Onion City Film Festival (Chicago) - June 19-22 - Schedule

From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Jun 06 2008 - 17:41:17 PDT

Hi All,

A bit late, but hopefully worth the wait.

Chicago Filmmakers is not on Frameworks right now, so sending from home.

I hope many of you in/near Chicago can attend.


Patrick Friel
Festival Director and Programmer
The 20th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival
A Production of Chicago Filmmakers


The 20th Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival
A Production of Chicago Filmmakers
June 19-22, 2008
Tuesday, June 17: Focus Pull Exhibition Opens at Gallery 400
Wednesday, June 18: Focus Pull Opening Reception at Gallery 400
Wednesday, June 18: Onion City Kick-Off Party at Sonotheque (9:00pm-2:00am)
Thursday, June 19: Opening Night Program at the Gene Siskel Film Center
Friday, June 20: Ben Russell Screening at The Nightingale (7:00pm)
Friday, June 20: Shana Moulton Screening at The Nightingale (9:00pm)
Saturday, June 21: Group Show 1 at Chicago Filmmakers (4:00pm)
Saturday, June 21: Group Show 2 at Chicago Filmmakers (7:00pm)
Saturday, June 21: Group Show 3 at Chicago Filmmakers (9:00pm)
Sunday, June 22: Group Show 4 at Chicago Filmmakers (3:30pm)
Sunday, June 22: Group Show 5 at Chicago Filmmakers (6:00pm)
Sunday, June 22: Group Show 6 at Chicago Filmmakers (8:00pm)
Wednesday, June 25: Sight-Lines Screening at Gallery 400 (7:00pm)
Saturday, July 5: Focus Pull Exhibition closes
FOCUS PULL: Onion City Off-Screen
Exhibition at Gallery 400
Presented by Onion City and Gallery 400
Tuesday, June 17 - Saturday, July 5
Opening Reception: Wednesday, June 18, 5:00-8:00pm
At Play in the Fields of the Lord [NEBRASKA]
Single channel video projection
Jon Jost, US
Hanky Panky January 1902
Single channel video
Ken Jacobs, US
Single channel video
Nicky Hamlyn, UK
PIN WHOLE SERIES Application 1: Bulb
16mm projector installation
Jorge Lorenzo, Mexico
Collage works from films
Paper collage
Lewis Klahr, US
Gallery 400 is located at 400 S. Peoria St. on the University of Illinois at
Chicago campus.
Gallery Hours: Tuesday-Friday, 10:00am - 6:00pm; Saturday, 12:00-6:00pm.
Companion Screening at Gallery 400
Wednesday, June 25, 7:00pm
Featuring Jerry Takes a Back Seat, Then Passes Out of the Picture (1987, 11
mins.) by Ken Jacobs; Pistrino (2003, 9 mins.) by Nicky Hamlyn; Muktikara
(1999, 11 mins.) by Jeanne Liotta; Soft Ticket (2004, 7 mins.) and Engram
Sepals (2000, 6 mins.); and Spectre Mystagogic (1957, 8 mins.) by Larry
Jordan (showing in a brand new restored print).
Wednesday, June 18, 9:00pm-2:00am
At Sonotheque (1444 W. Chicago Ave.)
Join us at one of Chicago¹s hottest spots for an evening of music, visuals,
and fun as we kick off the 20th edition of Onion City in style. Sneaks of
some of the work in the festival and other visual delights will be running
through out the night and the music will be jumping.
At 10:30, Milwaukee-based film and video maker Brent Coughenour will perform
The Indomitable Human Spirit, a live audio-visual performance for thumb
piano, video game controller and computer. Incorporating a broad array of
audio and video analysis and synthesis strategies, the piece creates a
hinted and tenuous relationship between sounds and images, between abstract
and concrete, between performance gesture and software response.
$4.00 Svedka cocktail drink special courtesy of Sonotheque.
Admission is free (but a $5.00 suggested donation is appreciated). Cash bar.
You must be 21 to attend.
Thursday, June 19, 8:00pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.)
The Rabbit Hunters (2007, 23 mins., video, Portugal): In this coda to his
magnificent feature Colossal Youth, Pedro Costa continues his incisive look
at the lives of the downtrodden Cape Verdians living on the outskirts of
Last Days in a Lonely Place (2007, 20 mins., video, US): Using material
taken entirely from the Grand Theft Auto video game, Phil Solomon creates a
haunting and moody world teetering at the edge of apocalypse.
Observando El Cielo (2007, 19 mins., 16mm, US): Jeanne Liotta limns heaven
and earth though seven years of time-lapse recordings of the night sky in
this visually lush and magical film.
