Guest of Cindy Sherman

Guest of Cindy Sherman
Thursday, September 15th / 7pm
Grail Moviehouse
45 S French Broad, Asheville


We’re teaming up with the Asheville Darkroom to bring you: Guest of Cindy Sherman !!!

In 1979, Cindy Sherman rocked the NYC art world at age 26 with her “Film Stills.” The haunting photographic series appears to chronicle actresses in the midst of dramatic and evocative film scenes, but is in fact the artist herself posing as the different subjects. Hailed for her play on media and identity, the shy and reclusive Sherman almost always uses herself as the model in her photographs and always in disguise.
Today, at age 62, she is internationally acknowledged as one of the world’s most gifted and significant visual talents — in May 1999, ARTnews named Sherman, alongside Matisse and Picasso, as one of “The 20th Century’s Most Influential Artists.”

(Currently, The Broad Museum in Los Angeles is holding a retrospective exhibition of her work.)

Although Sherman’s work is collected by every major art museum in the world, she has proven elusive as a media personality. She is not a self-promoter and leads a quiet private life. Sherman rarely does interviews and never explains the meaning of her work. Fans, desperate for a glimpse of this art world celebrity at her 2003 opening in England’s Serpentine Gallery, could not recognize who they were looking for.

Enter her complete opposite — Paul H-O, a former artist-turned-opinionated host/creator of the public-access series, GalleryBeat. In the nineties, Paul’s weekly show developed a cult following, chronicling often-inexplicable happenings in the contemporary art world. Produced on a shoestring budget with help from Art in America magazine editors Walter Robinson and Cathy Lebowitz, the program was a labor of love, driven by a strong affinity for art and its creators.  By the late nineties, Paul had become a recognizable fixture in the art scene, picking up fans and detractors: artist Julian Schnabel, entangled in an on-camera argument with Paul, called the program “idiotic.”

In 1999, Paul learned that Cindy Sherman counted herself among his fans. At once, he set out to capture the ultimate prize in art world journalism — to tape a series of interviews with the elusive artist. Cornering her at an art gallery opening, Paul asked for her participation. Surprising many (including Paul), Sherman agreed. As he started the series of interviews, fun banter turned into harmless flirting, and harmless flirting turned into something more – Paul and Cindy were falling in love. Soon after they started dating, Paul faced a series of personal crises, including illness and bankruptcy. Cindy stood by him, providing her love and support. In 2001, Paul moved into her SoHo loft, becoming further enmeshed in her world.

Guest of Cindy Sherman takes an eye-opening look at what happens when a skeptical outsider finds himself romantically involved with the ultimate insider.



Cameraless Film Bee!

First Monthly
Saturday, September 3, 1-2pm
207 Coxe Ave, Asheville


You don’t need cameras to make a movie!!!

What is a film bee?
Well, it’s like a sewing bee, except we’re going to make a film! Each month we’ll introduce a different direct animation technique, and provide you with all the necessary materials to join us in making a community cameraless film! We’ll project the film at the end of the hour, and will post it online so you can watch it whenever you want! Plus, you’ll have a fancy new filmmaking technique in your artist tool belt…

The film bee is free and open to everyone! All ages and levels of experience are welcome! Please bring your friends! Feel free to bring some good music or yummy snacks! Yay for film!!!

See you there!

mechanical eye

bleach exp

Updates Updates Updates!

Hey Friends!

So, it seems we’ve been neglect in updating our news feed! Here’s what we’ve been up to in the past few months!!

Why I Left Califorina: Films and Videos by Jason Robinson
August 18th – Grail Moviehouse

This program of new and recent shorts explores the boundaries of contemporary nonfiction filmmaking through personal documentaries, music videos, and reimagined home movies about
demolition derbys, ghost hunts, and melancholy polar bears.

Jason Robinson is a filmmaker and new media artist who makes single-channel experimental videos, animated gifs, and live performances. He is an assistant professor of Digital Art at the University of Mary Washington in Fredericksburg, VA.

jason robinson

August 5th – Asheville Art Museum

Inventive and wildly fun, NUTS! recounts the unbelievable true story of John Romulus Brinkley, a Kansas doctor who in 1917 discovered that he could cure impotence by transplanting goat testicles into men. From there, the story only gets more bizarre.

Mixing hand-drawn animated reenactments, interviews, archival footage, and a very unreliable narrator, NUTS! traces Brinkley’s rise from poverty and obscurity to the heights of celebrity, wealth, and influence. Along the way, he transplants thousands of goat testicles, amasses an enormous fortune, is (sort of) elected Governor of Kansas, invents junk mail and the infomercial, builds the world’s most powerful radio station, and generally annoys the heck out of the establishment.

