Marvelous Movie Mondays: QUEER REPRODUCTION

EPFC | April 18th, 2018

guest curator: Kiki Loveday

April showers bring QUEER REPRODUCTION.

A significant body of contemporary feminist work explores questions of adaptation, reiteration, and change through formal, temporal, and aesthetic means. Queer and feminist makers are re-writing the historical narrative while pushing the boundaries of multiple mediums. From Laleen Jayamanne’s A Song of Ceylon, Cecelia Condit’s Oh, Rapunzel, and Midi Onodera’s Ten Cents a Dance, to Elisabeth Subrin’s Shulie, Jennifer Montgomery’s Deliver, Amy Ruhl’s How Mata Hari Lost Her Head and Found Her Body, and Pauline Boudry/Renate Lorenz’s Salomania, to Ja’tovia Gary’s An Ecstatic Experience, Christina Corfield’s Petticoat Nation, Kate Lain’s friskies paté (for joyce wieland) and Irene Lusztig’s Yours in Sisterhood— these makers masterfully reiterate, reinscribe, and reimagine the past in order to transform the present. Every Monday this month I will post a video exploring this growing body of work that queerly questions the possibilities of re-production in the digital age.

Since her award-winning debut with How Mata Hari Lost Her Head and Found Her Body in 2011, Amy Ruhl has been developing an important body of work that returns persistently to feminist sites/cites in past popular cultures. Ruhl uses the phrase “radical reproduction” to describe this element of her oeuvre which includes a playful research-based practice and deep engagement with feminist film theory. Her ongoing multidisciplinary performance project, Between Tin Men, includes her trademark tropes of authorial self-inscription, mesmerizing visual effects, and feminist camp.

Marvelous Movie Mondays: Unruly Women

EPFC | March 10th, 2018

Guest Curator: Jennifer Reeder

Theme for March: UNRULY WOMEN

In real life and in fiction, I deeply appreciate an unruly woman. A woman who lives and thrives on her own terms and whose own internal power is lawless, feral even. Sometimes these women are called bitches which of course is just a way to dismiss their inherent agency. For all the Monday’s in March, I will post short narrative films directed by women about women (or girls) who are actualizing their audacity.

BONESHAKER by Frances Bodomo

Green Ray

EPFC | February 26th, 2018

Guest Curator: Nellie Kluz

Like “Moonstruck,” this week’s film is concerned with celestial bodies – lunar, solar, tomayto, tomahto – and the way they act upon humans. “Green Ray” is a 2001 film by Tacita Dean about a rarely-sighted visual phenomenon – the last, slowest ray of the setting sun, which can be seen as a green line on the horizon under certain conditions. Similar to the powerful full moon in Moonstruck, people think of the green ray as “a harbinger of great change or fortune in their lives,” as Dean narrates for us, in her extremely crisp British accent.

This is a simple, and I think romantic film about faith and patience, the artist’s belief in celluloid film (this is a video version, sorry Tacita Dean!) and watching vigilantly to glimpse the unseen forces at work in the universe. Eric Rohmer’s 1986 film “Le Rayon Vert” also uses the green ray as a metaphor and plot point, tied in to a woman’s meandering and uncertain quest for romantic connection on her summer holidays. I recommend that film too – it stars Marie Rivière whose hair and world-weariness are French cognates to Cher’s in “Moonstruck.”

EPFC | January 29th, 2018

The Month’s Theme: Intersections of 3D and Reality

#5 • S’ghetti Plane • Zach Jones • 2015

In an amusing and sad short, S’ghetti Plane, our sincere, misguided protagonist dreams of becoming a commercial pilot but works as an airport spaghetti vendor. He encounters a successful douchebag school friend who invites him to a motivational conference.

This short feels like it was probably created in Google SketchUp—a consumer 3D program that was, at least at some point, free and available to all. I have the feeling the creator knows what he’s doing and could make something high production value if he wanted, but still, it shows how with the right angle and motivation, the simplest computer tool can be an amazing storytelling device. This is more compelling than a lot of garbage Netflix series I’ve watched lately. In fact, you should pitch it, Zach.

Don’t know how to make mouthes move? No problem! Just add some sound effects, smart editing, and compelling camera moves, and you don’t even notice it. Though far from reality, I deeply enjoy how corrupt and varied the faces are in this program. It’s taking that original cardboard South Park aesthetic to another level.

The fun titles, and canned music in the beginning reminds us how midi changed the world by allowing simulated full-orchestra dreams to be realized, and we see in this short how a free 3D tool can do the same for cinema dreams. Maybe our protagonist can use a flight simulator?

Flesh Nest

EPFC | January 23rd, 2018

The Month’s Theme: Intersections of 3D and Reality

#4•Flesh Nest, 1982

This recent video from Andrew Thomas Huang is stunning. It does something rare in media—it combines a vast variety of production values (we saw this a bit recently with Twin Peaks: The Return). The title, Flesh Nest, is written in tweaked out photoshop default brush, the artifice is entirely revealed to us in the opening moments of each ‘level’ as we see the greenscreen set. We can even see the software behind the 3D overlay at work when the tracking points—points in the footage that the program uses to determine the depth and location of objects—are revealed. Yet, when the all of the elements are fully layered we are in another universe, despite being immediately aware of its falseness.

The sound design is playfully jarring, and I haven’t seen 3D tracking points aestheticized so well before. It’s another way of showing the latticework behind a 3D layer, without just revealing the polygonal mesh. The way these armies of destructive robots envelope the practical mounds and tubes lining the scene is alarming.