Report by Giuseppe Boccassini (LUEZO)
San Francisco Cinematheque is non-profit arts-presenting organization which has been dedicated to the presentation of international works of avant-garde and experimental cinema in the San Francisco Bay Area . Founded by filmmaker Bruce Baillie in 1961, San Francisco Cinematheque is the Bay Area’s premier venue for avant-garde/experimental, underground and personally expressive film and video work. In its steadfast dedication to exhibiting works of aesthetically radical cinema from all historical eras and geo-political locales, Cinematheque celebrates the breadth and depth of this vibrant art form in all its myriad expressivities.
Cinematheque show pieces of recent films and videos for CROSSROADS 2014, the fifth manifestation of the annual festival of recent and rediscovered film/video work curated by Steve Polta. Occurring in April at in San Francisco’s Victoria Theatre, CROSSROADS 2014 showcase new film/video works by emerging and established filmmakers, including performance and works of live cinema, non-commercial, artist-made work. Currently it presents approximately 35 screenings into 10 different programs of three days:
1-2 :Nathaniel Dorsky: Three Premieres
3. phantom tunneling to the beginning of time
4. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
5. intimate immensities: ritual takes form and my beating heart bounds with exulting motion
6. A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness: Installation View and Artists’ Talk
7. APPARENT MOTION: Seitz vs Gendreau; Elise Baldwin; MSHR
8. intimate immensities 2: untethered…
9. choreographies of devotion, in the roaring traffic’s boom…
10. phantom tunneling 2: life is long, the walls come off, and light enters your cell(s)
My film "Lezuo" was showing into program 5.
During the festival (3-6 April) more than 30 filmmakers from all over the United States came to present their films at the festival. I was the only filmmaker traveling from Europe, even though there were many films in the program hailing from Europe, Asia and South America. The festival is very specific, there is only one kind of cinema. This is a good point to know even better then a big festival with a lot of categories the others filmmakers and the audience.
For me was a great opportunity first becuase I knew some filmmakers of the old generation of the experimental film world as Nathaniel Dorsky and Roger Deutsch but also young filmmakers really closed to my cinema sensibiliy as Lana Z Caplan, Jeremy Moss, Zach Iannazzi, Ben Rivers. I presented my film to the audience without any pressure because, first Crossroads is more an exibhition then a real festival, means without prizes and competition, second because there was an expert audience who knows very weel this kind of cinema.
Around my film I felt a particular interest, first becuase his plot is about an immigrant who traveled from Italy to Usa, the same country of the festival, and second because Ihad the possibility tp present in person , a real good point to explain your intentions and feelings during the film making and after the final cut.
Also a lot of people were interested into the experimental film scene of Berlin. They knew that I come from Germany because I used the logo of AG Kurzfilm on the postcard of my film that I distributed with the other AGK meterials to the audience, the curator and the other filmmakers before and after the whole exhibition on the Victoria Theather, the venue , into the heart of Mission the melting pot district of San Francisco. Also I left some postcard into cafes and book stores. I also delivered the DVDs to the curator Steve Polta.
Finally my accomodation was for free in the flat of Film historian Federico Windhausen. This was good for me becuase he introduced me immedialtelly to the people of the festival and he drove me into the city.