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The Electronic Newsletter of the Program for Art on Film, Inc.

October 1997

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Program Notes News from the Program for Art on Film
Field Notes News from colleagues around the country and abroad
Now Playing Art & Architecture on a screen near you
Festival Round-up Entry deadlines/Award winners
Close-Ups Reviews of new films, videos, and CD-ROMs
The Bookshelf New and recent books of interest
Special Event: An Evening with Jem Cohen and Adam Cohen, Oct. 16
Archives The October issue of E-News

Program Notes

News from the Program for Art on Film

  Grants received
By now, you're no doubt aware of the Program for Art on Film's big news our expanded Web site. Thanks to grants from the Rockefeller Foundation and the Robert Sterling Clark Foundation, the full Art on Screen Database is now online. With news from the field, a members' List Server, and an archive of additional materials, the Program's new and improved Web site is a complete resource for the fields of art and architecture on screen.

Art on Screen Database goes online
The Database is now accessible free of charge during an initial Beta test period, with information on more than 25,000 productions worldwide. After completing a registration form, visitors can search the Database by Title, Credits, Production Year, Subject, or Artist's Name. Be sure to visit the Art on Screen Database often!

You'll also find a form for submitting new entries to the Database, or you can mail or fax announcements of new releases to: Program for Art on Film, Inc., 200 Willoughby Avenue, c/o Pratt SILS, Brooklyn, NY 11205. Fax 718-399-4507.

Architecture on Screen '98
Coming soon and perhaps to a screen near you--The Program for Art on Film is launching an international festival of Architecture on Screen '98, premiering at the Brooklyn Museum of Art January 30-31. An Architecture on Screen '98 video package is scheduled to tour during 1998. For booking information, contact the Program for Art on Film. Check the Architecture on Screen '98 Web page frequently for updates.

Membership Drive
The Program has introduced a new membership structure--and a Membership Drive is now underway. Individuals, organizations, distributors, and corporations are invited to help support the Program's services and activities through a range of membership options--each with its own set of benefits. Your support is essential to maintain our services to the field!

Sponsors sought
The Program for Art on Film invites businesses to become corporate sponsors of its Web site and of the Architecture on Screen '98 festival. For more information, check the Sponsorship Opportunities section.

Visitor Feedback
And no site would be complete without visitor comments. We hope you'll let us know what you think of the Art on Film Web site, and any suggestions you might have for improving it.

Field Notes

News from colleagues around the country and abroad

Archive and Museum Informatics, in partnership with the Louvre Museum, hosted ICHIM 97, the fourth international conference on hypermedia and interactivity in museums at the Louvre on September 1-5. For more information, contact Archive and Museum Informatics: E-mail info@archimuse.com ; http://www.archimuse.com

California-based Sandpail Productions reports that their documentary, Frank Lloyd Wright: The Office for Edgar J. Kaufmann was selected for screening on all Northwest Airlines international flights this past August. For more about the production, search the Art on Screen Database.

New York City's Museum of Modern Art is bringing video art to Midtown pedestrians with the Digital Video Wall, located in the underground walkway at 1251 Avenue of the Americas. The program, which runs 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, showcases a different selection of videos every hour. The program on view through October 31, "New Trends in International Video," features artists from Hungary, Argentina, Poland, Austria, Mexico, Korea and elsewhere.

When Los Angeles' new Getty Center opens its doors on December 16, 1997, two films will await visitors: The Making of the Getty Center, a cinema verité overview of the planning, design, and construction of the Center, produced by Maysles Films, and a second film, as yet untitled, which surveys the Getty's world-wide art, humanities, and cultural activities.

The Getty Center's grounds feature extensive formal and informal gardens--including a three-acre site-specific work, Central Garden, created by artist Robert Irwin. Irwin is also the subject of a new film, Robert Irwin: The Beauty of Questions, reviewed in the Close-Ups section.

Mark Gore, the former film/video programmer at the Brooklyn Museum of Art, and previously at the Louvre Museum, is now Head of the Auditorium Division at the Musée d'Orsay in Paris, where Fall 1997 programming includes a feature film series on "antiquity spectacles" from the brothers Lumière to Stanley Kubrick, and documentaries on 19th-century art (see Now Playing for details).

Melissa Rachleff has joined the staff of the Brooklyn Museum of Art 's Education Division as Manager of Public and Community Programs. She is responsible for managing adult programs which include films, lectures, music, and performances. From 1990-1996, she was Assistant Curator at Exit Art, a non-profit cultural center in New York's Soho. Working with her is Film Coordinator Barry Long. Deborah Schwartz is Vice Director for Education and Program Development at the Brooklyn Museum, where she has been on staff since 1982.

