Onion City Experimental Film Festival

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Onion Film FestivalLa decimonovena edición del Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival (Chicago), tendrá lugar este año del 14 al 17 de Junio. Este festival, comisariado por el Chicago Filmmakers group presentará once programasa lo largo de sus cuatro días de duraciòn con filmes de Luther Price, Ken Jacobs, John Smith y Mark LaPore además de contar con las obras y la presencia de los cineastas Jessie Stead y Jackie Raynal.

Seguid leyendo para ver el programa completo.

Thursday, June 14  -  8:00 pm at the Gene Siskel Film Center (164 N. State St.)
OPENING NIGHT PROGRAM

The Opening Night Program features an eclectic and exciting line-up by a diverse range of artists.

Origin of the 21st Century (2000, 13 mins., France, Video):
Jean-Luc Godard in his provocative mode presents a dark, yet
exhilarating, look back at cinema and war in the twentieth century.
Man (2006, 5 mins., US, Video): Footage of a lone man starting a
fire and digging with a shovel becomes a study in video texture and
repetition in this stunning work by Kyle Canterbury. World Premiere.
The General Returns from One Place to Another (2006, 11
mins., US, 16mm): Starting with text from a Frank O'Hara play of the
same title, filmmaker Michael Robinson crafts a mysterious and elusive
work full of heartbreak and beauty.
The Surging Sea of Humanity (2006, 10 mins., US, Video): Master
avant-gardist Ken Jacobs, using a single stereoscopic photograph of the
1893 Chicago World's Fair, reawakens a long dormant crowd.
Sevilla --> (ƒ) 06 (2006, 13 mins., Italy, 35mm): Shot from a
helicopter, Olivo Barbieri's portrait of Sevilla, Spain highlights the
majesty of the architecture and the abstracting effects of the aerial
view.
Moby Dick (2000, 13 mins., Israel, Video): The epic in
miniature: videomaker Guy Ben-Ner's charming kitchen sink version of
Melville's great novel is shot entirely in his apartment and stars the
artist and his young daughter.
The Improbable Is Not Impossible (O Improvável Nao è Impossível)
(2006, 19 mins., Portugal, 35mm): The great Manoel de Oliviera
transforms a commissioned work about the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation
in Lisbon into a delicate and personal exploration of space and form. North American Premiere.
Outerborough (2005, 10 mins., US, 35mm widescreen): Bill
Morrison's (DECASIA) ecstatic 35mm widescreen film runs a 1899 "ghost
train" film through its paces - side by side, forwards and backwards,
superimposed - to create a dizzying spectacle of speed and motion. Live musical accompaniment by Ken Vandermark (reeds) and Fred Lonberg-Holm (cello)!

Friday & Saturday, June 15 & 16 at the LaSalle Bank Cinema (4901 W. Irving Park Rd.)
HELP US, DESTROY YOURSELVES:
Rediscovering Three Key Works from the Zanzibar Film Cycle, 1968-70
Co-Presented and Organized by Chicago Cinema Forum

"...a cinema of revelation." - Gilles Deleuze

"...an exciting bridge between the Nouvelle Vague and the avant-garde,
between poetry and narrative. None of these films has lost anything in
time..." - Jonas Mekas

The phrase "Aidez-nous, détruisez-vous" (Help us, destroy yourselves)
was a rabble-rousing graffito that marked the walls of University of
Paris's Nanterre campus in May 1968. It was in this place and at this
volatile time in world politics that a generation of French artists and
thinkers defined themselves around youth and workers' movements
(recently chronicled in such films as Bernardo Bertolucci's The Dreamers and Philippe Garrel's Regular Lovers).
Among them were the Zanzibar filmmakers, who took the many street
mottos and images of the '68 protests and turned them into
phantasmagoric film allegories, many of them shot in North and East
Africa in sumptuous 35mm (a format rarely afforded to experimental
cinema), and screened for late-night audiences by Henri Langlois at the
Cinémathèque Française. Difficult to see for decades, a selection of
the thirteen or so films made under the Zanzibar header from 1968-70
have recently resurged through the efforts of researchers such as Sally
Shafto and original Zanzibar filmmaker Jackie Raynal, who will be
present for both programs. Programmed by Gabe Klinger with generous
assistance from Jackie Raynal-Saleh.

