Film Love presents
ROGER BEEBE IN PERSON FILMS FOR ONE TO EIGHT PROJECTORS
Images from Roger Beebe's eight-projector piece Last Light of a Dying Star
Florida filmmaker Roger Beebe has shown work in such unlikely venues as McMurdo Station in Antarctica and the CBS Jumbotron in Times Square – as well as the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance Film Festival, and many other traditional spaces. Returning to Eyedrum after an acclaimed 2005 appearance, Beebe presents an evening of short films which use multiple simultaneously running projectors to immerse the audience in imagery. These works draw on the long tradition of multi-screen cinema, from Abel Gance’s Napoléon to the “expanded cinema” of Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable.
Among other films, Beebe will present a retooled two-projector version of his well-known Strip Mall Trilogy; Money Changes Everything, an elaborate three-projector meditation on Las Vegas; and the eight-projector magnum opus Last Light of a Dying Star. Made and projected in a variety of formats (video, 16mm, and super-8mm), the films combine found footage and Beebe’s own striking imagery of American landscapes, seen through the prism of technological change. But they also exist as “performance films” – since as Mr. Beebe says, “they can only be screened with [the filmmaker] actually running the projectors – and running from projector to projector.”
As part of its ongoing series of visiting artists, Film Love is proud to host Roger Beebe, whose engaging in-person appearances often result in lively post-screening discussions.
PROGRAM The program will include the following works, plus selections to be chosen. Notes on the films below were written by Roger Beebe.
Last Light of a Dying Star (2008, 4 X 16mm, 3 X video, 1 X super-8mm, 30 minutes)
Originally made for an installation/performance in a planetarium at the Museum of Arts and Sciences in Macon, GA, the film attempts to recapture some of the excitement of the early days of space exploration and the utopian aspirations of expanded cinema. Made as an orchestration of a number of different elements, made and found: handmade cameraless film loops by Beebe and Jodie Mack; striking sequences of digital stills by Cassandra C. Jones; 16mm educational films about eclipses, asteroids, comets, and meteorites; and a super-8 print of an East German animated film.
Money Changes Everything (2009, 3 X 16mm, 5 minutes)
Three days in Las Vegas, Nevada, and three different versions of the discarded past and the constantly renewed future. A three-part portrait of a town in transformation: a suburban utopia in the desert, a cancerous sprawl of unplanned development, a destination for suicides.
TB TX Dance (2006, 2 X 16mm, 3 minutes)
A cameraless film made on a black & white laser printer with an optical soundtrack made of dots of varying sizes provides the backdrop for revisiting Toni Basil’s appearance in Bruce Conner’s 1966 film Breakaway. Commissioned as part of Mike Plante’s Lunchfilm series, where filmmakers are asked to make films for less than the price of the lunch they’ve just been treated to. (This film’s budget was $32.37 worth of pulled pork sandwiches and peach cobbler.)
The Strip Mall Trilogy (2001, 1 X super-8mm, 1 X video, 9 minutes)
A look straight into the heart of the most postmodern of architectural forms, the strip mall, shot in a mile-long parking lot that could be Anywhere, USA.
ROGER BEEBE is a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida. He has screened in many venues around the United States, winning numerous awards and grants, including Best Experimental Film at the 2006 Chicago Underground Film Festival. In addition to his work as a filmmaker, he ran Flicker, a festival of small gauge film in Chapel Hill, NC, from 1997-2000 and is currently artistic director of FLEX, the Florida Experimental Film Festival. He owns Video Rodeo, an independent video store in Gainesville, FL.
ROGER BEEBE IN PERSON is a Film Love event. The Film Love series provides access to rare but important films, and seeks to increase awareness of the rich history of experimental and avant-garde film. The series is curated and hosted by Andy Ditzler for Frequent Small Meals. Film Love was voted Best Film Series in Atlanta by the critics of Creative Loafing in 2006.