Live Cinema As Live Cinema by Gerry Fialka & Will Nediger
 (The first word “live” is a verb, the second "live" is an adjective.) 
“Live cinema” – if we mean any filmic presentation which is in some sense created in real time as it is presented  has had different meanings over the years. Cinema was presented live in its very early years, with live scores making each screening of a film different from the previous. The typical silent score wasn’t really integral to the film, and rarely changed significantly performance to performance, but it was live nonetheless. Many films also had live narration, as in the benshi performers in Japan’s silent era or the narration that initially accompanied screenings of Luis Buñuel’s Land Without Bread.
There’s also a sense in which every film is constituted in real time by the spectators, of course, since films consist of a series of still images which we interpret as motion. In Visionary Film by P. Adams Sitney we read about a “hilariously aggressive” lecture at Yale in 1965 at which avant-garde animator Harry Smith traced the invention of “the cinema” to Giordano Bruno’s thesis that there are an infinite number of slightly different universes and we perceive motion by mentally running through a succession of universes as if looking through a zoetrope. And there’s an even more literal sense in which every film is constituted in real time, not by the spectators, but by the technology of film itself. To quote Hollis Frampton: “The rectangle is generated by our performer, the projector.”
But there’s also, perhaps more importantly, a phenomenological sense in which film as an artform is live. Consider the title of this essay, Live Cinema As Live Cinema. The first word is “live” as a verb. McLuhan suggested that technologies are extensions of our humanness, that in some sense they extend our ways of living. (Most say cinema extends the eye, or memory. McLuhan considered that cinema extends the foot.) Our second use of the word “live” is an adjective, “live” in the sense of “performed in real time,” but also in the sense of “not dead.” We’re reminded of the La Poste, who published the reaction to the premiere of Louis Lumière films on December 30, 1895: “When these gadgets are in the hands of the public, when anyone can photograph the ones who are dear to them, not just in their immobile form, but with movement, action, familiar gestures and the words out of their mouths, then death will no longer be absolute, final.” And so our through-line reads, “If you live cinema (that is, if you actually experience cinema as though it is a real direct experience), then that could be a metaphor for the genre of film called live cinema.”
Of course, when we talk about “live cinema” we usually mean something more specific than this, though the term still covers a vast array of artistic practices. Live cinema in this narrower sense is also known by many other names: expanded cinema, performative cinema, projector performance, live A/V, VJing (video DJ), transmedia, and others. Pioneers of "Live Cinema" include: Winsor McCay, Buster Keaton, Abel Gance, Marcel Duchamp, James Joyce, Jack Smith, Jordan Belson, Harry Smith, Andy Warhol, Carolee Schneeman, Ken Jacobs, Stan VanDerBeek, Gene Youngblood, Peter Greenaway, Bruce McClure, Chris Marker, Nam June Paik, Andy Warhol, Frank Zappa, Francis Ford Coppola, Liquid Light Shows (Joshua White, Single Wing Turquoise Bird), Other Cinema, Potter Belmar, Sam Green, RIA, and performance artists galore.
This narrower sense can be captured by pair of mid-70s films. In Anthony McCall’s Line Describing a Cone (1973), a projector emits a half-hour-long film of a line of light that gradually traces the circumference of a circle on a wall, while the beam of light traces out the form of a cone, made to seem solid by the mist produced by a fog machine. The dimensions of the cone can vary, and spectators are encouraged to view it by moving around and through the cone to fully get a sense of its shape. Another example is Lis Rhodes’ Light Music (1975), in which a series of black-and-white patterns are projected onto two screens on opposite walls of a room. As in Line Describing a Cone, a fog machine gives a solidity to the patterns of light in the room, with spectators encouraged to interact with it. In these films, the spectators actively help to construct the film in real time every time it is presented.
A comprehensive history of live cinema will fill out our book (and our documentary), but here we just want to highlight some mavericks, especially the work of one particular pioneering artist in the art of live cinema: Pat Oleszko.
Oleszko might be best known for her riotous, hilarious live non-cinema performances – she said: “Basically I am a sculptor, and sculptures live in society.” Her performances often involve elaborate handmade costumes. (In one such performance, Giordano Bruno Meets His Match, Oleszko dressed up as gender-swapped version of Giordano Bruno, being burned at the stake. Ironically, the performance was shut down by a free speech society holding a celebration of Bruno; they said it took away their audience.) But Oleszko has also done cinematic work: she made several films with Susan Zeig in the 1970s, including those shown at the Ann Arbor Film Festival in which she interacted with her filmic self during screenings: PatturnCoat (1974)Two “O” Duo (1975), and Nudes Reel Nudes Real (1977). In these performances, it was the artist, rather than the audience, who helped construct the film in real time. The audience experienced two Pats at once.
Having been inspired by Oleszko, Gerry Fialka has employed a similar immersive experience with Pixelator Denny Monayhan (aka King Kukulele, and in test screenings of the feature film The Brother Side of the Wake. When the image of the protagonist is talking on screen, the audience also notices that a live human being (Denny or Gerry) approaches the screen and turns to face the filmgoers. When the onscreen character speaks, their live “double” turns and reacts, speaking a line. This dialogue occurs between two versions of the same person. It is the inner dialogue being outed, in a multi-media mash-up, merging reel time and real time.
Bucky Fuller's axiom "I seem to be a verb" applies to this exploration. 
Luis Buñuel's ... “Long Live the Living . . . into . . . "Long Live Live Cinema"

