Wednesday, December 9, 2009




A Lecture Series With Anthony Buchanan in the CCA Digital Media Lab
$5 suggested donation

Harry Smith
Sunday, December 13 at 6.00pm
The Shamanic and Kabbalistic films of Harry Smith

Harry Smith, American icon, Hermetic scholar, alchemist, filmmaker and madman, was one of the great eccentrics of the Twentieth century. His obsessions with everything from Native American cosmology to American folk music were already legendary when he began making some of the earliest abstract and hand-crafted films that sparked a revolution in underground film. But Smith’s films, ranging from subliminal color and geometric abstractions to highly symbolic alchemical and religious visions, transcend cinema and become spiritual journeys in themselves. For Smith, filmmaking was the modern equivalent of ancient alchemical practice. His films will be discussed in connection to the Kabbalistic and shamanic visions they represent, but also for the treasures of American culture they have become. Smith’s films live on as some of the most influential images and forms our culture has ever produced.

Sunday, December 20th at 6.00pm
Alejandro Jodorowsky, Spiritualism and the Tarot

One of the greatest living shamans of cinema, Alejandro Jodorowsky’s quirky and eccentric films can be seen as moving Tarot images. Jodorowsky has always treaded the line between avant-garde and tradition, but his highly personal work has transgressed both these categories. Submerged in mythology, psychology and spiritual revelation, the often ridiculous and decadent imagery are a record of Jodorowsky’s spiritual quest for enlightenment throughout his life. Jodorowsky’s early pursuit of Buddhist truth and Nothingness culminated in a lifelong fascination with the Tarot and its insistence on creating personal interpretations of ancient spiritual iconography. Jodorowsky’s life and influence will be discussed alongside clips of his masterpiece of cinematic Tarot, The Holy Mountain. His faith in ancient visual depictions of spiritual states make him an indispensable mythmaker of our time.

* Although relevant clips will be shown from each piece, none of these films will be shown in their entirety. For those who wish to not have the stories spoiled, it is recommended to see the films beforehand or afterwards.