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Double Feature:


Wednesday, May 3 at 6:00 p.m. & 8:30 p.m.
with a reception in B-04 at 8:00 p.m.
Lecture Hall|CCVA
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
Free Admission

6:00 p.m.
Dead Slow Ahead
Directed by Mauro Herce
Spain, France 2015; 74 min

A freighter crosses the ocean. The hypnotic rhythm of its pace reveals the continuous movement of the machinery devouring its workers: the old sailors’ gestures disappearing under the mechanical and impersonal pulse of the 21st century neo-capitalism. Perhaps it is a boat adrift, or maybe just the last example of an endangered species with engines still running, unstoppable.

8:30 p.m.
(Terra de Vikingos)
Directed by Xurxo Chirro
Spain 2011; 99 min

A Galician sailor works in a ferry which crosses the sea from Denmark to the island of Sylt in Germany. We are in the 80's and he buys a video-camera to record his daily life and his fellows’s: his work, his crossings, his solitude in the middle of the inverness. Like the pioneers, he discovers the language of cinema and the conscience of his own image.

FSC-Harvard Fellow Valery Lyman presents her installation Breaking Ground at the Waterworks Museum in Boston

April 12, 2017
Stop in anytime between 6:30-10:00pm, optimal viewing starts around at 7:45 p.m.
Metropolitan Waterworks Museum
2450 Beacon Street, Boston MA 02467

Lensed through the rise of the oil industry in North Dakota, Breaking Ground is an immersive meditation on the tale of dreams sought and abandoned that wends its way through the American psyche and the physical landscape of the country itself.

In this one night installation, photographs and audio recorded in the oil fields of North Dakota over the last four years by documentary artist Valery Lyman will be projected in multiple points throughout the Great Engines Hall of the Metropolitan Waterworks Museum. These fragments combine to give a sense of the many voices clamoring and colliding there in a brief moment lived all at once, as well as the echoes and remnants left behind in these repetitive cycles of industrial boom.

The Waterworks Museum was the seat of industrial and technical innovation of the Gilded Age, its towering water pumps having fed the city of Boston for over a century. This unique and historic space allows for a play with density, echo, and the cyclical, ultimately ephemeral nature of industry.

The Museum is located at 2450 Beacon Street, Boston, in the Cleveland Circle
neighborhood on the Green Line. Parking is limited. For more information, please
contact the Waterworks at (617) 277-0065, by email at, or via the website at

More info & tickets


An Afternoon with Filmmaker Deborah Stratman

Saturday, March 4 at 2:00 p.m.
Harvard Art Museums
Menschel Hall, Lower Level
32 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA

Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Much of her work points to the relationships between physical environments and human struggles for power and control that play out on the land. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, ghosts, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets and faith. She has exhibited internationally at venues including MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, Mercer Union, Witte de With, the Whitney Biennial and festivals including Sundance, Viennale, CPH/DOX, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Full Frame, Rotterdam and Berlinale. Stratman is the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim and USA Collins fellowships, a Creative Capital grant an Alpert Award and the Film Study Center at Harvard University’s Robert Gardner Fellowship.

Village, silenced
2012, video, 7 minutes
A re-working of Humphrey Jennings' seminal 36-minute 1943 docudrama "The Silent Village," wherein Welsh coal miners from the village of Cwmgiedd collectively re-enact the Nazi invasion and annihilation of the resisting Czech mining village of Lidice. Focus in this iteration is on sound as a mode of social control and the larger historical implications of repetition. An homage to Jennings’ lucid address of labor solidarity, power and commemoration.

In Order Not To Be Here
2002, 16mm, 33 minutes
An uncompromising look at the ways privacy, safety, convenience and surveillance determine our environment. Shot entirely at night, the film confronts the hermetic nature of white-collar communities, dissecting the fear behind contemporary suburban design. An isolation-based fear (protect us from people not like us). A fear of irregularity (eat at McDonalds, you know what to expect). A fear of thought (turn on the television). A fear of self (don’t stop moving). By examining evacuated suburban and corporate landscapes, the film reveals a peculiarly 21st century hollowness… an emptiness born of our collective faith in safety and technology. This is a new genre of horror movie, attempting suburban locations as states of mind.

Second Sighted
2014, 5:05 min, SD video
Obscure signs portend a looming, indecipherable slump. An oracular decoding of the landscape.

...These Blazeing Starrs!
2011, 16mm film, 14:16
Since comets have been recorded, they’ve augured disaster: catastrophe, messiahs, upheaval and end times. A short film about these meteoric ice-cored fireballs and their historic ties to divination that combines imagery of 15th-18th century European broadsides with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory footage.

…These Blazeing Starrs! juxtaposes a modern empirical desire to probe and measure against older methods, when star gazers were translators, explicating the sky more intuitively for predictions of human folly. Comets are now understood as time capsules harboring elemental information about the formation of our solar system. Today we smash rockets into them to read spectral signatures. In a sense, they remain oracles - it’s just the manner of divining which has changed.

How Among The Frozen Words
2005, video, 44 seconds
Inspired by a chapter in Francois Rabelais’ 1653 epic novel Gargantua & Pantagruel wherein Pantagruel finds that the explosions, cries and other sounds generated from a battle that had occurred the year before have been frozen into discernable shapes – and that the sounds can be released upon the breaking or melting of the frozen forms.

It Will Die Out In The Mind
2006, video, 3:50 minutes
A short meditation on the possibility of spiritual existence and the paranormal in our information age. Texts are lifted from Andrei Tarkovsky’s film Stalker in which the Stalker’s daughter redeems his otherwise doomed spiritual journey. She offers him something more expansive and less explicable than logic or technology as the conceptual pillar of the human spirit.

The Magician's House
2007, 16mm, 5:45 minutes
Sometimes the supernatural lingers plainly in the most ordinary places, secret only in so much as its trace goes unnoticed. Both a letter to a cancer stricken alchemist-filmmaker friend, and a quiet tribute to the vanishing art of celluloid, The Magician’s House is full of ghosts. Including that of Athanasius Kircher, inventor of the Magic Lantern or “Sorcerer’s Lamp”. The music, “La lutte des Mages” (The Struggle of the Magicians) was composed by Armenian mystic Georges Gurdjieff and Thomas De Hartmann. Gurdjieff thought man was a "transmitting station of forces." To him, most people move around in a state of waking sleep, so he sought to provide aural conditions that would induce awareness.

Due to unforeseen circumstances Deborah Stratman will be unable to attend this screening. She will be at the screening of The Illinois Parables on Monday at 7:00 p.m. at the Brattle Theatre.

Co-presented with the Harvard Art Museums, DocYard and the Balagan Film Series

Monday, March 6 at 7:00 p.m.
Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA
Deborah Stratman in person

The Illinoise Parables
60 minutes, 2016, USA, color, 16 mm

An experimental documentary comprised of regional vignettes about faith, force, technology and exodus. Eleven parables relay histories of settlement, removal, technological breakthrough, violence, messianism and resistance, all occurring somewhere in the state of Illinois. The state is a convenient structural ruse, allowing its histories to become allegories that explore how we’re shaped by conviction and ideology.

The film suggests links between technological and religious abstraction, placing them in conversation with governance. Locations are those where the boundaries between the rational and supernatural are tenuous. They are “thin places” where the distance between heaven and earth has collapsed, or more secularly, any place that bears a heavy past, where desire and displacement have lead us into or erased us from the land. What began as a consideration of religious freedom eventually led to sites where belief or invention triggered expulsion. The film utilizes reenactment, archival footage, observational shooting, inter-titles and voiceover to tell its stories and is an extension of previous works in which the director questioned foundational American tenants.

The Parables consider what might constitute a liturgical form. Not a sermon, but a form that questions what morality catalyzes, and what belief might teach us about nationhood. In our desire to explain the unknown, who or what do we end up blaming or endorsing?

More info & tickets: DocYard

Co-presented with the DocYard and the Balagan Film Series

Voices of the Rainforest
in 7.1-channel surround sound

Please join us for this premiere presentation of a new 7.1-channel version of Steven Feld’s landmark composition, Voices of the Rainforest. We will be presenting the piece in its entirety.

