Re: home movies and experimental film

From: Madison Brookshire (email suppressed)
Date: Sun Jul 23 2006 - 15:51:20 PDT

Dear Andy,

Just in case you lost this email too (and because I think more people
should know about their work) I thought I'd re-post this to the list:

What a great project! This is something I'm interested in as well.

I would certainly consider the work of Kate Dollenmayer and Peter
Bianco. While I wouldn't want to suggest that either of them are
making 'home movies,' I do think their work (in very different ways)
is highly personal and somewhat diaristic.

Bianco has a super-8 travelogue of sorts (my brother once described it
as 'the diary of a ghost') from 2002 or somewhere 'round there. It
consists of a few
almost entirely unedited rolls of super-8 projected at 18 fps. I think
it's both painterly and poetic, a stream of consciousness daydream
across America, but without the pretensions that an 'About-America'
movie carries with it.

Dollenmayer's film "The Dream is Still a Dream" is, I think, a
remarkable work. 16mm sound in glorious Kodachrome. Kate's cutting
sensibilities remind me of the poetic editing of Joseph Cornell, Peter
Hutton and late-60's Ken Jacobs. Sound and image are sensitively
gathered and even more sensitively arranged so as to suggest ineffable
connections, little leaps from feeling to thought and back again...
The imagery, while observant, seems more focused on documenting the
immediate than exploring the unknown (or perhaps she finds the unknown
within the known).

Finally, although these are canonical recommendations, I'd suggest
Nissan Ariana Window by Ken Jacobs (1969), a beautiful observational
poem about home and family as only Jacobs could see it. And although
I've never seen it, they tell me North on Evers by James Benning is a
great in the field. The following is from the Canyon Cinema website:

North on Evers

"... NORTH ON EVERS charts the cross country ride by master framer of
landscapes and is subtitled in handwritten text that moves across the
frame. Benning overturns the notion of an easily consumable product at
the outset, as he forces the viewer to take in all the sounds and
images .... What finally emerges is an extremely evocative picture of
what's happened and is happening in this country from someone who
would clearly like to feel patriotic today but finds patriotism very
difficult. I would venture that Benning's filmmaking is directly
connected to the sense of overload: he forces us to take in both the
shots and the subtitles, the past and the present, the sounds and the
images. This is a country defined by such overstimulation and excess,
and one of the best things about Benning's narrative scrapbook is that
it never allows us to imagine that either one of the texts is
sufficient to encompass his subject's complexity. To make this film
Benning had to make the same trip twice. To watch it once is to be
distracted, but in an evocative and resonant manner - to be drawn away
from Benning's travels and alienations and reminded of one's own." -
Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

1991, 16mm, color/so, 87m, $300

I think my films, too, might fall into this category. If I ever get a
decent video transfer done I'll send them along. Would that be of
interest to you? If so, give me a deadline (I'm useless without them
it seems) and an address.

Happy hunting
Madison Brookshire

On 7/23/06, Hans Michaud <email suppressed> wrote:
> There's a fantastic film which fits this description by Trevor Fife,
> and it was made about two years ago. It's called "Meridian Days"
> A short description can be found here:
> Hope this helps.
> Hans Michaud
> __________________________________________________________________
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.