Hank Linhart, 2018, 59m 52 sec
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00 pm
The video, “Blissville …An Investigation”, is about a remote corner of Queens, NY within the shadows of midtown Manhattan and yet isolated from the rest of the city.
Embracing low budget Hi 8 video to conduct informal street interviews and investigate the origin of the name of Blissville, and the character(s) of the town, the video takes the experimental form of a docu/poem. Not in the traditional sense with words but as a lyrical visual odyssey.
The video is not so much a mourning of things past, nor a nostalgia, although both these elements are present. It is more about the quest for, and resilience of community.
Betty Jean Thiebaud, 17:41 min
Digitized from original 1976 16mm color film
Saturday, May 5th, 4pm
“I almost feel my portraits— portraits I’ve made—are now invading my privacy. When I have them around—to have all these people looking at me—it’s oppressive, and I always find portraits oppressive. But I find them, well, fascinating.”
Elaine de Kooning was an accomplished landscape and portrait expressionist artist active in the Abstract Expressionist movement of the early twentieth century. She was a member of the Eighth Street Club (the Club) in New York City.] The Club functioned as a space to discuss ideas. Among this group of artists were Willem de Kooning, Jimmy Rosati, Giorgio Spaventi, Milton Resnick, Pat Passlof, Earl Kerkam, Ludwig Sander, Angelo Ippolito, Franz Kline, Clyfford Still, and Hans Hofmann. A membership position for a woman was rare at this time.
In filmmaker Betty Jean Thiebaud’s own portrait of the artist, the film she de Kooning discusses her work as she paints a new portrait of her friend and fellow artist, Aristodimis Kaldis. Over de Kooning’s musings on Rembrandt, conceptual art, and experience vs. ideas in the artistic process, Thiebaud observes her in her studio, working briskly but with care and method, and in constant dialogue with her cohorts.
Amy Jenkins, 2018, 1hr 35min
Saturday May 5th, 2pm
“Instructions on Parting” weaves breathtaking artistic footage with cinema verite to tell an elegiac story about transformation, grief, and the essential nature of the collective human journey. Told in an unconventional visual style, the story evolves from the viewpoint of Director Amy Jenkins, whose first child is born while she negotiates the cancer diagnosis and slide toward death of three of her closest family members. By chronicling with her camera to interrogate loss, the filmmaker leads us to a bold and daring acceptance of our inevitable end.
Olga Blumczynska, 2018, 29m 14sec
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00pm
Polish emigrant – Martynka – living for 15 years in Manhattan, divorces her American husband and decides to look for her new home in Greenpoint. This is a district that reminds her of folksy Polish people and the type of emigrants she does not want to identify with. However now she realizes that the longing for the family draws her just here. Moreover, the district is changing into an intercultural melting pot and this is the last moment to taste life among her fellow Polish people. Martynka makes contact with people who came to New York 20, 30 years ago, completely unprepared for the reality overseas. Her neighbor, Henryk, becomes her friend and helper in difficult times. Helena – an elderly lady living in a senior home, inspires her to create an artistic project. The protagonist listens to their stories of determination, loneliness, fear, but also stories of finding their place on foreign ground. At the same time she deals with her past, hoping it helps her overcome the feeling of loneliness and alienation in New York. In the film, modernity and the past are intertwined by means of up-to-date and archival footage.
Bill Page, 2018, 29min
Saturday, May 5th, 4pm
Abstract Expressionism was the art movement in New York City in the 1940’s that defined American as the center of the artworld. New ways of painting and even making art by artists in this period broke through what had become conventional painting in Europe and the United States. These artists made major contributions to the artworld and to art history; it was a new style and a new way of looking and thinking about what art could be. This is a film about one of those artists, PAT PASSLOF.
Tylor Norwood, 2016, 1hr 22min
Friday, May 4th, 7pm
This is what a comeback looks like.
“The United States of Detroit” is a stylish and moving documentary about the resilience and spirit of Detroit’s neighborhoods, telling the story of the city’s past, its present resurgence, and future potential.
Martynka Wawrzyniak, 2018, 5m
Thursday, May 3rd, 7:00pm
Ziemia (“Earth” in Polish) is a public art project created by artist Martynka Wawrzyniak in collaboration with the Greenpoint, community. The project takes the form of a ceramic orb atop a meadow in McGolrick Park, which will be unveiled in June 2018. The orb is glazed with a mixture of clay excavated in Greenpoint and soils from around the world contributed by residents. The artist spent two years reaching out to fellow Greenpointers to invite them to gather soil from locations symbolically representative of their identity. This film is an abbreviated version of a film which documents Wawrzyniak’s journey to Poland in August 2017 to collect soil on behalf of Polish seniors and undocumented immigrants who were unable to personally collect the soil themselves.
This film and the fabrication of the ceramic orb were made possible by the generous support of The Polish Cultural Institute in New York.