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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Film on film

A few years ago, before a screening of Apparition of the Eternal Church in New York, I had to monitor a transfer to tape of the movie in a film festival office. The festival directors were amazed, they told me later, to see me sitting there absorbed in the film, laughing at the jokes, forgetting to breathe. "Most filmmakers," they said, "can't stand to watch their own films." 

A few dozen screenings later I haven't exactly joined the ranks of most filmmakers--I still enjoy Apparition. But what I really enjoy is taking pictures of it, which is how I spent much of Thursday's organ rehearsal in Santa Cruz before the screening there. I came home with an iPhone full of these images and was inspired to dig through the photo archive for similar images from prior screenings, mostly from the 2008 Messiaen centenary tour. Here are some highlights:




Eisa Davis onscreen in Mobile, 2008
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Eisa Davis onscreen in Frank Lloyd Wright's Grady Gammage Auditorium at Arizona State University, Tempe, 2008
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church





Daniel Handler onscreen at the Santa Cruz organ rehearsal.
He took pleasure in sending this image to his Jewish mother.
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Eisa Davis, Mobile screening
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Elizabeth Povinelli, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Elizabeth Povinelli, Santa Cruz organ rehearsal
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Harold Bloom, author of Jesus & Yahweh, onscreen in St. James Cathedral, Chicago, 2008
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Ilan Greenberg onscreen in Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Messiaen skeptic John Cameron Mitchell contemplates a fourth use of the knife
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church



John Cameron Mitchell, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church



John Cameron Mitchell, Santa Cruz
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Mx. Justin Vivian Bond, as Kiki DuRane, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church
 




Mx. Justin Vivian Bond as Kiki DuRane, St. James Cathedral
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Karen Hartman, Santa Cruz
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Michael Warner - Christianity skeptic, Messiaen believer - Santa Cruz
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Ned Stresen-Reuter, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Ned Stresen-Reuter, Santa Cruz
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Rabbi Angela Buchdahl, Santa Cruz
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Sandi DuBowski, Santa Cruz
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Sandi DuBowski, Mobile. "It's so emotional, it's like somebody…whipping their head back, you know? 
In anticipation, their hair, like flying off their skull!"
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Squeaky Blonde smokes in church (Santa Cruz)
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Squeaky Blonde smokes in cathedral (St. James)
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Texxxas Sage, Santa Cruz
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Texxxas Sage, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Texxxas Sage, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Wayne Koestenbaum, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church






Albert Fuller onscreen at the Santa Cruz organ rehearsal.
The church's crucifix rises up from the stone visible behind the screen.
Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Albert Fuller, Mobile
in Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church




Albert Fuller onscreen at St. Bartholomew's Church, New York, in 2008. Bill Trafka is at the organ.
Albert lived to see the New York premiere two years earlier at St. Bart's - photos here.
Paul Festa's Apparition of the Eternal Church
























1 comment:

Logan W said...

Gorgeous photos!

About Me

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Paul Festa’s first film, Apparition of the Eternal Church (2006, 51 min), captures the responses of 31 artists to the apocalyptic music of Olivier Messiaen (with Justin Bond, John Cameron Mitchell, Harold Bloom; screenings: Grace Cathedral, Barbican Centre, Library of Congress; “Remarkable”The New Yorker; “Stunning”Chicago Sun-Times; “Sublime”Globe & Mail; numerous awards). Festa performs the Tchaikovsky violin concerto, opposite members of the San Francisco Ballet and The Cockettes, in his award-winning second film, The Glitter Emergency (2010, 20 min), a silent-film drag ballet comedy (“Enormous visual and musical inventiveness…full of pleasure and joy...Festa gives a bravura performance."—Film Threat). He produced, wrote and edited, with director Austin Forbord, and was chief archivist, for the Emmy-nominated documentary Stage Left: A Story of Theater in San Francisco (2010, 80 min: with Robin Williams, Bill Irwin, Peter Coyote; screenings: Geary Theater, KQED; “Intriguing...entertaining...a valuable record”—Variety). Performances as violinist and actor: ODC Theater, Center for Performance Research, Kunst-Stoff, TheatreFIRST, North Bay Shakespeare, Albert Fuller's Helicon Ensemble (Merkin Hall, Weill Hall at Carnegie Hall, Alice Tully Hall). US, Boston, NYC, SF, LA and DC (Coolidge Auditorium at the Library of Congress on the “Betts” Stradivarius) premieres of Messiaen’s Fantaisie for violin and piano. He is the author of OH MY GOD: Messiaen in the Ear of the Unbeliever, based on Apparition of the Eternal Church, and several anthologized essays, and has written for The Daily Beast, Salon, Nerve, and The New York Times Book Review. Current projects include a novel and Tie It Into My Hand (2014, ca. 80 min), a documentary feature that has screened as a work in progress at the Cannes film market and at ODC Theater in San Francisco (with Alan Cumming, Gary Graffman, Peter Coyote, Mink Stole, Robert Pinsky; "A fascinating exploration of the artistic life, as rollickingly entertaining as it is insightful and stirring."San Francisco Bay Guardian). Education: Yale (B.A.; prizes, honors, distinction), Juilliard (Cert., Adv. Cert., scholarships). Residencies: Yaddo, MacDowell, ODC Theater, Centre des R├ęcollets.

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