We Love You, Marvelous Movie Mondays!

EPFC | August 5th, 2020

Starting August 1, 2020, MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS is going on indefinite hiatus. It’s been nine fun years (almost eight of those with monthly guest curators). We’re in a time of intense change right now, and I’ve decided to pause MMM for now so I can take the time to regroup, listen, think, and figure out new ways forward. A huge thank you to Nicole Elaine, MMM’s guest curator for the past two months. And so much love to all of the wonderful artists who been the backbone of MMM as guest curators these past several years (find the whole list of guest curators and the themes they selected further down in this post!!). None of this would have been possible without your generosity and enthusiasm. Thank you for being part of this project and for sharing your love of cinema with the EPFC community!!! Thank you as well to Echo Park Film Center for being so supportive of #marvelousmoviemondays from day one. And thank you to all who have engaged with these posts over the years!!!! With gratitude, Kate Lain. Let’s see where we go from here!

guest curators + themes: Dustin Zemel (10/2012 – The Long Take), Lyn Elliot (11/12 – Simple, Cheap, and Awesome), Lisa Marr (12/12 – Gifts), Evan Meaney (1/13 – Limitations, Transitions, Subverting Emotions to Preserve the Social Contract), Sarah Suta (2/13 – Taxidermy), Jennifer Hardacker(3/13 – Light), Deron Williams (4/13 – Text Films), John Warren (5/13 – Found Footage), Bryan Konefsky (6/13 – End Games), Jodie Mack (7/13 – Stroboscopic July), Roger Beebe (8/13 – Music Videos), Terri Sarris (9/13 – Screendance), Jesse Malmed (10/13 – FALL-LA-LA), Jen Proctor (11/13 – Experimental Remakes), Simon Tarr (12/13 – a bit of sunshine in the heaviness of winter), Caitlin Horsmon (1/14 – Our Animal Brethren), Kelly Sears (2/14 – Animated Non-fiction), Hannah Piper Burns (3/14 – textual healing), Caryn Cline (4/14 – haptic), Jason Livingston (5/14 – Body of Speech), peter burr (6/14 – Future Fictions of the 1980s Eastern Bloc), Paul Shepherd/Huckleberry Lain (7/14 – Mountain Movies), Mary Helena Clark(8/14 – Other Languages), Benjamin Schultz-Figueroa (9/14 – Experimental Medicine), Karen Yasinsky (10/14 – the uncanny and possibly eldritch in silent film), Charlotte Humpston (11/14 – Landscape in Film), Lucieta Williams (12/14 – Sound and Vision: Video Work of Christian Marclay), Amir George (1/15 – solitude and escape), Charlotte Taylor (2/15 – Optical Toys), Andrew Rosinski (3/15 – MYST), Ben Coonley (4/15 – Self-Taught CG), Ben Popp (5/15 – Psychedelic Animation), Erin Christovale (6/15 – Freedom Portals), Scott Fitzpatrick (7/15 – POST-FILM), Karl Lind (8/15 – Breaking the Fourth Wall), Ian Alan Paul (9/15 – Global Borders, Global Migrations), Kelly Gallagher (10/15 – NO COP ZONE), Mia Ferm (11/15 – Reconstructing Memory), Christopher Harris (12/15 – Down to Earth: Extraterrestrials and Heavenly Bodies), Eric W Mast (1/16 – Lo-Fi Comedy), Clint Enns (2/16 – Mind-Melting Mayhem), Yoshi Sodeoka (3/16 – artist-made music videos), Johnny Woods (4/16 – Broken Beings), Ephraim Asili (5/16 – intersection of experimental and documentary methodologies), Kate Ewald (6/16 – Internal Cinema), Christine Negus (7/16 – The Trouble with Being Born), Joel Wanek (8/16 – You Can’t Blame the Youth), Jennifer Juniper Stratford (9/15 – Behind the Scenes), Salise Hughes (10/16 – Seattle Plays Hollywood), David Zlutnick (11/16 – Documenting the Movements), Erica Magrey (12/16 – The Holiday Special), Brian C. Short (1/17 – Music & Motion), Christina Battle(2/17 – Visions of a Potential Future), Enrico Ostrowskini (3/17 – Glitch), Sophia Peer (4/17 – FAILURE + TENACITY = SUCCESS), Roger Hill (5/17 – Stateless), Elena Pardo (6/17 – Women Alchemists), Jennifer Sullivan (7/17 – Dancer in the Dark), Alison Kozberg & Amada Torruella (8/17 – Alternative Media from the American South), Lisa Marr + Echo Park Film Center (9/17 – Mike Kelley Grant films / A Place in the Sun), Amy Khoshbin (10/17 – Who’s the Monster? Middle Easterners as Enemy), Andy Spletzer(11/17 – Experimental Films are Funny!), Lorenzo Gattorna (12/17 – Wood Pushers), Will Rahilly (1/18 – Intersections of 3D and Reality), Nellie Kluz (2/18 – That’s Amore), Jennifer Reeder (3/18 – Unruly Women), Kiki Loveday (4/18 – Queer Reproduction), LJ Frezza (5/18 – THE END), Alexa Lim Haas (6/18 – Imitations of the Everyday), Adán De La Garza (7/18 – Cultural Geography and Performance for video), Morris Manuel Trujillo (8/18 – Love / Heartbreak Program: From the personal to the political), Angeline Gragasin (9/18 – Aging), Jenna Maurice (10/18 – Inner Thoughts), Georgia Fu (11/18 – Filial Piety – Parents and Kids), Brina Thurston (12/18 – Queen of the Trap), Leah Shore (1/19 – Beautiful Ugly), Jimmy Schaus (2/19 – Narratives Down the Rabbit Hole), Ariel Kavoussi (3/19 – WHAT’S THE BODY GOT TO DO WITH IT?), Alex Johnston (4/19 – “Says Who?”: Media and Authority), Karen Azoulay (5/19 – Mortality Blooms!), Lindsay Denniberg (6/19 – The Haunted Summer), Sean J Kenny (7/19 – FLICK-O-RAMA), Sarah Ellen Stephens (8/19 – Because, People), Florrie James (9/19 – Day Job, Night Shift, Soul Work), Zachary Epcar (10/19 – Extravagant Acts), Amy Ruhl (11/19 – MALL MADNESS), Doug Klinger (12/19 – Hybrid music video/documentaries), Emily Chao (1/20 – Rituals & Ruminations), Bernardo Britto (2/20 – Social Issue Films), Cristina Kolozsvary-Kiss(3/20 – Where’s Wayne’s World?), Kerry St. Laurent (4/20 – Tonal Contrast), Michael Woods aka M. Woods aka Disassociative Productions (5/1 – Body Politics + Digital Phenomenology), Nicole Elaine Baker (6/20-7/20 – It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

