MASSART FILM SOCIETY presents,
WHEN: Feb 1,2017 @ 8:00 pm
WHERE: Mass Art Film Screening Room 1,621 Huntington Ave Boston,MA
THE CONNECTION by Shirley Clarke
1961, b/w, 1hr 50min.
When Jack Gelber’s play “The Connection” opened in New York, Shirley Clarke discovered the perfect vehicle to question the idea that cinéma vérité was a reliable replacement for traditional documentary filmmaking. The Living Theatre produced Gelber’s play in 1959 play to audiences and critics who were at first bewildered and/or upset by it. Set in a squalid Greenwich Village apartment, a group of drug addicts are waiting for their connection to bring their fixes. Many of them are jazz musicians, who perform during the play.
And thus begins a play within a play within a jazz concert — a drug-addled crossing of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” and “Waiting for Godot.” The director and author are said to be there in the apartment to guide the junkies in a series of improvisational themes to reveal their lives and inner thoughts. The play was a blessing for jazz saxophonist Jackie McLean, as his drug arrest in 1957 had cost him his cabaret license, barring him from performing in clubs. The play gave him two years work on stage and he went on to perform in Clarke’s film version as well.
In adapting Gelber’s play into a film, he and Clarke decided to have a film director and cinematographer as the main instigators of the action so that they could break through the film proscenium. To further the illusion of reality, the filmmakers intentionally left in artifacts of filmmaking — film rolls suddenly end in black leader; sound sync beeps are heard, and light flairs, dust, scratches and out-of-focus moments are preserved. This roughness led many critics to assume that the film was improvised. However, like the camera movement and the choreography of the actors, Clarke carefully planned everything in The Connection.
REPORT by Bruce Conner
1967, b/w, 13 min.
Haunted by JFK’s assassination, Conner obsessively filmed television coverage of the killing, funeral and miscellaneous contemporary programming, repurposing the footage into both a sorrowful portrait of a lost hero—NB: Conner’s use of blank “leader”—and a blistering critique of postwar consumerism.
MASSART FILM SOCIETY
Programmed by Saul Levine, FILM SOCIETY Screenings are for MassArt film students open to those who are interested. We hope to provide access to films and videos not often shown at other venues.
Entrance is now through the new DMC Building on Huntington Ave. Enter through the glass doors, to get to the film area-turn left and go into the South Building, turn right into the East building and go down the 1/2 flight of stairs, through the hall, back up the next 1/2 flight, keep straight and Screening Room 1 will be on your left.
Suggested donation is $4 at the door and free to the MassArt community with their ID. Donations are used to give visiting artist something for their expenses of coming to show their work. MASSART 621 Huntington Ave. Boston MA 02115