Thursday, March 2, 9:00 - 10:30 p.m.
Harvard Art Museums
Menschel Hall, Lower Level
32 Quincy Street
Cambridge MA
Free admission
Steven Feld in person

On Earth Day in 1991, Mickey Hart’s World series on Rykodisc released Voices of the Rainforest, Steven Feld’s acousmatic composition of a day in the life of the Bosavi rainforest and Kaluli people in interior Papua New Guinea. The CD touched multiple audiences concerned with ecological integrity, interspecies art, anthropology of and in sound, and cultural survival. The work remains in circulation through Smithsonian Folkways.

From newly digitized high-resolution files of the archival tapes, Feld and Skywalker Sound editor Dennis Leonard have now recomposed Voices of the Rainforest in 7.1 cinema surround sound. Weaving together hundreds of recordings, the new Voices immerses listeners in the sensuous surround sounds of birds and insects along with human voices and instruments in the reverberant rainforest.

The museums’ Menschel Hall is equipped with the most advanced cinema surround sound system on campus, providing an ideal site for such a rich listening experience.

Please also join us beforehand, across the street from the museum, for a reception and conversation with Steven Feld and Ernst Karel about the piece, and about anthropologies in sound in relation to its construction.
7:30 - 8:30 p.m.
Sever Hall 416

Steven Feld is an anthropologist, filmmaker, sound artist/performer, and Distinguished Professor of Anthropology Emeritus at the University of New Mexico. After studies in music, film, and photography, he received the Ph.D in Anthropological Linguistics at Indiana University in 1979. From 1976 he began a research project in the Bosavi rainforest of Papua New Guinea. Results include the monograph Sound and Sentiment (republished 2012 in a 3rd and 30th anniversary edition), a Bosavi-English-Tok Pisin Dicitionary, and essays, some published in his co-edited books Music Grooves and Senses of Place. From this work he also produced audio projects including Voices of the Rainforest. Key theoretical themes developed in this work are the anthropology of sound and voice; acoustemology, particularly regarding eco-cosmology as relational ontology; emotive sensuality; and experimental, dialogic writing, recording, and filmmaking. Work after 2000 has concentrated on related themes in the study of bells in Europe, Japan, Ghana, and Togo, published in CDs, DVDs, and books like The Time of Bells, Skyros Carnival, and Santi, Animali, e Suoni. His most recent project concerns jazz in West Africa, published in the twelve CD, five DVD, and book set Jazz Cosmopolitanism in Accra. Feld’s work has been supported and honored by MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships as well as book and film prizes.

Sound artist Robert Millis presents an illustrated lecture on the first sound recordings made in India (c.1902) and about his recent book INDIAN TALKING MACHINE (on Sublime Frequencies), featuring video and rare recordings.

February 8, 2017 at 4:15 p.m.
Davison Room, Eda Kuhn Loeb Music Library
Free and open to the public

Sound artist Robert Millis presents an illustrated lecture on the first recordings made in India (c. 1902), on collecting 78 rpm shellac records, the shellac trade, and on Indian music and musicians. Millis was a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in India in 2012 and 2013 where he worked with both record collectors and Indian sound artists.

Millions of shellac records were produced in India, up until the end of the 1960s. Classical, spoken word, religious songs, theater, comedy and--by the mid 1930s--ever more popular film music. 

Records changed how people interacted with music. Ragas designed to be performed only in the morning could be heard throughout the day; melodies composed by in Calcutta turned up across India in the theaters of Gujarat; the three minute length of most records influenced the way songs were heard, performed and composed. In a way, recording changed how our memory works and is emblematic of the seismic changes in the world at the beginning of the 20th century; changes that continue to resonate today: mass marketing and manufacturing, the redrawing of colonial empires, the rise of popular culture and home entertainment. 

Records were promoted as the future yet today provide nostalgia. But more than just nostalgia, these old shellac discs are voices that speak across time. Once just disposable commercial objects made to help sell gramophones they are now treasure chests of history. Many have been lost to the rush of culture and buried under our expanding digital landscape, but some have miraculously survived the weight of time, to speak with us again.

Millis' presentation features several short films he made in India, glimpses of the city of Calcutta and the shellac record industry. Millis will discuss his recent book INDIAN TALKING MACHINE (published through Sublime Frequencies in late 2015), plus his work as a sound artist and researcher.

Robert Millis is a sound artist and musician based in Seattle, USA. His work explores decay, time, and the paths of memory, often focusing on the era of shellac 78rpm records and cylinders. He has released over 25 LPs and CDs, composed soundtracks including the feature film Session 9, made the documentary films This World is Unreal Like a Snake in a Rope and Phi Ta Khon: Ghosts Of Isan, and authored several books including INDIAN TALKING MACHINE and VICTROLA FAVORITES. He is one half of the experimental music project Climax Golden Twins.  In 2012 and 2013 he was a Fulbright Research Scholar in India.

Co-sponsored with the Harvard University Department of Music

Composer and sound/media artist Olivia Block will present and discuss her audio work using location recordings in composition

Thursday 20 Oct 2016, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m.
Tozzer Anthropology Building, room 203
21 Divinity Ave., Cambridge, Mass.
Free and open to the public

Olivia Block's body of work includes sound recordings, audio-visual installations, performances, sound design for cinema, and scores for orchestra and chamber ensembles. Over the last twenty years, she has created electroacoustic sound works which have combined field recordings, chamber instruments and electronic textures, as for example in Pure Gaze, Mobius Fuse, and Karren. Block also creates multimedia installations and performances utilizing found sounds from micro cassette tapes, field recordings, video, and 35mm slides, and has collaborated with film artists in the area of expanded cinema. Block’s work reflects her interests in site specificity, ethnographic sound, architectural sound, and found/archival materials from the latter half of the 20th century.

Co-sponsored by the Film Study Center, the Sensory Ethnography Lab, and Non-Event

FSC-Radcliffe fellow, Eloy Enciso presents a lecture on his latest film project Longa Noite (A Long Night)

Thursday, Nov. 10, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.
in the CCVA lecture hall

Eloy Enciso is a filmmaker based in Galicia, Spain. His work is located within that vein of cinema—from Robert J. Flaherty to current work coming out of Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab—that seeks not so much to explain other cultures as to provide an immersive experience of them. Mixing an ethnographic approach with drama, his films show the lyric intertwining of fact and fiction.

At Radcliffe, Enciso is developing his project Longa noite (A Long Night), a film exploring the sensorial and narrative possibilities of darkness through Galician landscapes.

Enciso studied documentary filmmaking at the Escuela Internacional de Cine y TV, in Cuba. His films have been selected for and received awards in numerous international film festivals, such as BAFICI, in Buenos Aires; Festival del Film Locarno; FICUNAM, in Mexico; the Montreal World Film Festival; and Viennale. Enciso's work has also shown at Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), and the Museum of the Moving Image. In 2014, he received a Robert Gardner Fellowship from Harvard’s Film Study Center and participated in the MoMA program Modern Mondays, which presents contemporary filmmakers who are changing the way we experience cinema and the moving image. Concurrent with his work as an independent filmmaker, Enciso has developed a career as a film editor.

FSC-Radcliffe fellow, Lisandro Alonso presents a lecture on his latest film project Eureka

Thursday, Nov. 17, 2016 at 4:00 p.m.
in the CCVA lecture hall

Lisandro Alonso is an Argentine film director and screenwriter. In a style that blends the traditions of documentary and narrative film, Alonso focuses on solitary individuals as a lens through which to explore loneliness.

While at Radcliffe, Alonso is working on his newest film, which explores the ways in which Native people inhabit their specific environments.

Alonso has directed five feature-length films, all of which premiered at the Cannes Film Festival, and two short films. These films have been shown in cinemas, film libraries, international film festivals, and museums. His feature film Jauja (2014) won a FIPRESCI Prize at the 67th annual Cannes Film Festival. In 2014, the Film Society of Lincoln Center named Alonso as its Filmmaker in Residence.

IN LIMBO (Dans Les Limbes) by Antoine Viviani

Monday, April 25 at 6:00 p.m.
in B-04 of the CCVA.

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Room B04
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA
Followed by a discussion with filmmaker Antoine Viviani
and metaLAB Associate Director, Matthew Battles

1. Lit. In a netherworld, neither heaven nor hell.
2. Fig. Abandoned, forgotten, on hold.
3. Computer Science. Said of data erased from a system, but not yet deleted from its storage media.

