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Marvelous Movie Mondays: Language of Memory

EPFC | July 16th, 2019

MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS!
guest curator: Sean J Kenny

Welcome to week three of the July 2019 version of MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS. My selection for this week is, the LANGUAGE OF MEMORY by: Laura Kraning.
http://www.laurakraning.com/

“Language of Memory is a hand-processed, optically printed film composed of rayographs of my grandmother’s still negatives from the early 1900’s, strips of her old lace casting abstract patterns on high contrast film, and the overlapping gestures of sewing and splicing film, related techniques historically attributed to women. It is both homage to my grandmother’s creative influence and a deconstruction of memory through fragmentation and the accretion of associations surfacing from the tactile processes of the film’s making. ” LK

You had me at, “strips of her old lace casting abstract patterns…” This film is lace and shadows and rhythm, like pure memory somehow laid down on film.

https://vimeo.com/79073480

cheers,
Sean Kenny
The Pickle Fort Film Collective (Facebook)

#MarvelousMovieMondays

Trains Are For Dreaming

EPFC | July 8th, 2019

MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS!
guest curator: Sean J Kenny

HELLOOO film lovers! Welcome to week two of the July version of MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS. My selection for this week is a mesmerizing film by Jenn Reeves entitled, “Trains Are For Dreaming.” As the title suggests, watching this film is like watching a dream. I recommend that you view Trains… several times in a darkened and quiet place. It is absolutely hypnotic. Some argue that cinema was created so humans could dream awake. “Trains Are For Dreaming” certainly lends support to that claim.

Thanks Jenn Reeves for letting us screen this amazing film. See you next Monday with another film.

Cheers,
Sean Kenny
The Pickle Fort Film Collective
Guest Curator

https://vimeo.com/345344556

Marvelous Movie Mondays: Flick-O-Rama

EPFC | July 4th, 2019

MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS!!
guest curator: Sean J Kenny

HELLOOO film lovers! Welcome to the July version of MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS. I’m pleased as punch to be your host this month. The theme I have chosen is “FLICK-O-RAMA” -an entirely made-up phrase used to describe films that tap-dance across my neurons in such a wonderfully chaotic-yet-rhythmic way that I feel enlivened and hypnotized at the same time. Sometimes I’m forced to my feet to dance in a joyful trance. And I hope you’ll feel the magic too.

The first film of July is Roger Beebe ‘s “TB TX DANCE.”
https://vimeo.com/34376555

Roger, “printed directly on the film, taping short pieces of clear leader (26 frames, to be exact) to a regular piece of office paper to feed it through the laser printer.” Thanks Roger Beebe for letting us include this piece. I recommend playing “TB TX DANCE” at high volume. Also, give yourself some space for tribal dancing and-or play along with a percussive instrument. It will take you…somewhere. And, if you enjoy this type of cinema, follow Roger on Vimeo and attend one of his live performances. I LOVE that I can watch this film while zipping across town on the bus, but nothing beats live cinema. See you next Monday with another film.

Cheers,
Sean Kenny
The Pickle Fort Film Collective
Guest Curator
#MarvelousMovieMondays

Marvelous Movie Mondays: Haunted Summer

EPFC | June 14th, 2019

MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS!!!
guest curator: Lindsay Denniberg
Theme: The Haunted Summer
Film: Haunted Summer (1988)

I plan on curating admittedly through the lens of a selfish filmmaker who needs existential guidance in preparation for writing their next script. When post is done on my next film Killer Makeover, my passions will be funneled into manifesting my forever burning obsession with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. Following my own path through creative obsession, I’m trying to interpret Mary Shelley’s life for my own film. While researching her life and works, I’m inextricably drawn to the moment when her own creature began to manifest, during the Haunted Summer. There is a small pool of films out there that explore the life of Mary Shelley, and they all have their own unique take on this pivotal chapter that would eventually lead to Frankenstein. For those who don’t know the romantic horror legend, the Haunted Summer took place in June 1816 at Lord Byron’s Villa Diodati. There Percy Shelley, Mary and her step sister Claire joined Byron and his physician Polidori for a dreary rain filled indoor summer. Bored and drugged up on laudanum, they read romantic ghost stories to each other, eventually leading to the famous writing contest of who could write the scariest story. The beginnings of Frankenstein were born from Mary’s nightmares during this time. So for the month of June, we celebrate the spark of creation that ignites in the dark abyss of a woman’s soul.

Something I neglected to admit in my last review, is that with every one of these films I did not like them on the first watch. My love of the subject matter still ignites a primal obsession in me to create a version of this story that is completely my own. Through this surgical fixation of dissecting these existing Mary Shelley films, I can’t help but find charms in these creatures that I previously overlooked.

Haunted Summer is the most gentle, realistic and optimistic of the Mary Shelley centered films. Jane Austen’s version of Dawson’s Creek is a quick way to sum up the made for TV mood it radiates. Eric Stoltz plays by far the most likable and believable Percy Shelley, while Mary is presented as a strong, silent and matriarchal type with cool coyness by Alice Krige. Laura Dern’s Claire Clairemont often steals the show with a doomed joyousness. Lord Byron is not too memorable, and Polidori could arguably be Bill of Bill and Ted, time traveling in cognito (at least that’s what I like to think any time Alex Winter pops up in a period piece).

The film meanders slowly from scene to scene, dropping casually into heated moments of conversation between Percy Shelley and Lord Byron. The reveal of Byron’s painting The Nightmare becomes Mary’s focus, as she struggles with muddled writers block, haunted by images of the incubus from the painting. Ken Russell’s use of this same painting in last week’s Gothic is also symbolized as a gateway into the abyss of imagination.

Percy spirals into the abyss of a laudanum fueled Francis Bacon looking head trip. Mary mutates into a jokeresque monster through the hallucination. Byron openly lusts after Mary, yet somehow puts a gentlemanly spin on it with restrained consent. The film explores a possible fling between Mary and Byron that is not surprisingly supported by Percy, as these were the pop star free love romantics of their time. Percy and Mary’s relationship carries an other worldly, old souls quality that I find to be the most interesting part of the film. Unfortunately it barely scratches the surface of what it means to be a struggling artist.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wG-rJuyfvxM

Marvelous Movie Mondays: The Haunted Summer

EPFC | June 3rd, 2019

MARVELOUS MOVIE MONDAYS!!
guest curator: Lindsay Denniberg
Theme: The Haunted Summer

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1C_xrvI0xQ4

I plan on curating admittedly through the lens of a selfish filmmaker who needs existential guidance in preparation for writing their next script. When post is done on my next film Killer Makeover, my passions will be funneled into manifesting my forever burning obsession with Mary Shelley and her creature Frankenstein. Following my own path through creative obsession, I’m trying to adapt Mary Shelley’s life for my next film. While researching her life and works, I’m inextricably drawn to the moment when her own creature began to manifest, during the Haunted Summer. There is a small pool of films out there that explore the life of Mary Shelley, and they all have their own unique take on this pivotal chapter that would eventually lead to Frankenstein. For those who don’t know the romantic horror legend, the Haunted Summer took place in June 1816 at Lord Byron’s Villa Diodati. There Percy Shelley, Mary and her step sister Claire joined Byron and his physician Polidori for a dreary rain filled indoor summer. Bored and drugged up on laudanum, they read romantic ghost stories to each other, eventually leading to the famous writing contest of who could write the scariest story. The beginnings of Frankenstein were born from Mary’s nightmares during this time. So for the month of June, we celebrate the spark of creation that ignites in the dark abyss of a woman’s soul.

First up is Ken Russell’s Gothic. The most surreal and psychedelic telling of the Haunted Summer. From beginning to end it is an unrelenting roller coaster of a drug filled haunted party house. The characters are absurd maniacs of romantic idealism, with Mary Shelley being the tame wall flower of the group. In typical Russell fashion, the evening is peppered with symbolic gothic imagery that enters in and out of the scenes through dream logic (snakes on phallic knight armor, eyeballs for nipples, leeches, skulls, demons to name a few). Mass drug induced hysteria eventually overcomes the group, with Mary finally descending into her own private living nightmare of facing her undead child from a few months prior. We land on Mary watching herself repeatedly give birth to her still born, trapped in a room with endless doors, and watching the inevitable funeral of her future husband. Mary’s trip ends with Percy pulling her down from a window ledge, where she falls asleep wondering if the storm has truly ended.

Mary looks at herself in the mirror the morning after, saying to herself “We’re dead. It showed me what torture it has in store for us, our Creature. It will be there waiting in the shadows, in the shape of our fears, until it has seen us to our death.”