Special Presentations Events

Tuesday, March 27

6:00pm
Opening Night Reception

Special Presentations

Opening Night Reception (tickets include the Screening at 8:15pm) The 50th Festival launches March 27th with Opening Night, featuring a reception in the grand foyer of the Michigan Theater. Guests

Michigan Theater (Grand Foyer)

Wednesday, March 28

12:30pm
Peter Rose: Juror Presentation

Experimental, Filmmaker in Attendance, Historic Film, Special Presentations

“Some of us work in a proximate relation with our intended audiences, speaking familiar languages so that the archetypes of our culture may be recognized; and some work out a

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

4:30pm
Films by Robert Nelson

Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Mark Toscano, archivist at the Academy Film Archive, will present a program of 16mm films by Robert Nelson (1930 - 2012) including Bleu Shut (1970, 33 min), and lesser-seen films

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

5:00pm
Student Film Showcase

Special Presentations

A selection of the best recent short films created by regional film students.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

9:30pm
Out Night with Barbara Hammer

Documentary, Experimental, Films in Competition, Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film, Special Presentations

A celebration of historic and influential LGBTQ films, featuring trailblazing filmmaker Barbara Hammer in person with her films. Tina Takemoto’s video Looking for Jiro (2011), Ira Sachs’ 1994 film Lady,

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

Thursday, March 29

12:30pm
Michael Robinson: Juror Presentation

Filmmaker in Attendance, Short Film, Special Presentations

Since the year 2000, Michael Robinson has created a body of film, video and photography work exploring the joys and dangers of mediated experience; cultivating new resonances between seemingly disparate

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

3:00pm
Spatial Shift: Artists’ Talk

Panels & Discussions, Special Presentations

Chris McNamara, Scott Northrup, Potter-Belmar Labs and Jen Proctor will discuss their video installations on exhibition at Gallery Project March 7–May 15.

Gallery Project

5:10pm
Penny W. Stamps presents Craig Baldwin - Society of Spectacle

Filmmaker in Attendance, Special Presentations

Craig Baldwin is an experimental filmmaker who uses “found” footage as well as images from the mass media to undermine and transform the traditional documentary, infusing it with the energy

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

7:00pm
Poetic Injustice: Short Films from the Arab World

Documentary, Experimental, Historic Film, Narrative, Short Film, Special Presentations

Curator Irina Leimbacher will present films and videos from the past 25 years from Palestine, Israel, Lebanon, and Morocco. What does it mean to speak one’s history and the dreams

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

7:15pm
Bruce Baillie Retrospective 1

Documentary, Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Bruce Baillie will be present in a rare appearance for this screening of several of his 16mm films including Castro Street (1966, 10 min.); Tung (1966, 6 min.); Here I

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

Friday, March 30

12:30pm
Kathy Geritz: Juror Presentation

Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Renowned film programmer from the Pacific Film Archive, Geritz presents a program of historic and influential films that have screened at the AAFF over the past 50 years.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

5:00pm
SPACE / TIME: Japanese Avant-Garde Films of the 1970s & 1980s

Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Co-curator Tomonari Nishikawa presents rare, influential 16mm films including work by Toshio Matsumoto, Takeshi Ito, Mako Idemitsu, Kohei Ando, and others.

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

9:15pm
Films by Phil Solomon

Experimental, Filmmaker in Attendance, Short Film, Special Presentations

A program of works drawn from three decades of the texturally extravagant and profoundly elegiac cinema of Phil Solomon. From his exquisitely bejeweled hand processed 16mm films to the more

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

11:30pm
Paul Clipson: Compound Eyes 1-5 and Sketches From the Field

Experimental, Filmmaker in Attendance, Special Presentations

San Francisco-based filmmaker Paul Clipson presents his Super 8mm films. Compound Eyes 1-5 (2011, 27 min) are studies of insect and animal life, viewed within a succession of environments in unexpected

The B-Side @ Neutral Zone

Saturday, March 31

1:00pm
Bruce Baillie Retrospective 2

Documentary, Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Includes Baillie’s 1965 masterpiece Quixote. Scott MacDonald will introduce the program with Bruce Baillie in attendance.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

3:00pm
Films by Omar Amiralay

Documentary, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

Three films by Omar Amiralay (1944–2011), Syria’s greatest documentary filmmaker, presented by Irina Leimbacher.  The program includes Tabaq el-Sardin (A Plate of Sardines, 1997), Amiralay's powerful reflection on personal and

