From: programming (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jun 14 2006 - 08:40:01 PDT
[ Of course, I forgot to list with This Week in Avant-Garde. ]
The 18th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival
June 15-18, 2006
A Presentation of Chicago Filmmakers
Thursday, June 15 - 8:00 pm at The Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State
Opening Night Program
A diverse, eclectic, and exciting line-up of work from around the world.
Poet's Dream (2005, 5 mins., 16mm, US) by Lawrence Jordan. World Premiere.
Animation great Jordan's new film about a poet, a maiden, edifices of
forest, and eclectic contagion.
HERE (2005, 11 mins., Video, US) by Fred Worden.
Cinema magic and spectacle meet in this clandestine rendezvous between Sir
Laurence Olivier and Georges Méliès.
Soul Dancing (2004, 22 mins., Video, Japan) by Kiyoshi Kurosawa. US
Horror director Kurosawa takes a turn toward the mythical with this tale of
a mysterious stranger.
Bob Dylan (Screen Test 82) (1966, 4 mins., 16mm, US) and Bob Dylan (Screen
Test 83) (1966, 4 mins., 16mm, US) by Andy Warhol.
World Premiere of the newly preserved prints!
Prints generously loaned by the Andy Warhol Museum.
Roads of Kiarostami (2005, 32 mins., Video, Iran) by Abbas Kiarostami.
A remarkable, lyrical experimental essay about all that Kiarostami loves
about Iranian and world culture: photography, poetry, classical music, and
Instructions for a Light and Sound Machine (2005, 17 mins., 35mm Scope,
Austria) by Peter Tscherkassky.
Using footage from The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly, Tscherkassky transforms
this classic western into a dark and exhilarating CinemaScope fever-dream.
Friday, June 16 - 7:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 2: Looking Outside, Looking Inside
Works that show us the world around us and, indirectly, ourselves.
Questions about what it means to look and what it means to see are addressed
in these films and videos which are alternately lyrical, comic, strange, and
What the Water Said, No. 4 (2006, 5 mins., 16mm) by David Gatten.
The ocean inscribes its message directly on celluloid in this cameraless
portrait of a young woman (2005, 3 mins., video, Austria/Germany) by Karø
Portraiture through delicate abstract animation.
Uyuni (2005, 8 mins., video, Argentina) by Andres Denegri. US Premiere.
She wants to leave. He feels safe there. The barren landscape of the
Bolivian town of Uyuni is cut by a transmission of Peruvian radio.
The Mendi (2006, 9 mins., video, Chicago) by Steve Reinke. US Premiere.
A Canadian Broadcasting Corporation documentary becomes the frame on which
Reinke hangs his idiosyncratic and darkly comic narration about missionary
Photography Is Easy (2005, 4 mins., video) by Leslie Thornton.
Wanderings and musings in the desert with a high-definition camera.
North Southernly (2005, 6 mins., video) by Vincent Grenier.
"A humorous digital cine take on the long cultural history of the lessons
left by the great Chinese painters of the 13th century for whom shapes and
edges were often all one and the same." (VG)
Sight/Seeing (2005, 11 mins., video, UK) by Chris Oakley. World Premiere.
"Part dystopic travelogue and part wildlife documentary ...Increasingly
absurd photographic defects and the behind-the-lens presence of the tourist
move us toward a position where the romantic tourist gaze is made concrete
in the recorded image." (CO)
man.road.river. (2004, 9 mins., video, Brazil) by Marcellvs L.
Perceptual trickery throwing space and distance into doubt.
Nice Biscotts #2 (2005, 10 mins., 16mm) by Luther Price.
Let Me Count the Ways Minus 6... (2005, 2 mins., video) by Leslie Thornton.
An unsettling look at a young Adolf Hitler practicing his demagoguery.
Untitled (for David Gatten) (2005, 5 mins., video) by Mark Lapore and Phil
"Mark and I made this film for our friend David Gatten, as a prayer, an
offering, a "get well soon" card... for all three of us. It was made on the
last night that I saw Mark, my closest friend of 32 years." (PS)
This program is dedicated to the memory of Mark Lapore.
Friday, June 16 - 9:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 3: The Death of Cinema - Long Live Cinema!
The impermanence of cinema and cinema as a stubborn survivor are explored in
this program of works about the fragility of the film medium; digital
incursions into and appropriations of the cinematic image; and the iconic
power of the movies.
Spherical Coordinates (2005, 9 mins., video) by Gregg Biermann.
The scene is from Psycho, but the effect is more like Vertigo. Biermann
transforms a more prosaic scene from a Hitchcock masterpiece into a
swirling, disorienting, and mesmerizing work.
