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Impressions Gallery

events: past

Bradford International Film Festival - Amos Vogel Part 1: Cinema 16

Friday 18 March 2011, 7.00pm to 9.00pm

"Amos Vogel is the moral conscience of the world of cinema" - Werner Herzog

Austrian-born New Yorker Amos Vogel is one of film history’s secret instigators. In the year of Amos Vogel's 90th
 birthday, Bradford International Film Festival in partnership with Impressions Gallery, acknowledge and celebrate his work through two programmes of films that will shock and surprise.

The first of these programmes is a selection of films discovered at Cinema 16, his seminal 1950s New York film society where he championed the new and the subervise in film.

Programme - Amos Vogel Part 1: Cinema 16

Introduction by Tom Vincent (Festival Programmer BIFF)

Dir. Kenneth Anger USA 1947 15 mins b/w 16mm
Kenneth Anger, Gordon Gray, Bill Seltzer

Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks provided one of the most memorable reactions at any Cinema 16 show. Made when Anger was only 17, Fireworks consists of a dream sequence in which the sleeper is visited by a gang of marauding and violent sailors. The film was the subject of an obscenity trial for its homosexual themes, and attracted startled attention from Alfred Kinsey’s Sexual Research Institute.

Activity Group Therapy (extract)
Dir. Dr. S.R. Slavson USA 1950 17 mins b/w DVD

An example of Vogel and Cinema 16’s interest in psychology, Activity Group Therapy is an experiment in child behaviour that was filmed, four decades before reality TV, with hidden cameras over several months. Three children’s behavioural problems are identified: “a withdrawn child”, “a hyperactive youngster”, “an effeminate boy”, and they’re encouraged to “act out” their problems in a controlled hands-off environment.

Blood of the Beasts
(Le sang des bêtes)

Dir. Georges Franju France 1949 20 mins b/w Subtitles 16mm

Exhibited alongside Kenneth Anger’s Fireworks in spring 1953 in “An Evening of Damned Film”. Blood of the Beasts is an example of what Vogel called “poetic documentary”, illustrating the power of actuality through montage. Shots of 'normal' Paris outskirts are intercut with scenes from three slaughterhouses. The effect is entirely surreal, a strange document of everyday atrocity.

- Intermission -

Dir. Robert Breer USA 1956 2 mins 16mm

Vogel’s commitment to animation encouraged filmmakers who, working in isolation, had not realised there could be an outlet for their work. This rapid-fire montage by Robert Breer, combined with narration in nonsensical French, is an experiment in the effect of association, and won a Creative Film Foundation Award at Cinema 16 in 1957

Living in a Reversed World
Dir. ‘Dr. Pacher’ Austria 1958 11 mins b/w DVD

One of the most popular ‘science films’ shown at Cinema 16 is the document of an experiment in vision that is breezily narrated, and pleasantly confusing. Various subjects are made to experience the world for weeks with left and right, up and down reversed, and must adjust to their disorientation.

Meshes of the Afternoon
Dirs. Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid USA 1943 14 mins b/w 16mm
Maya Deren, Alexander Hammid

Prior to the establishment of Cinema 16, Maya Deren exhibited her own films in New York, and so lent direct inspiration to Amos Vogel’s plans. A carefully planned surrealist film, Meshes of the Afternoon recreates the emotional effect on the subconscious of everyday incident. It has a remarkably strange atmosphere, one that has resonated, via David Lynch’s films, to all manner of contemporary media, not least in TV advertising.

Booking information

Tickets £5.00/£4.00 concessions.
Booking advised as places are limited.
For advance tickets visit the Bradford International Film Festival website or tickets can be bought on the day of the screening from the Welcome Desk at Impressions Gallery.

Other screenings showing as part of the tribute to Amos Vogel

Film as a Subversive Art: Amos Vogel and Cinema 16
At the National Media Museum, Thursday 17 March 2011, 4.00pm

This documentary by Paul Cronin looks back at Vogel's work and points to a fascinating ferment in film history, when the burgeoning underground began to take shape and spread outwards, forging new paths in film culture.
Click here to read more

Amos Vogel Part 2: Film as a Subversive Art
At Impressions Gallery, Friday 25 March 7.00pm to 9.00pm

Inspired by Vogel's 1974 book Film as a Subversive Art, the second programme at Impressions attempts to locate contemporary examples of subversive cinema. Featuring films by Edouard Salier, Aryan Kaganof and The Bowl a documentary film about Bradford by Peter Ward. With introduction from Dr Mark Goodall (University of Bradford, Guest Programmer BIFF) and post-screening Q+A with Director Peter Ward.
Click here to read more.