Extreme oddity and first steps of music video: Peter Gidal and Bruce Conner in Vanishing Point!

Pakopiste_Coda_IDocPoint is again proud to present a handful of amazing documentaries from the strange edge of documentary film making. The Vanishing Point series curated by artists Mika Taanila and Sami van Ingen brings to silver screens films from two directors: Peter Gidal and Bruce Conner.

The festival guest will be Peter Gidal (b. 1946), a Swiss artist currently residing in United Kingdom. His films escape narrative structures of all kinds, and hold their own in experimental rigour even by the standards of the Vanishing Point series.

Gidal is one of the important figures in structuralist-materialist film making. His way of approaching the moving image is severe. The “subject matter” of the films are lights, shadows, darknes and the qualities of the film material itself—grains, especially. Gidal is also an important film theoretician. His recently re-published book Materialist Film (1989) is one of the cult works in film literature, and he was the first writer to publish a book about cinematic art and paintings by Andy Warhol (Andy Warhol, 1971). The Vanishing Point will present a hand picked collection of works from his extensive ouvre from the years 1968–2014. Gidal himself will be present at the screenings introducing the films.

Bruce Conner (1933–2008) was an American sculptor and trailblazer in the field of collage film, whose radical found footage films blast the American dream into atoms. The subject matter of Conner’s films extends from nuclear destruction to psychedelic drugs, and co-operation with musicians and bands—such as Brian Eno, David Byrne, Toni Basil and Devon—conceived films that are nowadays considered as masterful predecessors of modern music videos. Conner’s films are shoved with anarchy, individualism and pure instinctive madness. Dennis Hopper, a fan and a close friend of Conner, has encapsuled the meaning of this artist/mystician well: “Bruce Conner is the most important artist of the 20th century.”

Image is from Peter Gidal’s film Coda I. Published with the courtecy of Peter Gidal and VOX, London.