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Superb curation energized the program of short films at SFMOMA’s first “Now Playing” event last night. Even viewers familiar with the works, which were drawn from the museum’s collection, found fresh excitement in viewing them together. A trio of experiments with scrambled signals set the pace, sparks flying as Bruce Conner’s Breakaway (1966) rubbed up against Pipilotti Rist’s I’m Not The Girl Who Misses Much (1986), which segued into the Vasulka’s Violin Power (1970-78). Smart juxtapositions kept the program moving right up to the climactic debut of a new work by Kota Ezawa, Beatles Ŭber California (2010), in which Ezawa made the Beatles play the Dead Kennedy’s anthem California Ŭber Alles.

- Meredith Tromble [Friday, March 19th, 2010]

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