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

Sunday, April 01

1:30pm
In Praise of Shadows: Japanese Avant-Garde Films of the 1990s & 2000s

Experimental, Historic Film, Short Film, Special Presentations

In Praise of Shadows consists of nine Japanese experimental works from the 1990s and 2000s, made with various techniques via chosen media. All show the artists’ exploration of moving images,

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

2:00pm
This Is Not A Film

Documentary, Feature Length, Special Presentations

A day-in-the-life documentary of Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi’s experience of being under house arrest, filmed almost entirely inside his apartment in Tehran, as he creatively expresses his frustration of not

UMMA Helmut Stern Auditorium

3:30pm
Quick Billy: Bruce Baillie Retrospective 3

Experimental, Feature Length, Historic Film, Special Presentations

Part Eastern philosophy, part gunslinger Western, Quick Billy plays as a “horse opera in four reels” and meditation on the transformation of life to death. Film critic Michael Sicinski will

Michigan Theater (Screening Room)

6:00pm
Award Screening 1

Films in Competition, Short Film, Special Presentations

Onstage announcement of the 50th AAFF awards followed by a select screening of awarded films.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

8:00pm
Award Screening 2

Films in Competition, Short Film, Special Presentations

Additional awarded films from the 50th AAFF.

Michigan Theater (Main Auditorium)

Special Presentations Films

Termination

(Bruce Baillie, 1966)

By the "Canyon Cinema Documentary Film Unit" - (Paul Tulley, Bruce Baillie, etc). Made in Spring, '66 for a small community of Indian people near Laytonville, California....

Showing Saturday, March 31 1:00pm

Yellow Horse

(Bruce Baillie, 1965)

"Cycle scrambles poem. Bass solo by Pat Smith, LA". - BB...

Showing Saturday, March 31 1:00pm

Valentin de las Sierras

(Bruce Baillie, 1967)

"This ten minute portrait of lives lived in rare air and under sunlight of liquid gold is, simply put, one of the most beautiful films ever made." –Chuck Stephens "In...

Showing Saturday, March 31 1:00pm

Quixote

(Bruce Baillie, 1965)

"One-year journey through the land of incessant progress, researching those sources which have given rise twenty years later to the essential question of survival." -BB The bearded figure at the...

Showing Saturday, March 31 1:00pm

The Chickens (‘al-Dajaj’)

(Omar Amiralay, 1977)

Amiralay’s third documentary was produced by and for Syrian state television, though it was subsequently banned. Its focus was the new chicken farming industry in a pilot village in the...

Showing Saturday, March 31 3:00pm

Film-Essay on the Euphrates Dam (Film-Muhawalah ‘An Sadd al-Furat)

(Omar Amiralay, 1970)

Amiralay’s first short film is an enthusiastic and lyrical depiction of the Ba’athist regime’s construction of the Assad dam on the Euphrates River. Its cinematic exuberance with regard to large-scale...

Showing Saturday, March 31 3:00pm

A Plate of Sardines (Tabaq el-Sardin)

(Omar Amiralay, 1997)

“The first time I heard of Israel, I was in Beirut, and the conversation was about a plate of sardines. I was six years old, Israel was two.” In this...

Showing Saturday, March 31 3:00pm

Gestalt

(Takashi ISHIDA, 1999)

Amber sunlight shines through a window into the corner of the room. The shadows projected on the wall and the shadows created by animated drawing are erased and eroded. As...

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

Flower

(Yuiko MATSUYAMA, 2004)

Transforming pools of india ink and salt into a microscopic field overflowing with brilliant shards of light and color. – Y.M....

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

Still

(Shiho KANO, 1999)

Action of the character in the film is expressed by monochromatic still pictures, in fine, time is in cut state. Though color scenes inserted in the film have flowing time,...

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

Plate #24 (solid of revolution)

(Ryusuke ITO, 2004)

In order to investigate the necessity of film as a medium for moving images, I have focused on its materiality. First, I created a collage with found footages of various...

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

EVE

(Takashi Makino, 2004)

I created this film to express a feeling of the beginning of something and an image of the newborn vitality. – T.M....

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

Garden/ing

(Eriko SONODA, 2007)

A photograph of the scene outside a window, enlarged the same size as the window, was repeatedly pasted to and removed from the window while shooting single frames of the...

