12/15 - Peggy & Fred in Hell with Leslie Thornton in person!
PEGGY AND FRED IN HELL by Leslie Thornton (Work in Progress)
with Ms. Thornton in person!
Sunday, December 15th
Doors @ 7PM, Screening @ 7:30PM
405 E. Oliver St.
$6 General Admission
Discussion with Ms. Thornton to follow the screening.
“Peggy and Fred in Hell, Thornton's ongoing and open-ended video series, maps a surreal, quasi-apocalyptic realm littered with the detritus of a pop culture bursting at the seams. Castaways in this wilderness of signs, Peggy and Fred are, as Thornton states, "raised by television," their experience shaped by a palimpsest of science and science-fiction, new technologies and obsolete ones, half-remembered movies and the leavings of history. An exploration of the aesthetics of narrative form as well as the politics of the image, Thornton's rigorously experimental oeuvre has forged a unique and powerful syntax.” - Electronic Arts Intermix
Peggy and Fred in Hell: The Prologue
Dir. Leslie Thornton, 1985, b/w, sound, 20m
"Peggy And Fred In Hell is one of the strangest cinematic artifacts of the last 20 years, revealing the abuses of history and innocence in the face of catastrophe, as it chronicles two small children journeying through a post-apocalyptic landscape to create their own world. Breaking genre restrictions, Thornton uses improvisation, planted quotes, archival footage and formless timeframes to confront the viewer's preconceptions of cause and effect." – Video Data Bank
Peggy and Fred in Kansas
Dir. Leslie Thornton, 1987, b/w, sound, 11m
"Peggy and Fred, sole inhabitants of post-apocalyptic Earth, weather a prairie twister and scavenge for sense and sustenance amid the ruined devices of a ghosted culture. The improvised and playful dialogue of the children provides a key to understanding the tape; their distracted sense of make-believe floats between realities, between acting their parts and doing what they want—patching together identities that, like fidgeting children, refuse to stand still." – Video Data Bank
Peggy and Fred and Pete
Dir. Leslie Thornton, 1988, sepia, sound, 23m
“In the installment Peggy and Fred and Pete, Thornton integrates eclectic appropriated texts into her narrative realm, including the soundtrack from Roman Polanski's The Tenant and a fragment of silent film "introducing 'Pete the Penguin.'" Accompanied by spookily atmospheric "film music," Peggy and Fred wander through a series of ominous landscapes, which stand in counterpoint to the absurd pathos of the penguin footage. For Thornton, the media image oscillates between presence and absence; these disparate scenarios appear as traces or clues, standing in for something lost.” – Video Data Bank
*Plus 3 or 4 more episodes from the series (surprise!).
Refracted through archival material, texts, found footage and dense soundtracks, Leslie Thornton's rigorously experimental film and video work is an investigation into the production of meaning through media. For Thornton, form and content are co-extensive, as exemplified by her epic project Peggy and Fred in Hell, an ongoing cycle of interrelated films, videos and installation environments focusing on two children who have been "raised by television." Heterogeneous and open-ended, the series defies conceptions of masterwork, author, and the strictures of beginning, middle and end.
Leslie Thornton was born in 1951 in Knoxville, Tennessee. She studied with filmmakers Hollis Frampton, Stan Brakhage, Paul Sharits and Peter Kubelka at the State University of New York/Buffalo, and with Richard Leacock and Ed Pincus at MIT in Cambridge, MA. She has been honored with numerous awards, including the Maya Deren Award, the first Alpert Award in the Arts for media, a nomination for the Hugo Boss Award, two Rockefeller Fellowships, and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, New York State Council on the Arts, New York Foundation for the Arts, Jerome Foundation, and Art Matters.
Thornton's film and media works have been exhibited worldwide, in venues including The Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Whitney Biennial Exhibition; Centre George Pompidou, Paris; Rotterdam International Film Festival; New York Film Festival; capcMusée, Bordeaux; Pacific Film Archives, Berkeley; and festivals in Oberhausen, Graz, Mannheim, Berlin, Austin, Toronto, Tokyo and Seoul, among many others. Her ongoing work Peggy and Fred in Hell was cited in several "Year's Best" lists, including the Village Voice and The New York Times, and she was the only woman experimental filmmaker included in Cahiers du cinema's "60 most important American Directors" issue. Thornton is Professor of Modern Culture and Media at Brown University.
January 30th - Open Call Screening @ EMP Collective
To submit, email works to firstname.lastname@example.org by January 1st, 2014
February - Sarah Halpern @ The Red Room