GME DVD Distribution – GME Offers Experimental Film Works from China, France, and the Netherlands Now Available for Institutional Sales

GME is pleased to offer collections of avant-garde shorts by filmmakers from France (Christian Lebrat), and for the first time, moving image artists from China (Sandy Ding) and the Netherlands (Studio één).

 
 

Sandy Ding is an experimental filmmaker who lives and works in Beijing, China. He graduated from CalArts in 2007 and started teaching in China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. This DVD edition entitled PSYCHOECHO brings together (including the bonus tracks), 7 moving image works that the filmmaker created in the United States, and later China, as well as an original “noise music” piece. This DVD is accompanied by a booklet that provides extensive insight into the artist’s concept of pyscho-active films. As a modern proponent of the postwar American "trance film" he produced psycho-active films with the idea of combining ritual processes in both projection and sound. His work is centered on energy patterns, telling mysteries through abstractions or powerful symbolic elements. He is equally interested in live performance of theater projections, installations and live noise music in order to enlarge the concept of experimental film.  

 
 

The DVD publication entitled STUDIO EEN: EXPERIMENTAL FILMS FROM THE LOWLANDS includes works of various Dutch artists who had a main role in the early years of Studio één, from 1992 to 1996. The accompanying booklet contains a statement by each of the filmmakers.

At the end of the 1980s, many artistic, avant-garde, underground and counterculture movements seemed to be over. The rise of video and its academic use began to compete with Super8. To work against the decline of the Super 8 format and techniques, Karel Doing and two of his friends (Saskia Fransen and Djana Mileta) from the art school in Arnhem, started to think about creating a new space and promoting the invention of DIY techniques for filming and processing Super8 films.

In this particular context, Studio één was launched. They bought optical printers from a professional laboratory that was set to shut down and started to learn by themselves, out of necessity, how to process film. It wasn't long before Studio één became well known in DIY film circles and began to host various artists who come to meet each other, not only to exchange ideas and work together on the use of Super8 or 16mm, but also to experiment with diverse narrative and sound forms. Some members, Joost Rekveld for example, chose to pursue a career as a musician as well as a filmmaker. After 7 years in Arnhem, Studio één moved to Rotterdam where it continued to thrive. It became a model for many artists in creating their own laboratories, research centers and studios dedicated to experimental cinema.

 
 

GME also continues with the release of films by key experimental artists from France. Christian Lebrat, born in 1952 in Paris, is an internationally acclaimed artist with a career spanning four decades. He is a filmmaker, video artist, performance artist and photographer, as well as a publisher, curator and writer. In 1985 he founded Paris Expérimental, a publishing company entirely devoted to publishing theoretical and historical texts on avant-garde and experimental cinema.

This DVD edition entitled VIBRATIONS, brings together 9 key moving image works created by the filmmaker over a ten-year period (1976-1985). Each film focus on an aspect of his experimentation with the use of color in cinema. The publication is accompanied by a 39-page booklet that includes an artist’s statement; an interview with the filmmaker by Vincent Deville & Émeric de Lastens, in which Lebrat provides detailed explanations about his strategy in creating each film; and a filmography.

According to the filmmaker, “My interest in color perhaps started with an exhibition that I saw. I had always been very interested in painting. One of the greatest emotions I’ve ever felt was in 1972, when I saw the Mark Rothko retrospective at the Grand Palais. That day – I still remember – I spent two hours in a single room of the exhibition, where there were four immense paintings that overwhelmed me with color; I was completely dumbstruck – transformed, even – by the contact I had with these works. It was then that I discovered the power of color.”

GME DVD Distribution – Portuguese Documentary and Ethnographic Films Now Available for North American institutional Sales

In order to enrich the selection of Film History & Documentaries, GME is especially proud to offer a new DVD line recently launched by the Cinemateca Portuguesa, JORNAL PORTUGUÊS and MARGOT DIAS: ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMS 1958-1961.

 
 

The newsreel series JORNAL PORTUGUÊS (1938-1951) was conceived and employed as part of the propaganda machinery of Salazar's regime. Screened in cinema theatres prior to the main feature film, each issue of JORNAL ran approximately ten minutes in length and covered a variety of official government acts, national political news, major sports events and other assorted social and cultural affairs. JORNAL PORTUGUÊS is not only and indispensable document for the history of Estado Novo's propaganda, but also an unparalleled audiovisual archive of 1940s Portugal. Moreover, for students of the documentary, this comprehensive catalogue of each issue of JORNAL PORTUGUÊS provides a fascinating contrast with the American newsreel series THE MARCH OF TIME (1935-1951). The differing national attitudes about the impending World War, its duration, and aftermath are especially noteworthy in this regard.

 
 

Between 1958 and 1961, the anthropologist Margot Dias (1908-2001) shot 28 films in Mozambique and Angola, which belong to the Film Archive of the National Museum of Ethnology (Museu Nacional de Etnologia). These films were made within the "study Missions on the Ethnic Minorities of the Portuguese Overseas Territories" headed by Jorge Dias and represent one of the first uses of ethnographic film within Portuguese anthropological studies.
 
This DVD edition entitled MARGOT DIAS: ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMS 1958-1961 includes all the films shot within those fieldwork campaigns and a soundtrack composed from Margot Dias's own field recordings. The identification and thematic organization of the films, as well as the soundtrack is the work of Catarina Alves Costa. Also included, as a bonus feature, is a previously unreleased interview with Margot Dias, held in 1996 by Joaquim Pais de Brito, former director of the National Museum of Ethnology.

Documentary Films of Related Interest Available from GME:

 
 

GME DVD Distribution – Gideon Bachmann’s Underground New York and Serge Bard’s Ici Et Maintenant Now Available for North American Institutional Sales

The 1960’s was an era of social upheaval and anguished personal quests that was frequently represented cinematically through experimentation in narrative form. GME’s offerings of Experimental Narratives from this period include films from Spain (ADOLPHO ARRIETTA: THE ANGEL TRILOGY), France (LE LIT DE LA VIERGE and LE REVELATEUR, both by Philippe Garrel, as well as DEUX FOIS by Jackie Raynal), and the United States (ECHOES OF SILENCE by Peter Emanuel Goldman, HALLELUJAH THE HILLS by Adolfas Mekas, and GUNS OF THE TREES by Jonas Mekas).

Continuing in this vein, we now offer two new DVD editions from the turbulent year 1968: Gideon Bachmann’s UNDERGROUND NEW YORK and ICI ET MAINTENANT by Serge Bard. UNDERGROUND NEW YORK provides a rare behind-the-scenes view of the exploding New York “underground” in the late sixties, a turbulent time and place that was to change American culture forever, and ICI ET MAINTENANT takes a more dreamlike approach in depicting the adventures of a post May ’68 Parisian wanderer. Both DVD editions are published by Re:Voir.

 
 

In UNDERGROUND NEW YORK, a German TV crew, led by journalist Gideon Bachmann, explores the epicenter of the sixties revolution in art, music, poetry and film and interviews the main players in the New American Cinema movement that was born on the streets of New York. Against a backdrop of cultural upheaval in all of the arts and growing political agitation against the Vietnam War, Bachman interviews the most prominent figures in underground film, including Jonas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, the Kuchar Brothers and Bruce Connor, and visits the most notorious location in the New York art world of the era - Andy Warhol’s Factory - to conduct an interview with the genius of Pop Art himself.

 
 

In 1968, Serge Bard made three films in a row. They were DETRUISEZ-VOUS (DESTROY YOURSELF), FUN AND GAMES FOR EVERYONE and finally, ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW). The later film was photographed in striking black and white by cinematographer Henri Alekan (who also shot Cocteau’s LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE). In the laboratory, the director and cinematographer had the film flashed so as to create a high-contrast, grainy, abstract and luminous image when projected onscreen. Shot primarily in long takes on the Pointe du Raz in Brittany, ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW) according to fellow filmmaker Patrick Deval, “consists of the dreams of the solitary rambler, post-revolution... The moralist has given up on chaos; he takes his own pulse; he listens to the world, perhaps vibrating with it; he is in sympathetic ecstasy. The filmmaker holds his position, stiff as the statue of the commander, on alert for the phenomena which approach him; he resembles the lighthouse whose rectitude Bard captures magnificently, on an ink-dark night, with its hallucinatory lamp set against a background of winds and tides."

Related 1960s Experimental Narratives of Interest from GME:

 
 

GME DVD Distribution – Diary Films by Jonas Mekas and David Perlov – Now Available for North American Institutional Sales

 
 

The Diary Film was a significant form that has run throughout the history of American independent cinema, and whose major practitioner has been filmmaker Jonas Mekas. GME is therefore pleased to add HE STANDS IN A DESERT COUNTING THE SECONDS OF HIS LIFE to other boxed set editions of Mekas’s other diary films THE MAJOR WORKS and THE SIXITES QUARTET. Shot between 1969 and 1985, the  film consists of 124 brief sketches, each half-a-minute to about two minutes long. According to Mekas, these are “Portraits of people I have spent time with, places, seasons of the year, weather (storms, snow, blizzards etc...) many of my film-maker friends- streets and parks of New-York- brief escape in nature, out of town- nothing spectacular, unimportant celebrations of life that has gone, by now, and remains only as a record in these personal, brief sketches."

 
 

 

GME is proud to expand its international offerings to include Israeli cinema. We herewith release David Perlov’s DIARY as a complement to the aforementioned movies by Jonas Mekas. Perlov had worked in Paris with the great documentarist, Joris Ivens, and he brought to Israeli film the personal, experimental tradition of the documentary cinema. According to Uri Klein (writing in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz):

"At the center of Perlov’s work is the gaze:…the gaze through the window of Perlov’s house, which gave rise to his most important work, and the most important film in the history of Israeli cinema, DIARY; his gaze at the surroundings close to his home in Tel Aviv, and his recurring gaze at Paris, where he spent a few years in the 1950s, and at Sao Paolo, the city in which he grew up, in his native land, Brazil. This was the genesis of the six chapters of DIARY, each an hour long, which were filmed in the course of the decade that followed.

Over the years, through the totality of his work, David Perlov’s gaze became our gaze; and this place, this house, where he made his films, became our house, the house to which we return anew whenever we watch DIARY. He was able to transform the biography of the self into the biography of the other, and to transmute his self-portrait into the portrait of the viewer. His cinema, then, is the identity card of us all."

Related Titles of Interest from GME:

 
 

José Val Del Omar Retrospective at Anthology Film Archives, March 16-19th

WATER-MIRROR OF GRANADA (AGUAESPEJO GRANADINO) (1953-55)

WATER-MIRROR OF GRANADA (AGUAESPEJO GRANADINO) (1953-55)

Anthology Film Archives will be exhibiting the films of José Val del Omar in their programmed retrospective "Distant Touch: José Val del Omar: A Retrospective" from March 16th through March 19th. GME sells the DVD publication of the complete works of Val Del Omar for North American institutional sales.

http://anthologyfilmarchives.org/film_screenings/series/46998

GME DVD Distribution – Spring 2017 Releases

With the spring academic season now underway, Gartenberg Media Enterprises is pleased to present a new slate of DVD and Blu-ray publications for distribution to the North American academic community. These digital editions are selected from film archives and boutique publishers worldwide, and represent the entire breadth and depth of moving image history. This current slate of moving image works extend from BEHIND THE DOOR (1919), producer Thomas H. Ince’s World War I era drama of patriotism and revenge, through to the latest experimental “psychoactive” films of Chinese artist Sandy Ding (DREAM ENCLOSURE, 2011-2014).

 
 

Legendary producer Thomas H. Ince and director Irvin V. Willat made this—“the most outspoken of all the vengeance films” according to film historian Kevin Brownlow—during the period of World War I-inspired American patriotism.

Hobart Bosworth stars as Oscar Krug, a working-class American, who is persecuted for his German ancestry after war is declared. Driven by patriotism, Krug enlists and goes to sea. However, tragedy strikes when his wife (Jane Novak) sneaks aboard his ship and is captured following a German U-boat attack. Krug’s single-minded quest for vengeance against the sadistic German submarine commander (played with villainous fervor by Wallace Beery) leads to the film’s shocking and brutal climax.

This newly restored edition, produced by Flicker Alley, represents the most complete version of the film available since 1919, thanks to the collaboration of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, the Library of Congress, and Gosfilmofond of Russia.

 
 

In order to enrich the selection of Film History & Documentaries, GME is especially proud to offer a new DVD line recently launched by the Cinemateca Portuguesa, JORNAL PORTUGUÊS and MARGOT DIAS: ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMS 1958-1961.

The newsreel series JORNAL PORTUGUÊS (1938-1951) was conceived and employed as part of the propaganda machinery of Salazar's regime. Screened in cinema theatres prior to the main feature film, each issue of JORNAL ran approximately ten minutes in length and covered a variety of official government acts, national political news, major sports events and other assorted social and cultural affairs. JORNAL PORTUGUÊS is not only and indispensable document for the history of Estado Novo's propaganda, but also an unparalleled audiovisual archive of 1940s Portugal. Moreover, for students of the documentary, this comprehensive catalogue of each issue of JORNAL PORTUGUÊS provides a fascinating contrast with the American newsreel series THE MARCH OF TIME (1935-1951). The differing national attitudes about the impending World War, its duration, and aftermath are especially notworthy in this regard.

Between 1958 and 1961, the anthropologist Margot Dias (1908-2001) shot 28 films in Mozambique and Angola, which belong to the Film Archive of the National Museum of Ethnology (Museu Nacional de Etnologia). These films were made within the "study Missions on the Ethnic Minorities of the Portuguese Overseas Territories" headed by Jorge Dias and represent one of the first uses of ethnographic film within Portuguese anthropological studies.

This DVD edition entitled MARGOT DIAS: ETHNOGRAPHIC FILMS 1958-1961 includes all the films shot within those fieldwork campaigns and a soundtrack composed from Margot Dias's own field recordings. The identification and thematic organization of the films, as well as the soundtrack is the work of Catarina Alves Costa. Also included, as a bonus feature, is a previously unreleased interview with Margot Dias, held in 1996 by Joaquim Pais de Brito, former director of the National Museum of Ethnology.

 
 

GME’s offerings of Experimental Narratives from the 1960’s are especially strong. In this vein, we now offer two new DVD editions (published by Re:Voir): UNDERGROUND NEW YORK and ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW). UNDERGROUND NEW YORK provides a rare behind-the-scenes view of the exploding New York “underground” in the late sixties, a turbulent time and place that was to change American culture forever, and ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW) takes a more dreamlike approach in depicting the adventures of a post May ’68 Parisian wanderer.  

In UNDERGROUND NEW YORK, a German TV crew, led by journalist Gideon Bachmann, explores the epicenter of the sixties revolution in art, music, poetry and film and interviews the main players in the New American Cinema movement that was born on the streets of New York. Against a backdrop of cultural upheaval in all of the arts and growing political agitation against the Vietnam War, Bachman interviews the most prominent figures in underground film, including Jonas Mekas, Shirley Clarke, the Kuchar Brothers and Bruce Connor, and visits the most notorious location in the New York art world of the era - Andy Warhol’s Factory - to conduct an interview with the genius of Pop Art himself.

In 1968, Serge Bard made three films in a row. They were DETRUISEZ-VOUS (DESTROY YOURSELF), FUN AND GAMES FOR EVERYONE and finally, ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW). It was photographed in striking black and white by cinematographer Henri Alekan (who also shot Cocteau’s LA BELLE ET LA BÊTE). In the laboratory, the director and cinematographer had the film flashed so as to create a high-contrast, grainy, abstract and luminous image when projected onscreen.  

Shot primarily in long takes on the Pointe du Raz in Brittany, ICI ET MAINTENANT (HERE AND NOW) according to fellow filmmaker Patrick Deval, “consists of the dreams of the solitary rambler, post-revolution... The moralist has given up on chaos; he takes his own pulse; he listens to the world, perhaps vibrating with it; he is in sympathetic ecstasy. The filmmaker holds his position, stiff as the statue of the commander, on alert for the phenomena which approach him; he resembles the lighthouse whose rectitude Bard captures magnificently, on an ink-dark night, with its hallucinatory lamp set against a background of winds and tides."

 
 

The Diary Film was a significant form that has run throughout the history of American independent cinema, and whose major practitioner has been filmmaker Jonas Mekas. GME is therefore pleased to add HE STANDS IN A DESERT COUNTING THE SECONDS OF HIS LIFE to other boxed set editions of Mekas’s other diary films THE MAJOR WORKS and THE SIXITES QUARTET. Shot between 1969 and 1985, the  film consists of 124 brief sketches, each half-a-minute to about two minutes long. According to Mekas, these are “Portraits of people I have spent time with, places, seasons of the year, weather (storms, snow, blizzards etc...) many of my film-maker friends- streets and parks of New-York- brief escape in nature, out of town- nothing spectacular, unimportant celebrations of life that has gone, by now, and remains only as a record in these personal, brief sketches."

