NY Press Praises TFF Experimental Programs

"One of the most incredible movies at Tribeca is, at 49 minutes in length, probably the least commercial: Dustin Thompson’s avant-garde documentary Travelogues, one of curator Jon Gartenberg’s invaluable annual outside-the-bell-curve contributions to the festival’s slate. Thompson films a diary of sorts, with accompanying text, comprised of tableaux from his journeys, mainly in Germany, Italy, France, and California. He is a democratic tourist: a lover, an Italian cathedral, and surfers in a Munich river carry equal narrative weight. The mini-narratives, however, are distinguished by differing angles and speeds; form sets them apart. This is fantastic stuff, a festival film that makes you feel that life is worth living, and Tribeca worth attending."

Howard Feinstein, Filmmaker Magazine


Full article: www.filmmakermagazine.com


"Visionaries, one of the 85 features to be screened at this year's Tribeca Film Festival, covers the origins of the city's avant-garde film movement...

Now in its ninth year, the Tribeca Film Festival continues to jointly celebrate both narrative and experimental filmmaking traditions. Every category of the festival includes a number of experimental films in its line-up.

'Often these films are shown in venues where people are often familiar or accustomed to experimental film. One thing we do at Tribeca, which is very unique and in contrast distinction to other festivals, is all the experimental programming that I select is incorporated in the festival sections,' says Tribeca experimental programmer Jon Gartenberg. 'It's not segregated.' "

Donna Karger, NY1.com


Full article & video: www.NY1.com


Experimental Film Programs at Tribeca Film Festival, April 21 – May 2, 2010


Experimental Film Programs at Tribeca Film Festival, April 21 – May 2, 2010

Jon Gartenberg has programmed experimental and avant-garde films for the Tribeca Film Festival since 2003.   This year’s selections include three programs offering a range of movies spanning 3 continents & 6 countries.

Check www.tribecafilm.com for screening times, venues and tickets.

Program 1:

VISIONARIES(2010, Chuck Workman), 88 min.  World Premiere.

In Precious Images, his 1986 Academy Award®-winning short, director Chuck Workman assembled a breathtaking eight-minute collage of singular images from classic Hollywood movies. In Visionaries, Workman brings alive, in counterpoint to the commercial film industry, the vibrant history of the American avant-garde cinema. In engaging interviews with renowned underground filmmakers and critics including Ken Jacobs, Robert Downey, Su Friedrich, P. Adams Sitney, and Amy Taubin, Workman reveals how this artistic movement highlights subjective vision, sensory experience, and dreams over plot and storyline. The director skillfully intersperses these intimate conversations with a stylistically diverse array of extracts from experimental films of all stripes. Dating from the 1920s to the present, avant-garde films by such pioneering artists as Man Ray, Maya Deren, Stan Brakhage, Andy Warhol, and Sadie Benning vividly illustrate for the general audience a qualitatively different kind of moviegoing experience distinct from that promulgated by the commercial cinema. Workman's documentary pays special tribute to filmmaker, curator, and critic Jonas Mekas and Anthology Film Archives, the organization that he founded. It is the premier American institution dedicated to the preservation and promotion of avant-garde film culture, assuring a long-term home for this alternative cinema right alongside the Hollywood classics.

--Jon Gartenberg

Program 2:


YANQUI WALKER & THE OPTICAL REVOLUTION(2009, Kathryn Ramey), 33 min.  New York Premiere.

THE TRAVELOGUES(2009, Dustin Thompson), 49 min.  World Premiere.

Co-Presented with Black Maria Film + Video Festival.

The travel diary genre provides the format for experimental filmmakers Dustin Thompson (TheTravelogues) and Kathryn Ramey (Yanqui Walker and the Optical Revolution) to explore, in richly textured and multilayered pictorial and audio fashion, journeys of adventure and conquest. Ramey portrays American expansionist William Walker's ascent to the presidency of Nicaragua in 1856. This film is densely structured. Threading together educational film clips, expressive animation, location photography, on-screen text, voiceover narration, and an array of experimental filmmaking techniques, the filmmaker raises compelling questions about visual perception and the construction of history.

In The Travelogues, Dustin Thompson creates a more personal story. He travels with his film camera across two continents and compiles a series of mini-narratives, suggestive of loves gained and lost. He generates lyrical images, shot at oblique angles and developed with shifting camera speeds; in each scene, the heightened film grain tends to move the depiction of the natural universe toward abstraction. From the prologue through to the epilogue of his journey, this artist travels a fine line between real and imagined worlds.

--Jon Gartenberg

Program 3:


The 10 experimental films in this program portray locales found in both natural and urban landscapes across three continents. A few of these artist-filmmakers literally embed the earth (soil and mud) into the fabric of the celluloid. Moreover, they portray these environments with a riveting array of avant-garde techniques that range from mirror images to extended tracking shots leading directly into the mind's eye. They further infuse these found footage, animation, and live action experimental films with dynamic editing rhythms that radically reshape the viewer's perception of reality, leading to Rorschach-like impressions. In experimental cinema, everything culminates in abstract patterns ingrained in the landscape of the film frame.

--Jon Gartenberg

   Films include:

Grandmother’s Eye (2010, Sweden, Jonathan Lewald), 5 min.  North American Premiere.

Release (2010, US, Bill Morrison), 12 min.  World Premiere.

Walkway (2009, US, Ken Jacobs), 9 min.  North American Premiere.

Lachen Verlernt(2009, Great Britain, Tal Rosner), 10 min.  World Premiere.

This disk is the same as the other one(2009, France, Jean-Jacques Palix), 9 min.                        North American Premiere.

Collision of Parts (2010, US, Mark Street), 15 min.  World Premiere.

Berlin (2010, Canada, Martin Laporte), 8 min.  World Premiere.

The Delicate Art of the Bludgeon (2009, France, Jean-Gabriel Periot), 4 min.                                North American Premiere.

Black White Black White(2009, US, John Thompson), 15 min.World Premiere.

TheVisible and Invisible of a Body Under Tension(2009,France, Emmanuel Lefrant), 7 min.        North American Premiere.