Cinematheque108 Presents: An Evening with Experimental Filmmaker Larry Gottheim

January 24, 2013, 7:00 P.M.

The Ray Stark Family Theatre, SCA 108, George Lucas Building, USC School of Cinematic Arts, 900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

Cinematheque108 invites you and a guest to a special screening of

An Evening with Experimental Filmmaker
Larry Gottheim

Short films and interactive discussion, followed by a Q&A with Larry Gottheim, moderated by SCA Professor David James
7:00 P.M. on Thursday, January 24th, 2012
The Ray Stark Family Theatre
George Lucas Building, SCA 108
900 W. 34th Street, Los Angeles, CA 90007

About the Event

Larry Gottheim’s films have been shown at Museums, Film Festivals and other venues throughout the US and Europe. He started the Cinema Department at Binghamton University and was Chair and Professor for many years. It was the first regular academic department that taught cinema as a personal art, and was a world center for activities of avant-garde cinema through its faculty and visitors.

This program presents various aspects of his work, from early silent films through works that combine sound and image in complex arrangements.

Screenings will include:

FOG LINE (1970), 10 ½ minutes
MNEMOSYNE MOTHER OF MUSES (1986), 18 minutes
BARN RUSHES (1971) 34 minutes

There will be a discussion with the filmmaker in between each film.

FOG LINE (1970) will be shown in a rare screening of the best surviving vintage print made directly from the original.

About Larry Gottheim


1. FIRST PERIOD. Forms that involved continuous or near-continuous filming operations that did not use conventional film editing, and except for HARMONICA were silent. The movements in the silent films had analogies with sound, and paved the way for my later work with sound. Films were "meditative," related to minimalism, imagery typically related to landscape. Partially concerned with relation of film to painting, and the analogies between camera possibilities and the activities of consciousness.

BLUES (1969) 8 ½ minutes, silent, 16fps.
CORN (1970) 11 minutes, silent, 24fps
FOG LINE (1970) 10 ½ minutes, silent, 24 fps
DOORWAY (1970) 7 ½ minutes, silent, 16 fps
THOUGHT (1970, re-titled 1980) 7 ½ minutes, silent, 16fps
HARMONICA (1971) 10 ½ minutes, sound, 24 fps
BARN RUSHES (1971) 34 minutes, silent, 16 fps.

See Scott MacDonald, A Critical Cinema (U. of California, 1988) and Maureen Turim, Abstraction in Avant-Garde Films (Ann Arbor, 1987.) Individual films in collections of Pacific Film Archives, Carnegie Institute Museum of Art, Moderna Museet (Stockholm), Donnell Library. Numerous screenings including Museum of Modern Art, Whitney Museum, Hamburg Filmschau (Germany) and widespread screenings at venues and universities in the US and Europe. FOG LINE film preservation grant, Donnell Library, 2003. BLUES, DOORWAY and BARN RUSHES, “Avant Garde Masters” Film Preservation Grant, Donnell Library, 2005. BLUES, DOORWAY, FOG LINE, BARN RUSHES, NY Film Festival, 2005. BARN RUSHES was screened for several months as part of “Manisfesta 7” in Trentino, Italy, July – October 2008. FOG LINE included in National Film Preservation Foundation DVD “TREASURES IV, AMERICAN AVANT-GARDE FILM, 1947 – 1986” March 2009. DOORWAY screened in 2012 Tribeca Film Festival.

2. SECOND PERIOD. "Elective Affinities," a series of four feature-length films, all but the first using sound material in a formally complex manner. Films are edited into a structure involving formal patterning, with repetition and permutation of elements. While formal structuring seems to dominate the initial experience, these films are further developments of my interest in thought and consciousness in cinema, and include elements of autobiography and a particularly cinematic way of exploring issues such as family, psychology, education, freedom, the theme of "nature" in art. See Maureen Turim, "'Elective Affinities': Larry Gottheim's Cinematic Quaternion," Afterimage (Rochester, NY) 12, 8, March 1985.

HORIZONS, Part 1, “Overture” to “Elective Affinities” (1971-73) 75 minutes. Hamburg Filmschau 1973; Festival of Independent Avant-Garde Film, London, 1973; Museum of Modern Art, 1974; Whitney Museum, 1974; Anthology Film Archives, 1974; Centre Beaubourg, Paris Museum of Modern Art (1974); Walker Art Center (1976). Pacific Film Archives, 1984; Munson-Williams Proctor Institute, 1986.  Collection Centre Beaubourg. “Avant Garde Masters” film preservation grant, Donnell Library, 2005. My  best discussion of HORIZONS in the context of some other films is in an interview with Luke Burton in the online magazine “Vertigo.”

MOUCHES VOLANTES, “Elective Affinities” Part 2. (1976) 69 minutes. Whitney Museum, 1976; Museum of Modern Art (l978); Film Museum, Munich, 1980; Royal Film Archives, Belgium, 1980; Collective for Living Cinema, 1982, "10 Years of Living Cinema." Film preservation grant, Donnell Library, 2003, Harvard Film Archive 2008.

FOUR SHADOWS, “Elective Affinities” Part 3.  (1978) 64 minutes. Whitney Museum, 1978. Whitney Biennial Exhibition, 1979; Berlin Film Festival, 1980; Film Museum, Munich, 1980; Royal Film Archives, Belgium, 1980; Collective for Living Cinema, 1982, "10 Years of Living Cinema"; Pacific Film Archive, 1987; American Museum of the Moving Image, 1988, "Independent America."

