A Reality Between Words and Images: Films by Lynne Sachs
At the center of Lynne Sachs’s short film Task of the Translator (2010), a group of classics scholars are translating a contemporary New York Times article about Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. Sachs’s intimate camera probes the faces and scribbling hands of the instructor and her students as they wring the right words out of each other (cadaver for dead body, vestigia for footsteps, but aegritudo for grief? Maybe luctus instead.). Sachs uses sound poignantly—fading and layering the scholars’ suggestions, affirmations, and nervous laughter so that the exercise feels arduous and drawn out. As form changes, can meaning remain? It’s a question for translators and experimental filmmakers.
Task of the Translator is one of six films in “A Reality Between Words and Images: Films by Lynne Sachs,” a program screening at e-flux Screening Room. Though not explicitly about translation, a number of the other films in the program deal with how meaning is communicated and what can stand in the way of its conveyance. In The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Sachs explores the representation of women in science and art through a collage of home movies, original narration, and found footage and audio. Detailing misconceptions, humiliations, private rituals, and even a bit of wry humor, the film showcases how the changing female body is willfully denied understanding in a patriarchal society.
Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam (1994) is a diaristic travel film that switches between the perspective of Sachs, a brief visitor to Vietnam, and that of her sister Dana, who has been in the country for a year. Sachs layers gorgeous footage she shot on a northward trek from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi with poetic narration and subtitled conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends. Sachs initially tries to make sense of Vietnam through an understanding of the war. But as the film and her trip wears on, and Dana’s more nuanced observations take over the narration (including a moving anecdote about the region’s seasonal fruit cycle), Sachs develops a meaningful account of experiencing a place as it is.
In Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (2018), Sachs visits a trio of filmmakers in their own spaces: Carolee Schneeman in her 18th-century farmhouse, Barbara Hammer in her New York studio, and Gunvor Nelson in her childhood village in Sweden. Through these brief portraits, Sachs communicates something essential about these artists (Hammer’s boundless energy, for instance) and how their personalities influence the language of their cameras.
In contrast to much of the other work in the program, Window Work (2000) feels purely experiential. Shot on video, a woman sits near her window, drinking tea, reading the paper, cleaning. Passages of time elapse in idleness without narration; instead the sounds of running water, a child playing, and a passing jet drone on. Two boxes dot the video image, hurling abstracted images onto the screen—taken from celluloid home movies. Though Window Work features two distinct film languages, it resists translating between them; it doesn’t attempt to parse out a mode of communication. Daylight beats on the window, and its glass becomes a mirror. In its iridescent reflection, the viewer understands solitude, reminiscence, the heat of the sun she’s felt before wherever she is.
“A Reality Between Words and Images: Films by Lynne Sachs” screens tonight, October 27, at e-flux Screening Room as part of the series “Revisiting Feminist Moving Image.” Filmmaker Lynne Sachs and her collaborators Kristine Leschper and Kim Wilberforce will be in attendance for a conversation.
A Reality Between Words and Images: Films by Lynne Sachs
Admission starts at $5
Date October 27, 2022, 7pm
172 Classon Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205 USA
Please join us at e-flux Screening Room on Thursday, October 27 at 7pm for A Reality Between Words and Images,a program of selected filmsby Lynne Sachs, and a post-screening conversation with Sachs and her collaborators Kristine Leschper and Kim Wilberforce.
In this screening we invite you to watch and discuss select works by Sachs that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating the essay film, collage, performance, documentary, and poetry. Sachs’ self-reflexive films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, she investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself searching for a reality between words and images.
The screening is part of Revisiting Feminist Moving Image, a series at e-flux Screening Room aimed at revisiting the origins, contexts, developments, and impact of feminist video art and experimental cinema around the world from the 1960s through today.
The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts(1991, 30 minutes) Offering a new feminized film form, The House of Science explores both art and science’s representation of women, combining home movies, personal remembrances, staged scenes and found footage into an intricate visual and aural collage. A girl’s sometimes difficult coming of age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.
Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam(1994, 33 minutes) When two American sisters travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history. “The film has a combination of qualities: compassion, acute observational skills, an understanding of history’s scope, and a critical ability to discern what’s missing from the textbooks and TV news.” (SF Bay Guardian)
Window Work(2000, 9 minutes) A woman drinks tea, washes a window, reads the paper—simple tasks that somehow suggest a kind of quiet mystery within and beyond the image. “A picture window that looks over a magically realistic garden ablaze in sunlight fills the entire frame. In front, a woman reclines while secret boxes filled with desires and memories, move around her as if coming directly out of the screen.” (Tate Modern)
The Task of the Translator (2010, 10 minutes) Sachs pays homage to Walter Benjamin’s “The Task of the Translator” (1923) through three studies of the human body. First, she listens to the musings of a wartime doctor grappling with the task of a kind-of cosmetic surgery for corpses. Second, she witnesses a group of Classics scholars confronted with the haunting yet whimsical task of translating a newspaper article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. And finally, she turns to a radio news report on human remains.
Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor(2018, 8 minutes) From 2015 to 2017, Lynne Sachs visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer, and Gunvor Nelson—three multi- faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s eighteenth-century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Lynne shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark.
Figure and I(2021, 2 minutes) Singer-songwriter Kristine Leschper asked Lynne to create a film in response to her song “Figure and I.” Lynne immediately recognized that Kristine’s deeply rhythmic music called for some kind of somatic imagery. She needed to move with her body and her camera. Lynne then invited her friend Kim to be in the film and to interpret the song through her vibrant wardrobe and her precise, ecstatic clapping.
