Tag Archives: Tip of My Tongue

The Flow Chart Foundation presents “Films + Poems = Lynne Sachs”

Films + Poems = Lynne Sachs
The Flow Chart Foundation
https://www.flowchartfoundation.org/events-public-programs-2021
Monday, September 13, 6 – 7PM (EDT), via zoom


Filmmaker/poet Lynne Sachs will share a selection of short films and read selections from her poetry collection Year by Year Poems (Tender Buttons Press). This free public event precedes an encore presentation of our Text Kitchen workshop—Frames & Stanzas: Video Poems, which begins the next day, Tuesday, Sept. 14.

The Flow Chart Foundation explores poetry and the interrelationships of various art forms as guided by the legacy of American poet John Ashbery. Through programs for both general and scholarly audiences showcasing innovative work by a diversity of artists of various kinds, The Flow Chart Foundation celebrates Ashbery and his art as an inspirational and generative force. We see poetry in particular as a conduit to exploration, questioning, and resistance to the status quo, and work to offer new ways to engage with it and its interplay with other artistic modes.

On Year by Year: Poems:
“The whole arc of a life is sketched movingly in this singular collection. These poems have both delicacy and grit.  With the sensitive eye for details that she has long brought to her films, Lynne Sachs shares, this time on the page, her uncanny observations of moments on the fly, filled with longings, misses, joys and mysterious glimpses of a pattern of meaning underneath it all.”  —Phillip Lopate, author of Portrait of My Body and Against Joie de Vivre

“The highly acclaimed filmmaker Lynne Sachs is also a captivating and surprising poet. Year by Year distills five decades into lyric, a lustrous tapestry woven of memory, wisdom, cultural apprehension and the delicate specificities of lived life.”  —Claire Messud, author of The Woman Upstairs and When the World Was Steady


“In Year by Year, Lynne Sachs selects and distills from larger fields of notation, acute scenes representing her life and the world she was born into. Her measured, spare account brings her to an understanding and acceptance of the terrible and beautiful fact that history both moves us and moves through us, and, more significantly, how by contending with its uncompromising force, we define an ethics that guides our fate.” —Michael Collier author of Dark Wild Realm


Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her highly self-reflexive films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, Lynne investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living and studying in San Francisco where she worked closely with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson, and Trihn T. Min-ha. During this time, she produced her early, experimental works on celluloid which took a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her body of work ever since. In tandem with making films, Lynne is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published Lynne’s first book Year by Year Poems.

From essay films to hybrid docs to diaristic shorts, Sachs has produced 40 films as well as numerous projects for web, installation, and performance. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing directly the challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006, when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, 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. 

Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. Her films have screened at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker and the Getty, and at festivals including New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Punto de Vista, DocAviv, and DocLisboa. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival. Her 2019 film “A Month of Single Frames” won the Grand Prize at Oberhausen Festival of Short Films in 2020.  In 2021, both the Edison Film Festival and the Prismatic Ground Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center awarded Lynne for her body of work in the experimental and documentary fields. 

The Flow Chart Foundation’s “Text Kitchen” with Workshops by Lynne Sachs

https://www.flowchartfoundation.org/workshop-checkout/0xwihp0y2zgaxgr0tgxgjs3gsrukqr

The Flow Chart Foundation’s Text Kitchen hands-onWorkshops provide writers and other art-makers opportunities for deep exploration into poetry and interrelated forms of expression.

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Frames and Stanzas: Video Poems—encore presentation!
a virtual filmmaking and poetry writing workshop with Lynne Sachs

Tuesday, September 14 & Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (registration includes both sessions)
6:30pm – 9:30pm (EDT) on Zoom

In this two-part virtual workshop, Sachs will share insights and experiences she has in bridging poetry with cinema. Participants will explore and expand the intersections between still/moving images and written/spoken words over the course of two three-hour evening meetings (participants must be able to attend both sessions). Lynne will guide the workshop on a creative journey that will include writing several poems in conjunction with shooting moving or still images using an iPhone and simple editing software. Lynne has always been fascinated by the conversation between large-scale public events beyond our control and our subsequent, internal responses to those experiences. Her workshop will build itself around this public/private convergence. 

Participants are encouraged to join us for a free, public presentation of Lynne’s short films and poetry taking place virtually at 6PM (EDT) on Monday, September 13th. More info here.

Workshop fee (includes both three-hour sessions): $80


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Frames and Stanzas: Video Poems
a virtual filmmaking and poetry writing workshop with Lynne Sachs

Thursday, June 10 & Thursday, June 17, 2021 (registration includes both sessions)
6:30pm – 9:30pm (EDT) on Zoom

When award-winning Brooklyn filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs first discovered The Flowchart Foundation’s enthusiasm for poetry as a conduit for an interplay with other artistic modes, she knew that we would be a great place to offer a workshop that would nourish a deeply engaged dialogue between the written word and the image.

In this two-part virtual workshop, Sachs will share insights and experiences she has in bridging poetry with cinema. Participants will explore and expand the intersections between still/moving images and written/spoken words over the course of two three-hour evening meetings (participants must be able to attend both sessions). Lynne will guide the workshop on a creative journey that will include writing several poems in conjunction with shooting moving or still images. Lynne has always been fascinated by the conversation between large-scale public events beyond our control and our subsequent, internal responses to those experiences. Her workshop will build itself around this public/private convergence. 

