Canyon Cinema: Red Shift + Daughters of Chaos (in 16mm)

January 30 only

The personal and poetic cinema of Gunvor Nelson’s Red Shift and Marjorie Keller’s Daughters of Chaos explores relationships between mothers and daughters, the mysteries of growing up and growing old.


Red Shift employs its cascading flow of fragmentary sounds and images to weave several strands of ideas and sensations into a complex web that moves freely from intriguing near-abstraction into poignantly specific articulation. It returns to many themes treated in Nelson’s earlier films – aging, mortality, the physicality of the body, memory, the innate human need for control, the unexpected depiction of women, dreams, gaps between fantasy and reality, and gaps between people – and cast a passionate eye toward the visual mysteries that make each person and object unique.

– Steve Anker, The Films of Gunvor Nelson in Still Moving (2002)


Dominated as it is by nonlinear, prismatic editing featuring the color red, unfocused close-ups of multihued flowers, and glinting water, Daughters of Chaos is like a jewel-encrusted box that both represents and responds to the confusing process of becoming a woman in a culture understood as patriarchal… This film is both poetic and personal, but it is also significantly feminist in its acknowledgment of the complexity of female adolescence and in its critique of the seductive
institutions that thwart women’s development.

– Robin Blaetz, In the Absence of Marjorie Keller in New England Review Vol. 26, No.4 (2005)

Gunvor Nelson and Majorie Keller each created bodies of work consisting of highly original and intricately layered films. They sought out new cinematic forms, experimenting with image and sound disjunctions to push those co-joined elements apart, towards groupings and connections with various elements elsewhere in the work. In addition to making meaning, their inventive uses of sound serves also in bringing into these serious pieces, a warm sense of humor. Nelson
and Keller each developed processes for working which allowed for both intuitive painterly searching at times and rigorous discipline and precision at others – strategies which lead them to create unique and personal languages, drawing from reserves deep within, fully expressing and articulating truths where words alone often fail.

Presented by Canyon Cinema

Canyon Cinema is thankful for the long term support of the George Lucas Family Foundation. Dedicated project funding for Canyon Cinema 50 has been generously provided by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Owsley Brown III Foundation, Phyllis C. Wattis Foundation and The Fleishhacker Foundation.


Canyon Cinema: Red Shift + Daughters of Chaos (in 16mm): Upcoming Showtimes