What if the Internet could dream of itself?

Dans les Limbes is an inner journey into the Internet, as if there was nothing left but the planetary network, dreaming of itself. It is a philosophical tale narrated by Nancy Huston, who wakes up in the limbo of our global interconnected memory, and meets its strange life, inhabitants, pioneers (Google CEO or Internet founding fathers).

While drifting into this giant memory, exploring its dreams and fears, she starts chasing the essence of nostalgia. Are we building a new cathedral, for a new civilization, or the biggest cemetery of our history?

linkMore information and Trailer

FSC-Radcliffe fellow, Philippe Grandrieux presents a lecture on his latest project Unrest, the third and final movement of his “bare life” trilogy.

Wednesday, Feb 10 at 2:00 p.m.
in the lecture hall of the CCVA.

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Room B04
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Two years ago, Grandrieux began a trilogy with the theme of “bare life.” Each movement of the trilogy consists of a performance and a film. The first movement, White Epilepsy (2012), has been completed; the second, Meurtrière, is nearing completion. At Radcliffe, he is working on Unrest, the third and final movement, which is marked by dread.

The presentation is followed by the exhibition opening of Unrest at 5:00 p.m.
Johnson-Kulukundis Family Gallery, Byerly Hall
8 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

Co-presented with the Radcliffe Institute

FRENKEL DEFECTS: Kevin Rice of the Colorado-based nonprofit organization, Process Reversal, will present the third installment of this unique traveling film series.

October 22 & 23 at 7:30 pm

Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Room B04
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

This recurring series aims to explore what it means to work in – and exhibit on – photochemical film today by examining works from artists operating specifically within this practice. Often, this involves getting their hands dirty at every stage of the process from optical effects to developing, editing and contact printing, optical sound recording, and even the creation of the photosensitive emulsion itself... As a result (and as suggested by the series' title), creative aberrations make their way into the standard photochemical process, giving birth to a new, textural aesthetic that plays out on the surface of the film strip. More than ever before, film reminds us of its physicality; giving a new sense to Andrei Tarkovsky’s idea of “sculpting in time.”

For this year’s edition, two 75-minute programs of rare and diverse works (nearly all of which originate outside North America) will be presented in their intended 16mm format over the course of two nights. The majority of these films were produced with the help of “artist-run film labs” – collectively-run organizations dedicated to facilitating artists’ working in photochemical film – including LaborBerlin (Berlin); L’Abominable (Paris) and Filmwerkplaats (Rotterdam). While these and other organizations have been active in Europe for almost two decades, the trend is just beginning to emerge in North America with experimental laboratories springing up in Boston, Oakland, Denver, New York, Vancouver, Montreal and elsewhere. Process Reversal, having secured an abundance of donated lab equipment, hopes to continue assisting in the growth of these spaces by providing communities with the critical tools, knowledge and resources necessary to ensure the viability of the medium for all.

linkMore information on the Balagan website

Co-presented by Balagan & the Film Study Center

BEN RIVERS: The Sky Trembles and the Earth is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers

Friday, Oct. 9 at 7:00 p.m.

Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Directed by Ben Rivers. With Oliver Laxe
(re-recording mix by the FSC's Ernst Karel)
UK 2015, 35mm, color, 98 min. Arabic, Spanish and French with English subtitles

Ben Rivers’ latest feature is a diptych film that brings together, but does not necessarily join, its two halves—the first a lyrical documentary of a Moroccan film shoot and the second a dark, minimal adaptation of Paul Bowles' nightmare fable A Distant Episode. Galician director Oliver Laxe becomes the bridge between the film’s two worlds when he wanders, in seeming exasperation, away from his production and into the dangerous, unmeasured desert. Although Rivers avowed fascination with Paul Bowles inspired his first foray into pure fiction, his film remains firmly rooted in the daydreaming realism for which he is best known, exploring as much the slow mysteries of place as the iconic cultural specificities and mythos of the desert.

CORIN SWORN: Artist Talk & Film Screening

Thursday Sept. 24 at 6:00 p.m.

Lecture Hall, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Corin Sworn will be speaking to her most recent work La Giubba. Sworn’s work frequently incorporates film and video into sculptural installation. La Giubba is her first long form single screen work. Inspired by Aristophanes The Birds the film follows a collection of migrations, misreadings and thwarted desires. The film is in English, Italian, Albanian and Arberesh, with subtitles. Her talk will survey her recent experiences of working in a manner that builds a process to create a work, the degree that this opens others expertise into the work, she will also touch on some accompanying frustrations at relinquishing authorial control. 

Corin Sworn creates installations that explore the ways stories circulate versions of history. Selected solo exhibitions include: Whitechapel Gallery, Tate Britain and the National Gallery of Canada. Selected film festivals include: Toronto Film Festival, Rotterdam Film Festival and Hors Pistes at the Centre Pompidou. She was nominated for the Jarman Award in 2011, won the Max Mara award for Women Artists in 2013 and contributed work to the Scottish Project at the 2013 Venice Biennale. She teaches at the Ruskin School of Art, Oxford. 

FSC Visiting Sound Artist Peter Cusack

Tuesday Sept. 29 at 2:00 p.m.

FSC visiting sound artist Peter Cusack will present Sonds from Dangerous Places on in Tozzer 203

Peter Cusack is a field recordist, sound artist and musician and with a long interest in environmental sound and acoustic ecology. Projects include community arts, researches into sound and our sense of place and documentary recordings in areas of special sonic interest such as Lake Baikal, Siberia, and Xinjang, China’s most western province. He was involved in 'Sound & the City' the British Council sound art project in Beijing 2005. His project ‘Sounds From Dangerous Places’ examines the soundscapes of sites of major environmental damage, such as the Chernobyl exclusion zone, the Azerbaijan oil fields, controversial dams on the Tigris and Euphrates river systems in southeast Turkey. Using sound as a way of investigating documentary issues he now calls ‘sonic journalism’.


Wednesday Sept. 30 at 4:00 p.m.

B-04, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Ben Rivers is an experimental filmmaker and artist based in London. His work ranges from themes about exploring unknown wilderness territories to candid and intimate portrayals of real-life subjects. At Radcliffe, Rivers will be working on an ethnographic film, The Two Eyes Are Not Brothers.

Rivers, who earned a bachelor’s in fine arts from Falmouth School of Art, has been the recipient of a number of commissions and awards, including the FIPRESCI International Critics Prize at the 68th Venice Film Festival for his first feature, Two Years at Sea; the inaugural Robert Gardner Film Award from Studio7Arts in 2013; a 2011 Baloise Art Prize at the Art Basel 42 for Sack Barrow; and a 2010 Paul Hamlyn Foundation Award in the visual arts.

More info: Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study

An Evening with Gardner Fellow Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro

Monday April 14 at 7:00 p.m.

Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Directed by Eloy Enciso Cachafeiro
Spain 2012, digital video, color, 69 min. Galician with English subtitles

Arraianos is a village in Galicia, the northwestern corner of Spain directly above Portugal. Enciso's quietly evocative portrait of this place and its inhabitants echoes such recent cinematic descriptions of seemingly pre-modern ways of life as Frammentino's Le Quattro volte (2010) or Sweetgrass (2009) by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Ilisa Barbash. But the episodes of the everyday—cutting wood and tending to livestock—are interspersed with excerpts from The Forest, a play from the 1960s by Galician dramatist Jenaro Marinhas del Valle, in which villagers recite snippets of existentialist dialogue. Mixing Flaherty with Straub and Huillet, this combination of documentary and ritual highlights the film's roots in another strain of contemporary filmmaking often found in Spain and Portugal—the poetic intertwining of fact and fiction in the work of Pedro Costa, José Luis Guerín, and António Reis and Margarida Cordeiro. The film's fiery climax leads to an epilogue bathed in autumnal light, which may be announcing nothing less than the end of Arraianos itself and, with it, a vestige of the archaic.

Ben Rivers & Ben Russell screen A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

Sunday March 23 at 7:00 p.m.

Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Over the past decade, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell have become known each for their distinct blends of experimental film, documentary and ethnography. The work of Rivers (b. 1972) has often focused on dreams of remote hinterlands and on non-conformists who seek to forge private kingdoms of their own. Meanwhile, Russell (b. 1976) has channeled the spirit of Jean Rouch, seeking the extreme and the sublime at raucous rock shows as well as in the desert and the jungle. A Spell to Ward off the Darkness is at once the joint project of two friends and the first collaboration between two rising stars of contemporary cinema. The film itself is a triptych of three complementary yet purposely distinct parts, tracing a trajectory through three distinctive spaces, whether rural or urban, primitive or modern. It is left to the viewer to make connections among the three sections, aside from the distinctive presence of artist-musician Robert A.A. Lowe (aka Lichens) in all three parts, acting as a guide inside the film for the viewer. Part trance film, part meditation, A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness can be seen as a synthesis of the work of its two directors, combining the haunting beauty of Rivers' film with the hallucinatory charge of Russell's. It shows both artists breaking new ground as they jointly grapple with the various kinds of utopia previously explored in their respective work.

This screening is presented in conjunction with a series of events presented by the Harvard Film Archive, Balagan Films, the DocYard, Non-Event and the Film Study Center of Harvard.

Monday March 24 at 7pm: The Shorts of Ben Russell and Ben Rivers at the Brattle Theatre.

Tuesday March 25 at 9pm: sound + 16mm performance by Robert A.A. Lowe (of Lichens) and Ben Russell at Middlesex Lounge in Cambridge.

FSC-Radcliffe Fellow T. Marie will present LIMINAL PIXELS on Jan. 29, 2014

Presentation | 4:00 PM
Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Opening Reception | 5:30 PM
Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study
Byerly Hall Gallery, 8 Garden Street
Cambridge, MA

Somewhere between keystroke and brushstroke, between sensors and the sensory, between zero and one, lie the oneiric, hard-wired optics of the work of artist T. Marie. In this exhibit, T. Marie combines methodologies from painting, film, photography, and animation to traverse and explore the disciplines at the threshold of convergence. Included will be portions from the years-in-the-making THREE LUMINARIES, a triptych of time-based pixel paintings in dialogue with J. M. W. Turner's The Slave Ship, Claude Monet's Les Nuages, and Édouard Manet's Olympia.
T. Marie received a BFA in film, animation, and video from the Rhode Island School of Design and an MFA in film and video from the Milton Avery Graduate School of the Arts at Bard College. Her works have been screened and exhibited at the Toronto International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the New York Film Festival, and the Yebisu International Festival of Art & Alternative Visions, among others. In 2007 T. Marie was selected as one of the best new young artists in the United States by the Hudson Valley Center for Contemporary Arts.

linkByerly Hall Gallery


Filmmaker Takahisa Zeze in Person, Sunday Nov. 10, 2013

Brattle Thetare
40 Brattle St.
Cambridge, MA

Nov. 10 at 1:00 p.m.

Heaven's Story
Filmmaker in Person
Directed by Takahisa Zeze
Japan 2010, 35mm, color, 278 min, Japanese with English subtitles

A running time of four and a half hours, a dozen main characters, a plot spanning nine years. This film from former "King of Pink" Zeze Takahisa tells the story of a revenge by proxy in truly epic scope. Eight-year-old Sato, whose family was wiped out by a psychopath who then went on to kill himself, learns by chance of a man who has sworn to take revenge on the man who murdered his wife and daughter. For eight long years she waits in vain for him to keep his promise, then takes the initiative herself, setting in motion a chain of tragic events that gradually plunges everyone involved into misery. As the story unfolds, we meet a policeman who has become a contract killer to support the family of a man whom he killed in self-defense; a partially deaf rock musician who manages to break the cycle of violence for a few years at least; a woman suffering from Alzheimer's who adopts a convicted murderer who ends up taking care of her further down the line. Masked theater forms a point of reference for the narrative traditions Heaven's Story so convincingly feeds on, providing the framework for this sprawling epic of surreal settings and eerie coincidences. - Berlinale

This program is presented with additional support from the Sensory Ethnography Lab & the Reischauer Institute of Japanese Studies

linkBrattle Theatre

Dead Birds - A 50th Anniversary Celebration Oct. 10 & 11, 2013

Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Thursday October 10 at 7:00 p.m.

Dead Birds
Directed by Robert Gardner
US 1964, 35mm, color, 85 min
Free Screening
In 1961, Gardner organized an expedition to the highlands of New Guinea to film the Dani people. He stayed for six months to create this essay on the themes of violence and death most dramatically witnessed within the intense ritual warfare between rival Dani villages. The contrast between the everyday lives of the film's subjects and the perpetual cycle of fighting encourages reflection on the role of violence in human life and culture in general.

Friday October 11 at 7:00 p.m.
Robert Gardner in person

Dead Birds Re-encountered
Directed by Robert Gardner
US 2013, digital video, color, 45 min
Free Screening
Twenty-eight years after filming Dead Birds,Gardner returned to the Dani villages in 1989 to see what had become of the people he had met and to show them the film. That visit is the kernel for Gardner's latest work. "I have been told by people who know better that it is a risky business returning to a place where you have enjoyed some remarkable experience. But I will say that going back to the Highlands of Western New Guinea (aka West Papua) was enormously engaging. I saw people I cared for deeply and who became part of my life wherever I lived. Making a film about all this was not at all difficult."
– Robert Gardner

Followed by a roundtable discussion with Robert Gardner, Susan Meiselas, William Rothman and Charles Warren

This program is a joint presentation of the Harvard Film Archive, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, the Film Study Center, the Department of Visual and Environmental Studies, the Sensory Ethnography Lab, the Harvard University Asia Center and the Department of Anthropology, Harvard University.

linkHarvard Film Archive

Filmmaker Joshua Oppenheimer in Person

Oct. 5 & 6, 2013

Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Stories We Tell Ourselves: Two Films by Joshua Oppenheimer

As a student at Harvard, I began my exploration of the space between documentary and fiction – and the maelstrom of stories that we tell ourselves to justify our actions. What are the effects of these stories? My Harvard thesis film, The Entire History of the Louisiana Purchase, was the start of this exploration, and my first apocalyptic fever dream. The director’s cut of The Act of Killing is my second.

With my Harvard collaborator Christine Cynn, we began investigatin nonfiction filmmaking methods that put reality through a kind of prism, revealing the interacting fantasies that make up the surface ‘factual’ reality. By allowing people to stage themselves, we make manifest the way they wish to be seen – and the vulnerabilities and fears that these fantasies mask.

The tradition of cinema is dominated by films about good versus evil, ‘good guys’ fighting ‘bad guys.’ But good guys and bad guys only exist in stories. In reality, every act of evil in history has been committed by human beings like us. When we make the leap from ‘a human being who commits evil’ to ‘an evil human being,’ we denounce an entire life, a whole person. I think we take pleasure in denouncing people. Perhaps because, in feeling entitled to make the denunciation, we reassure ourselves that we are different, we are good.

In The Act of Killing, I ask you to see a part of yourself in Anwar, a man who has killed perhaps 1,000 people. Empathizing with a killer does not mean we empathize any less with the victims. In fact, the contrary is true. Empathy is not a zero-sum game. Empathy is the beginning of love – and I think we can never have too much of it. The moment you identify, however fleetingly, with Anwar, you will feel, viscerally, that the world is not divided into good guys and bad guys – and, more troublingly, that we are all much closer to perpetrators than we like to believe.

Without exception, the perpetrators of the 1965-66 Indonesian genocide who I filmed were eager to tell me what they had done. Usually, they would insist I film them in the places where they had killed, and they would launch into spontaneous re-enactments of the killings. They would then lament that they had neglected to bring machetes to use as props, or friends to play victims. I knew their openness was a consequence of – indeed a performance of – impunity. But why were they boasting? How did they want me to see them? How did they really see themselves?

Perpetrators on film normally deny their atrocities (or apologize for them), because by the time filmmakers reach them, they have been removed from power and their actions have been condemned. Here, I was filming perpetrators of genocide who won, who built a regime of terror founded on the celebration of genocide, and who remain in power. They have not been forced to admit what they did was wrong. At first, I took their boasting at face value: they feel no remorse, they are proud of what they did, and they have no conscience. I came to understand, however, that the killers’ boasting may betray their awareness that what they did was wrong and may be their desperate effort to escape that fact.

