Eva Giolo, The Demands of Ordinary Devotion (2022), frame enlargement. Courtesy of the artist.


SVA Photography Building
214 East 21st Street
New York, NY 10010


25 April 2023


6:30 PM – 8:30 PM

SVA Screening: MFJ 77 "RIFTS"

Program Notes.

A rift suggests a split, a breaking apart, but it also conjures up the idea of an interstice—a place between, a space of negotiation, and a site of reimagination. It is perhaps here that we find the true impetus of artists’ moving image, not just in its resistance to tradition and convention but in its willingness to interrogate these spaces between. Throughout this issue, we find numerous articulations of in-between-ness in discussions of works that explore the relations between past and present, old and new, sound and image, fact and fiction, reality and fantasy.

Kim Knowles “MFJ 77 Introduction


MFJ No. 77 “RIFTS” covers a swath of current artists’ moving image territory, including eight reviews of recent works, a dossier by MFJ editors and advisory board members focused on the 2022 New York Film Festival’s Currents sidebar, Cathy Rogers’ unique Artist Pages, a trio of full length articles on major international artists’ films and videos, and a tribute to Michael Snow by Amy Taubin on the making of “Wavelength.

For the SVA program we have selected a diverse variety of works addressing major issues, but invariably obliquely—as is to be expected in our constantly changing field.

Selected and presented by Millennium Film Journal senior editor Grahame Weinbren and editor-at-large Jonathan Ellis.

This event is free and open to the public.

Peter Tscherkassky Dreamwork [2001 35mm -> digital 11’2]

PT: It’s another work in the tradition of “dream films,” and it pays homage to the Surrealist film tradition and to Dadaist cinema. But the main point of reference was Man Ray, who invented the camera-less darkroom film by copying and printing objects onto unexposed raw footage.

JR: [. . .] I suspect the Man Ray film that most influenced Dream Work was Le Retour à la raison—is that right?

PT: Correct. When I started working on Dream Work, at some point in time it crossed my mind that Man Ray was the first to do what I am doing: sitting in a darkroom, putting something on top of unexposed footage, exposing it, and developing it. Everything is handmade. The only difference is this: my objects are not real objects from everyday life but filmstrips—found footage.

Justin Remes “The Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of: A Conversation with Peter Tscherkassky


Riccardo Giacconi in collaboration w Andrea Morbio Diteggiatura (Fingerpicking) [2021 digital 17’30]

The figures of action are the hand-crafted marionettes of the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla e Figli in Milan, one of the oldest puppet theatres in the world. The film builds a tactile depiction of raw materials being shaped into unique characters, each with its own expressive features.  In one of the most fascinating sections, we see the pages of a catalogue showing the faces of some of the nearly three thousand puppets housed in the studio. Each face tells a story, imbued with history and the experience of previous performances.

Kim Knowles “Currents Program 3: Action Figures


Eva Giolo The Demands of Ordinary Devotion (2022) [16mm -> digital, 12’ 03]

Despite the repetition and carefully framed shots, the film is far from clinical; Giolo keeps things playful with clever visual puns and Freudian double entendres, in the images, the sounds, and their juxtaposition. The omnipresence of 16mm film, both in the texture of the images and the diegetic appearance of the Bolex, demonstrate Giolo’s commitment to the particularly tactile process of analog filmmaking. Beautifully filmed, impeccably edited, Giolo’s latest vibrates with the substance of life, labor, joy, and uncertainty.

Vincent Warne, “Currents Program 7: Ordinary Devotion


Sophia Al Maria Tiger Strike Red [23′ digital 2022]

Premiering at the 2022 Venice Biennale,Tiger Strike Red is the 6th collaboration between the Biennale and the Victoria and Albert Museum. Most of the filmed locations are in the generous 19th century architectures of the V&A, and throughout the film one is aware of the force of ideology embedded in a museum founded in 1852 as a celebration of the British Empire. But Tiger Strike Red is hardly celebratory. With unapologetic critiques of colonial attitudes and actions, it may seem an improbable commission by the two august institutions. But from a broader perspective the film reflects recent scholarly re-evaluations of liberal imperialism.
[. . . ]
Tiger Strike Red seethes like water droplets on a hot frying pan. It is elegantly photographed, seamlessly edited cinema, best understood as a cry of despair and a roar of anger, its power not a catalog of past atrocities but an expression of reactions to them. At the same time, like a bibliography, the film directs a viewer to historical events, most of them accessible in a couple of clicks.

Grahame Weinbren “Beyond So-Called Documentary: NYFF 60 Currents Program 2”


Andre Demirjian We Send Our Signal [2021 digital 2′ 03]

The Nunnery Gallery comprises a screening room connected to an arched hallway no bigger than 20’ x 8’. Any indication that this was once the site of Christian rituals has been stripped, its walls painted pure white in gallery tradition.  I slowly made my way down the passage, taking in each monitor as one would observe the stations of the cross. . . . At the end of the passage, projected high above the other artworks, was Signal. Appearing in a space once occupied by Christ on the cross, Demirjian’s futuristic documentary projected a newer, more pressing kind of premonition that feels contemporary and dystopian all at once.

Elizabeth Lowe “Signal


All excerpts from Millennium Film Journal No. 77 “RIFTS”.

Total running time: ca. 59 min.


This program is partially funded by NYSCA through the Millennium Film Workshop, affiliated with Millennium Film Journal.

The Millennium Film Workshop gratefully acknowledges support for the Millennium Film Journal by the following individuals and organizations:
• Deborah and Dan Duane
• Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation
• Anonymous Donors
• Our advertisers
• The MFJ staff