ARTPUNK CLUB PICKS ---- WEEK OF APRIL 22ND, 2019

The best art for your buck in Portland, for the week of April 22nd–29th 2019



This week, it's all about some amazing, avant-garde programming at the Northwest Film Center.


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 24TH @ 6:00

The Last Gospel of The Pagan Babies

NW Film Center @ Whitsell Auditorium

1219 SW Park (Inside the Portland Art Museum)


$10


In 1960s Kentucky, the old-world gay scene took a dramatic turn towards the future as the The Pagan Babies, a loosely connected group of artists and drag queens, set out to challenge the conservative, southern gay society with guerilla theater and outlandish costumes and behavior. Through interviews, archival footage, and photography, director Jean Donohue guides viewers through a 150-year lineage held together by storytelling traditions of the South. Drag queens and artists Bob Morgan and Bradley Picklesimer tell of little-known characters and heroes from gay history and mythology, including the cross-dressing Civil War guerilla soldier Sue Mundy; Sweet Evening Breeze, a black drag queen born in the 1880s; the infamous madam Belle Brezing; Henry Faulkner, artist and long-time friend of Tennessee Williams; and Lee Majors and Rock Hudson, who once owned the only gay bar in town.

Come early for a reception and stay for a question and answer with director Jean Donohue.


Why we're excited: 150 years of gay history and mythology? Who WOULDN’T be excited?


Buy tickets here



AND / OR



SUNDAY, APRIL 28TH @ 4:30PM

Maya Deren Short Films

NW Film Center @ Whitsell Auditorium

1219 SW Park (Inside the Portland Art Museum)


$10


Maya Deren’s work as a filmmaker, programmer, writer, ethnographer, and lecturer became a catalyst for an entire movement of avant-garde cinema in the US, which still reverberates today with many filmmakers—and in particular, women filmmakers—and those working in an experimental mode. Equally a pioneer of screendance filmmaking, this evening of short films begins with her lesser-understood The Very Eye of Night (1959), Deren’s last film completed before her death in 1961. A collaboration with the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School and choreographer Anthony Tudor, Deren filmed dance students in reverse negative to create a seemingly mythological space where white silhouettes magically glide through the starry night sky. Other works include the highly symbolic Meshes of the Afternoon (1943), considered one of the most influential works in American avant-garde cinema and a key example of the “trance film;” At Land (1944); The Witch’s Cradle (1943); and an intimate study of the birth of a litter of kittens shot at a “cat’s-eye view,” The Private Life of a Cat (1944).


Why we're excited: Although some of the individual pieces sound, uh, challenging—28 minutes of a cat giving birth?—Deren is a giant of avant-garde film and it’s not every day work like this is screened. Part one of a suggested Deren Double Feature!


Included in this program:

The Very Eye of Night, 1959 (15 mins., 16mm)

The Witch’s Cradle, 1943 (12 mins., 16mm)

The Private Life of a Cat, 1944, dir. Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid (28 mins, 16mm-to-HD)

At Land, 1944 (14 mins., 16mm)

Meshes of the Afternoon, 1943 dir. Maya Deren and Alexander Hammid (14 mins., 16mm)


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AND / OR



SUNDAY, APRIL 28TH @ 7:00PM

Maya Deren's Divine Horsemen + Two Shorts

NW Film Center @ Whitsell Auditorium

1219 SW Park (Inside the Portland Art Museum)


$10

In the late 1940s, Maya Deren took increasing artistic control over her films, including detailed scripts and shot plans, seen clearly in the camera work, matching action, and editing strategies employed in Study in Choreography for Camera and Ritual in Transfigured Time—both works completed before she was awarded the first Guggenheim Fellowship for “Creative Work in the Field of Motion Pictures” in 1946.


With the Guggenheim Fellowship, Deren was able to travel to Haiti in 1947 to study the Voudoun culture, where she filmed, recorded, and photographed countless hours of dance and ritual. Over two decades later, in 1985, it was Deren’s third husband, collaborator, and dancer Teiji Ito who assembled the footage to create the 54-minute film Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti.


Why we're excited: Footage of legit Voudoun dance and ritual filmed in Haiti in the 1940s? That’s an easy yes, even without the added bonus of two culturally significant short films. If all you know about Voudoun is from sensationalist entertainments like The Serpent and The Rainbow, this might be a revelation. Part two of a suggested Deren Double Feature!


Included in this program:

A Study in Choreography for Camera, 1945 (3 mins., 16mm)

Ritual in Transfigured Time, 1946 (15 mins, 16mm)

Divine Horsemen: The Living Gods of Haiti, 1985 (54 mins, 16mm)


Buy tickets here