King Aikidolele by Denny  Moynahan for the PXL THIS 27 Film Festival

Peter Greenaway essay Toward a Re-invention of Cinema

Wilson Oliveira essay Living Cinema: Memory, McLuhan, Marker -

Essential Live Cinema History by Potter Belmar -  Consider: "… real-time mixing of images and sound for an audience, where the sounds and images no longer exist in a fixed and finished form but evolve as they occur, and the artist's role becomes performative…" Holly Willis (Afterimage July/Aug 2009, Vol 37, No 1, p. 11) 

Check this very good summary by Mia Makela -

Fast Forward: The Future(s) of the Cinematic Arts By Holly Willis

We welcome your input. This is the beginning of a research project. 
Gerry Fialka
310 306 7330
Co-writer Will Nediger:


UPCOMING in 2018:

Oct 6 Sat at Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Blvd, 2pm (till 4pm) Gerry Fialka's fun interactive workshop on LIVE CINEMA in VENICE, free admission


Nov 10 Sat "Film Fest La & L.A. LIVE" presents FILM CAN'T KILL YOU BUT WHY TAKE A CHANCE from 11am to 1:15pm at Regal Cinemas 1000 W Olympic Blvd, LA CA 90015, Info: 310-306-7330 Free workshop and day passes sponsored by  Paramedia ecologist Gerry Fialka's fun interactive workshop explore cinema's hidden psychic effects via Marshall McLuhan's Menippean satirized percepts: "We shape our tools, then they shape us." and “The Balinese have no word for art, they do everything as well as they can.” and "How about technologies as the collective unconscious and art as the collective unconsciousness?" Delve deep into Live Cinema, Neurocinema and the metaleptic heart of movies. Read the OtherZine article: sticks-and-stones-may-break-your-bones-but-film-will-never-hurt-you.Gerry Fialka has been praised by the LA Times as "the multi-media Renaissance man." The La Weekly proclaimed him "a cultural revolutionary." His new book Strange Questions: Experimental Film as Conversation, with a foreword by David James will be published soon. His new feature The Brother Side of the Wake (BroSide) is the experimental documentary with Venice, California, as its main character, and probes the cliché: "Is the journey more important than the destination?" Watch the preview on Youtube


Dec 23, 2018 Sunday 7pm (6pm preshow) The Brother Side of the Wake (BroSideFREE TEST SCREENING  at  Beyond Baroque 681 Venice Blvd Venice CA More info:    

The Brother Side of the Wake (BroSide) is a new experimental documentary about the people of Venice, California. As a remake of the Orson Welles film The Other Side of the Wind (released 11-2-18), it probes the cliché: "Is the journey more important than the destination?"  

By evoking the comedies of The Little Rascals, BroSide conjures the playful and psychic effects of direct cinema, abstract animation, and films within films. As directed by Gerry Fialka, BroSide is a "living organism" that involves audiences in the call-and-response ritual, much like a communal, out-loud reading of James Joyce's Finnegans WakeBroSide empowers the audience to have fun, and inspires them to invent new questions.

BroSide was made in various formats including 16mm, Super 8mm, Pixelvision, digital video, cell phones and hand-painted celluloid. The imaginative soundtrack merges binaural beats, and Vaporwave into jazz-funk-blues-classical music-scapes. Bruno Kohfield-Galeano's stroboscopic cinematography and hypnotic editing propels the viewer onto an immersive magic carpet ride. You will see what you are looking for.
Featuring the people of the Venice Boardwalk, Treeman, Jen the Hooper, DeDe Audet, Solomon Snakeman, Joe the Limo Driver, Suzy Williams, Brad Kay, Alita Arose, Dave Healey and Jeff Michalski.

One minute BroSide preview trailer:

Richard Modiano, poet and Executive Director of Beyond Baroque Foundation, declared: "Terrific BroSide trailer. Chris Burden redux, by which I mean that while watching a late night movie on TV in the 1970s one of the commercials was by Chris Burden, not publicizing any product, but making a statement about art that was totally avant garde. I thought I was dreaming, but sure enough it was real, and BroSide brings it up to date."

BroSide employs "Live Cinema" much like Winsor McCay, Buster Keaton, Luis Bunuel, Pat Oleszko and Pixelator Denny Monayhan (aka King Kukulele, When the image of the protagonist is talking on screen, the audience also notices that a live human being approaches the screen and turns to face the filmgoers. When the onscreen character speaks, their live “double” turns and reacts, speaking a line. This dialogue occurs between two versions of the same person. It is the inner dialogue being outed, in a multi-media mash-up, merging reel time and real time.

BrosSide intimates "A reflection on cinema, and its comparison with life." - Alberto Anile's 8-30-18 comment on the first screening of The Other Side of the Wind.

"Fialka's films remind me of Luis Bunuel" - Rick Meghiddo, architect/filmmaker

Read the BroSide sizzle reel text in the "Show More" here =  and past test screening notes=

D.H. Lawrence wrote of Cezanne: "It's the appleyness, which carries with it the feeling of knowing the other side as well, the side you don't see...The eye sees only fronts, and the mind, on the whole is satisfied with fronts. But intuition needs all-aroundness, and instincts needs insideness. The true imagination is forever curving round to the other side, the back of presented appearances."