Stellar. Stan Brakhage, 1993.

Screening & Live Event
To the Stars: Experimental Inspirations for Ad Astra

Saturday, October 12, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Museum of the Moving Image - Bartos Screening Room

With Leo Goldsmith and Gregory Zinman in person

While in pre-production on his science-fiction epic Ad Astra, director James Gray was searching for ways to develop a new visual grammar for a cinematic depiction of outer space. He turned to an unlikely source for help: two scholars and curators of experimental media. Over the course of a year, Leo Goldsmith and Gregory Zinman put together notes, quotes, and research on over 40 films for Gray and his production team. Their brief was to provide Gray with examples of how artists of the last 25 years had addressed themes of space and isolation in their work. This program highlights the films and videos of those artists in order to illuminate the ways that Ad Astra developed its powerful aesthetic. From painted film to digital abstraction, and from Afrofuturist music video to essayistic video-collage, these works provide insight into the diverse material and conceptual approaches to the cosmos the filmmakers drew upon. This program hopes to raise questions regarding the relationship between artists’ moving image and commercial enterprises, and to demonstrate the ways discrepant visual ideas help shape a film’s unified look and feel.

Organized by Leo Goldsmith and Gregory Zinman

Total running time: 64 mins.

Dir. Stan Brakhage. 1993, 3 mins. 16mm, silent.
Courtesy of The Film-Makers’ Cooperative.

SIGHTINGS: Littoral Zones 
Dir. Sabrina Ratté. 2014, 6 mins. Digital projection.

Let Your Light Shine 
Dir. Jodie Mack. 2013, 3 mins. 16mm, 3D.
Courtesy of Canyon Cinema.

Let’s Groove
Dir. Ron Hays. 1981, 4 mins. Digital projection.

Moon 1969
Dir. Scott Bartlett. 1969, 15 mins. 16mm.
Courtesy of The Film-Makers’ Cooperative.

Dir. Thorsten Fleisch. 2007, 5 mins. Digital projection.

Salt Crystals Spiral Jetty Dead Sea Five Year Film
Dir. Jennifer West. 2013, 1 min. Digital projection.

Dir. John Sanborn and Dean Winkler. 1986, 7 mins. Digital projection.

Dir. Jeanne Liotta, 2005, 3 mins. 16mm.

The Invisible World
Dir. Jesse McLean. 2012, 20 mins. Digital projection.

Tickets: $15 ($11 seniors and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for children under 3 and Museum members at the Film Lover and Kids Premium levels and above). Order tickets online.(Members may contact [email protected] with questions regarding online reservations.)  

Ticket purchase includes same-day admission to the Museum (see gallery hours). View the Museum’s ticketing policy here. For more information on membership and to join online, visit our membership page.

Gregory Zinman is an assistant professor in the School of Literature, Media, and Communication at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He is the author of Making Images Move: Handmade Cinema and the Other Arts (University of California Press, 2020), and co-editor, with John Hanhardt and Edith Decker-Phillips, of We Are in Open Circuits: Writings by Nam June Paik (The MIT Press, 2019).

Leo Goldsmith is a Visiting Assistant Professor of Screen Studies in the Department of Culture and Media at Eugene Lang College, The New School. His writing has appeared in Artforum, art-agenda, Cinema Scope, and The Brooklyn Rail, where he was a film editor from 2011 to 2018. He is a co-author of Keywords in Subversive Film/Media Aesthetics (Wiley 2015), by Robert Stam with Richard Porton, and is currently writing a book about the filmmaker Peter Watkins.