The Act of Killing asks hard questions about what it means to be a human being. What does it mean to have a past? How do we make our reality through storytelling? And how, as a crucial part of this, do we use storytelling to escape from our most bitter and indigestible truths? – Joshua Oppenheimer

The Harvard Film Archive and the Film Study Center are pleased to welcome Joshua Oppenheimer to discuss in person one of the most acclaimed, most disturbing documentaries of recent years.

This program is presented with support from the Provostial Fund Committee for the Artsand Humanities, Harvard University.

linkHarvard Film Archive

Portuguese filmmaker Salomé Lamas presents NO MAN'S LAND

7:00 p.m. Sunday Sept. 29, 2013

Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

A mercenary sits in silence on a chair placed in an abandoned palace in Lisbon, as if posing for a portrait. Facing the camera, he begins narrating and performing his own history, constructing a record which slowly reveals in its turns of phrase and mismatched events a series of doubts and contradictions. The camera watches, relentlessly. Paulo narrates his involvement as a hired killer for special military forces during the Portuguese colonial war, the part he played in the GAL (Antiterrorist Liberation Group), a death squad illegally established by the Spanish government to annihilate high officials of ETA, and his work as a mercenary for the CIA in El Salvador. Rather than being interested in affirming the veracity of the historical record or in proving an official narrative, No Man's Land dwells in the present moment of witnessing, the space inhabited by the performance of a memory. Refusing to linger on a static moral duality, throughout the film accuser and accused are frequently asked to change positions – at a certain point, after describing a series of crimes he committed, responding to a question by the director Paulo replies with one of his own "How much is worth the life of a man? A man like me or men like them?" As the film's own processes of making are slowly revealed, No Man's Land creates a set or a stage where information or document are peripheral to the question of how one plays out and affirms as history his own personal truth.

Born in Lisbon, Salomé Lamas studied cinema and fine arts both in Portugal and Amsterdam and has exhibited her work widely both in the context of the gallery and the film theater. Rather than conventionally dwelling in the periphery between cinema and the visual arts, fiction and documentary, she has made these languages her own, challenging the lines between genres and modes of exhibition. Salomé's films are fearless, both in the formal and narrative risks they take, and in their physical performance, as we see her trapped, hanging, falling or in this case, sitting silently behind the camera, in a fertile occupation of a no man's land.

– Joana Pimenta, Film and Visual Studies PhD candidate, Harvard Universit and a 2013-14 FSC-Harvard fellow.

Presented in partnership with the Film Study Center, Sensory Ethnography Lab and the Harvard Film Archive.

linkHarvard Film Archive

Filmmaker Gabriel Abrantes

Short Films and a Work in Progress

7:30 p.m. Tuesday May 7, 2013

Sever Hall 416
Harvard University
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Gabriel Abrantes' work operates at the borders between geographical, linguistic and performative spaces.  Questioning the atopia of globalization as a borderless free form of transmission, his films test the perimeters of sites, images and language, constructing a peripheral space where a fractured geography is performed, often through translation. In the local re-staging of classical texts, such as the performance of Aristophanes's Birds in Haiti featuring dialogue in Attic Greek and Creole in the film Zwazo (2012);  the encounter between delirious teenage sexuality and postcolonial identity (Liberdade, 2011 and A History of Mutual Respect, 2010); or the exploration of the construction of Portuguese historical identity and its relation to spaces of rapid socio-political transformation (Visionary Iraq, 2009 and Palácios de Pena, 2011), Abrantes' films create hybrid cultural landscapes, fictions that cannot be pinned down to a particular body or identity, but which invent new forms of geo-political circulation. 

Gabriel Abrantes works not only across countries, genres, and political landscapes, but between the spaces of cinema and gallery-based moving image practices, frequently in collaboration with a co-director, and local and non-professional actors. Born in North Carolina, he lives and works in Lisbon. He received a BA in Cinema and Visual Arts at Cooper Union in 2006, and studied at L' École National des Beaux-Arts (2005-2006) and Le Fresnoy Studio National des Arts Contemporains, France (2007). He is the winner of several prizes, including the Golden Leopard for Best International Short Film at the Locarno Film Festival 2010 for his film A History of Mutual Respect. An exhibition of Gabriel Abrantes' work opens at the List Visual Arts Center at MIT on May 8, part of the new exhibition series List Projects.

Film screening followed by a conversation with the artist


MIT List Visual Arts Center
Showing: May 9-June 30, 2013

Opening Reception: May 8, 2013, 5.30-8pm
GalleryTalk: Film Screening/Conversation with Gabriel Abrantes and List Curator João Ribas, 6pm

linkMIT List Visual Arts Center Exhibit

Papua New Guinea Portraits and Diaries: An Artist's Talk by Photographer Stephen Dupont

12:00 p.m. Friday May 3, 2013

Carpenter Center B-04
Harvard University
24 Quincy Street
Cambridge, MA

Over the past two decades, Stephen Dupont has produced a remarkable body of visual work: hauntingly beautiful photographs of fragilecultures and marginalized peoples. He skillfully captures the human dignity of his subjects with great intimacy and often in some of the world's most dangerous regions. His images have received international acclaim for theirartistic integrity and valuable insight into the people, culture and communities that have existed for hundreds of years, yet are fast disappearing from our world.

As the Peabody Museum's 2010 Robert Gardner Photography Fellow, Dupont explored the human condition by returning to Papua New Guinea and documenting the Westernization of traditional society in Papua New Guinea, from lawlessness in urban Port Moresby to cultural struggles throughout the Highlands and Sepik River region. His work is on view at the Peabody Museum from May 2, 2013 through Sept. 2, 2013. The exhibition is an in-depth study of cultural erosion as well as a celebration of an ancient people.

linkPeabody Museum Exhibition

We Are Winning, Don't Forget: Short Works by Jean-Gabriel Périot

Moderated by John Gianvito
9 shorts | 85 minutes

5:00 p.m. Friday April 12, 2013
Location: Sever Hall, 416
Harvard Yard
Free Admission

"Jean-Gabriel Périot, born in France in 1974, has over the past fifteen years perfected an innovative filmmaking approach by focusing on archival editing. Moving image and photographic archives make up the raw material of his shorts, which are edited to create an impressionistic story or narrative, typically aided by compelling soundtracks. Periot's work is distinguished for its intense, emotional approach to contemporary and historic political themes. Despite the labor intensive process of compiling a film via multiple edited images, Périot has made numerous short films using digital video and/or film that reside within combined documentary/essay, animation, and experimental genres. His works have been honored with many prizes and shown worldwide in numerous festivals, institutions, and cinemas."

- Sally Berger, Department of Film, MoMA

linkFind national tour schedule here

linkMoving Image Source article on Jean-Gabriel Périot

This national tour We Are Winning, Don't Forget, is organized by Amélie Garin-Davet and Steve Holmgren, and is presented with support from UnionDocs, The Cultural Services of the French Embassy, Cine2000/French American Cultural Exchange and the Museum of Modern Art.


Monday, November 12 at 7:00 p.m.
The Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge

Lightning Over Braddock
(1988, black and white, 16mm, 80 minutes)

Betty's Corner Cafe
(1976, black and white, 16mm, 11 minutes)

Washing Walls With Mrs. G
(1980, black and white, 16mm, 6 minutes)

Cinematic chronicler for the past 40 years of his hometown, Braddock, Pennsylvania, Tony Buba was recently the subject of a full retrospective at New York City's Anthology Film Archives, which described the filmmaker as "One of the most singular, and egregiously overlooked, filmmakers in the U.S. A national treasure [and] the prime representative of the blue-collar, populist, politically committed yet outrageously entertaining American filmmaking movement that's largely missing-in-action."

Buba will screen Lightning Over Braddock, his first feature and the film that established him as an innovator of the "exploded documentary," fusing social documentary, autobiography and whimsical fiction. The centerpiece of Buba's oeuvre, Lightning showcases the filmmaker's eccentric blend of political engagement, poetic self-reflexivity, goofy wit and an unsentimentally committed interest in the working class, in its exploration of both a dying city's travails and the ongoing drama of Buba's troubled relationship with a former subject and local street hustler named Sal Carulli. Winner of numerous awards, including Best Film at the Birmingham International Film Festival in England and a nomination as Best First Feature Film by the Independent Spirit Awards, Lightning was shown at Sundance, Toronto, Berlin, and over a dozen other international film festivals, and was one of the first titles acquired by Zeitgeist Films. Alongside Lightning Over Braddock, Buba's Brattle screening will feature two shorts from "The Braddock Chronicles," a series spanning 15 years and made up of portraits and vignettes describing the life and death of a blue-collar town—and, by extension, industrial America.