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

A Burning Star (short version)

(Kenji ONISHI, 1995)

In A Burning Star, my inner conflicts find a cruel form. Through the camera I come to terms with my father's death. It's only natural that a person should tremble,...

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

Ambiguous Funeral

(Ichiro SUEOKA, 2004)

This is part of an on-going project, "re-interpretation for the private films," in which I recreate old home movies. Today, we reflect on the way to understand the past events...

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

Like Flowing, Like Spinning

(Akira MIZUYOSHI, 2009)

I drag a 16mm negative film in a darkroom, improvisationally adhere it with the developed 16mm positive film and expose them by light of Maglite. I intentionally let a film...

Showing Sunday, April 01 1:30pm

KIRI

(Sakumi HAGIWARA, 1972)

A single uncut shot from a stationary camera photographs a fog shrouded landscape, at first totally white but then gradually revealed....

Showing Friday, March 30 5:00pm

Spacy

(Takashi ITO, 1981)

Spacy consists of 700 continous still photographs which are re-photographed frame by frame according to a strict rule where movements go from rectilinear motion to circular and parabola motion, then...

Showing Friday, March 30 5:00pm

Atman

(Toshio MATSUMOTO, 1975)

A visual tour-de-force and a landmark film of the Japanese avant-garde, Matusmoto creates a pulsing, circular motion through 480 stills of a demonic Noh mask taken from different angles. Music...

Showing Friday, March 30 5:00pm

My Movie Melodies

(Jun’ichi OKUYAMA, 1980)

In this film, the image produces the sound, the "sound image." Various images are used to cover a wide range of sounds. The main melody is radiographic image of a...

Showing Friday, March 30 5:00pm

At Yukigaya 2

(Mako IDEMITSU, 1974)

An abstract film shows the images of tree shadows or the sky in natural light with sharp contrasts. In this personal film, Idemitsu lived between Japan and USA, contains the...

Showing Friday, March 30 5:00pm

Here I Am

(Bruce Baillie, 1962)

One of Baillie's earliest films, Here I Am is an extraordinary portrait of children at the East Bay Activity Center, a school in Oakland, California started in the 1950s to...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:15pm

Mass for the Dakota Sioux

(Bruce Baillie, 1964)

A film Mass, dedicated to nobility and excellence. The film begins with a short introduction - "No chance for me to live, Mother, you might as well mourn." Sitting Bull,...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:15pm

To Parsifal

(Bruce Baillie, 1963)

Baillie's tribute to Wagner and the myth of the Holy Grail and the Parsifalian hero. Various scenes, first in the Pacific, mainly in the fog (including passing under the San...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:15pm

Castro Street

(Bruce Baillie, 10 min)

An extraordinary technical achievement and a poetic masterpiece, Castro Street is a layered portrait of the Standard Oil Refinery in Richmond, California which Baillie describes as "coming of consciousness". "I wanted...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:15pm

All My Life

(Bruce Baillie, 1966)

"Caspar, California; old fence with red roses." -BB...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:15pm

Mr. Hayashi

(Bruce Baillie, 1961)

One of several "Canyon CinemaNews" reels that Baillie made in the early to mid 1960s, the film Mr. Hayashi has "an immediate basis in necessity" as Baillie described, and is a...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:15pm

Tung

(Bruce Baillie, 1966)

One of Baillie's sensuous tone poems, Tung is a portrait of a friend; sandy skin and flaxen hair in the early-morning light. -Scott MacDonald...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:15pm

The Dead Weight of a Quarrel Hangs

(Walid Raad, 1998)

This piece investigates the possibilities and limits of writing a history of the Lebanese civil wars (1975-1991). The videos offer accounts of the fantastic situations that beset a number of...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:00pm

Slippage

(Ali Cherri, 2007)

A reflection on the aftermath of the war: is it time to abandon Beirut, now that it has abandoned itself? Filmed in 2006 during the July War between Lebanon and Israel...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:00pm

Chic Point

(Sharif Waked, 2003)

Chic Point was shot in a fictional location: the occupied catwalk. Employing all the elements of a fashion show, models reveal their abdomens in outfits designed especially to suit Israeli...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:00pm

Measures of Distance

(Mona Hatoum, 1988)

In this resonant work, Palestinian-born video and performance artist Mona Hatoum explores the renewal of friendship between mother and daughter during a brief family reunion in war-torn Lebanon in 1981....

