Herb Shellenberger

Jean Vigo's Zero for Conduct (1933) + Blues Control live performance
January 26, 2012
International House Philadelphia
Philadelphia, PA, USA

Our first Spring Arts Preview includes a multimedia presentation of upcoming events by IHP curators, live performance by Blues Control with surprise 16mm animated films, and a screening of Jean Vigo's 1933 classic Zero for Conduct in a new 35mm print from Janus Films.

Zero for Conduct (Zéro de conduite), Jean Vigo, 1933, France, 35mm, 44'
Restored 35mm print
Zero for Conduct is as brief yet brilliant as Jean Vigo's short career. Though he died at the age of 29 (due to complications from tuberculosis), the young filmmaker left behind four films that rank among the greatest in history. Arguably his best film, Zero for Conduct takes place in a repressive boarding school where prank-loving youngsters repeatedly disobey orders from their stuffy schoolmasters. Portraying the students as tiny freedom fighters, the anarchic film presaged such coming-of-age classics as Fanny and Alexander, If... and The 400 Blows.

"Based on the director's own experiences as a youth, Zéro de conduite presents childhood as a time of unfettered imagination and brazen rule-flouting. It's a sweet-natured vision of sabotage made vivid by dynamic visual experiments—including the famous, blissful slow-motion pillow fight." —Criterion

Blues Control
Leo Cho, keyboards
Russ Waterhouse, guitar and electronics

Live soundtrack to 16mm short film program:
Pop (Aos), Yoji Kuri, 1969, Japan, 16mm, 9'
Darkness, Light, Darkness (tma/svetlo/tma), Jan Švankmajer, 1989, Czechoslovakia, 16mm, 7'
Make Me Psychic, Sally Cruikshank, 1978, US, 16mm, 8'
The Doodlers, Kathy Rose, 1975, US, 16mm, 5'
Pixillation, Lillian Schwartz, 1971, US, 16mm, 4'
Gumbasia, Art Clokey, 1958, US, 16mm, 3'
Euclidean Illusions, Stan Vanderbeek, 1979, US, 16mm, 9'

Blues Control doesn't sound like any other band in history. A unique combination of keyboards, guitar and tape manipulation, the duo casts their palette wide. Invoking such different genres (sometimes simultaneously) as new age, krautrock and noise, Blues Control has found audiences on tours across the US, Canada, Europe and beyond. After releasing records on labels like Sub Pop, Holy Mountain and Woodsist, their most recent album Local Flavor was released by perennial Philadelphia favorite Siltbreeze Records. Now based in the Lehigh Valley, Blues Control have performed at the SXSW Music Festival, Museu do Chiado in Lisbon, the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the Institute of Contemporary Art in Philadelphia. —Herb Shellenberger