Co-sponsored by The Film Study Center at Harvard University, Emerson College, Hampshire College and The DocYard

linkThe Brattle Theatre


Friday, November 9 from 4:00 - 6:00 p.m.
Location: Sever 416

In this short workshop, location recordist and sound artist Patrick McGinley will present his experiments in small-scale sonic exploration.  We will examine and discuss perspective, perception, attention, and focus through sonic surveys of small or unexpected spaces, as in his projects 'One Square Meter' and 'Hidden Sounds'.  

Light snacks will be provided.  Free and open to the public -- bring only your ears.

About the artist:

patrick mcginley (aka murmer) is an american-born sound, performance, and radio artist who has been based in europe since 1996. since then he has been building a collection of found sounds and found objects that has become the basis of all his work. in 2002 he founded framework, an organisation that produces a weekly field-recording themed radio show, broad- and podcasting around the world. in 2005, he began working closely with the artist-run organisation MoKS in southeast estonia, relocating there permanently in 2009. most recently mcginley has been giving presentations, workshops, and performances based on the exploration of site-specific sound (with the revenant project) and sound as definition of space. in live performance his interest in field recording has developed into an attempt to integrate and resonate found sounds, found objects, specific spaces, and moments in time, in order to create a direct and visceral link with an audience and location.

murmer's work is about small discoveries and concentrated attention; it focuses on the framing of the sounds around us which normally pass through our ears unnoticed and unremarked, but which out of context become unrecognisable, alien and extraordinary: crackling charcoal, a squeaking escalator, a buzzing insect, or one's own breath. he works equally with spaces, objects, resonances, and people, in composition, performance, or simply collective action and experience, in exploration of perception via attentive listening.


THE 2012 McMillan – Stewart Fellow: TARIQ TEGUIA in person
October 26 & October 27, 2012

The Film Study Center annually awards the McMillan-Stewart Fellowship to a Francophone filmmaker from Africa or of African descent. This years award honors Tariq Teguia, an Algerin filmmaker. The Harvard Film Archive will screen a retrospective of his work, with Teguia in attendance. The screenings schedule is as follows:

Rome Rather Than You
Friday October 26 at 7 p.m.

Location: Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge
With a reception hosted by the Film Study Center following the screening

Directed by Tariq Teguia. With Samira Kaddour, Rachid Amrani, Ahmed Benaïssa
Algeria/France/Germany 2006, 35mm, color, 111 min. Arabic with English subtitles

Longing to escape the dead end that seems to loom before them, a young woman in Algiers reads Kafka and Chester Himes while her boyfriend dreams of immigrating to Europe. Finally, they enlist the services of a smuggler to take them to Italy. In his first feature film, Teguia integrates kitchen-sink realism and modernist fragmentation to depict a contemporary Algeria growing restive in a world crisscrossed by flows of labor, capital and desire. With sober long takes of domestic situations and Godardian interruptions of text on screen, Teguia rejects the melodrama that often imbues Arab and French cinema about northern Africa. Throughout, Teguia's frequent camera movement and the charismatic performances of its two lead actors bring the film to piquant life.

Saturday October 27 at 7 p.m.

Location: Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

Directed by Tariq Teguia. With Abdelkader Affak, Ines Rose Djakou,Ahmed Benaïssa
Algeria/France 2008, 35mm, color, 138 min. Arabic with English subtitles

Inland weaves together quietly intense sequences, vast and almost empty landscapes, and bursts of chatter and raucous music to present an elliptical story about two wanderers whose paths unexpectedly meet. One is an Arab topographer surveying a remote area in western Algeria that may be a stronghold for radical Islamists; the other is a young African woman crossing the desert to migrate northward. The intersection of their trajectories gives Teguia the opportunity to contrast two ways of seeing: one rational and scientific, seeking to master space, the other engaged in a direct, tactile experience of terrain. Juxtaposing these two projects allows Teguia to comment simultaneously on current geopolitics and on contemporary cinema.

linkHarvard Film Archive


Director Ben Rivers in person

Saturday, Oct. 20 at 7:00 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

UK 2011, 35mm, b/w, 86 min

For his first feature film, Ben Rivers (b. 1972) reunited once more with Jake Williams, the eccentric hermit whose ramshackle life deep in the Scottish wilderness is the subject of Rivers' This is My Land (2006) and an episode from I Know Where I'm Going (2009). A captivating meditation on solitude and time's passage, Two Years at Sea is a vivid and at times mysterious portrait of a man who seems to have found a genuine inner peace in the slow unfolding of his ritualized every day. The stunning imagery and visual imagination of Two Years at Sea derive a rare power from Rivers' dramatic use of the pointedly anachronistic 16mm widescreen format – later blown up to 35mm – to cast a swirling photochemical energy around the ragged forest and overstuffed trailer that together constitute Williams' home and universe. Almost entirely worldless, Two Years at Sea uses its richly evocative soundscape and extended long takes to fully immerse the viewer into the resonant tranquility of Williams' life, with photographs and well-worn objects gently hinting but never revealing a past life shed long ago.

UK 2012, 16mm, color, 14 min

An evocative tribute to a photographer friend who passed away suddenly, Rivers' latest short makes poetic use of images found in the friend's apartment to share poignantly unknowable fragments of a life's full adventure.

linkHarvard Film Archive

The Great Animal Orchestra: A Performance & Dialogue in Soundscape and Poetry with Bernie Krause & Jonathan Skinner

Thursday, Sept. 27 at 7:30 p.m.
Fong Auditorium, Boylston Hall

Free and open to the public.

Natural soundscapes, biophonies and geophonies, are a narrative of place, a basis for exploring our music and language. How does poetry, in its turn, engage the rhythms, sonorities, and signals inherent within the structure of soundscapes? In performance (of recorded soundscapes and poetic responses) and in dialogue, around concepts about natural and poetic sound, Bernie Krause (author of The Great Animal Orchestra) and Jonathan Skinner (poet and founding editor of Ecopoetics) will tease out some questions and answers about art's relation to the endangered realms of cross-species communication.

Co-sponsored by the Woodberry Poetry Room, the Sensory Ethnography Lab and the Film Study Center

Double Tide

Director Sharon Lockhart in person

Monday, Sept. 17 at 7:00 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

Offering a poetic counterpoint to her earlier factory diptych, Lunchbreak (2008) and Exit (2008), former FSC-Radcliffe fellow Sharon Lockhart returned to Maine and her abiding interest in American labor in her exquisite and meditative Double Tide, a portrait of a clam digger hard at work on the day of an ultra-rare occurrence – two daytime low tides, at dawn and dusk. Double Tide is a meditative expansion and enrichment of the ideas of "stillness" and landscape that remain important thematic constants of Lockhart's oeuvre.

linkHarvard Film Archive

The Pleasures of Deception: The Films of Matías Piñeiro, 2011-12 FSC-Radcliffe Fellow

Sunday & Monday, May 13 & 14 at 7:00 p.m.
Harvard Film Archive, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

Sunday May 13, 7:00 p.m.
The Stolen Man (El hombre robado)
Directed by Matías Piñeiro. With Ana Cambre, Francisco García Faure,
Daniel Gilman Calderón
Argentina 2007, 35mm, b/w, 90 min. Spanish with English subtitles

Monday May 14, 7:00 p.m.
They All Lie (Todos mienten)

Directed by Matías Piñeiro. With Romina Paula, María Villar,
Julia Martínez Rubio
Argentina 2009, digital video, color, 75 min. Spanish with English subtitles

linkHarvard Film Archive

The Films of Pema Tseden

Saturday & Sunday, April 21 & 211 at 2:00 p.m.
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, Main Lecture Hall, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge, Free Admission

Hailing from the Tibetan region of Amdo, filmmaker Pema Tseden's visions of contemporary Tibet reveal a contemplative, tender film language that captures rich textures of the everyday. The first Tibetan to train at the prestigious Beijing Film Academy, Tseden was widely known in China as a novelist and translator of works in Tibetan and Chinese prior to his entry into filmmaking. His three narrative features, The Silent Holy Stones (2005), The Search (2009), and Old Dog (2010) have marked his rise as the preeminent cinematic voice of Tibet. With a painterly visual approach inspired by Tibetan tangka scroll paintings, and a masterful sculpting of cinematic time and space that recalls the work of Bresson and Kiarostami, his work reflects a groundbreaking engagement with the transformations and contradictions of a changing social landscape in Tibet.

