An inventory is a collection. A collection of the past that is remembered fondly or desperate memories of feelings unfulfilled. Some inventories are undisclosed and but some are in plain sight.
CASSETTE is a forgotten inventory. An audio memory that was found. Like the images themselves, the memory is disjointed and shaky at best. Eerie in it’s lonely wonderings with burnt memories created to remind you of where you came from, and why you probably don’t want to go back. In NIGHT WALK, the ominous distortions of light follow the journey through the night. A sense of danger. Ambiguous shapes try to form. Trying to make sense of the story, THE PRACTICE OF SEEING THE SELF follows an audio journey through a series of answering machine messages. An obsessive and neurotic tempo encompassed within the mundane messages left behind.
Memories also refer to themselves as in OMAKAGE (Remains), a stop motion film that plays with picture within the picture and the persistent and sometimes random attempts at remembering. A more romantic approach comes from PAPER MEMORIES which follows a man’s desperate search for a memory in a fight against loneliness.
But what of the collection of our natural environment? In OF A FEATHER, shot within a year in the Wisconsin’s Horicon Marsh, the film briskly and thoughtfully takes you through the many flora and fauna in a methodical way. Calculating in its observation. Along with FLOW, a single shot companion piece, both films re-look at the conventions of the environmental film that you lazily glance upon in your local nature TV fare.
The memory enters a darker realm when THE IMPOSSIBILITY OF KNOWING tests the importance of how much we know of a time and place. Shot in the locations of a series of tragic events, the film ponders on how much you can get from the crumbs of the past. Dutiful and eloquent, the programme ends with A INVENTARIANTE (Inventory). A simple and eloquent remembrance from the director as she notes everyday objects of her late grandmother. All in an attempt to make an inventory request … formally. Please line up your inventory, and find a strong box to put them in. Emotional baggage is heavy.
There is anticipation in the root of film. Around the corner and behind the bookshelf, something is coming. Something is there. SLICK HORSING sucks on your fear. A horror flickering with anticipation. Shocking neon colors frighten you to keep your eyes open. But keep it open you must, as the fish in the WICKATE may be watching. Nostalgia is horrific as a monster in WICKATE watches as a family sits to enjoy a meal. Is the horror in our gluttony or is it in the fish head soup?! Actually, we are the main course!
In anticipation comes tension. A waiting. Perhaps an explosion is pending as shown in CRACKED. Something bad is about to happen, so let’s wait and see. See if the tight rope walker makes it to the other side as CIELO presents in a single shot. We marvel and we anticipate. A walker on a rope is a figure in the clouds, but liberty never falls.
But is the anticipation in the observation? A private act made oddly public, or a religious act made oddly casual. RE-BANHO (Wash-Herd) becomes a video that documents the act of a cleanse, but also a video that is an act in itself. But in I’M GOING TO MAKE A CAKE, the artist pulls your gaze in to meditate with her while the video mediates the experience of endurance. The act of observation is also an experiment, but what ifthe alteration of that view is pushed up and down like in VACUUM? An experiment in measuring your sightline makes you grab for the Gravol.
As with all cinematic traditions, a musical interlude is required. WORKOUT and TECHNO TOOLS act as such. A playful interlude in the otherwise horrific, tension-filled, oddity of films in this programme. Enjoy the horror.
Watch and be heard. This applies to both the artist and those who observe the artist’s work, the audience. The audience is the spectacle. In BUST CHANCE,the reaction of how we see a performance becomes more interesting then the event itself. But as the spectacle enters, the performance is plopped upon its ivory tower. Even if we don’t want to … we watch. The same can be said of New York and its bright lights, big city personae. I, TOURIST, NY offers us the generic tourism videos and equally generic film industry clips of this infamous city but then spirals down to the mad-lands the tourists must face. When tourists bring a camera, does it mean they only leave footprints?
Can two films be so closely linked as THE MEN and WRESTLING WITH MY FATHER? A companion piece like no other, both riveting in its opposites. THE MEN becomes a claustrophobic moment of intimacy which the audience may want to push away from. How intimate do you want to be with a character of a film? Feeling man-handled? Just look at how an audience member deals with the issue of intimacy in the next film. In WRESTLING WITH MY FATHER, the camera is flipped. An audience is being watched. A proud Father engages with his son and with the camera.
If too close is too much, AGAINST CINEMA doesn’t give you an inch. Made up entirely of found footage, the film has cut together a series of moments where the characters on screen are turned away. The gall of the filmmaker to withhold the satisfaction of seeing the face! The audience needs it’s moment of time with the character, but the film doesn’t pander. An equally challenging work, that seems similar to a hand-processed work, comes from RESONANCE. A film of copper sun-stroked flickers in light. Mimicking random order through bars of light; challenging the audience to find the direction of the sun.
Epic in it’s presentation, both in sight and in sound, A RIPE VOLCANO precisely manicures images together with a soundscape that alludes to another city, or perhaps another time and place. Peaceful in it’s subject. Maddening in its graphic nature. The fight begins. Release the sound.
Now, leave the audience alone and let it watch in peace. Peace.