Re: Troy NY: Bill Brown "The Other Side" 8 PM 10/30/06

From: Rory Brosius (email suppressed)
Date: Tue Oct 24 2006 - 21:58:19 PDT

Bill will also travel north to Glens Falls, NY to screen "The Other Side" on
Tuesday, Oct. 31st at the Crandal Public Library. A great library, and a
good town. I encourage all who can to attend.



>From: Dara G <email suppressed>
>Reply-To: Experimental Film Discussion List <email suppressed>
>To: email suppressed
>Subject: Troy NY: Bill Brown "The Other Side" 8 PM 10/30/06
>Date: Tue, 24 Oct 2006 17:45:41 -0400
>>(Troy NY) The Capital Region premiere of "The Other Side" with film maker
>>Bill Brown takes place at The Sanctuary For Independent Media (3361 6th
>>Avenue in Troy) on Monday, October 30, 2006 at 7 PM. There will be a
>>potluck with the film maker beginning at 6 PM.
>>Brown is a filmmaker from Lubbock, Texas. He has made several short
>>experimental documentaries about the dusty corners of the North American
>>landscape, which he'll be screening along with his new film "The Other
>>Side"--a 2000-mile journey along the U.S./Mexico border revealing 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.
>>"The Other Side" attempts to document the physical landscape of the
>>borderlands, and the human landscape of cross-border migration. As
>>increasingly militant US immigration policies have sealed the traditional
>>avenues of migration from Mexico, undocumented migrants have resorted to
>>crossing the remote deserts of the Southwest. Every summer, scores of
>>people die while attempting this transit. In response, activist groups
>>from Tucson to San Diego have established a network of water stations;
>>man-made oases of plastic water bottles scattered throughout the border
>>zone. This film, in part, documents those efforts.
>>Bill Brown likes to travel. Meandering across the variegated landscapes
>>of America from his home in Lubbock, Texas, the 32-year- old filmmaker has
>>visited the reputed UFO landing site in Roswell, New Mexico, and
>>traversed the lengthy Trans-Canadian Highway. He's visited decommissioned
>>missile sites in North Dakota and wandered around the hills of Point
>>Pleasant, West Virginia. But more importantly, he's made movies about his
>>travels, creating an eminently unique body of work marked by stunning
>>visuals and a personal voice, and hovering stylistically somewhere
>>between ethnographic study, idiosyncratic travelogue, and critical essay.
>>Between 1988 and 1992, Brown studied filmmaking in Harvard University's
>>Visual and Environmental Studies Department, known for its emphasis on
>>"old-fashioned documentary film production," as Brown puts it, where
>>filmmakers such as Bob Gardner served as Brown's mentors. "It was exactly
>>the right sort of program for me," the filmmaker notes. "I didn't know
>>anything about nonfiction filmmaking--my experience with movies was
>>either the standard PBS- style documentary or traditional narrative films,
>>but when it became clear that there was this huge genre of essay films,
>>it was very exciting, a revelation. I'm still working through that
>>In 1994, the filmmaker traveled west to earn his MFA in the live- action
>>filmmaking program at California Institute of the Arts where he studied
>>with James Benning, a structuralist filmmaker who shares Brown's
>>affection for the American countryside.
>>"From the get-go, I was interested in landscape," confesses Brown, who
>>adds, as if it explains everything, "I'm from Texas." He continues:
>>"Landscapes are like relationships--I think I've fallen in love with
>>landscapes. Some are inspiring, and some are uninspiring. But in general
>>I guess this fascination with landscapes has to do with trying to square
>>geological history with human history, to look at all this stuff that's
>>around us and visible but mute. So I guess my ongoing project is to
>>figure out what it is about landscape that gives me goosebumps."
>>Working in 16mm, often with black-and-white stock, Brown says his
>>projects begin with a question, some hook that will give him a reason to
>>visit a place and begin shooting footage of it. With Roswell (1994),
>>Brown was intrigued by New Mexico's desert vistas and the town's UFO
>>folklore. For Buffalo Common (2001), Brown chronicled the dismantling of
>>missile sites in North Dakota, alongside larger issues of war and
>>economic decline. And for his latest half-hour film supported by Creative
>>Capital, Mountain State, Brown is traipsing around West Virginia, tracing
>>the history of a local legend--The Mothman, who reputedly haunted a town
>>on the Ohio River in the 1960s.
>>"There's this whole body of weird uncanny events that never make their
>>way into the traditional media - things that happen to a community or
>>town and then get forgotten," says Brown. "The creature called The
>>Mothman is a part of that." First spotted in 1964, The Mothman has been
>>described as a large, winged man in more than 100 sightings, and while
>>the figure recently graced America's movie screens in The Mothman
>>Prophecies starring Richard Gere and Laura Linney, you can bet that
>>Brown's more vernacular approach will tap directly into the eerie
>>recesses of our cultural mythology. Brown's images, which frequently show
>>the landscape void of inhabitants, are strangely evocative and embody a
>>sense of intense longing. Part of their power is that they are indeed
>>filmed images rather than video.
>>"There's a certain depth and saturation to the film image that I don't
>>see in the flat, sterile video image," explains Brown. "I like grain and
>>the way the image breathes, and there's this strange organic dynamism in
>>the form of grain. I guess I fetishize the alchemy of the whole process -
>>strips of silver that are stained by light and somehow become images . .
>>. it's very magical and romantic."
>>In addition to shooting beautiful, resplendent images and recording live
>>sound, Brown also speaks in voiceover. "Text and language are incredibly
>>important to me," he says. "I don't know if it's an effort to make the
>>landscape speak, some feeble attempt to give it a voice, but I haven't
>>figured out any other way to make these films without voiceover." Which
>>is a good thing, because Brown's particular voice, with its quiet tone,
>>colloquial familiarity, and moments of sublime poetic phrasing, endow his
>>films with their singular power. Indeed, to say that Brown is one of
>>America's leading new cinematic voices is true, both literally and
>>Bill Brown's visit to the Capital Region is made possible by volunteer
>>labor, small financial contributions from hundreds of patrons of The
>>Sanctuary For Independent Media, and the Central New York Programmers
>>Group in cooperation with the Experimental Television Center Presentation
>>Funds program, which is supported by the New York State Council on the
>>Arts. Admission to this screening is by donation ($10 suggested, $5
>>student/low income).
>>The Sanctuary For Independent Media is a community media arts center
>>located in an historic former church in Troy, NY. The Sanctuary hosts
>>screening, production and performance facilities, training in media
>>production and a meeting space for artists, activists and independent
>>media makers of all kinds. The Sanctuary is located at 3361 6th Avenue,
>>three doors down from 101st Street in north Troy. Call (518) 272-2390,
>>email email suppressed, or visit
>> for more information.
>> # # #
>>Hi-res image:
>>Interview with Bill Brown:
>For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.

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