EBB-TIDE by Mary Field, 1936. 9 mins.
THE BEAST FROM 20,000 FATHOMS by Eugène Lourié with Ray Harryhausen, 1953. 80 mins.
Join us on Memorial Day for a special double bill and barbecue presented by Light Industry. The program begins with Ebb-tide, a witty and lyrical study of those marine animals, such as urchins and weeverfish, which bury themselves in the coastal sands. The work was produced as part of the British series Secrets of Life, and directed by Mary Field, a long-overlooked documentary pioneer. About Field and her colleagues, John Grierson wrote that they are “more continuous in their work, less dramatic at all costs than either the Americans or the Germans, more patient, analytic, and in the best sense observant. Here, if anywhere, beauty has come to inhabit the edifice of truth.”
The success of Ebb-Tide is determined, in no small part, by its time-lapse photography and deft manipulation of scale, formal strategies that find a parallel with the art of stop-motion master Ray Harryhausen. In The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, a direct influence on the more famous Godzilla, a “Rhedosaurus” is awoken from its prehistoric slumber by a nuclear bomb test in the Arctic, and proceeds to wreak havoc on the streets of New York. It was Harryhausen’s first major effort, and established the artisanal mode of animation that would become his signature. “I never had a crew,” he once explained. “Every inch of animation was done by me. It requires a lot of concentration, and I prefer to work alone.” As a visual style, it stands in dramatic contrast to the CGI offerings of today, and serves as a reminder of how potent and pleasureful cinema’s elemental techniques remain.
Come have a hot dog and enjoy the featured creatures.
Tickets include food and are free for Light Industry's Patreon members. Box office open and grill fired up at 7pm.
This festival is supported by funds from the New York State Council on the Arts, Statewide Community Regrants Program (formerly the Decentralization program) with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature, and administered by Flushing Town Hall.
The festival is also made possible in part by the Queens Council on the Arts with public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council. Additional support provided by FRANC and the Fund for the City of New York.
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