With David Perlov’s DIARY, GME is proud to expand its international offerings to include Israeli cinema, that we herewith release as a Diary Film complement to the aforementioned works by Jonas Mekas. Perlov had worked in Paris with the great documentarist, Joris Ivens, and he brought to Israeli film the personal, experimental tradition of the documentary cinema.

According to Uri Kelin, "At the center of Perlov’s work is the gaze:…the gaze through the window of Perlov’s house, which gave rise to his most important work, and the most important film in the history of Israeli cinema, DIARY; his gaze at the surroundings close to his home in Tel Aviv, and his recurring gaze at Paris, where he spent a few years in the 1950s, and at Sao Paolo, the city in which he grew up, in his native land, Brazil. This was the genesis of the six chapters of DIARY, each an hour long, which were filmed in the course of the decade that followed.

Over the years, through the totality of his work, David Perlov’s gaze became our gaze; and this place, this house, where he made his films, became our house, the house to which we return anew whenever we watch DIARY. He was able to transform the biography of the self into the biography of the other, and to transmute his self-portrait into the portrait of the viewer. His cinema, then, is the identity card of us all."

 
 

GME is also pleased to present for the first time, experimental filmmaking work from China (Sandy Ding) and the Netherlands (Studio één).      

Sandy Ding is an experimental filmmaker who lives and works in Beijing, China. He graduated from CalArts in 2007 and started teaching in China Central Academy of Fine Arts in 2008. This DVD edition entitled PSYCHOECHO brings together (including the bonus tracks), 7 moving image works that the filmmaker created in the United States, and later China, as well as an original “noise music” piece. This DVD is accompanied by a booklet that provides extensive insight into the artist’s concept of pyscho-active films.

As a modern proponent of the postwar American "trance film" he produced psycho-active films with the idea of combining ritual processes in both projection and sound. His work is centered on energy patterns, telling mysteries through abstractions or powerful symbolic elements. He is equally interested in live performance of theater projections, installations and live noise music in order to enlarge the concept of experimental film. 

The  DVD publication entitled STUDIO EEN: EXPERIMENTAL FILMS FROM THE LOWLANDS includes works of various Dutch artists who had a main role in the early years of Studio één, from 1992 to 1996. The accompanying booklet contains a statement by each of the filmmakers.  

At the end of the 1980s, many artistic, avant-garde, underground and counterculture movements seemed to be over. The rise of video and its academic use began to compete with Super8. To work against the decline of the Super 8 format and techniques, Karel Doing and two of his friends (Saskia Fransen and Djana Mileta) from the art school in Arnhem, started to think about creating a new space and promoting the invention of DIY techniques for filming and processing Super8 films.

In this particular context, Studio één was launched. They bought optical printers from a professional laboratory that was set to shut down and started to learn by themselves, out of necessity, how to process film. It wasn't long before Studio één became well-known in DIY film circles and began to host various artists who come to meet each other, not only to exchange ideas and work together on the use of Super8 or 16mm, but also to experiment with diverse narrative and sound forms. Some members, Joost Rekveld for example, chose to pursue a career as a musician as well as a filmmaker. After 7 years in Arnhem, Studio één moved to Rotterdam where it continued to thrive. It became a model for many artists in creating their own laboratories, research centers and studios dedicated to experimental cinema.  

GME also continues with the release of films by key experimental artists from France. Christian Lebrat, born in 1952 in Paris, is an internationally acclaimed artist with a career spanning four decades. He is a filmmaker, video artist, performance artist and photographer, as well as a publisher, curator and writer. In 1985 he founded Paris Expérimental, a publishing company entirely devoted to publishing theoretical and historical texts on avant-garde and experimental cinema.

This DVD edition entitled VIBRATIONS, brings together 9 key moving image works created by the filmmaker over a ten-year period (1976-1985). Each film focus on an aspect of his experimentation with the use of color in cinema. The publication is accompanied by a 39-page booklet that includes an artist’s statement; an interview with the filmmaker by Vincent Deville & Émeric de Lastens, in which Lebrat provides detailed explanations about his strategy in creating each film; and a filmography.

According to the filmmaker, “My interest in color perhaps started with an exhibition that I saw.  I had always been very interested in painting. One of the greatest emotions I’ve ever felt was in 1972, when I saw the Mark Rothko retrospective at the Grand Palais. That day – I still remember – I spent two hours in a single room of the exhibition, where there were four immense paintings that overwhelmed me with color; I was completely dumbstruck – transformed, even – by the contact I had with these works.  It was then that I discovered the power of color.”

Warren Sonbert Retrospective Presented By The Center For Contemporary Art (Tel Aviv, Israel) – Begins February 14, 2017 Curated by Chen Sheinberg and Jon Gartenberg

Gartenberg Media Enterprises is pleased to announce a retrospective of Warren Sonbert’s films, for the first time extensively paired together with those of Hollywood filmmakers of the postwar years, including Douglas Sirk, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincente Minnelli, Nicholas Ray, and Michael Gordon. 

Warren Sonbert with his Bolex Camera.

Warren Sonbert with his Bolex Camera.

Six programs will be screened at the Cinematheques in both Jerusalem and Tel Aviv. This series has been co-curated by Chen Sheinberg and Jon Gartenberg, and is presented by the Center for Contemporary Art in Tel Aviv, with the support of the Ostrovsky Family Fund. Before the first screenings (on February 14 and 15), Jon Gartenberg will give an introduction to Warren Sonbert’s work. Chen Sheinberg will introduce the screenings that follow in the coming months.

Click here for the Program Brochure

 
[Note to reader:  The Hebrew version begins from the top down, and the English version from the bottom up].

[Note to reader:  The Hebrew version begins from the top down, and the English version from the bottom up].

 

https://cca.org.il

Sheinberg explains the genesis of this series:

VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

VERTIGO (Alfred Hitchcock, 1958)

“Two years ago, OFF 4 series explored various facets of the interrelations and mutual influences between Hollywood and the cinematic experimental avant-garde from the 1920s to our own time in terms of cinematic expression, visual aesthetics and themes. Following the success of that series, and as I kept researching this theme, Vivian Ostrovsky called my attention to one of the seminal figures in American experimental filmmaking – Warren Sonbert. Having discussed it, we decided to focus this time on this specific filmmaker and examine his relationship to classic postwar Hollywood cinema. Ostrovsky referred me to Jon Gartenberg, a world expert on Sonbert’s cinema, who served for 18 years as a curator in the film archive of The Museum of Modern Art in New York and as the experimental film programmer for the Tribeca Film Festival, and has been working for years on archiving and preserving the cineaste’s work and curating retrospectives of his films in many major museums and cinematheques all over the world.

For OFF 5, we came up with a program that connects Sonbert’s films with Hollywood cinema, and especially with innovative Hollywood auteurs who experimented with the medium and explored it, such as Douglas Sirk, Alfred Hitchcock, Vincente Minnelli and Nicholas Ray – all of them directors that also inspired European modernist cinema. Based on the films’ formal, stylistic and thematic elements, the connection we draw between them is also associative at times. It is important to mention right from the outset that Sonbert was influenced by these directors as well as wrote articles on some of them. In addition, we have included in the series other American experimental filmmakers like Kenneth Anger and Jeff Scher, as well as Soviet documentarist Dziga Vertov, in order to point to the influence these filmmakers and their avant-garde films had on Sonbert’s films.”

For further information about Warren Sonbert’s films, please see:
GME Programming & Curating: Warren Sonbert Retrospective

All Sonbert Photographs, © The Estate of Warren Sonbert

"The Films of Dziga Vertov" at Anthology Film Archives from Saturday, February 11 through Monday, February 12

Anthology Film Archives will be showing "The Films of Dziga Vertov" as part of its Essential Cinema Repertory program from Saturday, February 11 through Monday, February 12. GME sells DVDs for all of these films for North American institutional sales, which includes KINO-EYE; FORWARD, SOVIET; A SIXTH OF THE WORLD; THE ELEVENTH YEAR; MAN WITH A MOVIE CAMERA; ENTHUSIASM, and THREE SONGS ABOUT LENIN.

ENTUZIAZM (1930)

ENTUZIAZM (1930)

“The film drama is the Opium of the people…down with Bourgeois fairy-tale scenarios…long live life as it is!” – Dziga Vertov

http://anthologyfilmarchives.org/film_screenings/calendar?view=list&month=2&year=2017#showing-46870

Waren Sonbert's CARRIAGE TRADE at Anthology Film Archives, February 2, 2017 at 8:30

Waren Sonbert's CARRIAGE TRADE will be playing as part of the Essential Cinema Repertory program at Anthology Film Archives. It will be screening one night only on Friday, February 3rd at 8:30pm.

