Radiant Cinema: Reflections on Light and Shadow

Film program inspired by Bob Miller
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The Art, Music and Recreation Center, in partnership with the Exploratorium's Cinema Arts program, is pleased to present this very special film program to accompany Light Walk an exhibition currently on the 4th floor of the Main Library.

Bob Miller was a natural philosopher and poet of light. His unlimited imagination, playful insights, and questioning nature combined in powerful ways to influence the way those around him saw the world. His investigations into light and shadow acted as a physical and philosophical matrix on which to muse and discover, both at the Exploratorium and far beyond the museum walls.

Miller's wondrous methods of inquiry are the inspiration for Radiant Cinema, a program that incorporates light not only as a medium, but as a tool to weave abstractions and coherence. Some films take direct inspiration from Miller while others simply embody the type of radiance and mystery he saw in everyday reflections. The cinematic environment gives us the chance to consider the light coming from the projector as a wonder in itself; a portal to discovery.

Films that will be shown include:

Looking at the Light (2014, 3 min, video, color, sound) by David Barker.   This work-in-progress captures the light artist Bob Miller at home philosophizing and at play toward the later part of his life.

Lightwalk (1993, 3 min, 16mm, B&W, sound) by Michael Walsh.  Lightwalk is a cinematic ode to Bob Miller shot one summer afternoon at the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and the Marin Headlands. "Amazing effects stream past our retinas while we are busily distracted by our lives. Using in-camera effects, this film attempts to capture everyday images we might overlook."  —Michael Walsh

Stately Mansions Did Decree (1999, 6 min, 16mm, color, silent) by Stan Brakhage.  Stan Brakhage’s spectacular hand-painted Stately Mansions Did Decree fills the screen with flickering shards of red and orange that present a universe ablaze with energy.

Glistening Thrills (2013, 8m, 16mm, color, sound) by Jodie Mack.  A shiny otherworld of holographic reverie pairs dollar store gift-bags and a haunting vibraphone soundtrack to create an effervescent melancholy in three parts. Featuring compositions by Elliot Cole.

Additional films to be announced.


This is a Films & Videos program from SFPL. From feature films to youth-made videos, we’ve got something great to watch.

Upcoming Events

Film Showing: Crazy Rich Asians
Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 6:30 pm
Merced, Merced General Floor Area
Film Screening: A Gesar Bard's Tale
Wednesday, May 22, 2019, 7:00 pm
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Thursdays at Noon Films: After Auschwitz
Thursday, May 23, 2019, 12:00 pm
Main Library, Koret Auditorium

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