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:00pm

Ninha / Nous

(Danielle Arbid, 2005)

"My father was dying. I shot him to keep some evidence. I was afraid to lose everything I thought about him, all my anger against him, all my memories."-Danielle Arbid...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:00pm

Incantation

(Peter Rose, 1970)

Using rapidly edited, superimposed images of plants, trees, water, the sun and the moon, Incantation weaves a dynamic tapestry of organic forms and textures, combining its images with a fierce...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 12:30pm

The Man Who Could Not See Far Enough

(Peter Rose, 1981)

THE MAN WHO COULD NOT SEE FAR ENOUGH uses literary, structural, autobiographical, and performance metaphors to construct a series of tableaux that evoke the act of vision, the limits of...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 12:30pm

Secondary Currents

(Peter Rose, 1982)

Secondary Currents is a film about the relationships between the mind and language. Delivered by an improbable narrator who speaks an extended assortment of nonsense, it is an "imageless" film...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 12:30pm

The Gift

(Peter Rose, 1996)

The Gift, an audio drama, was commissioned by New American Radio and Performing Arts and was adapted from a serial bedtime story Rose told his daughter over a period of...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 12:30pm

Odysseus in Ithaca

(Peter Rose, 2006)

Odysseus moors his boat in an alien architectural machine, a labyrinth with echoes of De Chirico and Escher- a place of mystery and power where the rules of visual perspective...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 12:30pm

The Indeserian Tablets

(Peter Rose, 2011)

An annotated nocturnal portrait of a vanished culture- its stories, scripture, technology, religious practice, art and poetry as reconstructed from fragments found in the archive at Kiens. Offered in the...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 12:30pm

Frank’s Cock

(Mike Hoolboom, 1993)

"In Frank's Cock, a man talks about his friend Frank in a bold, funny, moving monologue about being born, living, fucking and dying as a gay man. Frank was queer...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 9:30pm

Lady

(Ira Sachs, 1994)

A portrait film of a purposefully unsettling kind, starring Dominique Dibbell of The Five Lesbian Brothers. The exact identity of the redhead at the center of Lady is impossible to pin...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 9:30pm

Jerovi

(Jose Rodriguez-Soltero, 1965)

Screened at the 3rd AAFF in 1965. A sexual probe of the Narcissus myth, Jerovi departs from earlier experimental work by Cocteau, Curtis Harrington, Willard Maas and others, which drew...

Showing Wednesday, March 28 9:30pm

Peyote Queen

(Storm de Hirsch, 1965)

A further exploration into the color of ritual, the color of thought; a journey through the underworld of sensory derangement....

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

Schmeerguntz

(Gunvor NelsonDorothy Wiley, 1965)

"SCHMEERGUNTZ is one long raucous belch in the face of the American Home. A society which hides its animal functions beneath a shiny public surface deserves to have such films...

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

—-———- (Short Line Long Line)

(Thom AndersenMalcolm Brodwick, 1967)

Projection instructions: play as loudly as possible. A documentary about rock 'n' roll. The Canned Heat, City Lights, Seeds of Time, LA Tymes, Llyn Foulkes, Charlie Watts, Chris & Craig,...

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

Necrology

(Standish Lawder, 1970)

"In NECROLOGY, a 12-minute film, in one continuous shot he films the faces of a 5:00 PM crowd descending via the Pan Am building escalators. In old-fashioned black and white,...

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

Washing Walls with Mrs. G

(Tony Buba, 1980)

Every year I washed walls for my grandmother. When my grandmother was 87, I made this film while washing her walls. The camera person was Nick Mastandrea, who has gone...

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

The Red Book

(Janie Geiser, 1994)

THE RED BOOK is an elliptical, pictographic animated film that uses flat, painted figures and collage elements in both two and three dimensional settings to explore the realms of memory,...

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

Ägypten (Egypt)

(Kathrin Resetarits, 1997)

Egypt is a film which is almost silent. A film about deaf mutes, or rather about their sign language, a language which, like the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, links the symbolic...

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

Sarabande

(Nathaniel Dorsky, 2008)

"Dark and stately is the warm, graceful tenderness of the Sarabande."- ND...