Friday, June 15  -  7:00 pm (reception) / 7:30 pm (screening)
THE VIRGIN'S BED
Newly Struck 35mm Print!
Filmmaker Jackie Raynal will present the first-ever Chicago screening of this film.

The Virgin's Bed (Le Lit de la vierge, 1969, 105 mins.,
France, 35mm) by Philippe Garrel. In this post-revolutionary
re-imagining of the story of Christ, '60s fashion icon Zouzou (later
the Chloe of Chloe in the Afternoon) alternates three roles as mourning mother, pregnant Virgin Mary, and Mary Magdalene, while a withered Pierre Clementi (Belle de Jour, The Conformist)
plays Jesus reborn into the present world. Wandering, unable to
understand the indifference around him, he bangs on the doors of
apparently empty houses, crying "I am the savior!" Shot in black and
white 'Scope, production began in France, but when further financing
came in from heiress and Zanzibar patron Sylvina Boissonnas, Garrel
expanded to exotic Marrakech and to the sacred Christian catacombs of
Rome. Punctuated by lyrical long takes, the film is also distinguished
by music from John Cale and Nico, who Garrel met in post-production and
who would vitally influence many of his later films. (Minimal French
dialogue with English subtitles)
 

Saturday, June 16  -  1:00 pm
VITE & DEUX FOIS
Newly Struck and Restored 35mm prints!
Q&A with filmmaker Jackie Raynal and critic Jonathan Rosenbaum will follow the screening.

Vite (Quickly, 1969, 37 mins., France, 35mm) by Daniel
Pommereulle. The late painter-sculptor Daniel Pommereulle, who briefly
appears in both Rohmer's La Collectioneuse and Godard's Weekend, also directed three films in his lifetime. In his best-known, Vite,
he interweaves footage of the moon and stars that he shot using the
Questar, a state-of-the-art telescope, with a combination of
documentary and staged scenes filmed in Morocco. The film, previously
unseen in the U.S. in 35mm, presents an odd series of textures as it
grapples with the disillusionment of those involved in the May '68
movements. (Minimal French dialogue with no subtitles).  

Deux Fois (Twice Upon a Time, 1968, 72 mins., 35mm) is the first
film by Jackie Raynal, who, as a young film editor, worked with several
filmmakers of the Nouvelle Vague.  About non-images and non-sounds, the
film opens with Raynal, who describes everything we are about to see
and boldly concludes, "This evening will mark the end of meaning." The
critic Serge Daney wrote that it is a "documentary on the place of the
spectator in the room." (French dialogue with English subtitles).

Special FREE Late-Nite Show!
Friday, June 15  -  11:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
FOGGY MOUNTAINS BREAKDOWN MORE THAN NON-FOGGY MOUNTAINS
With Jessie Stead in Person!

Foggy Mountains Breakdown More Than Non-Foggy Mountains
 (2006, 59 mins.,  US, Video) by Jessie Stead:  Winner of the "Best of
the Festival" award at this years' Ann Arbor Film Festival, Foggy Mountains is an insane, maddening, and exhilarating film combining nine different versions of the bluegrass standard Foggy Mountain Breakdown,
road movie and music video elements, structural film strategies,
cryptic narration, and equal parts wonder, confusion, apprehension,
nostalgia, and delirium. "An old-fashioned, absurdo-epic journey begins
to prove the motion picture's lone hypothesis: that foggy mountains
breakdown more than non-foggy mountains." (Stead)

Saturday, June 16  -  5:30 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
GROUP PROGRAM 1: TONAL VARIATIONS

