Jack H. Skirball Screening Series

The Jack H. Skirball Screening Series is curated by Steve Anker and Bérénice Reynaud. 

L’Ange (The Angel, France, 1977–82, 70 min., 35 mm), directed by Patrick Bokanowski. Preceded by Pour un pianiste, composed by Michèle Bokanowski

"Exploits to the maximum the tension between the illusion of depth of the cinematic image and the two-dimensional nature of the screen… L’Ange is a 2001: A Space Odyssey produced under the same conditions as Eraserhead." Les Cahiers du Cinéma

L’Ange, the legendary opus by French filmmaker and artist Patrick Bokanowski, offers new adventures in perception in its depiction of the climbing of a giant stairway--where the characters seem to be prisoners of an endlessly repeated action on each floor. The film features a score by Michèle Bokanowski, whose intricately composed musical textures endow the visuals with a mysterious meaning. Defying all traditional boundaries, this distinctive collaboration between the Bokanowskis opens cinema to alternative possibilities of expression: a purely mental vision and a radical metamorphosis of reality.

In person: Patrick and Michèle Bokanowski

Patrick Bokanowski’s work crosses over traditional boundaries: short film, experimental cinema, animation, photography and painting. From 1962 to 1966, he studied photography and optics in the workshop of the painter Henri Dimier -- to whom he later devoted a documentary, La Part du Hasard, in 1982. Bokanowski’s first film, La Femme qui se Poudre (1972), a black-and-white 35mm short, won an award at the Toulon Film Festival. Since then, all his films have become important landmarks in the experimental film landscape and received awards in several international film festivals: Déjeuner du Matin (1974), La Plage (1992), Au Bord du Lac (1994), Flammes (1998), Le Canard à l’Orange (2002). So far, L’Ange has been his only feature film. An in-depth interview with Patrick Bokanowski has been published by Scott MacDonald in A critical cinema 3: interviews with independent filmmakers, Berkeley & London: University of California Press, 1998.

Michèle Bokanowski was born in a family of musicians and studied composition with Michel Puig and electronic music with Eliane Radigue. She also spent two years (1970-72) at the Service de la Recherche de l’ORTF under the direction of Pierre Schaeffer. Between 1972 and 1984, she has composed mainly concert works Korè, , Trois chambres d’inquiétudeTabou, as well as the music of the films of Patrick Bokanowski. In 1985, she also started composing for theater (for the stage director Catherine Dasté) and for dance (collaborating with choreographers Hideyuki Yano, Marceline Lartigue et Bernardo Montet). Since the early 1990s, she has worked on several sound environments: Arbre Musical for the Gutenberg library in Paris, made in collaboration with Christian Daninos and architect Franck Hammoutène (1990) and Angel’s Feathers Whisper, in the Nucourt caves, commissioned by Aki Kuroda (1992). 

Special thanks to the French Film & TV Department - French Embassy - the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Air Tahiti Nui for their support. 

Associated Images: 


Date/Time G ST CA
Mon 2.27.06, 8:00 pm
$8 $6 $4

G - General Audience

M - REDCAT Members

ST - Students

CA - CalArts Students/Faculty/Staff