Ruby Skin (2005, 5 mins., 16mm) by Eve Heller.
Freud said that some dreams were not meant to be analyzed. They were like
³kittens on the keys,² unintentional compositions made by scampering feline
paws tickling the ivories. In Ruby Skin (so named for the complexion of the
film emulsion found fading into red) an eager typing pool ³kitten² is
subjugated to a job interview audition. ³Our Lady of the Keyboard²
domineers, typing up a storm, proving her secretarial prowess with stabbing
fingers that show no mercy: ³She spares him nothing.² (Mark McElhatten)
Detroit Park (2005, 8 mins., video) by Julie Murray.
The crumbling ruins of an old movie palace (now parking garage) are given a
fleeting remembrance of what used to be through Murray's sensitive
Vienna in the Desert (2005, 5 mins., video) by Wago Kreider.
Shots of the arid desert, rocks, and cacti are paired with a snatch of
soundtrack from Nicholas Ray's great Johnny Guitar. A haunting, understated,
and remarkable video.
I Love Cowboys (2003, 5 mins., video, Australia) by Cassandra Tytler. US
"He's my man, my reluctant hero. He wanders the plains and I am watching."
even if life is sad, people still have a good time (2005, 4 mins., 16mm,
Chicago) by Adebukola Bodunrin.
A partially destroyed fragment of Powell and Pressburger's 1951 Technicolor
dream film Tales of Hoffman becomes the site of a ruptured fantasy.
`B' Glitch (2005, 3 mins., video, Canada) by Jesse Bellon.
The digital glitch is given some respect, finally.
The Hills Are Alive (2005, 8 mins., video) by Gregg Biermann.
Footage of Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music is fragmented and
reconstructed so that she sings a round with herself. The result is more
Gregorian chant than Rogers and Hammerstein.
Between 2 Deaths (2006, 7 mins., video) by Wago Kreider. World Premiere.
The graveyard scene at Mission Dolores in San Francisco from Hitchcock's
Vertigo is meticulously reconstructed shot-by-shot. This new footage is then
superimposed with the original scene to create a poetic and haunting work. A
ghost of cinema past living again in the present.
Let There Be Whistleblowers (2005, 17 mins., video) by Ken Jacobs.
A train passes through a tunnel and hurtles on to a station. Time and space
is toyed with as things enter an impossible state of on-going movement while
going nowhere. The actual tunnel experience sets off a metaphysical one.
Composed to the first part of DRUMMING by Steve Reich.
Saturday, June 17 - 5:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 4: Roadtripping
Two very different kinds of road trips: a young Austrian woman's quirky
vacation trip and a wry, timely, and political journey along the US/Mexican
Me, the Big Bad Wolf, and the Radical Sense of Freedom (2005, 27 mins.,
video, Austria) by Johanna Kirsch. US Premiere.
"What will happen to me if I have enough time, money, a van, no company, no
aim and no planned route?" wonders videomaker Johanna Kirsch. She sets to
find out, along with the big bad wolf, in this road movie of sorts.
The Other Side (2006, 43 mins., 16mm, Chicago/Detroit) by Bill Brown.
A 2000-mile journey along the U.S./Mexico border reveals a geography of
aspiration and insecurity. While documenting the efforts of migrant
activists to establish a network of water stations in the borderlands of the
southwestern U.S., Brown considers the border as a landscape, at once
physical, historical, and political. (PDX Film Festival)
Saturday, June 17 - 7:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 5: Ken Jacobs' Ontic Antics
Ontic Antics Starring Laurel and Hardy: Bye, Molly (2005, 89 mins., video)
by Ken Jacobs. A pioneer of American avant-garde cinema, Ken Jacobs shows no
signs of letting up on his inspired investigations into the film medium more
than fifty years after his first film. Ontic Antics was originally a live
two-projector (Nervous System) performance work. He has here created a
digital doppelganger that is no less amazing. Jacobs visits the 1929 Laurel
and Hardy short Berth Marks to pull The Boys into another fine mess. Hall Of
Mirrors, kaleidoscope, a corrupted digital image file full of glitches and
artifacting....one never knows what's around the corner. Jacobs mines the
original film for small gestures and rhythms, cycling through to find a
magical dance of hidden meanings (we see Stan's birth....in cinematic
terms). Jacobs has created an important, revealing, and often hysterically
funny work. Warning: the image flickers; not for persons afflicted with
Saturday, June 17 - 9:15 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 6: Blinded by Science 2.0
Science, animals, the natural world, space, mechanization, computers, and
other such things (real and implied).
The World Turns (2006, 2 mins., video) by Leslie Thornton.
void.seqz 3 (2005, 5 mins., video, Austria) by n:ja.
