Streamers: Explore the Best of Avant Cinema with Tara Bhattacharya Reed

As a member of the Experimental Response Cinema collective, Tara Bhattacharya Reed has curated many a thought-provoking screening of avant-garde cinema. So, while so many of us are homebound, we thought we’d reach out to Tara for something a little different and more outside the usual highways and byways of online content.

Here are some of her recommendations for cinema that might possibly cleanse the sliding doors of your perception, at least temporarily.

COMMUTE

(Bruce Baillie, 1995) Available via Amazon Prime

Bruce Baillie (1931-2020) films an afternoon spin in the rain, from the passenger seat of his old Honda. An audiotape series entitled the “Dr. Bish Remedies (Radio) Show,” designed to alleviate commuter boredom, serves as the gentle soundtrack to this miniature excursion.

Baillie captures the warmth of Dr. Bish’s rambling monologues and strange personae, interspersed with found sounds, music and a variety of miscellaneous (non) broadcasted materials. From a visual standpoint, Baillie provides the viewer with a dreamlike sojourn in the vehicular space, where time is suspended and they are free to engage or disengage from the surrounding sights and sounds at will. –Meditative.

NO DATA PLAN

(Miko Revereza, 2019) WATCH >>

“Mama has two phone numbers. We do not talk about immigration on her Obama phone. For that we use the other number with no data plan”

Miko Reverezo’s powerful travelogue reveals a stark and personalized portrait of an undocumented immigrant making a crossing through a dystopic ICE-aged American landscape, by rail. Through an examination of the precarity, boredom and fantasies of its voiceless narrator, the audience is guided moment by moment into the hidden shadows of life, navigating claustrophobic spaces, barren vistas, dreams, anxieties, paranoia, hidden histories and the story of the narrator’s mother and her much younger lover. Fugitivism in the 21st century never hit home, so hard.

UN RÊVE SOLAIRE

(Patrick Bokanowski, 2016) – WATCH >>

A phantasmagoric experience with a hint of déjà vu upon first time viewing. This is the second feature film from experimental filmmaker Patrick Bokanowski, the actors are now fully unmasked, at one with the spectator as they traverse through kingdoms of shadow and light, fire and water, abstraction and figuration. Michèle Bokanowski intuitive compositions enhance the fluidity of images throughout the film. A true partnership of grace and beauty.

PEACE AND ANWAR SADAT

(Ulysses Jenkins, 1986) WATCH >>

A continuous screening in the LACE Video Room, featuring Ulysses Jenkins.

I attended “Radical Presence: Black Performance in Contemporary Art”  curated by Valerie Cassel Oliver in New York in 2013. Last week I looked back at the catalogue did some research on the exceptional video art of African American video/performance artist Ulysses Jenkins, whose work featured prominently in the exhibit. His work combines archival footage, text, photos and image processing, and his compositions might be described as “threnodial” in nature. “Peace and Anwar Sadat” is a spellbinding exploration on myth making and African American identity and a heartfelt tribute to peace activist Anwar Sadat. The four-part video work on world peace and our fascination with the earth’s apocalypse.

JOHN LENNON, YOKO ONO & CHUCK BERRY WITH DAVID ROSENBOOM ON THE MIKE DOUGLAS SHOW

(1972) WATCH >>

After the death of experimental music composer and biofeedback researcher Richard Teitelbaum last week, I went deep diving into the web to search for a wonderful clip I saw of Teitelbaum’s fellow composer and sometime collaborator, David Rosenboom, with Yoko Ono, John Lennon and Chuck Berry on the Mike Douglas show in 1972. The group (sitting on the floor) engage in deep conversation about biofeedback techniques and their uses, followed by a blissed out performance featuring Rosenboom with John and Yoko at the very end. Well worth the watch.

THE GRAND BIZARRE

(Jodie Mack, 2018) WATCH >>

Jodie Mack’s The Grand Bizarre is exclusively playing on MUBI from April 9 – May 8, 2020 in MUBI’s Undiscovered Series. Jodie Mack is among the most refreshing experimental filmmakers around today. Using experimental modes and animation techniques, “Grand Bizarre” explores patterns and textiles from across the globe, examining their functionality as well as their recurring themes and motifs throughout different cultures. Mack’s effervescent homemade soundtrack adds to the film’s uplifting and pleasurable experience.

 

Bonus Round

CERTAINTY IS BECOMING OUR NEMESIS

WATCH >> A program of curated experimental films available March 27-May 2, 2020 from SF Cinematheque (festival online)

88:88

by Isiah Medina (2015) WATCH >>

Atoosa Pour Hosseini Celluloid Works (Vol One)

(2015 – 2017) WATCH >>

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