still from "Meridian Days" by Trevor Fife

Therefore I Live: Home Movies, Personal Cinema, and the Avant-Garde
See the World
Travel Films, Anthropology, and Personal Cinema
Monday, October 9, 2006
8:00 pm at Eyedrum

See the World presents films from the very earliest days of cinema to 2006, including rare selections from the Smithsonian's Human Studies Film Archive.

From the beginnings of cinema, starting with the Lumičre brothers, travelers and explorers set out to document journeys and places which had never been seen by most people. Itinerant filmmakers from the early twentieth century such as Burton Holmes toured the U.S. with their films of faraway locales. Marie Menken and Rudy Burckhardt, masters of the handheld camera, fashioned small, exquisite film works with a profound sense of movement and place.

Over the course of the century, film became a widely used method of fieldwork for anthropologists and ethnographers. Margaret Mead's Bathing Babies in Three Cultures shows an everyday ritual from different vantage points, and provides us with a glimpse of family life in the 1930s. Timothy Asch's humorous, revealing film shows a group of young boys in a Yanomami village, imitating their fathers' shamanic ritual. In an extraordinary ten-minute single take, Jean Rouch uses his intense, deeply involving camera style to document the drums and dance of a possession ritual in Niger.
In Trevor Fife's poignant Meridian Days, a sea journey provides the occasion for reflections on the life of the filmmaker's 82-year-old grandmother. Pablo Marín's travel reels of New York capture the hyperkinetic energy of the city. We end the screening with Warren Sonbert's 1989 masterpiece Friendly Witness, which presents a succession of shots from his world travels, weaving different people and locations into a work that is both intimate and global.

Trevor Fife, Meridian Days (2003), 16mm, color, sound, 12 minutes (screened on miniDV)

Marie Menken, Go Go Go (1962-64), 16mm, color, silent, 12 minutes

Marie Menken, Arabesque for Kenneth Anger (1961), 16mm, color, silent, 4 minutes

Joseph Cornell and Rudy Burckhardt, Angel (1967), 16mm, color, silent, 3 minutes

Rudy Burckhardt, Montgomery, Alabama (1941), 16mm, color, sound, 4 minutes

selections by
Auguste and Louis Lumičre (1890s) (screened on DVD)

Early 20th-century travel films from the
Human Studies Film Archive (screened on VHS):
Anonymous, Street Scenes at Tokio (1910); Anonymous, The Pyramids and Sphinx and Marrakesh, Morocco (1929); Burton Holmes, In Siamese Society (excerpts) (1919); Anonymous, Japan: Promotional and Theatrical Footage, excerpts (1927)

Margaret Mead and Gregory Bateson, Bathing Babies in Three Cultures (1930s/1952), 16mm, black & white, sound, 13 minutes (screened on VHS)

Timothy Asch and Napoleon Chagnon, Children’s Magical Death (1974), 16mm, color, sound, 7 minutes

Jean Rouch, Tambours D’avant/Tourou et Bitti (1971), 16mm, color, sound, 9 minutes (screened on DVD)

Pablo Marín, NYC (As Seen for the Second Time in My Life) (2006), Super-8 on video, black & white, sound, 9 minutes (screened on DVD)

Warren Sonbert
, Friendly Witness (1989), 16mm, color, sound, 31 minutes

Program subject to change

See the World is dedicated to Amos Vogel, founder of Cinema 16 (1947-1963) and author of Film as a Subversive Art, in gratitude for his continuing inspiration to seek out films and make them available to audiences.

THEREFORE I LIVE is a Film Love event, programmed and hosted by Andy Ditzler for Atlanta Celebrates Photography and Frequent Small Meals.

All screenings take place at 8:00 pm at Eyedrum, 290 Martin Luther King
Jr Dr Suite 8, Atlanta, GA, 30312

still from "Children's Magical Death" by Timothy Asch and Napoleon Gagnon

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