2013 Festival Cinema On The Verge

Programs at the Cinema 16 (in Festival Headquarters at 1201 Main St, near Polk) and Other Locations

 North Of South West Of East

Meredith Danluck’s North of South, West of East

An immersive four-screen installation

Wednesday, Nov. 6 at 1pm and 4pm

Thursday, Nov. 7 at 1pm, 7pm, and 9:30pm

Friday, Nov. 8 at 1pm and 6:30pm

Saturday, Nov. 9 at 4:00pm   WITH MEREDITH DANLUCK

Sunday, Nov. 10 at 6:15pm and 8:45pm

This immersive four-screen feature film installation by Meredith Danluck is a fun and feverish ride, a remarkable achievement in multi-linear storytelling and pop-culture black comedy. North of South, West of East will screen daily during the Nov. 6-10 Festival in the Cinema 16 to an audience of 25 people seated on swivel chairs, surrounded by four screens.

Danluck tells “a darkly humorous tale of small-town folks as they try to make sense of a posthope America” (Shari Frilot). Each of the four characters’ (the Cowboy, the Rebel, the Immigrant, and the Actress) trajectories play out on separate screens across four walls.  Shot on location in Detroit, Michigan, and Marfa, Texas, the film features performances by Ben Foster, Stella Schnabel, and Sue Galloway, and a soundtrack by Marfa punk band Solid Waste.

Meredith Danluck graduated from the School of Visual Arts, and currently lives and works in New York. She recently completed both the Directors Lab, and the Screenwriters Lab at Sundance Institute in Utah, after exhibiting North of South, West of East as part of the New Frontier program at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Her film Fight Scene was chosen as part of the Cinema Series on MOCAtv in 2012. Her films have screened at major institutions including MoMA, PS1, Venice Biennale, Liverpool Biennial, and El Reina Sofia, as well as film festivals SXSW, TIFF, DOC NYC, Margaret Mead, and Hamburg International. She has had solo exhibitions at Ballroom Marfa, Andrew Kreps Gallery, and been included in group exhibitions at Palais de Tokyo, PS1, Renwick Gallery, Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, and Matthew Marks Gallery.

Meredith Danluck will also present Art Hard, her portrait of artist Jim Denevan’s journey  to western Siberia to create, on icy Lake Baikal, the world’s largest painting, on Friday, November 8 at 9:00 PM in the Cinema 16 Screening Room.


 Jonas Mekas

Jonas Mekas:

Godfather of American Avant-Garde Cinema

Film Sleepless Nights Stories, Friday, Nov. 8, 3:00 PM, Cinema 16

Gallery Talk: Sunday, Nov. 10, 2:00 PM, Deborah Colton Gallery

Exhibition: Life Goes On…I Keep Singing, Nov. 9 – Dec. 28, Deborah Colton Gallery

A leader and esteemed practitioner in the American avant-garde cinema movement, Jonas Mekas has exhibited his work in museums, festivals, and biennales worldwide. Mekas, 90, will present his feature Sleepless Nights Stories, which debuted at the Berlin Film Festival in February 2011, and also conduct a tour of his exhibition at the Deborah Colton Gallery during HCAF 2013.

Inspired by the classic Arabian One Thousand and One Nights, Sleepless Nights Stories follows Mekas, a chronic insomniac, through 1,001 sleepless New York nights. Mekas creates a deeply personal visual diary, recollecting stories as he keeps late-night company with artist friends, including Yoko Ono, Patti Smith, Carolee Schneemann, Marina Abramović, Hans-Ulrich Obrist, and Harmony Korine, together with brothers and sisters, sons and daughters.

Deborah Colton Gallery will present select photographic works and video installations by Mekas in an exhibition entitled Life Goes On…I Keep Singing during HCAF 2013. In addition to still frame photographs from several of Mekas’ works, the gallery will screen WTC Haikus (2010, 14 min.) and a video created for the exhibition, Fragments of Paradise (2013, 6 min.). The Gallery will have an Opening Reception on Saturday, Nov. 9, from 6:00-8:00 PM, and a Q&A with Mekas and Deborah Colton on Sunday, Nov. 10, at 2:00 PM.

Mekas currently lives in New York City, where he moved from his native Lithuania in 1949. The legendary filmmaker, poet, artist, and critic has published over 20 books of prose and poetry that have been translated into more than 12 languages. Mekas became a key figure in the postwar American avant-garde film movement as a Village Voice film critic and co-founder of the Film-Makers’ Cooperative and Anthology Film Archives. His film The Brig was awarded the Grand Prize at the Venice Film Festival in 1963. Other Mekas’ films include Walden (1969), Reminiscences of a Journey to Lithuania (1972), Lost, Lost, Lost (1976), Scenes from the Life of Andy Warhol (1990), Scenes from the Life of George Maciunas (2002), As I Was Moving Ahead I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000), and A Letter from Greenpoint (2005).

Co-presenting partners: Deborah Colton Gallery and Aurora Picture Show

 Love Other-Maya Deren Slider

Barbara Hammer:

Experimental and Queer Cinema Pioneer

Master Class: Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00 – 5:00 PM, Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (info here, can be purchased at the door)

Artist Portraits: Lover Other / Maya Deren’s Sink  Thursday, Nov. 7, 4:00 PM, Cinema 16

Performance and Film: Witness: Palestine Friday, Nov. 8, 7:00 PM Aurora Picture Show

Barbara Hammer is a visual artist working primarily in film and video, who has made over 80 works in a career that spans more than 30 years. Hammer will present three of her works during HCAF 2013, in addition to conducting a special master class on her full body of work three days before the festival.

