Tuesday, September 3, 2019 at 7pm
Seven Films by Greta Snider

155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn

Hard Core Home Movie, Greta Snider, 1989, 16mm, 5 mins
Futility, Greta Snider, 1989, 16mm, 9 mins
Our Gay Brothers, Greta Snider, 1993, 16mm, 9 mins
No-Zone, Greta Snider, 1993, 16mm, 19 mins
Flight, Greta Snider, 1996, 16mm, 5 mins
Urine Man, Greta Snider, 2000, 16mm, 6 mins
The Magic of Radio, Greta Snider, 2001, 16mm, 23 mins

Writing about her 90s zine Mudflap, Greta Snider characterized its makeup as “equal parts comic book, scrapbook, reviews, interviews and accounts of my personal adventures as a punk-rock bicyclist.” Her publication, she recalled, “was one of many fanzines that emerged in a weird spike, during the death throes of the Xerox era. This kind of thing happens in waves—an economy of ‘arte povera’ provides a fertile wrack line of outdated technology, and magic can happen.”

Such a sentiment could also describe her remarkable 16mm works, made between the late 80s and the turn of the millennium, which now stand as some of the most essential efforts to have emerged from the Bay Area’s fertile alternative cinema culture. At once assertive and ambivalent, down-beat and agitational, Snider’s films offer Gen-X updates to a history that includes the experimental ethnographies of Chick Strand and the creative compilation tactics of Bruce Conner. Craig Baldwin has praised her work for its formal ingenuity, citing her deployment of “optical printing (and hand-processing and ‘photo-gramming’ and superimposition and subtitles and direct address, and a dozen other methods)” in his definitive analysis of the San Francisco avant-garde, “From Junk to Funk to Punk to Link.”

Snider circles around the concerns of documentary, but always approaches her subjects with an unabashedly subjective lens, deftly combining appropriated sequences, audio interviews, portraiture, and autobiography. Hard Core Home Movie, for instance, distills the riotous energy of a punk show via harsh cut-and-paste montage, while the episodic No-Zone spends time with urban foragers, freight hoppers, and BMX thrashers. Snider captures the wild philosophies of an outsider vagrant in Urine Man, then tunes in to a mellower wavelength for The Magic of Radio, a paean to pirate broadcasting and do-it-yourself media.

For Our Gay Brothers, Snider recorded a candid conversation between gay men about their baffled perspectives on women's bodies, wryly counterposing the audio with footage pilfered from porn, science films, and commercials; Futility adds found visual accompaniment to a pair of stories, one about the frustrations faced trying to get an abortion, the other a plangent love letter. In a note on Futility, Snider explains that “the images are never an illustration of the voice-over, nor do they constitute a narrative of their own, but blow in and out randomly, constituting a kind of peripheral vision.”

Perhaps her most personal film in the program, Flight forgoes the traditional strategies of nonfiction cinema altogether, locating a poetics within the physical objects at hand: she made the film without a camera, contact-printing negatives of her late father’s photographs and other elements directly onto 16mm. “I wanted to materialize what spirit ephemera I have remaining from him. His family photographs, his hobbyist pictures of trains and roses, his airplanes and his obsession with birds circling...this material is shot through his eyes,” Snider says. “Flight is my father’s photographic legacy, compiled and transformed into light.”

Tickets - $8, available at door.

Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 6:30pm.