O  (2006, 2 mins., US, Video), A House  (2006, 5 mins., US, Video), Confusion  (2006, 2 mins., US, Video), and Building in Detroit #3  (2006,
4 mins., US, Video): These four amazing videos by Kyle Canterbury
display the variety and richness of color, texture, and form video can
take. World Premieres.
Greenhouse  (2007, 2 mins., UK, 16mm) by Ben Rivers.  World Premiere.
The Coming Race  (2006, 4 mins., UK, 16mm) by Ben Rivers: Where are they going?  North American Premiere.
Clut  (2007, 5 mins., UK, Video) by Joe Gilmore and Paul
Emery: This film documents a series of experiments using an analogue
and digital feedback system. The system consists of a digital 3D model
displayed on a monitor which is in turn being captured by a video
camera whose input is then textured back onto the surface of the 3D
model. North American Premiere.     
Black and White Trypps Number Three  (2007, 12 mins., US, 16mm)
by  Ben Russell: " Shot during a performance by Rhode Island noise band
Lightning Bolt, this film documents the transformation of a rock
audience’s collective freak-out into a trance ritual of the highest
spiritual order" (Russell).
Weep, O Mine Eyes (Choir)  (2007, 5 mins., UK, Video) by Louise K. Wilson. North American Premiere.
What the Water Said 4-6 (2007, 17 mins., US, 16mm) by David
Gatten: "Strips of previously unexposed film went into the ocean and
these fragments are what returned. In this latest installment of a nine
year project attempting to document the underwater world off the coast
of South Carolina, both the sounds and images are the result of the
oceanic inscriptions written directly into the emulsion of the film as
it was buffeted by the salt water, sand and rocks; as it was chewed and
eaten by the crabs, fish and underwater creatures." (Gatten)
Set and Setting  (2006, 3 mins., UK, 16mm) by Neil Henderson.  North American Premiere.
Tidal  (2006, 3 mins., UK, 16mm) by Neil Henderson.  North American Premiere.
Kittens Grow Up  (2007, 30 mins., US, 16mm): Luther Price
intercuts two found films, one about kittens and one about an alcoholic
husband and father, finding strange connections and shared themes.  An
unexpectedly moving and resonant film about innocents.

Saturday, June 16  -  8:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
GROUP PROGRAM 2: MORE THAN MEETS THE EYE

Happy Again  (2006, 5 mins., US, Video) by Gregg Biermann:
Seven superimposed layers of Gene Kelly singin' in the rain. A digital
age motion study inspired by the late 19th century chronophotographic
work of Etienne-Jules Marey.
Lake Affect  (2007, 2 mins., US, Video) by Jason Livingston: "A
late season thunderstorm and its aftermath open a portal to the animal
world." (Livingston)    
Mirror World  (2006, 12 mins., US, Video):  Abigail Child reshapes the classic Bollywood film Aan into a mesmerizing study of class and sexuality.    
More Than Meets the Eye: Remaking Jane Fonda  (2006, 20 mins.,
US, Video):  Scott Stark stars himself in a "remake" of a Jane Fonda
exercise video as a springboard to ruminations on political activism,
image construction, gender roles, and the making of war.    
Pyramids / Skunk (Hotel Diaries 5)  (2007, 17 mins., UK, Video)
by John Smith: Smith's stays at two very different hotels two
consecutive years at the Rotterdam Film Festival occasion his uniquely
deadpan commentary on his lodgings, chocolate bars, politics, and
dental emergencies. North American Premiere.
Rock and a Hard Place  (2006, 23 mins., US, Video) by Joshua
Thorson: A semi-narrative re-enactment video about Anthony Johnson, who
is a young, HIV+ teenager, victim of domestic abuse and rape, and
author of a best-selling memoir about his troubled life. Or is he? Part
after-school special, part cultural critique, this simultaneously
earnest and kitschy video explores truth and illusion, media
sensationalism, and instant celebrity with a decidedly queer eye.

Saturday, June 16  -  9:45 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
GROUP PROGRAM 3: "CURIOUSER AND CURIOUSER!"

Children of Shadows (2006, 18 mins., Japan, 16mm): Naoyuki
Tsuji's stunning and creepy charcoal drawing animation features two
children making their way among witches, morphing landscapes, and a
cannibalistic father.    
At the Heart of a Sparrow  (2006, 29 mins., Canada, Video) by
Barry Doupé: All we can say is that Doupé's animated worlds are weird,
wonderful, and decidedly strange.
Wild Boy (2004, 17 mins., Israel, Video) by Guy Ben-Ner: A "re-make" of François Truffaut's Wild Child
starring the filmmaker and his young son. The Wild Boy is found and
tamed. Notions of play, make-believe, and artifice, and transformation
abound, from the home-made sets to the filmmaker's apartment serving as
the location to a heart-breaking passage from "child" to "youth."
Once Upon a Time  (2005, 25 mins., Germany, Video) by Corinna
Schnitt:  In this absurdly charming and sly conceptual video a living
room is slowly invaded. First come the cats...