Accessibility –Two flights of stairs lead up to the building’s front entrance at 172 Classon Avenue. –For elevator access, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org. The building has a freight elevator which leads into the e-flux office space. Entrance to the elevator is nearest to 180 Classon Ave (a garage door). We have a ramp for the steps within the space. –e-flux has an ADA-compliant bathroom. There are no steps between the event space and this bathroom.
rare chance to catch this unconventional, impressionistic portrait of Carolee
than a simple survey of Schneemann’s life and work, Breaking the Frame is
structured thematically, as a kind of collage, and aims to capture the artist
in her own words and images.
interviews with Schneemann are interwoven with excerpts from her film works,
documentation of performances – including Meat Joy (1964) and Interior Scroll
(1975) – and more recent museum commissions and exhibitions. Schneemann’s
philosophical observations on spatial theory, nature and politics of the human
body – drawn from her diaries and read in voiceover – offer insights into the
process and execution of some of her most famous pieces.
Dreamlike and meandering in tone and structure, some of the film’s most thrilling sections ramble through Schneemann’s 18th-century Hudson Valley farmhouse.
Breaking the Frame screens here with Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (2018), a short, tripartite documentary profile of Schneemann and fellow artist-filmmakers Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson.
Carolee Schneemann: Body Politics is the first survey in the UK of the work of American artist Carolee Schneemann (1939-2019) and the first major exhibition since her death in 2019. Tracing Schneemann’s diverse, transgressive and interdisciplinary work over six decades, the show celebrates a radical and pioneering artist who remains a feminist icon and point of reference for many contemporary artists and thinkers.
Addressing urgent topics from sexual expression and the objectification of women to human suffering and the violence of war, Schneemann’s work is concerned with the precarious lived experience of humans and animals. With over 300 objects, the exhibition draws from the Carolee Schneemann Foundation, as well as numerous private and public collections, spanning the extraordinary range of Schneemann’s artistic output. Bringing together paintings, sculptural assemblages, performance photographs, films and large-scale multimedia installations, as well as rarely seen archival material including scores, sketches, scrapbooks, programmes and costumes, this exhibition positions Schneemann as one of the most relevant, provocative and inspiring artists of the last century.
“Thought, Word, Image: Introduction to Lynne Sachs Retrospective” Costa Rica International Festival of Cinema, 2022 Written by Fernando Chaves Espiniche, Artistic Director Translated from Spanish by Maria C. Scharron
are films that seem small but on screen they expand until we are overwhelmed.
That is what happens with the images and words that Lynne Sachs pieces
together: her films seem fragile, transparent, but they hit us with the force
bestowed by the mind behind them.
the late 80s, this American artist has been building a group of work that
expands and blurs the limits of fiction, documentary and the experimental
expressions of cinema art. In more than 40 films, between feature films, short
films, performances, web projects and installations, Sachs has demonstrated to
be one of the most authentic voices of American experimental cinema. She
provokes, challenges, and proposes. Her
movies give the impression of simplicity, which the emotional and intellectual
weight betrays. Even when the films are straightforward, they raise deep
questions that make them expand beyond their short duration.
what does someone like Lynne Sachs have to say about the Costa Rican and
Central American context? Although her movies are intimate, Sachs’ films speak
about what we call universal themes: home, memory, time, family, and cinema as
a device to inquire into everything. It is her modest scale, (and we already
mentioned that this should not distract us from her incisive glance), which
lead us to think about other ways to approach cinema as producers, critics and
spectators. Something is burning in these images of Sachs’, something that
motivates us to imagine another way of narrating: the drive to film everything,
transforming it all with voice, editing, thought and rhythm.
In Films About a Father Who (2020), which
we had the pleasure to show in the 9th Cosa Rica International
Festival de Cine, the director dissects her father’s presence with deep empathy
and an objective eye. The debris of memory accumulates around a very complex
figure. This challenges our understanding of him, but without leaving affection
and tenderness behind. Personal history is made of small fragments recorded and
filmed throughout the years, an accumulation of interactions and moments that
reveal, even through their apparent banality, a compromise with the world and
its inhabitants. By putting them together and letting the editing do its work
and make them speak, these fragments expose other truths, they open fissures to
also sketches these family portraits through gestures: in Maya at 24 (2020), her daughter runs around her at ages 6, 16 and
24. Filmed in 16mm, it fuses the emotional landscapes of each age –ages, by the
way, that are crucial in a woman’s life–, letting herself be surrounded by love
and energy. Lynne is at the center of this gesture: this act also touches and
We also have to talk about the material nature of film itself, which brings us closer to, we could say, the manual process of transforming those images into a narrative-poem-gesture that summons us and invites us to get involved with these lives. The passage of time is inscribed in these films; the film is affected by light, movement, time and manipulation. Even in digital films we can still feel the presence of the artist’s touch, which is key. Sachs’ works are an invitation to dive deep into the vast archive of images and sounds that we generate, not only to dig into our childhood or hidden stories, but to find ourselves in the process.
It’s weird. With Sachs’ films, we end up feeling like we already know her, that we have talked to her for hours and hours. As in any conversation, one topic leads to another, images repeat, ideas come and go. But as every word turns, another angle reveals itself. In this sense, the power of the minimum inscribes Sachs’ work in a long history of women who have used the moving image as a tool to find themselves, to transform their bodies and their environments and register the beat of a century that learned to see itself through cinema. In Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor (2018), we witness the visits Lynne made to the pioneers of experimental cinema: Carolee Schneeman, Barbara Hammer, and Gunvor Nelson. Visits to the places they called home. They speak about their body and their body of work. They share pieces of their thoughts so we can participate in a different way with their films. Lynne Sachs’ films are an exercise in memory, an expanding memory. From the minimal to the immense, from gesture to revelation. Like glimpses, her movies invite us to be part of a poem: we are just another verse that rhymes with changes of direction, scattered dialogues, the movement of objects and the cuts that link moments that without Lynne’s diligent gaze we would never have found. At CRFIC we are thrilled to present this cinema of what is possible, of what is close. We want to converse with Lynne and her films, and we are fortunate she has opened that door for us.
Translated from the Spanish Original by Maria C. Scharron
“Pensamiento, palabra, imagen” de Fernando Chaves Espinach Director Artístico, Costa Rica Festival International de Cine
Existe cierta clase de cine que parece pequeño pero que, en la pantalla, se
expande hasta abrumarnos.
Así sucede con las imágenes y palabras que hilvana Lynne Sachs: parecen películas frágiles, transparentes, pero nos
golpean con la
contundencia que les confiere el profundo pensamiento que las genera. Desde finales de los años 80, esta cineasta estadounidense ha estado
construyendo una obra que expande y
confunde los límites de la ficción, el documental y las expresiones experimentales del arte cinematográfico. En más de
40 películas, entre
largometrajes y cortometrajes, así como performances, proyectos web e instalaciones, Sachs ha demostrado ser una de
las voces más auténticas del
cine estadounidense experimental. Provoca, desafía y propone. Sus películas aparentan una sencillez que su carga
emocional e intelectual
traiciona; incluso cuando son directas, plantean hondas preguntas que las expanden más allá de su breve duración.
Pero, ¿qué dice alguien como Lynne Sachs a un contexto como el costarricense y
centroamericano? Incluso cuando
son íntimas, las películas de Sachs hablan de lo que llamamos temas “universales”: la casa, la memoria, el tiempo,
la familia y el cine como
dispositivo para indagar en todo aquello. Asimismo, es en su modesta escala, que como ya hemos dicho, no debe
distraer de su incisiva
mirada, que nos mueve a pensar otras formas de acercarnos al cine como realizadores, críticos y espectadores. Algo
arde en estas imágenes de Sachs que
nos impulsa a imaginarnos otra forma de contar: es la voluntad de filmarlo todo y transformarlo con la voz, la
edición, el pensamiento, el ritmo.
En Film About a Father Who (2020), que tuvimosel placer de mostrar en el 9CRFIC, la directoradisecciona la figura de su padre con profundaempatía y una mirada objetiva. Los escombros dela memoria se acumulan en torno a una figuracompleja que nos reta a comprenderlo, sin dejarde lado los momentos de cariño. La historia personalse conforma de pequeños fragmentos grabadosy filmados a lo largo de los años, una acumulaciónde interacciones e instantes que revelan, apesar de su aparente banalidad, un compromisocon el mundo y con sus habitantes. Al unirlos ydejar que la edición les permita hablar en conjunto,los fragmentos emanan otras verdades, abrengrietas a otras intimidades.
Sachs también esboza estos retratos familiarespor medio de los gestos: en Maya at 24 (2020), suhija corre a su alrededor a los 6, 16 y 24 años,filmada en 16mm, fusionando los paisajes emocionalesde cada edad –edades, por otra parte,cruciales en la vida de una mujer–, dejándoserodear por su amor y su energía. Lynne está en elcentro de ese gesto: el acto la trastoca a ellatambién.
Hay que hablar también de la materialidad del filme mismo, que nos aproxima al
proceso manual, diríamos, de
transformar estas imágenes en una narrativa-poema-gesto que nos convoca y nos invita a inmiscuirnos en estas
vidas. En las películas está inscrito
el paso del tiempo; la cinta se deja afectar por la luz, el movimiento, las horas y la manipulación. También en lo
digital se nota esta “mano de la
artista”, que es clave. La obra de Sachs es una invitación a hundir las manos en el vasto archivo de imágenes y
sonidos que generamos, no solo para
excavar momentos de nuestra niñez o historias ocultas, sino para encontrarnos en ellas.
Es raro. Con el cine de Lynne Sachs uno siente quela conoce, que ha conversado con ella por largashoras. Como en cualquier charla así, un tema llevaa otro, se repiten imágenes, ideas van y vienen.Pero en cada giro de la palabra, se devela otroángulo posible. En ese sentido, ese poder de lomínimo inscribe la obra de Sachs en una historiaextensa de mujeres que han tomado la imagen enmovimiento como herramienta para encontrarse,transformar su cuerpo y su entorno, y registrar elpulso de un siglo que aprendió a mirarse en el cine. En Carolee, Barbara and Gunvor (2018), vemoslas visitas que Lynne hizo a Carolee Schneeman,Barbara Hammer y Gunvor Nelson, pioneras delcine experimental, en los lugares que han llamadohogar. Hablan de su cuerpo y de su obra. Noscomparten algunas piezas de su pensamientopara que participemos de otro modo en sus películas.
Así, el cine de Lynne Sachs es un ejercicio dememoria, de una memoria que se expande. De lomínimo a lo inmenso, del gesto a la revelación.Como en destellos, sus películas nos invitan aformar parte de un poema: somos un verso más,que rima con los giros, los diálogos sueltos, elmovimiento de los objetos y los cortes que unenmomentos que, sin la mirada acuciosa de Lynne,jamás se hubieran encontrado. En el CRFIC nosilusiona presentar este cine de lo posible y de locercano. Queremos conversar con Lynne y susfilmes, y para nuestra dicha, nos ha abierto lapuerta.
“Thought, Word, Image” by Fernando Chaves Espinach Artistic Director, Costa Rica International Film Festival
Preamble kicks off June with screenings of the Lynne Sachs Retrospective
Preamble kicks off June with the presentation of the Lynne Sachs Retrospective as a preview of the American filmmaker’s visit to the Costa Rica International Film Festival to be held June 9-18.
To kick off the billboard on Thursday, June 2, starting at 7:00 pm, an exhibition of Film About a Father Who (United States, 2020) .
From 1984 to 2019, Lynne Sachs filmed her father, a lively and innovative businessman. This documentary is the filmmaker’s attempt to understand the networks that connect a girl with her father and a woman with her brothers. The show is for ages 12 and up.
On Friday June 3 starting at 7:00 pm screening of short films. A selection of short films by Lynne Sachs that shows her aesthetic and thematic searches and the experimentation that characterizes a good part of her creations.
The program includes the works: DRAWN AND QUARTERED, STILL LIFE WITH WOMAN AND FOUR OBJECTS, FOLLOWING THE OBJECT TO ITS LOGICAL BEGINNING, THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS, PHOTOGRAPH OF WIND, SAME STREAM TWICE, 2012, CUADRO BY CUADRO , CAROLEE, BARBARA AND GUNVOR, A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES, E•PIS•TO•LAR•Y: LETTER TO JEAN VIGO and MAYA AT 24.