We encourage those with backgrounds in either or both poetry and image-making to sign up. Participants will need only a smartphone for creating their short films. Because creative collaboration between participants is a vital part of the experience, Lynne will carefully pair participants based on a questionnaire sent after registering. Note that this is not a tech-focused workshop, though some basic tech instruction will be shared.

Lynne’s virtual workshop will include the screening of some of her own recent short film poems, including “Starfish Aorta Colossus” (2015), “A Month of Single Frames” (2019), “Visit to Bernadette Mayer’s Childhood Home” (2020), and “Girl is Presence” (2020) as well as excerpts from her feature “Tip of My Tongue” (2017).

Join us in this 2-week multimedia investigation of the sounds, texts, media images, home-made movies, and sensory experiences that all come together in a video poem. We could not be more delighted to be launching the Text Kitchen workshop series with this event. 

Workshop fee (includes both three-hour sessions): $80 [event SOLD OUT]

Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her highly self-reflexive films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, Lynne investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living and studying in San Francisco where she worked closely with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson, and Trihn T. Min-ha. During this time, she produced her early, experimental works on celluloid which took a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her body of work ever since. In tandem with making films, Lynne is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published Lynne’s first book Year by Year Poems.

From essay films to hybrid docs to diaristic shorts, Sachs has produced 40 films as well as numerous projects for web, installation, and performance. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing directly the challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006, when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, 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. 


Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. Her films have screened at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker and the Getty, and at festivals including New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Punto de Vista, DocAviv, and DocLisboa. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival. Her 2019 film “A Month of Single Frames” won the Grand Prize at Oberhausen Festival of Short Films in 2020.  In 2021, both the Edison Film Festival and the Prismatic Ground Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center awarded Lynne for her body of work in the experimental and documentary fields. 

Filmmaker Magazine: The Longhand Film

The Longhand Film
Filmmaker Magazine
by Courtney Stephens
in IssuesReflections
on Jul 12, 2021
https://filmmakermagazine.com/111927-the-longhand-film/?fbclid=IwAR2_9BPt8O0WR1HnKUGxmoPjgLygDRY5WCFRDYFZEF0192rsotVRArgSpgA#.YQf3e1NKh3T

For the past six years, I sought out amateur travel films made by women in the first half of the 20th century, which I collected in an all-archival essay film, Terra Femme. In the process, I watched dozens of hours of footage of everything under the sun: biblical gardens, women doing laundry, ice fields, a tapir, mounds in a cemetery. Occasionally, there is a handwritten intertitle. “Crossing the Equator” reads one, and the filmmaker has added little serif marks to the letters in “Equator.” What follows is footage shot onboard a boat during a line-crossing ceremony, in which Poseidon and his goons haze anyone crossing for the first time by slathering them in shaving cream and throwing them in a pool—an equatorial baptism. Elsewhere, title cards show up with facts (“Had lunch here”) or bits of acquired wisdom (“Camel wisdom: if you stand behind them, they can’t spit on you, if you stand in front, they can’t kick you.”). By turn spectacular, mundane and cliched, the films also feature hand-drawn maps and shots of signage or tourist pamphlets. The effect is of a moving image scrapbook, annotating journeys through vanished worlds. 

With the advent of home movie cameras in the 1920s, products quickly came on the market that allowed amateur filmmakers to make printed intertitles with borders and decorative fonts. Premade title sets were also advertised, a few feet of leader that could be affixed to the head of a film, with stock titles like “Symphony in Color” and instructions on what should be shot—in this case, spring blossoms. Other suggested subjects included airports, auto races, birthday parties and a scenario called “Hold the Phone” in which a housewife has her phone call interrupted by a “child crying, a salesman at the door, a collector, etc.” In contrast to this preordained content (and the predestined activities of female lives), women’s travel films are comparatively anarchic, seemingly driven by an urge to capture chance events, then collate the world according to them, with private notations and other forms of text stitching them together. Their haphazard arrangement and personal touches set them firmly apart from professional travel documentaries of the time. These were not aspirational endeavors, nor were many of the women I researched involved in the (male-dominated) amateur cine-club circuit. These films seem, by and large, to have been private documents, intended for the friends and families of their makers or for the makers themselves. 

In his essay “In Defense of Amateur,” Stan Brakhage noted that the word in Latin meant “lover” and wondered why, by 1971 (when he published the piece), it had acquired a derogatory connotation. He extols the dedication of the home-movie maker, who photographs “the events of his happiness and personal importance.” Brakhage sees himself and other experimental practitioners as successors to this tradition. (He is in agreement here with Quentin Tarantino, who once stated, “I like holding on to my amateur status.”). As an experimental film canon took shape in the 1970s and ’80s, filmmakers like Hollis Frampton and Fred Worden used handwriting to call attention to the nature of word and image in a film, and to create palimpsestic studies of the different drafts living inside a finished work in films like Frampton’s Poetic Justice and Worden’s How The Hell I Ripped Jack Goldstein’s Painting In The Elevator. Brakhage himself “signed” many of his films by scratching cursive letters into successive frames of celluloid leader—when projected, the frames write the filmmaker’s signature across the screen in light. In 2021, we have seen the near-elimination of the line between professional and amateur. We use screens to scribble on Instagram stories and dash off memes. But handwriting continues to show up purposefully in experimental and nonfiction films, even as longhand writing becomes increasingly obsolete (cursive is no longer taught in many primary schools). What does handwriting convey when it shows up in a film? What is its relationship to past modes of vernacular writing? How does written text imbue or even subvert the information it conveys? 


