This year marks Lyon’s 70th birthday, a major retrospective of his photographs at The Menil Collection in Houston, and the preservation of two of his most significant films. Anthology Film Archives is thrilled to welcome Lyon in person for a screening of these enthralling works alongside the world premiere of his most recent short video. Expect a lively conversation from an uncompromising artist whose vision only sharpens with age. Happy birthday, Danny!
2011, 22 minutes, video.
Lyon’s existential look at himself, filmmaking, the irony of digital, the death of film, and his musings on the meaning of his lifetime of work. Shot in the Bernalillo, New Mexico graveyard (Lyon’s fifth major scene shot in this spot), the Acoma reservation’s desert, the streets and garages of Manhattan, and the Maine woods and skies.
1981, 15 minutes, 16mm. Preserved by Anthology Film Archives with support from The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts. Special thanks to George Eastman House for providing original production elements.
A portrait of artist Mark di Suvero made from footage shot over the course of a decade by his friend Lyon. We watch the sculptor at work and at play in the woods of New York State, and in exile in France during his protest against the war in Vietnam. Against the background of Medieval Armor at the Met, Lyon has replaced di Suvero’s voice with that of the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. Wonderfully quirky and playful, DEAR MARK is an inspired homage to di Suvero couched in the form of “Dadaistic comedy”, as the late critic Thomas Albright put it.
LOS NIÑOS ABANDONADOS
1975, 63 minutes, 16mm-to-video. Restoration produced with the support of the Menil Archives, The Menil Collection, Houston, with a Gift from Joan Hohlt and J. Roger Wich Foundation. Restoration produced by Mark Rance (Watchmaker Films); artist and colorist: Adam Hawkes; assistant color correction by Tara Reinecke Walch; technical support by Brooks Walch; audio remastering by Francois Maurin (Three Legged Cat, Los Angeles); re-mixed by Jamie McPhee at The Frame, London.
Focuses on the lives of abandoned children who scavenge in the streets of Santa Marta, a small town in Colombia. A staggering work of vérité that in its imagery and emotion feels like an extension of neo-realist cinema, it finds Lyon’s ever-present camera capturing moments of reality as stark as they are poetic. The filmmakers’ original vision had been to reach a mass audience of Americans by having the film shown on national television, but in 1975 public television rejected the film because it lacked narration. Modern writing about this film does not focus on the poverty of the children but rather Lyon’s statement of the existential freedom of his characters. We will be screening a brand new digital restoration of LOS NIÑOS ABANDONADOS diligently produced by Mark Rance from the original production elements. This film, a highlight of Lyon’s filmmaking and a landmark work of 1970s cinema, has never looked better or felt more gripping.
Total running time: ca. 105 minutes.
For more information, please see the Anthology Film Archives calendar.