The Filmmakers’ Cooperative Benefit Concert has become known as a singularly special event, featuring live music performed with screenings of films from the Coop’s collection. A highlight of the concert season for many, this year’s edition features live solo piano by Philip Glass and performances by the Bill Frisell Trio, The Clogs, Benoit Pioulard and members of The National, all paired with rare screenings of experimental films. This third annual benefit concert will take place Monday, April 23, 7:00 P.M. at Angel Orensanz Center for the Arts (172 Norfolk St.) Tickets are $40 and are available online through TheaterMania.com, or at the door.
The Filmmakers’ Cooperative was founded in 1961 by a group of artists that
included Shirley Clarke, Robert Frank, Alfred Leslie, and Jonas Mekas. It is
the world’s oldest and largest artist-run collection of avant-garde cinema.
Proceeds from the benefit support the Coop’s preservation efforts and the
distribution of over 4000 artists’ films in its collection.
Artist and organizer of the event Bill Morrison remarks “The benefit concert
gives people a chance to view selections from this vast treasure trove of
experimental film, with live performances by some of the greatest musicians of our time. An evening like this can only happen in New York.” In past years musicians such as Michael Gordon, Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Lee Ranaldo, and Elliott Sharp have all generously agreed to perform in this concert in conjunction with a film screening from the Coop's collection. (Glass and Reich famously shared the bill last year.)
Musicians performing live with films from the Coop’s collection on April 23
include Philip Glass performing solo piano to Harry Smith’s Abstractions.
The Bill Frisell Trio (Tony Scherr, Kenny Wollesen) performs to Bill
Morrison’s The Mesmerist, a revision of James Young’s 1926 feature The
Bells, starring Lionel Barrymore and Boris Karloff. Now We Are Here,
featuring avant-garde film legend Jonas Mekas on vocals, backed by Dalius
Naujo, Mike Irwin, and Kenny Wollesen, perform with films by Mr. Mekas. The Clogs perform to Robert Breer’s animated films. New folk-pop sensation
Benoît Pioulard performs to Maya Deren’s Meshes of an Afternoon.
Other performers on the program include Czech gamba violoists Irena and
Vojtech Havel, flamenco guitarist Pedro Soler, Dorit Chrysler on theramin
and Ray Sweeten performing with oscilloscope. Other filmmakers to be
screened with music include Robert Breer, Maya Deren, Bradley Eros, Marie
Menken, Paul Sharits, Lynne Sachs, and Mark Street.
In addition to the many artists lending their talents, Maya Stendhal Gallery
has made a significant contribution to the Filmmakers Coop benefit this