In The History and Uncertain Future of Handwriting, Anne Trubek points out that early writing was primarily a form of counting. Cave paintings are less works of self-expression, it is believed, than tallies of goods—an early form of data visualization. Many of the Mesopotamian tablets that have survived are receipts, the minuscule marks of ancient cuneiform recording a trade of linen under the rule of a particular king or providing a list of temple holdings. It would be several millennia before the notion of personal handwriting, and the belief that it reveals attributes of the individual, entered the public imagination. For the centuries in between, written scripts operated more like fonts, and the point was to adhere to them. The Romans wrote inscriptions in capitalis, the classically balanced serif script to which, perhaps, the filmmaker makes homage in her embellished “Equator” (and from whence we get the term capital letters). The geographically distinct scripts that proliferated in Europe through the Middle Ages were so ornate they were often unintelligible across regions. They were conformed to diligently by the monks who copied books and manuscripts and, following the advent of the printing press in the 15th century, found themselves in demand as tutors of penmanship. Formal calligraphy had a new application in Europe: the drawing up of documents and bureaucratic papers in the conquest of territories.

The analysis of character through handwriting came about in the 19th century and was briefly linked to the occult and divinatory practices like palmistry. But it gained steam as an empirically tested collection of truths that could bridge science and religion by revealing how the soul shows itself scientifically through writing. These ideas especially took hold in France, where to this day it is common to ask job applicants to provide handwriting samples, which are then analyzed by graphologists, or handwriting experts. Strong-willed people cross their t’s with force; low-hanging g’s and y’s are evidence of sadness. Pioneering graphologist Jean-Hippolyte Michon wrote, “Who can doubt that every word is the spontaneous and immediate translation of thought? And who can doubt that handwriting is as spontaneous and immediate a translation of thought as speech? All handwriting, like all language, is the immediate manifestation of the intimate, intellectual and moral being.” That the written word is the uninterrupted route from self to page is essentially the logic behind the signature, that mark of the unique self that binds us irrevocably to time—to debt, marriage and more. It becomes physical evidence, and this instant memorialization of the moment of writing links the pen to the camera, which can only ever film the present moment. 

Handwriting often shows up in fiction films, as when a character reads or writes a letter or makes a written confession, as in Bresson’s Diary of a Country Priest. Usually, it is a way of conveying internal emotions to the viewer or simply a means of moving the story forward. In nonfiction filmmaking, it could easily be seen as a neutral technology—just another way of making words, an ornamental flourish. But longhand writing carries with it more than just the information it conveys. In it lies the mystery of the author, a person living and writing in time. While the history of writing calls to mind learned volumes and chiseled inscriptions, and all the forms of perpetuity that humans have sought after, it is conspicuous evidence of frailty and disputation, of the provisional nature of factual knowledge. Authors die or change their minds. Libraries burn. Buildings fall. Ink fades.


Handwriting often shows up in films that feature nudity. In Mona Hatoum’s 1988 epistolary short Measures of Distance, we hear letters read aloud from the filmmaker’s Palestinian mother, exiled in Beirut. Arabic writing is layered upon what we learn are nude pictures of the mother taken by the daughter on a previous trip, before the current war that prevents Mona from returning. The mother’s letters, read aloud, tell of car bombs and the circumspect eye of her husband. She writes, “You asked me in your last letter, if you can use my pictures in your work. Go ahead and use them, and don’t mention a thing about it to your father. You remember how he was shocked when he caught us taking the pictures in the shower during his afternoon nap…. He still nags me about it, as if I had given you something that only belongs to him.” What is illicit in the film are not the naked pictures but the secret intimacy, forged in the text that overlays them. The letters speak to the constraints of female life; the fact of writing is a form of resistance.

In Maryam Tafakory’s short I Have Sinned A Rapturous Sin, made 30 years later, the filmmaker’s arms, but not her face, can be seen writing Farsi in chalk on black fabric. The words are lines from Sin, the poem by Forugh Farrokhzad (who would also direct the immaculate film The House Is Black). The lines, published when the Iranian poet was only 19, describe a bliss found in submission, beginning:

I have sinned a rapturous sin / in a warm enflamed embrace / sinned in a pair of vindictive arms / arms violent and ablaze

As she writes, Tafakory whispers the words aloud in a voice of urgent defiance. English subtitling in the form of cascading typed text fills up pockets of black in the frame, like echoes of the handwritten pleasure. The filmmaker writes me via email, “typed text and handwriting are different voices for me: handwriting is more quiet, a little shy and secretive. often cryptic or blended into the image. it can be dismissed or lost. my handwriting is always in farsi. typed text is more rigid, has a louder and more arrogant tone with fake authority and/or contradictory remarks. my typed text is mostly in english.” The scenes of writing are contrasted with footage of male commentators, offering their own take on female sexual energies: “In order to reduce her lust and unbridled passion, woman should eat lettuce.”

