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Project Shirley: Short Films by Shirley Clarke
Echo Park Film Center
Los Angeles, CA
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Project Shirley: Short Films by Shirley Clarke
Tuesday March 3, 2015, 8:00 pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Project Shirley: Short Films by Shirley Clarke
At the Echo Park Film Center, 1200 N. Alvarado St., Los Angeles CA 90026

Dennis Doros and Amy Heller of Milestone Films in person!

"Dancer, bride, runaway wife, radical filmmaker and pioneer  
Shirley Clarke is one of the great undertold stories of American independent cinema."
Manohla Dargis, New York Times

The first program I ever curated for Los Angeles Filmforum (with Cheng-Sim Lim of the UCLA Film & Television Archive) was a Shirley Clarke retrospective in 1998, the year after her death.  Soon after that, and for much of the next decade, knowledge of her work started to fade, as can happen after the death of independent filmmakers.  But several years ago Dennis Doros and Amy Heller of Milestone Films started the remarkable Project Shirley to restore her films and to bring them out in pristine DVD and Blu-Ray editions, loaded with extras. Milestone Films has already brought out marvelous editions of the classic films Portrait of Jason and Ornette: Made in America, and The Connection.  Later in 2015 comes The Magic Box, an amazing three-disc collection of her short films and ephemera.  Filmforum is delighted to host the forces behind Milestone Films tonight as we present some of Shirley Clarke's wonderful short films, from her earliest dance films, Dance in The Sun and Bullfight through the avant-garde classic Bridges-Go-Round, to her 1970s video experiments in dance and drama such as Trans and Tongues.  

Shirley Clarke was a gorgeously baroque and complex personality, a character worthy of a novel or two. But what she did as a filmmaker, the subjects she chose, and how she related as a director to her medium has become so much a part of the vocabulary of cinema that her movies  The Cool World, for instance, or  Ornette in America -- are nothing less than essential. Happily, Milestone is making it possible to see these films the way they should be seen."  John Anderson, New York Film Critics Circle

Shirley Clarke interview with Dee Dee Halleck: http://davidsonsfiles.org/shirleyclarkeinterview.html

Biographical essay on Shirley Clarke on Senses of Cinema: http://sensesofcinema.com/2012/great-directors/shirley-clarke/

For more event information: www.lafilmforum.org, or 323-377-7238

Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members.  Available by credit card in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at or at the door

Screening from Blu-Ray

Bridges-Go-Round 1 (1958, 16mm, 3:50)
Score by Teo Macero

Dance In the Sun (1953, b&w, 16mm, 7:03)
With Daniel Nagrin.  Music: Ralph Gilbert.  Screened at the Museum of Modern Art as the Best Dance Film of 1953.

In Paris Parks (1954, color, 16mm, 13:00)
In In Paris Parks, what is choreographed is the mundane and everyday activity in a park in Paris. While the film starts with the populated park focusing on ordinary events, it finishes with the park emptying during the evening. Clarke's filming is, as DeeDee Halleck says, 'a lyrical look at gesture and movement in a public landscape' (DeeDee Halleck, 'Interview with Shirley Clarke', in http://davidsonsfiles.org/shirleyclarkeinterview.html) concerned with finding emptiness in movement and movement in emptiness." - Angelos Koutsourakis, Senses of Cinema

Bullfight (1955, color, 16mm, 9:00)
Choreography by and featuring Anna Sokolow

Skyscraper (1959, b&w and color, 16mm, 20:00)
In collaboration with Willard Van Dyke, Irving Jacoby, Wheaton Galentine, and D.A. Pennebaker; produced by Willard Van Dyke; Script by John White; Music by Teo Macero.  Academy Award Nomination, 1960.

Bridges-Go-Round 2 (1958, 16mm, 3:50)
Digital score by Louis and Bebe Barron.

Four Journeys Into Mystic Time: Trans (1978, 16mm film & video, color, 9 min.)
The third part of the journey; overall a 60 minute film made in the late 1970s.  Produced by Clarke and David Cort; choreographed by Marion Scott; music by Morton Subotnick; dancer: Carol Warner.  Won first prize at the New York Dance Film Festival

Tongues (1982, color, 1 inch video, 20:22)
Writte by Sam Shepard; performed by Joseph Chaikin; music by Sam Shepard, Skip LaPlante; edited by Clarke and Steven Browne; produced by the Women's Interart Center.
TONGUES and SAVAGE/LOVE are two brilliant video collaborations between playwright Sam Shepard, actor/playwright Joseph Chaikin and Clarke with astonishing visual effects for its time.

Milestone Films was started in 1990 by Amy Heller and Dennis Doros out of their New York City one-room apartment and has since gained an international reputation for releasing classic cinema masterpieces, groundbreaking documentaries and American independent features. Thanks to the company's work in rediscovering and releasing important films such as Alfred Hitchcock's Bon Voyage and Aventure Malgache, Charles Burnett's Killer of Sheep, Kent Mackenzie's The Exiles, Lionel Rogosin's On the Bowery, Mikhail Kalatozov's I Am Cuba, Marcel Ophuls's The Sorrow and the Pity, the Mariposa Film Group's Word is Out, Shirley Clarke's The Connection and Ornette: Made in America, Milestone has long occupied a position as one of the country's most influential independent distributors.

In January 2008, the Los Angeles Film Critics Association chose to give its first Legacy of Cinema Award to Dennis Doros and Amy Heller of Milestone Film & Video "for their tireless efforts on behalf of film restoration and preservation." And in March 2008, Milestone became an Anthology Film Archive's Film Preservation honoree. In 2009, Dennis Doros was elected as one of the Directors of the Board of the Association of the Moving Image Archivists and established the organization's press office in 2010.
In 2011, Milestone was the first distributor ever chosen for two Film Heritage Awards in the same year by the National Society of Film Critics for the release of On the Bowery and Word is Out.

In December 2012, Milestone became the first-ever two-time winner of the prestigious New York Film Critics' Circle's Special Award, this time for its work in restoring, preserving and distributing the films of iconoclast director Shirley Clarke. http://www.milestonefilms.com

This program is supported by the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors through the Los Angeles County Arts Commission; the Department of Cultural Affairs, City of Los Angeles; and the Mike Kelley Foundation for the Arts. Additional support generously provided by American Cinematheque. We also depend on our members, ticket buyers, and individual donors.

Los Angeles Filmforum is the city's longest-running organization screening experimental and avant-garde film and video art, documentaries, and experimental animation.  2015 is our 40th year.

Coming Soon to Los Angeles Filmforum:

Mar 4 - (Wed) - Wie Man Sieht (As You See) - Films by Harun Farocki, screening 8, at the Goethe-Institut Los Angeles
Mar 12 - at MOCA - Cauleen Smith in person
Mar 15 - Charles Atlas
Mar 22  Gregory Markopolous films

Memberships available, $70 single, $115 dual, or $50 single student
Contact us at lafilmforum@yahoo.com.
Find us online at http://lafilmforum.org.
Become a fan on Facebook and follow us on Twitter @LosAngFilmforum!


Echo Park Film Center
1200 N. Alvarado St.
Los Angeles, CA 90026
United States


Film > Movies

Kid Friendly: Yes!
Dog Friendly: Yes!
Non-Smoking: Yes!
Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!


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