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Other Cinema: Santiago Alvarez

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San Francisco’s premiere avant-garde film screening series finally returns for its 2008 season! Actually, it’s already returned and I feel like a heel for missing their opening weekend last week, but considering I had fluids exploding out of my body at the time I kind of had a genuine excuse, rather than my standard I’m just plain stupid and lazy.

March seems to alternate between the political and the starkly abstract. (What else is new?) Also, the first night will feature films from the latest DVD out on the Other Cinema label. It’s He Who Hits First, Hits Twice and features the work of Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez. If you can’t make it to the screening, just buy the DVD and feel like you’re there. Of other note, the 3/22 screening will feature new cross-media pieces by Bryan Boyce and Other Cinema founder Craig Baldwin.

All screenings take place on a Saturday night and start at 8:30 p.m. Screenings take place at the Artists Television Access center at 992 Valencia (@ 21st) in the Mission.

SAT. 3/8: SANTIAGO ALVAREZ + TRAVIS WILKERSON

Presenting the collected works of late Cuban filmmaker Santiago Alvarez, whose work has remained mostly hidden from the U.S. Featuring the best transfers of Alvarez’s 16mm cine-poems, OC will screen about 8 films, including Now, Cerro Pelado, and 79 Springtimes of Ho Chi Minh. Also featuring Accelerated Under-Development, a documentary on Alvarez by curator Travis Wilkerson. Best part of the night? Cuba Libres for a buck!

SAT. 3 / 15 : JENNIFER REEVES’ LIVE CINEMA WORKS

In a digital world, Jennifer Reeves still works with hand-manipulated 16mm celluloid. Two of Reeves’ pieces will screen: Light Work Mood Disorder and He Walked Away. Also screening will be Darling International (co-directed by M.M. Serra), excerpts from works-in-progress, and other surprises.

SAT. 3/22 : PEOPLE LIKE US + CHICKENFISH + BRYAN BOYCE

Featuring the work of film artists who push the boundaries of visual projections, those who manipulate images in real time and/or work with multiple screens. Tonight will feature the U.S. premiere of Vicki Bennett’s three-screen Work, Rest, and Play. Also, the group Chickenfish will perform their daisy-chained laptop experience of live digital imaging and groovy sonic collage. Then, Bryan Boyce will get the audience groovin’ with his new Highway to Hell karaoke. In addition, there will be David Cox’s 3-D “mind-shadow,” Christian Bruno and Natalija Vekic’s 2-project duet, Cyrus Tabar’s Iranian family slides re-mix, as well as cross-media pieces from Semiconductor, TV Sheriff, Craig Baldwin, and more.

SAT. 3/29: MELINDA STONE’S HOMESWEET HOMESTEAD

Melinda Stone will screen her short films and performances on “self-sufficiency and sustainable DIY lifeways.” Titles include Making Chicken Dinner, Pressing Apples and The Humanure Cycle. Also screening: Sam Sharkey’s Kombucha and You, Erik Knutzen’s Self-Watering Container, and Bill Daniel’s Underground Square Dance. Plus, Melinda and Sam will get everyone singing with the Natural Anthem, America the Beautiful and Incredible Adventures of the Primitive Creature. Don’t think you’ll be singing? Oh, you will once you down the free homemade beer and wine. P.S. Check out Melinda’s HowtoHomestead.org website.

And you can always find more info at the Other Cinema website.