Written text is by its very nature an act of friction. In Goodbye to Language, Jean-Luc Godard’s 3D feature, the author Mary Shelley is depicted writing outdoors, her quill squeaking buoyantly on the page, as if to suggest that the loss of the written word is the loss of a kind of intercourse. Scratching words into celluloid is analogously erotic, like grazing skin with a needle. It’s also incredibly time-consuming. For just a few seconds of a word onscreen, one must carve the same word into hundreds of individual frames of film. The end effect is something coarse and alive. In 1967’s White Calligraphy, Takahiko Iimura carved an entire eighth century Japanese fable into black leader, one character per frame. It is too rapid to read and becomes pure choreography—a flurry of line and curvature. Writing is, after all, a form of drawing, and character languages carry in them earlier modes of representational sketches. In Su Friedrich’s film Gently Down the Stream from 1981, the filmmaker relays a series of dreams she had, interspersed with impressionistic images. “Wander through / large quiet / rooms” read the first three frames, in what appears to be liquid chalk but is revealed to be inscription on the film itself. The shifting allography (ways of making letters) suggests the mutability of dream space, in which one is some sense both writer and reader. The text HOWLS in sharp capitals when a woman cries out or gets tidy and nearly translucent when another shivers. From the handwriting analysis perspective, is variation the equivalent of the soul engaging in open play? An old book on handwriting analysis says that the letter t alone can tell you a lot about a person. A high t means you’re vain, a looped cursive t means you’re sensitive, a low stem on the looped t means you’re sensitive, but you try not to show it. Try to be less sensitive, the book advises. But the film is uninterested in this kind of external analysis. The self is a conjurer. When the dreamer makes a second vagina next to her first one, she wonders: Which is the original? 

As a viewer, waiting for words in the frame causes a shift in the images. In Friedrich’s film, highlights on the surface of a pool start to look like letters attempting to form, which also carries an edging, erotic charge. “I lie in a gutter giving birth to myself,” the text finally declares. In the films of Nazlı Dinçel, hand-scratching (and typing, and hammer-punching) agitates the surface of explicit images as a way of claiming them. In her series of “Private Acts” films, the filmmaker recalls forbidden scenes: early experiences masturbating with a showerhead and other forms of autoeroticism, first sex following a divorce. These recollections are scratched into haptic imagery—the thumbing of a flower stamen is as charged as the jerking off of an anonymous penis—firmly imposing her own articulation of events upon tender scenes, an act against shame.


In another scene from Goodbye to Language, a voice asks from offscreen, “To live one’s life? Or to tell it?” The line is quoted by Moyra Davey in her 2016 video Hemlock Forest. Davey says that when she asked her son if he keeps a diary, he replied that he’d rather live his life than narrate it. Handwritten ruptures threaten to destabilize the image, to force time into review even as it unfolds. But they also open the frame to a different kind of truth-telling, which comes from earned knowledge and intellectual itinerancy. They are interested in what gathers over time, similar to a coral reef or the marked-up margins of a book. Language time differs from visual time because what is written has already happened, has been experienced, processed and transformed into words. Handwriting adds to this the accumulated time of the physical being, beginning with the years it took the child to learn to write. 

Films use handwriting to summon the pasts that lie dormant in the present, not only for individuals, but within the physical landscape. Hope Tucker’s The Sea [Is Still] Around Us is what the filmmaker calls a salvage ethnography. The 2012 short film uses postcards sent from Corinna, Maine, over the course of the 20th century. The text is laid over contemporary shots of Corinna’s buildings and landscapes while Tucker’s quivering hand holds the postcard itself in the frame, showing earlier versions of the contemporary places. The chronology of postcards describe decades of industrial exploitation, starting with fragments of text from the years before the mill came—“I have a dandy tan on”—which give way to descriptions of choked waterways and overdevelopment. What began as handwritten messages transitions to typewritten text. One can’t be sure if this mirrors what is on the back of the cards we are shown, but the switch is clearly meant to suggest the same mechanization imposed upon the land.

Longhand is the mark of the living human; mechanical type is the mark of The Man. It is near-consensus among historians of type that something was lost in the transition to networked writing systems—not only in the loss of intimacy between the writer and the word, but the loss of intimacy found in vernacular modes of writing such as the postcard, with its shorthand convivialities. “Aloha!” reads a postcard from Hawaii sent in 1961 (and acquired by me at a thrift store a half-century later). “Mickey Rooney stayed here while visiting Honolulu. Most of the movie actors and actresses stayed here. Warm today 80 degrees. Looks like rain but when it rains it lasts about five minutes. Just a drizzle. Liquid sunshine. Los Angeles tomorrow.”

But then tragedy falls into our lives: A loss, an illness, a pandemic interrupts the route we were on, remapping our geographies. All proximities become personal. In Instructions on Parting (2018), the filmmaker and artist Amy Jenkins documents a period in her life during which, in rapid succession, she became pregnant, then lost her sister, her mother and her brother, all to cancer, in a matter of a few years. The intensities of this time period are punctuated with notes of handwritten grief, stated frankly, ellipses between locations during an intense series of transits between dying family members in an endless succession of final visits. What can be told to the page is different than what can be spoken aloud, and this holds true of spoken voiceover. 

