Ernie Gehr’s Side/Walk/Shuttle Slated for Preservation

National Film Preservation Foundation 09/19/2007

San Francisco, CA (September 19, 2007)—“If Giotto had been an action painter his name would be Ernie Gehr,” wrote film critic J. Hoberman who listed Gehr’s Side/Walk/Shuttle as one of the ten best films of the 1990s.  “The movie is pure sensation: it has the effect of a slow-motion roller coaster…San Francisco is so viscerally and obsessively transformed that Gehr might honorably have titled his movie Vertigo.”

The preservation of Side/Walk/Shuttle by the Museum of Modern Artis one of three projects made possible in 2007 through the Avant-Garde Masters Grants, the collaboration by The Film Foundation and the National Film Preservation Foundation to save landmark works by influential American experimental filmmakers. Also slated for preservation are an experimental documentary by Pop artist Larry Rivers (Larry Rivers Foundation) and four films produced by George Kuchar with his San Francisco Art Institute students (Harvard Film Archive). The three archives will split the $50,000 award funded by The Film Foundation.

“The Museum of Modern Art is thrilled to have the opportunity to work with Ernie Gehr to save this acclaimed film,” said MoMA’s film curator Steven Higgins. MoMA has a long history of collaboration with the filmmaker and will open Gehr’s installation Panoramas of the Moving Image: Mechanical Slides and Dissolving Views from Nineteenth-Century Magic Lantern Shows this week. 

The Avant-Garde Masters is the first grant program targeting the preservation of America’s experimental film heritage. The program encourages archives to work directly with filmmakers to save works significant to the development of the avant-garde in America. The program is funded by The Film Foundation and managed by the NFPF. The winning projects are selected by an expert panel drawn from the film community.

Over the five years of the program Avant-Garde Masters Grants have preserved films by Kenneth Anger, Samuel Beckett, Bruce Conner, Hollis Frampton, Larry Gottheim, George and Mike Kuchar, Gregory Markopoulos, Jonas Mekas, Tom Palazzolo, Carolee Schneemann, and Frank Stauffacher. The full roster is posted on the NFPF Web site,

The National Film Preservation Foundation is the nonprofit organization created by the U.S. Congress to help save America’s film heritage. The NFPF has supported film preservation in 41 states and the District of Columbia and has helped save more than 1,100 films and collections. The NFPF is the charitable affiliate of the National Film Preservation Board of the Library of Congress.

National Film Preservation Foundation

News Archive


Back to News