Fresh off a career retrospective and judge's seat at the 49th Ann Arbor Film Festival, prolific and iconoclastic Oregon filmmaker VANESSA RENWICK comes to Anthology Film Archives to present an adrenaline-pumping, awe-inspiring and sometimes brutal program of new works on video, including several NYC premieres. MIX ME A WALK is a both meditation and a holler, using stunning cinematography and rare archival fragments to offer up both the grandeur and the violence of nature. Wolves, coyotes, ravens, eagles, elk, bears, horses and bison may be the stars of this show, but these five films amply demonstrate why Renwick has been a star in the underground film scene for the past few decades. Discussion moderated by filmmaker Esther Robinson.
MONDAY, APRIL 11, 7:30 PM, ANTHOLOGY FILM ARCHIVES
32 SECOND AVE, NEW YORK, NY, 10003
$9/GENERAL $7/STUDENTS & SENIORS $6/AFA MEMBERS
Join us for discounted drinks after at The Scratcher!
The program begins with Red Stallionâ€™s Revenge (16mm to video, 7 min., 2007), a remixed, re-scored 1943 western shot at the base of Mt. Shasta featuring the grudge match of the century between a horse and a bear.
We then leave the animals behind and enter the realm of humans and trees. Food is a Weapon (16mm & Super8 to video, 4 min., 1998) uses haunting logging footage from the 1940's, revealing old growth treasures looted for the war effort. A eulogy for trees.
Next up is the poignant Woodswoman (video, 10 min., 2010). One hypnotically watches the book Woodswoman by Anne LaBastille burning in a fireplace, and learns the place of the book in Renwickâ€™s life, as well as the fate of Anne LaBastille.
Vanessa: "I hated the Trojan nuclear cooling tower 20 miles downstream from my Portland home, sitting on an earthquake fault line. I and many others tried to shut it down twice. It finally did get shut down, and then I read of its upcoming demise. PORTRAIT #2: TROJAN (16mm to video, 5min., 2006) was made because I knew I would miss it in the landscape. How could this be? It is true."
FULL ON LOG JAM (video, 16 min., 2010), a meditation on the forests of the Cascade Mountain Range in Northern Oregon, captures the grandeur of nature in a way that makes us all too aware of our human transience and vulnerabilities.
Hope and Prey (3-channel video, 23 min., 2010) features stunning wildlife cinematography of animals hunting and being hunted in a winter landscape. Wolves, coyotes, ravens, eagles, elk and bison are the stars. The dramatic, sometimes brutal nature cinematography is transformed through black and white, high-contrast recomposition and a hyper-dynamic score by Portland's infamous underground composer, Daniel Menche.
And Sunday, April 10 UnionDocs and The Flaherty Co-Present
VANESSA RENWICK: THE OREGON DEPARTMENT OF KICKASS
A retrospective of Renwickâ€™s work 1983-2009.
Discussion moderated by Penny Lane.
At UnionDocs | 322 Union Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11211 | 7:30 pm | $9
Vanessa Renwickâ€™s iconoclastic artwork reflects an interest in place, relationships between bodies and landscapes, and all sorts of borders. She is a naturalist, born, not made: a true barefoot and cinematic rabblerouser. Working in experimental and poetic documentary forms since 1983, she has made over 45 films, videos and installations, shown widely and internationally at places like MoMA, The Andy Warhol Museum, The Kitchen, New York Underground Film Festival, Migrating Forms, PDX Festival, Kill Your Timid Notion, International Film Festival Rotterdam and The Viennale. Sheâ€™s won many awards over the years, including the Gus Van Sant Award for Best Experimental Film at the Ann Arbor Festival and First Place in the Peripheral Produce 2001 World Championship Invitationals. As the director of The Oregon Dept. of Kick Ass, Renwick booked, programmed and toured The Lucky Bum Film Tour to over 70 venues across the U.S. and Canada, with Bill Daniel. Renwick is represented by PDX Contemporary Art. (www.odoka.org)
"One of the cornerstones of Portland's remarkably fecund scene for moving-image art."
Ed Halter, Rhizome
"Filmmaker and curator Vanessa Renwick invites us to contemplate death, and to do so with a proper mix of wrenching horror and ecstatic wonder."
Holly Willis, L.A. Times
"Renwick is one of the cityâ€™s most venerated filmmakers, having portrayed in more than 20 films everything from nude bicyclists (The Yodeling Lesson) and gray wolves (Critter) to poetic portraits of now-gone local landmarks (Portrait #2: Trojan) and biographies of cantankerous fellow outsider artists (Richart)."
Brian Libby, The Oregonian
Esther Robinson is an award winning filmmaker/producer. Her critically acclaimed directorial debut A Walk into the Sea: Danny Williams and The Warhol Factory took top prizes at The Berlin, Tribeca and Chicago film festivals and is available on The Sundance Channel, Netflix and iTunes. Other producing projects include The Canal Street Madam (Cameron Yates), Home Page (Doug Block) and the 1999 digital release of The Last Broadcast (Lance Weiler/Stefan Avalos). Esther is also a former program officer (The Creative Capital Foundation) and a non-profit entrepreneur (www.arthome.org)