Tag Archives: Noa Street-Sachs

Cafe Cinema: Cinema of the Unusual Curated and Hosted by Maya and Noa Street-Sachs 2007 / MoMA P.S.1

Café Cinema: Cinema of the Unusual
Matinee Movies: Mystery, Magic, and Marigolds Curated and Hosted by Maya and Noa Street-Sachs

Café Cinema: Cinema of the Unusual makes its debut at P.S.1 Contemporary Art Center with the film program Matinee Movies: Mystery, Magic, and Marigolds, curated by 12 year old and 10 year old Maya and Noa Street-Sachs, daughters of avant-garde filmmakers. Timed to coincide with Halloween, the curators have chosen a series of films from the Film-makers’ Cooperative archives that will wow, tickle, spook, and surprise a matinee audience of boys and girls who may or may not have encountered the splendor of the avant-garde cinema. The event will be held on Saturday, October 27 at 4:00 p.m.

Seven short films will be shown on 16mm film format: Gulls and Buoys (Robert Breer, 1972), a flipbook of fabulous drawings from nature; The Red Book (Janie Geiser, 1994), spectacular animated cut-outs of color and mysterious images; Little Red Riding Hood (Red Grooms, 1978), dramatic scenes of elaborate, colorful costumes; Earth Song of the Crickets (Stan Brakhage, 1999), a silent film of hand-painted abstraction with magical sparkles; Fragment of an Unidentified Horror Show (Danny Woodruff, 1993), a suspenseful masterpiece of eerie proportions; Evil of Dracula (Martha Colburn, 1998), an animated film of happy faces and long pointy teeth; Moshulu Holiday (George Kuchar, 1966), hilarious scenes of New York city life with a surprise ending!

In the true spirit of Halloween, children are encouraged to come in costume. Tricks and treats will be provided. The entire program will last approximately 48 minutes.

Café Cinema: Cinema of the Unusual is organized by M.M. Serra, Executive Director of the Film- makers’ Cooperative and produced by P.S.1 Public Programs. Following this extra special Halloween film program, the Café Cinema series will begin to explore different aspects of the New American Cinema (from 1960s onward), is inspired by a 1964 film program at the 55th Street Playhouse featuring Film- makers’ Cooperative members Ron Rice and Vernon Zimmerman. The series has adopted its name from the motto of the Playhouse – “America’s Only Cinema of the Unusual!” All of the films have been graciously provided by the Film-makers’ Cooperative.

Special thanks to GuS – Grown Up Soda, beverage sponsors of Café Cinema: Cinema of the Unusual This event is free with museum admission
Upcoming Café Cinema Events
December 1, 4 p.m. One Man Show with special guest filmmaker and video artist Jud Yalkut

Retrospective – “Lynne Sachs: Between Thought and Expression” curated by Edo Choi, Asst. Curator, Museum of the Moving Image


“For more than thirty years, artist Lynne Sachs has constructed short, bold mid-length, and feature films incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, and observational documentary. Her highly self-reflexive films have variously explored the relations between the body, camera, and the materiality of film itself; histories of personal, social, and political trauma; marginalized communities and their labor; and her own family life, slipping seamlessly between modes, from documentary essays to diaristic shorts.” (Edo Choi, Assistant Curator of Film, Museum of the Moving Image)

This five-part retrospective offers a career-ranging survey of Sachs’s work and includes new HD transfers of Still Life With Woman and Four Objects, Drawn and QuarteredThe House of Science: a museum of false facts, and Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam.

Note: The following programs can be rented individually or as a package. A new video interview and between Lynne Sachs and series curator Edo Choi is also available as part of the rental fee.

For rental and pricing information, please contact: info@canyoncinema.com

All films are directed by Lynne Sachs.
Program notes by Edo Choi.