For Saturday, June 4, at 7:00 pm presentation of the documentary Tip of my Tongue . To celebrate her 50th birthday, filmmaker Lynne Sachs brings together other people, men and women, who have lived the exact same years but hail from places like Iran, Cuba, Australia, or the Lower East Side of Manhattan, but not Memphis, Tennessee, where Sachs grew up.
The documentary takes place with all these people discussing the most remarkable, strange and revealing moments of their lives, in a brazen and self-reflective examination of the way events outside our own domestic universe impact who we are.
Costa Rica Festival Internacional de Cine que se realizará del 9 al 18 de junio.
Para dar inicio a la cartelera el jueves 2 de junio a partir de las 7:00 p.m exhibición de Film About a Father Who (Estados Unidos, 2020).
Desde 1984 hasta 2019, Lynne Sachs filmó a su padre, un animado e innovador hombre de negocios. Este documental es el intento de la cineasta por entender las redes que conectan a una niña con su padre y a una mujer con sus hermanos. La función es para mayores de 12 años.
El viernes 3 de junio a partir de las 7:00 p.m. proyección de cortometrajes. Una selección de cortos de Lynne Sachs que muestra sus búsquedas estéticas, temáticas y la experimentación que caracteriza buena parte de sus creaciones.
La programación incluye las obras: DRAWN AND QUARTERED, STILL LIFE WITH WOMAN AND FOUR OBJECTS, FOLLOWING THE OBJECT TO ITS LOGICAL BEGINNING, THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS, PHOTOGRAPH OF WIND, SAME STREAM TWICE, 2012, CUADRO POR CUADRO, CAROLEE, BARBARA AND GUNVOR, A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES, E•PIS•TO•LAR•Y: LETTER TO JEAN VIGO y MAYA AT 24.
Para el sábado 4 de junio en función de 7:00 p.m. presentación del documental Tip of my Tongue . Para celebrar su cumpleaños 50, la cineasta Lynne Sachs reúne a otras personas, hombres y mujeres, que han vivido exactamente los mismos años pero que provienen de lugares como Irán, Cuba, Australia o el Lower East Side de Manhattan, pero no de Memphis, Tennessee, lugar donde creció Sachs.
El documental transcurre con todas estas personas discutiendo sobre los momentos más destacados, extraños y reveladores de sus vidas, en un examen descarado y autorreflexivo de la forma en que los eventos fuera de nuestro propio universo doméstico impactan quiénes somos.
– The retrospective category has been dedicated to the American filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs –
Displaying independent films from 37 countries and in 15 different languages, the tenth edition of the Costa Rica International Film Festival begins on Thursday.
According to the Ministry of Culture, the festival will take place in two parts. First from June 9 to 18 and then from June 29 to Aug. 26.
The categories of the festival include retrospective films, panorama, young people and pioneers of cinema, among others.
The retrospective category has been dedicated to the American filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs, who has made 37 films, some of which have won awards or have been included in retrospectives at major festivals.
Sachs’s 2019 film, “A Month of Single Frames,” made with and for Barbara Hammer, won the Grand Prize at the International Short Film Festival Oberhausen in 2020.
In 2021, both the Edison Film Festival and the Prismatic Ground Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center awarded Sachs for her body of work in the experimental and documentary fields.
Last year the Festival displayed “Film About a Father Who” (2020), directed by Sachs, which is defined as “a poignant and moving film,” by Fernando Chaves-Espinach, director of the festival. “(Sachs) mixes fiction, documentary, experimental film, performance among others,” he said.
“Sachs demonstrates the energy of contemporary cinema and the multiple forms that this art takes, from an intimate and reflective perspective that dialogues with certain forms of filmmaking in our context,” Chaves said.
The festival will be held in several movie theaters in San José, as well as in different communities of the country in rural areas so that more people can enjoy the event, the ministry said.
In San José, the films will be shown at Cine Magaly, the Film Center of the Ministry of Culture and the French Alliance of the France Embassy in Costa Rica.
In rural areas, the festival will be presented at the CCM movie theaters, located in San Ramón and San Carlos in Alajuela Province, in Jacó Beach in Puntarenas Province.
Also, CitiCinemas movie theaters in rural areas will present the festival in Grecia in Alajuela Province, Limón City in Limón Province and Paso Canoas in Puntarenas Province.
In addition, the festival will be presented at Multiplexes in Liberia, Guanacaste Province.
The jury is made up of directors, producers and people of the film industry from Costa Rica and other places such as Northern Ireland, the United Kingdom, Colombia, the Basque Country, Germany and Hungary.
The festival will award three mail films for their formal quality and content. In addition, the winning films will receive about $11,000 in prizes in the categories such as Best National Short; Best Costa Rican Feature Film, Best Central American and Caribbean Feature Film, among others.
When filmmaker Barbara Hammer died from complications of ovarian cancer in 2019, the film world lost one of the most innovative filmmakers of its avant garde. In a career that spanned more than 50 years, Hammer had created an outstanding body of work, ranging from scores of experimental shorts, including Multiple Orgasms (1976), which was chosen to be preserved by the National Film Preservation Foundation with funding provided by the George Lucas Family Foundation, to the extraordinary Nitrate Kisses, a documentary about the hidden lives and legacies of lesbians that went on to win numerous accolades and is considered a landmark masterpiece of queer cinema, a first of its kind. Her work is at once provocative, playful, sensual, and formally inventive.
Although 10 years younger than Hammer, experimental documentary filmmaker Lynne Sachs hit her professional stride in the same circles with her in San Francisco in the 1980s, and the two developed a unique friendship that spanned several decades. Sachs, herself an innovator in creative nonfiction filmmaking, took a workshop taught by Hammer about optical printing, a process for creating special effects through specialized processing and techniques in celluloid film. Likewise, Hammer studied sound recording with Sachs. Both conceptually and practically, they were working in an alternative film universe compared with the mainstream, male-dominated one. Each of them operated like a one-woman band: filming, recording sound, editing, performing, directing, etc. each on her own, making deeply personal films that addressed larger societal issues from individual perspectives.
In that environment at that particular time, Sachs says, “The word documentary was not assumed to be a sort of template for an educational film or a diatribe on a political thesis, but it was a place to explore the subjectivity of reality. And that’s what drew us into working with issues that matter to us. Whether we were looking into issues around race or age, at the time we were doing it from our subjective place. We were both making films that refracted and played with the reality we were observing.”
As each woman’s career in cinema expanded, they maintained a creative connection, with talk of collaboration going back many years. But as Hammer was preparing to die, having lived with ovarian cancer for several years, she asked four filmmakers to complete films she had in the works. One of those filmmakers was Sachs, whom Hammer asked to complete a film from footage, sound, and journal entries created here in Provincetown while staying in one of the famed dune shacks in 1998. Sachs agreed and the resulting 14-minute film, A Month of Single Frames (2019), will be shown at AMP Gallery as part of a month-long celebration of Hammer’s life, work, and legacy, along with Sachs’ 2018 documentary about Hammer and two other filmmakers (Carolee Schneeman and Gunvor Nelson) called Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor, and one by Brydie O’Connor called Love, Barbara.
A Month of Single Frames is an extraordinarily beautiful meditation that combines sound and image from the 1998 dune shack stay with present-day recordings of Hammer reading from her journal and poetic on-screen text Sachs wrote. The process is transparent, with Sachs and Hammer discussing what to record as they record it, bringing us back to that idea of documentary as a construction and not mere “reality.” Closeups of a dragonfly, beach grass swaying in the breeze, stop-motion animation with snail shells are enveloped in the sounds of nighttime insect choirs, waves, and creaky floorboards. Hammer’s sense of wonder, what she describes as being “overwhelmed by the simplicity” comes through bright and clear through colored gel flag shadows in the sand with her narration describing the cinematic experimentation that continued throughout her life. Sachs weaves these elements together to create a portrait of an incredible film artist who, like many before her, found inspiration here in the ecology of the dunes.
While Hammer’s body of work is centered on female sexuality quite specifically, and Sachs often weaves in elements of her family history, (sometimes focusing entirely on it, such as in the film Film About a Father Who… about the complexity of her father and his problematic relationships), the two filmmakers share a feminist approach and an interest in film as language; they worked with its formal qualities, experimenting with techniques and devices unique to cinema, and they both imbue their films with the personal and specific, often in a documentary context. In an age where documentaries have become extremely popular but also extremely narrow in their formal conventions, there is often a misunderstanding of just how diverse documentary as a form is. Both fiction and documentary films convey truth, opinion, and fabrication by virtue of being creative works, and there is a long history of hybridity that distinguishes documentary from journalism. This doesn’t only include experimental artists like Sachs and Hammer, but also more mainstream documentarians like Werner Herzog and Agnes Varda whose works never attempt to hide the personal lens through which the subject matter is seen.
“It’s a vessel for thinking about how reality works and doesn’t work sometimes… It’s separate from journalists. We actually not only deal with reality, we also ask how that can become a truth, or it becomes a subjective hypothesis. It always comes with a subjectivity that’s, I think, really important—that who sees the reality is as important as what is seen. And so when we say, ‘through the lens,’ it’s, you know, through the lens of a woman or through the lens of a gay person or a Black person, and it shapes your experience of that reality,” explains Sachs.
But also, she says the process is about discovery as you go. “To engage with reality is also the possibility for play and a kind of dance with what you observe and how you then share it with your audience. I think Barbara taught us that. She loved to play with her materials. That was like her touch, and that’s where she found surprises and found out more about herself. I think in documentary you also have a chance for introspection which to me is really important.”
Barbara Hammer’s films, drawings, and other works are on view at AMP Gallery, 432 Commercial St., Provincetown, along with the films by Lynne Sachs and Brydie O’Connor through June 22. For more information call 646.298.9258 or visit artmarketprovincetown.com.
This Week’s Films at AMP Gallery Films by Barbara Hammer
June 9Place Mattes: 1987, 7:36 min, color, sound, 16 mm film on video.
June 11 Contribution to Light: 1968, 3:42 min, color, silent, Super 8mm film on HD video.
June 12Multiple Orgasm: 1976, 5:32 min, color, silent, 16 mm film on HD video.
June 13Dream Age: 1979, 10:58 min, color, sound, 16 mm film on HD video.
June 14Pond and Waterfall: 1982, 15 min., color, silent, 16 mm film on video.
Film by Brydie O’Connor
June 8 & June 15 – 16Love, Barbara (documentary; 15 min.)
Films by Lynne Sachs
June 10 & June 17 – 18A Month of Single Frames (Made with and for Barbara Hammer; 14 min. color sound 2019)
The American filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs will be the dedicatee of the tenth edition of the Costa Rica International Film Festival (CRFIC10), which will take place from June 9 to 18.
Sachs will visit the country during the festival, as he will be honored in the Retrospective section with a sample of 14 films of his authorship , characterized by a poetic, intimate, experimental and reflective tone with very personal themes.
The Sachs retrospective is made up of the films Epistolary: Letter to Jean Vigo (2021), Maya at 24 (2021); Film About a Father Who (2020) , Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (2018), Tip of my Tongue (2017), Same Stream Twice (2012), With the Wind in Her Hair (2010), Frame by Frame (2009), Photograph of The Wind (2001), The House of Silence: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Drawn and Quartered (1987), Following the Object to It’s Logical Beginning (1987), and Still Life with Woman and Four Objects (1986).
According to the artistic director of the festival, Fernando Chaves Espinach , “We are interested in Lynne Sachs’s visit because with her films, made with few resources, she tells us about a very particular form of expression that seems relevant to our context. We are proud to present different ways of making cinema and, above all, to share it in a workshop with filmmakers and visual artists who can learn from his methodology and his approaches to cinematographic art”.
In addition to the presentation of his works, the festival has scheduled that Sachs give a face-to-face tutorial to a group of people linked to Costa Rican cinematography.
The main venue for the 10CRFIC will be the Cine Magaly and it will have three more screening rooms in the capital of San José and five outside the Greater Metropolitan Area: San Ramón, San Carlos, Jacó, Grecia, Limón and Paso Canoas.
Costa Rica Festival Internacional de Cine rinde homenaje a la cineasta Lynne Sachs
La cineasta y poeta estadounidense Lynne Sachs será la dedicada de la décima edición del Costa Rica Festival Internacional de Cine (CRFIC10), que se llevará a cabo del 9 al 18 de junio.
Sachs visitará el país durante el festival, pues se le rendirá homenaje en la sección Retrospectiva con una muestra de 14 películas de su autoría, caracterizadas por un tono poético, intimista, experimental y reflexivo con temáticas muy personales.
La retrospectiva a Sachs está constituida por los filmes Epistolary: Letter to Jean Vigo (2021), Maya at 24 (2021); Film About a Father Who (2020), Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (2018), Tip of my Tongue (2017), Same Stream Twice (2012), Con el viento en el pelo (2010), Cuadro por cuadro (2009), Photograph of The Wind (2001), The House of Silence: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Drawn and Quartered (1987), Following the Object to It’s Logical Beginning (1987) y Still Life with Woman and Four Objects (1986).
De acuerdo con el director artístico del festival, Fernando Chaves Espinach,“Nos interesa la visita de Lynne Sachs porque con su cine, hecho con pocos recursos, nos habla de una forma de expresión muy particular que nos parece relevante para nuestro contexto. Nos enorgullece presentar distintas maneras de hacer cine y, sobre todo, compartirlo en un taller con cineastas y artistas visuales que pueden aprender de su metodología y sus acercamientos al arte cinematográfico”.
Además de la presentación de sus obras, el festival ha programado que Sachs imparta una tutoría presencial a un grupo de personas vinculadas con la cinematografía costarricense.
La sede principal del 10CRFIC será el Cine Magaly y contará con tres salas de proyección más en la capital de San José y cinco fuera de la Gran Área Metropolitana: San Ramón, San Carlos, Jacó, Grecia, Limón y Paso Canoas.
The tenth edition of the CRFIC is celebrated from June 9 to 18, in its first stage, and from June 29 to August 26, in a second itinerant stage, in communities outside the GAM.
The public will be able to enjoy 87 films in competition and screening, from 37 countries and in 15 different languages.
69% of the films in programming are directed or co-directed by women.
With the presence in the country of the American filmmaker Lynne Sachs, the CRFIC10 pays tribute to her career.
RETROSPECTIVE DEDICATED TO LYNNE SACHS
The CRFIC Retrospective section is dedicated to the renowned American filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs (1961), who has 37 films to her credit, including short films and feature films, some of which have won awards or have been included in retrospectives at major festivals. .
Regarding the Retrospective, the artistic director of CRFIC10, Fernando Chaves, mentioned that last year the Festival showed Film About a Father Who , a poignant and moving film.
“In this tenth edition of the CRFIC we have the honor of having its director, Lynne Sachs, as a guest of our retrospective,” continued Chaves, “whom we are excited to present for her mixture of fiction, documentary, experimental cinema, performance and other media. ”
According to Chaves, with this solid filmography, Sachs demonstrates the energy of contemporary cinema and the multiple forms that this art takes, from an intimate and reflective perspective that dialogues with certain ways of making cinema in our context.
To close with a flourish, Sachs will hold a workshop where he will experiment with national artists.
Program includes: • Film About a Father Who • Con viento en el pelo • Tip of My Tongue • A Month of Single Frames • Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor • Epistolary: Letter to Jean Vigo • Drawn & Quartered • Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning • Maya at 24 • Same Stream Twice • Photograph of Wind • Still Life with Woman and Four Objects • House of Science: a museum of false facts • Cuadro por cuadro
San José, Costa Rica, May 20, 2022- With a program of outstanding independent films from 37 countries and in 15 different languages, the tenth edition of the Costa Rica International Film Festival (CRFIC10) is held from May 9 to June 18, in a first stage, and from June 29 to August 26 in a second itinerant stage.
The CRFIC10 will be held in person in downtown San José, as well as in different communities in the country outside the Greater Metropolitan Area (GAM), with the aim of reaching larger audiences that can enjoy the alternative audiovisual experience proposed by the festival program of the Costa Rican Center for Film Production (Cinema Center).
The artistic director of the 10CRFIC, Fernando Chaves Espinach, stated that “the Festival brings us the opportunity to confront ourselves with the most challenging, innovative and inspiring cinema that is being made today, with different languages and approaches, from very different countries. We have chosen winning films at renowned festivals such as Sundance, San Sebastián and Locarno, films nominated for Oscars and winners at other competitions, but we have also rescued titles that otherwise would not reach our theaters, true discoveries that show us the effervescence of contemporary cinema and its ability to shake us” .
The venues of the Festival will be located in the Magaly Cinema (the Main Hall and La Salita), the Gómez Miralles Hall of the Cinema Center, the French Alliance (in Barrio Amón) and the CCM San Ramón, CCM San Carlos, CCM Jacó rooms. , CitiCinemas Grecia, CitiCinemas Limón, Paso Canoas and Multiplexes Liberia.
In the itinerant stage, it will take place in the communities of Matambuguito, Shiroles, Boruca, Térraba, Sarapiquí and Grano de Oro.
The 10CRFIC program is made up of a careful selection of 87 international, regional and national films directed and co-directed, 69% by women, with varied content for audiences of all ages.
“We are proud to present a diverse programming in gender and geographical origin, which shows that cinema has never been monolithic in its language or in its origin; this programming allows us to articulate a defense of cinema as a diverse, complex art whose permanence as a vehicle of artistic expression requires spaces for debate and enjoyment such as festivals” , commented Chaves.
