Two Versions of the Same Rare Stan Brakhage-Joseph Cornell Short Play in Manhattan and Brooklyn on Saturday

by |
12/11/2009 2:23 PM |

gnirrednow-thirdaveelplatform.jpg

In 1955, the artist and experimental filmmaker Joseph Cornell commissioned his young friend Stan Brakhage to film the Third Avenue El, just before the last elevated train line in Manhattan was demolished; from the footage, Brakhage produced his verite-impressionistic short The Wonder Ring. Not entirely satisfied with the results, Cornell took Brakhage’s footage, and outtakes, and edited them together into his film Gnir Rednow—so-called because he reversed the footage for projection (Brakhage called it the “mirrored version”; it can be projected multiple ways. More info on the film[s] can be found here, for starters).

Tomorrow afternoon at 4:30, Anthology Film Archives on lower Second Avenue will screen Gnir Rednow as part of their Essential Cinema’s regular Cornell program (it comes around every year or so, give or take; it also includes the other Cornell-Brakhage collaboration Centuries of June). And tomorrow evening at 7:30, UnionDocs in Williamsburg will screen Wonder Ring as part of a program and lecture on “documentary and the avant-garde.” I’ve already done the running time and subway math—it’d be easy enough to catch both.

You live in New York, you know. It’s pretty cool.