On Sunday at 7 PM, Doc Films
will present a program of works by Chick Strand (1931 - 2009), one of the country's greatest female filmmakers. Strand earned her degree in ethnography in the 1960s while organizing avant-garde film screenings in the San Francisco area; she was also instrumental in the founding of Canyon Cinema, the long-running experimental film distribution company. Strand's work marks a stunning combination of ethnography and avant-garde filmmaking. She shot some of her most memorable films on trips to Mexico and South America; those works, which include Mosori Monika
(1969) and Anselmo and the Women
(1986), convey such a profound sense of discovery that they blur the line between documentary and experimental cinema. (One can sense their influence in the recent work of Ben Russell and Ben Rivers.)
Sunday night's program showcases Strand's purely experimental side. Reportedly more collage-like in nature, the scheduled titles include Angel Blue Sweet Wings (1966), Cartoon le Mousse and Loose Ends (both 1979), and By the Lake (1986). The Doc program describes the latter as a combination of "Third World imagery, 40s radio show excerpts, an operation on a horse, and a 70s church service."