Saturday, April 21, 2012, 2pm

The Silent Holy Stones (Lhing Vjags Kyi Ma Ni Rdo Vbum, 2005)

(Tibetan with English Subtitles, 35mm, color, 102 min) Tseden's debut tells the story of a young Tibetan monk whose brief departure from the monastery to celebrate the Tibetan New Year at home with his family leaves him captivated by the Chinese television series Journey to the West.

Sunday, April 22, 2012, 2pm

Old Dog (Khyi Rgan, 2010)

(Tibetan with English Subtitles, HD, color, 88 min)

A tale of father and son set against the backdrop of China's burgeoning trade in Tibetan mastiffs, Tseden's most recent work is a profound meditation on time, distance, and human relationships in the context of loss and resistance.

Presented in association with Emergent Visions, the Sensory Ethnography Lab, and the Film Study Center
























































Previous Events



APRIL 6 – APRIL 9, 2012
Location: Harvard Film Archive
24 Quincy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138

Friday April 6 at 7pm
Black Natchez
USA 1967, 16mm, b/w, 62 min
USA 1970, 16mm, b/w, 21 min

Friday April 6 at 9pm
One Step Away
USA 1968, 16mm, b/w, 54 min
Harry's Trip
USA 1969, 16mm, color, 16 min

Saturday April 7 at 7pm
Diaries (1971 – 76)
USA 1980, 16mm, color, 200 min

Sunday April 8 at 5pm
The Way We See It
USA 1969, 16mm, b/w, 57 min
Portrait of a McCarthy Supporter
USA 1969, 16mm, color, 16 min

Sunday April 8 at 7pm
Life and Other Anxieties
USA 1977, 16mm, color, 90 min

Monday April 9 at 7pm
The Axe in the Attic
USA 2007, digital video, color, 110 min

linkHarvard Film Archive

Saul Levine, Selected short films

Thursday 29 March, 7:15 p.m.
Location: Sever Hall, Rm. 416

If someone were to write a critical history of the avant-garde cinema in Boston, Levine would be its hero. He seldom leaves the city, where, as a professor at the Massachusetts College of Art, he has been one of the most influential teachers of filmmaking in the nation, and his energies have for decades sustained the larger community of avant-garde filmmakers in Boston . . . A figure of the perennial Left, Levine has identified with and championed the small film gauges as if they were marginalized citizens of the republic of cinema. He has clung to his artistic freedom by seeking out these least expensive modes of filmmaking and, as Emerson wrote in the essay "Experience," to "hold hard to this poverty, however scandalous, and by more vigorous self-recoveries, after the sallies of action, possess our axis more firmly."


The 2012 Geneviève McMillan Fellowship: Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche in person

The FIlm Study Center annually awards the Geneviève McMillan-Reba Stewart Fellowship to a Francophone filmmaker from Africa or of African descent. This years award honors Rabah Ameur-Zaïmeche, the French filmmaker born in Algeria in 1966. The Harvard Film Archive will screen a retrospective of his work, with Ameur-Zaïmeche in attendance. The screenings schedule is as follows:

Friday 2 March at 7:00 p.m.
Smugglers' Songs (Les chants de Mandrin)
France 2011, digital video, 97 min. French with English Subtitles

Saturday 3 March at 7:00 p.m.
Adhen (Dernier maquis)
France 2008, 35mm, 93 min. French and Arabic with English subtitles

Sunday 4 March at 5:00 p.m.
Wesh Wesh (Wesh Wesh, qu'est-ce qui passe?)
France 2001, 35 mm, 83 min. French and Arabic with English subtitles

Sunday 4 March at 7:00 p.m.
Back Home (Bled Number One)
France/Algeria 2006, 35 mm, 100 min. French and Arabic with English subtitles

All screenings will be held at the Main Lecture Hall, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (HFA) 24 Quincy St., Cambridge
Sponsored by the Film Study Center and the Harvard Film Archive

For descriptions of each film, please see:

linkHarvard Film Archive

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu

Director Andrei Ujicǎ in person

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceaușescu
(180 minutes) Free Admission
Wednesday 15 February, 7:00 p.m.
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts

During his rule of Communist Romania from 1967 to 1989, Nicolae Ceausescu and his administration documented their reign on hundreds of hours of film. Drawing on footage from the Romanian National Film Archive and state television, Ujica transforms a historical chronicle into a spellbinding, sweeping epic by simply proceeding chronologically through the decades with little commentary or exposition; there are no titles, captions or voiceover. Ujica's primary authorial intervention consists of precise selection, ingenious editing and a cleverly subtle soundtrack construction. Although Ujica includes some unguarded moments, all the images are essentially staged; they originate from events public or private that Ceausescu ordered photographed. For most of this slyly astonishing film, Ceausescu seems to be as much in thrall to the image he created of himself as his subjects were presumed to be.

This screening and talk is sponsored by the Film Study Center, the Sensory Ethnography Lab, and the Harvard Film Archive. Free and open to the public.

linkHarvard Film Archive

Sonic Navigations and Electric Songlines
Composer and Sound Artist Betsey Biggs

Tuesday, November 8, 2011 at 7:00 p.m.
Barker Center 133, 12 Quincy Street, Cambridge

Betsey Biggs is a composer and sound artist who makes audio works which deal with memory, geography, and senses of place. Her works, often composed to be listened to via headphones while traversing specific environments, aims to expose the beautiful in the mundane, and to transform the city into a creative interface through psychogeographic practice. About her "Detox Project", an hour-long audio walk around the Gowanus Canal in Brooklyn, Alex Ross wrote in the New Yorker that the experience "proved to be psychologically complex, exposing how we orient ourselves with our ears".

More information on Biggs' audio work, as well as lots to listen to, can be found at

Free and open to the public.

Experiments in Place and Collaborative Documentary:
UnionDocsLooking at Los Sures
Director Diego Echeverria and UnionDocs artists in person

Tuesday, October 18, 7:00 p.m.
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, room B-04, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

In the late seventies and early eighties, South Williamsburg was one of the poorest neighborhoods in New York City. Largely Puerto Rican and Dominican, it was troubled by drugs and violence, full of abandoned real estate, and badly under-served. Los Sures, a documentary from 1984 by Diego Echeverria, skillfully represents the challenges of this time, while also celebrating a community that was connected, coherent, and full of culture.

UnionDocs, a Center for Documentary Art based in South Williamsburg, has begun an investigation of the neighborhood that revisits Echeverria's film and creates a constellation of companion documentary projects that update, annotate, challenge, and spiral off from the original. The result will be Looking at Los Sures, an interactive, multi-layer online documentary project that seeks not just to extract important stories from the place, but to also create new shared histories, to deeply enhance local awareness, respect, and tolerance, and to facilitate relationships between neighbors.

For this special event, Diego Echeverria will be present to discuss his original film and respond to the contemporary work of UnionDocs. The program will include excerpts from the original and work from last year’s UnionDocs Collaborative Fellows.

This screening and talk is presented by the Film Study Center with metaLAB (at) Harvard.

Free and open to the public.


Sound artist Francisco López at MIT

Monday, April 25
Lecture at 8:00 p.m.
Concert at 9:00 p.m.

MIT Media Lab, Wiesner Building (atrium level)
20 Ames St., Bldg. E15, Cambridge, MA

Free and open to the public

Francisco López is internationally recognized as one of the major figures of the sound art and experimental music scene. Over the past 30 years he has developed an astonishing sonic universe, absolutely personal and iconoclastic, based on a profound listening of the world. Though many of his sound works are made from location recordings from a variety of environments -- from a rain forest in which he engages in biological fieldwork, to the windswept mountains of Patagonia, to a boiler room in the basement of a building in New York City -- his work insists that the sounds be experienced purely as sounds, and not as signs. He thus extends the notion of the 'sound object' (objet sonore) from musique concrète, and critiques approaches from acoustic ecology. Erasing boundaries between industrial sounds and wilderness sound environments, shifting from the limits of perception to the most dreadful abyss of sonic power, López proposed a blind, profound, and transcendental listening, freed from the imperatives of knowledge and open to sensory and spiritual expansion.