In 2017’s Tip of My Tongue, Lynne Sachs, on the event of her half-century birthday, gathers people born the same year but from other parts of the world, to think through the major historical events of the past 50 years as refracted through place and perspective. The film opens with a sequence of notations scanned from notebooks. Jotting and crossed-out phrases alight on the screen, then burn out like coals in time. They echo the feeling of living through historic events, when what is happening feels too fast to ever quite grasp except in retrospect. Plato wrote that written words can do nothing more than remind one of what one already knows or has already experienced, and the film is an homage to orality, the idea of writing as a prompt for performance and dialogue. As Socrates quipped, “If you ask a piece of writing a question, it remains silent.” 

Baseball marginalia from James Benning’s private collection are linked to the diary of a would-be assassin in American Dreams: Lost and Found (1984), an iconographic exploration of the American social landscape. The scrolling cursive text at the bottom of the screen belongs to the diaries of Arthur Bremer, who, intent on shooting president Nixon, found an easier target in Democratic candidate George Wallace (Wallace survived). Hank Aaron memorabilia are presented in the upper quadrant of the frame, while the soundtrack offers key audio from the era: “You don’t have Nixon to kick around anymore,” advertising jingles, news coverage, rock ballads. This approach of multivalence through ephemera has the effect of being both lovingly culled and openly incomplete, acknowledging its own limits through the sheer specificity of what has been chosen for inclusion. We get the contours of a subtractive intelligence, collating debris and sifting through transmissions, striving not for completion but for insight. Benning’s cursive hand shows up again in 1992’s North on Evers. This time, it’s his own diaries that scroll over the physical landscape, often disappearing behind darker patches in the frame, then reemerging over grass or a window, like thoughts that dip into the arcane and return unfazed. He visits some friends in San Antonio. “They have a four year old daughter,” the words announce over sand. “I like kids at that age. They want to learn so bad.”

A figure walks through what appears to be a smoldering forest in Sky Hopinka’s Fainting Spells (2018), whose form makes homage to Benning. The film is an imagined conversation between someone younger asking someone older to tell them the story of how the ho-chunk began using the Xąwįska (Indian pipe plant) to revive people who have fainted. Text scrolls across land and sky, though maybe this terrain is less a place, like Benning’s America, than a substrate upon which knowledge is remembered:

“Night is falling and the spirits can see us. / It’s time to go home. / You had told me, ‘When you see the red / oaks, follow the water. / Then, when you find a fork in the river there / will be a lovely piece of land. / Remove everything that shines from your / hands, from your neck, from your body, and / swim to the nearest shore.’ / Xąwsįska, you’ve fainted again.”


Magnetic poles determine the earth’s latitude lines and the equator, but lines of longitude are a human invention, drawn onto the earth arbitrarily. A conference to decide where to place the Prime Meridian took place in 1884, at which representatives from several nations (the colonizing ones) met in Washington, D.C., to agree upon a common zero longitude line. Each nation had used its own navigation for maritime maps—on French maps, deviations of longitude were measured from Paris and so on.  But the equally essential point of the conference was to standardize time zones so that clocks around the world would sync. At the time in America, neighboring cities sometimes had different times of day, making train schedules rather complicated. The record of the conference attendees vying for a longitude zero that centered themselves reads a bit like a Monty Python script. The delegate of France shoots down the British delegate’s pretext for a longitude zero cutting through Greenwich, England (that the British Empire had the largest tonnage of world shipping), as “entirely devoid of any claim on the impartial solicitude of science.” In other words, it would simply be a flex on the part of Great Britain. The conference adjourns with Greenwich as longitude zero, initiating Greenwich mean time. One imagines the world’s globe-makers updating their globes, drawing the longitude lines on by hand. Imperial perspective has been subsumed into the appearance of objectivity. Writing in its earliest form: a transaction receipt. 

In Kevin Jerome Everson’s short film Partial Differential Equation (2020), a college student fills a chalkboard with a long mathematical proof. Differential equations include a changing, unknown variable, often stemming from the physical world. What is the force on the object? Where is it going? Partial differential equations are concerned with the multiplicity of factors at play in a given situation: position, temperature, orientation. These variables can end up encompassing almost everything, and solutions can blow up to infinity as they evolve in time, becoming unsolvable. We never learn what is being represented in the equation on the chalkboard. It takes more than eight minutes to write it out, filling the chalkboard (but safely by the end of the 16mm reel).