Hammer’s films of the 1970s are considered pioneering works of experimental and queer cinema. These, along with her optically printed films of the ‘80s and documentary film essays of the ‘90s, have been celebrated in recent retrospectives at MoMA, Tate Modern, and Jeu de Paume.

On Sunday, Nov. 3, 1:00-5:00 PM, Hammer and HCAF Artistic Director Richard Herskowitz will conduct a tour through four decades of Hammer’s career, interspersing screenings of Hammer classics (including Optic Nerve, Dyketactics, Sanctus, Nitrate Kisses, and Generations) with introductions and class discussions. Introducing Barbara Hammer: A Glassell School Master Class will be open for $30 admission at Glassell School of Art at Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH).

On Nov. 7, Hammer will present her films Lover Other (2006) and Maya Deren’s Sink (2011) in Portraits of Women Artists at Cinema 16 at 4:00 PM. Surrealist 1920s artists Claude Cahun and Marcel Moore, lesbians and heroic anti-Nazi resisters, come to life in Lover Other, a hybrid documentary. Maya Deren’s Sink explores experimental film pioneer Deren’s concepts of space, time, and form through visits and projections filmed in her Los Angeles and New York homes.

On Nov. 8, Hammer will present Witness: Palestine, a tribute to Pasolini, at the Aurora Picture Show. In this live cinema event, Hammer deftly layers film practice, politics, and performance. Inspired in form by Italian artist Fabio Mauri’s 1975 performance, in which he projected Pier Paolo Pasolini’s The Gospel According to St. Matthew onto Pasolini himself, Hammer has created a work of startling intimacy and urgency. Moved by the stories of men and women she met while on the first LGBTIQ Solidarity Tour of Palestine in January 2012, Hammer sought to find a way to share their voices in a manner that would underline the humanity and vulnerability of her subjects.

Along with Witness: Palestine, which complements the Pasolini retrospective at the MFAH Film Department, HCAF and the Aurora Picture Show will present Cathy Lee Crane’s Pasolini’s Last Words and a reconstruction of Fabio Mauri’s installation, Intelletuale, featuring a projection of Gospel According to St. Matthew on a shirt and jacket standing in for the murdered filmmaker-poet, Pasolini.

Co-presenting partner: Aurora Picture Show.


Time Shift: The Films of Scott Stark

Sunday, Nov. 10, 1:00 PM, Cinema 16

Scott Stark’s films, videos, and installations are kinetic revelations that can be shocking, mesmerizing, and narratively rich. Each is a distinctive cultural an

d aesthetic adventure with its own conceptual rigor. His most recent film is the masterful The Realist (2013), a “doomed love” melodrama peopled with department store mannequins and located in the visually heightened universe of clothing displays, fashion islands, and storefront windows.

“I see each film/video project as a ‘first film’ with its own cinematic language, one that the viewer learns and engages with as the piece unfolds. This language is shaped by the particular mechanics of each medium, in the same way verbal language is shaped by the mechanics of the human mouth. Thus each film charts the possibility of a pre-cinema experience, one that might have evolved had not narrative and commerce been cinema’s prevailing motivational forces” (Scott Stark).

Stark has produced more than 60 films and videos since 1980. Additionally, he has created a number of gallery and non-gallery installations using film and video, and elaborate photographic collages using large grids of images. Scott’s films and videos have shown internationally, including recent one-person shows at MoMA and the Pacific Film Archive. His films have won several awards including four Black Maria awards, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a MacDowell Colony Fellowship. He currently lives in Austin, Texas.

Co-presenting partner: Blaffer Art Museum’s On Screen series.



Réquiem NN: A Film and a Photo Installation

with guest artist Juan Manuel Echavarría and producer Margarita De la Vega-Hurtado

Photo installation on view November 2-10 at the Festival Headquarters (1201 Main St)

Réquiem NN screening and artist’s talk: Sunday, Nov. 10, 3:45 PM, Cinema 16 at the Festival Headquarters

We are proud to present the Houston premiere of Réquiem NN, directed by an acclaimed Colombian artist Juan Manuel Echavarría, in which a community defies the culture of violence by keeping alive the memory of the disappeared. An installation of Echavarría’s Réquiem NN photographs will be on view at the Festival Headquarters throughout the Festival.

Since 2006, Echavarría has traveled to Colombia’s Puerto Berrío cemetery to document the rituals of people who tend and decorate the graves of No Names (NNs), unidentified victims of guerilla violence. He has done this first through photography (also titled “Réquiem NN”), then in the video  “Novenario en espera,” and now through the film. Réquiem NN is ultimately a tale of resistance and resilience.

An established artist with a cinematic vision, Echavarría’s work is easily at home at art galleries and film theaters. He has been featured at the Venice Biennale, MoMA, the San Francisco and Toronto Film Festivals, and the Flaherty Film Seminar, among other venues. He is featured at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris this September within the collective exhibition “Nocturnes de Colombie,” as part of the PHOTOQUAI, Photography Biennale of World Images.