Filmmaker Penny Lane (OUR NIXON) has skillfully borrowed a page from her subject – charming viewers into believing the unbelievable, building their trust and excitement, until the final chapter bares the painful truth and reveals the doctor for what he truly was. NUTS! reminds us that our love of (and need for) compelling narratives is exactly what makes us so endlessly susceptible to being conned.

FREE and open to the public!


No Home Movie
July 21st – Grail Moviehouse

“At the center of Chantal Akerman’s enormous body of work is her mother, a Holocaust survivor who married and raised a family in Brussels. In recent years, the filmmaker has explicitly depicted, in videos, books, and installation works, her mother’s life and their own intense connection to each other. No Home Movie is a portrait by Akerman, the daughter, of Akerman, the mother, in the last years of her life. It is an extremely intimate film but also one of great formal precision and beauty, one of the rare works of art that is both personal and universal, and as much a masterpiece as her 1975 career-defining Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles.” —New York Film Festival, Film Society of Lincoln Center


Fierce Flix Film Premiere
July 1st – Grail Moviehouse

World Premiere for the Fierce Flix music videos!

Fierce Flix is a summer camp for girls and gender minorities ages 8-16. Over the course of a week, campers will work in groups to write, direct, shoot, and edit music videos for the bands at Girls Rock Asheville! Each day, campers will attend video shoots, filmmaking instruction, workshops, and a mini-screening and Q&A with a female filmmaker. Throughout the week, campers are encouraged to work together, support each other, and foster one another’s unique creative abilities through positive reinforcement.

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Glitter Bomb: The Fierce Films of Kelly Gallagher
June 29th – Firestorm

Nothing says fight or f-off better than glitter. Experimental animator and filmmaker Kelly Gallagher will screen short works and offer a Q&A!

Kelly Gallagher’s collage animations engage topics ranging from stories of personal histories, to feminist calls to arm, to legacies of radical resistance against white supremacy. After completing her MFA in Cinematic Arts at the University of Iowa this past spring, Gallagher currently teaches courses in media arts at Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio.

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We’ve had such a great summer, and can’t wait to share with you our plans for this fall!!!

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Silhouettes and Shadows

Silhouettes and Shadows: The Short Films of Lotte Reiniger
Thursday, June 16th / 7pm
Grail Moviehouse
45 S French Broad, Asheville

Did you see the Google doodle for Lotte Reiniger, the woman who made the first feature length animation?June 2nd would have been Lotte Reiniger’s 117th birthday, and June 19th is the 35th anniversary of her passing. In celebration of Lotte’s work, we are proud to present, on loan from the University of Iowa, SIX 16mm prints of Lotte’s short films! Her beautiful animations, rooted in the traditions of silhouette puppetry, transport us to magical worlds, and bring to life the pictures of our dreams. Intricate, delicate, and breathtaking. We are honored and excited to get to share these with you!

Fierce Flix Local Films

Fierce Flix Local Films Screening
Saturday, May 28th at 6:30PM
610 Haywood Rd, West Asheville

A screening to support Fierce Flix featuring films by local women and queer filmmakers. Work by Anne Slatton, Patricia Furnish, James Theophilos, Constance Humphries, Charlotte Taylor, Jessica McPhatter, Kari Barrows, and more!

Who is your favorite female film director? How many women in film can you name? If you’re having trouble with these questions, you’re not alone. We talk a lot about the representation of women on screen – the Bechdel Test and discussions surrounding women on screen (only 30.8% of speaking characters in the top 250 movies of 2012 were women) are spreading beyond academia and into mainstream movie reviews. We talk about princesses and the role models (and gender roles) we set up for little girls. But the gender gap lives behind the camera, too. And a group of filmmakers in town have set out to address this, at Fierce Flix.

Fierce Flix is a summer day camp for girls and gender minorities ages 8-16 taking place June 27-July 1. Over the course of a week, campers will work in teams to write, direct, shoot, and edit music videos for the Girls Rock Asheville bands! The music videos will premiere at Grail Moviehouse during a public screening at the end of camp.

To learn more about the camp, or to support awesome women filmmakers here in Asheville, come say hi this Saturday at our screening!

Check out Firestorm’s website:
Join our Facebook event:

SFVHS: California Artists’ Video 1988-1999

SFVHS: California Artists’ Video 1988-1999
Thursday, May 26th at 7PM
The Refinery
207 Coxe Avenue, Downtown Asheville
$5 cover // no one turned away

SFVHS: California artists’ video 1988-1999

Roving artist and makeshift film scholar, Bill Daniel, has dug deep into his milk crate media archive and retrieved a program of videos from the late analog era in San Francisco. During this time Daniel was a member of the Mission District collective Artists’ Television Access, where these works screened.

The 80 minute program spans a range of forms from agit prop, pranks, activist documentation, video art, anti-capitalist intervention, and plain old fun.