Showing Friday, March 30 12:30pm

Carpenter

(Michael Robinson, 2001)

A get-well card in celluloid and tape.  A farewell in black and white. -MR...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

And We All Shine On

(Michael Robinson, 2006)

An ill wind is transitting through the lonely night, spreading myth and deception along its murky path. Conjuring a vision of a post-apocalyptic paradise, this unworldly broadcast reveals its hidden...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us

(Michael Robinson, 2010)

Tired of underworld and overworld alike, Isis escourts her favorite son on their final curtain call down the Nile, leaving a neon wake of shattered tombs and sparkling sarcophagi....

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

The General Returns From One Place To Another

(Michael Robinson, 2006)

Shaping a concurrently indulgent and skeptical experience of the beautiful, the film draws an uneasy balance between the romantic and the horrid. A Frank O'Hara monologue (from a play of...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

All Through the Night

(Michael Robinson, 2008)

A charred visitation with an icy language of control: "there is no room for love". Splinters of Nordic fairy tales and ecological disaster films are ground down into a prism...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

Light is Waiting

(Michael Robinson, 2007)

A very special episode of television's Full House devours itself from the inside out, excavating a hypnotic nightmare of a culture lost at sea. Tropes of video art and family...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

If There Be Thorns

(Michael Robinson, 2009)

A dark wave of exile, incest, and magic burns across the tropics, forging a knotted trail into the black hole. Three star-crossed siblings wander in search of one another as...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

Line Describing Your Mom

(Michael Robinson, 2011)

This is the new choreography of devotion, via the vlog of southern nightmares. This is the light that never goes out. This is the line describing your mom.-MR...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

Victory Over the Sun

(Michael Robinson, 2007)

Dormant sites of past World's Fairs breed an erruptive struggle between spirit and matter, ego and industry, futurism and failure. For thine is the kingdom and the power and the...

Showing Thursday, March 29 12:30pm

Nocturne

(Phil Solomon, 1980)

Finding similarities in the pulses and shapes between my own experiments in night photography, lightning storms, and night bombing in World War II, I constructed the war at home.-PS "A screaming...

Showing Friday, March 30 9:15pm

The Snowman

(Phil Solomon, 1995)

A meditation on memory, burial and decay - a belated kaddish for my father.-PS   The Snow Man One must have a mind of winter To regard the frost and the...

Showing Friday, March 30 9:15pm

Psalm II: “Walking Distance”

(Phil Solomon, 1999)

Inspired by Kiefer and Ryder, dedicated to Stan Brakhage. Imagining one of those rusted medieval film cans having survived centuries, a long lost Biograph/Star, a Griffith/Méliès co-production, a two-reeler left...

Showing Friday, March 30 9:15pm

Crossroad

(Phil SolomonMark LaPore, 2005)

Mark and I made this film for our friend David Gatten, as a prayer, an offering, a “get well soon” card... for all three of us. It was made on...

Showing Friday, March 30 9:15pm

Rehearsals for Retirement

(Phil Solomon, 2007)

The days grow longer for smaller prizes I feel a stranger to all surprises You can have them I don't want them I wear a different kind of garment In...

Showing Friday, March 30 9:15pm

Last Days in a Lonely Place

(Phil Solomon, 2008)

Farewell my friends Farewell my dear ones If I was rude Forgive my weakness Goodbye my friends Goodbye to evening parties Remember me In the spring To work for your...

Showing Friday, March 30 9:15pm

Compound Eyes 1 - 5

(Paul Clipson, 2011)

COMPOUND EYES Nos.1-5 is a series of short Super 8mm film studies studying aspects of insect and animal life, viewed within a succession of environments in unexpected ways. Filmed in the...

Showing Friday, March 30 11:30pm

Another Void

(Paul Clipson, 2012)

This vertiginous study of movement, color and darkness, continues an exploration of the process of filmmaking and its close relation to music. Another Void is an almost entirely in-camera edited...

Showing Friday, March 30 11:30pm

Sketches from the Field

(Paul Clipson, 2012)

A moving collage; this amorphous journey through landscapes, indeterminate spaces and fields of darkness, color and light, presents within the environment of a live performance by Chicago musician Scott Tuma,...

Showing Friday, March 30 11:30pm

Mapping Journey #5

(Bouchra Khalili, 2010)

Part of Khalili's Mapping Journey Project. Khalili travelled to Marseilles, Ramallah, Bari, Rome, Barcelona and Istanbul– the arteries of trafficking and trade. She walked around each city with maps and a fistful...

Showing Thursday, March 29 7:00pm