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Most folks probably won't have much use for that database, but the CFA has started doing something else that almost anybody can appreciate—it's streaming selected videos from these collections, and some of them are pretty hard to resist. High school student David Strutzel made one of my favorites, which you can watch here, in 1971, and it was a winning entry in the Young Chicago Filmmakers Festival that same year. Using stop-action animation, Strutzel created a quirky, homemade video for the Carpenters hit "Close to You"—written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David—and thanks to his use of two in-love piggy banks and an obedient brood of, um, piglets (or whatever they are), you might never hear the tune the same way if you watch his film enough times.
CFA is holding a benefit they're calling the CFA Media Mixer at the Hideout on August 17
18. Part of the evening will be devoted to screenings by Chicago artists. Three filmmakers were invited to borrow footage from the archives to create new works, and three different musical partners were enlisted to create soundtracks for those new works. Cave are creating the score for a film by Kent Lambert, Joshua Abrams is doing the same for a film by Ellen Castleberry and Andy Resek, and Tim Kinsella is making the soundtrack for a film by Jessica Bardsley.
Cliffie Swan, Memories Come True (Drag City)
Monomono, Give the Beggar a Chance (Tummy Touch/Soundway)
Sylvie Courvoisier-Mark Feldman Quartet, Hôtel de Nord (Intakt)
The Psychic Paramount, II (No Quarter)
Rufus Thomas, Do the Funky Chicken (Stax)