Easter Morning (2008, 10 mins., video, US): A lyrical delight by the great
Bruce Conner, featuring music by Terry Riley.
The Dike of Transience (2005, 13 mins., 35mm, Hungary): The inhabitants of a
small village live under the threat of the destruction of a nearby dam, in
this charming and beautifully photographed film by Gyula Nemes.
Our Lady of the Sphere (1969, 10 mins., 35mm, US): A wonderful and strange
animated classic by Larry Jordan, showing in a new 35mm blow-up.
The Hyrcynium Wood (2007, 3 mins., video, UK) and We the People (2007, 1
min., video, UK): These two atmospheric shorts by Ben Rivers explore tropes
from classic horror films.
Friday, June 20, 7:00pm at The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Co-presented by The Nightingale
Ben Russell in Person!
For nearly a decade, film and video maker Ben Russell has been pushing the
boundaries and definitions of ethnographic film, peeking in the corners and
skirting along the margins to explore subjects and cross-genre approaches to
illuminate and raise questions about this field and the idea of
representation more generally. Working primarily in an experimental mode,
his films have a rigor in their approach, a formal beauty uncommon to
ethnography, and frequently display a sly humor at odds with an area of
investigation traditionally rooted in the sciences.
Black and White Trypps Number Four (2008, 11 mins., 16mm, US): "Using a 35mm
strip of motion picture slug featuring the recently deceased American
comedian Richard Pryor, this extended Rorschach assault on the eyes moves
out of a flickering chaos created by incompatible film gauges into a
punchline involving historically incompatible racial stereotypes." (BR)
Trypps #5 (Dubai) (2008, 3 mins., 16mm, US): A small detail of consumer
society raises big questions.
Workers Leaving the Factory (Dubai) (2008, 8 mins.. 16mm, US): "103 years
later, a(nother) remake of the Lumière Brothers pseudo-actuality film La
Sortie des usines Lumière. This time around our factory is a job site, a
construction site peopled by thousands of Southeast Asian laborers, a
neo-Fordist architectural production site that manufactures skyscrapers like
so many cars." (BR)
The Wet Season [Tjúba Tén] (Co-directed by Ben Russell and Brigid McCaffrey,
2007, 47 mins., 16mm, US/Suriname): "An experimental ethnography recorded in
the jungle village of Bendekondre, Suriname at the start of 2007. Composed
of community-generated performances, re-enactments and extemporaneous
recordings, this film functions doubly as an examination of a rapidly
changing material culture in the present and as a historical document for
the future. Whether the resultant record is directed towards its subjects,
its temporary residents (filmmakers), or its Western viewers is a question
proposed via the combination of long takes, materialist approaches,
selective subtitling, and a focus on various forms of cultural labor." (BR)
Friday, June 20, 9:00pm at The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Co-presented by Chicago Cinema Forum and The Nightingale
CYNTHIA'S MOMENT - Screening and Live Performance
With Shana Moulton in Person!
The work of Brooklyn-based videomaker and artist Shana Moulton might be
considered post-post-modern: while she uses odd detritus of pop culture -
Angela Lansbury work out videos, Crystal Light drink mix, dimestore
tchotchkes, Donald Duck educational cartoons, and more - her videos and
performances are infused with an unexpected sincerity rather than the usual
distancing irony. Her alter-ego Cynthia is searching for some kind of
meaning in her life and, despite her eccentricities and attraction to
self-help and new age remedies, Moulton treats her with respect and a
sympathetic understanding of her desires. Moulton seemingly lives through
her character in some ways and invites the audience to question their own
wants and desires by welcoming them to share in Cynthia's Moment.
Electric Blanket Temple Altar (2005, 6 mins., video)
A self-help book guides the reader through a series of self-esteem exercises
that culminate in a theosophical theory of electricity. Scenes from the
reader's life illustrate the effect these exercises have on reality.

