Ain't It Cool News (
Movie News

Robogeek reports on a local cool cinema event in Austin...

As Robo is often likely to do... He's written in again. This time his report was in hexidecimal... the bastard. But I believe I've figured it out.... So... here it is...


Greetings, citizens! Especially those of you who live in or near Our Fair City of Austin. I've got a treat for ya.

Every once in a while, ol' Robo hears about an oh-so-cool event that he just has to let you all in on, and encourage you to check out. This weekend holds a perfect example -- a rare opportunity to see some early experimental animation accompanied by some of Austin's coolest musicians.

in*situ, a funky-fresh Austin-based collective of sound and visual artists, is presenting an event celebrating renowned American musicologist and experimental filmmaker Harry Smith this Friday at 8 pm, and Sunday at 7 pm at Austin's freaky-cool Scottish Rite Auditorium on 18th and Lavaca.

The event centers around "Harry Smith: A Re-Creation," a multimedia presentation of Smith's animated films from the 1940s-1960s which premiered at last year's Rotterdam Film Festival, and has been presented in New York City and London. (The Village Voice called it "amazing.")

A legendary New York figure, Smith (1923-1991) was the elder statesman of the American avant garde filmmaking, as well as an animator, painter, folklorist, and musicologist. Starting in the 1940s, he created a visionary, ground-breaking series of wildly diverse animated films.

Henry Jones, Smith's protege, orchestrates this multiple-projection screening, utilizing modern format film projectors, color wheels, stroboscopic effects, hand-painted glass slides, and 19th century "magic lanterns." (Film will actually be projected onto a magic lantern screen dating from 1882, one of the many historic stage properties at the Scottish Rite Auditorium.)

The program includes the hand-painted "Early Abstractions," the surrealist collage masterpiece "Heaven and Earth Magic (an uncanny precursor to Gilliam's "Monty Python" cut-out animation), "Late Superimpositions," and "The Tin Woodman's Dream" (all that remains of Smith's legendary, never-completed adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz").

But wait, there's more! The event will also showcase local musicians performing traditional American music from the acclaimed Smithsonian Folkways Anthology (including from the never-released fourth volume) which was collected and edited by Harry Smith and originally released in 1952. Arguably the most influential collection of American music recordings ever, it earned Smith a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and was re-released as a special edition boxed CD set in 1997.

Daniel Johnson, Guy Forsyth, local roots music group The Blue Buckskin Whinchers, and James Hyland and Friends are among the featured performers. The local trance-dub group Futura will perform live improvisation during the films.

This event is being brought to Austin through the efforts of in*situ's Jon Ausbrooks, and is the most recent in a series of programs that group has presented since 1991 celebrating the roots of the American independent film movement, and particularly the marriage of the moving image and music. (Other subjects of in*situ programs have included Stan Brakhage, Kenneth Anger, and Tony Conrad. Their next program will focus on Bruce Connor.)

To get a taste of the program, I have two clips to share with you:


Tickets are $10 and are available from Waterloo Records, Austix (454-TIXS), and at the door. For more information call 452-3809.

This project is sponsored in part by XOPIX, Pixel Perfect, Waterloo Records and Video, Austin Friends of Traditional Music, Austin Film Society, I Love Video, the Liberal Arts Honors Program and the Department of Radio, Television and Film at the University of Texas.

Traditional Music Meets Experimental Animation
Fri., Nov.12 @ 8 PM and Sun., Nov. 14 @ 7 PM
Scottish Rite Auditorium, Austin TX



P.S.: We may not have e-commerce on AICN, yet, but in the meantime visit Robogeek's Cabana of Capitalism on ebay, where you'll currently find a Sony VX1 3-CCD Hi8 Handycam Pro, a Sony EV-C200 Hi8 VCR / editing deck, a Sony TR91 SteadyShot Video8 camcorder, lots of cool laserdiscs and comics... and a PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE helmet/mask! m/aboutme/robogeek.aicn/

Readers Talkback
comments powered by Disqus