Roger Beebe films and videos

Wonderful program by Beebe, a Florida film prof when he’s not touring art spaces with eight projectors. He’s a low-key charismatic speaker who held the audience easily while introducing films, telling stories or fixing equipment breakdowns. It probably helps that most of us were Film Love regulars who weren’t exactly expecting to see Transformers 2… I wonder how the screening went in Macon the night before.

Last Light of a Dying Star (2008)
This is the big one. Opens with two 16mm loops of blippy light tears, then more 16mm and a Super-8 of science videos (comets, solar system, eclipses) and a german or russian show about the sun getting drunk and trying to stay up all night, and videos of an astounding sequence of thousands of still images featuring the sun or moon aligned and sequenced to show a sunset/moonrise. Also a short stop-motion 16mm loop of a star, sliding and breaking. The frames are positioned around the wall, some overlapping, as Roger “conducts”, starting and stopping and moving frames so it’s more a performance than any kind of traditional film.

Money Changes Everything (2009)
3x16mm, the left and right being documentary shots of Las Vegas while the middle is similar but has a ghostly frame inside a frame, and the audio track sounds like a radio show explaining research which shows Vegas to have the highest suicide rate in the nation.

TB TX Dance (2006)
TB is Toni Basil (singer of the hit song Mickey) and TX is Texas (the state). After their respective introductions, they dance. Made with a laser printer on clear film leader (including the soundtrack), and projected side-by-side with its inverse image, this was an impressive, creative and goofy way to start the show. I won’t say the name of the litigious filmmaker from whom some of the images were borrowed.

The Strip Mall Trilogy (2001)
Strip-mall images are reclaimed, decontextualized and rapidly edited. If I was a serious film scholar I would’ve cornered Beebe and bugged him about Hollis Frampton and Zaireeka, but it doesn’t matter if this was Zorns Lemma-influenced or not – it is awesome.

Composition in Red & Yellow (2002)
An ironic hymn to the ever-present McDonald’s.

Famous Irish Americans (2003)
Educational! Made during a Minneapolis winter when he was afraid to go outside, heh. Tried to show this to Katy but when she learned it wasn’t about Minnesota, she declined.

There was another one shot in Paris – spoken intro along the lines of “Now you’ll see I don’t just hate America – I hate France, too.” Also, a reluctant dude from the audience sang along with a karaoke music video of “Touch Me I’m Sick” consisting of clips from a venereal disease educational film. Director was selling (cheap!) DVDs of his work, hence the screenshots.