• [The Daily] Big Ears 2018

    By David Hudson

    Sixtysix02022018_large


    For nearly a decade now, the Big Ears Festival in Knoxville has been a low-key event of high significance to the world of music. Writing about the 2016 edition in the New York Times, Ben Ratliff noted that it “has a rare, intuitive and ultimately anti-commercial vision, presented with purpose and first-rate sound on a thoughtful scale to a growing audience that isn’t even close to jaded about it. This is why I have gone every year since it started in 2009.”

    2016 was also the year that Public Cinema co-founders Paul Harrill and Darren Hughes began programming films for the festival, and yesterday saw the first announcement of the initial round of titles and series they’ve lined up for the 2018 edition running from March 22 through 25. In this entry, we’ll flag further announcements and then gather notes on dispatches and reviews during the festival’s run.

    First up, Lewis Klahr will be on hand as a visiting artist as Big Ears presents a selection of his films and an installation. The image at the top is from Sixty Six (2002–2015). As it happens, the new issue La Furia Umana—which we’ll get to a bit later—features a dossier on Klahr that opens with editor Toni D’Angela’s interview and features commentary on the work from, among many others, Fern Silva and Jodie Mack.

    Mack, in turn, will have work in the program entitled “Stereo Visions: A Survey of 3D Cinema,” curated in collaboration with Blake Williams, who’ll be presenting PROTOTYPE.

    There’ll be a celebration of Canyon Cinema’s fiftieth anniversary with presentations of thirty-six works on a wide range of formats, including digital media, 8 mm, Super 8, 16 mm, and 35 mm prints.

    And then there’s the ten-film series “A Sense of Place: A Retrospective of American Regional Cinema, 1960-1989,” featuring work by “Pittsburgh’s George A. Romero, Baltimore’s John Waters, and Portland’s Gus Van Sant. Also included are genre films with a deep sense of place (like Victor Nunez’s A Flash of Green), formally adventurous works like Trent Harris’s The Beaver Trilogy, and seminal films like Eagle Pennell’s The Whole Shootin’ Match, which inspired Robert Redford to launch the Sundance Institute. John Waters’s Polyester will be screened with scratch-n-sniff Odorama! cards.”

    Music and film will meld in a set of live score performances. Bang on a Can All-Stars will accompany work by Bill Morrison and Christian Marclay; violinist Jenny Scheinman and ensemble will score H. Lee Waters’s Kannapolis: A Moving Portrait; Wordless Music, in partnership with Knoxville ensemble Nief-Norf, will score Viktor Jakovleski’s Brimstone & Glory (2017); and Duet for Theremin and Lap Steel “will sonically represent the celluloid explorations of filmmaker Robbie Land.”

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3 comments

  • By Sean Ramsdell
    February 02, 2018
    10:54 AM

    Anyone seen Lewis Klahr's works like ALTAIR?
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    February 02, 2018
    10:59 AM

    Go to Ubuweb for free experimental films if you want to
    Reply
  • By Sean Ramsdell
    February 02, 2018
    11:29 AM

    THE BEAVER TRILOGY was mentioned on Dave Kemp's book The Film Snob's Dictionary
    Reply