STAFF PICK: Gabriel
February 18 only
Alix picks Agnes Martin’s rare film, Gabriel (1976)
Agnes Martin was one of the most influential painters of her generation and left an enduring mark on the history of modern and contemporary art. Influenced equally by Buddhist thought and the landscape of New Mexico, Martin’s paintings ushered a new style of minimalism born from the Abstract Expressionist movement.
Martin’s only film completed on 16mm is the rarely-screened Gabriel (1976). The film follows a young boy as he walks home through the woods, filmed on location in rural New Mexico. Contemplative and rooted in the transcendentalism inherent to the natural landscape, Martin’s film meditates on the quietude of perception, on happiness and innocence.
Of her intentions, Martin stated that she wanted to make a film “‘about happiness and innocence. I’ve never seen a movie or read a story that was absolutely free of any misery. And so, I thought I would make one. The whole thing is about a little boy who has a day of freedom… in which he feels free.”
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