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Women in the Director's Chair Film and Video Festival


This festival, now in its eleventh year, highlights film and video shorts as well as features by women, including documentary, animated, narrative, and experimental works. Tickets for individual programs are $6, $5 for Women in the Director's Chair members, students, and senior citizens with a valid ID; festival passes are also available. Screenings will be held at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont, and the Film Center, Art Institute, Columbus Drive at Jackson. Film Center programs are $5, $3 for members. For further information call 281-4988.


IN THE LIFE: NEW WORKS BY BLACK LESBIAN FILM AND VIDEO MAKERS Three of the works to be shown are autobiographical: Aarin Burch's Spin Cycle (1991), Jacqueline Woodson and Catherine Saalfield's video Among Good Christian Peoples (1991), and Yvonne Welbon's Monique (1990). Also included are Cheryl Dunye's video She Don't Fade (1991), a portion of Michelle Parkerson and Ada Griffin's work in progress about poet and activist Audre Lorde, and a panel discussion featuring Parkerson, Dunye, and Welbon. (Chicago Filmmakers, 6:30)

POLITICS A program including Patrice O'Neill and Rhian Miller's This Far by Faith (1991), a video documentary about the largest strike by black workers in the history of Mississippi; J.T. Takagi and Christine Choy's Homes Apart: Korea (1991), a documentary about displaced Korean families; Jean Carlomusto's "L" Is for the Way You Look (1991), a video about the way lesbians look at female performers; and Anna J. Seeto's Remember (1991), a video commentary on recent events in China. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)


STUDENT WORK A program of films and videos that includes Yau Ching's Is There Anything Specific You Want Me to Tell You About? (1991), Sue Marcoux's Twinsburg, OH: Some Kind of Weird Twin Thing (1990), Lane Hartwell's Ashes (1990), Christine Minor and Elspeth Kydd's Rituals and White Lies (1091), Ruth Hayes's Wanda (1990), Mary Patierno's Rove (1991), Jamika Ajalon's Blood Poem (1991), Kathleen Roberts's Jack Falcon (1991), Pai Chiung Li's Unspoken Moment (1991), Susanne Fairfax's . . . Like Water Into Sand (1991), Judith Kriger's Souvenir (1991), and Cheryl Dunye's Janine (1990). (Chicago Filmmakers, 2:30)

GROWING UP IN AMERICA Eight shorts. On video: Gina Lamb's I Was a Teenage Alien (1990), Pearl Banks's Black Face ... Old Van (1991), Grace Lee's Yellowcast (1989), and the collectively made Looking at Teen Motherhood: The Fantastic Moms' Video (1990). On film: Megan Silver's First Base (1991), Alena Tam's Junior (1991), Shailly Agnihotri's The Bride Wears Red (1991), and Laurie Handler's Mirror, Mirror (1988). (Chicago Filmmakers, 5:00)

FINDING CHRISTA Codirecred by Camille Billops and James Hatch, this moving and highly personal film, which recently shared the prize for best documentary with the new Errol Morris film at the Sundance film festival, charts the reconciliation of Billops with her grown daughter Christa, whom Billops put up for adoption four years after she was born. The complex reverberations that this has in the entire family are explored in some depth; this film is one of the rare ones in which the issues of life and those of art and representation become inseparable (1991). On the same program, Billops's first film, also codirected by Hatch, Suzanne, Suzanne, which deals with heroin addiction and child abuse (1982). Billops will be present at the screening. (Film Center, 8:00)

SEXUALITY Cathy Cook's affecting The Match That Started My Fire (1991) pairs recounted childhood experiences with suggestive free-floating imagery, and K. Daymond's Canadian Nice Girls Don't Do It (1990) sets out to deconstruct conventional notions about sexuality and the female body. Two videos are also on the program: Xiao-Yen Wang's The Blank Point (1991), which discusses transsexualism in relation to contemporary China, and Leslie Asako Gladsjo's Stigmata: The Transfigured Body (1991), a documentary about body piercing. (Chicago Filmmakers, 9:00)


ACTION Dionne Brand and Ginny Stikeman's Canadian documentary about the black women's movement, Sisters in the Struggle (1991); Amy Harrison's documentary about the artworld activism of the Guerilla Girls, Guerillas in Our Midst; and Mary Patten, Rose Troche, and Joseph Vidal's video about TV coverage of the gulf war, This War's Not Over (1991). (Chicago Filmmakers, 1:30)

A POWERFUL THANG Zeinabu Davis's 1991 feature about a young black family--a free-lance writer, a saxophone player who teaches high school, and a two-year-old child--living in a college town in Ohio. On the same program, a short fiction film by Daresha Kyi, Land Where My Fathers Died (1991), concerning family relationships and black masculinity. Davis will be present to discuss her work. (Film Center, 6:00)

LOSING GROUND and ILLUSIONS Kathleen Collins directed this independent black feature, a comedy of manners. Seret Scott stars as a professor of philosophy married to a philandering artist (Bill Gunn); when she's offered the lead in an amateur film version of "Frankie and Johnny," she finds a way to express her long-suppressed feelings about her life (1982). (DK) On the same program, Julie Dash's Illusions, a celebrated and interesting fictional short by the director of Daughters of the Dust about the relationship of two black women to the Hollywood studio system in 1942 (1983). (Film Center, 8:00)

EXPERIMENTAL FILMS Four films and four videos. The films are Lynne Sachs's The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts (1991), Kayla Parker's English, partly animated Unknown Woman (1991), Susanne Franzel's German Bravo Papa (1989), and Karry Fefer's Melissa's Lullaby (1991). The videos are Kathryn Brew's Mixed Messages (1990), Meryl Perlson's Paws Off My Pussy (1991), Anke Schafer's German Nike Is Calling (1991), and Portia Cobbs Who Are You? (1990). (Chicago Filmmakers, 8:00)

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