Canyon Cinema 50 Tour

Image: Gary Beydler, Hand Held Day

Canyon Cinema 50 Film Tour

Beginning in November 2017 and continuing through 2018, the Canyon Cinema 50 Tour included four film programs and two digital packages, which traveled across the United States and beyond; reaching audiences in more than 25 cities, at venues ranging from universities to restaurants, major museums to microcinemas.

Studies in Natural Magic

These four 16mm programs, composed of 43 films drawn from Canyon’s circulating collection of more than 3400 titles, provided an opportunity for audiences to encounter some of the defining works of American avant-garde cinema as they were meant to be seen, while also recuperating forgotten voices and casting a contemporary eye on Canyon’s collection. Many of the films in the tour were recent restorations and new prints. Two digital programs built from new HD transfers are also available, allowing participation from a wide variety of venues and organizations.

As part of Canyon’s effort to renew its longtime commitment to sustaining a grassroots distribution network for alternative cinema, the touring programs were designed to be adaptable. In addition to the four set programs, area curators, teachers, and artists were encouraged to organize special programs oriented toward regional accounts of Canyon’s legacy. We were especially interested in supporting programs that featured local Canyon filmmakers in order to provide a platform for these artists to reflect on their work in relation to Canyon’s collection, history, and culture.

As a component of the Canyon Cinema 50 project, the touring program was meant not only to celebrate Canyon’s history but also to point the way towards the organization’s continued relevance as both a purveyor of and advocate for artist-made cinema, seeding the next generation of what founding filmmaker Bruce Baillie described as “a federation of willing devotees of the magic lantern muse.”