Those who read in languages that move left to right on the page, like English, tend to experience screen motion the same way: a car driving toward screen right has the sense of forward momentum and progress. Movement toward screen left is going somewhere else, as in Behrouz Rae’s short film Untitled. When the filmmaker draws a line in pencil “backward” across a world map in a book labeled Retreat of Colonialism in the Postwar Period, he charts his own path from his native Iran to his adopted home, the United States. Mapmaking is a way humans assert control over the physical world. Like the drawing up of contracts, it was an essential tactic of imperialism. Drawing one’s own path into an atlas, or making a moving image version of one, is an alternate form of mapmaking. Both add another variable to the two-dimensionality of the map—the variable of time. The use of handwritten language in non-narrative cinema is similar. Language, in these genres, is often used to deliver facts and information, which are supposed to have no point of view. But by including their own written hand, the filmmaker uses these tools as a means of finding out what the filmmaker themself knows, embracing the infinite contingencies that have acted upon them, and which may even be encoded in their handwriting. I find my own to be inconsistent; the graphology book tells me that variability is the result of a desire for change. 

“One day, time will make every road map in the known universe obsolete and useless.  And then we’ll all get lost,” says Bill Brown in his short documentary Roswell (1994), filmed on desert roads in and around New Mexico. Brown isn’t so much interested in whether a UFO crashed in Roswell in 1947 as he is in the burden of space and time that acts upon those on earth. What must it have been like for that UFO captain, navigating above the big blank desert without a map? Phrases of spoken voiceover are occasionally scrawled in strong Sharpie letters in the filmmaker’s “secret diary”: “ON THE ROAD TO CORONA I REMEMBERED (the page is turned) A REALLY SAD STORY…” A solitary woman, living out on the land during pioneer days, would write love letters, then release them into the open wind. The narrator speculates that one of these letters reached an alien starboy, who came to New Mexico looking for her. Maybe, he speculates, the Roswell crash is less a terrestrial mystery than a cosmic tragedy: the story of a woman who almost had the chance to outrun her own fate by vanishing in a UFO. A woman who, through desperation or optimism, wrote tender greetings into a void—to no one in particular. 

Mimesis Documentary Festival to host “Film About a Father Who” and “Day Residue” workshop

Mimesis – Documentary Festival
August 2021
https://www.mimesisfestival.org/2021-program/#opening-night

Opening Night: Lynne Sachs + Workshop

Film About a Father Who
by Lynne Sachs (2021, 74’)Wednesday 4 August 6:00 PM
Boedecker Cinema

Drawing on a painstaking personal archive of images, home movies, and interviews, Film About A Father Who is a rare kind of cinematic portrait: one that succeeds in expanding our understanding of the filmmaker, her protagonist, and their relationship through its structure, aesthetic, and method. A beautiful accumulation of time, contradictions, and a multitude of perspectives reflects the all-too-familiar operatic dynamics of family.

This screening will be followed by a conversation with the artist and a reception with light refreshments.

Recorded by Marc Vidulich.

Mimesis Documentary Festival, Aug 4 2021
Q & A with filmmaker Lynne Sachs for Opening Night screening of “Film About a Father Who”
moderated by Maryam Muliaee, PhD
Post-doctoral AssociateDepartment of Critical Media PracticesUniversity of Colorado Boulderwww.maryammuliaee.comEditor, MAST journal www.mast-journal.org

  1. Can you talk a little about the process of archiving for Film About A Father Who in the course of three decades? My emphasis is on the word archiving (rather than archive) with an interest in the process, duration and change — a quality that also involves encounters with the unexpected and unplanned. I can imagine it must be an incredibly enormous amount of footage, images and sounds that needed your considerable time, patience and focus for re-listening, re-watching and final selection. How did you manage these demanding processes of archiving, organizing and reviewing your materials within three decades?
  2. There is sometimes this wrong assumption that films made up of home movies and family footage are hard to be directed or involve less direction. However, as a director you have sculpted the film with incredible attention to details. Your orchestration of the materials and visual rhetoric are so strong, thoughtful and distinct, revealed as an individual touch. How did you direct the film, and come to decision(s) about selection, order and function of home movies and family footage in your film?
  3.  There is an aesthetic of fragmentation in your film. You also mentioned to cubist paintings in your statement referring to your film and way of portraying your father. This fragmentation brings in dynamic variation, multiplicity and process – embodied in your way of engaging a variety of different materials (in terms of format, quality, time, order, aspect ratio, cut, collage, etc.); in a fragmented and unfinished image of your father; in the voice and view of multiple narrators the viewers encounter such as siblings some of whom remained disconnected for twenty years. I also find a meaningful association between this fragmental or fragmentary aesthetic and the way memories are always in pieces, ephemeral and collective. Can you talk more about the aesthetic of fragmentation (or variation) in your film, and why does it matter to you as a filmmaker?
  4. While the film title gives this assumption that your main protagonist is a man — obviously your father — I was surprised by and enjoyed far more and many encounters with women in the film, from your grandmother to your mother, your sisters and your father’s other wives, and of course yourself as a woman (as well as a mother and a daughter). Discovering this distinct feminist standpoint through which you connect the viewers more strongly with the female characters in the film was so remarkable for me. Can you talk about this feminist touch?
  5.  Can you talk about your use of aging/decaying videotapes? How did you find it aesthetically important or meaningful to deploy the disintegration of videographic materials? What is at stake in their tactile qualities (e.g. blurriness, incoherence, failure and dispersion) and how have their grainy textures helped your film narrative or aesthetics?

