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Xcèntric 2017

Things of my life: the ethnographic cinema of Chick Strand

The CCCB's cinema


Chick Strand, joint founder with Bruce Baillie of the Canyon Cinema cooperative in 1961, was a pioneering filmmaker with her poetic combination of documentary elements and experimental techniques. In the course of her 30-year career, she made several summer trips to Mexico, during which she made the ethnographic films that make up this session, some of the most important of the avant-garde cinema.

Most of the films that Chick Strand made between the sixties and eighties are made up of portraits of the people she met on her journeys around Guanajuato. The trilogy Anselmo, Cosas de mi vida and Anselmo and the Women (1966-1987) centres on the life of a street musician, his wife, his family, his children, social and identitary roles, and the exploration of cooperation and the couple’s emotions from an ethnographic viewpoint. Señora con flores is the last portrait Strand made before her death: in it we see her intense close-ups, the liveliness of her colours and the harshness of life, but we also feel the weight of memory and hear the voice of the woman with purple flowers of the title. This film, the loveliest that Strand ever made, was edited posthumously.

Anselmo, 1967, 3 min

Cosas de mi vida, 1976, 25 min

Anselmo and the Women, 1986, 35 min

Señora con flores, 1995/2011, 15 min.

16mm screening.

Copies restored by the Acedemy Film Archive (Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences)


Directors: Chick Strand

This activity is part of Xcèntric 2017

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Xcèntric. Programme January - February 2017

Val del Omar, Manon de Boer, Patrick Bokanowski, Chick Strand, Teo Hernández, Anne Rees-Mogg, Robert Beavers, Fred Halsted, Kazuo Hara, Barbara Rubin, Kenneth Anger, Jack Smith, James Herbert, Stan Brakhage are the filmmakers featured in the 2017 Xcèntric ...

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