Sunday, June 17  -  1:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
GROUP PROGRAM 4: THE POLITICAL EDGE

According To...  (2007, 9 mins., US, 16mm), Something Else  (2007, 2 mins., US, 16mm), and Next to You
 (2007, 1 min., US, 16mm): These three short films by Kevin Everson
creep around the edges of the intersection of race, culture, media, and
social norms. They are powerful epistles in miniature.    
Capitalism: Child Labor (2006, 14 mins., US, Video) and Capitalism: Slavery
 (2006, 3 mins., US, Video) by Ken Jacobs: Jacobs mines two single
stereoscopic photographs to find the truth of things, which were hiding
in plain sight.    
Freedom and Homeland  (Liberté et patrie, 2002, 21 mins., Switzerland, Video):  Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville "begin Liberté et patrie
with the surprise encounter of an Aircraft and a Tower on a bright
September morning, then swan dive into Charles Ferdinand Ramuz's novel Aime Pache, Peinture Vaudois
enlisting Beethoven, Bocklin, Wittgenstein, Eisenstein, Paradjanov,
Maya Deren, Bunuel, Rene Clair and Serge Gainsborough in a
consideration of artistic endeavor, borderlines and the transformative
shock of chance meetings" (Mark McElhatten).
Stranger Comes to Town  (2007, 28 mins., US, Video) by
Jacqueline Goss: They say there's only two stories in the world: man
goes on a journey, and stranger comes to town.  Six people are
interviewed anonymously about their experiences coming into the US.
Each then designs a video game avatar who tells their story by proxy.
Goss focuses on the questions and examinations used to establish
identity at the border, and how these processes in turn affect one's
own sense of self and view of the world.
Stranger Comes to Town re-works animations from the Department
of Homeland Security --combining them with stories from the border,
impressions from the on-line game World of Warcraft, and journeys via Google Earth to tell a tale of bodies moving through lands familiar and strange.

Sunday, June 17  -  3:00 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
THE INTIMATE DISTANCE - A Tribute to Mark LaPore (1952-2005)
Curated and Presented by Mark McElhatten

The experimental film world, indeed the world of cinema, lost a
truly talented and unique artist with the passing of Mark LaPore in
2005. Chicago Filmmakers has been presenting Mark's work for nearly a
decade and we are honored to be able to present this special program
celebrating his vision and artistry.
"Mark LaPore, though deeply influenced by the practices of the Lumiere
brothers, Andy Warhol, and Robert Bresson, expanded a tradition of
experimental documentary filmmaking practiced by Calvacanti, Wright,
Rouch, Gardener, the Macdougals, Hutton and Gehr, conducting profoundly
cinematic, highly distilled personal investigations into the nature of
cultural flux and reverie. He shot extensively in rural Sudan, Sri
Lanka, New York, Myanmar, India and Idaho." (McElhatten)  "LaPore's
films achieve a vision that straddles and brings together the modes of
experimental film, ethnographic documentary, diarist travel films,
lyrical autobiography, and political polemic. They should be seen by
anyone who cares about the cinema and who cares about the way this
image machine can display the world we have made and, especially, the
aspects we prefer to ignore of forget. Their courage matches their
beauty and their growing despair" (Tom Gunning).  Program: Lunatic Princess (2005, 4 mins., Video) Chicago Premiere; Kolkata
(2005, 35 mins., 16mm): "A portrait of North Kolkata (Calcutta), this
film searches the streets for the ebb and flow of humanity and reflects
the changing landscape of a city at once medieval and modern" (LaPore). Chicago Premiere; The Sleepers (1989, 16 mins., 16mm); The Glass System (2000, 20 mins., 16mm); Untitled (for David Gatten) (2005, 5 mins., Video, co-made with Phil Solomon): First Place winner at Onion City 2006.

Mark McElhatten is the co-founder and co-curator of the "Views from the
Avant-Garde" programs at the New York Film Festival. Over the past 30
years, he has curated programs for festivals and venues around the
world including the Rotterdam Film Festival and the Whitney Museum of
American Art. McElhatten is also the film archivist for Martin Scorsese
and is one of the judges for Onion City this year.

