Season Five: Year In Review
It was Basilica’s fourth season of bringing unique and exceptional films to the region through Basilica Screenings. The season emphasized expansive documentary practices, with selections from Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986, formerly presented at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, and hosting guest programmer Jake Perlin and filmmaker Charles Hobson. Additional highlights included screenings with filmmakers Kevin Jerome Everson and Wu Tsang in person, and a program co-presented with the HQTBD art collective that featured Peggy Ahwesh, Ephraim Asili and Takeshi Murata. And, the launch of our Sci-Fi Summer Nights Series included the community success Blade Runner Noodle Night! Our big annual events also featured crossover cinematic programming; 24-HOUR DRONE screened an all-female video program from the collection of Second Ward Foundation along with Bill Stone’s Pensato Clock. At Basilica SoundScape, Kiln Films presented Direct-to-Video, a program of films dedicated to eliciting dialogue between artists and challenge spectatorship, which was joined by Chris Bower’s We Won’t Bow Down along with several other Friday screenings in the North Hall.
BASILICA SCREENINGS CONTINUE TO BRING UNIQUE AND EXCEPTIONAL FILMS TO HUDSON
Under the curatorial eyes of independent curator Aily Nash and Basilica Co-Founder Tony Stone, the film program continues to grow and showcase not-widely-seen new and repertory features, documentaries, experimental films, video and media art, often with filmmakers and special guests in attendance for Q&A.
Notably, we were privileged to screen selections from Tell It Like It Is: Black Independents in New York, 1968-1986 which was programmed by Jake Perlin and Michelle Materre, and screened at the Film Society of Lincoln Center in February 2015. The program presented William Greaves’ Symbiopsychotaxiplasm: Take One, producer Charles Hobson and programmer Jake Perlin in person for Inside Bedford-Stuyvesant Program, and Spike Lee’s Joe’s Bed Stuy Barbershop: We Cut Heads on 16mm film – all films by activists and great independent filmmakers who produced works despite the suppression of minority film production.
In June, we hosted a discussion with Kevin Jerome Everson during Sugarcoated Arsenic and other recent films, whose observations into race and the socio-economic conditions of his subjects portrays an American experience not represented often enough on the big screen. Read more.
Season highlights also included Wu Tsang in person for a screening of the documentary Wildness, and the insane community success of Blade Runner Noodle Night which saw about 200 sci-fi lovers experiencing Ridley Scott’s haunting and prophetic science fiction masterpiece while enjoying food inspired by the film. Read more.
And! The satellite art project HQTBD (Headquarters To Be Determined) launched this year due to a collusion of local artistic minds Hannah Black, Elise McMahon, Aily Nash, and Jon Wang. We were proud to present screenings by and in-person discussions with filmmakers Peggy Ahwesh, Ephraim Asili, and Takeshi Murata programmed by Aily Nash during their kick-off in Basilica’s Back Gallery. Read more.
FILM x BASILICA SOUNDSCAPE
Continually forging connections between music, film, and art, Basilica’s crowning event brought together a selection of screenings in our temple of cinema – the North Hall. The immersive weekend began with We Won’t Bow Down, Chris Bower’s documentary about the secret culture of the Mardi Gras Indian tradition in New Orleans. Also in the North Hall, Jim Drain and Aida Ruilova presented videos as part of Dan Bunny’s pop-up Bunnybrains Love You: Rewriting History (with invisible ink): 2015, with a special Thumper video game demo by Brian Gibson of Lightning Bolt. Kiln Films presented “Direct-to-Video”, a platform aimed to italicize artistic auteurship which featured Macon Reed’s “Gymnasts”, Chino Amobi’s “Illuminazioni”, Ross Iannatti’s “Orchis”, Constance Tenvik & Douglas Rieger’s “Set It and Forget It” and Rachael Starbuck’s “Transfer of Attention”. Read more.
FILM x 24-HOUR DRONE: EXPERIMENTS IN SOUND AND MUSIC
Far from your standard music event, 24-HOUR DRONE: EXPERIMENTS IN SOUND AND MUSIC was an exercise in endurance of sound and sense. The long-form talent of our musicians was emphasized by long-form video adding to the stretching and slowing of time throughout the day and night.
From the vault of Second Ward Foundation’s permanent video collection, we laid eyes on an all-female program of works by Leslie Thornton (Binocular Menagerie), Carolee Scheemann (Fuses, 1964-1966), Laura Steele (Cuneiform), Diana Thater (Untitled), and Rivane Neuenschwander and Cao Guimarães (Inventory of small deaths).
Bill Stone’s “Pensato Clock” ran throughout and Tony Stone created a 24-hour long version of Le Mans, the 1971 film about the world’s oldest endurance sports car race starring Steve McQueen. Slowed to a 24 hour cut from 97 minutes, the race was reformatted to its actual real-time length. Read more.
Aily Nash, HQTBD, Jake Perlin & the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Second Ward Foundation, Bob Van Heur and Le Guess Who?, Kiln Films, Dan Bunny.
North Hall by Clean Plate Pictures, still from Wildness by Wu Tsang, 2012, screening of We Won’t Bow Down by Samantha Marble for Pitchfork, clocks by Bill Stone at 24-HOUR DRONE by Kate Orne.