Marvelous Movie Mondays: It’s the End of the World As We Know It (and I feel fine)

EPFC | June 3rd, 2020

Guest Curator: Nicole Elaine Baker

Hi everyone. This month’s theme is:
It’s the end of the world as we know it (and I feel fine)

The world as I know it is brutalized by white supremacy, locked in toxic hegemony, and is being eaten alive by capitalism. And I don’t know about you, but I would like to see it end. Yeah, it is the end of the world as we know it, but that means that something else begins. What will it be? What should it be? What should we preserve and what will we happily cheer to see go down in flames?

If you’re like me, the recent months have been an emotional rollercoaster. Sometimes you are genuinely “fine”, cautiously optimistic and patient. Maybe even empowered to stand up for change and each other. But then you see the numbers, and the suffering, and the fear. And the utter lack of compassion, and the aggressive ignorance, and the cruelty. And when asked you say you’re “fine”, but it’s that other kind of “fine,” the kind that masks the deep sense of dread and hopelessness that if fully expressed would have your loved ones concerned about leaving you alone with sharp objects.

We thought the end times rode in on a virus, but then we were reminded that we had other problems to tackle.The time has come to abandon the status quo and embrace the end of the world as we know it. Every Monday for the month of June I will bring you the work of experimental filmmakers who are grappling with the end, the unknown and the possibilities.

Today we start #marvelousmoviemondays with Relational Plane Rich Flight 209 by Peter Christenson.
From the filmmaker: Relational Plane Rich Flight 209 siphons and repurposes found footage into a thematically-networked consciousness stream, a collaged and dreamy trip across pop culture’s symbolic, economic, and relational fields.

When I watch this film, I see a sly take-down of the white supremesist threads forming the weft of capitalism.

I stand in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement, the protestors, everyone pushing back against racism and police brutality, and the families and communities of the countless victims of that brutality. I ask you to donate if you have the means, get out and protest if you feel safe to do so, support the protesters with resources and/or your time. Take action.

Marvelous Movie Mondays: Floating Light

EPFC | May 28th, 2020

Guest curator: Michael Woods aka M. Woods aka Disassociative Productions

Theme of the month: Body Politics / Digital Phenomenology

Happy Memorial Day and thank you again to Echo Park Film Center and Kate Lain for the opportunity to share this work with a larger audience. Today is my last time posting, but it has been a privilege. I will continue sharing work I love at the facebook group for AGITATE:21C . (Agitate is an all-inclusive avant-garde. If you are involved in creating or distributing avant-garde work of any kind, feel free to join and take part.)

Today I’ll be sharing the work of three great artists. In advance, however, I want to remember a young leader in the avant-garde. Eli Hayes was a community-builder, excellent curator, an emerging and extremely talented artist who could have been one of the best filmmakers of his generation. All of those things are eclipsed by his kindness and warmth and honesty. This morning I read that Eli has passed away. I didn’t believe it. He was only 26 years old, prolific and active in ways I will always admire. And though I didn’t know him well, I was expecting to meet him in Milwaukee this year before the coronavirus situation changed everything.

