From: Patrick Friel (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jun 08 2009 - 21:42:20 PDT
Chicago Filmmakers is pleased to announce the schedule for the Onion City
Experimental Film and Video Festival.
Hope those of you in/near (or maybe ever far away from) Chicago can attend.
Thanks, of course, to all of the artists participating.
THE 21st ONION CITY EXPERIMENTAL FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL
A Production of Chicago Filmmakers
June 16-20, 2009
Tuesday, June 16 8:00pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.)
Opening Night Program
HORIZONTAL BOUNDARIES (2008, 23 mins., 35mm, US) by Pat O¹Neill
O¹Neill explores the geography of California through a dynamic range of
NEW YORK LANTERN (2008, 15 mins., video, US) by Ernie Gehr
"The haunting world of the photographic still. A fraction of a second frozen
for eternity. How it pulls and vibrates the imagination with its uncanny
magic of a world unavailable to the living (not necessarily that
photographic motion pictures are!). A bizarre universe of bits and pieces,
ever so shimmering and oscillating with layers of time, allusions, and of
course, human projections. Bring them back to mind. A conjuring act sorts.
From far away. New York Lantern? - a tour, if you wish, of a shifting
landscape, an imagining of a New York as close and as distant from us now as
perhaps the Big Bang." (EG)
DE TIJD (2008, 9 mins., 35mm, The Netherlands) by Bart Vegter
Colorful, computer-generated abstract forms move through subtle
transformations in this breathtaking film.
Live musical accompaniment by White/Light.
UNE CATASTROPHE (2008, 1 min., 35mm, Switzerland/Italy) by Jean-Luc Godard
Godard shows the power of the miniature with this tiny cinematic gem.
ELEMENTs (2008, 7 mins., 16mm, US) by Julie Murray
A delicate and haunting landscape film.
FALSE AGING (2008, 15 mins., video, US) by Lewis Klahr
Using cutouts and music from Lou Reed, John Cale, and Jefferson Airplane,
animator Klahr creates a mini popoperetta of surprising emotional depth.
COSMIC RAY (1961, 4 mins., 16mm, US) and PERMIAN STRATA (1969 , 4 mins.,
16mm, US) by Bruce Conner
A kinetic masterpiece and an unlikely juxtaposition of Bob Dylan and a found
1940s biblical narrative, showing in tribute to the late Bruce Conner.
NIGHT SIDE (2008, 4 mins., 16mm, US) by Rebecca Meyers
Meyers provides a lyrical glimpse of the nocturnal world.
MY TEARS ARE DRY (2009, 4 mins., 16mm, US) by Laida Lertxundi
A Southern-California homage to Bruce Baillie¹s classic All My Life.
BLACK RAIN (2009, 3 mins., video, UK, US Premiere) by Semiconductor
The British duo Semiconductor utilizes satellite imagery of cosmic dust and
other solar matter to create a beautiful dance of light.
Wednesday, June 17 at The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Barry Doupé¹s Ponytail
PONYTAIL (2008, 92 mins., video, Canada) by Barry Doupé
This astonishing computer-animated feature is a tour-de-force of technique
and cryptic storytelling as it follows a set of Sims-like characters
struggling against inaction. ³This feature-length video follows several
inflicted characters and recounts the ways in which they find resolve. A
series of entropic scenarios held together by an attraction to failure and
its spectacle describe the characters¹ malfunction their inability to
fulfill personal desire. Compelled by the consequences and rewards of their
attempts they question their own trajectory. Using elements of melodrama,
performative monologue and traditional narrative structure Ponytail presents
a unique society of characters that destroy the distinction between memory
and invention.² (Doupé)
UP THE RABBIT HOLE (2008, 5 mins., video, Canada) by Asa Mori
In this deliberately crudely animated work a ³six-nippled creature finds
herself trapped in a capsule with a dead rabbit and a bloody hole.² (Video
Thursday, June 18 at The Nightingale (1084 N. Milwaukee Ave.)
Group Show One: Past Perfect
THE SCENIC ROUTE (2008, 25 mins., video, US) by Ken Jacobs
³A work of genuine hypnosis. Ken Jacobs tears open a scene from the film The
Barbarian (1933). Like so many of his found-footage experiments, it is a
movie about the shadows people leave behind - here, quite literally.²
(International Film Festival Rotterdam)
DISTANT THINGS (2006, 10 mins., video, UK) by Katy Woods
³Woods animates micro film by standing a video camera in front of the
monitor and speedily flicking through thousands of images. She then pauses
for a few seconds resting on an image she likes the look of. Woods has an
eye for a satisfying image. She loves a bird. Images of birds are paused at
frequently. In a world saturated with visual images how does one make a
choice? Ones own intuition seems as successful as any.² (Olsen)
BERNADETTE (2008, 37 mins., video, UK) by Duncan Campbell
³When the Northern Irish Republican political activist Bernadette Devlin was
prohibited from speaking in parliament after Bloody Sunday, she punched the
home secretary and proclaimed she only regretted she didn¹t get him by the
throat.¹ The firebrand Devlin is obviously hard to historically pin down: a
fact that the video artist Duncan Campbell here fully recognises in his
celebration of her political spirit. Working with mediated images of her, he
mixes fact and fiction, documentary footage with animation and scripted
voiceover to create an intriguing portrait of a committed individual.² (LUX)
Group Show Two: Vision Quest
SPIRIT (2005, 8 mins., video, France) by Dominique Furgé
Luminous colored dots or blobs move, connect, combine, and separate against
a white background as excerpts from Orson Welles¹ radio play The War of the
Worlds imparts a narrative impulse to their activity. Music by Legeti and
snippets from David Bowie and others complete the spare, but carefully
THE SEASONS (2008, 30 mins., video, Japan) by Makino Takashi
Made in collaboration with musician Jim O¹Rourke, this is a stunning
impressionistic work that becomes more than just a nature-piece of trees and
water. Takashi¹s images, rhythm, and editing work in synergy with the score,
each complementing the other, to create a video of surprising emotion and
CHROMATIC COCKTAIL (2009, 10 mins., 3D video, US) by Kerry Laitala
A merry-go-round of circles, and squiggles, and more dance before the eyes,
quite literally it seems, in this abstract 3D animation.
DIRTY GOGGLES OF PERCEPTION (LEFT AND RIGHT) (2009, 25 mins., double 16mm
live projector performance, US, World Premiere) by Joe Grimm
³A synaesthetic performance for modified 16mm projectors and audio
circuitry, this piece negotiates the space between the physically real and
the perceptually real; between noumena and phenomena. Photosensitive
circuitry translates light waves into sound waves, sonifying flickers that
are sometimes slow enough to be visible to the eyeand sometimes fast enough
to be perceived only by the ear. A monolithic light/noise blast that goes
literally to the limits of the senses and beyond them, provoking a
confrontation with that ultimate unattainable reality: The World of Things
In Themselves. In memoriam Immanuel Kant. Warning: Unsuitable for those
with photosensitive epilepsy.²
Friday, June 19 at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Group Show Three: Shards of Space and Place
TAPE FILM (2007, 5 mins., 16mm, Canada/US) by Chris Kennedy
The viewer¹s challenge is to locate the artist in space as he slowly boxes
himself in with strips of tape. Inside and outside are confounded in this
beautiful hand-processed film, shot on a variety of black and white and
color film stocks.
TO BE REGAINED (2008, 10 mins., 16mm, US) by Zach Iannazzi
³The film approaches the subject of humanity¹s attempts to correct its
imprint on nature, more specifically, interventions with anadromous fish
reproductive and migratory cycles on dammed-up and polluted rivers. Mixing
found footage, reprinted and hand processed film over a soundtrack of
interviews and observations by folks up and down the Connecticut River, the
short is a beautiful and unsettling look at the ways we interact with the
natural environment.² (ZI)
CROSSINGS (2007, 10 mins., 16mm, US) by Robert Fenz
³A vision of the U.S.-Mexican border as a kinetic and disorienting fault
line, an abstract force field suspended between the two nations.² (Media
NEW JERSEY GRADUAL (2008, 18 mins., video, US) by Gregg Biermann
A fixture of suburban sprawl and consumerist culture, the parking lot, is
transformed into a kaleidoscopic swirl of texture and movement.
JOURNEY TO Q¹XTLAN (2009, 8 mins., video, US) by Peter Rose
³Incandescent unnamable transfaluminal specters are summoned by an itinerant
magus; experiments in performative illumination; a journey, an opera, a koan
with and without answer.² (PR)
I¹M A NEW YORK BASED ARTIST (2007, 2 mins., video, France) by Pierre Yves
Actually a Paris based artist, Clouin strikes an ironic note with grungy
low-res images of NYC as the soundtrack swells with a well-known 1950s pop
PRO AGRI (2009, 3 mins., 16mm, UK, World Premiere) by Nicky Hamlyn
Lighting the way to a better tomorrow?
CANARIES IN THE COALMINE (2009, 12 mins., video, US, World Premiere) by Rob
A surprisingly subtle and contemplative work from a member of the
circuit-bending noise group I Love Presets. Ray documents five abandoned or
unpopulated industrial, domestic, and technological sites in the Western
U.S. in an ³investigation into the mystery and symbolism of the American
AFTER WRITING (2007, 5 mins., 16mm, US) by Mary Helena Clark
Markings and traces of past times, found in an abandoned schoolroom.
Group Show Four: The Spirit That Guides Us
OPTRA FIELD III-VI (2007-08, 14 mins., video, US) by T. Marie
³Elegant, dichromatic time-based drawings from a series that explore the
propinquity between space, time, movement, perception and opposites,
somewhat reminiscent of the painted works Sol Lewitt and Agnes Martin, but
purely conceived via electronic media.² (International Film Festival
tiempo pudente (2008, 2 mins., video, Turkey, World Premiere) by Yoel
An abstract impression of Barcelona Beach.
océanéant (2009, 3 mins., video, Turkey, World Premiere) by Yoel Meranda
³A pink ocean of nothingness² (YM)
BEIRUT 2/14/05 (2008, 8 mins., 16mm, US, North American Premiere) by
Documentary as happenstance, in the middle of bigger things.
atlantis (2008, 11 mins., video, Belgium, US Premiere) by Pieter Geenen
³¹atlantis¹ shows the banks of the Three Gorges Reservoir being scanned by
the searchlights of a Yangtze cruise boat. The lightbeam on this nocturnal
landscape seems to explore a sunken universe, a land of which people seem to
have left, with demolished buildings, desolate forests and ghost ships.²
WOLF¹S FROTH/AMONGST OTHER THINGS (2009, 15 mins., video, UK, North American
Premiere) by Paul Abbott
Confounding and intriguing in its hyper-minimalism and fragmentation,
Abbott¹s video seems to come from musical traditions (Cage, atonal music) or
linguistic theory rather than from cinema or the visual arts. It is a sly
work of rupturequestioning the very basis of understanding.
AND THE SUN FLOWERS (2008, 5 mins., video, US) by Mary Helena Clark
Truth is there if you stare hard enough.
FROM RUINS TO REXISTANCE [DAS RUINAS A REXISTENCIA] (2007, 13 mins., 35mm on
video, Brazil) by Carlos Adriano
³I find Das ruínas a rexistência¹ very fascinating. There is something very
opaque about this film, but it invites rather than shuts one out. I feel it
as a profound contemplation on the relation between poetry and film. This is
central to this project, not just because [Adriano] deals with a poet, but
because the question of modern poetry and modern film challenge (rather than
simply aid) each other. The issue with a film like this seems to me to be
less any attempt at expression than interrogating what is an image when it
is moving and how does an image get defined by being juxtaposed (or
superimposed) with another.² (Tom Gunning)
KEMPINSKI (2007, 14 mins., video, Algeria/France) by Neil Beloufa
³A unique blend of science fiction and documentary, shot in Mopti, Mali.²
FILM FOR INVISIBLE INK CASE NO. 142: ABBREVIATION FOR DEAD WINTER
[DIMINISHED BY 1,794] (2008, 13 mins., 16mm, US) by David Gatten
³A single piece of paper, a second stab at suture, a story three times over,
a frame for every mile. With words by Charles Darwin. A long-distance
dedication for a far-away friend half-way up the mountain.² (DG)
PARALLAX (2008, 6 mins., 16mm, Canada) by Christopher Becks
1. The apparent displacement of an observed object due to a change in the
position of the observer.
2. The apparent angular displacement of a celestial body due to its being
observed from the surface instead of from the center of the earth or due to
its being observed from the earth instead of from the sun.
3. The difference between the view of an object as seen through the
picture-taking lens of a camera and the view as seen through a separate
Saturday, June 20 at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
Group Show Five: The Loneliness of the Long Distance Filmmaker
TRYPPS #6 (MALOBI) (2009, 12 mins., 16mm, US) by Ben Russell
³From the Maroon village of Malobi in Suriname, this single take film offers
a strikingly contemporary take on a Jean Rouch classic. It¹s Halloween at
the equator, Lightning Bolt for the jungle set.² (BR)
nothing is over nothing (2008, 17 mins., 16mm, US) by Jonathan Schwartz
³There were other places where the lord fell, and others where he rested;
but one of the most curious landmarkswe foundwas a certain stone built
into a houseso seemed and scarred that it bore a sort of grotesque
resemblance to the human face. One of the pilgrims said, But there is no
evidence that the stones did cry out.¹ The guide was perfectly serene. He
said calmly, This is one of the stones that would have cried out.¹² (Mark
Twain, The Innocents Abroad)
Unnamed Film (2008, 55 mins., 16mm, Ukraine) by Naomi Uman
Uman is currently living in the Ukraine, in the small rural village from
which her ancestors come. Unnamed Film is a quiet, delicate, and absorbing
portrait of this community, which unfolds with little dialoguethe images
speaking for themselves. It is part of a larger cycle of films, The
Ukrainian Time Machine Project.
³In village society it is the babushky (grandmothers, old women) who hold
the key to surviving in the absence of economic wellbeing. It is their
practical thinking and preservation of what might be considered trash that
enables them to survive on pensions of less than eighty dollars a month. In
immersing myself in this culture, I have needed to create a life in a
foreign place without the luxury of regular access to stores, a car, or the
ability to communicate easily with my neighbors. I have learned from
watching the babushky how to live simply and practically, wasting absolutely
nothing. This economy will be manifest in my films. Each frame, each shot,
each fragment of sound is considered. This age-old creativity of making
something out of nothing, or strictly out of what one has at-hand, can be
applied to the creation of media. Scarcity requires a different kind of
resourcefulness. The films in this cycle are small and intimate, repeating
age-old stories in as few words as possible.² (NU)
Group Show Six: The Familiar Re-Made
SEQUENCES + INTERRUPTIONS (2009, 16 mins., 16mm, UK, World Premiere) by
A study in texture and rhythm.
THE SKY TAPED TOGETHER (2009, 7 mins., video, US, World Premiere) by Michael
A work of suturing: the sky from a VHS copy of the Cinerama film How the
West Was Won is digitally copied and reassembled.
LAKE (2009, 4 mins., video, US, World Premiere) by Jake Barningham
Waves of digital pixels and abstraction.
THE PARABLE OF THE TULIP PAINTER AND THE FLY (2008, 4 mins., 16mm, US) by
³An intoxicating flower; a metaphorical insect; a longing reach across the
centuries. The film is a philosophical search drenched in luminous colors
and sparkling light.² (CP)
YSBRYD (2008, 8 mins., video, US) by Julie Murray
The erotic tangle of unexpected protagonists.
BUOY (2008, 6 mins., video, US) by Seoungho Cho
The strata and sea level marks in the Death Valley desert become a
disorienting ³motion painting² as they are recorded from a moving car.
POSTCARD #3: NIAGARA RISES (2009, 3 mins., video, US, World Premiere) by
What comes down must go up.
LES CHAISES (2008, 9 mins., video, US) by Vincent Grenier
³Two weather worn red vinyl chairs on an outdoor promontory oriented toward
a view,¹ stand as witnesses.² (VG)
QUIVER (2008, 10 mins., 16mm, US) by Robert Todd
³Quiver. Barely touching. Movement further in and along, through the surface
of a light.² (RT)
THREE/3: IN THE OCEAN, ON LAND (2009, 6 mins., video, US) by Peter Bo
A diptych of sequences: one all chaos, the other all serenity.
Group Show Seven: Culture Clash
ALTERNITY (2008, 7 mins., video, US) by Van McElwee
³The vanishing point of linear perspective is expanded to a plane. This
allows all of the potential events within that vanishing point to mingle
freely on the surface of the screen.² (VM)
PARIS TIMES THREE (2009, 8 mins., video, US) by Carina Johnson
A ³remake² of Bruce Conner¹s 1973 film Marilyn Times Five which keeps the
structure and soundtrack of the original but replaces the actress. Instead
of the pretend ³Marilyn² of Conner¹s film (no, it¹s not really Monroe) we
see the contemporary blonde Paris Hilton, in footage taken from her
notorious amateur sex tape One Night in Paris. The result is a smart and
telling riff on celebrity, sexuality, and the representation of women in
high and low art.
WHEN WORLDS COLLUDE (2008, 13 mins., video, US) by Fred Worden
A kinetic oscillation between different images, Worden creates a War of the
Worlds in which everything is in collision (or is it collusion?).
COLLIDE-A-SCOPE (2009, 3 mins., 16mm, Australia, US Premiere) by Gregory
A fanciful animated supposition of what the results of supercollider
experiments would look like.
SUTRO (2009, 2 mins., video, US) by Jeanne Liotta
³Animated portrait of the eponymous television tower on the hill, guardian
of fog and electronic signals in that earthshaking city by the Bay...² (JL)
THE ETERNAL QUARTER INCH (2008, 9 mins., video, US) by Jesse McLean
³Rising fundamentalism and a government that cites faith to defend war
action have helped to grow a desperate society. Dipping between ecstasy and
despair, transcendence and absurdity, this movie journeys to a hidden space
where you can lose your way, lose yourself in the moment, lose your faith in
a belief system.² (JM)
POOR MAN¹S PUCE MOMENT (2008, 4 mins., video, US) by Jessie Stead
³A low-res tribute to Puce Moment (1949) by Kenneth Anger using the
soundtrack by Jonathan Halper, evidently added to the film during the
SAND SAGA (2008, 11 mins., video, US) by Shana Moulton
³Moulton's alter ego Cynthia again gains access to a parallel universe via
the transformative powers of New Age body treatments and domestic objects.
After applying a facial beauty mask, she moves through an environment
energized with Southwestern motifs and rituals, from sculpted heads and
Georgia O'Keefe-like forms to sand painting and hot stone massage.
Ultimately Cynthia is transported to a fantastical world and emerges
transformed.² (Electronic Arts Intermix)
THE PRESENTATION THEME (2008, 14 mins., 16mm, US) by Jim Trainor
Animator Jim Trainor continues his exploration of the dark and the strange
in this elliptical tale of a Peruvian prisoner, a blood-hungry priestess,
and totemic creatures.
Tuesday (June 16) Opening Night Program at the Gene Siskel Film Center:
$9.00 general; $7.00 students; $5.00 Film Center and Chicago Filmmakers'
Wednesday and Thursday (June 17 and 18) screenings at The Nightingale, per
screening: $8.00 general; $7.00 students; $4.00 Chicago Filmmakers' members.
Friday and Saturday (June 19 and 20) screenings at Chicago Filmmakers, per
screening: $8.00 general; $7.00 students; $4.00 Chicago Filmmakers' members.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.