Sunday, June 17  -  6:30 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
GROUP PROGRAM 5: LUMINESCENCE

Qualities of Stone  (2007, 11 mins., US, 16mm) by Robert Todd.    
There  (2007, 9 mins., US, 16mm) by Robert Todd.
el cielo - roll 1  (2007, 2 mins., US, 16mm) by Jeanne Liotta: A twinkling camera roll of the night sky.    
Risoni  (2006, variable time, UK, 16mm Bipacked Loop) by Nicky Hamlyn.  U.S. Premiere.
Recordando El Ayer  (2007, 9 mins., US/Ecuador, 16mm) by Alexandra Cuesta: "Recordando El Ayer
explores memory and identity through textures of everyday life in a
portrait of Jackson Heights - Queens, NY, home to a large Latin
American population" (Cuesta). World Premiere.    
Ecstatic Vessels  (2007, 21 mins., US, 16mm): Diane Kitchen's
eye for filming the natural world is distinctive and elegant. Here she
focuses on leaves in a wooded area, exploring the light, texture,
color, and shifting patterns and finding a richness and delicacy often
ignored.  World Premiere.    
Bouvier and Prusakova  (2005, 26 mins., US, 16mm) by Marya
Alford: A beautiful, simple, and moving film that subtly parallels the
lives of Jacqueline Kennedy and Marina Oswald. The narration is drawn
from Marina's testimony to the Warren Commission; visually, the film is
composed of shots of pink cherry blossoms against a blue sky.

Sunday, June 17  -  8:30 pm at Chicago Filmmakers (5243 N. Clark St.)
GROUP PROGRAM 6: DREAMING AWAKE

Ready to Cope  (2006, 7 mins., Canada, Video) by Aleesa
Cohene: "Edited from clips of horror and science fiction films,
thrillers, self-help guides and motivational instruction videos, Ready to Cope is an impassioned record of collective anxiety" (Cohene).    
Or Something Like That  (2007, 7 mins., US, Video): Animator Lew Klahr ventures into the quasi-music video realm with Guided by Voices. World Theatrical/Festival Premiere.
This, and This  (2006, 11 mins., US, Video): Vincent
Grenier's newest video demonstrates his continued mastery of finding
the telling details of the everyday world. Grenier's imagery becomes at
once familiar and also strangely alien, creating a mildly disturbing
tension that forces the viewer to look ever more closely.
When Owls Dream  (2007, 4 mins., Canada, Video) by Rae Staseson: On a dreary February day something magical happened... World Premiere.
Muriel’s Song  (2006, 3 mins., US, 16mm) by Grant
Wiedenfeld: "A hand-painted, hand-processed film only bent thru the
lens of the projector and your pearly-crowned pair." (Wiedenfeld).    
Christian and Michael  (2006, 5 mins., US, 16mm) by Adele
Friedman: A portrait film of friends of the filmmaker whose modern
apartment in Vienna is as much the subject as the people themselves.
nostalgia (april 2001 to present)  (2005, 4 mins., Canada, 16mm) by Christina Battle:    Shards of an imaginary past.
Kati  (2007, 4 mins., US, Super-8mm on Video) by Olan Netrangsi: Bubblegum portraiture.
Everyday Bad Dream  (2006, 6 mins., US, Video) by Fred Worden:
Visual game playing, of a sort, that teases the viewer between the
recognizable and the abstract. A cartoon conundrum.      
été (summer / has been)  (2007, 3 mins., Austria, Video) by Karø Goldt: A summer color palate takes rectilinear form. North American Premiere.
Energie!  (2007, 5 mins., Germany, Video) by Thorsten
Fleisch: "An uncontrolled high voltage discharge of approximately
30,000 volts exposes photographic paper which is then arranged in time
to create new visual systems of electron organization." (Fleisch)    
Stereoscopic Experiment for Audience No. 2  (2007, 9 mins., US,
Video) by Robert Daniel Flowers: Geometric forms converge and collide
in this digital/electronic "homage" to the pioneers of abstract
animation.    
Ema/Emaki 2  (2006, 7 mins., Japan, 16mm) by Takashi Ishida: A delicate, abstract scroll animation.  

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