VENUE: Civic Club of Harrisburg
12 noon – Medium Form Documentaries, 48 min
Life on the Mississippi
Bill Brown, 28min, USA, 16mm
A short essay film about a river and the limits of knowing it. Using Mark Twain’s "Life on the Mississippi" as a road map, Brown travels from Memphis, Tennessee to New Orleans and considers some strategies for rehearsing, abstracting, and encountering the Mississippi River.
Stephen Crompton, 20min, USA, Digital
“I was thinking of writing something totally absurd; to take the genre of softcore porn, and merge it with the concept of the Theatre of the Absurd” - Alvin Bojar Alvin Bojar, a retired entertainment producer, now lives in Sun City Center, Florida, which is one of the state’s many so-called “active living” communities for persons over-55. Alvin sees his current home as a sort of “heaven’s waiting room”, but his sense of humour endures. From the confines of this retirement dreamscape, Alvin recounts his experiences, from more than forty years earlier, of writing and producing a bizarre softcore porn film called Fongaluli.
1:00 PM – At War with the Sky: A Social Documentary Shorts Program, 42 min
Meg Cook, 1min, USA, Digital
A woman's initial excitement at getting a message quickly turns sour. Based on the all too common experience of receiving an unsolicited 'dick pic'.
At War with the Sky
William Randall, 10min, USA/Japan, 16mm
A film essay on the Sanrizuka Series by Ogawa Production: Protest, land, airplanes, cops, government, riot police, hired thugs, violence, Molotov cocktails, more protests, farmers, kids, and it's fifty years later and we're still At War with the Sky.
Immunity Not Limitation
Sara Kazemimanesh, 3min, Iran/USA, 16mm
This film is about the experience of mandatory hijab and the creeping violence it caters to. The concept behind the film was inspired by a series of instructional urban banners displayed in different cities of Iran. These banners collectively likened women who lack proper hijab to unwrapped candy surrounded by a swarm of flies.
From Markov to Skripal
John Barlow, 15min, UK, 8mm
The attempted assassination of former spy Sergei Skripal and his daughter Yulia in the sleepy English town of Salisbury in 2018 captured the attention of the world. It was just one of a string of deaths and attempted murders in Southern England with reported links to Russia. Beginning in the Cold War, this pattern has recently intensified, situating many otherwise mundane locations at the centre of an international geopolitical power struggle. The experimental short, From Markov to Skripal, visits and traces a chronological path through all seventeen of these locations, from Waterloo Bridge 1978 to Salisbury 2018, revealing the dark events which took place there.
Take it Down
Sabine Gruffat, 12min, USA, 16mm
What is up must come down, like the confederate soldier monuments standing in court house squares. At long last, a grand inversion! Solarized film makes positives bleed into negatives. In the context of the divisive Trump presidency and the increasing visibility of white supremacist activism, these memorials have become sites of conflicting politics and historical narratives. Historians agree that a majority of confederate statues were erected as propaganda tools legitimizing racism in the era of Jim Crow laws. For example, “Silent Sam”, a statue depicted in the film, was erected in the center square of the flagship University of North Carolina campus. In an act of civil disobedience, students and protestors tore down the statue in a statement against white supremacist oppression.
2 PM – Ghost Light: An Abstract Experimental Film Program, 44 min
The Equatorial Calms
Derek Taylor, 4min, USA, 16mm
Optical ruminations on an unpredictable region of Earth where raging storms and calm waters coexist. Seafarers are not only contained within this indeterminate state, but also within the film frame.
Lines of Force
Dan Browne, 2min, Canada, Digital
The theory of general relativity states that all matter is condensed energy. In its purest form, energy is light. Perhaps matter cannot go faster than light because all matter consists of light.
Michael Lyons, 2min, Japan, Super 8
A poetic look at a Porto skylight filmed over three days using three different Super 8 film stocks. One of the stocks is decades-old Kodachrome, hand-developed using coffee and vitamin C.
The Sequence of Years
Ben Balcom, 9min, USA/Austria, Digital
I am old where I was born. It must have been magnificent once. The way it appears now is not how it was. It couldn’t be. Otherwise this would be something else. Perhaps for a moment I am there again. But when I open my eyes, I can’t remember anything. There is only the longing for a place I've never been.
Sean Bokenkamp, 26min, Canada, 16mm
A “ghost light” is the lamp left burning overnight in a theatre so that the ghosts of actors can once more strut and fret for an hour upon the stage. Ghost Light examines the process whereby a person recovers and moves on after the connective threads that once existed between two people have been severed. Our past selves can become the ghosts that haunt us in the present. To work free of a tangled knot one has to send the needle back into the snarl. Ghost Light was produced with the assistance of the National Film Board of Canada – Filmmaker Assistance Program.