Workshop: Day Residue
A filmmaking workshop on the every day with opening night artist Lynne Sachs.
Thursday 5 August 9:30 – 11:00 AM
Grace Gamm Theater

According to Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams, our day residue is composed of the memory traces left by the events of our waking state. In this workshop, we explore the ways in which fragments of our daily lives can become material for the making of a film poem. While many people in the film industry rely upon a chronological process that begins with the development phase and ends with post-production, our Day Residue workshop will build on an entirely different creative paradigm that encourages artists to embrace the nuances, surprises and challenges of their daily lives as a foundation for a diaristic practice.

The workshop will include screenings of some of Lynne’s recent short film poems, including Starfish Aorta Colossus (2015), A Month of Single Frames (2019), Visit to Bernadette Mayer’s Childhood Home (2020), and Girl is Presence (2020) as well as excerpts from her feature Tip of My Tongue (2017).

Masterclass by Lynne Sachs at the Lighthouse International Film Festival

Lighthouse International Film Festival
Masterclass on the Every Day by LYNNE SACHS
June 6, 2021           
https://www.goelevent.com/LIFF/e/MasterclassontheEveryDaybyLYNNESACHS

FREE for filmmakers and IN&OUT PASS HOLDERS!!
According to Freud’s theory of dreams, our day residue is composed of the memory traces left by the events of our waking state. In this workshop, we explore the ways in which fragments of our daily lives can become material for the making of a personal film. While many people in the film industry rely upon a chronological process that begins with the development phase and ends with post-production, our interaction will build on an entirely different creative paradigm that encourages participants to embrace the nuances, surprises and challenges of their daily lives as a foundation for a diaristic practice.

FREE for Filmmakers and IN&OUT PASS HOLDERS

Three of Lynne Sachs films are available at Lighthouse Virtual Festival:

Your Day is My Night (64 min., 2013)

Tip of My Tongue (80 min.,2017)

Film About a Father Who (74 min. 2020)

Northwest Film Forum to Present Lynne Sachs Retrospective

Lynne Sachs Retrospective: Between Thought and Expression [Online]
May 14-31, 2021
https://nwfilmforum.org/films/lynne-sachs-retrospective-between-thought-and-expression-online/

Lynne Sachs • US • 2001-2021

About
“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)

The following three programs are from Lynne Sachs: Between Thought and Expression, the Museum of the Moving Image’s retrospective series of five programs of her films.


Films in this series:

Your Day Is My Night
(Lynne Sachs, US, 2013, 64 min)
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.


Tip of My Tongue
(Lynne Sachs, US, 2017, 80 min)
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.


Short film program: Time Passes
(Lynne Sachs, US, 2001-2017, 51 min TRT)
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.

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

About Lynne Sachs
Lynne Sachs is a filmmaker and poet who grew up in Memphis, Tennessee and is currently living in Brooklyn, New York. Her moving image work ranges from short experimental films to essay films to hybrid live performances. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living in San Francisco where she worked closely with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson, and Trinh T. Minh-ha.

Between 1994 and 2006, she produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, 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. Looking at the world from a feminist lens, she expresses intimacy by the way she uses her camera. Objects, places, reflections, faces, hands, all come so close to us in her films. Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in her work with every new project. With the making of Your Day is My Night (2013), Every Fold Matters (2015), and The Washing Society (2018), Lynne expanded her practice to include live performance.

As of 2020, Lynne has made 37 films. The Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana, China Women’s Film Festival, and Sheffield Doc/ Fest have all presented retrospectives of her films. Lynne received a 2014 Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts.


About Edo Choi
Edo Choi is Assistant Curator of Film at the Museum of the Moving Image. Previously, he served in the dual capacity of programming manager and chief projectionist for the Maysles Documentary Center in Harlem. He has organized programs as an independent curator for the New York Public Library and the Documentary Film Group, film society at the University of Chicago, where he held the position of Programming Chair between 2008 and 2010. He also works as a freelance projectionist at venues around New York City.

Filmwax TV Reunites “Tip of My Tongue” Cast in for Sachs’ MoMI Retrospective

The cast of TIP OF MY TONGUE discusses how their lives have changed since the completion of the film in 2017. Created in conjunction with Lynne Sachs Retrospective at Museum of the Moving Image Feb. 2021. With Adam Schartoff (host), Accra Shepp, Eric Schurink, Lynne Sachs, Sue Simon, Andrea Kanapell, Shoei Dalai, Jim Supanick, and George Sanchez.


For more from Filmwax TV visit their YouTube channel!

STEPHEN VITIELLO: SOUNDTRACKS FOR LYNNE SACHS (VOLUME 2)

STREAM OR PURCHASE THE ALBUM HERE:
https://stephenvitiello.bandcamp.com/album/soundtracks-for-lynne-sachs-volume-2-your-day-is-my-night-the-washing-society-tip-of-my-tongue

EXCERPT- Stephen Vitiello – Soundtracks for Lynne Sachs (Volume 2, Your Day Is My Night, The Washing Society, Tip of My Tongue) – 01 opening (YDMN)
EXCERPT- Stephen Vitiello – Soundtracks for Lynne Sachs (Volume 2, Your Day Is My Night, The Washing Society, Tip of My Tongue) – 19 Last Minute (TOMT)
EXCERPT- Stephen Vitiello – Soundtracks for Lynne Sachs (Volume 2, Your Day Is My Night, The Washing Society, Tip of My Tongue) – 09 Every Fold (TWS)

