Program 2: Scratch Videos

Sun 12/10/2023 • 7PM PST

Billy Wilder Theater

Introduction by Chon Noriega, Distinguished Professor, UCLA School of Theater Film and Television.

Admission is free. No advance reservations. Your seat will be assigned to you when you pick up your ticket at the box office. Seats are assigned on a first come, first served basis. The box office opens one hour before the event.

This program provides a selection from 60 videos Raphael Montañez Ortiz made between 1984 and 1997, using laser discs, a computer with joystick, an electronic oscillator and a U-Matic recorder. Ortiz would explore brief passages from a commercial film, using the joystick to move back and forth within the sequence as he recorded onto ¾-inch U-Matic tape. These videos are the result of a real-time editing process, like an improvisational dance or concert, rather than the post-production editing of footage. Ortiz would often work with and record a passage several times before he felt he had found the essence of the scene. The videos here focus mostly on Hollywood features from the 1930s to 1980s and Ortiz’s interest in exploring the unconscious of Hollywood romance, the middle-class family and the choreography of violence and power. Ortiz often returned to certain films and directors, especially Orson Welles. The last part of the program looks at later videos that drew upon scenes from two or more source films, including features, documentary and television footage, suggesting a broader exploration of media culture rather than an opening up of specific canonical films.

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