“With CARRIAGE TRADE, Sonbert began to challenge the theories espoused by the great Soviet filmmakers of the 1920s; he particularly disliked the ‘knee-jerk’ reaction produced by Eisensteinian montage. In both lectures and writings about his own style of editing, Sonbert described CARRIAGE TRADE as ‘a jig-saw puzzle of postcards to produce varied displaced effects.’ This approach, according to Sonbert, ultimately affords the viewer multi-faceted readings of the connections between shots through the spectator’s assimilation of ‘the changing relations of the movement of objects, the gestures of figures, familiar worldwide icons, rituals and reactions, rhythm, spacing, and density of images.” 

– Jon Gartenberg

GME DVD Distribution – DVD Categories Overview

During the past decade, Gartenberg Media Enterprises (GME) has been actively engaged in seeking out and representing high quality DVD & Blu-ray publications from film archives and boutique publishers around the world, representing films and videos that encompass important works from the breadth and depth of the history of the moving image. These premiere publications are made available by GME exclusively for institutional purchase by the university market in North America. We currently offer more than 150 publications that are noted here. These works range from pioneers of the silent narrative cinema to cutting edge filmmakers of the contemporary avant-garde.

"Archival practices are undergoing reinvention, too, both enabled and blocked by opportunistic technologies. On the one hand, the superb dedication of such entities as the Criterion Collection, Milestone Films, and Gartenberg Media Enterprises, to name key players, are making possible access to a wealth of cinematic history, ephemera, and value-added materials."

– B. Ruby Rich, Film Quarterly

 

 

DVD / Blu-ray Categories

The DVD and Blu-ray publications are arranged on our website under several broad categories as noted below, that are designed to facilitate themes for academic curricula and library acquisition.

Experimental Narratives & Avant-Garde Shorts

This very rich category of cutting-edge moving image works (both film and video art) encompasses films from four continents: North and South America, Europe, Asia, and extend from classic films from the silent era to contemporary time-based media. Broadly speaking, the filmmakers in this category consciously play with narrative form and structure through a wide range of cinematic techniques and styles. Works featured include such diverse filmmakers as James Benning, Abigail Child, Maya Deren, and Jonas Mekas (US); Michael Snow (Canada); Nicholas Pereda (Mexico); Heinz Emigholz, Werner Schroeter, and Hans Richter (Germany); Germaine Dulac, Philippe Garrel, Marcel Hanoun, and Rose Lowder (France); Val del Omar (Spain); Dziga Vertov (USSR); Hou Hsiao-Hsien (Taiwan); and Apichatpoing Weerasethakul (Thailand). See also the category of Austrian Avant-Garde Film & Video.

International Silent Classics

This category encompasses a selection of DVD and Blu-ray publications of films directed by major artists from around the world: Georges Méliès, Abel Gance, René Clair, Marcel L’Herbier, and Louis Feuillade (France); F.W. Murnau, Ernst Lubitsch, and Gerhard Lamprecht (Germany); Sergei Eisenstein, Lev Kuleshov, Mikhail Kalatozov, and Dziga Vertov (USSR); Segundo de Chomón (Spain); and Erich von Stroheim, Josef von Sternberg, Charles Chaplin, Mack Sennett, King Vidor, and Allan Dwan (United States). These films star such screen idols as Asta Nielsen, Charlie Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, John Gilbert, Rudolph Valentino, Alla Nazimova, Ivan Mosjoukine, Erich Von Stroheim, and Emil Jannings. See also the category of Danish Silent Cinema.

Film History & Documentaries

Film History & Documentaries comprises important nonfiction films by Robert Flaherty (United States), Henri Storck (Belgium), Peter Von Bagh (Finland), and Henri Georges Clouzot (France). Technical developments throughout film history are represented by the DVD publication DISCOVERING CINEMA, a two-disc set of early sound and color experiments, as well as three films featuring the Cinerama process (CINERAMA’S RUSSIAN ADVENTURE, THIS IS CINERAMA, and WINDJAMMER).

Genre Films

The category of Genre Films comprises lesser-known motion pictures that merit further consideration in the field of genre studies. These include GOW, THE HEADHUNTER and THE MOST DANGEROUS GAME,  two American action-adventure films from the early 1930’s; both Ernest B. Schoedsack and Merian C. Cooper of KING KONG fame were involved in their production. Also featured are two film noir titles from the late 1940s, TOO LATE FOR TEARS, starring the sultry Lizabeth Scott, and WOMAN ON THE RUN, shot on location in San Francisco. From Belgium, we offer 3 movies by the director/screenwriter husband-and-wife filmmaking team of Jan Vanderheyden and Edith Keil, who excelled at producing populist films about the Flemish culture.

Danish Silent Cinema

A series of restorations by the Danish Film Institute include important works by directors Carl Th. Dreyer and Benjamin Christensen, as well as August Blom, Alfred Lind, and A.W. Sandberg. Other DVD editions feature Asta Nielsen, the first diva of international renown, as well as the romantic actor Valdemar Psilander. The 5 films by Carl Th. Dreyer (LEAVES OUT OF THE BOOK OF SATAN, LOVE ONE ANOTHER, THE BRIDE OF GLOMDAL, ONCE UPON A TIME, and THE PRESIDENT) are particularly noteworthy, given the rarity of celluloid projections of these films in North America.

Austrian Avant-Garde Film & Video

Presents key works published by Index DVD from the Austrian Avant-Garde (1957-present), including films by Martin Arnold, Kurt Kren, Gustav Deutsch, Valie Export, Peter Tscherkassky, Maria Lassnig and Peter Weibel, among many others; this section also includes representation of selected artists from Eastern European countries.

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Watch for our upcoming spring releases!

Raimondo Borea Picture Used in New Book "Acting in the Academy: The History of Professional Actor Training in US Higher Education"

A photograph of Raimondo Borea's has been used in the recently published book "Acting in the Academy: The History of Professional Actor Training in US Higher Education," by Peter Zazzali. The picture of Borea's depicts the first graduating class from the Juilliard School's acting program taught by John Houseman and was attended by Kevin Kline (below).

 
Group 1 of the juilliard school's acting program (c. 1972)

Group 1 of the juilliard school's acting program (c. 1972)

 

Summary of the Book:

"There are over 150 BFA and MFA acting programs in the US today, nearly all of which claim to prepare students for theatre careers. Peter Zazzali contends that the curricula of these courses represent an ethos that is as outdated as it is limited, given today’s shrinking job market for stage actors. 

Acting in the Academy traces the history of actor training in universities to make the case for a move beyond standard courses in voice and speech, movement, or performance, to develop an entrepreneurial model that motivates and encourages students to create their own employment opportunities. This book answers questions such as:

  • How has the League of Professional Theatre Training Programs shaped actor training in the US?
  • How have training programmes and the acting profession developed in relation to one another
  • What impact have these developments had on American acting as an art form?

Acting in the Academy calls for a reconceptualization of actor training the US, and looks to newly empower students of performance with a fresh, original perspective on their professional development."

GME DVD Distribution – Fall 2016 Recap

"The superb dedication of such entities as the Criterion Collection, Milestone Films, and Gartenberg Media Enterprises, to name key players, are making possible access to a wealth of cinematic history, ephemera, and value-added materials." 

         – B. Ruby Rich, Film Quarterly Winter 2013

 
 

With the fall academic season nearing a close, Gartenberg Media Enterprises is pleased to have presented a new slate of DVD and Blu-ray publications for distribution to the North American academic community. These digital editions, selected from film archives and boutique publishers worldwide, represent the entire breadth and depth of moving image history, ranging from Josef von Sternberg’s THE SALVATION HUNTERS (1924), one of the earliest independent American productions, through to Austrian avant-garde filmmaker Gustav Deutsch’s digital “pocket films” NOTES AND SKETCHES 1 (2005-2015).

GME now offers three new DVD publications (from the Spanish boutique publisher, Cameo Media) that focus on historical overviews of Spanish animation, Latin American experimental cinema, and video art from Spain. Each publication is produced with booklets that further contextualize these cinema movements, and/or provide analysis and descriptions of the individual works.

FROM DOODLES TO PIXELS: A JOURNEY THROUGH SPANISH ANIMATION is an extraordinary compilation of the best of Spanish animated film. This DVD edition presents a century of talented Spanish animators, who are represented through approximately fifty short films, together with a selection of animated commercials and the first Spanish animated feature film for adults, HISTORIAS DE AMOR Y MASACRE, carefully restored for this edition. These DVDs not only reflect the diversity of techniques that make animation an art that knows no boundaries, but also offer a journey through the aesthetic evolution of a country that has lived through times of scarcity and isolation before becoming one of the richest creative talent pools in the international arena. A JOURNEY THROUGH THE OTHER LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA contains a selection of films from a traveling exhibition program, “Cinema Against the Grain.” This DVD edition presents a premiere selection of 19 avant-garde, documentary, animation, and experimental films from all throughout Latin America (including Cuba) that date from 1933 to 2008. Within the complex universe of Latin American cinema, these are fundamental works of art that are hardly known to the general public.

