MFJ 64 “Image Machines” SVA Screening April 6 2017 Program Notes


Celebrating Millennium Film Journal No 64
SVA MFA Lens / Screen Arts
Wednesday April 6th 2017, 1pm

The Program


The title of the Fall 2016 issue of Millennium Film Journal invites readers to consider artists’ moving image as an interplay between the activities and intentions of filmmakers and the variety of machines and methods employed in the creation of their works. Through disarming voice-overs, archival excavations and personal interventions, these digital and photo-chemical works chart the complicated tensions between interior and exterior landscapes.

Curated by Anita Spooner and Grahame Weinbren
All works are featured in Millennium Film Journal “Image Machines” (Fall 2016).
Notes on films below are excerpted from articles in the issue.

Richard Dinter SNOW / SNÖ (Sweden, 2016, 10 min, digital)
SNÖ documents a car journey through a country road in a snowstorm. Abstract fields of shimmering grey and white suggest a deep, unrooted melancholy in the specificity of the images and in the calm, simply told recollection of the journey. Through the moribund landscape, a sense of the inevitable is slowly revealed in the barely stated yet irrevocable fact of the circumstances the narrator and his mother are navigating.
Grahame Weinbren “Short Film Days, Oberhausen Film Festival 2016”
Distributed by Filmform (Stockholm, Sweden) www.filmform.com

Christoph Girardet SYNTHESIS (Germany, 2015, 8 min)
Peter Bennett reads the opening of the St. James Genesis as if it were a Shakespearean text, extracting both personal significance and a description of the origin of the world that sounds simultaneously fictional and scientific. The reading informs a series of exquisite images, pulled from advertising, educational, and corporate films, in two adjacent windows on screen, the two images ambiguously resonating with the spoken text.
Grahame Weinbren “Short Film Days, Oberhausen Film Festival 2016”
Distributed by Light Cone (Paris, France) lightcone.org/en

Bill Morrison THE DOCKWORKER’S DREAM (U.S./Portugal, 2016, 18 min
Score by Lambchop)
“This film developed from the idea that the Archive is a port of call, a place where goods are loaded and unloaded and held until a “dockworker” (or a “doc-worker”!) carries them off. In some ways the imagery is a metaphor for our process. As a film researcher and editor, I find myself seeking out hidden or elusive film material. In the film, there is the voyage, the expedition – and the hunt: we hunt these rare films in order to bring them back alive, so that they can live, for awhile longer, on the screen.”
Bill Morrison, from Scott MacDonald “Interview with Bill Morrison: 6 Recent Films”

Clemens von Wedemeyer THE HORSES OF A CAVALRY CAPTAIN / DIE PFERDE DES RITTMEISTERS (Germany, 2015, 10 min. In German with English subtitles)
A montage of extraordinary images taken from a cache of footage the filmmaker took from his grandfather’s estate. An army officer who was in charge of the horses used by Hitler’s army during the early war years, he was also a highly skilled amateur movie cameraman. Withholding horrific imagery, the filmmaker’s commentary forges a disturbing and brutal commentary on the ideology of images of WWII.
Grahame Weinbren “Short Film Days, Oberhausen Film Festival 2016”

Nina Yuen NARCISSUS (U.S., 2016, 10 min)
Yuen plays Narcissus, but in a re-reading of the mythical figure, her love of her own image is tainted. The film describes five different relationships with the self: the never-changing watcher of the watcher; the intertwined, codependent relationship; the self-critical internal bully; the obsessive self-lover; and the self without awareness of itself. Through these changes, the film suggests a more fundamental and playful relationship between herself and her image. Narcissus drowns when he tries to embrace his reflection, but for Nina the lake is not where the danger lies.
Grahame Weinbren “Short Film Days, Oberhausen Film Festival 2016”
Nina Yuen also contributed Artist Pages to the issue

Total running time: ca. 60 mins