Daily | Migrating Forms 2013

Sandra Bernhard

Sandra Bernhard in ‘Without You I’m Nothing’

“The eclectic, genre-busting festival Migrating Forms, now in its fifth year, has itself migrated—to BAMcinématek,” begins Rachel Saltz in the New York Times. “As for forms, expect all types, from experimental shorts to features by the Hong Kong auteur Johnnie To.” Running through Tuesday, the festival opens today “with an art-gallery-meets art-house punch: four shorts by Ryan Trecartin first presented as an installation at the Venice Biennale. Mr. Trecartin—he ‘seems bound for greatness,’ the art critic Roberta Smith wrote in the New York Times—will introduce the films.”

“You might say that Sandra Bernhard’s one-woman show Without You I’m Nothing, a lacerating, exhilarating dissection of popular culture told in monologue and song that opened Off-Broadway at the Orpheum Theater in the spring of 1988, had been in rehearsals since 1983,” writes Melissa Anderson for Artforum. “That year, she not only terrified and turned on David Letterman in her first of several appearances on his late-night TV show but also tied up Jerry Lewis in her role as rabid stalker Masha in Martin Scorsese’s The King of Comedy…. In the film adaptation of Without You I’m Nothing (1990), which Bernhard co-wrote with John Boskovich, director of both stage and screen versions, she performs her act in an ‘upscale supper-club’ in Los Angeles in front of a simulated audience…. This conceit of the indifferent or hostile audience, though, never interferes with the film’s greatest pleasure: Bernhard’s renditions of top-40 hits, from the LBJ era on, in her piquant sketches about sexual revolution or devolution.” And Tyler Coates interviews Bernhard for Flavorwire.

MIGRATING FORMS trailer from BAMcinematek.

Listening (84’47”). In the latest Cinephiliacs podcast, Peter Labuza talks with BAMcinématek programmer Nellie Killian about migrating from San Francisco to New York and the festival in general before focusing “on a special project Nellie brought to the festival, Anne Charlotte Robertson‘s Five Year Diary project, and focus on how the film’s portrayal of mental illness is unlike anything you’ve ever seen.”

Update, 12/22: Well, it’s over now, but there are still a few pieces that really do need pointing out: Adam Cook and John Lehtonen (Notebook), Nick Pinkerton (Artforum), and Jillian Steinhauer (Hyperallergic).

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