Press Office Event


Released: October 14, 2009 ·

November 5–12, 2009
In Martha Colburn’s animated films, collages, paintings, and installations, textbook histories and heroic figures undergo lurid transformations. In her recent work Myth Labs (2008), the Mayflower’s pilgrims meet a Midwestern America strewn with meth addicts, while devils in the apocalyptic Don’t Kill the Weatherman! (2007) fill SUVs at the gas pump, hastening our own global warming–induced flood.

In this weeklong residency, Colburn screens new and past works with multiple projectors and musical accomplices. Highlights include an SFMOMA/Performa co-commissioned new work, Thollem Mcdonas on piano, indie legend Jad Fair on guitar, and a matinee of favorites selected by the artist.

November 5, 2009 •
Phyllis Wattis Theater, 7 p.m.
Power to the Puppets: Films by Martha Colburn
Martha Colburn, artist; Frank Smigiel, associate curator, public programs; Thollem Mcdonas, musical accompaniment
$10 general admission; $7 SFMOMA members, students, seniors.
The result of a painstakingly slow and hand-driven production process, Colburn’s animated films nonetheless teem with speed, their paper puppet stars running, tumbling, and falling apart in a constantly morphing and manipulated landscape. This program features shorts, from her First Film (1994) to the just-completed Join the Freedom Force
(2009). Also on the bill is Colburn’s contribution to the SFMOMA/Performa co-commission Futurist Life Redux, plus her music videos for Felix Kubin, Friendly Rich, and Deerhoof, among others. The films are accompanied by music performed by Mcdonas, a San Francisco–based pianist and frequent Colburn collaborator, and followed by a Q&A.

November 12, 2009 •
Phyllis Wattis Theater, 7 p.m.
Puppets of the Apocalypse or Martha Colburn: Live Cinema
Martha Colburn, artist with musicians Haleh Abghari, Jon Dietrich, Michael Evans, Jad Fair, Thollem McDonas, Laura Ortman, and Ryan Sawyer
$10 general admission; $7 SFMOMA members, students, seniors.
Long involved in experimental music scenes as both a musician and a filmmaker, Colburn has honed a live practice of multiprojector, manipulated film and music shows. As she recently told Time Out New York, “When I’m filming, I’m working at a rate of, like, one second of film per hour. When I finish, I want to create in real time, or even better: double real time, and be my animated ‘self.’ I call together my musician friends who work on my soundtracks, and we play together.” Tonight, she gathers legendary Half-Japanese founder Fair, Deerhoof guitarist Dietrich, pianist Mcdonas, and a cohort of New York collaborators—vocalist Abghari, noise artist Evans, violist Ortman, and drummer Sawyer—for an evening of immersive, live cinema.

Fair plays a warm-up party at Hemlock Tavern on Wednesday, November 11; visit hemlocktavern.com for details.

In this special collaboration with the Castro Theatre, SFMOMA presents Erased James Franco, artist Carter’s new homage to Robert Rauschenberg’s iconic Erased de Kooning Drawing, starring local favorite James Franco. Three films screened over the course of the day—two at SFMOMA and one at the Castro.

Sunday, November 15 Phyllis Wattis Theater, 1 p.m.
Todd Haynes, 1995, 119 min., 35mm
Set in an affluent suburb in the San Fernando Valley in 1987, Safe tracks the physical and psychological breakdown of Carol White (Julianne Moore), a housewife suffering from multiple chemical sensitivity, or “20th Century Disease.” Trying to cope with her unpredictable reactions to seemingly harmless everyday products through psychotherapy, she eventually retreats from the invisible chemical threats and enters a New Age community designed to help people with MCS recover.

Sunday, November 15
Phyllis Wattis Theater, 3 p.m.
Freaks and Geeks
Franco himself selects favorite episodes of the TV show Freaks and Geeks and introduces the screening.

$10 general; $7 SFMOMA members, students, and seniors. Includes both films.

Sunday, November 15, 6 p.m. • The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco
John Frankenheimer, 1966, 107 min., 35mm
Frankenheimer’s riveting film unfolds as a disillusioned middle-aged business man is given the opportunity to be reborn as someone else through a mysterious organization known only as The Company. After faking his own death, he undergoes extreme plastic surgery and psychoanalysis and returns, completely transformed, as Tony Wilson, a handsome young painter played by Rock Hudson. As he lives out his seemingly idyllic new life, he begins to face the consequences of his decision.