OPENING WITH UTAMA FEATURE FILM For the inauguration of the 10CRFIC, the curatorial team chose the feature film Utama (2022), by Bolivian director Alejandro Loayza Grisi.
The feature film is a co-production between Bolivia, Uruguay and France and is set in the arid Bolivian highlands, where an elderly Quechua couple have lived the same daily life for years.
In the middle of a drought, Virginio (80 years old) gets sick and aware of his imminent death, he lives his last days hiding the illness from Sisa (81 years old).
Loayza Grisi (1985) began her career in still photography and later entered the world of cinema through film photography.
As director of photography, he worked on the documentary series Planeta Bolivia, and on multiple short films such as Aicha, Dochera and Polvo.
Attracted by the stories that can be told through moving images, he ventured into writing and directing his first feature film titled Utama.
The competitive categories of the programming for this tenth edition are the following: Central American and Caribbean Feature Film Competition, with films from Costa Rica, Guatemala, Panama and the Dominican Republic; and the National Short Film Competition, with eleven Costa Rican productions.
The 10CRFIC will award a statuette to three films that stand out for their formal quality and content, as well as 8 million colones (approximately US$11K at the exchange rate) in total in incentives and support to the filmmakers selected as winners of the Competitive categories: a 1 million colones prize for Best National Short Film, a 3 million colones prize for Best Costa Rican Feature Film, and a 3 million colones prize for Best Central American and Caribbean Feature Film, as well as two 500,000 colones prizes for special mention Jury Mention in Feature Films and Jury Mention in Short Films, respectively.
The other sections of the program are: Panorama, Radar, Approach, Last batch, Young people, Memory, Pioneers of cinema and Retrospective.
COMPETITION JURIES The jury for the Central American and Caribbean Feature Film Competition is made up of Peter Taylor (Northern Ireland), programmer and curator, and currently director of the Berwick Film & Media Arts Festival; Christina Newland (United Kingdom), journalist for Vice, Sight & Sound, BBC, Mubi and Empire, on topics such as cinema, pop culture and boxing; and Pablo Hernández Hernández, (Costa Rica), professor at the University of Costa Rica with a doctorate in Philosophy from the Universität Potsdam and specialist in Aesthetics, philosophy of art and culture.
The jury of the National Short Film Competition is Alexandra Latishev (Costa Rica), a filmmaker who graduated from the New Film and Television School of the Véritas University; Juan Soto (Colombia), editor, director and archivist, who currently works at the Filmoteca de Catalunya as Film Preservation Project Manager; and Vanesa Fernández (Basque Country), director of the Zinebi Festival and coordinator of the Degree in Audiovisual Communication at the University of the Basque Country / Euskal Herriko Unibertsitatea (UPV/EHU).
For their part, the CRFIC Industry juries are Gudula Meinzolt (Germany), with training and experience in cultural management and cinema in areas such as research, promotion, organization of festivals, distribution, exhibition and co-production; Karolina Hernández (Costa Rica), founder and general producer of Dos Sentidos SA and coordinator of the Audiovisual Production area of the Office of Communication and Marketing of the Tecnológico de Costa Rica and professor at the University of Costa Rica; and Zsuzsi Bankuti (Hungary), who since 2020 directs the Cutting Edge Talent Camp, since 2022 is the interim director of Open Doors, and also works as an international strategy consultant for the Doha Film Institute, the Torino Film Lab and Cinemart.
Barbara Hammer | Selected Films, Photographs, Drawings & Collages, along with Films by Brydie O’ Connor & Lynne Sachs
Many thanks to Florrie Burke and Louky Keijsers Koning for their support and collaboration on this exhibtion of Barbara Hammer’s works.
All works are Courtesy of the Estate of Barbara Hammer and Company gallery, New York.
Barbara Hammer often said that she had three great loves- art, nature and me. Her time in the dune shack was thrilling for her and she would be gratified that her work has come full circle to land here at AMP in Provincetown. The natural beauty of the Cape has inspired so many-Hammer among them. She loved its’ winds, sand and waves. It is fitting that the waters off Provincetown are her final resting place as she swims with the whales. — Florrie Burke
Barbara Hammer (1939-2019), known for her groundbreaking films that celebrated female sexuality began filming in the 1970s, the decade she called “that glorious time of feminist ideals and lesbian bed-hopping.” It was also the time, after a yearlong trip around the world on a motor scooter, that she decided to be an artist. She enrolled in a painting course taught by abstract expressionist William Morehouse, who saw such movement in Hammer’s paintings that he encouraged her to experiment with film. It was the start of her new life: as filmmaker, single woman, and lesbian—a word she’d never heard until the age of 30.
“When I made love with a woman for the first time my entire worldview shifted,” Hammer said. “In addition to the sensual pleasures, my social network completely changed; I was swept up with the energies and dreams of a feminist revolution.” Hammer made 29 films in the 1970s, many of which reflected her exploration of sex and identity, like Multiple Orgasm, 1976 and Dream Age from 1979.
Hammer’s artistic output wasn’t limited to film only, she took her sketchbooks and photo camera everywhere she went, which resulted in intimate drawing as well as playful and performative photographs, like the BH Gestallt series, which will be on view among a selection of drawings.
Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, the time of Reagan, AIDS, and heightened LGBT activism, Hammer’s films blended feminist politics, lesbian erotica, and social comment. No No Nooky TV (1987), one of the films on display confronts the feminist controversy around sexuality with electronic language, pixels and interface.
In the 2000s Barbara Hammer’s output slowed down, as she focused on feature films. However, in the last 13 years of her life she published an autobiography, Hammer! Making Movies Out of Sex and Life and created 7 new films as well as a digital rendering of a selection of her sketchbook drawings, titled Lesbian Whale (2015).
Hammer’s work is held in several permanent collections, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne. Her complete catalogue of 16 and 8mm film, as well as Super 8, is in the collection of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive in Los Angeles, and her papers are available for review at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library in New Haven.
During her lifetime she created two awards for lesbian and queer filmmakers, and had retrospectives at the Museum of Modern Art, the Tate Modern, the Jeu de Paume in Paris, and the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles. The Leslie-Lohman Museum of Gay and Lesbian Art in New York mounted a retrospective of her film, photography, drawings, and sculpture, which New York Times art critic Holland Cotter named one of the best exhibitions of that year.
(The above text is based on a text written by Andrew Durbin and Susan Champlin)
Brydie O’ Connor | Documentary film: Love, Barbara
Love, Barbara is short (15 min.) documentary about the iconic legacy of pioneering lesbian experimental filmmaker, Barbara Hammer, through the lens and love of her partner of over 30 years, Florrie Burke.
Brydie O’Conner is a Kansas-bred, New York based filmmaker.
Her award-winning work spans the documentary and narrative fields with a focus on women-driven and queer stories. Brydie has directed short documentaries LOVE, BARBARA (2021) which premiered at Academy Award-qualifying Santa Barbara International Film Festival and FRIENDS OF DOROTHY (2020), which premiered in New York at DOC NYC. In 2021, Brydie was selected for The Future of Film is Female Award, and she received a NYSCA grant sponsored by Women Make Movies in addition to a Brooklyn Arts Council grant. In 2019-2020, she workshopped her forthcoming film in the Female Filmmakers Berlin Directing Lab. Much of her work is inspired by archival histories.
Brydie’s producing credits include THE LESBIAN BAR PROJECT with Executive Producer Lea DeLaria, WOMONTOWN for PBS Kansas City, and she has archival produced Season 7 of THE CIRCUS on Showtime in addition to various projects on Left/Right TV’s roster. She is a graduate of The George Washington University.
Lynne Sachs | Films: A Month of Single Frames & Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor
A Month of Single Frames (Made with and for Barbara Hammer; 14 min. color sound 2019): “In the last few months of filmmaker Barbara Hammer’s life, she asked me to come to her home to discuss something she needed to say in person. I immediately faced a complicated set of emotions. I knew that this tête-à-tête would involve some kind of good-bye, but I had no idea that she had decided to share a part of her personal archive, and thus a part of her being on this earth, with me. As I sat at her side, Barbara vividly described to me her 1998 artist residency in Provincetown, Cape Cod, Massachusetts. For one month, she lived and made her art in a shack without running water or electricity. While there, she shot 16mm film with her Beaulieu camera, made field recordings, and kept a journal. Barbara’s only instructions to me were very simple: “Do absolutely whatever you want with this material.” While writing the text for my own film, the words I placed on the screen came to me in a dream. I quickly realized that this kind of oneiric encounter could become a posthumous continuation of the dialogue I had started with Barbara. Since I would never again be able to speak to her about her life or the ontological nature of cinema or the textures of a sand dune, I would converse with her through A Month of Single Frames. Through my writing, I tried to address Barbara’s celebration of solitude and cinematic embodiment. Ultimately, my text on the screen over Barbara’s images functions as a search for a cinematic experience that brings us all together in multiple spaces at once. It is also an embrace of an ambiguous second person you who might be Barbara herself or might be anyone watching the film.”
Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor (Super 8mm and 16mm film transferred to digital, 9 minutes, 2018): From 2015 to 2017, Lynne Sachs visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three multi-faceted artists who have embraced the moving image throughout their lives. From Carolee’s 18th Century house in the woods of Upstate New York to Barbara’s West Village studio to Gunvor’s childhood village in Sweden, Lynne shoots film with each woman in the place where she finds grounding and spark.
Lynne Sachs is an experimental filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn. She has produced over 40 films as well as numerous live performances, installations and web projects. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published Lynne’s first book Year by Year Poems. Working from a feminist perspective, she investigates connections between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. She uses letters, archives, diaries, poetry and music, to take us on a critical journey through reality and memory. Over the years, Lynne has worked closely with fellow filmmakers Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Chris Marker, Carolee Schneemann, and Trinh T. Min-ha. Between 1994 and 2006, she produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel/ Palestine, Italy and Germany — sites affected by international war — where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions. Lynne’s films have screened at MoMA, Tate Modern, Image Forum Tokyo, Wexner Center for the Arts, and festivals such as New York Film Festival, Oberhausen Int’l Short FF, Punto de Vista, Sundance, Vancouver IFF, Viennale and Doclisboa. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, BAFICI, Cork Film Festival, Havana Film Festival.
AMP is a live contemporary gallery space dedicated to exhibiting multi-disciplined work by visual, conceptual, performance artists, filmmakers and writers. Exhibitions & Happenings are primarily cutting-edge, and often process-based.
2022 features Martin R. Anderson, Shez Arvedon, Midge Battelle, Susan Bernstein, Mx Justin Vivian Bond, Terry Boutelle, Linda Leslie Brown, Bobby Busnach, Karen Cappotto, Jamie Casertano, Barbara E. Cohen, Liz Collins, Anne Corrsin, Jeanne-Marie Crede, Jay Critchley, Katrina del Mar, Phyllis Ewen, Lola Flash, Kathi Robinson Frank, Barbara Hadden, Barbara Hammer, Michelle Handelman, Heather Kapplow, Jackie Lipton, Shari Kadison, Zehra Khan, David Macke, Jade McGleughlin, Zammy Migdal, Bobby Miller, Pasquale Natale, Alice O’Malley, Pat Place, Mark Rosenthal, Marian Roth, Nancy Rubens, Jicky Schnee, Lori Swartz, Christopher Tanner, Gail Thacker, Judith Trepp, Suara Welitoff, Forrest Williams, Rick Wrigley & others.
JP Art Market, AMP’s independent sister gallery created by artist Patti Hudson has long been an integral contributor to the Boston arts community showing work by emerging and established, local and international artists such as Kristen Dodge, Leslie Hall, Lisa King, Roger Miller, and Patti Smith.
AMP Gallery, 432 Commercial Street, Provincetown MA 02657 | Mail: PO Box 807