Dream Dance: Program One

Dance Chromatic / Transformation / Life Lines / Thanatopsis / Carol

10/19/2019 | 6:00 PM


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This program is a brief introduction to Ed Emshwiller’s work as a filmmaker including two of his earliest films which have been newly preserved for this retrospective. Emshwiller’s interest in merging human figures with an abstract, kinetic environment is present along with his unique approach to sound and rhythm.

This screening will include a conversation between Lightbox Chief Curator Jesse Pires, Peter “Stoney” Emshwiller, and Susan Emshwiller, followed by a post-screening opening reception.

Dance Chromatic
Ed Emshwiller, US, 1959, 16mm, 7 min., color
Images of a young woman are double exposed in camera with animated abstract paintings. They dance together in a series of colorful passages. (EE)
Preserved through a collaboration between Anthology Film Archives and Lightbox Film Center

Ed Emshwiller, US, 1959, 16mm, 5 min., color
The pointillist score accompanies changing line, form, and color to create an animated film painting, achieved through the exploration of spontaneous abstractions. Utilizes evolving changes style, technique, and rhythm. (EE)
Preserved by Anthology Film Archives

Life Lines
Ed Emshwiller, US, 1960, 16mm, 7 min., color
Animated line drawings engage in a playful pas de deux with a nude model. The title references life drawing, the act of creation, and the lines on one’s own hand.
Preserved through a collaboration between Anthology Film Archives and Lightbox Film Center

Ed Emshwiller, US, 1962, 16mm, 6 min., b/w
Time exposures created images of a flickering, vibrating woman who is juxtaposed with an immobile man. Coupled with the sounds of heart beats and ripsaws, the images generate a sense of tension. Thanatopsis is an experimental film portraying the state of anxiety. (EE)
Preserved by Anthology Film Archives

Ed Emshwiller, US, 1970, 16mm, 5 min., color
This elegant film portrait of Carol Emshwiller uses images from a forest – trees shimmering in the sunlight – to frame its subject. A simple score composed on thumb piano combines with double exposed images to capture the poetry of the everyday.
Preserved by Anthology Film Archives

Dream Dance: The Art of Ed Emshwiller has been supported by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.