• Wed Mar 7

This program celebrating the 50th anniversary of San Francisco-based experimental film distributor Canyon Cinema focuses on films that explore the syntax and expressive potential of their medium. Associations is titled after John Smith’s 1975 film, a joyfully dense rebus-like image-word construction. Smith’s film is preceded by Sara Kathryn Arledge’s rarely seen 1958 work What is A Man, a film years ahead of its time, and Mark Toscano’s 2012 piece Releasing Human Energies, which utilizes film laboratory test footage of a “China Girl” set to a found text read by Morgan Fisher. The program also features Abigail Child’s classic 1989 film Mercy, from her celebrated “Is This What You Were Born For?” series; canonical works by Phil Solomon, Barbara Hammer, Robert Breer, and Robert Nelson; and two recent restorations: the humorously poignant Confessions by Curt McDowell and Akbar, Richard Myers’ extraordinary 1970 portrait of young black filmmaker and student, Akbar Ahmed.

  • Releasing Human Energies* Mark Toscano 5.5 mins 2012
  • What Is A Man Sara Kathryn Arledge 10 mins 1958
  • Associations John Smith 7 mins 1975
  • Hot Leatherette* Robert Nelson 5 mins 1967
  • Dyketactics Barbara Hammer 4 mins 1974
  • Flower, The Boy, The Librarian Stephanie Barber 5 mins 1997
  • The Snowman Phil Solomon 8 mins 1995
  • Swiss Army Knife with Rats & Pigeons* Robert Breer 6 mins 1981
  • Confessions* Curt McDowell 11 mins 1971
  • Thine Inward-Looking Eyes Thad Povey 2 mins 1993
  • Mercy* Abigail Child 10 mins 1989
  • Akbar* Richard Myers 16 mins 1970
  • * = new prints

Cosponsored with the Dept. of Art. The Canyon Cinema 50 project is organized by the Canyon Cinema Foundation and supported in part by the George Lucas Family Foundation, the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, the Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and The Fleishhacker Foundation.


16mm color
1 hour 30 minutes
release year/country