Now Playing! Live-Screen Magic at Shapeshifters Cinema

The great advance -- and advantage -- of motion pictures is the close-up. (You might say sound, and the delivery of the human voice. Shall we discuss this urgent matter over a pint or two? Let me know when you're free.)

I’m guessing the local poet and artist Tatiana Luboviski-Acosta might take my side based on her current project-in-progress made up of clips of movie stars emoting without lines. She presents and performs an intense excerpt of Suite for Face at this month’s Shapeshifters Cinema show at Temescal Art Center in Oakland on Sunday, July 9, on a bill with two other emissaries of live cinema.

All My Senses Rebel, the duo of Josephine Torio and Ben Trinker, provide musical accompaniment to Peril, a collection of dance sequences staged and shot on the coastal fault line from Monterey Bay to Point Arena (which includes San Francisco, needless to say). Capping the program, the wonderful local experimental filmmaker Konrad Steiner presents his latest entertaining example of neo-benshi. Inspired by benshi, the Japanese and Korean art of live accompaniment to—and performance of—silent films, Steiner takes modern movies, mutes the sound and replaces the dialogue with his own text. If you’re not available to debate the pre-eminence of the voice or the face in cinema, I’ll ring up Konrad Steiner.