The Cinema Cabaret


"Neo-benshi at its best mashes up subversive written scripts, deft acting, and acrobatic mind-eye coordination."Steve Dickinson, The Poetry Center, San Francisco State University

Jack H. Skirball Screening Series

Poets from Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York gather at REDCAT to offer a fresh take on the Japanese tradition of “benshi”—a writer or actor who provides live narration and commentary alongside silent films. The neo-benshi concept invites writers/performers to choose scenes from well-known narrative features or TV shows, mute the soundtrack, and re-inscribe the familiar images with new meanings. Relying mainly on language and sound, this practice leads to a great variety of interventions that range from hilarious deadpan ventriloquism to more trenchant re-readings of the original material. The artists this evening perform live redubbing of scenes from Rebel Without a Cause (1955), Kiss Me Deadly (1955), Poison (Alfred Hitchcock Presents, 1958), Vive L’Amour (Ai qing wan sui, 1994), Uzumaki (2000), Minority Report (2002) and other works.

Curated and produced by Konrad Steiner and Jen Hofer with Nada Gordon, Roxi Power Hamilton, Douglas Kearney, Eileen Myles, Jennifer Nellis and Stephanie Young.

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Date/Time G ST CA
Mon 12.3.07 8:00 pm $15 $12 $8

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff