the book of paradise has no author — ross lipman
22nd SEPTEMBER 2023 > 5 PM I AUDITORIUM
THE BOOK OF PARADISE HAS NO AUTHOR
live cinema performance. 75 minutes.
Premiered at Other Cinema (SF), 2010.
In the summer of 1971 Ferdinand Marcos announced the discovery of a tribe of primitive cave dwellers who had lived in complete isolation for thousands of years in the rainforest of Mindanao, the easternmost island of the Philippines. Modernity as we knew it was uprooted. The Tasaday represented a chance to witness firsthand the origins of civilization, and investigate the very essence of humanity. They also–seemingly–offered Marcos a number of rather unique political opportunities. This experimental performance essay integrates rare ethnographic footage, vintage television broadcasts, recordings, and still photographs to look at the unexpectedly tragic, haunting, and provocative tale of our encounter with the Tasaday, and their equally elliptical encounter with us. The result is a meditative sensory experience that questions the nature of reality itself.
“…in (a) nimble script, Lipman explores the issues with economy, clarity and a poetic touch. Images of ancient and modern cultures are contrasted — both illustrating the controversy over the alleged cave-dwelling Tasaday and illuminating Lipman’s own philosophy that we’re all in a truth-seeking tribe.”
– Victoria Ellison, LA Weekly
“… a marvelous de-construction of ethnographic accounts of the Tasaday… totally brilliant.”
– Craig Baldwin, filmmaker/curator
About Ross Lipman
Through the course of his work, filmmaker/archivist Ross Lipman activates the past in a compassionate re-invention of the present. Across a series of works ranging from film to digital video to performance essays, he employs a diverse range of archival materials in pursuit of their elusive essence, and simultaneously reinvigorates them in new interpretations. His subjects stretch from the works of Samuel Beckett to the history of ventriloquism, to the ways in which technology itself encodes meaning.
Ross Lipman is an independent filmmaker, archivist, and essayist. His films have screened throughout the world and been collected by museums and institutions including the Academy Film Archive, Anthology Film Archives, Northeast Historic Film, the Oberhausen Kurzfilm Archive, Budapest’s Balazs Bela Studios, and Munich’s Sammlung Goetz. His feature documentary, Notfilm, was named one of the 10 best films of the year by ARTFORUM, SLATE, and many others.
Formerly Senior Film Restorationist at the UCLA Film & Television Archive, his many restorations include Barbara Loden’s Wanda, Charles Burnett’s Killer of Sheep, Kent Mackenzie’s The Exiles, the Academy Award-winning documentary The Times of Harvey Milk, and works by Charlie Chaplin, Orson Welles, Shirley Clarke, Kenneth Anger, Lourdes Portillo, Robert Altman, and John Cassavetes. He was a 2008 recipient of Anthology Film Archives’ Preservation Honors, and is a three-time winner of the National Society of Film Critics’ Heritage Award. His writings on film history, technology, and aesthetics have been published in Artforum, Sight and Sound, and numerous academic books and journals.
His most recent restorations include Nietzchka Keene’s The Juniper Tree featuring Björk, Richard Beymer’s The Innerview, and Eleanor Antin’s The Man Without a World. His recent film The Case of the Vanishing Gods premiered at the Locarno Film Festival in fall 2021 and was named to Jonathan Rosenbaum’s list of the ten best films of 2022.
comments on the work of Ross Lipman can be found here: https://www.corpusfluxus.org/Pages/Comments.html
comments on NOTIFLM can be found here: http://filmbysamuelbeckett.com/awardspress-reviews