VIDEO ITINERARIES THROUGH THE SPANISH CONTEXT presents a retrospective view of Spanish video art through 40 years of audiovisual creation (1974-2014). 85 works are included, organized around the themes of Conceptual Art, archival appropriation, political works, the body, and the video medium as an oppositional tool. Each theme is curated by a noted scholar of Spanish video art. This publication is a companion DVD edition to GME’s previous release of FROM ECSTASY TO RAPTURE (DEL ÉXTASIS AL ARREBATO): A Journey Through Spanish Experimental Cinema.

The Swedish-American artist Gunvor Nelson figures among the most important experimental filmmakers of her generation. She was born in Sweden, but left her native country in the mid-1950s to study painting and art history in the United States. Later, she and her husband, filmmaker Bob Nelson, settled in the San Francisco Bay Area and raised their daughter, Oona. Gunvor Nelson’s first film work was with her husband, then with her neighbor Dorothy Wiley, and finally on her own. Her work considerably influenced the New American Cinema at the end of the 1960s, as much by its themes (women, the body, memory, dreams) as by its formal investigations (animation, collage, found footage). She made what she termed “personal” films. The films and the essay contained in this new DVD publication LIGHT YEARS (from Re:Voir) reflect a half-century of evolution in this female artist's use of media and technique. From her first experimental films made in California (FOG PUMAS, 1967) to her more recent Swedish films and video (FRAME LINE, 1983-2014), material fictions joyously exalt in a fireworks of sensations. This DVD is accompanied by a 124 page book of interviews and critical articles. This DVD publication complements GME’s previous release of Gunvor Nelson’s DEPARTURES, which contains a selection of additional moving image works by this noteworthy woman filmmaker.

GME also presents two silent films directed by Josef von Sternberg: his first feature film, THE SALVATION HUNTERS (1925), as well as his uncredited directorial involvement in the feature film drama, CHILDREN OF DIVORCE (1927).

GME is particularly honored to present the recent DVD publication (by the Vienna Filmmuseum) of Josef Von Sternberg’s THE SALVATION HUNTERS (1925). Sternberg’s feature debut was among the earliest truly independent American productions, economically produced outside the studio system and using San Pedro locations to remarkable effect. Sternberg spun the necessity of a low budget into a virtue: the film faithfully captures the grit of the “lower depths” milieu in its story of an impoverished young woman striving to make a better life with her naïve boyfriend, despite being surrounded by men who would exploit her. The film reveals Sternberg, under the influence of Stroheim, rejected the sentimental melodrama of D.W. Griffith in favor of an almost raw naturalism, fascinated with corruption and abasement while also exploring the poetically charged and evocatively contrasting mise-en-scene. Charlie Chaplin’s support for the film got it distributed through United Artists. This publication is accompanied by a fragment from Sternberg’s lost film, THE CASE OF LENA SMITH (1929), and by a video essay on THE SALVATION HUNTERS by the noted film scholar, Janet Bergstrom.

CHILDREN OF DIVORCE, was actually directed by Frank Lloyd for Famous Players-Lasky Corporation/Paramount Pictures, with a million-dollar budget. Starring Clara Bow, Gary Cooper, and Esther Ralston, the story of the film begins with an American “divorce colony” in Paris after the First World War, where parents would leave their children for months at a time. The three protagonists meet there as children; once grown, in America, they reconnect, tragically carrying with them their traumatized past wherein their views of marriage have been shaped as children of divorce. Paramount producer B.P. Schulberg decided that the film needed some European sophistication, so he turned to Josef von Sternberg. The actors, having gone on to new films, were available only at night, so shooting took place after hours. As all the sets had already been struck, von Sternberg and cinematographer Victor Milner filmed everything in a tent, timing shots between rainstorms. This gave von Sternberg complete command of lighting, wherein shadows and textures impose a poignant atmosphere. This Blu-ray/DVD Combo edition (by Flicker Alley) represents the first time this film has been made available in any video format.

Complementing GME’s previous release of SHOOT, SHOOT, SHOOT (a DVD compilation of works by key British avant-garde filmmakers of the 1960s and 1970s), GME now offers more in-depth studies of the works of two of these artists, Chris Welsby and Peter Gidal. Offered in a specially prepared region free edition by the British Film Institute for the exclusive distribution by GME to the North American institutional market, CHRIS WELSBY: BRITISH ARTISTS’ FILMS was originally produced in partnership with Illuminations (an arts documentary producer) and Arts Council England. Chris Welsby is a landscape artist and pioneer of the moving-image installation in Britain. Featured on the DVD are works from different stages in his career, uniquely tracing his development as an artist, from his early critical responses to British structural filmmaking and Minimalism of the 1970s to his mature, contemplative landscape works of the 1980s and 1990s. Welsby’s subtle cinematic meditations have been exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.

CONDITION OF ILLUSION brings together 11 films by Peter Gidal made between 1967 to 2013. It is accompanied by a unique 40 page booklet of texts about the filmmaker’s work. An admirer of American structuralist filmmakers such as Michael Snow (RAMEAU’S NEPHEW) and Hollis Frampton, Gidal's own works are also interrogations into the formalist aspect of film, with an emphasis on grain, duration, tempo and editing structures. Gidal's films invite audiences to consider various aspects of the mediation between the real and the reel. This is accompanied by an almost willful insistence on the filmmaker as the ultimate arbiter of the construction of any work.

GME also now makes available a DVD boxed set (published by Re:Voir) of Marcel Hanoun’s THE SEASONS (LES SAISONS). This film is a quadriptych, which includes L’ETE (1968), L’HIVER (1969), LE PRINTEMPS (1970), and L’AUTOMNE (1971). The DVD boxed set also includes a 100-page booklet about each of the films, and also contains an interview with the filmmaker. This publication thematically complements another film about the four seasons, Henri Storck’s SYMPHONIE PAYSANNE (1942-1944), that is also available from GME. Hanoun theorized a cinema in which the word and image were separated and given equal value. In this, Hanoun was working along the same lines of thought as the radical experimental filmmaker Isidore Isou, whose TRAITÉ DE BAVE ET D'ETERNITÉ proceeded along a similar path, but with a much more violent approach. Hanoun employs a more quiet, contemplative style, using a static camera and images that force the viewer to concentrate on the most quotidian aspects of existence, to accentuate the dichotomy between sound and image which is implicit in all of cinema.

GME now also highlights the release of new publications from INDEX DVD, Gustav Deutsch’s NOT HOME. PICTURING THE FOREIGN FILMS 1990-2015, as well as Ernst Schmidt, Jr.’s VIENNAFILM 1896-1976 (WIENFILM 1896-1976)

VIENNAFILM 1896-1976 constitutes the first feature length film completed by Ernst Schmidt, Jr., an important Austrian moving image artist. This work is a kind of anthology about Vienna, from the invention of film to the present day, comprising newly-staged scenes as well as incorporating documentary footage. The filmmaker himself describes the work as a collage, evoking the use of diverse footage, tape splices, and an uneven surface – instead of a tidy unity, it conveys a patchwork that remains visible as such.

NOT HOME: PICTURING THE FOREIGN FILMS 1990-2015 charts the development of Austrian artist Gustav Deutsch’s signature style, displaying his talents both as a cinematographer and archivist. This collection of 3 of his lesser-known films, now available for the first time on DVD, complements an appreciation of his most famous found footage moving image work, FILM IST. (1-12). In ADRIA, Deutsch assembled the 8mm home movies of families visiting the Adriatic resorts during the period 1954-1968, and discovers remarkable visually stylistic regularities. EYEWITNESSES TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES was made with Moroccan director Mostafa Tabbou, comprising 600 shots that last 3 seconds each, organized into motifs in duration from 30 to 60 seconds. Deutsch filmed in Figuig, Morocoo, and Tabbou in Vienna. Deutsch’s most recent major work, NOTES AND SKETCHES 1 (2005-2015) consists of a series of ‘pocket films’ made across Europe and North America with a Canon camera and a mobile phone. Comprised of shots of varying length, the entire work lasts one hour in total. Deutsch uses digital technology to revisit the methods of the 19th century cinematic pioneers, especially the Lumière brothers. One particularly revealing location scene in Los Angeles includes shots of filmmakers and scholars Ernie Gehr, Tom Gunning and Ken Jacobs – all of whom have paid ample homage to early cinema in their written and filmed oeuvres.

