Films by two Experimental Film greats at The Bridge tonight!

March 15th, 2012 · No Comments · By

There’s a screening at The Bridge PAI tonight that I strongly encourage you to check out; it’s been a while since I’ve been really involved with that series, but I’m glad to see Jordan is still continuing to bring the finest experimental films to our sleepy little town.

The two filmmakers in question are Robert Breer and Jordan Belson, two filmmakers who had long, distinguished careers, both of whom passed away last year. They’re actually fairly dissimilar, so the pairing is an interesting one, but I think it works; two ends of a  spectrum of abstract (often non-representational) film.

Robert Breer began as a painter before moving to film, and his films still have a tactile, handmade quality; they’re restless, loose, and fun, often involved drawn animation or deliberately scratched film; as his best, it’s like a Cy Twombly drawing in motion (and, like Twombly, some people love his work as soon as they see it, while others — like myself —  take a while to come around.)

If Breer is something like cinema’s Cy Twombly, then Jordan Belson can perhaps be compared to Brian Eno: a guy from the avant-garde who had a big influence on the mainstream. Like many experimental filmmakers who relied on cutting-edge technology, he also had lots of day-jobs working on Hollywood films and doing things like designing laser-light shows. But his personal works are abstract, ethereal, and wonderful to experience; like John and James Whitney, he used state-of-the-art technology to evoke spiritual concerns; “ambient film” is a reductive way of describing it, but perhaps an accurate landmark for newcomers. I haven’t seen his films in years, so I’m excited for the chance to revisit them (on film!).

Jordan (Taylor, from The Bridge — not Belson, who is deceased) adds: “The Bridge Film Series presents a night of experimental films (mostly on 16mm) from two recently departed giants: Robert Breer and Jordan Belson. Seemingly near opposites in approach and aesthetics, both filmmakers played with the nature of consciousness whether in Breer’s hyperactive handpainted films that tease at one’s persistence of vision or in Belsons’s psychedelic mandelas for meditation. We will alternate these two modes as we take sample of their career’s from the Fifties to the Oughties.” You should come see them! I promise it will be wonderful. As the flyer sez: $5, 7:00pm.

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