Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area

Directed by: Various

Pacific Film Archive’s “Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area” project is both a cinema series and a new book exploring the history of Bay Area experimental media. This program presents a survey of found footage films from 1978 through 2004 in which filmmakers repurpose original media – newsreels, cartoons, serials, and surveillance footage - in order to create new meanings. (1978-2004, 81 min.)


Valse Triste – Bruce Conner (1978, 6 min, 16mm) Conner evokes his boyhood in Kansas.
Futility – Greta Snider (1989, 9 min, 16mm) Two personal tales of diminished expectations are told by the same narrator.
Conscious – Julie Murray (1993, 10 min, 16mm) Mysterious associations are made by combining footage of animals with instructions on how to resuscitate human life.
Anaconda Targets – Dominic Angerame (2004, 12 min., video) Aerial footage of U.S. bombings in Afghanistan is repurposed to critique military aggression.
Common Mistakes – Jeanne Finley (1986, 14 min., video) Grievous cultural errors in naive educational films make wrongdoing seem like an institutionalized misstep.
Thine Inward-Looking Eyes – Thad Povey (1993, 2.5 min., 16mm) A series of gazes are taken out of context.
Noema – Scott Stark (1998, 11 min, 16mm) Pornographic videos are mined for the unerotic moments in between.
Decodings – Michael Wallin (1988, 16 min, 16mm) An allegorical search for identity through images of the 40’s and 50’s create a sense of longing. (pictured)


Radical Light: Alternative Film and Video in the San Francisco Bay Area Book, Film, and Video Tour was curated by Kathy Geritz and Steve Seid, Film and Video Curators at the University of California, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, and Steve Anker, Dean of the School of Film/Video at California Institute of the Arts. The tour is made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Arts, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, and the William H. Donner Foundation. The book Radical Light will be on sale at the screening. 

The Radical Light Film Series is also being presented at Block Cinema on February 2, and Conversations at the Edge (CATE) at the Gene Siskel Film Center on February 16.


5243 N. Clark St.
60640 Chicago