The Soul of Cinema, Films by Dominic Angerame

  • The Soul of Cinema 1
  • The Soul of Cinema 2

Co-presented by Canyon Cinema.

With live sound by Kevin Barnard.

I have been living in North Beach for 45 years and I am an avant garde filmmaker and Professor of Cinema Studies and Motion Picture Film Production. I have taught at the San Francisco Art Institute, University of California, Berkely, New College of San Francisco, Osher Life Long Learning Center and the University of Nevada at Reno as well as the Academy of Art University. My films are internationally shown at numerous film festivals around the world and have won many awards. I have completed more than 30 16mm short films and continue to produce work here in my studio in North Beach. I have traveled to Havana Cuba for 13 years introducing thousands of experimental films at the Latinoamericano Cine Del Nuevo Internacional Festival. I was the Executive Director for Canyon Cinema from 1980-2012—by Dominic Angerame

Continuum (1986), 16mm

Runtime:17 min

Live music by Kevin Barnard

“…the images of CONTINUUM certainly haunt me: there was the softest continual casualness of editing (beseeming “casualness”, I should say; for I certainly DO know how difficult this is to accomplish), and a steadiness-of rhythm, always moving/moving but never as anything ominous to me, or inexorable—something more like very heavy water lapping. Then the blacks and whites, evolving from some gray ‘cloud’ into the stark sharp glistens of ‘stars’ in the deep black of ‘tar’—for the ‘tar’ too seemed more night that what you’d photographed. It was amazing to me how little evidence there was in the film of the Time in which it was made, or even the location: I found myself tending to forget that these were City-chores, that this was rooftop work, soforth: just the labor, the continuity of labor, timeless, and ongoing, withOUT inexorable. Bravo.”—Stan Brakhage

In a superb manner, CONTINUUM builds from the bottom up a complex and finely woven picture of a day-in-the-life of labor, or a work, in progress, and without end, microcosmically reflecting a history of any labor and many an art.

“Through elegantly overlaid, constructionist windows of geometric form, we see into the turgid furnace of man’s multifarious tasks, and, as in a vision, behold the ballet of his tools and accouterments: steaming tar, turning pulleys, swishing mops, changing lights and sewer-plates, acetylene torches and sandblasting serpents, snorting sting of jackhammers and gleaming jewels amid grime where undinal heat makes the atmosphere buckle.

“And in the midst of it all—the streets, the bridges, the roads, the roofs, the endless river of communication cables and the windowed monoliths of jutting superstructure— there stands man, that somewhat Sisyphian, but irrepressible beast; not so much brawny as dauntless, to wit, wired for the thing-at-hand, welded to the task made a titan in collective will.

“The film is like a dream you can’t put your finger on and can’t forget, because the very truth of it is so evasive, suggestive, labyrinthine. And then it dawns on you, or rather circumnavigates you: the very fact of life is heroic, makes heroes of each of us, every man, woman, and child, from the carpenter unto the architect, and the whole of it is so thoroughly interdependent, so very closely interwoven.”—Ronald Sauer

The Soul of Things (2018), 16mm

Runtime:14 min

Live Music by Kevin Barnard

“Nothing is apparent to ordinary vision until it is painted upon the window of the soul” –William Denton (1866)

William Denton is one of the early pioneers exploring the art and science of psychometry. Psychometrics believes that every object emits a field of energy, and that energy can transmit its entire history through touch. That is, every brick contains the history of what happened both inside its walls and outside its walls, and at the same time its own history of creation. If one is sensitive enough, this energy field of historical information can be transferred and one can obtain a complete knowledge of its history. In my case, the touching is filming. In our urban landscape, we are continually destroying our past through the destruction of buildings, replacing them with artificial man-made materials, removing us from our very history. William Denton performed many successful experiments in the field of psychometry documented in one of his books titled The Soul of Things.

“…thank you so much for sending “The Soul of Things,” with your beautifully evocative imagery. The dynamic compositions are at times remindful of early Eisenstein . . . or the rhythms suggestive of a latter-day “Man with A Movie Camera” perhaps . . . but your particular and subtle presentation of threatening machinery and sense of loss also evolves into shifting layers of light that seem to present, then, an interlocking presence of the transitory and the perennial. It’s very moving, and increasingly so with repeated viewings.”–Marilyn Brakhage

Revelations (2018)

Runtime: 22min

Live music by Kevin Barnard.

“He began to recognize that motion pix could be used as a medium to reveal the supernatural and underworld. He found that film could summon up the un-born imagination…he had a glimpse of how to emerge as theartist he always felt was within him.”—Stan Brakhage

“Revelations” is a continuation of what I call my “City Symphony” series. This work includes footage that was shot from the late 90s to the present. My filmmaking is inspired by filmmakers such as Dziga Vertov, Joris Ivens, Walter Ruttman and Robert Fulton.

Editing and post production work was done at Light Cone in Paris.

The imagery was shot on high contrast 16mm original black and white film transferred to digital format.

Some of the footage includes shots from waterfront docks near the Todd Shipyards of San Francisco and scenes of the baseball stadium while it was constructed. “Revelations” also shows the cityscape of the Dogpatch area of San Francisco before renovations, and many scenes from San Francisco’s Embarcadero.

There were many scenes in the 16mm that were overexposed and I was tempted to throw the material away. Yannis Davidas was my black and white grader at Light Cone in Paris and he told me to transfer the overexposed material. In post-production he was able to adjust the gain, and out of the whiteness of the overexposed film emerged materialized imagery that I had never seen before.

Like the magic of my superimpositions, I was pleasantly surprised to view this material for the first time. Since new imagery was revealed to me in such an amazing way, I decided to call the film “Revelations.”

The soundtrack “Manifestation” was designed and performed by San Francisco’s great and notable musician Kevin Barnard.

Prometheus (2021)

Runtime: 4 min

This short film is a continuation of my “City Symphony” series.

Let there be light!

“I’ve never seen light that looks or feels so dark; forward moving possibility united with so much cosmic terror.”—Marilyn Brakhage

“Powerful, poetic, and beautiful.”–Alanna Azrimsek

“Exciting marriage of image, sound, and technique”–Roger Aplon, poet

“I think your film Prometheus is ravishingly beautiful. Magical sound track.”–Dennis Letbetter

Flashbacks (2021)

Runtime: 5 min

At the beginning and end of each roll of 16mm, I shot a small part of the film exposed to light because of the insertion and removal of the spool of film. Oftentimes, images are obscured by light flashes.

I saved many of these short segments while filming and living in Chicago. All of these are spliced together, creating a visual diary of my time spent there with my wife Susan from 1971-1979.

Most of the imagery is therefore from our Chicago days, with a couple of scenes from San Francisco. Since the images are flashes and this is a look backward, I titled this short “Flashbacks.”

“You put the flash back in flashbacks”—Scott MacDonald

With a guest appearance by Diana Ross (see if you can find her).

Have Another Espresso (2020), digital

Runtime: 3 min

My dear friend Ronald Sauer passed away from cancer. This is a tribute to him, using Shel Silverstein’s song “Have Another Espresso,” a parody of being a bohemian hanging out in a coffee shop all day.

Khorosho (2022)

Runtime: 4 min

In June 1999 my great friends Agneta Falk and Jack Hirschman were married at Matt Gonzalez’s place in the Mission. I was there with my 16mm Bolex and filmed part of the ceremony and crowd. After almost 30years, I finally made this footage into a finished film. It features many of our dear friends both living and deceased. In honor of Jack and Aggie’s wedding anniversary, I finished the film over the weekend.

Special Appearances by Susan Headley Angerame, Robert Anbian, Edmund Brooks, Mel Clay, George Long, Rosemary Manno, David Meltzer, Alejandro Murguia, Rebecca Peters, James Redo, Ronald Sauer, Mark Schwartz, Roger Strobel, George Tsongas, Bobby Yarra, Zhanna and many other distinguished artists and writers of San Francisco.

Luminae (2022), digital

Runtime: 4 min

“Beautiful imagery, Dominic — of what feels to me like the perennial balance of life-giving and destructive forces; which is to say, that being inclined to somewhat dark views these days, I do see in this the powerful threat and peril of the unspeakably-beautiful-but-wholly-indifferent universe. … Still, the light prevails (with or without us)!”—Marilyn Brakhage

War Zone tba Work in Progress, digital

Runtime: 6 min

A work in progress about my trip to the Demilitarize Zone in Korea in 2005.

1h 19m
Dominic Angerame
16mm, 2D Digital
First Showing
October 7, 2023