Whispering Pines #8 (2006, 8 mins., video)
Fueled by the sugar-free drink Crystal Light, Cynthia methodically fills a
vase with alchemical home decorating items. Once her project is completed,
Cynthia is again left to dwell in her thoughts. Suddenly a ladder grows out
of the vase. Cynthia climbs the ladder and, through a trap door, enters an
ecstatic rave complete with a techno remix of the Crystal Light commercial

Whispering Pines #4 (2007, 12 mins., video)
This installment of Whispering Pines follows the artist's character,
Cynthia, on a quest for relief from her carpal-tunnel. She visits an Avon
lady/medicine woman in the forest and receives a series of treatments,
including sound medicine from seashell and pinecone
headphones, a reflexology hand massage and a makeover. Having gained a new
sense of physical liberation from the Avon lady's remedies, Cynthia removes
her clothes and runs into the forest where her nude but fractal covered body
performs an ecstatic dance. After collapsing, she becomes transported to
the abstracted world from Disney's 1959 cartoon, Donald in Mathmagic Land.
The disembodied Cynthia takes Donald's place in this version and discovers
that understanding math is the key to understanding nature, the physical
world and her body.
Body ÷ Mind + 7 = Spirit (15 mins., live performance with video)
Moulton brings Cynthia and her strange world to life through live
performance and projected video, creating a unique experience that is equal
parts personal growth workshop, dance recital, instructional video and
fairytale. Cynthia, an anxiety-ridden hypochondriac, wears clothing embedded
with medical devices and surrounds herself with inspirational new age
knickknacks in order to cope with her life. Through her banal home
decorations, Cynthia searches for fulfillment, purpose and salvation. Her
struggles with the mundane, the eclectic and the disposable offer a unique
perspective on the relationship between spirituality and consumerism in
contemporary society.

