Gently Down the Stream (Su Friedrich, 1981, USA, 14 min, 16mm)
The Ties that Bind (Su Friedrich, 1984, USA, 55 min, 16mm)
In collaboration with our colleagues in the screening collective Early Monthly Segments, Vertical Features is pleased to present two films by Su Friedrich. The Ties That Bind centres on Friedrich’s mother, Lore Bucher, who was born in Ulm, Germany in 1920. With Friedrich’s insistence, Bucher recollects her youth, growing up in Germany during the rise of the Third Reich and speaks about her own attempts to resist in whatever form she could. Framed by Friedrich’s found footage collage (which drew parallels to Friedrich’s own anti-nuclear activism), Bucher’s memories points to the perpetual need for resistance in the face of contemporary immorality.
The Ties that Bind is preceded by Gently Down the Stream, a dream journal comprised of associative imagery and hand-scratched text.
ABOUT EARLY MONTHLY SEGMENTS
Early Monthly Segments is a monthly film series named after an early film by Robert Beavers, and is inspired by the immediacy, vibrancy and experimentation found in that film. Founded by Scott Miller Berry, Chris Kennedy, and Kate MacKay this series features historical and contemporary avant-garde films in a salon-like setting at the Gladstone. Thanks to CFMDC. Contact for e-list.
Su Friedrich was born in 1954 in New Haven, Connecticut. She attended the University of Chicago in 1971-72 and Oberlin College from 1972-1975, from which she graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. in Art and Art History. Since 1976 she has lived and worked in New York. Friedrich has produced and directed twenty-four 16mm films and digital videos, including I Cannot Tell You How I Feel (2016), Gut Renovation (2012), From the Ground Up (2007), Seeing Red (2005), The Head of a Pin (2004), The Odds of Recovery (2002), Hide and Seek (1996), Rules of the Road (1993), First Comes Love (1991), Sink or Swim (1990), Damned If You Don't (1987), The Ties That Bind (1984), Gently Down the Stream (1981), and Cool Hands, Warm Heart (1979). With the exception of Hide and Seek, Friedrich is the writer, director, cinematographer, sound recordist and editor of all her films.
Su Friedrich's films have won many awards including Best Narrative Film at the Athens Film Festival and a Special Jury Prize at the New York Lesbian and Gay Film Festival for Hide and Seek; for Sink or Swim, the Grand Prix at the Melbourne Film Festival, the Golden Gate Award at the San Francisco Film Festival, the Gold Juror's Choice Award at the Charlotte Film and Video Festival, the Special Jury Award at the Atlanta Film Festival and the Best Experimental Film Award at the USA Short Film and Video Festival; for Damned If You Don't, the Best Experimental Film Award at the Athens Film Festival and the Best Experimental Narrative Award at the Atlanta Film Festival. Friedrich's work is widely screened in the United States, Canada and Europe.
Su Friedrich has been the subject of retrospectives at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Stadtkino in Vienna, the Pacific Cinematheque in Vancouver, the National Film Theater in London, the Sheldon Memorial Art Gallery in Lincoln, Nebraska, the First Tokyo Lesbian and Gay Film Festival, the Cork Film Festival in Ireland, the Wellington Film Festival in New Zealand, and the Anthology Film Archives in New York. Su Friedrich is the recipient of numerous grants and awards including the Alpert Award (1996), a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship (1990), a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship (1989) and a DAAD grant as artist-in-residence in Berlin (1984). Her work is in the collections of the Museum Of Modern Art (NYC), the Art Institute of Chicago, the New York Public Library, the Royal Film Archive of Belgium, the Centre Pompidou in Paris, the National Library of Australia, as well as many university libraries. Friedrich is a part-time teacher of film production in New York at Millennium Film Workshop and the New School for Social Research, and has curated several film shows at Millennium and at Kino Arsenal in Berlin.