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Surreal/Reel
Co-presented with the Menil Collection
Friday, March 28, 8:00pm
Location: Menil Collection Front Lawn, 1533 Sul Ross
FREE Admission

 
Friends and family are encouraged to bring blankets and picnics to a free outdoor screening inspired by The Menil Collection exhibition, "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938."  Featuring dream-like moving images curated by Aurora Picture Show's Mary Magsamen, this special screening titled Surreal/Reel presents Surrealist works from artists such as Hans Richter, Man Ray, Maya Deren, and even Magritte himself. Be transported to the 1930's by experiencing cinema of the strange under the stars on The Menil Collection lawn.

Surrealist artists and filmmakers had a magical way of looking at the world and juxtaposing images to create works that manipulated time and space in an uncanny way. The films that will screen as part of Surreal/Reel include a selection of Magritte's own home movies, a fantastic document of his personal life rarely seen. They reflect his way of seeing the world with playfulness and creativity in his home. Also included in the screening, presented on 16mm, will be films by artists that express experimentation with formal and psychological elements of filmmaking such as Hans Richter who employs stop motion to make objects fly; Man Ray with his photograms; Maya Deren who makes a dreamy journey through the beach, dinner and a chess game and Joseph Cornell with his odd films made with puppets and found footage.
 
Presented in partnership with The Menil Collection, this screening is inspired by "Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary, 1926-1938," the first major museum exhibition to focus exclusively on the breakthrough surrealist years of the Belgian artist, René Magritte, creator of some of the twentieth century's most extraordinary images. The exhibition, which will be open before the screening until 9PM, includes some eighty paintings, collages and objects, along with a selection of periodicals, photographs, and rare documents.  The largest privately assembled collection of Magritte works in the world, the Menil Collection co-organized this exhibition with two outstanding partner venues- the Museum of Modern Art, New York and the Art Institute of Chicago. The exhibition is co-curated by Anne Umland, Curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stephanie D'Alessandro, the Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern Art at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Menil Director Josef Helfenstein.
 

The following moving images are included in this program:

Magritte Home Movies, 1956-57, 9 min
Featuring playful and strange films that Magritte shot himself of his wife, Georgette, friends and colleagues. These silent films catalogue the more personal life of Magritte and demonstrate his affection for his wife as well as his humor.

Ghost Before Breakfast
by Hans Richter, 1927, 6 min
Dadaist filmmaker Hans Richter used uses stop-motion animation to create an odd dream world featuring flying bowler hats.

Film Study by Hans Richter, 1926, 3.5 min
"Richter's first film in a Surrealist vein the mood of FILM STUDY is lyrical and poetically evocative. Its magic propels us into a world fantasy, forcing us to dream with open eyes, as objects and forms float past, transforming themselves as if by a logic beyond rational comprehension. The music is by the noted composer Darius Milhaud."--Standish D. Lawder.

Le Retour à la Raison by Man Ray, 1923, 3 min
The first film made by the celebrated surrealist artist, Man Ray. Man Ray sought to extend the rayograph (photogram) technique to a moving image. He sprinkled salt and pepper on one piece of film, pins on another, illuminated the film for a few seconds, then developed the film.

At Land by Maya Deren, 1944, 15 min
Directed by and starring Maya Deren this dream-like narrative features a woman, played by Deren, who is washed up on a beach and goes on a strange journey encountering other people and other versions of herself. John Cage and the poet and film critic Parker Tyler were involved in making the film, and appear in the film, which was shot at Amagansett, Long Island.

Jack's Dream by Joseph Cornell, 1940, 4 min
A dreamlike film created with mostly puppets.

Carrousel by Joseph Cornell, 1940, 5 min
Film-collage created by Joseph Cornell from second-hand films gathered from dealers and flea markets.

Thimble Theater by Joseph Cornell, 1940, 4.5 min
One of Joseph Cornell's funniest films, Thimble Theater is structured like a vaudeville variety show about nature.

Entr'acte by Lawrence Jordan, 2013, 3 min
A series of Vaudeville acts inserted between the lines of reality, meant to demonstrate the ephemerality of all things.



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