On Thursday, May 6th at 8:00 pm, Smack Mellon will host Cinema 16 as part of the gallery’s Press Play First Thursdays concert series.
Doors open at 7:00pm and Performance by MotMot will begin at 8:00pm and will be presented in the Archway under the Manhattan Bridge, located at Pearl and Water Street in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The featured film is The Adventures of Prince Achmed, by Lotte Reiniger.
In an era when film has been reduced to the tiny screens of our laptops and ipods, oftentimes viewed alone, Cinema 16 resurrects communal performance experience. Cinema 16 revives the silent film era in which live music would accompany black and white 16mm projections. Taking from the tradition of vaudeville, the performance is showcased at a variety of spaces. Cinema 16 has been hosted at the National Arts Club, 92Y Tribeca, Galapagos, Starr Space, Greenpoint's Coco66, the Bell House, among many other stellar locations. Each monthly screening modernizes the tradition of silent film by pairing contemporary musicians with antique shorts.
Named after the New York-based avant-garde film society in 1947 and inspired by Maya Deren’s Greenwich Village exhibition of experimental films, Cinema 16 pairs edgy contemporary musical artists with vintage films, curated by Molly Surno. The performances meld the worlds of art, film and music.
With works by filmmakers such as Wlaydslaw Starewicz, Jan Lenica, Man Ray, the Brothers Quay, Joseph Cornell, Maya Deren, and Jan Svankmajer, each program takes a unique look at these beautiful shorts. Postmodern and edgy these events give films a new identity by scoring live contemporary music. Surno has commissioned a wide range of musicians to interpret her short film programs. Using opera singers, punk rock bands, 17 piece brass bands each event Cinema 16 has had a distinct flavor and atmosphere that inspires spontaneity of the band and their musical creation. Cinema 16 musicians include Joseph Keckler, These Are Powers, Juliana Barwick, Artanker Convoy and the Wild Yaks.
MOTMOT is a sound art project comprised of multi-instrumentalists Sahba Sizdahkhani and Shamos Dan. Originally from Iran and Israel, they met in Brooklyn, New York while working in a larger ensemble. Influences are wide but center on native tribal cultures, the hypnotic nature of ritual practices, and the musics of various spiritual traditions throughout history. They currently utilize a conglomerate of electric and acoustic instruments, and the result is simultaneously subtle yet encompassing to the listener. They will score the epic feature length animation, The Adventures of Prince Achmed, by Lotte Reiniger.