Brilliant Noise (2006, 10 mins., video, UK) by Semiconductor.
Brilliant Noise takes us into the data vaults of solar astronomy. After
sifting through hundreds of thousands of computer files, made accessible via
open access archives, Semiconductor have brought together some of the sun's
finest unseen moments. These images have been kept in their most raw form,
revealing the energetic particles and solar wind as a rain of white noise.
The Influence of Occular Light Perception on Metabolism in Man and in Animal
(2005, 6 mins., 16mm, Germany) by Thomas Draschan and Stella Friedrichs.
Show Your Tongue (2006, 5 mins., video) by Seoungho Cho.
The raw material of Show Your Tongue is a document of teeming pond life.
Adding an electronic soundtrack and using powerful yet subtle digital
manipulation, Cho creates an intense and at times disturbing work that
ventures into the potentially dangerous waters of desire, fear, and the
GridCode (2006, 2 mins., video) by Robert Daniel Flowers.
"Mechanized and electrified rhythms slide across the screen with the precise
punctuality of an atomic clock." (RDF)
Rite of the Black Sun (2005, 11 mins., video) by Bradley Eros.
"Rite is an alchemical process reflecting decay and regeneration in the
solar realm: metaphors and abstractions for manipulated plastics burning in
the gate." (BE)
Dipping Sause (2005, 10 mins., 16mm) by Luther Price.
Rube Goldberg mechanics triumph over the human spirit.
Naked (2005, 10 mins., video) by Pawel Wojtasik.
Sometimes animals are just creepy.
On the Geological Succession of Organic Beings (2006, 17 mins., video) by
Sunday, June 18 - 5:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 7: The Literati
Tom Kalin on Oscar Wilde, James Fotopoulos on Eugene Ionesco, and Frédéric
Moffet on Jean Genet (and William Burroughs, and Terry Southern, and Allen
Every Wandering Cloud (2005, 7 mins., video) by Tom Kalin.
Every Wandering Cloud is the first installment in a series of experimental
videos inspired by the writings of Oscar Wilde. Interweaving text from
Wilde's "The Ballad of Reading Gaol" with hand-drawn animation derived from
Eadweard Muybridge's Human and Animal Location, Every Wandering Cloud is a
meditation on themes of freedom and imprisonment.
The Hard-Boiled Egg (2006, 27 mins., video, Chicago) by James Fotopoulos.
In the 1960's, legendary Grove Press publisher Barney Rosset commissioned
original screenplays from several literary giants, including Harold Pinter,
Marguerite Duras, and Eugene Ionesco. Only Samuel Beckett's Film was
produced. Recently, Rosset commissioned Chicago film and video maker James
Fotopoulos to create a digital video of Ionesco's previously unproduced
screenplay The Hard-Boiled Egg. This new work is fascinating and quite
remarkable. Fotopoulos was scrupulously faithful to the original screenplay,
with its dry wit and absurdity, yet it's also unmistakably a work by
Fotopoulos, with his dynamic yet minimal visual style intact.
Jean Genet in Chicago (2006, 26 mins., video, Chicago) by Frédéric Moffet.
A queer rewriting of the events surrounding the 1968 National Democratic
Convention in Chicago from the point of view of French writer Jean Genet.
Along the way Genet will meet, amongst others, Allen Ginsberg, William S.
Burroughs, the Yippies, the Black Panther Party and the Chicago police
force... Ultimately, the video is about the difficulty of aligning
political and sexual desires.
Sunday, June 18 - 6:30 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 8: Outer and Inner Spaces
This program features some visually stunning films and videos about place,
landscape, mental spaces, and memory.
travelogue #6 (2004, 2 mins., video) by Derek Taylor.
"A visual memoir of an exotic space." (DT)
Alone, Apart: the dream reveals the waking day (2004, 7 mins., video) by
"An homage to two ramshackle cities, made up of footage shot while
wandering. I meander city streets with a camera, looking to be haunted by
unfamiliar vistas." (MS)
Water Water (2004, 11 mins., 16mm, UK) by Nicky Hamlyn.
"Reflections and refractions of light, alternated in hard, optical flickers
and gliding dissolves." (Mark Webber)
View of Mount Baker from Port Angeles, Washington [For Hokusa] (2004, 5
mins., video) by Jon Jost.
Bundjalung (2006, 4 mins., video, Australia) by Tina Blakeney. World
"Bundjalung aims to portray the vicious and dynamic elements of nature that
work in unison to spark life and energy into the land." (TB)
Black and White Trypps Number Two (2006, 9 mins., 16mm) by Ben Russell.
Images of trees in negative slowly transform from recognizable objects into
abstract patterns of light and dark.
