Tuesday, February 7, 2017 at 7:30pm
David Larcher's Mare's Tail
155 Freeman Street, Brooklyn
Mare’s Tail, David Larcher, 1969, 16mm, 143 mins
"A film that is undoubtedly one of the most important produced in this country and that stands comparison with the best from the United States. It's as if it were the first film in the world. When Mare's Tail first appeared it was compared to Brakhage's Art of Vision as an examination of ways of seeing. The comparison can be taken further: as Brakhage is to the New American Cinema, it seems to me, so Larcher should be considered to the New English Cinema ... Mare's Tail is not only about vision but proposes an epistemology of film, particularly in its first reel: revealing basic elements of film in an almost didactic fashion: grain, frame, strip, projector, light. We see a film in perpetual process, being put together, being formed out of these attitudes. The first reel is a 'lexicon' to the whole film - to film in general - holding together what is essentially an open-ended structure to which pieces could be continually added and offering us a way to read that film. It is at once a kind of autobiography and a film about making that autobiography." - Simon Field, Art and Artists, 1972
"Mare's Tail is an epic flight into inner space. It is a 2 and 3/4 hour visual accumulation in colour, the filmmaker’s personal odyssey, which becomes the odyssey of each of us. It is a man’s life transposed into a visual realm, a realm of spirits and demons, which unravel as mystical totalities until reality fragments. Every movement begins a journey. There are spots before your eyes, as when you look at the sun that flames and burns. We look at distant moving forms and flash through them. We drift through suns; a piece of earth phases over the moon. A face, your face, his face, a face that looks and splits into shapes that form new shapes that we rediscover as tiny monolithic monuments. A profile as a full face. The moon again, the flesh, the child, the room and the waves become part of a hieroglyphic language … Mare's Tail is an important film because it expresses life. It follows Paul Klee’s idea that a visually expressive piece adds 'more spirit to the seen' and also 'makes secret visions visible.' Like other serious films and works of art, it keeps on seeking and seeing, as the filmmaker does, as the artist does. It follows the transience of life and nature, studying things closely, moving into vast space, coming in close again. The course it follows is profoundly real and profoundly personal: Larcher’s trip becomes our trip to experience. It cannot be watched impatiently, with expectation; it is no good looking for generalization, condensation, complication or implication." - Stephen Dwoskin, Film Is: The International Free Cinema
"Pierre Boulez came to a screening of Mare's Tail at Robert Street once. Simon Hartog said, 'Oh, I sent my father to see Mare's Tail.' His father was an impresario for people like Joan Sutherland and Pierre Boulez, and it turned out that Boulez came and was sat behind us. I'd been living in trucks and I'd just come up and it happened to be the same day. I went along and found this old tramp called Eric - the famous character who was around in those days, early 1970s - and took him along. We were sitting there and then I suddenly realised Boulez was behind. After half an hour he said 'C'est la perfection,' and walked out with Simon's father!" - David Larcher, interview with Mark Webber, 2001
Tickets - $8, available at door.
Please note: seating is limited. First-come, first-served. Box office opens at 7pm.