The tapes are no-budget, raw and playful— most of them produced on simple linear tape-to-tape analog editing systems. Looking back at this era it’s hard not to feel nostalgic for a kind of golden moment as anti-Gulf War protestors take over the Bay Bridge, beer-guzzling soapbox-racing bike messengers take over Bernal Heights for word-of-mouth stagings of The San Francisco Illegal Soapbox Society, and artists modify billboards, participate in anti-logging protests, and retrieve lost pieces of San Francisco’s counter cultural history.

All work presented on the original VHS tapes!

Bill will be here in person to share and discuss these videos!

set list
Check out Bill’s website:
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Open Screening

Thursday, May 19th at 7PM
Grail MovieHouse
45 S French Broad, Downtown Asheville


Calling all Asheville makers… the screen is yours! Share your work with a live audience! Maximum length is 10 minutes. Any genre! Any style! It can be old, new, or a work-in-progress. We want to see it.

Formats accepted: DVD, QuickTime or MPEG file, 16mm, and Super 8

 Submit work early by email: or just show up with your piece and we’ll watch it together. First come, first served, as time allows.

 There will be short discussion after each piece with a chance to gather feedback from the audience.

AV Geeks!

The Trouble With Women
Films from the AV Geeks Archives

Thurday, April 19th 7PM
Grail MovieHouse, 45 S French Broad, Asheville
$5 Tickets

but no one turned away!


Join us for a night of EXPANDED CINEMA performances at Mechanical Eye Microcinema! What is expanded cinema, you ask? If we think about traditional cinema as only the screen – the projector, the camera, the (wo)man behind the curtain rendered invisible – then expanded cinema is removing the curtain. These pieces transform, edit, or perform cinema as you watch it. It is so much fun!

AV Geek’s Skip Elsheimer will present films from the archives about “The Trouble with Women.” Women in the workplace, gasp! Women with ideas, yikes! Come celebrate how far we’ve come in 60 years! Skip will be here in person for a Q&A following the screening.

Check out the AV Geeks website:
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Hello Film Family!

Great News! We have finally found a permanent home at the the Refinery Creative Center, a wonderful artist’s collective right in downtown Asheville.

This will allow us to show films, to teach film and video, to become a lending place for gear…and to furnish the community with a film center… All in our new home!

We want to offer those folks interested in experimental film a place to go… we aim to be a hub at the center of the Asheville film world wheel… a place from which we can disseminate information, ideas and creativity to the entire community, regardless of age or financial ability.

Our goal is to make our film community (those who make it and those who love it) an integral part of the ever growing Asheville Art Scene.

Kitty Love, Director of the Asheville Area Arts Council, has said of us:

Mechanical Eye Microcinema represents a unique arts exposure opportunity for Buncombe County, as a curator and presenter of original film. As an important expressive discipline, film must be supported by any community interested in understanding and improving itself. We are lucky to have this group, which is willing to focus its efforts in this way.”

Hollywood filmmaker David Sosna has said:

Microcinema is where great ideas are born. Ideas that you see today may be on the big screen tomorrow. What an exciting concept… How do I get to Asheville in time for a Thursday Night Screening?”

We are on our way….and of course that is why I am writing to you. We need your help. We need you to join us, partner with us….take our workshops, attend our film screenings, use our gear when you need it….become a member….but first:

PLEASE…help us raise the funds to make this wonderful dream a reality. Join our Kickstarter effort… and be a part of something right from the ground up…. give what you can (and get a little swag while you’re at it). We need everyone’s help. We need to share the responsibility of building Asheville’s only community accessible film center.

Our plans are grand. Our mission inspiring.

We intend to make more film/give and receive more information/make more ideas and interactions possible every month… but we need YOU to join us!

Help us now, so we never have to ask again… Just become a part of the effort so that we all become part of one great community… You will be so glad you did….

We Thank You!

Mechanical Eye Microcinema


Free Radicals

Free Radicals
by Pip Chodorov
Friday, April 1, 5:30PM
Asheville Art Museum, 2 S Pack Sq, Asheville

(2012, 1h 20m, documentary)

This documentary provides a vivid and eye-opening introduction to one of the most important yet marginalized realms of filmmaking: avant-garde cinema. Achieving the near-impossible task of doing justice in a mere 82 minutes to this rich, varied, and expansive domain,Free Radicals includes rare interviews with some of the most important filmmakers in the avant-garde tradition and several films in their entirety.

We will skype in for a Q&A with Pip (all the way for Paris!) following the screening!

Pip studied cognitive science at the University of Rochester, NY and film semiotics at the University of Paris, France and has been making films and music since the early 70s. He founded Re:Voir Video, Paris, and The Film Gallery, an art gallery devoted exclusively to experimental film – the first of its kind. He is also co-founded L’Abominable, a diy coop film lab in Paris, and is the moderator of Frameworks, an experimental film list-serv.

We’re so excited about the opportunity to show this work and skype with the director!

See you there?

Check out this article about Free Radicals from The New York Times:
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