Chicago's Own: So Far . . . Films by Foley (1992-2000) | Chicago Reader

Chicago's Own: So Far . . . Films by Foley (1992-2000)

Shot on film but released on video, these shorts by local artist Steven J. Foley often feature African-American actors, but they rarely deal with racial issues; instead the filmmaker focuses on those universalizing moments of communication that so often provide the denouement in TV sitcoms, but without the saccharine. Notes (1997, 7 min.) tells its story of a sexual encounter entirely through a couple's exchange of handwritten notes; there's no dialogue and the messages themselves aren't visible, but their facial expressions are complex and ambiguous enough to make the piece compelling. In Wake Up Gone (18 min.) a female stand-up comic who entertains hospital patients encounters a seriously ill, somewhat hostile woman. Their encounter is presented in a disjointed, choppy fashion, which highlights the rare moments when they actually communicate and the power of their simple, silent gestures. 2 1/2 Seconds (1994, 18 min.) presents a dialogue about life and love between a younger and older man, and Recess (1998, 13 min.) shows a young boy affected by his father's death; in both films the occasional extreme close-up and a somewhat expressionist use of bright color throws the viewer off balance, effectively conveying the strength of the feelings.

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