A Whig Theory of History

  • Films by Brian L. Frye & Marie Losier (In Person)
  • Friday, December 3, 8 pm
  • @ Cinecycle, 129 Spadina Ave.

Part of Fall 2004

Pleasure Dome is proud to bring Brian L. Frye and Marie Losier up from New York to present an evening of their films followed by an evening of films gathered from Frye’s days as co-curator of the Robert Beck Memorial Cinema.

Brian Frye openly courts chance, knowing that most treasures are discovered by mistake. Shockingly haphazard, but deeply felt, Frye’s films have an informal quality, like they were shot and edited in a day or were projected sight unseen from the pickings of a local flea market. To call them sloppy would be to forget the film is not just about vision, but also about dreams. Their offhand quality lulls a certain somnambulism that finds us courting new insights into the possibilities of failure and the fleeting flame of knowledge. Chicago film critic Fred Camper draws a direct parallel between Frye and Gerhard Richter. Like Richter’s canvases, Frye’s focus is soft, his edges are dulled and his subject matter sits at an unreachable distance. They both court melancholy and “nostalgia for a wholeness that never was” (Camper) in their attempts to get a greater understanding of knowledge. Like light glancing off an oil painting, that knowledge slips elusively off the surface before it can be fully grasped.

It is probably more accurate to call Brian Frye a curator of thought processes – a gnostic filmmaker rather than an experimental filmmaker. His works dabble in the canonical practices of filmic materialism, but they are less about structure and beauty than they are about momentary inspiration.

In contrast, Marie Losier’s are about lasting influence. She presents her two film portraits of the Kuchar Brothers – the Gemini constellation in Pleasure Dome’s zodiac – as well as a Kuchar original and other vaudevillian pieces. Paired together, Losier and Frye examine the sacred and the profane, the canon re-ordered, and desire achieved and thwarted.


A Whig Theory of History – Films by Brian L. Frye

“A selection of related movies I made during the last few years. Some I photographed and others I just assembled from bric-a-brac collected in junk stores and at flea markets. Images run from young women and marching men, to a chorus and a preacher, to artists and friends now gone, and ends with fireflies mating in the Marble Cemetery. If a story of sorts starts to suggest itself, I wouldn’t be terribly surprised.”

Observations at Gettysburg, 5 July 2002 (2003) 16mm, b/w, silent, 10:00 min.

Oona’s Veil (2000) 16mm, b/w, sound, 8:00 min.

Across the Rappahannock (2002) 16mm, colour, silent, 11:00 min.

The Letter (2001) 16mm, b/w, sound, 11:00 min.

The Anatomy of Melancholy (1999) 16mm, colour & b/w, sound, 11:00 min.

Encomium (2003) 16mm, b/w, silent, 2:00 min.

Robert Beck is Alive and Well and Living in NYC (2002) 16mm, b/w, sound, 3:00 min.

Nadja (2001) 16mm, colour, silent, 3:00 min.

Lachrymae (2000) 16mm, colour, silent, 3:00 min.


“M” is for Mlle. Losier – Films by Marie Losier

Marie Losier presents her recent film portraits of the Kuchar Brothers, as well as other film and video works and ephemera.

Hold Me While I’m Naked, George Kuchar, 1966, 17:00 min., 16mm

Electrify Your Stars, Marie Losier, 2004, 8:00 min., 16mm (with George Kuchar)

Bird Bath and Beyond, Marie Losier, 2003, 13:00 min., 16mm (with Mike Kuchar)

Lunch Break on the Xerox Machine, Marie Losier, 3:00 min., 16mm

The Touch Retouched, Marie Losier, 5:00 min., video

Chimp’s Adventure, 1950, 12:00 min., 16mm

Eat Your Makeup, 2005, c. 5:00 min., 16mm rough-cut on video

Brian L. Frye is a filmmaker, curator, freelance journalist, and law student. He lives in Brooklyn, New York and attends New York University Law School. He received a BA from UC Berkeley and an MFA from the San Francisco Art Institute. He moved to New York in 1997, suffered through two years in the NYU Film Studies program, and founded New York’s Robert Beck Memorial Cinema with Bradley Eros in 1998. He was included in the Whitney Biennial 2002, the New York Film Festival 2002, and the San Francisco International Film Festival 2004. He has published feature articles and reviews in magazines including: the New Republic, Film Comment, Civilization, Cineaste, University Business, the Independent Film and Video Monthly and Millennium Film Journal, among others. He is now an associate editor of the New York University Law Review, and a co-founder and executive editor of the New York University Journal of Law & Liberty.

Marie Losier is a filmmaker and curator working in New York City (French Institute Cinema, Robert Beck Memorial Cinema and Ocularis). She has shown her videos and films at The Robert Beck Memorial Cinema (N.Y), Anthology Film Archives (N.Y), Chicago Underground Film Festival, British Film Institute (GB), The Black Maria Film Festival, The Lake Placid Film Festival, The Millenium (N.Y), in Rio, Korea, Germany and France and in Galleries. She has also worked and performed with Richard Foreman and his actors. For the last two years she has programmed the weekly film series at the French Institute/ Alliance Francaise and invited over such artists as Raoul Coutard, William Klein, Jeanne Moreau, Tavernier, Anouk Aimée, Claire Denis among others.