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EYES & EARS: The Other Minds Film Festival
FRIDAY–SUNDAY NOVEMBER 8–10, 2002 at the Castro Theatre,
San Francisco
Other Minds, SF’s international new music organization, presented its first film festival in November, 2002, featuring movies that involve innovative sound design and documentary portraits of alternative giants in music. Along with the films, there were directors, performers and scholars that spoke and answered questions throughout the three-day event. In addition, Other Minds offered music specifically prepared by the Castro Theatre’s house organist David Hegarty.



festival sponsors


The Program (text was written prior to the event):

FRIDAY NOVEMBER 8
7:00 pm PROGRAM 1 ZAPPA IN RETROSPECT

FRANK ZAPPA: Phase Two–The Big Note
(Preview of a “work in process”)

© 1986 Eva Soltes

Ever seen Frank Zappa without facial hair? Join us for a compelling new video documentary by Frank Scheffer for Dutch television station VPRO—a comprehensive overview of Frank Zappa’s unique achievements, peppered with mesmerizing historical footage. Performances by the Ensemble Modern and the Amsterdam Concertgebouw Orchestra, statements by Frank Zappa himself, Edgar Varèse, Pierre Boulez, Captain Beefheart, Ian Underwood, George Duke, Haskell Wexler, and Gail & Dweezil Zappa. Directed by Frank Scheffer. (2002) 90m
First Showing in the U.S.

Gail Zappa (Frank's widow) will appear in person
and answer questions.

 

 

 

9:30 pm PROGRAM 2 DJ SPOOKY LIVE PERFORMANCE
DJ SPOOKY’S Rebirth of a Nation (A work in progress, Take One)

Paul D. Miller, aka DJ Spooky

African-American icon DJ Spooky, that Subliminal Kid, performs remixology on D.W. Griffith’s notorious silent film Birth of a Nation (1915). Appearing live on the stage of the Castro, Spooky (aka Paul Miller), has digitized and re-composed the original film, a milestone in cinema history and now one of the most controversial works of the silent era. 60m.

Don’t miss the brilliant wizardry of DJ Spooky as he creates a new soundtrack in real time for audiences on both Friday and Saturday nights.




SATURDAY NOVEMBER 9
11:00 am Program 1 FROM LUNGS TO MICROCHIPS


TERRY RILEY: Music with Balls

Terry Riley in Music With Balls

Minimalist composer Terry Riley and sculptor Arlo Acton along with director John Coney collaborated to produce one of the most revolutionary Hi-band videos ever made for TV—the masterpiece A Rainbow in Curved Air. Produced and directed by John Coney (1969) 10m. Special guests Acton and Riley join Executive Producer Jim Newman onstage for a personal appearance.

 

 

Pandit Pran Nath from In Between the Notes

PANDIT PRAN NATH: In Between the Notes

Travel to India to discover the roots of the legendary Indian singer, Pandit Pran Nath (1918-1996). The last master of the stately Kirana classical vocal style, Pran Nath profoundly influenced important western avant-garde composers such as Terry Riley and LaMonte Young. Directed by William Farley and photographed by Bill Marpet. Produced by Jim Newman. (1986) 30m.


 

Leon Theremin (Courtesy Orion Pictures Corp.)

THEREMIN: An Electronic Odyssey
Vacuum tubes do not suck. They make beautiful music and have since 1927 when Leon Theremin, the Russian inventor, presented the world with his amazing electric synthesizer. Directed by Steven M. Martin.(1995) 104m.

Preceded by composer Joel Davel, performing on Donald Buchla’s “Lightning” digital controller, the latest incarnation of touchless musicianship, pioneered by Theremin.

 

From In Absentia (Directed by the Brothers Quay)

3:00 pm Program 2 WOMEN ON THE VERGE
Sponsored by Aquarius Records

KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN: In Absentia

Shot in b&w and color, In Absentia combines live action and animation and centers around the simple action of a woman repeatedly writing a letter. Haunting images by the Brothers Quay match the claustrophobic score by Stockhausen, taking us on a hypnotic journey into the mindscape of a woman gone mad. Directed by The Brothers Quay. (2000) 20m.

Castro organist David Hegarty precedes Dancer in the Dark with a medley from The Sound of Music.

BJÖRK: Dancer in the Dark

Björk & Catherine Deneuve in Dancer in the Dark
A Fine Line Features release
Photo: David Koskas

With the Icelandic singer songwriter Björk and her music, Danish filmmaker Lars van Trier turns upside down the musical film’s trademark notion that music redeems us from the horrors of the real world. Directed by Lars von Trier. Music by Björk. (2000) 141m. Film theorist Marilyn Fabe (UC Berkeley), who has devised an entire course around this motion picture, introduces the movie, shot with 100 mini-DV cameras, and fields your questions afterwards.

