With J.J. Murphy
CINEMA 16 | SUN NOV 11 | 2:00 PM | Q&A
J.J. Murphy is now a well-regarded critic and scholar of independent film, having published two books (Me and You and Memento and Fargo: How Independent Screenplays Work and The Black Hole of the Camera: The Films of Andy Warhol) in 2007 and 2012, respectively. However, in the 1970s, he was best known as a creator of experimental films, including Print Generation, which won a major prize at the International Experimental Film Competition in Belgium in 1975. What is less well known is that this classic structural film was constructed in Houston, while Murphy was teaching at the University of St. Thomas. Murphy will present two of his classic films, both meticulously restored by the Academy Film Archive.
Sky Blue Water Light Sign (1972, 9 min.)
“Sky Blue Water Light Sign is best seen in total innocence. My guess is that if one knows what he or she is looking at before seeing this little film, half of its excitement and a good deal of its meaning disappear. Seen in total innocence, though (and maybe I’m exaggerating the importance of this), Sky Blue Water is a wonder. With Gottheim’s Blues and Frampton’s Lemon (for Robert Huot), it is one of the happiest, most uplifting short films I’ve ever seen.” — Scott MacDonald
Print Generation (1973–74, 16mm color/sound 50 min.)
Print Generation is J.J. Murphy’s seminal exploration of film and memory. Taking one minute of footage and reprinting it 50 times, Murphy pushed the limits of film’s materiality, radically transforming the image to create a profound journey from abstraction to representation and back again. Print Generation harnesses image and sound deterioration to elegantly address the intricacies of perception, memory and time. In the Berkeley Barb at the time of the film’s release, reviewer Mike Reynolds wrote, “Print Generation is a masterfully accomplished film. With it, Murphy sums up concerns that have marked independent filmmaking since the late Sixties: intrinsic film structure and personal diary.”