Honoring Shirley Clarke- Rome is Burning

Buy Tickets: Saturday February 2, 3:30pm

ROME IS BURNING (1970) 54min Directors: Noël Burch & André S. Labarthe Country: France In Paris for the Cinematheque screening of Portrait of Jason, Shirley Clarke was filmed in a friend’s apartment during a small gathering held in her honor (among the guests are Yoko Ono and Jacques Rivette); she speaks candidly about the “underground cinema,” its relationship to the politics of protest happening around the U.S, and its negation of Hollywood aesthetics. Clarke sees the U.S. heading to a certain crisis point—hence the title, ROME IS BURNING—and wonders aloud about the responsibility of filmmakers in such a situation. Screening with IN PARIS PARKS (1954) 12min Director: Shirley Clarke Country: USA Clarke captured the daily rhythm of the Luxembourg Gardens in Paris with a documentary quality and a playful sense of humor that perfectly suits the Punch and Judy show performed for a rapt audience. The music is a calliope of sound that provides a transition from scene to scene. This iconic French park is one for both adults and children and sometimes recalls the errant spirit of Jacques Tati. Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, The Circulating Film and Video Library. DANCE IN THE SUN (1953) 6min Director: Shirley Clarke Country: USA Clarke performed as a modern dancer before she made this first film. She chose for her first try Daniel Nagrin’s “Dance in the Sun,” photographing the artist performing his dance at Jones Beach on Long Island. Discovering that nature overwhelmed the dancer’s movements she sought to preserve the integrity of the dance while attaining a cinematic dimension. So she devised a simple method—intercutting between the exterior dance by the sea and the interior of the rehearsal hall. Nagrin leaps from the shore and lands on a studio floor, a graceful effect now quite common in commercials and films, but then cinematically bold. Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, The Circulating Film and Video Library. A MOMENT IN LOVE (1957) 8min Director: Shirley Clarke Country: USA Rather than one unbroken motion in space as in DANCE IN THE SUN, here Clarke shoots double images of the same movement, sometime placed in different parts of the frame, sometimes with a slight time delay, effectively used to create an intensity of mood and tension in a passionate relationship of two young lovers. A beautiful experiment in cinedance in which dreams and fantasies become visual realities through the magic of the camera. Performed by Carmen Gutierrez (A GIRL FROM MEXICO) and modern dance legend Paul Sanasardo, choreographed by Anna Sokolow, to music by Norman Lloyd. Courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art, The Circulating Film and Video Library.
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