3 PM – Memoria Data: Home Movies and Diary Shorts, Part I, 41 min
Michael Lyons, 4min, Japan, Super 8
The film documents an aimless walk through one of Kyoto's former outcaste neighbourhoods, which continues to exist below normal Japanese living standards. Despite pro-active legislation, people from families associated with such areas can experience discrimination. The soundtrack was created using a self-built apparatus we call 'The Octopus'. Voltages from light sensors on the projection screen control an analogue modular synthesizer allowing the film itself to act as a score.
Foreclosed Home Movie
Lisa Danker, 8min, USA, 16mm
A memoir of losing a home in 1930, in Miami, becomes the sister tale to a foreclosure in 2013. Unable to accept the loss of her foreclosed home, the filmmaker’s mother recounts its rooms and features. Photographs and abstractly animated details of the house and its furniture—printed from linoleum blocks directly onto 16mm film––alternate with the memoir of the 1920s, echoing the cyclical nature both of economic booms (and busts) and of trauma.
Who can shoot a firefly?
Emma Piper-Burket, 3min, USA, Super 8
Light pollution, pesticides, and reduced habitat (people over-manicuring their lawns) are negatively impacting firefly populations around the country. Two summer nights in a row I cried myself to sleep thinking about having to live in a world without fireflies. Who Can Shoot a Firefly? was at first conceived as a PSA to raise awareness about creating firefly habitat, but as I set out with my roll of 500T super8 film one dusky night I quickly discovered the ephemerality of both my subject matter and chosen medium. The glow of the firefly lasts but a passing moment, the film is running and there is only a finite amount left. Edited in camera.
Vasilios Papaioannu, 8min, USA, 16mm/4k/MiniDV
Two filmmakers set out to create an audio archive for possible use in future projects. She records ambient sounds, vocally annotating them with a brief description; he films the environments through which they pass. In this archive of sound and image, love is a series of moments made sacred by the present. While nothing is resolved, perhaps in the hushed interplay between the woman and the man, between her sounds and his images, "the end and the beginning were always there." (T.S. Eliot, The Four Quartets)
And By The Night
Anna Kipervaser, 10min, USA, 16mm
After a period of no revelations, Surah al-Duha was revealed to Prophet Muhammad, stating that God had neither forsaken nor forgotten him. And to be patient. The film is also a response to my abortion.
Consolar (to console)
Susan DeLeo, 5min, USA, Super 8
A short poetic piece shot on Super 8mm film inspired from a line of a traditional Spanish folksong "Asturiana." "To see if it would console me, I drew near."
Winter's First Moons
Kathleen Rugh, 3min, USA, 16mm
Following the winter solstice, the longest nights of the year prevail. Through these darkest nights the moon reaches to its fullest. Filmed over numerous nights the moons of different phases are brought together in the black sky. Through multiple exposures on film and editing created in-camera, the moons move and bounce off one another in unpredictable ways. Official NASA sound recordings from space help activate their actions. The stoic moon breaks free and gravitates at will.
4 PM – Memoria Data: Home Movies and Diary Shorts, Part II, 41 min
TAKE A PICTURE
Josh Weissbach, 3min, USA, Super 8
When there is simultaneously life and death, there is always more than a stillness.
As Tides Go By
Stefanie Weberhofer, 13min, Austria, Super 8
With the death of her grandmother, the desire of the filmmaker for a family vacation was seemingly unfulfillable. By combining Super8 film footage from five decades, the filmmaker fulfills this wish nonetheless. The change of generations seems to be stopped by the continuity of the film technology, blurring the limits of time in the Bay of Lignano.
Anne-Marie Bouchard, 7min, 16mm
Remix, experimental animation, old technologies, 16mm: this film is about film! Old footage from 16mm film is scratched, drawn upon, experimentally animated with a quantum dots solution. The film seems at first about sound, the moon, and exotic birds, but it is, for me, more about narration, experimentation, and playfulness.
Jason Allen Lee, 3min, USA, 16mm
Manhattan is alive with contrasting styles during NYFW 2018. Shot on beautiful 16mm black and white film in the streets of New York City. Street Styles is a celebration of the individual.
Brian Ratigan, 3min, USA, Digital/8mm
Suppressed memories reach a boiling point. An animated tale of longing. Original music and sound design by Nick Punch. Produced by Non Films
Lori Felker, 12min, USA, Various/Found Footage
Memoria Data collects the moments of connection from various and distant familial archives. Familiar eyes make contact with the lens, gestures are tossed to the camera operator, and mouths spill unheard words. These images remind us of why we keep records, who we set our sights upon, and exactly how we felt when our camera was running. Music by Patrizia Oliva Commissioned by the Chicago Film Archives and Lab 80 Film - Cinescatti Archive.