Sunday, April 20, 2008

Raster-Noton showcase at San Francisco Art Institute : May 14

On the evidence of this past summers' Raster-Noton showcase at Decibel Fest and having witnessed Carsten
Nicolai (Alva Noto), Frank Bretscheider and Olaf Bender live at Mutek 04 and MOCA LA in 05, I would say
this is going to be an event of a nature above and beyond that of what one would expect from any 'music
performance'. Their work exhibits such a synergy of dynamism, austerity and visceral thrill as a live A/V
exhibit, its near-impossible to draw parallels in the contemporary electronic music landscape. A meeting
of many of the worlds finest digital/aural/visual minimalists as the collective label, publisher and graphic
design house - Raster-Noton - brought to San Francisco by that fine institution that is Volume Projects.

Link to Volume Projects site

Link to official Raster-Noton site

"You Complete Me" Exhibit : Christian Marclay, Eli Hansen, Oscar Tuazon,
Olafur Eliasson and Others at Western Bridge Gallery : Apr 24 - Aug 2


New exhibition opens at Western Bridge this April of installation work by some of
the significant names in the global installation environment/interactive works culture.
Namely, Olafur Eliasson and Christian Marclay. Having seen a number of the 'major'
works by Marclay and Eliasson, including the "Take Your Time" exhibition at MoMA
last year, I'm curious what these 'minor' works entail. Much has been said in recent
local art press concerning Eli Hansen, who's work I have yet to see in person. So this
show will hopefully bring the known established big names and unknown/lesser known
together through a conceptual thread as many of the most successful curatorial 'themes'
that Western Bridge has presented in the past have.

Link to Western Bridge "You Complete Me" Exhibit site

From Western Bridge:

"You Complete Me” mixes conversations around interactive art and relational aesthetics in
a series of works that are less viewed than experienced. Works include Martin Creed's "Work
No. 360: Half the Air in a Given Space," a room half-filled with silver-gray balloons, Mungo
Thomson's skyspace in the form of a bounce house, Andreas Zybach’s “0 — 6.5 PS”, a long
tunnel which uses visitors’ weight to generate hydraulic pressure. The exhibition also includes
a commissioned poster by Jordan Wolfson and a commissioned sculpture by Eli Hansen and
Oscar Tuazon, and makes local introductions of the work of Mungo Thomson and Mark Soo".

"Let’s think about what has resulted from one hundred years of artists working to activate
the passive viewer. We are familiar with art asking something of us; we have allowed it to
make these requests, though we may at times regret giving up our separation from the work.
Our position of passivity was also perhaps a position of autonomy. Was there some coercion
involved as we relinquished voyeurism for a more engaged role? Does interactivity make art
more democratic, or can it also be a kind of tyranny? Can open forms result, as per Nicolas
Bourriaud, in the creation of “micro-utopias,” or should the work retain the potential to
express or generate antagonisms and conflict?"

Hou Hsiao-Hsien's new film "Flight of the Red Balloon" at Landmark Theatres : Apr 18 - May 22

Hou Hsiao-Hsien's newest is an evident, yet abstracted homage to the Lamorisse's original and a curious expansion
of Hou's filmmaking style, moving from the stunning formalism of his asian films to a more bustling cosmopolitan
European setting. Unlike some of the other east-to-west ventures by notable names in contemporary cinema
(Wong Kar-Wai's recent disaster "My Blueberry Nights" comes to mind), Hou's newest has inspired positive
reviews and a fluid transition of the director's art to new western subject matter and context.

Link to IFC Films "Flight of the Red Balloon" site

Link to Landmark Theatres "Flight of the Red Balloon" screening schedule

From the IFC:

"A highlight at the 2007 Cannes, Toronto and New York film festivals, FLIGHT OF THE RED BALLOON is the latest
masterpiece from Hou Hsiao Hsien (CAFE, LUMIERE, THREE TIMES). Inspired by Albert Lamorisse*s 1956 Academy
Award Winning classic, THE RED BALLOON, Hou expands on its key elements-a young boy, a red balloon and Paris
- to weave an achingly beautiful tale on the mysteries of familial bonds and the lingering effects the past has on us
all. A precious young boy, Simon (Simon Iteanu) must deal with the increasing fragility of his mother, the loving yet preoccupied Suzanne (Academy Award Winner Juliette Binoche of THE ENGLISH PATIENT, CACHE). Completely
immersed in her own tribulations, Suzanne hires Song (Song Fan), a Taiwanese film student, to help care for Simon.
Together with Song, a unique extended family is formed, utterly interdependent yet lost in separate thoughts and
dreams mirrored by a delicate, shiny red balloon."

Sunday, April 13, 2008

San Francisco International Film Festival : Apr 24 - May 8

Much like Portland's International Film Festival (PIFF!) San Francisco's often acts as a preview of sorts
for Seattle's bewildering onslaught of cinema that has become SIFF. No exaggeration here, SIFF for the
past two years has been the largest international film festival in North America. In doing a quick perusal
of San Francisco's-IFF came up with these notable and curious titles in the fest:

Link to San Francisco International Film Festival site

Aleksander Sokurov - "Alexandra":

Catherine Breillat - "The Last Mistress":

Bela Tarr - "Man from London":

Guy Maddin - "My Winnipeg":

Ermanno Olmi - "One Hundred Nails":

Jia Zhang-Ke - "Still Life":

Aditya Assarat - "Wonderful Town":

Roy Andersson - "You, The Living":