, Whitney Museum of Art)