Many Thousands Gone | Kissing Point | Lessons of War | OM Rider | co-presented by HQTBD

scuds_PeggyThe fifth annual season of BASILICA SCREENINGS kicks off on Thursday, May 22 at 8 PM coinciding with the launch of the HQTBD exhibition Still//Life in Basilica’s Back Gallery.

HQTBD (Headquarters To Be Determined) is a parasite art project that will serve as a container for an exhibition and a series of events, performances, screenings, talks, and food and will inhabit the Basilica Back Gallery from May 22 – June 14. The full schedule of HQTBD events is posted here.

Friday, May 22, 8 PM
Work by Peggy Ahwesh, Ephraim Asili and Takeshi Murata
co-presented by HQTBD Still/Life exhibition
Filmmakers Ahwesh, Asili and Murata will all be present to discuss their work!

Many_Thousands_Gone_01_560_265_c1MANY THOUSANDS GONE, Ephraim Asili, 2015, 8 min

Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York (an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to use as an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and a modified version of McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of the score. – EA


KISSING POINT, Peggy Ahwesh, 2014, 15 min

Playing on the sexual implications of the term “kissing point”—the geographical location where two enemy territories touch—this split-screen video pairs footage from inside and around West Bank tunnels with an Israeli bypass road and its environs. – Art of the Real

The nighttime skies and landscapes on the physical and political edges of the territory are empty, haunted, and surreal…one’s expansive sense of wanderlust is controlled by the limitations of division… – PA

dream drone_PeggyLESSONS OF WAR, Peggy Ahwesh, 2014, 5 min

Five little narratives, ‘newsworthy’ stories from the most recent war in Gaza–retold to not forget the details, to reenact the trauma and to honor the dead.  The footage is lifted from a Youtube channel that renders the news in animation, fantastic and imaginative and several protective layers away from reality.  The footage is re-purposed here to critique that safe distance from the violence, the antiseptic nature of the virtual narrative. – PA

OM_MurataOM RIDER, Takeshi Murata, 2014, 11 min

In OM Rider, Takeshi Murata deftly weaves the aesthetics of retro-noir, video games, and Italian giallo film into a cinematic exercise in cool, narrative minimalism and distilled rebellion. In a vast desert bathed in neon hues, a misfit lycanthrope blasts syncopated techno rhythms into the night.

At once opaque and thrilling, OM Rider expands upon Murata’s previous 3D character-based animation and references to horror cinema, benefiting from the integral collaboration of longtime composer Robert Beatty, here joined by musicians Devin Flynn and C. Spencer Yeh. – Electronic Arts Intermix

Prior iterations of Basilica Screenings have brought filmmakers including Albert Maysles, who showed and discussed many of his rarely seen works from the 50s 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 Côté, and rare radical documentary forms such as Yumen produced by Harvard’s Sensory Ethnography Lab.