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Films Intro


Films

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Films Intro


Films

Greetings from LA 1978!

6 minutes 1978  Super-8. This film was made throughout the year 1978 and a few months before I moved to New York City. In effect it was a goodbye and it was also meant to be a portrait of the city by car. I had lived in LA since I was 10 but still felt like something of an outsider or a tourist and the film sought to find some kind of explanation even if none was forthcoming. As the film progressed from the Summer into the Winter months shots that did not fit those initial requirements (of a drive-by film) intruded and, since I have never cared much for concepts I abandoned the original idea and allowed the film to make its own way. It was edited to The Rolling Stone’s Moonlight Mile over a period of several hectic months before my move. I filmed only those parts of the city that I was familiar with: Gardena, Hawthorne, Westwood, Lawndale, Hermosa Beach, Torrance, Santa Monica, and Point Vicente in Palos Verdes. The emotions in the film befit a 26 year old's look at a city that was by his own admission incomprehensible. It is not meant as an homage, or a critique, or a nostalgic trip - it is simply a portrait of the city that put some of the conflicted ideas and feelings I had about LA into film.

 

Waiting for Brainard

With Tif Sigfrids - 25 minutes 2011 – Digital video.  Waiting for Brainard is an adaptation by Tif Sigfrids and myself of Eric Rohmer's short film Girl at the Monceau Bakery, a work that helped to initiate and set the pace for the French New Wave in the 1960's.  We transferred the setting from the young, University areas of Paris in the early sixties to Echo Park and Silverlake in Los Angeles some half a century later. We also switched the roles and now it is the woman who takes the lead and the bakery girl becomes a bakery boy. To make matters more to the point we made the voice over narrator - a central part of the Rohmer film - a French man's voice - essentially turning the inner voice of the American female protagonist to a French male and further adding to the narrative play. The film takes Rohmer's ideas, of moral choices that are made early on before one is really prepared for them, in effect improvising on moral choices that eventually define a life, and relocates them to a contemporary setting where we might see how this scenario plays out in the quickly gentrifying neighborhoods of Echo Park and Silverlake in 2011.

 

David At China

16 minutes 2001 – Digital Video.  David at China was made in 2001 in Chinatown, Los Angeles. This film chronicles the installation and opening of David Von Schlaegel's posthumous exhibition in China Art Objects Gallery that year in LA. Mark Von Schlegell (David's son), Steve Hanson and Giovanni Intra lovingly put together the exhibit of David's abstract sculpture and paintings, and the film shows all of the steps in the process of putting together an exhibition, from the mundane to the sublime. The film tries to give a picture of David Von Schlegell's work in the context of his time, and also provide some serious, and not so serious, documentation of what art openings were like in Los Angeles at the turn of the millennium.

 

A Wedding in Death Valley

A Wedding In Death Valley is about the marriage of two friends who were married there in 2003. It uses the familiar convention of the wedding video - a form that has a lot of possibilities that are not sufficiently appreciated - as a starting point to deal with relationships, sexuality, and of course at the top of the list - the ritual and romance of the family unit.

 

Sunset to Amoeba From Echo Park (A Journey With Daryl Haney)

38 minutes 2012 - Digital video. A bus ride from Echo Park to Amoeba Records in Hollywood with Daryl Haney as he recounts his experiences as a waiter in NY in the 80’s, as an actor who is brought to LA by Roger Corman to make B-Movies and finally as a screenwriter in "the industry," as the locals refer to Hollywood.  Daryl Haney, or Duke, is a novelist, essayist, blogger, and raconteur. The film uses Haney’s memories to trigger a series of digressions in the filmmaker’s own recollections of various trips in different cities from Lima to New York to Berlin at different times in his life. The oral memories of Haney and the visual ones of Porcari engage and disengage playing off in counterpoint, asserting the play of memory and the experiential as the two friends navigate Sunset Boulevard in a trip that takes 38 minutes and 30 years

 

I (Heart) Oregonia

(With Tif Sigfrids) – 30 minutes 2008 – Digital Video. A film about Tif Sigfrids’s trip from LosAngeles to Oregonia, Ohio - where she grew up - to celebrate her 27th birthday and bid farewell as her parents will shortly be moving to Colorado. In the small town of Oregonia she meets up with family and friends for remembrances, food binges, re-encounters with old boyfriends, sing-a-longs on the porch, and heart to heart talks around the kitchen table - ending in a birthday trip to the Little River Café for a night of drinking and Karaoke. You can - sort of - go home again and I (Heart) Oregonia is living proof captured on digital video.  

