Posts Tagged ‘J.J. Murphy’

Water on the roof

June 11, 2010

The MMoCA will continue its already outstanding Rooftop Cinema series tonight at 9:30 with “H2O,” a program of experimental shorts that take water as their central subject, or rather, that treat water as the vehicle by which to mediate on a number of ideas, moods, techniques, etc. “H2O” will include films by Stan Brakhage (1997’s sublime “Commingled Containers”), Kenneth Anger and UW-Madison’s own J.J. Murphy. (It almost goes without saying that I’m particularly excited to finally get a chance to see one of Murphy’s films.) Admission is $5. Cross your fingers for a cool, dry night. Keep ’em crossed until further notice.

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The roof, the roof, the roof is…

May 20, 2010

The Madison Museum of Contemporary Art just announced the first four events in its Rooftop Cinema series and, if you ask me, they look pretty damn promising.

On June 4 they’ll present “Associations: The Short Films of John Smith,” which is comprised of six shorts by a filmmaker who MMoCA bills as being “one of the avant garde’s leading humorists.”

On June 11 it’s “H2O,” a program of films that take as their subject—what else—agua, eau, water, etc. Included in the program are Stan Brakhage’s “Commingled Containers” (1997), Kenneth Anger’s “Eaux d’artifice” (1953) and J.J. Murphy’s “Sky Blue Water Light Sign” (1972). “Commingled Containers” is utterly mesmerizing; having only seen it on Criterion’s “by Brakhage: An Anthology, Volume One,” I can’t wait to experience it projected off 16mm.

Also of note is Bruce Conner’s “Looking For Mushrooms” (1996), which is the central attraction in the June 18 program, “The Sight of Music Part 2.”

Head on over to the MMoCA’s website for details on the rest of June’s screenings. Let’s breathe a collective sigh of relief that avant-garde cinema will continue to have a presence in Madison, at least for the summer.

Reevaluating indie

May 4, 2010

Yesterday J.J. Murphy posted something that I think is very much worth reading: an attempt to make sense of the recent debate being waged by bloggers and filmmakers alike about what indie cinema is and can do in 2010.

I won’t pile much of my own commentary on top of J.J.’s because I think that his take on indie cinema’s present predicament ought to be read on its own terms. But I will add that I echo his sentiments on the following point: indie cinema always has an audience, even in smallish markets like Madison, and we definitely need distribution networks that can deliver contemporary indie films to these smallish markets while the critical buzz about them is at its height. (This then begs the question, to be answered at a later date: in the internet age, are conversations about individual movies ever really dead?)