Active Processing in Shifting Bodies: A Tribute to Barbara Klutinis

This memorial screening celebrates the work of San Francisco filmmaker, fly fisher, and feminist Barbara Klutinis (1943-2020). Klutinis’s work strives to create “poetic environments which exist in ‘other’ realities,” utilizing contrast between sound and image to create textural juxtapositions. Self-labeled a “textural colorist,” Klutinis juxtaposes sound and image to give voice to the texture rather than content of an image. For her, filmmaking served as a vehicle of self-reflection, and a means for observing external and internal changes. Her tactile approach to film alteration (optical printing, hand coloring and hand processing) texturizes the intangible, processing the turmoil that shifting life processes yield. 

Screening line-up: Pools (1981), Wind/Water/Wings (1995), Trumpet Garden (1983), Journey, Swiftly Passing (2000)

Pools (Barbara Hammer, 1981, 8 minutes, color, sound, 16mm)

Made with Barbara Klutinis. Pools creates an active viewing experience, extending an awareness of the body submerged in water. “POOLS is a pictorially and technically impressive sampling of spectacular swimming pools at W.R. Hearst’s San Simeon and manages to validate itself from within, or at least within its own frame of identification.” (Richard T. Jameson)

Wind/Water/Wings (1995, 22 minutes, color, sound, 16mm)

Wind/Water/Wings draws on an awareness of internal shifts, of a body going through menopause. “An optically-printed canvas which explores the interior feel of world moving with inherent fluidity through a medium of wind and water. It presents an impressionistic portrait of unnatural forces that collide. On a metaphorical level, the film represents a fragile, interactive status of nature. Footage includes the windmills at Altamont Pass and the jellyfish in the Monterey Bay Aquarium. This is my menopause film: meditative, reflective, unsettling, unpredictable, sometimes ripping apart at the seams. It takes the form of an archetypal drama between nature’s poetic elements and unnatural forces gone awry. This film can also be seen as a metaphor for our fragile environment – both interior and exterior.” (Barbara Klutinis)

Trumpet Garden (1983, 10 minutes, color, sound, 16mm)

Trumpet Garden, Klutinis’s first solo film, focuses on the uncertainty of bearing children, of internal changes of pregnancy. “An environmental portrait. A woman in black explores the rituals of nature, life and death in a fertile garden filled with aural and visual textures The film, inspired by Maya Deren, employs juxtaposition of image and sound based on similar textures rather than on temporal logic, creating the feel of an environment that is misaligned and surreal. In retrospect, Trumpet Garden is an emotional diary of my pregnancy. Like gestation, it can be divided into three parts: The first part explores the mystery of the garden, the second the joys of the garden and the third the fear of death and the paranoia of the unknown.” (Barbara Klutinis)

Journey, Swiftly Passing (2000, 23 minutes, color, sound, 16mm)

Journey, Swiftly Passing intermixes Klutinis’s memories of her children with those of her parents when they were younger, reflecting on the death of her father. “Endless curves pull the wanderer along a road, bounded on either side by epiphanies and memories, weighted by the gravity of morality. A hand colored, hand processed, optically printed variation on life’s journey.” (Barbara Klutinis)

Curated by Veronica Luke. Presented by Canyon Cinema.


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