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Phil Solomon Memorial Screening


Location: Bartos Screening Room

Phil Solomon, who died this April, was one of the most beloved American avant-garde filmmakers. A student of Ken Jacobs at SUNY Binghmaton, and colleague of Stan Brakhage at the University of Colorado in Boulder, Solomon forged his own unique image alchemy, manipulating existing and original footage to create evocative, beautiful, and dreamlike works that reveal subterranean depths in their exquisite imagery. Generous, soft-spoken, equally serious and humorous, Solomon will be greatly missed. His work, miniaturist yet masterful, lives on, along with his legacy as an artist and teacher. This memorial screening will include 16mm prints of four of his greatest films (including a collaboration with Stan Brakhage). The program will include remarks by some of Solomon’s friends and colleagues. Thanks to Canyon Cinema, source of the 16mm prints.—David Schwartz, Curator-at-Large

Films to be screened:

The Secret Garden (1988, 23 mins.) “The Secret Garden is one of Solomon’s most exquisite films. As with Leslie Thornton and Lewis Klahr, there is the shadow of a story here, one which deals with the passage from innocence and experience and invokes equally terror and ecstasy.” (Tom Gunning)

The Exquisite Hour (1989-1994, 14 mins.) Partly a lullaby for the dying, partly a lament at the dusk of cinema. Based on the song by Reynaldo Hahn and Paul Verlaine. (from Canyon Cinema catalog)

Remains to Be Seen (1989-1994, 17 mins.) “In the melancholic Remains to Be Seen, dedicated to the memory of Solomon’s mother, the scratchy rhythm of a respirator intones menace. The film, optically crisscrossed with tiny eggshell cracks, often seems on the verge of shattering. The passage from life into death is chartered by fugitive images: pans of an operating room, an old home movie of a picnic, a bicyclist in vague outline against burnt orange and blue …. Solomon measures emotions with images that seem stolen from a family album of collective memory.” (Manohla Dargis, The Village Voice)

Seasons… (2002, 15 mins. Silent) “Stan Brakhage’s frame-by-frame hand carvings and etchings directly into the film emulsion, sometimes photographically combined with paint, are illuminated by Solomon’s optical printing; this footage was then edited by Solomon into a four part ‘seasonal cycle.’ Seasons… is inspired by the colors and textures found in the woodcuts of Hokusai and Hiroshige, and the playful sense of forms dancing in space from the film works of Robert Breer and Len Lye.” (Canyon Cinema)

Tickets: $15 ($11 seniors and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for children under 3 and Museum members at the Film Lover and Kids Premium levels and above). Order tickets online.(Members may contact [email protected] with questions regarding online reservations.)

Ticket purchase includes same-day admission to the Museum (see gallery hours). View the Museum’s ticketing policy here. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.