this program is organized with DESISTFILM. the following text, written by COURTNEY STEPHENS, was originally published by DESIST on april 1, 2020. its presentation here is supported by STEPHENS’ selection of an avernian fragment from lucretius, adjacent readings and text from greta snider’s NO-ZONE, as well as a note from josé sarmiento hinojosa, DESIST’S co-director.

“NO-ZONE is about AIDS, climate change, and the end times. In 2017, I screened No-Zone with filmmaker Dominic Angerame as part of Canyon Cinema’s landmark series, CANYON CINEMA 50. There was a Q and A after he screened his gorgeous Premonition (1995). A lot of our grad students attended, and one of them commented about what was going on in the 1990’s that made the films of the era so disastrous. We spent a few minutes thinking about the particular moment – things were quite obviously falling apart at the time, even while we were trying to be creative amongst the rubble. Apocalypses came and went every day without fanfare, as always.

Looking at my notes from the time, there is a weird set of things that I was immersed in while making NO-ZONE. Adjacent and glowing, like a nightlight.”


“Lucretius: an ancient poet who tried to articulate the laws of all nature from an Epicurean point of view, in his On the Nature of Things. he was the first to conceive and try to prove the existence of an atom, and by that name. In this excerpt he's working through his ideas about the physics of poisonous fumes. in the pages to follow he’ll grapple with magnetism, and then contagious disease, but i find this part to be the most beautiful. Lucretius feels so astonishingly modern (the Epicureans were maybe the first atheists, and this book, which went lost for like 1000 years, was rediscovered just before the renaissance, and some credit its ideas as being very influential on renaissance thinkers - certainly to Montaigne who quoted from him). He’s this person plopped down in ancient times doing his absolute best to figure out the coordinates of our mysterious world.”

- C.S.