Basilica Screenings to Showcase Avant-Garde Filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos

Gregory J. Markopoulos(HUDSON, N.Y.) – Works by seminal avant-garde filmmaker Gregory J. Markopoulos will be screened and discussed as part of the September edition of Basilica Screenings at Basilica Hudson on Sunday, September 28, 2014, at 8pm. Filmmaker Robert Beavers and film curator Mark Webber will be in attendance for a discussion of Markopoulos and his work. The screening is co-presented by the Film and Electronic Arts Department at Bard College. Admission is $5-$10 sliding scale.

The event, billed as “Film as Film: Three Films by Gregory J. Markopoulos,” will include rare screenings of three early Markopoulos films — “Ming Green,” “Twice a Man,” and “Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill” — that were made in the United States in the mid-1960s. The event is in conjunction with the publication of “Film as Film: The Collected Writings of Gregory J. Markopoulos” (The Visible Press).

 

Ming Green, 1966, 16mm, 7 min.

An extraordinary self-portrait conveyed through multiple layered superimpositions of the filmmaker’s sparsely furnished room in Greenwich Village. – Mark Webber

Dedicated to Stan Brakhage. Music: Traumen /Wesendonck Lieder by Richard Wagner. Filmed in New York City.

 

Twice a Man, 1963, 16mm, 48 min.

Twice A Man is a fragmented re-imagining of the Greek myth of Hippolytus, who was killed after rejecting the advances of his stepmother. Markopoulos’ vision transposes the legend to 1960s New York and has its main character abandon his mother for an elder man. Employing sensuous use of colour, the film radicalised narrative construction with its mosaic of ‘thought images’ that shift tenses and compress time. One of the touchstones of independent filmmaking, Twice A Man was made in the same remarkable milieu as Scorpio Rising and Flaming Creatures by a filmmaker named ‘the American avant-garde cinema’s supreme erotic poet’ by its key critic P. Adams Sitney. – Mark Webber

Based on the story of Hippolytus. Featuring Paul Kilb, Olympia Dukakis, Albert Torgesen Music: Excerpt from Manfred Symphony by Pyotr Tchaikovsky op. 58, Filmed in New York City, Staten Island, Long Island and Bear Mountain Park.

 

Through a Lens Brightly: Mark Turbyfill, 1967, 16mm, 14 min.

The life of painter, dancer and poet Mark Turbyfill, seen in his 70th year, is evoked through traditional portraiture and personal objects. – Mark Webber

Filmed in Chicago.

 

Gregory J. Markopoulos (1928-92) is acknowledged as one of the pioneers of independent and avant-garde cinema. A contemporary of Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage and Andy Warhol, he was at the forefront of a movement that established a truly independent form of cinema.

Markopoulos became a key figure in the New York avant-garde film scene of the 1950s and ‘60s, co-founding the New American Cinema Group alongside Jonas Mekas, Robert Frank, Peter Bogdanovich and others.

Markopoulos’ films, which often translated literary or mythological sources to a contemporary context, are celebrated for their extraordinary creativity, the sensuous use of color and innovations in cinematic form.

His many film portraits feature significant figures in the arts such as David Hockney, Rudolph Nureyev, Leonor Fini, Alberto Moravia, Gilbert and George, Susan Sontag, Giorgio de Chirico, Paul Thek and W.H. Auden.

At the end of the 1960s, he left the USA for Europe and began to withdraw his work from circulation. He ultimately re-edited his entire output into the 80-hour epic Eniaios (1947-91), which remained unprinted during his lifetime.

Following the death of Markopoulos in 1992, his work has slowly returned to the public arena through events with institutions including The Museum of the Moving Image, Pacific Film Archive, New York Film Festival and Documenta 12. The Whitney Museum presented a complete retrospective in 1996. Since 2004, premieres of the restored units of Eniaios have taken place every four years at a site in rural Arcadia, Greece that was chosen by the filmmaker. These unique events have been reviewed in Artforum, Frieze, Film Comment and other important periodicals. His films are in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (New York), Centre Georges Pompidou (Paris) and the Austrian Film Museum (Vienna).

Basilica Screenings is a film series that presents an array of works from new and repertory narrative features, documentaries, experimental films, to video and media art, often with filmmakers and special guests in attendance for a discussion following the screenings. Programmed by Basilica Hudson’s film curator Aily Nash, and creative directors Melissa Auf der Maur and Tony Stone.

Prior iterations of Basilica Screenings have brought filmmakers including Albert Maysles, who showed and discussed many of his rarely seen works from the 1950s and ‘70s, essential cinematic works such as Susan Sontag’s Promised Lands, Chris Marker’s Sans Soleil, internationally renown contemporary directors including Jem Cohen, Deborah Stratman, and Denis Co?te?, and rare radical documentary forms such as Yumen produced by Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab.

Artist owned and operated since 2010, Basilica Hudson is a reclaimed 19th century factory converted into an art, performance, production and event space. Only 2 hours from New York City, and located just steps from the Hudson Amtrak station on the waterfront of the historic city of Hudson, New York. The 17,000 square feet of a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces constructed of industrial materials with a diverse floor plan, makes Basilica Hudson an ideal location for Music, Film and Art festivals and events. Creative Directors, musician Melissa Auf der Maur and filmmaker Tony Stone, draw on their experience within their respective fields to bring thoughtfully curated events to the local community, while inviting people from outside the area to discover Hudson.

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