A selection of poetic avant-garde works by various artists, chosen for this program by independent curator Michael H. Shamberg in honor of Robert Frank's photography and films: Junkopia (Chris Marker, 6 minutes); NYC Weights and Measures (Jem Cohen, 6 minutes); p.s. beirut (Michael H. Shamberg, 7 minutes); Notes on Iceland (Melody Owen, 5 minutes); After Writing (Mary Helena Clark, 4 minutes); Monsanto (Paula Gaitán, 22 minutes); Nocturne (Avenue A, no lens) (Joel Schlemowitz, 3 minutes); Ah Liberty! (Ben Rivers, 19 minutes); Summer Cannibals (Robert Frank, 4 minutes); Run (Robert Frank, 4 minutes); Playback (Pere Portabella, 8 minutes). (89 minutes total)
"Listen - this program is one of musical discovery, Sebaldian in tone. I had no plan but thought of the work of Jem Cohen, Melody Owen, Chris Marker, and my p.s. beirut as they played together before the premiere of Robert Frank's Tunnel in New York last year. I knew also I wanted to show Robert's two music videos for New Order and Patti Smith. At Views from the Avant-Garde at the New York Film Festival last fall I discovered the work of Ben Rivers, Joel Schlemowitz, and Mary Helena Clark, and then there was a bit of magic: Bruce Conner's Valse Triste appeared unannounced in the middle of a program. Shortly thereafter I was fortunate to see a rare projection of C.S. Blues (1972) at Anthology Film Archives and I discovered Robert as a composer. The drugs, the sex, and the rock 'n' roll were not just a subject but also the sound, the image, and the edit of the film itself. Paula Gaitán sent me her new short, Monsanto, and Robert appeared again in its poetry, 'His light body.' Then I received a copy of Pere Portabella's Playback and its music made For Robert sing. I feel like a composer assembling these works that speak to Robert Frank, to his images, his sense of place, his humanity, and humor. These filmmakers walk in his shoes, without a map, their footfalls the rhythms of discovered compositions"
A stone walks under a cloud slowly (George Mackay Brown)
Robert is that stone.
Even now there are places where a thought might grow (Derek Mahon)
These films are such places. Listen!