Light Field

San Francisco / December 7 - 10, 2017

 

Deborah Stratman presents O'er the Land + selections from Canyon Cinema's collection

Deborah Stratman in person
presented by Light Field / Canyon Cinema / Pro Arts
Thursday, June 28, 2017 @ 8:30pm
Pro Arts (150 Frank H Ogawa Plaza, Oakland, CA)
total running time: 75 minutes / $5 tickets

O'er the Land Deborah Stratman 2009 / 52 minutes / USA / 16mm / sound A meditation on the milieu of elevated threat addressing national identity, gun culture, wilderness, consumption, patriotism and the possibility of personal transcendence. Of particular interest are the ways Americans have come to understand freedom and the increasingly technological reiterations of manifest destiny. While channeling our national psyche, the film is interrupted by the story of Col. William Rankin who in 1959, was forced to eject from his F8U fighter jet at 48,000 feet without a pressure suit, only to get trapped for 45 minutes in the up and down drafts of a massive thunderstorm. Remarkably, he survived. Rankin's story represents a non-material, metaphysical kind of freedom. He was vomited up by his own jet, that American icon of progress and strength, but violent purging does not necessarily lead to reassessment or redirection. This film is concerned with the sudden, simple, thorough ways that events can separate us from the system of things, and place us in a kind of limbo. Like when we fall. Or cross a border. Or get shot. Or saved. The film forces together culturally acceptable icons of heroic national tradition with the suggestion of unacceptable historical consequences, so that seemingly benign locations become zones of moral angst.  -DS

O'er the Land
Deborah Stratman

2009 / 52 minutes / USA / 16mm / sound

A meditation on the milieu of elevated threat addressing national identity, gun culture, wilderness, consumption, patriotism and the possibility of personal transcendence. Of particular interest are the ways Americans have come to understand freedom and the increasingly technological reiterations of manifest destiny.

While channeling our national psyche, the film is interrupted by the story of Col. William Rankin who in 1959, was forced to eject from his F8U fighter jet at 48,000 feet without a pressure suit, only to get trapped for 45 minutes in the up and down drafts of a massive thunderstorm. Remarkably, he survived. Rankin's story represents a non-material, metaphysical kind of freedom. He was vomited up by his own jet, that American icon of progress and strength, but violent purging does not necessarily lead to reassessment or redirection. This film is concerned with the sudden, simple, thorough ways that events can separate us from the system of things, and place us in a kind of limbo. Like when we fall. Or cross a border. Or get shot. Or saved.

The film forces together culturally acceptable icons of heroic national tradition with the suggestion of unacceptable historical consequences, so that seemingly benign locations become zones of moral angst. 
-DS

 
Ciao Bella Betzy Bromberg 1978 / 13 minutes / USA / 16mm / sound Ciao Bella shows a world of crowded, kinetic New York streets and hauntingly empty interior spaces, graced briefly by wisps of childish energy and the provocation of nearly naked women. Bromberg deftly contrasts that vibrant exuberance with a sense of devastating loss and the effect is at once brazenly personal (if elliptical) and incredibly powerful. Unfolding desire merges with the ever-present reality of the threat of losing what you love.   -Holly Willis

Ciao Bella
Betzy Bromberg

1978 / 13 minutes / USA / 16mm / sound

Ciao Bella shows a world of crowded, kinetic New York streets and hauntingly empty interior spaces, graced briefly by wisps of childish energy and the provocation of nearly naked women. Bromberg deftly contrasts that vibrant exuberance with a sense of devastating loss and the effect is at once brazenly personal (if elliptical) and incredibly powerful. Unfolding desire merges with the ever-present reality of the threat of losing what you love.  
-Holly Willis

 
Nocturne Phil Solomon 1980/1989 / 10 minutes / USA / 16mm / silent) Finding similarities in the pulses and shapes between my own experiments in night photography, lightning storms, and night bombing in World War II, I constructed the war at home. -PS

Nocturne
Phil Solomon

1980/1989 / 10 minutes / USA / 16mm / silent)

Finding similarities in the pulses and shapes between my own experiments in night photography, lightning storms, and night bombing in World War II, I constructed the war at home.
-PS


Deborah Stratman is a Chicago-based artist and filmmaker interested in landscapes and systems. Much of her work points to the relationships between physical environments and human struggles for power and control that play out on the land. Recent projects have addressed freedom, expansionism, surveillance, sonic warfare, public speech, ghosts, sinkholes, levitation, propagation, orthoptera, raptors, comets and faith. She has exhibited internationally at venues including MoMA NY, Centre Pompidou, Hammer Museum, Mercer Union, Witte de With, the Whitney Biennial and festivals including Sundance, Viennale, CPH/DOX, Oberhausen, Ann Arbor, Full Frame, Rotterdam and Berlinale. Stratman is the recipient of Fulbright, Guggenheim and USA Collins fellowships, a Creative Capital grant and an Alpert Award. She lives in Chicago where she teaches at the University of Illinois.


Canyon Cinema Foundation is a non-profit dedicated to educating the public about independent, experimental, avant-garde and artist-made moving images. In 1967, Canyon Cinema Co-Op, an artist owned and operated film distribution cooperative, was officially incorporated as a business in San Francisco. For half a century, Canyon has served as one of the world’s preeminent sources for experimental and artist-made moving image work. Canyon Cinema 50 celebrates this legacy and the filmmakers who made it possible.