He has realized hundreds of concerts, projects with field recordings, workshops and sound installations in 60 countries of the five continents. His extensive catalog of sound pieces (with live and studio collaborations with over 100 international artists) has been released by more than 200 record labels worldwide, and he has been awarded three times with honorary mentions at the competition of Ars Electronica Festival.

Presented by the Film Study Center, Sensory Ethnography Lab, Non-Event, and the MIT Program in Art, Culture, and Technology.

Francisco Lopez

A Film Unfinished
Director Yael Hersonski in person

Introduction by Susan R. Suleiman
C. Douglas Dillon Professor of the Civilization of France and
Professor of Comparative Literature at Harvard University

Tuesday, March 29, 6:00 p.m.
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, room B-04, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

At the end of WWII, 60 minutes of raw film, having sat undisturbed in an East German archive, was discovered. Shot by the Nazis in Warsaw in May 1942, and labeled simply “Ghetto,” this footage quickly became a resource for historians seeking an authentic record of the Warsaw Ghetto. However, the later discovery of a long-missing reel, inclusive of multiple takes and cameraman staging scenes, complicated earlier readings of the footage. A Film Unfinished presents the raw footage in its entirety, carefully noting fictionalized sequences (including a staged dinner party) falsely showing “the good life” enjoyed by Jewish urbanites, and probes deep into the making of a now-infamous Nazi propaganda film.

A Film Unfinished documents some of the worst horrors of our time, exposing the efforts of its perpetrators to propel their agenda and cast it in a favorable light.

Yael Hersonski is currently visiting the Boston area as part of the Schusterman Visiting Artist Program.

This screening and talk is sponsored by the Film Study Center. Free and open to the public.

linkA Film Unfinished official website

A Film Unfinished, Directed by Yael Hersonski

Adventures of a Photographer: A Book Story
An artist's talk by Dayanita Singh

Tuesday, March 1, 6:00 p.m.
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, room B-04, 24 Quincy St., Cambridge

Award-winning photographer Dayanita Singh is perhaps best known for her portraits of India’s urban middle and upper class families. These images of people working, celebrating or resting at home, show Indian life without embellishment. Her recent work has concentrated on another form of portraiture, of places rather than people. All but a few of Singh’s images are devoid of the human figure and they are typified by composure rather than restlessness. The work’s subtle formality is the product of intense and intimate observation, communicating a unique sense of time and place. Represented by Frith Street Gallery and published by Steidl, Singh's recent projects use the possibilites and peculiarities of color film to produce lush photographs saturated with intense color, and present a landscape which exists as much in the artist’s imagination as in the real world. Publishing is also a significant part of the artist’s practice: in her books, often published without text, she experiments with different ways of producing and viewing photographs. A mid-career retrospective of Singh’s work was shown at Huis Marseille, Amsterdam in 2010. Other recent solo exhibitions include Dream Villa Frith Street Gallery; Privacy at Hamburger Bahnhof Museum for Contemporary Art, Berlin and I am as I am, Ikon Gallery, Birmingham. Singh is the 2008 Gardner Photography Fellow at the Peabody Museum.

Sponsored by the Film Study Center, Sensory Ethnography Lab, and VES 350, Critical Media Practice.

In conjunction with the Singh exhibition opening at the Peabody Museum on March 2

Sophie Brunet lecture

Thursday, Dec. 8, 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Sever Hall, room 416

Film editor Sophie Brunet has worked with FSC fellow Dominque Cabrera, and she is also the editor of Marcel Ophuls, Bertrand Tavernier, Jean-Xavier de Lestrade, Pavel Longuine and Jonathan Nossiter.

"Here is where, in my opinion, all the difficulty and all the beauty of editing resides: in this incredible and agonizing struggle between the “heart of stone” and the absolute empathy that is demanded of the editor." - Sophie Brunet

Let Each One Go Where He May, Director Ben Russell in person

Sunday, Dec. 12, 7 p.m.
Bright Family Screening Room
Paramount Theatre, 559 Washington St., Boston

Ben Russell’s increasingly ambitious films are among the most notable developments in 21st century avant-garde cinema. Let Each One Go Where He May (2009, U.S./Suriname) is his feature film debut.

Let Each One Go Where He May traces the extensive journey of two unidentified brothers who venture from the outskirts of Paramaribo, Suriname over land and through rapids, past a Maroon village on the Upper Suriname River, in a rehearsal of the voyage undertaken by their ancestors who escaped from slavery at the hands of the Dutch 300 years prior. A path still traveled to this day, its changing topography bespeaks a diverse history of forced migration.” - Andréa Picard, Toronto International Film Festival

Ben Russell is an itinerant photographer, curator, and experimental film/videomaker whose works have screened in spaces ranging from 14th Century Belgian monasteries to 17th Century East Indian Trading Company buildings, police station basements to outdoor punk squats, Japanese cinematheques to Parisian storefronts, and the Sundance Film Festival to the Museum of Modern Art (solo). He has made films about the assassination of Easter Island, the divining powers of Richard Pryor, and the end of the world. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient in 2008, he began The Magic Lantern screening series in Providence, Rhode Island and currently resides in Chicago, Illinois, USA.

Presented in association with ArtsEmerson

Mark Tribe: Mediation, Performance, and the Public Sphere

Wednesday, Nov. 17, 6 p.m.
Carpenter Center of the Visual Art, room B-04
24 Quincy St., Cambridge

In 1968, protesters outside the Democratic National Convention in Chicago chanted “The whole world is watching,” and shortly thereafter their images appeared on the evening news. These days, protesters bring their own cameras and post video clips on YouTube, but few seem to notice. Has participatory media changed how we perform, document, and experience political action? If the public sphere is not only a discursive space, but also a performative and visual one, how is it transformed by contemporary technologies of mediation? How can video installation and performance art be used to interrogate conventional notions of protest, history, and popular culture?

Mark Tribe will discuss recent work and current projects, including The Dystopia Files, Sweet Child Solos, and The Port Huron Project.

Mark Tribe is a new media artist and curator whose interests include art, technology, and politics. He teaches courses on radical media, the art of curating, open-source culture, digital art, and techniques of surveillance in Modern Culture and Media, Brown University. In 1996, Tribe founded Rhizome, an organization that supports the creation, presentation, preservation, and critique of emerging artistic practices that engage technology, now based at the New Museum (NYC).

Presented in association with Sensory Ethnography Lab

Adventures of a Photographer: A Book Story. An Artist's Talk by Dayanita Singh, March 1 at CCVA

"Acoustemic Stratigraphies: Recent Work in Urban Phonography" with artist Steven Feld in person

Friday, Oct 22, 10 a.m. - 12 noon
Sever Hall, Room 416

Steven Feld is an anthropologist, ethnomusicologist, jazz musician, phonographer, author and Professor at UNM. Recipient of a MacArthur Foundation "genius prize" fellowship, and a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, he is the founder and director of VoxLox, a documentary sound art label whose CDs advocate for human rights and acoustic ecology.


Screening: David Holzman’s Diary and My Girlfriend’s Wedding
Director Jim McBride in person

Saturday, Sept. 25, 7:00 p.m.
Main Lecture Hall, Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts (HFA)
24 Quincy St., Cambridge
Sponsored by the Film Study Center and the Harvard Film Archive

The FSC is presenting Jim McBride at the Harvard Film Archive, with back-to-back screening of his first two films, and a post-screening discussion with the director.

linkHarvard Film Archive

David Holzman's Diary
David Holtzman's Diary (1967)

"The City in Film" Screening and Discussion with Scott MacDonald

Thursday, Sept 16, 2:00 p.m.
Screening Castro Street and Side/Walk/Shuttle
Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts, room B04

Scott MacDonald is an historian and theorist of independent and avant-garde cinema. He is a Visiting Professor at Hamilton College, and is currently writing a book on Bostonian documentary.

Presented in association with VES162 Media Archeology of Place



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