The Lost Planet (2006, 6 mins., video, Germany) by Wilhelm Hein. World
A poetic, delicate lament for the fading past.
Elsewhere (2005, 6 mins., 16mm) by Luke Sieczek.
"The half-remembered spaces - the obscure but guiding motion of a secret
Views from Home (1987/2005, 10 mins., video, UK) by Guy Sherwin.
"A time-lapse film of light passing through rooms and across buildings, as
seen from my flat in Hackney, east London." (GS)
Endless (2005, 10 mins., 16mm on video) by Wenhua Shi.
"Rich painterly craquelured imagery of an undefined, partly revealed
ceremony." (Gregory Kucewicz and William Rose)
Side by Side - Karate Class Exposure: Second Star Form (2005, 4 mins.,
video) by Lynn Marie Kirby.
And We All Shine On (2006, 7 mins., 16mm, Chicago) by Michael Robinson.
"An ill wind is transmitting through the lonely night, its signals spreading
myth and deception along its murky path. Conjuring a vision of a
post-apocalyptic paradise, this unworldly broadcast reveals its hidden
demons via layered landscapes and karaoke, singing the dangers of mediated
Grand Walk (2005, 10 mins., video, UK) by Alex Heim. US Premiere.
Sunday, June 18 - 8:45 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Program 9: Animation and Other Odd Things
Just what it says: animation (abstract, rotoscoped, line drawings, computer
generated, etc.) and other odd things. What more do you need to know?
chronomops (2005, 2 mins., video, Austria) by Tina Frank.
"Chronomops opens up a shimmering, colourful space that is simultaneously an
excess of colour, frenzy of perception, and pop carousel." (Christian
Anxiety Invention (2006, 3 mins., video) by Meredith Root. World Premiere.
In this short animated film "an orchestra of crickets moves us through a
landscape of shaky lines charged with anxiety." (MR)
The People Outside (2006, 6 mins., video, Chicago) by Kenny Reed. World
"The film follows a non-active character through the night, into the day. We
observe as they observe, as if for the first time. Don't be afraid." (KR)
El Dorado (2006, 6 mins., 16mm) by Brian Coffey. World Premiere.
"Archaeological daydreams about the secrets hidden in contemporary
commercial architecture." (BC)
Anoxi - Part Two (2005, 4 mins., video, Canada) by Robin Dupuis. US
Fuzzy Lover (2003, 2 mins., 16mm, UK) by Riccardo Iacono. US Premiere.
"A collage of sampled and recycled sequences of digital and chemically
manipulated live video and abstract animation." (RI)
Usagi (2004, 4 mins., video, Canada) by Asa Mori.
Four short animated sequences: heart, memento mori, beauty, milk.
Der Doppelgänger (2005, 9 mins., video, UK) by Stuart Pound.
Der Doppelgänger is a video portrait of "him" by "him," the artist and his
lifelong obsession with images of women.
AVVA: ragtag (2005, 5 mins., video, Austria) by Billy Roisz.
Walk for Walk (2005, 10 mins., 16mm, Canada) by Amy Lockhart.
"An animated landscape where a seemingly endless parade of kooky little
creatures walk themselves straight into trouble, but always find a way out.
Created using over 1000 hand painted paper cut outs and puppets, with hand
drawn/painted backgrounds." (AL)
Elefanten Boots (2005, 12 mins., video, The Netherlands) by Arianne Olthaar
and Marjolijn van der Meij. US Premiere.
Inexplicable events about a Cold War spy and a neglected bear in boots.
We Mammals Pushy (2006, 3 mins., video, Canada) by Rick Raxlen. US Premiere.
A Boy on a Dock Blowing His Nose (2004, 16 mins., video, Canada) by Barry
"Barry Doupé's lusty A Boy on a Dock Blowing His Nose features vaguely
articulated, quasi-human doodles and Spirographs animated within a bizarre
netherworld of its own humid imagination." (Images Festival)
Songs of Praise for the Heart Beyond Cure (2006, 16 mins., video, Canada) by
Emily Vey Duke and Cooper Battersby. US Premiere.
Biting ecological ruminations in a series of live-action and animated
vignettes from Canada's dynamic video duo.
Admission for the Opening Night Program at the Gene Siskel Film Center is
$9.00 general; $7.00 students; $5.00 Chicago Filmmakers and Film Center
The Gene Siskel Film Center is located at 164 N. State Street.
Admission for EACH of the eight screenings at Chicago Filmmakers is $8.00
general; $7.00 students; $4.00 Chicago Filmmakers members. Festival passes
(good for any four screenings at Chicago Filmmakers) will be available for
Chicago Filmmakers is located at 5243 N. Clark Street.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.