Sunday, November 15, 8 p.m. • The Castro Theatre, 429 Castro Street, San Francisco

Erased James Franco
Carter, artist; James Franco, actor; Frank Smigiel, associate curator, public programs
Riffing on Robert Rauschenberg’s iconic Erased de Kooning Drawing (1958), multimedia artist Carter presents actor James Franco stripped of the sureties of his craft and transformed into an almost sculptural object. Erased James Franco finds Franco covering banal scenes from his own films, as well as segments of Julianne Moore’s scenes in Todd Haynes’s Safe and Rock Hudson’s in John Frankenheimer’s Seconds. Carter and Franco join SFMOMA Associate Curator of Public Programs Frank Smigiel for a post-screening conversation about film, celebrity, identity, and art.

$10 general; $7 SFMOMA members, students, and seniors. Includes both films.

Thursday, November 19Phyllis Wattis Theater, 7 p.m.
Deborah Stratman: O’er the Land
Deborah Stratman, filmmaker
$10 general admission; $7 SFMOMA and San Francisco Cinematheque members, students, seniors.
Stratman’s epic film O’er the Land channels the dark side of the American psyche, presenting a savagely poetic meditation on the contemporary culture of violence and patriotism by looking at gun culture, war reenactments, and border conflicts. Including the story of Lt. Col. William Rankin, a Marine Corps pilot who survived being trapped in the updrafts of a thunderstorm for 45 minutes following an emergency ejection at 48,000 feet, O’er the Land describes a stark world of warriors and survivors. Also screening are Stratman’s Paranormal Trilogy (How Among the Frozen Words, It Will Die Out in the Mind, and The Magician’s House) and Palimpsest. (Steve Polta). Co-presented by San Francisco Cinematheque.
Thursday, December 3 • Phyllis Wattis Theater, 7 p.m.
The Cockettes on Film, at 40!
Syd Dutton, Sebastian, Bill Weber, and David Weisman, directors; Harlow Hasse, Fayette Hauser, Scrumbly Koldewyn, Rumi Missabu, Sweet Pam, and Tahara, Cockettes members
$10 general admission; $7 SFMOMA members, students, seniors.
It’s been 40 New Year’s Eves since the legendary performance, drag, and hippie ensemble the Cockettes first began staging their glitter-draped spectacles in North Beach. To celebrate, SFMOMA hosts an evening of rare Cockettes films, including Tricia’s Wedding, Pick-up’s Tricks, and Elevator Girls in Bondage. Cockettes members and friends join us to introduce the program and discuss some of the group’s most magical moments.

Thursday, December 10 • Phyllis Wattis Theater, 7 p.m.

George and Mike Kuchar: Recent Preservations
George and Mike Kuchar, filmmakers
$10 general admission; $7 SFMOMA and San Francisco Cinematheque members, students, seniors.
George and Mike Kuchar are the twin darlings of the experimental film world, makers of hundreds of films and videos, and legends in their own time. But back in the 1950s and 1960s, they were just a couple of brothers from the Bronx who shared an 8mm camera. As delirious as they are dramatic, as colorful as they are campy, these rarely seen short films are laugh-out-loud funny and overwhelmingly prove that the Kuchars are the eighth and ninth wonders of the world. (Anthology Film Archives) Join us to see four of the Kuchars’ earliest works, recently preserved by Anthology Film Archives: Pussy on a Hot Tin Roof, Tootsies in Autumn, A Woman Distressed, and Lovers of Eternity. A reception follows. Co-presented by San Francisco Cinematheque.

Thursday, December 17 • Phyllis Wattis Theater, 7 p.m.

Kenneth Anger: Restored Prints
Fireworks, 1947, 15 min., 35mm
Rabbit’s Moon, 1950/1971, 16 min., 16mm
Scorpio Rising, 1963, 29 min., 35mm
Kustom Kar Kommandos, 1964, 3 min., 35mm
$10 general; $7 SFMOMA members, students, and seniors.
Films by Anger, American underground cinema’s dark star, ignite the screen with occult symbolism and lush baroque sensibilities while smashing the atoms of pop culture. The selection of early short films in this screening—a reverie of homoerotica, fetishism, machismo, myth, and ironic spectacle—paved the way for queer cinema and captured the attention of directors from Jean Cocteau to Martin Scorsese. These films were recently restored at the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

Jill Lynch 415.357.4172
Clara Hatcher Baruth 415.357.4177 chatcher@sfmoma.org
Press Office