[NetBehaviour] My Lost Films

Michael Szpakowski szpako at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 20 11:57:18 CEST 2007

Don't know whether anyone on this list has contacts
with the BFI or anything exalted like that?..I
wondered if there might be some way here of getting
this work shown, archived, preserved, restored,
transferred to DVD, something...

--- Alan Sondheim <sondheim at panix.com> wrote:

> My Lost Films
> I made films from 1969-1993; most of them were
> carried by Canyon Cinema in
> San Francisco. The films are all mast prints; I
> didn't copy them, but
> showed the originals, since I wanted to use what
> little funds I had to
> produce more. They were shown periodically at
> Millennium in New York, and
> occasionally elsewhere, but they've never been part
> of the film community;
> as a result, they've hardly been shown. Canyon
> Cinema returned them after
> the board voted against handling masters, which
> could be damaged during a
> screening of course. They were then placed at the
> Filmmakers Coop here in
> NY, where they've remained on the shelf for fifteen
> years; I doubt anyone
> has rented or seen them. I don't know their
> condition at this point; many
> of the 16mm ones had mag stripe sound on them, which
> is susceptible to
> print-through.
> They were featured prominently in the 1992 Canyon
> Cinema catalog, just
> before Canyon changed its mind about handling them.
> (I should add that my
> videos have been available at times from places like
> Printed Matter or Art
> Metropole, but these can be duplicated.) I'm
> saddened that they remain
> unscreened - there are probably 15-24 hours worth.
> There are a large
> number of them; for a while, when I was teaching at
> UCLA, I made a film
> every week, mostly 16mm black and white sound,
> imitating the older silent
> film production strategies and rates. For me the
> films broke a lot of new
> ground - not least, in optical/magnetic soundtrack
> experimentation, but
> they're quiet, moot on that point.
> So I recently found a copy of the 1992 catalog and
> xeroxed the six pages
> that describe my work. I am forced to think of the
> pages themselves as a
> new film, made from the silence of the old; they
> read as a narrative of
> concerns, experimentations, confusions, and
> theory-work changing over a
> twenty-year period (although to be fair, most were
> made between 1980 and
> 1992). The image URLs are given below. Read the
> texts, imagine watching
> the films, and maybe in some absurd future, they'll
> come to life again.
> http://www.asondheim.org/canyonfilm1.jpg
> http://www.asondheim.org/canyonfilm2.jpg
> http://www.asondheim.org/canyonfilm3.jpg
> http://www.asondheim.org/canyonfilm4.jpg
> http://www.asondheim.org/canyonfilm5.jpg
> http://www.asondheim.org/canyonfilm6.jpg
> http://www.asondheim.org/canyonfilm7.jpg
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