Last October, we partnered with the Sound Unseen Film Festival to present Sound Art Cinema, a series of films curated by artist Christian Marclay. Christian picked a pretty incredible and diverse group of films in which sound, as he put it, “is the focal point, if not the driving force.” It featured everything from Walt Disney shorts to Michael Snow’s epic Rameau’s Nephew by Diderot (Thanx to Dennis Young) by Wilma Schoen.
Through Sound Art Cinema, I was introduced to the films of Mauricio Kagel. Kagel is likely best known for his work as a composer, but he has a rather impressive body of film work as well. However, this work is incredibly difficult to see, especially outside of Europe. In fact, I’ve never had a more difficult time securing materials for a screening. I’m sure that is a contributing factor to the inavailability of the work. However, it was well worth effort, as the films were absolutely amazing; ethereal, avant-garde studies of music, musicians, and the psychology behind them.
I’m happy to not attempt to describe them further and let the films speak for themselves. UBUweb, an incredible web archive for the avant-garde has made many of Kagel’s films available through their site! They have several I have not had the opportunity to see yet, but I am extatic to have the access. I would highly recommend Match and Duo, but download them all once you are hooked.
Certainly, these downloads won’t compare with the proper presentation in a cinema, but I’d rather see something than nothing at all. That being said, I was very happy to see this posted on UbuWeb’s film download page:
UbuWeb is pleased to present dozens of avant-garde films for your viewing pleasure. However, it is important to us that you realize that what you will see is in no way comparable to the experience of seeing these gems as they were intended to be seen: in a dark room, on a large screen, with a good sound system and, most importantly, with a roomful of warm, like-minded bodies.
On a related note, Sound Unseen is back and just about to get rolling! They’ve got a fantastic slate of screenings and events scheduled. I’m very happy to see Old Joy, Kelly Reichardt’s film starring Will Oldham and Daniel London, make its way to the Twin Cities. Assistant Curator Dean Otto has been talking this film up since catching it on his travels, and I’ve been dying to see it.