Feeling Free with 3D Magic Eye Remix (9 mins., live performance with video)
Appropriating a dated exercise video hosted by actress Angela Lansbury,
Feeling Free presents a woman, played by Moulton, who attempts to follow the
televised workout in her living room even as elements of her home decor
begin to appear onscreen. Deriving its title from an inspirational segment
of Lansbury's program, Feeling Free subjects the appropriated footage to
eccentric visual and audio displacements, culminating in a psychedelic dance
sequence set to a remix of the program's insipid theme song.
Saturday, June 21, 4:00pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Bachelor Machines Part 1
Rosalind Nashashibi (2007, 30 mins., 16mm, UK): A cargo ship traveling from
Italy to Sweden is the focus of Nashashibi¹s stunning experimental
documentary.. The film combines an observation of a closed community - the
crew - with the attribution of anthropomorphic characteristics to the ship
Bachelor Machines Part 2
Rosalind Nashashibi (2007, 5 mins., 16mm x 2, UK): A double-projection, in
which the artist Thomas Bayrle discusses the invention of the machine (in
particular, the diesel engine) as a materialization of the desires once
conveyed abstractly through the repetition of the rosary.
Revisiting Solaris
Deimantas Narkevicius (2007, 18 mins., video, Lithuania): ³More than forty
years after Andrej Tarkovskij's Solaris, actor Donatas Banionis revisits his
role as Chris Kelvin in a film based on the last chapter of Lem's original
book, which was left out of Tarkovskij's version. In this chapter, Kelvin
reflects on his brief visit to the "soil" of the planet Solaris shortly
before his return from the space mission.² (Ann Arbor Film Festival)
Strange Attractors
Michael Wechsler (2008, 7 mins., video, US): The insertion of the digital
into the natural world raises questions about borders and boundaries.
Riccardo Iacono (2007, 4 mins., video, UK, North American Premiere): Airing
one¹s dirty laundry in public takes on a whole new meaning in this
performance video.
Take into the air my quiet breath
The Speculative Archive [Julia Meltzer and David Thorne] (2006, 17 mins.,
video, US): An architect in Damascus recounts the 30-year on-again,
off-again fate of a building site, weaving in personal history and changes
in Syrian society along the way.
(81 mins.)
Saturday, June 21, 7:00pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
This program is dedicated to Zack Stiglicz (1952-2007), filmmaker, video
artist, painter, teacher, husband, and friend. Zack¹s insatiable curiosity,
boundless energy, passion for art and teaching, and provocative and
questioning spirit will be missed by all who knew him.
Vincent Grenier (2007, 3 mins., video, US): A playful and disarmingly simple
video about a bird in a box.
Antigenic Drift
Lewis Klahr (2007, 17 mins., video, US): Lewis Klahr transfers his trademark
collage animation to the cool, shiny world of digital video in this work on
the unsettling dread of air travel and contagion.
Luke Sieczek (2007, 6 mins., video, US): ³Rearticulating scenes from Jacques
Tourneur's Cat People, actress Simone Simon's face is a luminous surface in
a permanent state of unrest.² (LS)
Praxis 1 ­ 3 Scenes
Dietmar Brehm (2007, 23 mins., video, Austria): Brehm reconfigures several
of his own films for the video age, without losing the moody darkness of the
Primitive I
Jake Barningham (2008, 2 mins. video, US, World Premiere): Cubist video?
All That Rises
Daïchi Saïto (2007, 7 mins., 16mm, Canada): ³A juxtaposition of seeing and
sounding, sky and stone and all that¹s in between.² (DS)
Infection Transmission Event/Cloudy November
Paul Abbott (2008, 7 mins., video, UK, World Premiere): The mind works at
the futile task of making sense of a series of isolated words and fragmented
phrases, largely unrecognizable images, and blackness in this video that
proves to be about the difficulty of knowing and the instability of
Jake Barningham (2008, 5 mins. video, US, World Premiere): An iconic image
from early American cinema is subjected to structural film tactics.
God the Pugilist
Zack Stiglicz (1996, 10 mins., 16mm, US): The Chichen Itza ruins in the
Yucatan are the site of visual play and Gnostic rambling in Stiglicz¹s
visceral exploration of spirit and nature.
(80 mins.)
Saturday, June 21, 9:00pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
About a World
Corinna Schnitt (2007, 9 mins., video, Germany): Nudes in the wilderness
referencing imagined classical studies are set upon by a randy man and
Jürgen Habermas¹ Theory of Communicative Action.
Victory over the Sun
Michael Robinson (2007, 13 mins., 16mm, US): ³Dormant sites of past World's
Fairs breed an eruptive struggle between spirit and matter, ego and
industry, futurism and failure. For thine is the kingdom and the power and
glory; nothing lasts forever, even cold November rain.² (MR)
Androa Autoportrait
Matthias De Groof and Kristin Rogghe (2006, 16 mins., video, Belgium/DR
Congo): In this playful tweaking of the idea of self-portraiture - conceived
by De Groof and Rogghe - the Congolese artist Androa Mindre Kolo films
himself while running through an arts academy in Kinshasa.
Ah, Liberty!
Ben Rivers (2008, 20 mins., 16mm widescreen, UK): ³A celebratory portrait of
a family¹s place in the wilderness ­ living, working, playing on a farm
throughout the seasons; free-range animals and children, junk and nature,
all within the most sublime landscape.² (BR)
Footnotes to a House of Love
Laida Lertxundi (2007, 13 mins., 16mm, US/Spain): A house in the California
desert becomes the site of hinted at narratives, relationships, and
(71 mins.)
Sunday, June 22, 3:30pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
For the Unseen
Chi Jang Yin (2007, 11 mins., video, US): Fact, fiction, and memory merge
and blur in a familial conversation on a train.
Madison Brookshire (2007, 25 mins., 16mm, US): ³Using everyday images of
overlooked spaces, Opening reveals the city in the landscape and the
landscape in the city.² (MB)
Peter Bo Rappmund (2008, 7 mins., 16mm, US, World Premiere): A dynamic,
abstract exploration of image/sound relationships, extrapolated from
Léonin¹s Magnus Liber Organi.
Discoveries on the Forest Floor 1-3
Charlotte Pryce (2007, 4 mins., 16mm, US): ³Three miniature, illuminated,
heliographic studies of plants, observed and imagined.² (CP)
Robert Todd (2007, 15 mins., 16mm, US): ³A reflection of the eternal
internal, rippling through and along with waves of light.² (RT)
Untitled Seaway Studies
Paul Lloyd Sargent (2008, 8 mins., video, US, World Premiere): A camera let
loose on the St. Lawrence River.
Green Cameraless
Robbie Land (2007, 5 mins., 16mm, US): Handmade cinema of street lamps,
rocket ships, and water towers.
(75 mins.)
Sunday, June 22, 6:00pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
The After Life
Fred Worden (2007, 7 mins., video, US): The rise and fall of capitalism and
a spectral dance of consumer purgatory.
Along with the Phoenix
Masha Godovannaya (2008, 10 mins., 16mm, Russia, North American Premiere): A
beautiful film which references the destruction of fire and the birth of the
Broken Horses
Peter Miller (2008, 3 mins., 16mm, Austria, US Premiere): ³A black horse and
a white horse are interwovenŠsubtle gestures and curves give way to graceful
forms and elegant lines.² (PM)
Keith Tassick (2007, 10 mins., video, US): Miniature visual vignettes ­ like
Marie Menken¹s Notebook for the digital age.
Eriko Sonoda (2007, 6 mins., video, Japan, US Premiere): A dizzying and
confounding exploration of real and reproduced space.
It Will Die Out in the Mind
Deborah Stratman (2006, 4 mins, video, US): ³A short meditation on the
possibility of spiritual existence and the paranormal in our information
age.² (DS)
Adele Friedman (2006, 4 mins., 16mm, US): Friedman¹s wandering camera
settles on unlikely framings and telling details in this portrait film of
three friends in Vienna.
Public Domain
Jim Jennings (2007, 8 mins. 16mm, US): ³The film¹s title was a response to
the debate in New York over the City¹s plan to require licensing and
insurance from filmmakers to film on the street, in the public realm.
Fortunately, the City backed down. In its whirling color, this film
expresses my never-ending fascination with the street.² (JJ)
Spirit House
Robert Todd (2008, 11 mins., 16mm, US, US Premiere): ³A tale of two passages
within the Spirit house. This is the first in a series that looks at the
places we find our spiritual presence augmented, inflamed, or simply
acknowledged.² (RT)
Study #40
lia (2007, 10 mins., video, Austria): A minimalist abstraction that explores
visual and aural patterns.
(73 mins.)
Sunday, June 22, 8:00 at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Palimpsest 98
Jennifer Fieber (2008, 3 mins., 16mm, US, World Premiere): "Which one's
real? You decide." (JF)
Nicky Hamlyn (2007, 8 mins., 16mm, UK, US Premiere): A chamber study of
sorts as Hamlyn explores the details of a domestic space through repetition.
Abraham Ravett (2007, 7 mins., 16mm, US): A delicate reflection on loss and
Karo Goldt (2008, 3 mins., video, Austria/Germany): ³This film is part of a
series of abstract works about flowers in which three different themes are
united: my passion for classic oil painting, my passion for flowers, and my
passion for music.² (KG)
Sunbeam Hunter, A Logic Sore, & For Them Ending
Jonathan Schwartz (2007, 9 mins. total, 16mm, US): These three in-camera
animations hint at nostalgia, but ultimately take a more critical stance.
All Through the Night
Michael Robinson (2007, 4 mins., video, US): ³A charred visitation with an
icy language of control. There is no room for love.² (MR)
Carol Anne Is Dead
Michael Robinson (2008, 7 mins., video, US): Robinson recycles his family¹s
home movie version of Poltergeist, made when he was ten, into a raw look at
the performative.
Hold Me Now
Michael Robinson (2008, 5 mins., video, US): Sing-along with the Thompson
Inside the Velvet K
Luther Price (2006, 8 mins., 16mm, US)
Dusty Ricket
Luther Price (2007, 6 mins., 16mm, US)
At Twilight (Inkblot #9)
Luther Price (2008, 6 mins., 16mm, US, World Premiere): These three very
different films by Luther Price continue his fascination with found footage,
decay (literal and figurative), the accretion of meaning through
juxtaposition of images and, in the last film, through paint, visual
tactility, and the transformation of the physical into a quest for
(66 mins.)
Focus Pull exhibition: Free
Wednesday, June 25 Gallery 400 Sight-Lines screening: Free
Wednesday (June 18) Onion City Kick-Off Party at Sonotheque: Free (but a
$5.00 suggested donation is appreciated); Cash Bar.
Thursday (June 19) Opening Night Program at the Gene Siskel Film Center:
$9.00 general; $7.00 students; $5.00 Film Center and Chicago Filmmakers¹
Friday (June 20) screenings at The Nightingale, per screening: $8.00
general; $7.00 students; $4.00 Chicago Filmmakers¹ members (members¹ free
admission are not good for these programs).
Saturday and Sunday (June 21 and 22) screenings at Chicago Filmmakers, per
screening: $8.00 general; $7.00 students; $4.00 Chicago Filmmakers¹ members.

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