 

The Enchanted Florist

(With Tif Sigfrids) - 20 minutes 2010 - Digital Video. Tif Sigfrids goes to Monument Colorado to visit her parents in their new suburban home, and to participate in the July 4th parade where Tif’s mother has a float celebrating their new shop: The Enchanted Florist. The film evokes the landscape and the people as well as the ritual of American spectacle - on Independence Day - at ground level, with Tif Sigfrids as both explorer and guide.

 

15 Jokes Told By 15 Artists in 15 Minutes

With Tif Sigfrids - 15 minutes 2008 - Documents a conceptual artwork by Tif Sigfrids in which she assigns jokes to 15 artists during an opening of their work at Circus Gallery in Los Angeles one warm summer night.


The House of Fiction

30 minutes  1987-2000 – Betamax, High-8, Digital Video.  This film was made over a span of years from 1987 to 2000. The House of Fiction was the name of a bookstore in Pasadena California that began sometime in the early 70's. Originally a small bungalow house that showcased only fiction, by the time it closed in 2000 there was a full range of traditional topics in a storefront on Colorado Blv. While the film is primarily about the closing of one of the oldest surviving independent bookstores in Pasadena, it is also a biography of its owner Bill Tunilla. The work also chronicles my failed attempt to make a conventional narrative film with a young woman in the same location (based on Italo Stvevo’s book As a Man Grows Older) in 1987 while holding down a job as Acquisitions Librarian at the Art Center College. As the time frames overlap the failure of the initial film, and the bookstore 13 years later, act out a visual counterpoint - but the main emphasis remains a love of books, small family shops, and cats, and their magical life force.

 

 A Parallel

30 minutes 2010 – Digital video.  This film was made from 2004 to 2010 from appropriated footage. An astronaut’s rudimentary mission in 1963 goes horribly wrong and he crashes back to earth but miraculously survives. As his wife and child greet him on his return, in their comfortable suburban house, they realize that the man who has come back is not the man who left. The astronaut comes to understand that this is not his beautiful wife, or child, or house and that he is in a parallel world.

 

The Beauty and the Beast (Dedicated to Chris Marker)

30 minutes 2006 - Digital video.  This film was made from appropriated footage and is a re-telling of the iconic legend transformed into a narrative about a visitor from a post-apocalyptic future who returns to the past (1962) - the year in which all hell broke loose - in order to set things right. Things do not go as planned.


DUMPING BOYFRIEND

(WIth TIf Sigfrids) 18 minutes 2010 - Digital video. This film captures a young woman’s single day as she gets rid of her Toyota, selling it to a junk dealer, and ends a long distance relationship with her boyfriend on the same day - the latter happening in a McDonald's drive-thru on the way to the junk dealer. Drama ensues - of a kind.


NIGHT CREW

(With Doug Lee) – 30 minutes 1989– Betamax, Hi-8.  A film about the  immigrants who every weekday evening clean the modernist landmark building by Craig Ellwood, the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California. Arriving at midnight they work the night shift ending at 8AM - meeting students and staff only when they are working after-hours. The film interviews the "night crew" and asks the participants a basic question: What do they think of the building and the people they have met who occupy it during the day? 


MAGIC GAS

(With Tif Sigfrids) - 30 minutes 2007 – Digital Video.  A film that documents a folk/rock concert by Tif Sigfrids held in a gas station in Echo Park, Los Angeles aptly named "Magic Gas" - reflecting an older Los Angeles that was more amenable to eccentricity, spontaneous outbursts of irrational behavior, and a good time in a gas station. Tif's friends come and perform duets with her, including one incredible and outlandish performance, by master musician Tom "Guitar" Watson. 


WITH GLENN GOULD

30 minutes 2005.  A collage film made from appropriated footage from various sources, about the young Glenn Gould's trip to New York in 1957 to record Bach's Italian concerto. The film deals with time as both a fundamental aspect of music and how it might work in the world as such - as opposed to traditional narrative flows that have been, and remain, the backbone of documentary films. The film digresses into various possibilities for different kinds of biographies of Gould - some more appropriate than others - as imagined by the film’s author.


Sol With Cloud

(With Tif Sigfrids and Gracie De Vito) - 3 minutes 2016 – Digital Video. A baby is left alone for three minutes in an art gallery - a cloud mysteriously wanders in and it starts to rain.


A Drive To Paradise Garden

3 1/2 minutes 2018 Digital Video - A Summer drive with Colin and Sol Sigfrids Blodorn to Howard Finster's Paradise Garden becomes an adventure into assemblage sculpture, gardens, art, suburban Georgia, and the meaning of paradise.