Sunday, August 21, 2005

Experimental Crustacean Cinema event accessible and fast-paced / review by Chris Jay

Though it contained films created by the scuttling of crustaceans and the smearing of human blood, the 5th Annual International Experimental Cinema Exposition (somehow represented by the acronym T.I.E.), on Saturday, August 20th, was one of the most accessible and fast-paced Minicine? events in recent memory. Housed in the upstairs gallery of ArtSpace, the event lacked the decidedly basement aesthetic of most Minicine? events, but benefited from ArtSpace’s air conditioning – something that one usually has to forego to see a Minicine? program.

The films were mostly short, beautiful, and eerie. Several were created without the use of a camera, including What the Water Said, Nos. 1-3, which was created as a result of the film being chewed and crawled upon by creatures on the ocean floor. The resulting film is like seeing 24 Jackson Pollock canvases per second. The audio track of the film strip has been affected by the submersion process as well, and in a beautiful meeting of medium and message, the film roars and crashes like the ocean at high tide. This film summarizes what I liked most about every film screened Saturday night: experimental techniques complemented the story of each film, instead of stealing the spotlight and becoming the film’s focus. The frantic, impressionist pinhole photography of My Life As A Bee gives the viewer a first-person account of a bee’s travels from flower to flower. Metaphysical Education uses found footage from educational films to address the formation of male identity, borrowing a technique pioneered by Michael Wallin’s Decodings. Meridian Days applies unorthodox editing techniques and time-lapse photography to toy with the viewer’s perception of time and place, just as the narrator has lost the ability to comprehend where he and his mother are, both literally and in the grander scheme.

The TIE event was extremely well-programmed and comfortable, making it the perfect opportunity to sample the Minicine? experience. If you missed out, there’s another great event on the horizon: David Nelson has scheduled a performance by prolific live soundtracking artists Devil Music Ensemble. They’ll be visiting Shreveport on October 5th to perform a live soundtrack to F.W. Murnau’s Nosferatu.

Chris Jay, of the Robinson Film Center, penned this review for SptBlog out of his passion for film and his accessible, fast-paced altruism.

Hope you will consider writing for SptBlog in your area of passionate point of view.


trudeau said...

For out of town artists this is what has been missing from the Shreveport experience: some feedback. We're good at advance stories - even the Times has space for esoteric art pursuits today - but let's face it: promos are pretty cheap. Collecting an intelligent review is probably difficult. Because they're not easy to write.
Hats off the you, Chris Jay, and to my long-time friend Jim Huckabay for this week's reviews. This material takes SptBlog to a much higher level of existence. Merci beaucoup.

saratoga said...

David has been getting some press lately! A friend of mine recently stumbled across this article on Film Threat which is a great movie interest site!

Kudos to David and minicine?

David Wales said...

David has been going from strength to strength 'ever since' leaving Albuquerque in the 1990s where we first met and 'he' introduced me (a former musician) to Boston Public Radio... Good on yer mate...