- With an introduction by Zoe Beloff
Zoe Beloff will be presenting her latest work A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood.
This film is an installation that can be both screened in a cinema or exhibited in a gallery. It comprises of three short films:
Two Marxists in Hollywood (2015) - 26’
Glass House (2015) - 21’
A Model Family in a Model Home (2015) - 22’
“Sergei Eisenstein was invited to Hollywood by Paramount Studios. A refugee from Nazi Germany, Bertolt Brecht worked in Los Angeles in the 1940’s. Both wanted to make films that were both radical and popular, creating sketches and screenplays that were never realized. A World Redrawn is an installation created by artist and filmmaker Zoe Beloff to explore Eisenstein’s ideas for the film Glass House and Brecht’s notes for the film, A Model Family in a Model Home. Both scenarios use architecture as a concrete representation of social relations. Through medium of films, drawings, architectural models and archival documents, Zoe project re-imagines their ideas for today. The three films that form the centerpiece of the project can be projected in a cinema or exhibited in a gallery.”
“In her short video Two Marxists in Hollywood, Zoe Beloff has Brecht and Eisenstein tell their Hollywood stories. The ‘masters’ are played by two boys, delivering their lines with nervous enthusiasm. They are shown in front of the places where Brecht and Eisenstein lived and worked, a black-and-white backdrop with Beloff’s paintings of the same locations, mediating between memories and present-day Hollywood. Its desolate sun-drenched streets appear as an eerie decoration in their own right, more unheimlich and lonely than their paint-rendered doubles. ‘Almost nowhere has my life been harder than in this mausoleum of easy-going,’ reads Brecht from his diary.
The vertiginous discrepancy between the luscious celluloid visions produced in Hollywood and the real hardships and alienation that went into their material production was not lost on either Eisenstein or Brecht. In his Hollywood Elegies, set to music by long-term collaborator and fellow exile Hanns Eisler, Brecht wrote: ‘By the sea stand the oil derricks. Up the canyons / The gold prospectors’ bones lie bleaching. Their sons / Built the dream factories of Hollywood. / The four cities / Are filled with the oily smell / Of films.’ Dreams predicated on indifference to concrete lives stink.”
- 1. Zoe Beloff about A World Redrawn on her website
- 2. Anastasiya Osipova, Occupying the Dream Factory. Zoe Beloff’s A World Redrawn: Eisenstein and Brecht in Hollywood, The Brooklyn Rail, 5 November 2015.