Joseph Bernard

Posting #20

Posted on August 15, 2018

Solo at Rubicon Cinema

Season Opening at the Rubicon Cinema in Akron, OH

Film_still__crematoriumFilm still from "Crematorium: A Collaborative Self-Portrait", 1979

SEASON 4, EVENT 1

For a Season 4 opener, Rubicon Cinema is proud to present acclaimed filmmaker and visual artist JOSEPH BERNARD. The filmmaker will be present at the screening, introduce his work, and hold a Q&A.

Don't miss this unique opportunity!

When: Saturday, September 8, 8 pm

Where: Rubicon Cinema at the Blue Sky Studio, 943 Dopler Street, Akron OH 44303

 

JOSEPH BERNARD

Born in Port Chester, NY, Bernard was educated at the University of Hartford Art School and School of the Art Institute of Chicago, where he studied with Stan Brakhage. 

Now Professor Emeritus, Bernard taught fine arts at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies for 35 years. Experimental collage sensibilities are evident in his paintings, films and photographs. Contemporary poetry and music remain strong influences. His work is informed by travels to Provincetown, Southern California, Austin, Nashville and other locales. 

His films have been exhibited at Toronto’s Funnel Theatre, Detroit Institute of Arts, Chicago Filmmakers, Rutgers University, San Francisco Cinematheque, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Dartmouth College, Indiana University Cinema, Third Man Records in both Nashville & Detroit and NYC’s Museum of Modern Art, among others.

 

PROGRAM (prepared by J.B. for Rubicon Cinema)

Icon, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1978, 05:32 min

Exterior - Detroit snow storm; interior - intimate details of stencil letters through much single-frame shooting. Together they transition Bernard's painting tools and sensibilities into this early abstract film.

Crematorium: A Collaborative Self-Portrait, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1979, 08:16 min

Shot at a Bohemian crematorium outside Chicago, this ‘self-viewing at work’ film makes metaphoric reference to both the location and process of cremation as a ‘recording’ of the deed itself. 

Eye Reels, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1980, 16:17 min

An entangled meld of Celtic-flavored abstractions, home movies and an Irish dance fest, edited throughout with those very moves in mind. Fast shots and dense patterning echo those found in embroidery, lace, stone and metal work. They grow from the same language – in both calligraphy and sound. The tapestry-like interweave becomes the very fabric of this film.

Semblance: Frampton Brakhage Relation, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1981, 05:21 min

A simplistic analogy of obvious disparities of these two masters that the filmmaker concocted on the beach. A wonderful koan appears to join at mid-point.

Her Moves, digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, b&w, 1985, 19:35 min

Interwoven footage of 12 female characters engaged in specific, physical activities – each filmed separately, throughout numerous east coast and Detroit locations, then edited into a collective dance of sorts. 

Full Circle (It’s Always Been Around), digital transfer from Super 8 film, silent, color, 1994, 14:56 min

Based on the title and a premise from Bernard's undergraduate thesis, this film is built on the experience of the first viewing of Brakhage’s Mothlight and the impact it had on the filmmaker. Tagged at the end with "4 SB," this film is an expression of sincere affection and regard. 

 

“To be an artist is not a matter of making paintings or objects at all. What we are dealing with is our state of consciousness and the shape of our perception.”

– Robert Irwin

 

Bring your own beer, wine or snack.

Admission is free but we ask you to consider a $5-$10 donation.

Rubicon Cinema contact: rubiconakron@gmail.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rubiconakron

Posting #6

Posted on May 14, 2015

PRISMATIC MUSIC: THE SUPER 8 FILMS OF JOSEPH BERNARD, the 40-film Blu-ray set, is now available in the United States through Amazon and outside of the United States through eBay.

 

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All technical and historic information about the disc & booklet is already on the previous posting (#5) - - so here I’d like to thank everyone at CCS for the euphoric celebration and premiere of my films’ digital reincarnation. 

That gathering of friends, former students and colleagues was enormously gratifying. The events over those two evenings, beginning with Jeff Plansker’s live jazz & cocktails party at the Scarab Club benefiting the CCS Galleries, then the next night’s beautifully projected program of films, followed by a perfect dinner at Selden Standard graciously hosted by Michelle Perron and Rick Rogers, attended by a full complement of friends. Not a moment could have been improved upon!

Another pleasurable occurrence, an old friend, Bill Gubbins drove up from Nashville to see the films and be part of the festivities. We hadn’t seen each other for 33 years. Bill is an exceptional, idiosyncratic photographer and noted publishing editor on the contemporary music scene, among his other exploratory activities. He appears in two of my better films (one of them is dedicated to him), and I appear in several of his photographs. All this happened back in the early 1980‘s. Two of the above portraits (JB & camera, 1982) are his. To be fair to him, both images have been cropped and manipulated far from the originals for publication purposes. 

While recently in Nashville, we were introduced by Bill to some of his acquaintances at Jack White’s Third Man Records, The Frist Center for the Visual Arts, area galleries and a few fine restaurants. Our road trip continued on to Columbus where, through the help of Caroline Koebel, we met with faculty and curatorial staff of the Wexner Center for the Arts, Ohio State University. We talked broadly about independent film, its history and practitioners, the release of PRISMATIC MUSIC and academic venues that might provide programming possibilities.

Now that the digital version of the films has a public ‘storefront’ through Amazon and eBay, the mission will be to find audiences interested in something so singular as non-narrative, silent Super 8 films made almost 40 years ago with an obsessive commitment to light, color and movement.