Lynne Sachs in Conversation with Edo Choi, Assistant Curator at the Museum of the Moving Image


Program 1: Early Dissections
In her first three films, Sachs performs an exuberant autopsy of the medium itself, reveling in the investigation of its formal possibilities and cultural implications: the disjunctive layering of visual and verbal phrases in Still Life with Woman and Four Objects; un-split regular 8mm film as a metaphorical body and site of intercourse in the optically printed Drawn and Quartered; the scopophilic and gendered intentions of the camera’s gaze in Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning. These experiments anticipate the range of the artist’s mature work, beginning with her first essayistic collage The House of Science: a museum of false facts. Itself an autopsy, this mid-length film exposes the anatomy of western rationalism as a framework for sexual subjugation via a finely stitched patchwork of sounds and images from artistic renderings to archival films, home movies to staged performances.

Still Life with Woman and Four Objects (1986, 4 mins.)  New HD transfer
Drawn and Quartered (1987, 4 mins.) – new HD transfer
Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning (1987, 9 mins.)
The House of Science: a museum of false facts (1991, 30 mins.) – new HD transfer

Program 2: Family Travels
One of Lynne Sachs’s most sheerly beautiful films, Which Way Is East is a simultaneously intoxicating and politically sobering diary of encounters with the sights, sounds, and people of Vietnam, as Sachs pays a visit to her sister Dana and the two set off north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. The film is paired here with a very different kind of family journey The Last Happy Day, recounting the life of Sachs’s distant cousin Sandor Lenard, a Jewish Hungarian doctor who survived the Second World War and was ultimately hired to reassemble the bones of dead American soldiers. Here Sachs journeys through time as opposed to space, as she assembles a typically colorful array of documentary and performative elements, including Sandor’s letters, a children’s performance, and highly abstracted war footage, to bring us closer to a man who bore witness to terrible things. This program also features The Last Happy Day’s brief predecessor, The Small Ones. Program running time: 73 mins.

Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam (1994, 33 mins.) – new HD transfer
The Small Ones (2007, 3 mins.)
The Last Happy Day (2009, 37 mins.)

Program 3: Time Passes
Twenty years unspool over nine short films: portraits of Lynne Sachs’s children; visits with her mother, brother, niece and nephew; a tribute to the city where she lives; and scenes of sociopolitical trauma and protest. Nearly all shot on super 8mm or 16mm, and often silent, each work is at once a preservation of a moment and a record of change, seamlessly weaving together the candid and the performed gesture, the public and the private memory, in a simultaneously objective and subjective posture toward the passing of time. Program running time: 51 mins.

Photograph of Wind (2001, 4 mins.)
Tornado (2002, 4 mins.)
Noa, Noa (2006, 8 mins.)
Georgic for a Forgotten Planet (2008, 11 mins.)
Same Stream Twice (2012, 4 mins.)
Viva and Felix Growing Up (2015, 10 mins.)
Day Residue (2016, 3 mins.)
And Then We Marched (2017, 3 mins.)
Maya at 24 (2021, 4 mins.)

Program 4: Your Day Is My Night
2013, 64 mins. “This bed doesn’t necessarily belong to any one person,” someone says early in Your Day Is My Night. It could be the metaphorical thesis of this film, perhaps Lynne Sachs’s most self-effacing and meditative work. A seamless blend of closely observed verité footage, interpretive performance, and confessional monologues and interviews, the film doesn’t document so much as create a space to accommodate the stories and experiences of seven Chinese immigrants from ages 58 to 78 who live together in a “shift-bed” apartment in Manhattan’s Chinatown. Sachs’s quilted sense of form achieves a new level of refinement and delicacy in collaboration with her cameraman Sean Hanley and her editor Amanda Katz, as she works with the participants to exhume a collective history of migration and struggle.

Program 5: Tip of My Tongue
2017, 80 mins. Sachs’s richly generative Tip of My Tongue finds the filmmaker responding to her 50th birthday by gathering twelve members of her generational cohort—friends and peers all born between 1958 and 1964, and originating as far as Cuba, Iran, and Australia—to participate in the creation of a choral work about the convergent and divergent effects history leaves upon those who live it. From the Kennedy assassination to Occupy Wall Street, the participants reveal their memories of, and reflections upon, the transformative experiences of their lives. Set to an ecstatic, pulsing score by Stephen Vitiello, the film interweaves these personal confessions with impressionistic images of contemporary New York, obscured glimpses of archival footage, and graphically rendered fragments of text to create a radiant prism of collective memory. Preceded by Sachs’s frantic record of accumulated daily to-do lists, A Year in Notes and Numbers (2018, 4 mins.).