TREE OF KNOWLEDGE, “Elective Affinities” Part 4. (1980) 60 minutes. Whitney Biennial Exhibition, 1981; Institute of North American Studies, Barcelona, Spain, 1982; Pacific Film Archive, 1984.

The entire "Elective Affinities" series was shown at the Whitney Museum in 1981. Extensive program notes with introduction by John Hanhardt. Retrospective Anthology Film archives 2006.

3. THIRD PERIOD. Collaborative Films. Developed in collaboration with students at SUNY-Binghamton and others, in an attempt to apply the concepts of "association" I had worked on in the "Elective Affinities" films to a group of co-creators developing these associations cooperatively. Continues to develop my interest in sound/image relationships.

NATURAL SELECTION  35 minutes(1983)
"SORRY/HEAR US" 8 minutes(1984)

NATURAL SELECTION was included in the 1985 Whitney Biennial. Both films were shown at the Museum of Modern Art in 1987.

4. FOURTH PERIOD. Continued work on sound/image relationships, in conjunction with a rapid disjunctive filming style, and extension into more direct subject areas.

MNEMOSYNE MOTHER OF MUSES (1986) 18 minutes. Museum of Modern Art, 1987. Selected for Parabola Distribution Program 3, 1988. Museum of the Moving Image, "Independent America," 1988. Pacific Film Archive, 1989. Broadcast on Channel 13 "Independent Focus" 1989. Collection Paris Museum of Modern Art, Archives du film experimental d'Avignon.

THE RED THREAD (1987)17 minutes. Museum of Modern Art, 1987. Selected for Parabola distribution program 3, 1988. Museum of the Moving Image, "Independent America," 1988; Pacific Film Archive, 1988; Whitney Biennial Exhibition, 1989.

MACHETE GILLETTE... MAMA (1989) 45 minutes. Collective for Living Cinema, 1989 (Early version.) Havana Film Festival, 1989. San Antonio Film Festival 1990.. International Festival of Short Film, Oberhausen. Parabola distribution program 5, 1990. CineSanJuan Caribbean Film Festival, October, 1990. National Latino Film Festival, 1991. Cineprobe, Museum of Modern Art, April 1991. Interview "Light Struck" Vol. 7, No. 2 and 3 (1991).  L.A. Film Forum. The Cinematheque, San Francisco.  Museum of Modern Art, 1991. Collection Donnell Library Media Center, NYC.

YOUR TELEVISION TRAVELER. (1991) L.A. Film Forum, the Cinematheque, San Francisco. Museum of Modern Art, 1991. Collection Donnell Library Media Center, NYC. NY Film Festival 2005

5. FIFTH PERIOD. 1991 - Gathering material in Haiti for long video project, "CHANTS AND DANCES FOR HAND."  Jerome Foundation grant, 1993.

"THE OPENING" (2005)  8 Minutes. First section of “Chants and Dances for Hand,” .  New York Film Festival, 2005.

Recent shows: Retrospective, Anthology Film Archives, 2006. Portland Film Festival 2006. Harvard Film Archives, 2007. San Francisco Cinematheque. Los Angeles Film Forum, Red Cat Theater, L.A. Visiting artist, Cal. Arts. Several shows London and Cardiff, 2009.  “2 ½ Dimensional Film Featuring Architecture” Antwerp, 2010.

About the Moderator

DAVID E. JAMES, Chair/Professor of Critical Studies, USC School of Cinematic Arts

Taking any of David James' courses including History of the International Cinema and Cultural Theory, students have the distinction of learning from a professor who has achieved particular renown as an authority in Asian cinema and avant-garde cinema.

Dr. James has expanded and enriched the cultural scene in Los Angeles, curated countless film programs, worked on museum exhibitions, produced his own film work and published extensively in the arts and popular press, including his latest book The Most Typical Avant-Garde: History and Geography of Minor Cinemas in Los Angeles.

James’ awards include an NEH Fellowship for College Teachers, the Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship in the Humanities at the Whitney Museum of American Art, and the USC Associates Award for Creativity in Research.

He is the editor of To Free the Cinema: Jonas Mekas and the New York Underground as well as The Hidden Foundation: Cinema and the Question of Class, and has served on the editorial boards of Quarterly Review of Film and Video, Now Time, and Art Week.

About Cinematheque108

Cinematheque108 is an alternative screening series sponsored by the Critical Studies Department at the University of Southern California's School of Cinematic Arts. The series offers a rare selection of events that highlight noteworthy experimental, documentary, and/or foreign films, many of which can not be seen anywhere else. Cinematheque108 is an educational forum that aims to expand understanding of alternative film and media. All screenings are free of charge and open to the pubic.

About Parking

The USC School of Cinematic Arts is located at 900 W. 34th St., Los Angeles, CA 90007. Parking passes may be purchased for $10.00 at USC Entrance Gate #5, located at the intersection of W. Jefferson Blvd. & McClintock Avenue. We recommend parking in outdoor Lot M or V, or Parking Structure D, at the far end of 34th Street. Please note that Parking Structure D cannot accommodate tall vehicles such as SUVs. Metered parking is also available along Jefferson Blvd.

Contact Information

Name: David James