Jared Buckhiester, Dani Leventhal, and Alee Peoples in person!

When the worlds of fantasy and desire collide in a dissociative dance of bodies in motion, what’s love got to do with it?

Hard as Opal
Jared Buckhiester & Dani Leventhal, USA, 2015, digital projection, 29m
“A soldier’s trip to Syria is complicated when he accidentally impregnates a friend. Meanwhile, a horse breeder from Ohio is driven away from home by her own desire to become pregnant. In Hard as Opal the lines between truth and fiction, fact and fantasy, are reined in and treated not as fixed, divisive markers but as malleable threads of narrative potential. Buckhiester and Leventhal perform alongside other non-actors who are filmed in their own varying domestic and professional environments. The result is a rich accumulation of narratives held together by questions concerning the nature of objectification, loneliness, and dissociative fantasy.”—Brett Price
World Premiere

Curt McDowell, USA, 1971, 16mm, 11 min
“How much joy and lust and friendship can be crammed into one 11-minute movie? ‘To put it into words is just not that easy to do.’ After a tearful confession, Curt casts one true love as a leading man and lets the images do most of the talking, so what you know about him is felt. The difference between a messy guy in bloom and a perfect lifeless doll. The beauty of women’s faces and men’s cocks in close-up, and dirty bare feet, stepping forward. A live-wire radio built by editing that switches from folk to blues in a heartbeat. Fanfare, a cum shot, and a burst of applause as the director walks away from the camera, into San Francisco daylight. There’s no happier ending in cinema.”—Johnny Ray Huston, from The Single and the LP

Restored print courtesy of Academy Film Archive. Confessions is the first in a large-scale project at the Academy Film Archive to restore the majority of Curt McDowell’s extant films.

Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies
Alee Peoples, USA, 2015, 16mm, 9m
“I use Super 8 and 16mm film as a vehicle for loose storytelling with history and humor. Simple props and gestures are part of a playful aesthetic. Glimpses into the culture of a place are given while playing with truth and representation. Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies is a Los Angeles street film starring empty signs, radio from passing cars, and human sign spinners, some with a pulse and some without.”—Alee Peoples

Mars Garden
Lewis Klahr, USA, 2014, DCP, 5m
Mars Garden is episode 5 of my 12-film series Sixty Six, which on its most foundational level, splices Greek mythology with 1960s pop culture. In Mars Garden I employ a light box to excavate the chance superimpositions of the two-sided comic book page in vintage mid-1960s superhero comics.”—Lewis Klahr

The Exquisite Corpus
Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2015, 35mm, 19m
The Exquisite Corpus is based on several different films, with reference to the surrealist ‘exquisite corpse’ technique. It combines rushes from commercials, an American erotic thriller from the 1980s, a British comedy from the 1960s, a Danish and a French porn film (both most likely from the 1970s), an Italian softcore sex movie from 1979, and a (British?) amateur “nudist film.” In addition to the found footage, many indexical signs and images are imprinted upon the film. By focusing on these erotic fragments The Exquisite Corpus brings the body of film itself to the forefront and finds its central theme.”—Peter Tscherkassky
U.S. Premiere