For over three decades, Phil Solomon's cinematic alchemy has forged great beauty from of images awash in material and emotional grit. Renowned for transforming found footage into molten dreamscapes through chemical and photographic processes, Solomon was considered by Stan Brakhage "the greatest filmmaker of his generation." This screening highlights films that established Solomon as a master of avant garde cinema, and introduces a video from his new series drawn entirely from the landmark video game Grand Theft Auto: The Secret Garden (1988, 16mm, color/silent, 23m) "The Secret Garden is one of Solomon's most exquisite films. As with Thornton and Klahr there is the shadow of a story here, one which deals with the passage from innocence and experience and invokes equally terror and ecstasy ...." - Tom Gunning, Mecano Touring Program Catalogue Remains to be Seen (1989 (revised 1994), S8mm and 16mm, color/so, 17.5m) Using chemical and optical treatments to coat the film with a limpid membrane of swimming crystals, coagulating into silver recall, then dissolving somewhere between the Operating Theatre, The Waterfall, and the Great Plains. The Exquisite Hour (1989 (revised 1994), S8mm and 16mm, color/sound, 14m) Partly a lullaby for the dying, partly a lament at the dusk of cinema. Based on the song by Reynaldo Hahn and Paul Verlaine. Twilight Psalm II: Walking Distance (1999, 16mm, color/so, 23m) Walking Distance is a simple Golden Book tale of horizontals and verticals, a cinema of ether and ore... Rehearsals for Retirement (2007, DV CAM 11 min) The first in an extraordinary series of new videos that turn the imagery from the hyper-violent Grand Theft Auto video game to stunningly poetic ends.
Co-sponsored by Committee on Cinema and Media Studies, School of the Art Institute Department of Film, Video & New Media, Video Data Bank, Gene Siskel Film Center