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"The United States of America" by Bette Gordon and James Benning

Bette Gordon Films from Anthology Film Archives
Archivist and filmmaker Andrew Lampert in attendance
Sunday, August 21, 7PM
$7 General Admission (purchased at www.mfah.org)
$6 MFAH Film Buffs & Aurora Members (door sales)
 
Called “an independent filmmaker with a penchant for unorthodox subjects” by critic David Sterritt, Gordon's films have been widely noted for their willingness to tackle topics like pornography and motherhood from a decidedly feminist point of view.  Ms. Gordon is on the faculty of Columbia University School of the Arts.    This program features a selection of her early shorts, recently restored by Anthology Film Archives. Presented on 16mm, films include: Michigan Avenue (Bette Gordon & James Benning,1973) i-94 (Bette Gordon & James Benning,1974) The United States of America (Bette Gordon & James Benning, 1975) Still Life (Bette Gordon,1972) An Erotic Film (Bette Gordon,1975) and An Algorithm (Bette Gordon, 1977)

Michigan Avenue (Bette Gordon and James Benning, 1973, 7 minutes, 16mm) A narrative film concerning an investigation of two women in time and space, to the point where the investigation becomes the narrative. Preserved with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Women’s Film Preservation Fund.


i-94 (Bette Gordon and James Benning, 1974, 3 minutes, 16mm) An exploration of sex and male/female identities following two people who never appear on screen together. Preserved with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Women’s Film Preservation Fund.



The United States of America (Bette Gordon and James Benning, 1975, 27 minutes, 16mm) A true masterpiece of 70s cinema, more remarkable today than ever before. A conceptual bicentennial film dealing with spatial and temporal relationships between two travelers, their car, and the geographic, political, and social changes from New York to Los Angeles. The space within each frame is at the same time continuous and elliptical. Preserved with support from The National Film Preservation Foundation.



Still Life (Bette Gordon, 1972, 3 minutes, 16mm) A meditation on the American rustic where various objects within the composition are re-presented in unnatural colors and unusual spatial arrangements, emphasizing the illusion of movement while exploring film grain and its graphic nature. Preserved with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Women’s Film Preservation Fund.



An Erotic Film (Bette Gordon, 1975, 3 minutes, 16mm) The moment before and the moment after… Preserved with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Women’s Film Preservation Fund.

An Algorithm (Bette Gordon, 1977, 10 minutes, 16mm) A visually stunning kinetic rhythm produced by looped footage (mathematical curves) in and out of phase with each other. Preserved with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and The Women’s Film Preservation Fund.
 
As Archivist at Anthology Film Archives in New York City, Andrew Lampert works with the film/media collections and is in charge of preservation. To date he has managed projects to preserve and restore more than 150 titles by Stan Brakhage, Jonas Mekas, Maya Deren, Robert Downey Sr., Ken Jacobs, Bruce Conner, Robert Breer, Carolee Schneeman, Wallace Berman, Paul Sharits and Harry Smith and many others. He co-programs Anthology’s two-screen theater and curates regular series including UNESSENTIAL CINEMA (featuring non-classics from deep within the collection), AUDIO VERITE (focusing on audio works),  PERSONAL ARCHIVE (wherein invited guests present a sampler from their collection) and SINGLE FRAME (slide show presentations by artists and aficionados).

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