The first Sunday afternoon of every month is art cinema time at MIMA, “a selection of weird and wonderful short films and videos, from the early years of surreal cinema to digital dreamscapes.” The March showing promises something special with mini epic B-17 and this month certainly hit all the spots.
Art is Beautiful and 3D Man are two shorts from USA director Tim Maloney’s Naked Rabbit World Power Foundation. Thanks to the strange cartoon muscleman character in 3D Man I now know one of the first rules in film making, framing a shot. Art is Beautiful expounds that art in the eye of the beholder even in an art gallery but perhaps the art lover and the philistine are in unlikely garbs. The voices are straight from mainstream cartoons. The art could have easily been hanging on MIMAs own walls.
Scorpio Rising, directed by Kenneth Anger in 1963, focuses on gay biker sub-culture with a rock’n’roll soundtrack to die for from the Shangri-Las to Blue Velvet. There is no dialogue in this highly voyeuristic film. The first to come with a warning about brief nudity. I don’t think anyone was unduly shocked.
Simon of the Desert is a powerful mid 60s film directed by the great Luis Bunuel, whose infamous Salvadore Dali collaboration was shown in the first Art Cinema screening. The character Simon is based on the early ascetic Christians who would spend a lifetime on the top of pillar in the desert contemplating their faith and communing with God. Bunuel gives a modern interpretation and increasingly surreal interpretation to all the temptations that try entice Simon down from his lofty pillar. I wonder what the reaction to this film was back in Bunuel’s native Spain still under Franco fascism. It was probably not favourable.
Film afternoon curator, AJ Garrett has been busy helping to organise this weekend’s screening, Sunday March 5th at 2pm. “There will be usual diverse mixture of old and new films,” he explains but he sounds a bit excited about B-17: A Mini Epic by Arturo Cubacub and the artist Sarah Weis.
AJ says that, “B-17 is one of my personal favourites. The first of several collaborations between Cubacub and Weis, it combines a innovative hyper-real film making style, an amazing gaudy lo-fi setting, intense political satire, and a larger than life performance by Weis, who is also a great Theremin player.”
So there you are if you like your film on the experimental side and maybe harking back to the vintage then MIMA’s Art Cinema is the place for you. You will be in plenty of company. Get along before hand as the café is now open on a Sunday and then afterwards we all retire to somewhere else to wet our whistle and talk films.
Sunday March 3rd 2pm-3.30pm