 

 

Frank Zappa

7:00 pm Program 3 A RARE ZAPPA CLASSIC
FRANK ZAPPA: Baby Snakes


This rarely-shown film by Frank Zappa oscillates madly between a 1979 performance of his band and the outrageous psychedelic clay animation of Bruce Bickford. Thrill to the punishment of WB record execs by devil-costumed audience members who take the stage to horsewhip their prey while young Frank and his company flawlessly execute the sound design Directed by Frank Zappa. Animation by Bruce Bickford. (originally released 1979) 90m.

 

9:30 pm PROGRAM 4 DJ SPOOKY LIVE PERFORMANCE
DJ Spooky’s Rebirth of a Nation (A work in progress, Take Two)
Reprise of Friday night, 9:30.

SUNDAY NOVEMBER 10
11:00 am Program 1 GOOD GUYS AND BAD
Sponsored by Film Arts Foundation



GEORGE ANTHEIL: Bad Boy of Music

George Antheil (Hollywood 1940s)

Antheil (1900-1959), composer of the Ballet Mécanique, was the first American modernist to be taken seriously in Europe. This fictionalized dramatization of his life by German filmmaker Michael Meert is interspersed with extemporaneous commentary by Other Minds Artistic Director Charles Amirkhanian and performances by the Ensemble Modern. Contains rare footage of the audience riot at Antheil’s first Paris concert in 1923, attended by Satie, Pound, Joyce, Picabia and Picasso. Directed by Michael Meert. (2000) 44m. U.S. Premiere.

Followed by a medley of Antheil’s film music arranged for this event and performed by David Hegarty

 

 

 

John Cage (from West Coast Story)
© 1986 Eva Soltes

WEST COAST STORY: Frontiers of New Music

Lou Harrison, John Cage, Henry Cowell, . . . where would contemporary music be without them? Rare footage of these pioneer California composers and their spiritual descendants Robert Erickson, Morton Subotnick, Pauline Oliveros, Terry Riley, Daniel Lentz, Paul Dresher, John Adams, Janis Mattox, and others present a capsule overview of a revolution that rocked the classical world. Directed by Michael MacIntyre. Produced by Eva Soltes. (1986) 75m. Special guests Soltes, Dresher, Lentz, Mattox, and others will take questions following the film.

 

 

2:30 pm Program 2 A MAVERICK FROM MELBOURNE

PERCY GRAINGER: The Noble Savage

Percy & Rose Grainger (Percy's mother)
from The Noble Savage

This extraordinary documentary on virtuoso pianist and composer Grainger (1882-1961) evokes the composer’s fascination with English folk music. Contrary to his image as an arranger of polite ditties, Grainger loved the rough, rural qualities of this music and its singers. His contributions are explored thoroughly: “free music,” “elastic scoring,” unusual instruments, inventive harmonizations and his stubborn quest to invent an early electronic synthesizer. Directed by Barrie Gavin. (1986) 90m. U.S. Premiere.

Followed by the world premiere of a medley of Grainger’s greatest works arranged for the giant Wurlitzer organ by the Castro’s David Hegarty.

 

 


Richard Roxburgh plays Percy Grainger in Passion

PERCY GRAINGER: Passion

Australian filmmaker Peter Duncan exposes the most challenging details of the secret life of Percy Grainger, including his lifelong involvement with flagellation. Richard Roxburgh is the spitting reincarnation of red-haired, blue-eyed Percy; Barbara Hershey, his over-protective mother Rose, and Emily Woof, the Danish pianist Karen Holten, whose affair with the composer eventually is thwarted by Grainger’s devotion to his mother. Passion portrays the repressive Victorian atmosphere, Grainger’s pianistic fireworks, and the unbridled sexual lashing sessions of Karen and Percy. Directed by Peter Duncan. (1999) 102m.

U.S. Premiere. Director Peter Duncan, our visitor from Sydney, will answer questions following the screening.

7:15 pm Program 3 ZAPPA IN RETROSPECT

FRANK ZAPPA: Phase Two–The Big Note
(preview of a “work in process”) Reprise of Friday, 7:00.
Gail Zappa (Frank's widow) will appear in person
and answer questions.

10:00 pm PROGRAM 4 A RARE ZAPPA CLASSIC
FRANK ZAPPA: Baby Snakes Reprise of Saturday, 7:00