Thanks to:

Some Thoughts on my Friend Chris Marker

Chris Marker Makes a Special Guillaume cat cartoon for Maya & Noa Street-Sachs

Chris Marker Makes a Special Guillaume cat cartoon for Maya & Noa Street-Sachs

Some Thoughts on my friend Chris Marker

In San Francisco in  the mid-1980s, I saw Chris Marker’s “Sans Soleil”.  I witnessed his mode of daring, wandering filmmaking with a camera.  Alone, he traveled to Japan, Sweden and West Africa where he pondered revolution, shopping, family, and the gaze in a sweeping but intimate film essay that shook the thinking of more filmmakers than any film I know. Marker’s essay film blended an intense empathy with a global picaresque.  Simultaneously playful and engaged, the film presented me with the possibility of merging my interests in cultural theory, politics, history and poetry  — all aspects of my life I did not yet know how to bring together – into one artistic expression.  In graduate school at that time, I wrote an analysis of the film and then boldly, perhaps naively, sent it to Marker.  In a last minute note, I also asked him if he would like an assistant in his editing studio.

Several months later, his letter from Paris arrived with a slew of cat drawings along the margins.  In response to my request for a job, Marker cleverly explained that, unlike in the United States, French filmmakers could not afford assistants.  And, in response to my semiotic interpretation of his movie, he explained that his friend (and my hero) Roland Barthes would not have interpreted his film the way that I had.  Marker suggested that we continue this conversation in person, in San Francisco.  Not long afterward, I found myself driving Chris from his hotel in Berkeley, California to Cafe Trieste, one of the most famous cafes in North Beach.  There we slowly sipped our coffees in the last relic of 1960s hippy culture, talking about his films, his travels, and  my dream to be filmmaker.  As the afternoon came to a close, I politely pulled out my camera and asked him if I could take his picture.  “No, no, I never allow that.”  And then he turned and walked away, leaving me glum, embarrassed and convinced that my new friendship with Marker was now over.

Over the next two decades, Chris and I spoke on the phone periodically and I attended several of his rare public presentations. In 2007, Jon Miller, president of our mutual distributor Icarus Films, contacted me to see if I would be willing to assist Chris in the making of a new English version of his 1972 film “Viva la Baleine”, a passionate, collage-based essay film on the plight of the whales.  Of course, I was honored and immediately said yes.  For one whole year, Chris and I corresponded weekly as we re-wrote and updated the narration and I searched for a male and a female voice-over actor to read the two parts.  He renamed the new 2007 version of his film “Three Cheers for the Whale”. It is distributed  with other “bestiary” films he has made including “The Case of the Grinning Cat”.

After we had completed the film, I traveled to Paris with my daughters to talk with Chris about a wide range of things —  our collaboration, Stokely Carmichael (a Black activist in the American civil rights movement), Russian documentary, cats and tea.  Just before we left his home, he showed  me a scrapbook he’d been collecting for several years.  Chris had accumulated hundreds of pictures and articles on a young African-American politician who had just embarked on a campaign to become the next president of the United States.  Chris was convinced that this virtually unknown candidate could stand up to a historically racist United States of America and win.  I was doubtful.”  (Lynne Sachs)

More recently, he sent me this letter which I feel I can now share:


Chris Marker's Guillaume in Arles

Hi Lynne. Please don’t mention dates, it’s so depressing… Let’s say we met -some time ago. And a little earlier I had lunch with Robert Flaherty in Germany. Such are the dots along the strange line they call a life. A life that becomes more and more filled with daily tasks as time goes, which explains why I can’t consider any participation to any project, mines being already enough to keep me breathless. Tell that to your friend, with my warmest wishes.

I had recently a large exhibition in Arles, where Peter Blum, my New York galerist, acted as emcee. And guess who was there.. Show it to the girls, whom Guillaume and me fondly salute.
And here is another owl images he sent me recently.