Oddball Films and guest curator John Schmidt present Relics and Remnants: The Cinema of What’s Left, an evening exploration of ruin, decay, and loss. The program begins with Bay Area filmmaker and journalist Jon Else’s You Don’t Die Here (1972), an impressionistic documentary portrait of a small, eccentric community eking out an existence in the unforgiving light of California’s Death Valley. Across the world, Eugene Boyko records a real-life Wages of Fear in his 1968 short Juggernaut (1969), which follows a group of engineers as they attempt to transport a 70-ton nuclear reactor core across the Indian continent. Glimpses of the traditional life its pilgrimage quite literally displaces, serve as evocative counterpoint: roads were fortified and buildings destroyed to let the titular juggernaut (ever-so-slowly) pass. If in these two films the present impinges itself on—and comes into direct contact with—remnants of the past, in the Academy Award winning Mexican documentary Sentinels of Silence (1971) what remains is mere palimpsest; ghostly traces of cultures long erased. Beautiful aerial photography of Mesoamerican ruins and voiceover musing by Orson Welles leave the viewer to wonder at the accomplishments and precipitous fall of pre-Columbian Mayan civilization. We allow a brief animation interlude for Croatian master Nedeljko Dragic’s free jazz destruction symphony Tup Tup (1973) before concluding the night with a print of (the recently deceased) Alain Resnais’ masterful Night and Fog (1955), never before seen at Oddball. Horrifying and necessary, the film combines archival material with meditative footage shot at Auschwitz and Majdanek ten years after the end of World War II. In the process, Resnais reveals the yawning gap between what’s left and what was, challenging the commonplace assumption that we can ever really understand the magnitude of history and its many traumas.
Date: Thursday, January 29th, 2015 at 8:00PM
Venue: Oddball Films, 275 Capp Street San Francisco
Admission: $10.00 Limited Seating RSVP to RSVP@oddballfilm.com or (415) 558-8117Web: http://oddballfilms.blogspot.com