InVisible: Films by Barbara Hammer, Oxford University, and James Sibley Watson
Sunday, Nov 19, 2017
Location: Redstone Theater
With Barbara Hammer and Dr. Elisa Port in person and live music by High Water
This one-hour program features three short films about the body: Barbara Hammer’s Sanctus (1990, 19 mins. 16mm), an Oxford University medical tutorial called The Movement of the Joints by Cineradiography (1945, 15mins. DCP), and a 16mm print of The Fall of the House of Usher (1928, 14 mins.) by Dr. James Sibley Watson, Jr. and Melville Webber. Sanctus is made by Hammer from found footage of x-ray films that Watson, a doctor in Rochester, New York, made in the 1950s. The technique he employed, cineradiography, used x-ray technology to show what it looked like inside a living body when it moved. Before Watson was a doctor, he was an experimental filmmaker and adapted Edgar Allan Poe’s story—featuring a woman moving within a trance—into a masterful expressionist film. This program will have live musical accompaniment by High Water, a New York-based vocalist and multi-instrumentalist who plays saxophone and electric piano. The screening will be followed by a discussion between the filmmaker and Dr. Elisa Port who is a surgical oncologist, author of The New Generation Breast Cancer Book, and Chief of Breast Surgery at Mount Sinai Hospital.
Print sources: The Fall of the House of Usher from the George Eastman Museum; Sanctus from the Academy of Motion Picture Art and Sciences; and The Movement of the Joints by Cineradiography courtesy of the Wellcome Library Collection.