Rohfilm - B & W Hein
















 Cibernetik 5.3 - John Stehura
















 Flaming Creatures - Jack Smith


Vintage Avanto


Helsinki’s finest shrine to cinema, the legendary and recently refurbished Orion cinema, provides an appropriate setting for our three special screenings that probe the shared history of music and experimental cinema.

Vintage Avanto 1
In this series, King Celluloid - i.e. film itself - has the starring role. Peter Kubelka’s Adebar, Schwechater and Arnulf Reiner were originally commercial films that his clients (a Viennese bar, a brewery and painter Reiner) refused to approve. These dense masterpieces are a combination of Anton Webern influenced serial thinking and sheer optic terror. Malcolm Le Grice used the latest technology in his commissioned film Threshold. The hypnotic loops of customs officials conducting a nocturnal raid were produced with the help of the then streamlined Fortran computer of The Atomic Energy Institute - in secret, outside official computing hours.

Film titles like Rohfilm (“Raw Film”), Film In Which There Appear Sprocket Holes, Edge Lettering and Dirt Particles, etc are pretty self-explanatory. The so-called “pure film” is, paradoxically enough, very often the dirtiest of all. The Hein couple have demanded that all new film prints of Rohfilm be made from previously screened prints, preferably as scratched as possible, and not, under any circumstances, from the original negative. The programme is concluded by a real gem. Tony Conrad’s The Flicker, made up of only black and white frames and Conrad’s own brilliant electronic soundtrack, crystallizes the themes of Vintage Avanto 1. At its most beautiful, cinema is the delicately flickering play of light and shadow.

Peter Kubelka: Adebar (Austria, 1957, 1 min)
Peter Kubelka: Schwechater (Austria, 1957-58, 1 min)
Peter Kubelka: Arnulf Reiner (Austria, 1960, 7 min)
Owen Land (a.k.a. George Landow): Film In Which There Appear Sprocket Holes, Edge Lettering, Dirt Particles, etc
(USA, 1965-66, 5 min)
Birgit & Wilhelm Hein: Rohfilm (Germany, 1968, 20 min, m: Christian Michelis)
Malcolm Le Grice: Threshold (Great Britain, 1971, 10 min)
Tony Conrad: The Flicker (USA, 1966, 30 min, m: Tony Conrad)


Vintage Avanto 2
This screening fulfils the criteria of even the most demanding animation devotee. John Stehura’s Cibernetik 5.3 is the 2001: A Space Odyssey of avant-garde film. Its early vision of higher intelligence somewhere “out there” is startling in its colourful splendour, and it may have been a direct influence on the
visual imagery of the metaphysical journey through time in Kubrick’s classic. Yantra looks like computer animation but is, in fact, the result of almost ten years of meticulous drawing and painting. James Whitney has described his work as “a sincere attempt at visualizing yoga experiences”. Lis Rhodes has used nothing but Letraset transfer lettering and a film printer to produce her Dresden Dynamo - and its optical soundtrack. Robert Breer, who started out as a painter, contributes the flicker impression 69 and the “autobiographical” Fist Fight that consists of over 13,000 photographs and drawings. Ray Gun Virus and Synchromy are milestones of formalist cinema that force the viewer to reasses concepts like “viewing experience” and “tolerance”. Tony and Beverley Conrad’s Straight & Narrow can be seen as a continuation of The Flicker. In the hypnagogic visions of line animation, time and place lose their significance once and for all.

James Whitney: Yantra (USA, 1957, 10 min)
Robert Breer: Fist Fight (USA, 1964, 9 min, m: Karlheinz Stockhausen)
John Stehura: Cibernetik 5.3 (USA, 1961-65, 8 min, m: Tod Dockstader)
Paul Sharits: Ray Gun Virus (USA, 1966, 14 min)
Robert Breer: 69 (USA, 1968, 5 min)
John Gruenberger: In Florescence (Great Britain, 1972, 6 min, m: Gil Melle)
Lis Rhodes: Dresden Dynamo (Great Britain, 1974, 5 min)
Norman McLaren: Synchromy (Great Britain/Canada, 1979, 8 min)
Tony & Beverley Conrad: Straight And Narrow (USA, 1971, 10 min, m: John Cale, Terry Riley)


Vintage Avanto 3
This screening features a Finnish rarity - an excellent structuralist film produced by students at the Helsinki University of Art and Design. “We set out to apply musical structure to cinematic expression,” the collective of Pirjo Honkasalo, Timo Linnasalo & co stated in 1967. Hyppy represents the humourous side of Eino Ruutsalo and its energetic Donner/Kurenniemi soundtrack is pure proto-Pan sonic. Bridges-Go-Round and Mongoloid are great avant-garde classics and interesting for their soundtracks alone. Louis and Bebe Barron were way ahead of their time with their atonal electronic buzz, and Mongoloid shows the eternally topical Devo at their most comical. The final film of the three Orion screenings is the decadent, “Egypt influenced” Flaming Creatures that really does justice to the epithet 'legendary'. Regarded as indecent and morally degenerate, it is still banned in many American states. There has probably been more column inches written about the deranged shenanigans of Jack Smith’s congregation than any other underground film.

Shirley Clarke: Bridges-Go-Round (USA, 1958, 4 min, m: Louis & Bebe Barron)
Eino Ruutsalo: Hyppy (Finland, 1965, 5 min, m: Erkki Kurenniemi, Otto Donner)
Timo Aarniala, Pirjo Honkasalo, Anki Lindqvist, Timo Linnasalo, Inger Nylund, Erkki Seiro: The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth (Finland, 1968, 3 min)
Bruce Conner: Mongoloid (USA, 1977, 4 min, m: Devo)
Jack Smith: Flaming Creatures (USA, 1962-63, 60 min, m: Tony Conrad)


Vintage Avanto 1 Screenings - Orion Cinema
Tuesday 6.11.2001 - 19:00
Friday 9.11.2001 - 21:00

Vintage Avanto 2 Screenings - Orion Cinema
Wednesday 7.11.2001 - 19:00
Saturday 9.11.2001 - 21:00

Vintage Avanto 3 Screenings - Orion Cinema
Thursday 8.11.2001 - 21:00
Sunday 11.11.2001 - 21:00