The University of North Carolina at Charlotte is hosting Mixed Messages: Image, Text and Technology, a mixed media conference to be held October 11 - 13, 1997. Speakers include Howard Besser of UC Berkeley, an international authority on the creation and management of digital images; performance storyteller Len Cabral; installation and video artists Nora Ligorano and Marshall Reese; and Johanna Drucker of Yale University, a nationally recognized book artist, typographer and scholar of language and printing history. For information, contact: Frances Hawthorne, Mixed Messages, University of North Carolina at Charlotte, 9201 University City Blvd., Charlotte, NC 28223-0001. Tel: 704/547-3314. E-mail: fhhawtho@unccvm.uncc.edu. Web site: http://www.uncc.edu/~mixedmsg.

The Vancouver Island Chapter of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia is organizing an Architectural Film Festival, November 21-December 7, 1997. The festival, which will be held in the community space of a Victoria mall, will also feature an exhibition on local urban planning and architectural competitions for public buildings. For information, contact: Natalie C. Smith, AIBC Vancouver Island Chapter, Architectural Film Festival, 431 Powell Street, Victoria, BC, Canada V8V 2J3. Tel: 250/383-3467; Fax: 250/383-3428.

Please add us to your mailing list! Send notices of screenings, conferences, job changes, new productions, and other items of interest for the Art on Screen newsletter. Mail: Program for Art on Film, Inc., c/o Pratt SILS, 200 Willoughby Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11205. Fax 718-399-4507; Tel 718-399-4506. Or send E-mail: Info@Artfilm.org

Now Playing

Art & Architecture on a screen near you

NOTE: For more information about many of the productions cited below, consult the ART ON SCREEN DATABASE.


September 3 - 6, 1997
The English Garden, Parts 1 - 4
The Thames Television series on the history of one of England's most venerated art forms, narrated by Sir John Gielgud. Topics include early landscaping design, as well as William Kent's 18th-century parks and Capability Brown's spacious Georgian landscapes. Among the sites visited are Jervaulx Abbey, Dyrham Park, Chiswick House, Blenheim and Harewood. (Video, 26 min. each)

September 24 - 27, 1997
Angkor's Shadow (Pierre Oscar Lévy, 1997)
Examines the traces of a former civilization still evident in present-day Cambodia. Presented in conjunction with the exhibition Sculpture of Angkor and Ancient Cambodia: Millennium of Glory. (Video, 55 min.)

October 4 - 5, 1997
The Best of the Montreal International Festival of Films on Art
A program of award-winning productions from North America's only annual film festival on art, introduced by Festival director René Rozon. (See Festival Round-Up for descriptions of award-winning films.)


Picasso on Film
A six-program series presented in conjunction with the exhibition Picasso: The Early Years.

September 12-13, 1997
Picasso (Didier Baussy, 1985)
A comprehensive review of the artist's career, including footage of Picasso at work. Highlights paintings that Picasso kept for himself, now in the Musée Picasso in Paris. (83 min.)

October 24, November 1
Le Regard Picasso (Nelly Kaplan, 1967)
An award-winning exploration of the sources of Picasso's art, made on the occasion of the artist's 85th birthday. (52 min.)

November 22, December 4
The Unity of Picasso's Art: a Master Lecture by Professor Meyer Shapiro (Philip Gittelman, 1986)
A lecture by the legendary art historian and author, illustrated with 75 paintings, drawings and sculptures. (92 min.)

December 27, January 1
Pablo Picasso Painter (Frederic Rossif, 1982)
Captures the rhythm and creative spirit of the artist. Includes interviews with fellow artists, friends and his wife, Jacqueline Picasso. (80 min.)

December 17, 18, 20, 28, 1997 and January 2, 3, 1998
The Young Picasso: 1881-1906 (Juan A. Bardem, 1993)
The U.S. premiere of an engrossing four-part series made for Spanish television, based on Picasso's early career, beginning with his 1900 arrival in Paris and continuing through the completion of Les Demoiselles d'Avignon in 1907. (220 min. total)


The 19th Century on Film
Presents a range of documentaries on 19th-century art, many of them produced by the Musée d'Orsay. Highlights include Point de vue, which recounts the story of the world's first photograph, taken by in 1827; and Nadar, Photographe, an award-winning profile of the early French photographer Félix Nadar.

October 3, 1997
La Sainte veille sur la ville endormie (The Saint Watches Over the Sleeping City) (Patricia Canino, 1986, 14 min.)
Les Salons officiels (The Official Salons) (Ludovic Segarra, no date, 14 min.)
série Palettes: Harmonie orange, vert, pourpre (Palettes series: Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grand Jatte by Georges Seurat, 1886) (Alain Jaubert, 1991, 26 min.)

October 17, 1997
série Palettes: Le Regard captif, Le Bain turc d'Ingres (Palettes series: The Turkish Bath by Ingres) (Alain Jaubert, 1991, 26 min.)
série Palettes: Sous les pavés l'image, La Liberté guidant le peuple de Delacroix (Palettes series: Liberty Leading the People: Eugène Delacroix) (Alain Jaubert, 1989, 27 min.)

November 7, 1997
Nadar, photographe (Nadar, Photographer) (Stan Neumann, 1994, 26 min.)
Point de vue (Point of View), (Bernhard Lehner and Andres Pfaeffli, 1991, 58 min.)

November 28, 1997
Elles (The Women) (Johanna Quinn, no date, 5 min.)
HTL, Toulouse-Lautrec (J.-C. Averty, no date, 52 min.)

December 5, 1997
Les Méditations de Rodin (The Meditations of Rodin), (Jean-Paul Fargier, no date, 26 min.)
Aristide Maillol, sculpteur (Jean Lods, 1944, 25 min.)

December 19, 1997
Gauguin, un goût barbare (Gauguin, A Barbarous Taste) (Jean-Denis Bonan, no date, 52 min.)

Festival Round-Up

Entry deadlines and award winners from international film and video festivals


October 10, 1997
Montreal International Festival of Films on Art
Montreal, Quebec Canada

Contact:Mr. René Rozon, Director
Festival international du film sur l'art
640 St. Paul Ouest Bureau 406
Montréal (Québec) H3C 1L9
Tel: 514/874-1637
Fax: 514/874-9929
e-mail: fifa@maniacom.com
Website: http://www.maniacom.com/fifa/index.html
Archives The October issue of E-News

January 19, 1998
The Muse Awards
American Association of Museums/Media & Technology Committee
Annual competition for museum media productions
Contact:Sharon Kayne Chaplock, Director
The Muse Awards
P.O. Box 13096
Milwaukee, WI 53213
Tel: 414/788-1998
Fax: 414/778-1889
e-mail: mskayne@aol.com
Archives The October issue of E-News

For distribution information, search the Art on Screen Database.

The 15th Annual Montreal International Festival of Films on Art
Held March 11 - 16, 1997

Award-winning films and videos on the visual arts included:

Bitings and Other Effects (Clara van Gool, Netherlands, 1995)
Winner, National Film Board of Canada Creativity Award

In a performance choreographed for the screen, victims of the poisonous tarantula-bite involuntarily dance the tarantella through the streets of Palermo, Sicily from the surrounding hills and sea, through the outskirts of the town, the old historic center, down a labyrinth of old alleyways, and through lush gardens to the Villa Palagonia. A particularly inventive use of architectural and urban settings. (35mm, 30 min.)

The Outrage (Mark Karlin, Great Britain, 1995)
Winner, Best Essay Award

A creative documentary exploring the involvement of an unseen fictional character with the paintings of Cy Twombly. Not intended as a profile of the artist or an explanation of his art, the video encourages viewers to explore their own reactions to the paintings. (Video, 55 min.)

Arte Negata (Art Denied) (Nino Criscenti, Italy, 1996)
Winner, Best Reportage Award

An investigation into the devastated and neglected artworks of Italy, "the land of art." From Milan to Naples, the film visits cellars and attics, closed museums, pillaged churches and palaces in ruin, where thousands of "invisible" artworks continue to deteriorate. (Video, 55 min.)

L'Origine du Monde (The Origin of the World) (Jean-Paul Fargier, France, 1996)
Winner, Best Educational Film Award

An exploration of the artist Gustave Courbet's most controversial painting. An explicit depiction of female genitalia, L'Origine du Monde was painted at the behest of a Turkish diplomat in 1866. Was the painting Courbet's manifesto of realism? And what happened to the painting, which vanished for years before turning up in the collections of the Musée d'Orsay in 1995? A thoughtful examination of a still-provocative topic. (Video, 28 min.)

Other notable productions at Montreal included:

Make Me Think: Bruce Nauman (Heinz Peter Schwerfel, France/Great Britain/ Germany, 1996)

A profile of the artist, widely considered one of the most important Conceptualist and Minimalist artists at work today. (35mm, 70 min.)

His Comedy (Paul Bush, Great Britain, 1994)

An innovative short animation based on Gustave Doré's 19th-century engravings for Dante's Divine Comedy. All of the film's images were produced by engraving them directly into the 35mm color film stock. (35mm, 8 min.)

5th International Biennial of Films on Art at the Centre Georges Pompidou
Held October 1996

Award-winning films and videos included:

Les Couleurs du silence (The Colors of Silence)
Milka Assaf, France, 1995

Lucebert, temps et adieux (Lucebert, Times and Farewells)
Johann van der Keuken, Netherlands, 1994

Lee Miller ou la traversée du miroir (Lee Miller Through the Mirror)
Sylvain Roumette, France, 1995

See Resources section for calendar of festivals and conferences on Art & Architecture and Archaeology.


Reviews of new films, videos, and CD-ROMs

Robert Irwin: The Beauty of Questions
59 min. color video 1997 U.S. English
Director/Producer/Editor: Leonard Feinstein
Distributor: Univ. of California Extension Center, 2000 Center St., 4th fl., Berkeley, CA 94704. Tel 510-642-0460. Fax: 510-643-9271. E-mail: cmil@uclink.berkeley.edu

An engaging profile of the California artist Robert Irwin (b. 1928). The film features an extended, freewheeling monologue by Irwin recounting his 40-year career, illustrated by archival photographs and images of his work, from early Abstract Expressionist paintings to current large-scale installations. Gradually dispensing with the elements of art that most people take for granted--image, line, frame, and even the sense of the object itself--over time, Irwin has pared his work down to the essential act of perception, and to that moment when as viewers, we perceive ourselves perceiving. Articulate and engaging, Irwin is able to explain his own creative processes and the thinking behind them as no one else could. As critic Arthur Danto has noted, "Irwin's inspired and inimitable discourse is not the least of his creations."

Shot over a five-year period, the film follows Irwin from Paris to New York to Los Angeles, visiting significant places in his life and career. Featured works include a "light and space" installation at New York's Pace Gallery, an exhibition at the Musée National d'Art Moderne in Paris, and a 1993 retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles. Like Irwin himself, the film takes a deceptively casual tone, belying a well-focused if informal structure, looking for--and frequently finding-- insights in its most off-handed moments.

Technical quality, content and programming potential all excellent.

The Bookshelf

New and recent books of interest

The Wired Museum:
Emerging Technology and Changing Paradigms
Edited by Katherine Jones-Garmil (Washington, DC: American Association of Museums, 1997, 278 pages, paper.) ISBN 0-931201-36-5. $30.

Among the first texts to focus on the issues surrounding digital media use in museums, The Wired Museum offers a broad, multi-perspective approach to this increasingly important topic. Contributors include many of the museum media field's most experienced professionals, including editor Jones-Garmil, assistant director for information services and technology at the Peabody Museum, Boston; Maxwell Anderson, director of the Art Gallery of Ontario; George F. MacDonald, director of the Canadian Museum of Civilization; and a number of past presidents of the Museum Computer Network, including Guy Hermann, Leslie Johnston, Diane Zorich, and Jones-Garmil herself.

By and large, contributors take a nuts-and-bolts approach to such topics as the challenge of keeping museums (and museum staffs) up to date technologically,
new applications for digital imaging and inter-museum networking, museums and intellectual property rights issues and the digital museum of the future. A strong conviction in the inherent benefits of digital media, for museums and their publics alike, makes The Wired Museum a useful and at times provocative guide to this burgeoning field.

Also of interest:

Cinema and Painting: How Art is Used in Film
Angela Dalle Vacche (Austin, TX: University of Texas Press, 1996, 303 pages.) Hardcover ISBN 0-292-71582-X, $45; Paperback ISBN 0-292-71583-8, $19.95

Discusses the work of eight directors and their use of pictorial sources to comment on the interplay between the arts; on the dialectic of word and image; on the relationship between artistic creativity and sexual difference; and on the tension between tradition and modernity. The works explored are: Minnelli's An American in Paris, Antonioni's Red Desert, Rohmer's The Marquise of O, Godard's Pierrot le Fou, Tarkovsky's Andrei Rublev, Murnau's Nosferatu, Mizoguchi's Five Women around Utamaro, and Cavalier's Thérèse.

An Evening with Jem Cohen and Adam Cohen

In collaboration with the Pratt Institute School of Architecture, the Program presented an evening of videos by Jem Cohen and Adam Cohen on October 16, 1997. Working individually, the Brooklyn-based brothers share similar visual styles and themes, producing gritty, poetic cityscapes exploring life at the urban edge. The program included Jem Cohen's Lost Book Found (1996), set in New York City, and an excerpt from the feature-length Buried in Light: Eastern Europe in Passing (1994). Adam Cohen presented Late City Final (1997), about the redevelopment of 42nd Street in New York, and Voyage to El Chino (1997), set in Barcelona. Both filmmakers were present to participate in a lively discussion with the standing-room only audience.


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