In GME’s effort to expand our offerings in the vein of genre cinema, we have now released a DVD edition (published by the Belgian Cinematek) of 3 movies by the (husband and wife) director/screenwriter team Jan Vanderheyden and Edith Keil. A key figure who emerged in the early sound era to dominate a nascent Flemish cinema, Jean Vanderheyden realized the commercial and cultural potential of domestic production geared to regional and ethnolinguistic tastes. Their first film, DE WITTE (WHITEY. 1934), was based on the popular picaresque novel by Ernest Claes, whose story concerned a rebellious young man whose heroic fantasies clash with his mundane existence. After securing financial support from banks, Vanderheyden shot the film mostly in Berlin (since no studios yet existed in Flanders), while adding a limited amount of Flemish location work. The dialogue eschewed Flemish dialect in favor of standard Dutch. This charming film would remain the biggest success in Flemish cinema for decades, and enabled the filmmaking team to make nine films in the following five years, using studios in Amsterdam. Their second movie, the romantic operetta ALLEEN VOOR U (ONLY FOR YOU, 1935) is made with the same technical skill. However, it was considered too exotic by film critics. Vanderheyden and Keil opened a studio in Antwerp in 1939, and shifted their focus to concentrate on a series of inexpensively produced, popular films, full of banter, marital disputes and music. SCHIPPERSKWARTIER (THE SAILORS QUARTER, 1953) is their most important post-war success.

Around the time of production of THE SAILORS QUARTER (1953), widescreen processes were taking hold in the United States (see THIS IS CINERAMA, 1952). Kinopanorama, developed in the mid-1950s, was the Russian equivalent of the three-panel Cinerama process. Photographed over an eight-year period by Russia’s top filmmakers, CINERAMA’S RUSSIAN ADVENTURE (1966) brings together some of the most beautiful sequences edited together from over six Soviet Kinopanorama productions. The film’s locations stretch from one end of Russia to the other. Bing Crosby narrates the journey, offering both a grand and intimate view of a country and culture so often cited and yet so seldom seen at the time of the film’s release. This grand travelogue of Russia includes scenes of Moscow, the Black Sea, the Volga River, a reindeer-sled race, log rafting on the Tisza River, new Siberian settlements, antelope roundups and whale hunts. Included are scenes from famed cultural attractions: the Bolshoi Theater Ballet, Moscow State Circus, Moiseyev Ensemble, Platnirsky State Chorus, and Dance Ensemble, and the Bolshoi Theater Orchestra. This Blu-ray/DVD combo edition (from Flicker Alley) features ample bonus material, including an original theatrical trailer for the film, additional shorts filmed in the Cinerama process, interviews and information about the restoration of this film, slide shows, and a facsimile representation of the original program booklet.

Watch for our upcoming spring release slate
to be announced in January 2017!

GME DVD Distribution – Cinerama's Russian Adventure & Flemish Popular Films, Now Available for Institutional Sales

GME is pleased to present two rare DVD editions of fiction and documentary works from the sound film era, FLEMISH POPULAR CINEMA (1934 – 1953) and CINERAMA'S RUSSIAN ADVENTURE (1966).

 
 

With a strategy of expanding our offerings in the vein of genre cinema, we now present a DVD edition (published by the Belgian Cinematek) of 3 movies by the (husband and wife) director/screenwriter team Jan Vanderheyden and Edith Keil. A key figure who emerged in the early sound era to dominate a nascent Flemish cinema, Jan Vanderheyden realized the commercial and cultural potential of domestic production geared to regional and ethnolinguistic tastes. DE WITTE (WHITEY, 1934) was based on a popular picaresque novel by Ernest Claes, whose story concerned a rebellious young man whose heroic fantasies clash with his mundane existence. After securing financial support from banks, Vanderheyden shot the film mostly in Berlin (since no studios yet existed in Flanders), while adding a limited amount of Flemish location work. The dialogue eschewed Flemish dialect in favor of standard Dutch.  

This charming film would remain the biggest success in Flemish cinema for decades, and enabled the filmmaking team to make nine films in the following five years, using studios in Amsterdam. Their second movie, the romantic operetta ALLEEN VOOR U (ONLY FOR YOU, 1935), was made with the same technical skills. However, it was considered too exotic by film critics.  Vanderheyden and Keil opened a studio in Antwerp in 1939, and shifted their focus to concentrate on a series of inexpensively produced, popular films, full of banter, marital disputes and music. SCHIPPERSKWARTIER (THE SAILORS QUARTER, 1953) was their most important post-war success.

 
 

Around the time of production of THE SAILORS QUARTER (1953), widescreen processes were taking hold in the United States (THIS IS CINERAMA, 1952).  Kinopanorama, developed in the mid-1950s, was the Russian equivalent of this process. Photographed over an eight-year period by Russia’s top filmmakers, CINERAMA’S RUSSIAN ADVENTURE (1966) brings together some of the most beautiful sequences edited together from over six Soviet Kinopanorama productions, the Russian equivalent of three-panel Cinerama, the film’s locations stretch from one end of Russia to the other. Bing Crosby narrates the journey, offering both a grand and intimate view of a country and culture so often cited and yet so seldom seen at the time of the film’s release. This grand travelogue of Russian includes scenes of Moscow, the Black Sea, the Volga River, a reindeer-sled race, log rafting on the Tisza River, new Siberian settlements, and antelope roundups and whale hunts. Included are scenes from famed cultural attractions:  the Bolshoi Theater Ballet, Moscow State Circus, Moiseyev Ensemble, Platnirsky State Chorus and Dance Ensemble and Bolshoi Theater Orchestra.

This Blu-ray/DVD combo edition features ample bonus material, including an original theatrical trailer for the film, additional shorts shot in the Cinerama process, interviews and information about restoration of the film, slide shows, and a facsimile representation of the original program booklet.

Related Titles of Interest:

 
 

GME DVD Distribution – Gustav Deutsch & Ernst Schmidt Jr., Now Available for Institutional Sales

GME is pleased to present the release of two publications from INDEX DVD, GUSTAV DEUTSCH: NOT HOME. PICTURING THE FOREIGN FILMS 1990-2015 and ERNST SCHMIDT JR.: VIENNAFILM 1896 - 1976 (WIENFILM 1896-1976). These new editions complement GME’s previous distribution of an array of films and videos by experimental filmmakers from Austria.

NOT HOME. PICTURING THE FOREIGN FILMS 1990-2015 charts the development of Austrian artist Gustav Deutsch’s signature style, displaying his talents both as a cinematographer and archivist. This collection of 3 of his lesser-known films (ADRIA, EYEWITNESSES TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES, and NOTES AND SKETCHES 1), now available for the first time on DVD, complements an appreciation of his most famous found footage moving image work, FILM IST.

"Over the past half-century, two tendencies have dominated independent, artisanal filmmaking. One of these is the fascination with the material artifacts of cinema´s history: it is often called ‘found-footage filmmaking’ and sometimes ‘recycled cinema’. Filmmakers working in this vein are often archeologists of cinema, aesthetically and/or ideologically engaging with the work of earlier generations of filmmakers of all kinds. The other tendency has produced a remarkable cinema of Place: depictions of a wide range of environments that ask us to really see (and hear) where we and our human colleagues across the globe are in relation to our natural/cultural environments. Throughout his long career, Gustav Deutsch has been an important contributor to both these tendencies."

– Scott MacDonald

In ADRIA (1990), Deutsch assembled the home movies of families visiting the Adriatic resorts during the period 1954-1968 when it became economically possible for them to document their vacations on 8mm film. Deutsch analyzes what the anonymous traveler considers memorable and discovers remarkable regularities, an optical recidivism when it comes to filming architecture, family and leisure time. Deutsch organizes the shots in ADRIA into four thematic sections. By assembling comparable sequences from these private films (e.g., frontal or side-window scenes shot from a moving vehicle, the play of waves, or the view of the coast), he makes it clear how much of our daily media consumption is based on a standard repertoire of subconsciously acquired images and points of views that indicate a collective cultural achievement on account of their normality and calculability.

EYEWITNESSES TO FOREIGN COUNTRIES (1993) was made with Moroccan director Mostafa Tabbou, comprising 600 shots that last 3 seconds each, organized into motifs in duration from 30 to 60 seconds. Deutsch filmed in Figuig, Morocco, and Tabbou in Vienna. “Many aspects of life in Morocco have parallels in Vienna, with Deutsch capturing the way in which the North African climate influences the pace of life without descending into Orientalist cliché, and Tabbou giving an intriguing insight into how Austria looks to him: ordered, bureaucratic and cold, both emotionally and physically.” (Juliet Jacques).

Deutsch’s most recent major work, NOTES AND SKETCHES 1 (2005-2015) consists of a series of ‘pocket films’ made across Europe and North America with a Canon camera and a mobile phone. Comprised of shots of varying length, the entire work lasts one hour in total. Deutsch uses digital technology to revisit the methods of the 19th century cinematic pioneers, especially the Lumière brothers. One particularly revealing location scene in Los Angeles includes shots of filmmakers and scholars Ernie Gehr, Tom Gunning and Ken Jacobs – all of whom have paid ample homage to early cinema in their written and filmed oeuvres. 

Capping off Deutsch’s global cinema journeys, in SAT., 29TH OF JUNE/ARCTIC CIRCLE (1990) the filmmaker manipulates a found footage film comprising two married couples traveling from Vienna to the Arctic Circle and back.

 
 

"If I had to name a single Austrian filmmaker who to this day has not received the international recognition he deserves for the artistic level his work attended, I would unhesitatingly name Ernst Schmidt Jr. When he died in 1988 at the early age of 50, Ernst Schmidt Jr. left behind a body of work that could hardly be more multifaceted… Up until the early 1970s, Schmidt Jr. realized expanded cinema Actions, created conceptual films, shot several lettrist text films, and began work on his wonderful WIENFILM 1896-1976, a two hour documentary Schmidt Jr. called 'a kind of anthology about Vienna, from the discovery of film up until the present time'.' The list of participants reads like a who's who of the avant-garde and underground scene in Austria of its day." 

– Peter Tscherkassky

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2016 IL CINEMA RITROVATO DVD JURY AWARD
Personal choice of Alexander Horwath
"in honor of all the poets who practice an anarchist historiography"
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"The aim is to break down the usual clichéd "image of Vienna" such as that found in the traditional "Vienna Film" by juxtaposing documentary footage, newly shot material and subjective sequences created by various artists. Individual, self-contained sections of the film gain new meaning within the context of historical material. Familiar sites appear estranged when edited together with historical scenes. Other scenes appear like a persiflage or satirical. The film does not incorporate any commentary whatsoever. It is a collage of diverse materials aimed at conveying a distanced image of Vienna to the viewer."

– Ernst Schmidt Jr.

 
 

GME DVD Distribution – The Seasons (1968-1971), Marcel Hanoun’s Cinematic Quadriptych, Now Available for Institutional Sales

GME is pleased to present a DVD boxed set (publlshed by Re:Voir) of Marcel Hanoun’s THE SEASONS (LES SAISONS). This film is a quadriptych, which includes L’ÉTÉ (1968), L’HIVER (1969), LE PRINTEMPS (1970), and L’AUTOMNE (1971). The DVD boxed set also includes a 100-page booklet about each of the films, and also includes an interview with the filmmaker. This publication thematically complements another film about the four seasons, Henri Storck’s SYMPHONIE PAYSANNE (1942-1944), that is also available from GME.

 
 

“Hanoun was born into a Jewish-Algerian family in Tunis in 1929, when Tunisia was still a French protectorate. Escaping the worst of World War II, he came to Paris to stay after the Liberation, and worked there as a journalist and a photographer. (His father had been an avid amateur camera buff, influencing his son’s vocation.) Hanoun directed his first film for television in 1956, about refugees from that year’s Soviet-suppressed Hungarian Uprising. This was also the year of Bresson’s A MAN ESCAPED (1956), a film which was a revelation to the young Hanoun—and the inextricable ideas of displacement and freedom would be key to the future work of this self-styled Wandering Jew. Like Bresson, Hanoun the filmmaker would be a theoretician as well as practitioner, his films the conscious workings-through of his ideas about cinema. To the end of his life he continued to write copiously, and even edited two revues: First Cinéthique, which began its brief run in 1969, and then Change cinema, in 1977.”

– Nick Pinkerton, Artforum

Marcel Hanoun

Marcel Hanoun

His first feature film, UNE SIMPLE HISTOIRE (1959), showed at the Cannes Film Festival alongside Truffaut’s THE 400 BLOWS (1959) and Alain Renais’s HIROSHIMA MON AMOUR (1959). However, after the success of this film, Hanoun struck out in a more independent direction, and employed a more minimalist approach to his filmmaking. Historically, he now represents a bridge between the filmmakers of the French New Wave and the generation that followed (Jean Eustache, Maurice Pialet, and Phillippe Garrel (LE REVELATEUR, 1968; LE LIT DE LA VIERGE, 1969; LES HAUTES SOLITUDES, 1974).

“Hanoun theorized a cinema in which the word and image were separated and given equal value. In this, Hanoun was working along the same lines of thought as the radical experimental filmmaker Isidore Isou, whose TRAITÉ DE BAVE ET D'ETERNITÉ proceeded along a similar path, but with a much more violent approach…Hanoun employs a more quiet, contemplative style, using a static camera and images that force the viewer to concentrate on the most quotidian aspects of existence and to accentuate the dichotomy between sound and image which is implicit in all of cinema.”

– Wheeler Winston Dixon

L’ETE

L’ETE

In L’ETE (SUMMER, 1968), Hanoun's “May '68” film, an Italian woman stays at a friend's house in the countryside after having been witness to the havoc in Paris. We see her alone in a house, walking in a field, doing cartwheels in a bikini, walking some more, pondering her relationship, and looking at herself in photos taken on the streets of Paris where she is posed against political graffiti. She writes to a German friend (whom we see/hear reading the letters) and thinks of her ex-boyfriend (whom we see in flashbacks and photos – he is named “Jean-Luc.” A reference to Godard?).

Far from showing a series of dramatic actions, Hanoun focuses on the in-between moments in the life of his beautiful young protagonist. He plays with fragments of the scene, reframing the image, using frames (doors, windows, a mirror as a tableau vivant). All of this confronts the viewer with a sort of catalog of repetitive acts, where drama and character development are absent. Because of these distancing effects, Hanoun reveals the key, the meaning of his film: the confrontation, the controversial relation between desire and reality.

L’HIVER

L’HIVER

In L’HIVER (WINTER, 1970). Michael Lonsdale plays a filmmaker who can't get his film made. We watch he and his collaborator talk about what they'd like to do, see ravishing locations in Bruges, and witness the relationship between he and his wife unravel. Hanoun’s formal investigation of the fragment and the (almost subliminal) flash frame, of very slightly altered variations and repetitions, which he applies to situation as much as to dialogue (often repeated, either within the same shot or from a different angle) reveals something of the interiority of film, of its creator’s unconscious, which becomes that of his characters. This structural resemblance to a Russian nesting doll should not confuse..The more Hanoun compresses his dreams of dreams within dreams (films), the closer he gets to intimacy.

LE PRINTEMPS

LE PRINTEMPS

LE PRINTEMPS (SPRING, 1970) is replete with narrative incident and characters. Two plotlines are cut together: a fugitive from the police (Michael Lonsdale), whom we later learn murdered his wife, takes refuge in various parts of the countryside, while a young girl (Veronique Andries) who lives with her stern grandmother (who kills and skins a rabbit in real time on-camera) matures through the absorption of scary fairy tales, experiments with cursing and smoking, and the arrival of her first period.

All of Hanoun's visual devices are at play – flipping from b&w to color and back; making the camera into a presence in a room (it serves as a mirror for the characters, or a window); his obsession with the beauty of the countryside and its inherent menace.

L’AUTOMNE

L’AUTOMNE

In L’AUTOMNE (AUTUMN, 1972, filmmakers (a director, played by Lonsdale again, and his editor, played by an actress known simply as “Tamia”), stare into the camera because we, the audience, are the film they are watching on an editing machine. What Hanoun does to reinforce his concept is to turn off the visuals (a blank screen) whenever Lonsdale or Tamia turn off the editing machine. (At that point we listen to phone calls.) When they are not editing, but the machine is on, Hanoun plays with overdubs on the soundtrack, gives us all-too-brief glimpses of the characters' fantasies, and quick-cut sequences of the couple talking. Lonsdale talks about shooting home movies, and we then see what are clearly Hanoun's own movies of a family outing. At the film's end we see footage of autumn in the woods, first in real time, then as fast-forwarded through by an editing machine – then the "countershot," the editing machine itself. The filmmakers are evidently done with their project.

Additional Related Films Available from GME:

Shoot Shoot Shoot: The London Film-Makers’ Co-op – Harvard Film Archive, November 4th

The Harvard Film Archive will be screening films from the London Film-Makers' Co-op as part of its program "Shoot Shoot Shoot" on Friday November 4th. The title for its program comes from  a telegram addressed to Jonas Mekas and the New York Coop, announcing the formation of the London Film-Maker's Cooperative in 1966. GME distributes the DVD title of the same name featuring many of the same filmmakers exhibited in this Harvard program.

