Towards the Death of Cinema (2014)
Image: Malic Amalya
Soundtrack: Nathan Hill
16mm performance with a live musical score
Cinema is the art of destroying moving images.
Paulo Cherchi Usai, 2000
Accompanied by a live synthesizer score, projected 16mm film melt and burn from the heat of a film projector. Cutting off the sprocket holes located on the edge of the film frames, the projector’s forward momentum is bypassed. In the path of the bulb for longer than 1/24th of a second, the film warps, smokes, and bursts.
Individual film frames document cycles of destruction, resilience, and transformation within the Bay Area. Shots include the abandoned Parkway Theater in Oakland, closed in 2009; filmmaker Mary Helena Clark in her Berkeley studio; the Black Hole Cinematheque in Oakland, founded by Tooth; historical images of the 1906 San Francisco fire; pool tides in the remaining structure of the Sutro Baths, first built in 1896 and knocked down by arson in 1966; and the dormant Woodminster amphitheater, built in the late 1930’s under Roosevelt’s New Deal project.
If, as Paulo Cherchi Usai argues, “cinema is the art of destroying moving images,” Towards the Death of Cinema expedites this inherent process of destruction for the viewing audience to witness in real time.
Special Thanks to…..Greg Youmans, Steve Polta, Mary Helena Clark, Tooth, & the Black Hole Cinematheque