Circumstantial Pleasures: Los Angeles Experimental Filmmaker Lewis Klahr’s Anthology of Shorts

A paper fist punches through a pie chart with a vintage lounge setting as the background.

Klahr is best known for his explorations of midcentury materials and music. Circumstantial Pleasures is a feature-length collection of six shorts about more contemporary materials and issues, such as landscapes of asphalt, shipping containers, and vape pods.

Set to music by experimentalists David Rosenboom and Tom Recchion—and featuring a late-period song by Scott Walker—Circumstantial Pleasures captures the unease, ugliness, and inhumanity of contemporary life.

Klahr’s new film illuminates the gritty emotional and physical textures of what it’s like to be alive right now.

“I always knew, at some point, I would create a feature-length series of films that used largely contemporary images to explore the current zeitgeist”–Lewis Klahr

Circumstantial Pleasures had its world premiere (and sole screening to date) at the Brooklyn microcinema Light Industry on February 29, 2020, just before the country began its lockdown due to COVID-19.

Program lineup
Capitalist Roaders (2016, 18 mins.); music: David Rosenboom, Tom Recchion
Ramification Lesions (Microbial Stress) (2019, 10 mins.); music: David Rosenboom
Rachet the Margin (2016, 7 mins.); music: Tom Recchion
Virulent Capital (2018, 9 mins.); music: David Rosenboom
High Rise (2016, 2 mins.)
Circumstantial Pleasures (2019, 22 mins.); music: Scott Walker

Running time: 65 minutes

Digital Video

In this color collage, a still from the film, a hand is extended palm-up with wires coming out of it that connect to a bowl of soup.Circumstantial Pleasures (Lewis Klahr, 2012–19), courtesy of the artist.