★ by Johann Lurf
★ by Johann Lurf
Available Space is a recurring series showcasing experimental and independent film and media, including artist retrospectives, historical and contemporary films, expanded cinema performance, special guest events, and restorations from international archives, as well as our own Academy Film Archive.
A one-of-a-kind cinematic experience, Vienna-based filmmaker Johann Lurf’s ★ is quite literally the ultimate cosmic trip through the entire history of cinema.
Drawing on extensive clips from countless films throughout the history of motion pictures, Lurf constructs an epic chronological assembly of sequences of the starry sky from the very beginning of cinema up to the present year (the film is updated annually). Each clip retains its original accompanying audio, resulting in an exhilarating experience that is at turns hypnotic, defining, and perversely comic. Lurf positions the audience as the ever-dreaming stargazers, while also celebrating the illusionism of cinema; we never quite forget that we are witnessing a sped-up history of not just motion picture technological development, but also the modern evolution of humanity’s relationship to the magnitude of space. The night sky as depicted throughout cinema is both intimate and unimaginably vast, and Lurf’s magnificent film is a brilliantly immersive and self-aware tribute to both of those grand emotional scales of cinematic engagement.
The 2022 edition of ★ will be preceded by Lurf’s short film Twelve Tales Told, in which he interweaves a dozen major studio logos to create a cinematic time-sculpture celebrating and satirizing the epic-scale branding of industrial cinema.
In person: Johann Lurf
Programmed and notes by Academy Film Archive Senior Film Preservationist Mark Toscano
Films courtesy of the artist. Thanks to the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles and California Institute of the Arts for their support to have Johann Lurf join us in person for this program.
Twelve Tales Told
Director: Johann Lurf.
2014. 4 min. Austria. Color. Sound. 35mm.
Director: Johann Lurf.
2017/2022. 125 min. Austria. B&W and Color. Multiple languages (deliberately unsubtitled). 4K DCP.
Back to Main Series
Friday, November 17, 2023
Maureen Selwood: Animating the Interior
In person: Maureen Selwood.
Friday, December 1, 2023
Saturday, February 17, 2024
Strain Andromeda The
In person: Anne McGuire.
Latent Image: Three Films on Space, Time, and Change
In person: Tacita Dean, Margaret Honda, and Daïchi Saïto.
Images of the World and the Inscription of War
In person: Jay Cassidy.
Thu, Jul 14, 2022
An Evening with Christopher Harris: New Restorations
Christopher Harris in conversation with Academy Museum Chief Artistic and Programming Officer Jacqueline Stewart.
Thu, Aug 4, 2022
Animation from Another World: Chronopolis and Shorts by Piotr Kamler
A selection of five of Piotr Kamler’s incredible short animated films followed by a rare 35mm presentation of his widely acclaimed masterwork, Chronopolis (1982/1988).
Thu, Sept 15, 2022
Derek Jarman: Super 8 Revelations
An eclectic array of Derek Jarman’s Super 8 films chosen especially for this occasion. In-person: James Mackay
Mon, Oct 24, 2022
Sally Cruikshank & Vince Collins: Cartoons for Convoluted Craniums!
In person: Sally Cruikshank.
Wed, November 16, 2022
J.P. Sniadecki: Two Films, A Decade Apart…
In person: J.P. Sniadecki.
Thursday, January 19, 2023
Mike Henderson: The Blues and the Abstract Truth
In person: Mike Henderson
Monday, February 6, 2023
Thom Andersen: Work on Film
In person: Thom Andersen.
Saturday, March 4, 2023
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Monday, May 15, 2023
Harry Gamboa Jr.
Special guest: Post-screening conversation with artist, author, and educator Harry Gamboa Jr.
Saturday, June 3, 2023
Made in Hollywood by Bruce and Norman Yonemoto
In person: Bruce Yonemoto and Patricia Arquette.
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
You & Me & the Cosmos Makes Three: An Evening with Deborah Stratman
In person: Deborah Stratman.
Thursday, August 31, 2023
James Benning: ALLENSWORTH
In person: James Benning
Friday, September 22, 2023
The Tawdry Visions of George and Mike Kuchar
Special guest: Post-screening conversation with filmmaker Mike Kuchar.