When filmmaker Avery Willard didn’t use the penname Bruce King, he developed his films under the title of Ava-Graph Films. These pieces weren’t for commercial use, they were the kind of art he would create in his apartment specifically targeted for a small audience, then tucked away in a box until now. This coming weekend, In Search of Avery Willard will screen with a rare full program of Willard films, Unveiling Avery Willard, at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, January 26th and 27th. The program includes the following films:
Leather Narcissus – One of the more directly pornographic works of Avery’s experimental films, this half-hour journey is inspired by the curse that the mythical Echo placed on Narcissus. A man journeys throughout city streets seeking his reflection in everything, even the leather of a stolen motorcycle.
Reflections – Experimenting with double exposure, a dreamy soundtrack and floating camera movements, Avery created a moving image portrait of the male figure that is far from brash. He created a film that seems to turn pornography from a guilty pleasure into a natural desire, making the close-up seem elegant and humble.
Dream Boy – A man drifts in and out of consciousness and finds himself in different scantily-clad scenarios. In this film Avery plays around with montage and layers reminiscent of Reflections, but ties the dreams together narrative-like shots of the main character’s reality.
Salome - A film made by Avery based on Salome and the Dance of the Seven Veils, a biblical story in which King Herrad asks his stepdaughter Salome to perform a dance on his birthday. In return, she receives the head of the man with whom she is in love, John the Baptist. When Henry Arango saw a performance of Salome, he was inspired to do his own interpretation, which they shot in Avery’s apartment.
January 26 at 22:00
January 27 at 22:15
Lantaren Venster Theatre Two
Otto Reuchlinweg 996
3072 MD Rotterdam, Netherlands
Be sure to grab a copy of In Search of Avery Willard on the Keep the Lights On DVD/BluRay, out now!