Paul Glabicki - Screening at Birkbeck Cinema

December 2, 2017, 11:00 am - 6:00 pm

The Rise of 'Ruin Cinema': Experimental Filmmaking in the US Rust Belt, 1970s-1980s Pittsburgh
Lecture by Ben Ogrodnik

While George Romero and Andy Warhol are often the first filmmakers that come to mind when people think about the Rust Belt city of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, there is much, much more to the city’s film history. The period of the 1970s and 1980s produced a number of significant, home-grown experimental and independent filmmakers whose treatment of class and economic turmoil, in the backdrop of Trump and working class antagonism, we cannot continue to ignore. Inspired by visiting artists (particularly Stan Brakhage) and the film program at the local art museum, and set against the painful backdrop of economic crisis, deindustrialization, and population loss, a variety of filmmakers rose up, operating in different genres (animation, found footage, documentary, narrative and experimental). Spanning groups such as punks, aging hippies, art school dropouts, horror film fanatics, and unemployed steel workers, this movement made work that was linked by an all-encompassing interest in images of death, loss, deconstruction and chaos. More than that, several artists - in particular gay filmmaker Roger Jacoby and fine artist Paul Glabicki- deconstructed the essential components of the filmic medium, reworking aspects of filmic reproducibility to make works that existed as auratic paintings, with individual frames treated as important as the entire work itself.

11:00: Introduction to ruin cinema and the milltown documentarians
12:00: Screening:
- Tony Buba, To my Family, 1972, 3 min * DVD
- Tony Buba, Sweet Sal, 1979, 26 min *DVD
- Steffi Domike, Women of Steel, 1985, 28 min *DVD
- Ross Nugent, 2013, 12 min *DVD
1:15: Post-Screening Conversation/Q+A
2:00: LUNCH
3:00: Lecture on Pittsburgh Avant-Garde
3:50: Screening:
- Peggy Ahwesh, The Color of Love; 10 min; 16m
- Roger Jacoby, Dream Sphinx Opera; 8 min; 16mm
- Paul Glabicki, Under the Sea; 22 minutes; 16mm
- Stephanie Beroes, The Dream Screen; 45 minutes; 16mm
- Jesse McLean, I’m in Pittsburgh (And It’s Raining), 14 min
5:30: Post-Screening Conversation/Q+A
6:00: Close


Location Information

Birkbeck Cinema
43 Gordon Square, London, WC1H OPD, United Kingdom