Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Inside the Reach of Resonance: a Fundraiser for filmmaker Steve Elkins!

Have you ever had the chance to support one of the most important documentary filmmakers of our time?  Well, here is your chance!  On Friday, February 21st, The Violet Hour Studio inside the Magoski Arts Colony will host a special screening of "The Reach Of Resonance" (2010), an award-winning debut feature documentary made by Hibbleton Gallery film series curator Steve Elkins.  The Reach of Resonance has already screened in nearly 20 countries, including the Louvre in Paris, National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, Beirut International Film Festival, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, Santander Cultural Center (Brazil), Tel Aviv Museum of Art (Israel), and has been incorporated into the syllabus for students at Harvard, NYU, and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music.  

Our screening will be a fundraiser for Steve's upcoming March trip to Siberia where he will be working on his second feature documentary. (This is where you come in!).  The new film we are raising funds to help Steve complete involves the largest astronomy project in human history, Tuvan throat singers, Ethiopian monks living with wild animals in 4th century caves, a neuroscientistst's quest to actually photograph memories being formed in the brain, and the creation of sand mandalas in remote Buddhist monasteries between Pakistan and Tibet, all told through the true story of a man running alone across Death Valley in average temperatures of 130 degrees fahrenheit.  Having already completed filming in Chile and at CERN's Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland, the film will be about the struggle to lift the seemingly impenetrable veils of mystery from the intangible and transcendent, whether through bodies, machines, brains, or stars.  Steve is currently collaborating with the King of Kadakh and the 20-year personal attendant to the Dalai Lama to complete the film. If you come, you can say that you helped an amazingly powerful film be made. Steve will be at the screening to do Q&A with the audience and give an exclusive presentation on his new film.   Visit the event Facebook page HERE

But wait, there's more!  In anticipation of this event, Hibbleton Gallery will host a weekly film series at 7:30pm each Wednesday night in February (curated by Steve) of films related to some of the incredible artists he worked with to make "The Reach Of Resonance."  Steve will be there to introduce each film, show some of his own clips, explain how each film relates to or inspired The Reach of Resonance, and lead an informal discussion afterward.  These screenings are free, but donations are accepted and appreciated, and they will all go to fund Steve's film (and the occasional burrito from Taqueria de Anda).  Here's the lineup...


One of the featured artists in "The Reach Of Resonance," Bob Ostertag, is also one of the main behind-the-scenes members of the radical guerilla media pranksters known as The Yes Men, whose activities involve going on major news networks (like CNN and BBC) pretending to be high-ranking representatives of major corporations (like EXXON and DOW) to tell the truth about what these corporations are up to in the same language they normally use to systematically conceal their activities. From their humble beginnings as the Barbie Liberation Front (yes, the doll) to their invention of the Haliburton SurvivaBall (an inflatable globe-shaped suit for corporate executives in the event of global catastrophe with its own food and weapon systems), The Yes Men deliver radical political activism at its funniest. We will also watch some short films Steve Elkins made about Jon Rose, the barbed-wire fence musician from "The Reach Of Resonance" whose work overlaps with The Yes Men in fascinating ways. Here is the trailer for the upcoming Yes Men film (we will be watching their first).


While filming composer John Luther Adams in interior Alaska for "The Reach Of Resonance," Steve Elkins was introduced to John's close friend Len Kamerling, whose life and work has had a profound impact upon both John and Steve. While John has been exploring the Alaskan landscape through its sonic geography, Len had been living in remote Yup'ik eskimo villages exploring the emotional geography native Alaskans have cultivated with the land to survive in such extreme conditions. Len's work provides new depths to John's observation that "we need to know where we are in order to have a more complete understanding of who we are" and Steve's own attempts to better understand how listening creates culture. Steve will present a short film he made about Len's unique process of living amongst remote and endangered cultures around the world and allowing those communities to collaborate in the editing and development of his films. We will also watch Len's feature film "The Heart Of A Country," a deeply moving meditation on the possibilities of raising children through social community education, rather than standardized testing education, in remote, rural Hokkaido, Japan.  Here's a short film Steve made about Len.


Steve Elkins will present a short film he made on the work of Pierre Hebert (an artist in "The Reach Of Resonance") who developed his own form of live animation by scratching directly onto film with a knife as it's being pulled through the projector. We will also watch Chris Landreth's amazing computer-animated film about one of Herbert's friends and collaborators, Ryan Larkin, who was nominated for an animation Oscar, but then become a panhandler on the streets of Montreal, where Steve used to run into him. In addition, we will watch pioneering animated works by other friends and mentors of Hebert, including Norman McLaren, Len Lye, graffiti artists, and more. 


The many years Steve Elkins spent searching for archival materials documenting a 1990 queer riot in San Francisco (which resulted in the California State Building being set on fire), led him to meet and collaborate with many incredible figures in the San Francisco gay rights movement, including Jane Cleland and Dan Nicoletta, whose photographs of Harvey Milk (the first openly gay politician to be elected for public office) are featured prominently in the Academy award winning documentary "The Times Of Harvey Milk." Nicoletta was played by Lucas Grabeel in Gus Van Sant’s Academy award winning feature film “Milk,” (starring Sean Penn) while Nicoletta himself played Carl Carlson (the last person to see Milk alive before his assassination) in the film. We will watch short films Steve made in collaboration with Nicoletta and others on gay rights struggles in San Francisco, prior to a full screening of "The Times Of Harvey Milk." 

I am grateful and privileged to have a friend like Steve Elkins, and am excited to help him with his film projects.  See you at the Colony!

1 comment:

  1. Here's the link to purchase tickets for Steve's Film Screening on the 21st of February: