Underground Film Journal

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Robert Beck Memorial Cinema: January — May Screenings, 1999

By Mike Everleth ⋅ June 17, 2018

Film flyer featuring Marilyn Monroe with her eyes cut out

Part One of this series is about the origin of the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema (RBMC). Part Two covers all the screenings in 1998.

Continuing into 1999 at the Collective Unconscious theater space in NYC, the RBMC — co-programmed by Brian L. Frye and Bradley Eros — went on hiatus for the first week of the year, but resumed on January 12. Below is a list of screenings from then until a May 18 event that celebrated the RBMC’s first full year of existence.

The films and filmmakers selected to screen by Frye and Eros represent an interesting time in the sphere of avant-garde and experimental cinema. Up until this point, there seemed to be a distinct separation between the formal style of, say, structuralism, and the more raucous, punk rock world of the “underground.” However, in the 1990s, these two worlds appear to be colliding. The RBMC seemed just as content screening Hollis Frampton‘s Critical Mass (Feb. 23) as it did Jennifer Reeder‘s Nevermind (March 13).

In fact, Nevermind screened as a special RBMC presentation at the 6th annual New York Underground Film Festival. Frye and the RBMC apparently had a fan in Festival Director Ed Halter, who had written an article about Frye in the December 23-29, 1998 edition of the NY Press newspaper. The RBMC screenings for NYUFF on March 12-13 were held at the Pink Pony Theater at 176 Ludlow St. — just down the block from the RBMC’s regular home of 145 Ludlow. Both Frye and Eros were both listed as “Special Guest Star Curators” at the NYUFF website.

The below screening schedule is cribbed as best as possible from the promotional flyers archived by Frye and graciously loaned to the Underground Film Journal. (Any errors are our own. Feel free to point them out for us to correct.) Then, below the schedule is a gallery selection of those flyers.

January 5

No screening — On hiatus

January 12

“Great Expectations”
Films selected by Pip Chodorov

January 19

“Children(s)” Games: Teenagers”
Oona O’Neill Screentest
Fantasy, dir. unknown student (MIT – ?)
Beach Party
Reading Improvement: Effective Speeds
On Melancholy or The Dream State of Ego (work in progress), dir. Jennifer Fieber
Teenage Drunk Driving
International Velvet — Digest
Unnamed film from the Archive of Lary

January 26

“Disjecta Membra: Recent works by Aaron Scott”
Acedia (The Exhaustion of Pretext)
Prelude: Final Exit
Untitled (Solid Objects)
The Perfect Crime

February 2

“Peering Through a Fresnel Glass”
Films from the collection of Dennis Nyback
Weekend Driver
4 Men & a Beer Bottle
Assembly Line
How Do I Love Thee
Ural Trucks
Bimbo’s Initiation

February 9

“Visions of Metaphor”
Films by Scott Stark

February 16

“Valentine’s Day (Nuptial Bliss)”
(partial film list below)
Oona & Adrian’s Wedding, dir. Ken Jacobs
Robert & Amy’s Wedding, dir. Jonas Mekas
How to Undress in Front of Your Husband
How to Keep a Husband, dir. Edward D. Wood, Jr. (attributed to)
What the Blushing Bride Wore
Honeymoon Hotel, dir. Tony Ganz
21st Anniversary Egg Not
Toni’s Wedding
Night Train, dir. Eros & Circle X
Oasis of the Pharaohs, dir. George Kuchar

February 23

“Speech ‘Impediments'”
Presented by Louise Bourque
Gently Down the Stream, dir. Su Friedrich
Remedial Reading Comprehension, dir. Owen Land (Watch Online)
Speak, dir. Robert Todd
Just Words, dir. Louise Bourque
Critical Mass, dir. Hollis Frampton

March 2

“By His Cinematic Request (J. Jennings)”
Movies by Jim Jennings; and movies that inspired him
Morning, dir. Ernie Gehr
St. Cristobal, dir. Jim Jennings
Airshaft, dir. Ken Jacobs
The School of Athens
Cassis, dir. Jonas Mekas
Intrigue, dir. Jim Jennings
Painting the Town, dir. Jim Jennings
Tears, dir. Jim Jennings
Bye Bye Bob, dir. Jim Jennings
All My Life, dir. Bruce Baillie
Nuke Brink (You Don’t Need a Gun), dir. Jim Jennings

March 9

“Shiners From Rotterdam”
A sneak preview of some of the best films from the 28th Rotterdam International Festival — hosted by Ralph McKay
Ustra, dir. Amitav Kaul
HKG (Hong Kong), dir. Gerard Holthuis
Film Ist, dir. Gustav Deutsch
#11 [Marey <-> Moire], dir. Joost Rekveld
(Break so that those who are susceptible to epilepsy may choose to leave.)
Csoda Pok (Wonder Spider), dir. panOptic

March 12

“Parhelian Epi-Phenomena”
(Part of the New York Underground Film Festival)
Departure, dir. Steve Polta
Micromoth, dir. Julie Murray
Retrospectroscope, dir. Kerry Laitala
Midnight Sun, dir. Jerome Cook
The Flamethrowers, dir. Schmeltzdahin, Alte Kinder, Owen O’Toole
Mr. Hayashi, dir. Bruce Baillie
Motion Studies, dir. Mark Wilson
Ambulo, dir. Aaron Scott
Circus, dir. Moira Tierney
Spikes, dir. Francois Boue
Not Fall, dir. Kain Karawan

March 13

9:00 p.m.: “Psychic Surgery aka Bad Medicine”
(Part of the New York Underground Film Festival)
Anathema, dir. Julie Murray
Phenix, dir. Andrej Zdravic
Blicklust, dir. Dietmar Brehm
X Times X, dir. Bradley Eros
Nevermind, dir. Jennifer Reeder
Eye Operation, dir. Anonymous
Epileptic Seizure Comparison, dir. Paul Sharits

11:00 p.m.: “Warning: May Cause Cataracts”
(Part of the New York Underground Film Festival)
Diszey Spots, dir. tENTATIVELY a cONVENIENCE
Jimy & Roky, dir. Jim Seibert
Trigger Film & Bare Strip, dir. Luis Recoder
A Trip Through the Brooks Home, dir. Tony Ganz
Mrs. Crawford, dir. Rick Rodine
Dithercumber (with Orson Wells), dir. Bruce McClure
Thine Inward Looking Eyes, dir. Thad Povey
(Films By), dir. Michael Johnson
Ballhead, dir. Mara Mattuschka

March 16

Lucha Libre, dir. Moira Tierney
Skinflick, dir. Moira Tierney
Trux, dir. Moira Tierney
Sweep of Reason, dir. Moira Tierney
Hot Brass, dir. Moira Tierney
Circus, dir. Moira Tierney
St. Audoen’s, dir. Moira Tierney
Hood, dir. Francois Boue
Jump, dir. Francois Boue
Prep, dir. Francois Boue
Suspended, dir. Francois Boue
Suspended Fire, dir. Francois Boue
Overhead, dir. Francois Boue
Tabu Mana, dir. Francois Boue
Sarkara, dir. Francois Boue
Prospect, dir. Francois Boue
Project, dir. Francois Boue
Giravolta, dir. Francois Boue

March 23

“Spell Magick With a K”
ElectraMorphic, dir. Erotic Psyche (Bradley Eros/Aline Mare)
Tesla Coil, activated by Jamie Moreness
Invocation of My Demon Brother, dir. Kenneth Anger
The Magician, dir. Tommy Turner & Jennifer Tull

March 30

“Light on Falling Water Writes the Text”
Invitation to a Voyage, dir. Joel Schlemowitz
Silbern, dir. Caspar Strake
Nocturne, dir. Peggy Ahwesh

April 6

Holy Mary, dir. Jerry Tartaglia
A.I.D.S.C.R.E.A.M., dir. Jerry Tartaglia
Ecce Homo, dir. Jerry Tartaglia
Final Solutions, dir. Jerry Tartaglia
Lambda Man, dir. Jerry Tartaglia
1969, dir. Jerry Tartaglia

April 20

“The Effect of Dada & Surrealism (On Hollywood Film)”
Presented by Dennis Nyback

April 27

“The Effects of Various Stimulants on Web Making”
Film premieres by Naomi Neuman
Flight, dir. Greta Snider (Watch Online)

May 4

Pre-Noctural, dir. Phil Solomon
Nocturne, dir. Phil Solomon
Passage of the Bride, dir. Phil Solomon
Clepsydra, dir. Phil Solomon
Short Untitled Film, dir. Phil Solomon
Rocket Boy vs. Brakhage, dir. Phil Solomon
Concrescence, dir. Phil Solomon

May 11

Films by Phil Weisman, including nothing, but… (an 8mm trilogy)

May 18

“1st Annual Report (Cinema Until Now)”

Bradley Eros presents a special commemorative program honoring the 1st anniversary of the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema and the 36th of Mr. Zapruder’s little movie, those Athenian children, springing from the fore-heads of their fathers. Program to include Bruce Conner‘s Report, Keith Sanborn’s Public Performance and a Statement, Brian Frye‘s Meeting With Khruschev, Bradley Eros’s Gentlemen “Prefer” (Slowly), readings, philological investigation and more.

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