Eli was an artist who did more for others than himself, engaged with everyone he could, spread his love of cinema and art, and treated everybody with respect. I regret not watching enough of his work. I regret not being able to work with him. I regret not getting to know this good person enough when they were with us. Eli was the only film festival programmer in the US to pick up my feature film, Dailies from Dumpland. He introduced me to the work of one of the artists I’m highlighting today – Sylvia Toy St Louis – who has become one of my biggest allies and a cornerstone of Agitate. I don’t think Agitate would exist in the same way without Eli’s talent for connecting other artists. So today I’ll be sharing a small fraction of his work alongside the brilliant artists Michelle Chu and Sylvia Toy St Louis

Michelle Chu is an artist/theorist and one of the biggest influences on my work through the many hours-long conversations we’ve had over the course of the last decade. Her movie This is Not Paris But It’s About Paris is newly uploaded and is one of the best pieces I’ve seen this year. The work begins as a low-grade digital camera sits on a corner and drum samples begin to syncopate with the progressively more theatrical social interactions until a stranger’s gaze looks directly into the digital sensor. The narrative that emerges is of the path of the digital file into a hard drive. What emerges is a small record of 2012 – the year of our illusory apocalypse – in multiple media formats; the comforting words of a friend reveal the images of exterior spaces to be a trove of painful memories; digital remnants of places that now reflect trauma. The piece is a poignant, emotive poem on the decay inherent in digital representation and its dysfunctional experiential and spacial memory. This is the follow up to Chu’s Septum Ring Secret , one of my favorite video works of the last decade.

Sylvia Toy St. Louis aka Sylvia Toy Industries is a multi-disciplinary artist whose recent work has primarily involved ultra-low budget green screen and performance. She multiplies herself into dozens of characters that, through her immense talents as a performer, transcend the glitchy digital artifacts that imprison her characters. Her multitude of characters begin to express a single consciousness divided, a particularly effective way to visualize our fragmented country and collective psyche. Sylvia has over a hundred videos on her Vimeo page but I want to highlight the work, The Harpy, , a cosmic, sci-fi freak-out in a pixelated sky desert. Sylvia uses the broken aesthetics of low-fi digital noise to great effect while twisting language into a hypnotic scolding.

As I wrote above, Sylvia and I met through Eli. Her feature film Creation (trailer here: ) was an award-winner at Eli’s online Hazel Eye Film Festival.

Lastly, I want to leave with a few works by Eli Hayes that demonstrates the aesthetic experiments he was making in digital phenomenology. Eli’s work is a kaleidoscopic, multi-layered, mandala of nuanced musical expression. At its best, its textures evoke a strong nostalgia for dream logic and landscapes, a beauty that resonates through his explorations. Eli made several feature films, and I have only watched a fragment of his work, but these two pieces standout. Pharos and Floating Light both made with filmmaker Alex Davies are among the most visually exuberant of his works. Join me in celebrating his work by sharing it with your friends and loved ones. Remember to cherish those around you when they’re here. Remember to support those who may be struggling but who share their immense talents with us.

Thank you again for your time and viewership.
M. Woods

Marvelous Movie Mondays: Robert Seidel’s _grau

EPFC | May 19th, 2020

guest curator: Michael Woods

Hope everyone has had a great week! I’ve been binge-watching 66th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen Online when I can!

THEME: Body Politics / Digital Phenomenology

I’m going to keep this week’s edition short and sweet. Robert Seidel’s _grau is an exploration of digital phenomenology – “a personal reflection on memories coming up during a car accident, where past events emerge, fuse, erode and finally vanish ethereally … various real sources where distorted, filtered and fitted into a sculptural structure to create not a plain abstract, but a very private snapshot of a whole life within its last seconds …”

I came across this piece when I was 16, and I’m still in love with this car crash in digital space. The crystalline perfection of CG spectacle is destroyed/pierced, projecting/ejecting a time-suspended after-image as the broken body sorts its damage and recollections and media images. Shards of cartoons and once-familiar objects lose value in a purgatory of nameless shifting energies. Equally revelatory is the score by Heiko Tippelt and Philipp Hirsch. – _grau

Other movies – recently showcased at Oberhausen! – that pertain to our theme.
I am the people_I – Li Xiaofei
Untitled #2 – Nguyen Anh Tu Pham
16mm Selfie – Karan Suri Talwar & Sofia Thenmozhi Ashraf
The Falling Sky – Peggy Ahwesh
Labor of Love – Sylvia Schedelbauer

Marvelous Movie Mondays: The Woman Buried Beneath The Candle and Inearth

EPFC | April 27th, 2020

guest curator: Kerry St. Laurent

Theme: Tonal Contrast
We’re looking at films that explore contrast in the several ways we can interpret the word “tone” – sound, color, and mood – both in each individual piece and how they contrast with each other.

Today’s set looks at work that uses vibrant color manipulation coming from contrasting media (film and repurposed magnetic video), beginning with “The Woman Buried Beneath the Candle” (2020), visuals by Daniel James Cashman and audio score by Burial Grid. Second up is “Inearth” (2005) by CJ Brabant. The work seamlessly travels between hopeful and ominous, both somehow feeling “charged” but in contrasting ways.