Malcolm Turvey

  • PERSISTENCE OF VISION: THE FILMS OF CHANTAL AKERMAN

    HOW DOES ONE CONVERT a film initially designed for theatrical screening into a gallery installation? Belgian filmmaker Chantal Akerman has taken up this question by reconfiguring two of her documentaries, D’est (From the East, 1993) and De l’autre côté (From the Other Side, 2002), into installations (1995 and 2002, respectively) that are on view in her current traveling survey, “Chantal Akerman: Moving Through Time and Space.” Also exhibited are an installation commissioned for the show, Femmes d’Anvers en novembre (Women of Antwerp in November), 2007, and two other nonfiction videos, Sud (

  • film October 03, 2008

    Construction Zone

    TOWARD THE END of Lola Montès (1955), Max Ophüls’s last and perhaps greatest film, the eponymous heroine, a nineteenth-century dancer, goes backstage at the theater in which she has just performed to meet with the king of Bavaria, whom she is attempting to seduce. The king, obviously infatuated, tries to persuade her to stay in his country under the pretext of learning more about her “revolutionary” “Spanish” dancing (in truth, she is not skilled enough to dance in the classical style), while she feigns ignorance of his intentions, insisting that she must move on for professional reasons. They

  • film July 20, 2008

    Rental History

    CANYON CINEMA: The Life and Times of an Independent Film Distributor is Scott MacDonald's third history of a major US exhibitor and distributor of avant-garde film. Unlike the institutions that are the subject of his first two—Amos and Marcia Vogel’s Cinema 16 in New York (1947–1963) and Frank Stauffacher’s Art in Cinema in San Francisco (1946–1954), both of which promoted films for a profit, often returning less than 50 percent of revenues to filmmakers—Canyon was modeled on the New York Film-Makers Cooperative and its policy of “passive” distribution. While it published a catalogue of

  • “Drawing on Film”

    “Direct” filmmaking, in which the filmmaker, instead of using a camera, draws, paints, scratches, or in some other way directly manipulates the film stock to create an image, is a small but significant tradition in experimental filmmaking.

    “Direct” filmmaking, in which the filmmaker, instead of using a camera, draws, paints, scratches, or in some other way directly manipulates the film stock to create an image, is a small but significant tradition in experimental filmmaking. Although a number of direct films are well known (Len Lye's seminal Colour Box [1935], for example), the corpus is rarely surveyed as a whole, which this exhibition usefully aims to do. Some twenty works made since 1935 by about a dozen artists, ranging from acknowledged masters of the form such as Lye and Norman McLaren to more recent

  • Chantal Akerman

    While her fiction films have become steadily more conventional since the 1980s, Chantal Akerman has continued to employ the minimalist style she developed in her outstanding work of the '60s and '70s in a series of formally rigorous documentaries, beginning with From the East (1993).

    While her fiction films have become steadily more conventional since the 1980s, Chantal Akerman has continued to employ the minimalist style she developed in her outstanding work of the '60s and '70s in a series of formally rigorous documentaries, beginning with From the East (1993). The film is also the basis of a video installation, From the East: Bordering on Fiction, 1995, which demonstrates that Akerman's unique spatiotemporal sensibility translates well to the gallery. This exhibition, which debuted at Houston's Blaffer Gallery in January, presents a welcome

  • Film and Early Modernism

    LONG AGO IN THESE PAGES, Annette Michelson wrote that “almost all the major authentic movements and styles of [the twentieth] century—Futurism, Surrealism, Dadaism, Constructivism—reacted to the growth of cinema.” Each saw in film’s capacity for spatial and temporal manipulation ways of solving problems and furthering goals first articulated in other media. This was certainly true of Hans Richter, a member of Zurich Dada in the late 1910s, and Viking Eggeling, both of whom began to employ film in addition to drawing in the ’20s in their search for a universal language, as a recent

  • Dalí and Film

    Salvador Dalí’s contributions to the art of cinema are well known, but the influence of film on his practice in other media is less so. This exhibition, co-organized with the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation in Figueres, Spain, aims to rectify the situation: Some one hundred Dalí paintings, photographs, drawings, and manuscripts are being displayed alongside his work in film—including his collaborations with Luis Buñuel, Alfred Hitchcock, and Walt Disney—in order not only to explore the origins of the ideas in his films, but also,

  • avant-garde film on DVD

    THAT 16 MM FILM is dying, at least as an exhibition format, has long been obvious to those of us who teach film. The 16 mm prints on which film studies has relied since its inception are gradually becoming so old and worn as to be unusable, and are not, for the most part, being replaced. The solution for many institutions is to project DVDs of films, often using low-end digital projectors, resulting in the paradox that, while more and more students are studying the art of film, fewer and fewer are actually watching films on film.

    In addition to the significant loss of image and sound quality—which