Flaherty On the Road Film Fest

Date(s) - Saturday 05/05/2012 - 05/06/2012
10:00 pm - 2:00 am




7:30 – 8:00 Potluck Pie Fest in Sanctuary Cafe


  HEART AND SOUL (70 min) 

Drawn from the program of the 57th Annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, the 2011 Flaherty on the Road film series explores the audio dimension of documentary.  Two programs will screen: “The Artist and the Process,” featuring “From Zero,” a portrait of American composer, philosopher and renaissance man John Cage, and “Heart and  Soul,” a film by Helen Hill and completed by Paul Gailiunas,which tenderly tells the story of Hill’s connection with an African American seamstress in New Orleans.

In thoughtfully curated programs combining long-form pieces with shorts, the  series reveals how sound  recording and design can help capture a cultural environment, sculpt a sense of place or evoke a historical period. And it urges us to see the contradictions that arise as music is added to the mix and moments of truth are either powerfully underscored or  called into question.

Sponsored by iEAR Presents!



The Artist and the Computer, Lillian F. Schwartz
(USA, 1980, 11 min)
Pixillations, Lillian F. Schwartz
(USA, 1970, 4 min)
U.F.O.s, Lillian F. Schwartz
(USA, 1971, 3 min)

For the past four decades, Lillian Schwartz has continually pushed media boundaries,
working in video art, born-digital pieces and other inventive applications of image
generation and analysis. She worked in the early stages of her career with Bell
Laboratories, developing mixtures of sound, video and art. Later, during the 1980s,
Schwartz experimented with manipulating artwork images using computer technology
and creating artwork of her own. The Artist and the Computer depicts the technical
and creative process that went into making her early films, and Pixillation and U.F.O.s
are beautiful realizations of that process. U.F.O.s can be viewed in either 2D or 3D, with
glasses made by Chromadepth.

From Zero, Frank Scheffer
(Netherlands, 2011, 60 min)

Sometime John Cage-collaborator Frank Scheffer created this edition of From Zero expressly for the 2011 Flaherty Film Seminar, completing it on the morning of its premiere. It incorporates extensive footage of Scheffer’s first interview with Cage, much of it never before seen.



Multiple SIDosis, Sid Laverents
(USA, 1970, 10 min)

A legend in the amateur film community. Multiple SIDosis is a kind of latter-day trick film, in which Sid reprises the one-man band act he performed as a traveling vaudevillian in the 20s and 30s. This self-reflexive masterpiece features Sid hysterically performing the song Nola, recorded with Sid’s ingenious sound-on-sound looping technique and filmed with the use of his handmade in-camera mattes.

Yard Work Is Hard Work, Jodie Mack
(USA, 2008, 30 min)

A handsome, hyperactive and funny piece, Yard Work is of considerable length for such
a labor-intensive form. Accomplished animation technique aside, the music is
memorable and delightfully sung (by Mack and others).


The Florestine Collection, Helen Hill, completed by Paul Gailiunas
(USA, 2011, 30 min)

Animator Helen Hill was a beloved figure in the experimental cinema and DIY art worlds
for her enchanting, whimsical movies, her passionate advocacy for her craft and her
radical dedication to making the world better. Perhaps the greatest gift to her legacy is
her husband and creative partner Paul Gailiunas’s completion of The Florestine
Collection, an ambitious film left incomplete after Hill’s murder in New Orleans in 2007.
The resulting film tells the story of an African American seamstress in New Orleans,
Florestine Kinchen, and Helen’s discovery of Kinchen’s handmade dresses on a trash
pile one Mardi Gras morning. Conceived as a meditation on the connection between
two New Orleans DIY artists, The Florestine Collection comes to full completion with
Gailiunas’s loving touch.


Additional Information

Named after Robert Flaherty, who is considered by many to be the father of documentary film, the Robert Flaherty Film Seminar is the longest continuously running film event in North America. Flaherty on the Road offers innovative, provocative, and hard-to-see films to extend the reach and keep the spirit of the Seminar alive throughout the year.

The 2011 Flaherty on the Road film festival is drawn from the program of the 57th Annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, which was held June 18 – 24 2011 at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York. Programmed by Dan Streible, SONIC TRUTH brought together a diverse group of filmmakers working in nonfiction and hybrid media to examine the sound and musical elements of their work. Sounds heard included city symphonies and country silences, animated documentary musicals, electronica of the 1920s, roots music, telephonic voices, a Senegalese griot and excerpts from Flaherty Seminar discussion recordings dating back to 1958. Guests included Les Blank, Caroline Martel, Sam Pollard, Melinda Stone and Tan Pin Pin.