Creation, Construction, Convento
Documentary Feature
$10 online or at the door.
Saturday Jul 16, 2011
8:00PMDoors Open
8:30PMLive Music
9:00PMFilm Begins
10:30PMQ&A with filmmaker Jarred Alterman and Kinetic Artist Christiaan Zwanikken
11:00PMReception in Courtyard
IN THE EVENT OF RAIN THE SHOW WILL BE RESCHEDULED FOR A LATER DATE. NO REFUNDS. SEATING IS FIRST COME, FIRST SERVED. PHYSICAL SEATS ARE LIMITED. THIS MEANS YOU MAY NOT GET A CHAIR. YOU ARE WELCOME TO BRING A BLANKET AND SIT PICNIC-STYLE, BUT NO ALCOHOL IS PERMITTED.

VENUE
The Old American Can Factory
(On the roof)
on the roof and courtyard
Gowanus
232 Third St. at 3rd Ave., Brooklyn, NY 11215
F/G to Carroll St. or R to Union

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This Show Presented in Partnership With
Reyka Vodka
XO Projects
Vulture
New York Magazine
IFC
NY Premiere
NY Premiere

Artists fashion a madcap dance between nature and machine, between past and future, between the living and the dead, featuring robo-animal sculpture installations by Christiaan Zwanikken of Convento.


The line between animate and inanimate is not clear when acted upon and mediated by human consciousness. Seen from a personal or historical standpoint, every object and building can have a personality, a soul, a life. We often have nightmares of a world populated by sentient machines, but the fascinating and fantastical films in this program offer a tender vision in which the objects around us are imbued with reflections of our own pathos and passion. Part of Rooftop Films and XØ Projects INDUSTRIANCE™ series, these animations, documentaries, and art pieces illuminate a paradoxical paradise where man, machine and nature find harmony. Filmmaker Jarred Alterman and Kinetic Artist Christiaan Zwanikken from Portugal will be at the show in person to answer for a Q&A after the film.

- Mark Elijah Rosenberg


THE FILMS

Going West (Martin Andersen | UK | 2 min.)
On a train ride through book, a developing industrial region springs to life in a dazzling re-animation.

Seseke Classic (Rainer Komers | Germany | 5 min.)
In a post-industrial world, nature creeps back into control, as a former waste-water canal running through a former mining area is transformed into a green river. breathless-films.com

The Ord (Enid Baxter Blader | Aptos, California | 10 min.)
The filmmaker discovers 583 murals in a former military base, painted by soldiers, forgotten in institutional architecture that rots in a sublime and familiar way. They become the ghosts haunting an abandoned city the size of San Francisco. enidbaxterblader.com

Synchronisation (Rimas Sakalauskas | Lithuania | 8 min.)
Buildings from the Soviet era get a life of their own in a dream-like fashion.

Let Them Believe (Todd Chandler and Jeff Stark | Brooklyn, NY | 15 min.)
Shot on location in Chernobyl, Let Them Believe follows three artists plotting to steal a carnival ride from the radioactive zone. The film uses footage documenting the art project Plan C by Ryan C. Doyle and Eva and Franco Mattes.

Convento (Jarred Alterman | Portugal | 52 min.)
Two fox skulls rise on spindly necks to dance and fight. Nearby in the chirping woods, a woman gathers her laundry, seemingly oblivious. A metal beetle whirrs and clicks, scaring a curious bird into fissure. A monastery in ruins is resurrected as a palace of ingenuity, as much in harmony with nature as it is incongruous within it.

Built 400 years ago, the convent on a cliff is now home to Geraldine Zwanikken and her sons Christiaan and Louis. The family settled here to find and forge a new wellspring of creativity. Christiaan has tapped the well literally, building a robotic donkey which walks an endless circle, lifting water to compound’s highest point, to trickle down and nurture Geraldine’s garden. The art is ghastly but gorgeous, an homage to the boys’ childhood donkey, and to all working animals and clever machines. Made out of modern scrap machinery but referencing eternal truths about the history and nature of animal life, this piece, like all of Christiaan’s work, like the convent, is a glorious contradiction, an object at odds with itself.

Director Jarred Alterman revels in the Zwanikkens’ poetic paradoxes. Lusciously photographed, intricately edited, delicately constructing a soundscape that mixes the sounds of the hills with the noises of a science fiction film set in Medieval times, Convento is a delightful immersion in the sun-dusted scrubland,
in the crumbling walls of the ancient building, in Christiaan’s Frankenstein lab, revealing a unique vision of existence.

MUSIC

Hartwell Littlejohn
Born in Savannah, GA, Hartwell grew up amidst real estate goons and sharecroppers in neighboring South Carolina. At age 17 he joined the road crew for soul legend Clarence Carter, which eventually led him to Chicago and some bad acting gigs. After purchasing a 4 Track from the trunk of a coke addled restaurant manager, Hartwell returned to old friends and amplifiers in Charleston where they dug GBV, The Band and gave rise to a string of lo-fi outifits including The Aamerican Tenants and Sleeping on Bonneville. In 2003 Hartwell and Will Eskridge took refuge in Nashville and formed The Ex-Lovers, releasing the well received This Might Kill Us in 2004. That band only lasted a year before imploding, after which Hartwell returned to South Carolina again, bought a video camera and aped Fellini. After relocating to New York City in 2008, Hart has been playing solo and with his new, Crazy Horse meets The Shondells backing band, War Party.

"Hartwell Littlejohn, who hails from Charleston, S.C., and today resides in Greenpoint, took the stage in scuffed boots, jeans and a work shirt with rolled-up sleeves. Backed by bright, full chords, he used plain language to honest ends. He mined traditional southern-blues territory—wine, pills, shame, Georgia—and the songs were charged with the authenticity so conspicuously lacking in most of the New York “anti-folk” scene. The slight drawl he sang with was still audible if only more subtle in his between-song banter. In the set’s best moments, the guitar fell silent or quiet and Hartwell’s straining, soulful and toneful voice rang out" - NY Press

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Rooftop Films is a New York based non-profit whose mission is to engage diverse communities by showing independent movies in outdoor locations, producing new films, coordinating youth media education, and renting equipment at low cost to artists.


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