Lynne Sachs first reached out to me in 2012, asking if I could recommend someone to work on the soundtrack for an upcoming film. I probably paused for a polite moment and then offered my own services. Since that time, I’ve created music for several projects by Lynne, including 4 feature-length films, a performance work (created in collaboration with playwright Lizzie Olesker) and a short film that uses a track I did with Molly Berg for a 12k CD. Over the years, I’ve amassed an archive of pieces made for these projects, some used in the films, some excerpted, some proposed. In some cases, Lynne would be looking for a 30-second clip for a transition and I’d use that as an excuse to record a 10-minute piece, figuring we’d find the 30-seconds somewhere in there.

This second volume of soundtracks works are from three films ….
Your Day is My Night, is set in NY’s Chinatown and follows the lives of Chinese-Americans living in shifted apartments. The Washing Society, is a collaboration between Lynne Sachs and Lizzie Olesker, it “brings us into New York City laundromats and the experiences of the people who work there.” Tip Of My Tongue, a piece on events of the last 55 years as remembered by a collection of friends and colleagues. As much as these musical tracks were created for the films, I don’t believe one has to have seen the films to enjoy them. That said, running out, or jumping on your computer, to watch and listen to the films would be a very good thing to consider.


credits

releases March 5, 2021

Stephen Vitiello – guitar, piano, modular synthesizer, field recordings
Molly Berg – clarinet and a bit of voice (YDMN)
Michael Raphael – washing machine recordings (TWS)
Amanda Katz and Jeff Sisson – Sound recordings (YDMN)

Cover art – Lynne Sachs
Mastering – Lawrence English at Negative Space

Your Day is My Night, directed by Lynne Sachs, 2013
Camera, co-producing and editing: Sean Hanley

The Washing Society, a film by Lizzie Olesker and Lynne Sachs, 2018
Editor – Amanda Katz

Tip Of My Tongue, directed by Lynne Sachs, 2017
Editor – Amanda Katz

Kino Rebelde to Represent Lynne Sachs’ Catalogue Internationally

http://www.kinorebelde.com/kino2020/lynne-sachs-retrospective/

Kino Rebelde has created a retrospective that traces a delicate line connecting intimacy, power relations, violence, memory, migration, desire, love, and war in Lynne’s films. By looking at each of these works, we can see a director facing her own fears and contradictions, as well as her sense of friendship and motherhood.  Moving from idea to emotion and back again, our retrospective takes us on a journey through Sachs’ life as a filmmaker, beginning in 1986 and moving all the way to the present.

With the intention of allowing her work to cross boundaries, to interpret and to inquire into her distinctive mode of engaging with the camera as an apparatus for expression, we are delighted to present 37 films that comprise the complete filmmography, so far, of Lynne Sachs as visual artist and filmmaker. Regardless of the passage of time, these works continue to be extremely contemporary, coherent and radical in their artistic conception.


About Kino Rebelde

Kino Rebelde is a Sales and Festival Distribution Agency created by María Vera in early 2017. Its exclusively dedicated to promotion of non-fiction cinema, hybrid narratives and experimental.

Based on the creative distribution of few titles by year, Kino Rebelde established itself as a “boutique agency”, working on a specialized strategy for each film, within its own characteristics, market potential, niches and formal and alternative windows.

This company supports short, medium and long feature films, from any country, with linear or non-linear narratives. They can be in development or WIP, preferably in the editing stage.

The focus: author point of view, pulse of stories, chaos, risk, more questions, less answers, aesthetic and politic transgression, empathy, identities, desires and memory.

Kino Rebelde was born in Madrid, but as its films, this is a nomadic project. In the last years María has been living in Lisbon, Belgrade and Hanoi and she’ll keep moving around.

About María Vera

Festival Distributor and Sales Agent born in Argentina. Founder of Kino Rebelde, a company focused on creative distribution of non-fiction, experimental and hybrid narratives.

Her films have been selected and awarded in festivals as Berlinale, IFFR Rotterdam, IDFA, Visions Du Réel, New York FF, Hot Docs, Jeonju IFF, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Sarajevo FF, Doclisboa and Viennale, among others.

María has a background as producer of socio-political and human rights contents as well as a film curator.Envelope

vera@kinorebelde.com


Lynne Sachs (1961) is an American filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. Her moving image work ranges from documentaries, to essay films, to experimental shorts, to hybrid live performances.

Working from a feminist perspective, Lynne weaves together social criticism with personal subjectivity. Her films embrace a radical use of archives, performance and intricate sound work. Between 2013 and 2020, she collaborated with renowned musician and sound artist Stephen Vitiello on five films.

Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in each new project.

Between 1994 and 2009, Lynne directed five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany – sites affected by international war – where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own perception. 

Over the course of her career, she has worked closely with film artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Ernie Gehr, Barbara Hammer, Chris Marker, Gunvor Nelson, and Trinh T. Min-ha.

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

https://canyoncinema.com/2021/02/17/lynne-sachs-between-thought-and-expression-five-program-retrospective-now-available-for-rent/

“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: