Five recent experimental shorts, observing the dissonance generated between landscapes and the humans who may physically or virtually inhabit them.
- Trees Down Here (Ben Rivers, 2018, 10m, 35mm)
“Ben Rivers investigates the oak-paneled buildings and birch-lined grounds of Cowan’s Court at Churchill College in this serene architectural study. His rhythmic montage—comprising site plans and construction models, images of animals and architecture—sketches an expansive view of a solitary environment.” (New York Film Festival)
- Bad Mama, Who Cares (Brigid McCaffrey, 2017, 12m, 35mm)
Geologist Ren Lallatin has moved into a small housing complex located between a rail yard and the interstate. Desert vistas are replaced with an arsenal of tactile pursuits, while the situation of the house becomes unstable. Free falling from a fixed point, the perimeter is ornamented for security. Desert winds animate aluminum mobiles and seismic vibrations serenade the home.
- A Leaf is the Sea is a Theater (Jonathan Schwartz, 2018, 16.5m, DCP)
“The last film Jonathan Schwartz completed before his death in October at the age of 45, A Leaf is the Sea is a Theater is, like so many of Jonathan’s films, about potentially seeing entire worlds in the smallest of objects and gestures, asking us to be attentive to the seemingly inconsequential margins of life where, if we simply look, great beauty resides.” (Michael Sicinski, MUBI)
- Wherever You Go, There We Are (Jesse McLean, 2017, 12m, DCP)
In this experimental travelogue, efforts to sound human and look natural instead become artificial. The scenery is provided through photo-chromed vintage postcards, displaying scenic North American landscapes and the rise of infrastructure and industry. Aspiring to look more realistic by adding color to a black and white image, the postcards are instead documents of the fantastic. The road trip is narrated by an automated correspondent (all dialogue is taken from spam emails), his entreaties becoming increasingly foreboding and obtuse, in a relentless effort to capture our attentions.
- Onward Lossless Follows (Michael Robinson, 2017, 17m, DCP)
A password-protected love affair, a little vapor on Venus, and a horse with no name ride out in search of a better world. Against the mounting darkness, a willing abduction offers a stab at tomorrow.