LIFT Co-Presents Gregory J. Markopoulos / Robert Beavers at FREE SCREEN

 

LIFT co-presents two programs at the Fall 2012 Season of TIFF’s FREE SCREEN.

 

PROGRAM #1: Gregory J. Markopoulos: Through A Lens Brightly

Co-presented with LIFT and TIFF

Sunday, December 2, 2012

7:00pm

 

LIFT co-presents two programs at the Fall 2012 Season of TIFF’s FREE SCREEN.

 

PROGRAM #1: Gregory J. Markopoulos: Through A Lens Brightly

Co-presented with LIFT and TIFF

Sunday, December 2, 2012

7:00pm

Robert Beavers in person!

 

This programme of early films by one of the most important figures of the New American Cinema movement shows the development of his increasingly fragmented visual style and unique form of film portraiture.

 

Note:

One of the most important figures in the New American Cinema movement of the 1960s, Gregory J. Markopoulos (1928–1992) integrated Greek mythology and film portraiture into densely fragmented and rhythmical works that attempt to articulate cinema’s purest form. When Markopoulos left the US in 1967 to move permanently to Europe, he withdrew his films from distribution, which has made them extremely difficult to see — a great loss to film culture given their historical importance and lasting influence.

 

In recent years, the efforts of Markopoulos’ partner Robert Beavers to finish and exhibit Markopoulos’ epic final work, the eighty-hour ENIAIOS, have sparked a renewed interest in Markopoulos’ oeuvre. ENIAIOS is specifically designed to be shown at the Temenos, a special site in Arcadia, Greece, but Beavers has kindly agreed to present a programme of Markopoulos’ earlier films, many of which lay the groundwork for his grand final film.

 

The films in this program show the evolving development of Markopoulos’ film portraiture, displaying an increasing reliance on a fragmented visual style that develops rhythm from quick shots, movement in place and negative space. Swain is an early film inspired by Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Fanshawe, with Markopoulos playing the lead character. Ming Green and Sorrows are both portraits of place — the first of Markopoulos’ last apartment in New York City, made shortly after his mother’s death, the second of the house Richard Wagner lived in during his Swiss exile — while Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill and Gilbert & George are intimate character sketches of the eponymous American dancer-poet-painter and British artist duo, respectively.

 

Swain (Gregory J. Markopoulos \ USA 1950 \ 24 min. \ 16mm)

Ming Green (Gregory J. Markopoulos \ USA 1966 \ 7 min. \ 16mm)

Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill (Gregory J. Markopoulos \ USA 1967 \ 15 min. \ 16mm)

Sorrows (Gregory J. Markopoulos \ USA 1969 \ 6 min. \ 16mm)

Gilbert & George (Gregory J. Markopoulos \ USA 1970 \ 12 min. \ 16mm) 



 

 

PROGRAM #2: Robert Beavers: My Hand Outstretched…

Co-presented with LIFT, The Images Festival and TIFF

Monday, December 3, 2012

6:30pm

Robert Beavers in person!

 

Recently rediscovered after being out of circulation for decades, the lyrical films of Robert Beavers offer a fascinating dialogue with and counterpoint to the works of his partner and mentor Gregory Markopoulos.

 

Note:

I think of filmmaking like architecture: the entire process is nourished through many stages of development, and the vision of each part leads to the next. The work does not exclude spontaneity. The filming reaches forward and extends a central impulse. It has a chronology. Observation draws out an interior richness.

—Robert Beavers

 

Robert Beavers began making films while still a teenager, after leaving his home in Weymouth, Massachusetts, for New York City at age sixteen. A few years later, he left for Europe and was joined by Gregory J. Markopoulos, with whom he would share his life until Markopoulos’ death in 1992. Markopoulos was both a mentor and champion for Beavers’ work, but neither artist circulated their films in the last decades of Markopoulos’ life, making them practically invisible.

 

When Beavers’ films did emerge in the beginning of this century — most notably during the Festival’s twenty-fifth anniversary in 2002, in a three-screening series that begat the Wavelengths programme the very next year — they were a revelation. Eighteen films were eventually released as a full thematic cycle, collected under the title My Hand Outstretched to the Winged Distance and Sightless Measure. The films, as Beavers says, grew “out of my relation to Gregory Markopoulos, protected by solitude and the spirit that came from our dedication to filmmaking.” As such, seeing them in relationship to Markopoulos’ films shows both a dialogue and unique counterpoint between the two filmmakers.

 

Three of the films shown tonight derive from Beavers’ eighteen-film cycle, and they are followed by his most recently completed film, The Suppliant. Employing a meticulous editing style, Beavers cycles through evocations of architecture (Greek arcades), archaic customs (bookbinding, ancient refrigeration techniques), landscape (a stream in Lousios, the barren landscape of Hydra), and hands performing an action. The hands in The Stoas are cupped as if holding vases — the initial inspiration for the film. Beavers never shot the vases, so the hands become a visual notion of presence in the face of absence — a beautiful metaphor for the place his work now fills in the continued dialogue around film’s evolving possibilities.

 

Work Done (Robert Beavers \ USA 1972/1999 \ 22 min. \ 35mm)

The Stoas (Robert Beavers \ USA 1991-1997 \ 22 min. \ 35mm)

The Ground (Robert Beavers \ USA 1993-2001 \ 20 min. \ 35mm)

The Suppliant (Robert Beavers \ USA 2010 \ 5 min. \ 16mm)

 

Robert Beavers will be presenting a reading as part of No Reading After the Internet on Saturday, December 1, 4:00 pm at LIFT, 1137 Dupont St., Toronto.

 

 

Sunday 2 December 2012 19:00  

Non-members: Free
Members: Free

Location:
TIFF Bell Lightbox 
350 King Street West 
Toronto ON Canada