From the Harvard Film Archive Website

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the London Film-Makers’ Co-operative, this screening presents a selection of work by some of innovative film artists who gathered there in its formative years: David Crosswaite, Marilyn Halford, Malcolm Le Grice, Mike Leggett, Annabel Nicolson, William Raban, Lis Rhodes and John Smith.

Inspired by the example set by Jonas Mekas and his colleagues in New York, the London Co-op was founded in 1966. In contrast to similar organizations, the LFMC’s activity was not limited to distribution; within a few years it was running a regular program in its own cinema and, most notably, had a workshop in which filmmakers could control every stage of the creative process.

GME DVD Distribution – British Experimental Films by Peter Gidal and Chris Welsby, Now Available for Institutional Sales

Following up on GME’s release of SHOOT SHOOT SHOOT, an anthology of British experimental films produced through the facilities of the London Film-Makers’ Cooperative, we are pleased to announce now monographic DVD publications of films by Peter Gidal (CONDITION OF ILLUSION) and Chris Welsby (BRITISH ARTISTS FILMS).

 
 

“A film is materialist if it does not cover its apparatus of illusionism. Thus it is not a transmitter of anti-illusionism pure and simple, uncovered truth, but rather, a constant procedural work against the attempts at producing an illusionist continuum’s hegemony."

– Peter Gidal

Peter Gidal enrolled at the Royal College of Art in London where he began his career as an experimental filmmaker. He helped found the London Film-Makers’ Coop, and his films were shown in the 1960s at various underground London venues. One of the major proponents of British structural cinema, Gidal has been a proponent of such American structuralist filmmakers as Michael Snow and Hollis Frampton.

Gidal’s own films are interrogations into the formalist aspect of film, with an emphasis on grain, duration, tempo and editing structures. This is accompanied by an almost willful insistence on the filmmakers as the ultimate arbiter of the construction of any work. Gidal’s films also invite the spectator to consider various aspects of the meditation between the real and the reel.

The DVD of CONDITION OF ILLUSION (published by Re:Voir) brings together 11 films by Peter Gidal made between 1967 to 2013. It is accompanied by a unique 40 page booklet of texts about the filmmaker’s work by Patricia L. Boyd, Stephen Heath and Chris Kennedy. The booklet is composed of transparent pages and was designed by Diana Vidrascu at Re:Voir. The release of this DVD edition also coincides with the publication of the book Flare Out: Aesthetics 1966-2016 published by the Visible Press.

 
 

"Each of my films is a separate attempt to re-define the interface between ‘mind’ and ‘nature’. In my work, the mechanics of film and video interact with the landscape in such a way that elemental processes – such as changes in light, the rise and fall of tide or changes in wind direction – are given the space and time to participate in the process of representation."

– Chris Welsby

The BFI’s British Artists’ Films series produced in partnership with arts documentary producers Illuminations and Arts Council England features a wide selection of important film and video work by British artists from the last thirty years. This release focuses on the work of Chris Welsby, landscape artist and pioneer of the moving-image installation in Britain, whose subtle meditations are exhibited in museums and galleries around the world.

Featured on the DVD are works from different stages in his career, uniquely tracing his development as an artist, from his early critical responses to British structural filmmaking and Minimalism of the 1970s to his mature, contemplative landscape works of the 1980s and 1990s. The films included in this edition are: STREAM LINE, PARK FILM, WINDMILL III, SEVEN DAYS, WIND VANE, SKY LIGHT, DRIFT and RIVER YAR (made with William Raban). The DVD also includes a 30-minute video interview with the artist by John Wyver. Sleeve notes are by Luara Mulvey, and booklet texts include essays on his work and individual films by the filmmaker himself, as well as peter Wollen, Deke Dusinberre, Fred Camper, Manohla Dargis and Chrissie Iles.

“The techniques developed by Welsby made it possible for there to be a direct (‘indexical’ in the semiotic terminology developed by Pierce) registration of natural phenomena on film. Thus, camera movement could be determined by wind-direction after a wind-vane was linked to a panninghead on the tripod. Natural processes were no longer simply recorded from the outside, as objets of observation; they could be made to participate in the scheme of observation itself. The point of observation was no longer the external ‘Archimedean’ point of the artist’s own consciousness. Furthermore, the automatic procedures of science and technology, instead of being inflicted on nature in order to dominate it, were directed by nature itself. The promise at the heart of Welsby’s work is that of a new type of relationship between science and nature, and between subject and object of observation.”

– Peter Wollen

Additional British Experimental and American Structuralist Films Available from GME:

GME DVD Distribution – Josef von Sternberg's The Salvation Hunters & Children of Divorce

GME is proud to present two silent film releases directed by Josef von Sternberg: his first feature film, THE SALVATION HUNTERS (1925), as well as his uncredited directorial involvement in the feature film drama, CHILDREN OF DIVORCE (1927).

 
 

“I had in mind a visual poem.”
– Josef von Sternberg

Described both as the first truly independent American feature film made outside the studio system, as well as the first feature-length avant-garde movie, THE SALVATION HUNTERS was produced on a shoestring budget by the actor George K. Arthur.  It was shot in and around San Pedro, California. Sternberg was the auteur on this film, who was responsible for the direction, writing, art direction, and editing. Chaplin’s support for the film got it distributed through United Artists.
                
“Sternberg spun the necessity of a low budget into a virtue: the film faithfully captures the grit of the 'lower depths' milieu in its story of an impoverished young woman striving to make a better life with her naïve boyfriend, despite being surrounded by men who would exploit her. The film reveals Sternberg, under the influence of Stroheim, rejected the sentimental melodrama of D.W. Griffith in favor of an almost raw naturalism, fascinated with corruption and abasement while also exploring the poetically charged and evocatively contrasting mise-en-scene."

– Havard Film Archive calendar program

Bonus features on this DVD include the only existing fragment of von Sternberg’s THE CASE OF LENA SMITH (1929), as well as a video essay by film scholar Janet Bergstrom about THE SALVATION HUNTERS.

THE SALVATION HUNTERS was preserved in 2008 by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The fragment of THE CASE OF LENA SMITH was discovered by Japanese film historian Hiroshi Komatsu in 2003 and preserved by Waseda University’s Tsubouchi Memorial Theatre Museum in Tokyo. The Austrian Filmmuseum acquired a 35mm prints of each of these films, which were then extensively digitally restored and remastered for this DVD release.

 
 

CHILDREN OF DIVORCE was actually directed by Frank Lloyd for Famous Players-Lasky Corporation/Paramount Pictures, with a million-dollar budget. The story of the film begins in an American "divorce colony" in Paris after the First World War, where parents would leave their children for months at a time. Jean, Kitty, and Ted meet there as children and become fast friends. Years later, in America, when wealthy Ted (Gary Cooper) reconnects with Jean (Esther Ralston), the two fall deeply in love, vowing to fulfill a childhood promise to one day marry each other. But true love and the most innocent of plans are no match for the scheming Kitty—played by the original Hollywood “It” girl, Clara Bow—who targets Ted for his fortune. After a night of drunken revelry, Ted wakes up to find he has unwittingly married Kitty. This unfortunate turn of events, however, carries with it the traumatized pasts of the three players, whose views of marriage have been shaped as children of divorce.

“[Paramount producer B.P. Schulberg] decided the film needed some European sophistication, and he turned to von Sternberg…The actors, having gone on to new films, were available only at night, so shooting took place after hours. As all the sets had already been struck, von Sternberg and cinematographer Victor Milner filmed everything in a tent, timing shots between rainstorms. This gave von Sternberg complete command of lighting, particularly during Bow’s death scene (suicide by poison) in Ralston’s arms. Shadows and texture imposed a poignant atmosphere…CHILDREN OF DIVORCE showed that von Sternberg could be a company man and work as part of a team. He was rewarded by Schulberg with the film [UNDERWORLD] that would launch his reputation.”

– John Baxter, von Sternberg

Sourced from the original nitrate negative held by the Library of Congress, as well as their 1969 fine grain master, this new restoration of CHILDREN OF DIVORCE was scanned in 4K resolution, and represents over 200 hours of laboratory work by the Library of Congress in order to create the best version possible. Though some deterioration remains, this is the first time the film has ever been released on home video (by Flicker Alley), allowing audiences to enjoy a rare viewing of classic performances from two of early cinema’s most recognizable stars, namely Clara Bow and Gary Cooper.

Related American Silent Feature Length Films of Interest from GME: