Shirley Clarke, Maya Deren, Marie Menken, Meredith Monk, Robert Withers

27 June 2023, 7 pm

16MM RUN, the ongoing experimental film programme organized in collaboration with Villa Lontana continues with the screening of five short films made in close collaboration between music and performance and directed by central figures in the art and film scene of the last century: Shirley Clarke (Bridges Go Round, 1958), Maya Deren (The Very Eye of Night, 1959) Marie Menken (Arabesque for Kenneth Anger, 1961), Meredith Monk and Robert Wither (16 Millimeter Earrings, 1979, Turtle Dreams, 1981).



Robert Withers and Meredith Monk, 16 Millimeter Earrings, 1979, 25’

In 1966 Meredith Monk did the performance 16 Millimeter Earrings for the first time: not only did she choreograph the movements, but she also wrote the soundtrack and created various short film sequences to be screened during the event. The cinema version of 16 Millimeter Earrings by Robert Withers documents the reconstruction of the original performance, relying on most of the original video sequences and audio tapes utilized by Monk. With a different arrangement of the soundtrack the artist composed, the film interpretation by Withers creates a different juxtaposition of sound and image with respect to the original work, while in any case grasping the essence of this fundamental piece.



Robert Withers and Meredith Monk, Turtle Dreams, 1981, 11’

In what initially seems to be a documentary, a turtle emerges from a primordial forest only to find itself crossing a map of the world, then strolling undisturbed through the desolate streets of a phantom city reproduced in miniature. Originally produced as a silent film to accompany the performance of the homonymous album by Monk, recorded in 1983, Turtle Dreams was directed by Robert Withers .



Shirley Clarke, Bridges Go Round, 1958, 7’

An evocative urban symphony by Shirley Clarke, depicting the bridges of New York as a kaleidoscopic succession of vivid abstract images. The film was produced in two versions: the first with music composed by the electronic music pioneers Louis and Bebe Barron, the second with jazz by Teo Macero, the composer and producer of Miles Davis and Charles Mingus. Clarke loved both versions, which were often shown during the course of the same screening: “It’s a wonderful way to see the film because you can see how sound changes content”.



Marie Menken, Arabesque for Kenneth Anger, 1961, 4’

Shot in the gardens of the Alhambra in Granada, Arabesque for Kenneth Anger, a work that was left unfinished and was rediscovered in 2003, takes an anthropological look at the mysterious daily rituals of the monks of Guadix. The film is accompanied with an original soundtrack by Teiji Ito.



Maya Deren, The Very Eye of Night, 1959, 15’

The Very Eye of Night was the last film by Maya Deren, the longest and most costly of her career: shooting began in 1952, but the film was not completed until seven years later, in 1955. The project, created in collaboration with the choreographer Antony Tudor, was then released in 1959 with the addition of a soundtrack composed by Teiji Ito. Taking turns in a nocturnal dance, an effect Daren achieved by negative printing of the entire film, the students of the Metropolitan Opera Ballet School of New York float in space like cosmic moving figures. The Very Eye of the Night is effectively a metaphysical visual poem, an ethereal dance focused on spectacle rather than storytelling.




The screening will take place in the sala cinema.
Free entrance until capacity reached.