Diamond Fire | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Los Angeles curator and videomaker Shari Frilot selected these six films and videos; I strongly recommend three of the four that I was able to see. While filmmakers have been rephotographing and reediting Hollywood fare for decades, I've never seen anything quite like Peter Tscherkassky's Outer Space (1999), which he created by dismembering a horror movie and reformulating it into a stupefying collage of fragmentary images and sprocket-hole shadows in 35-millimeter 'Scope. Accompanied by noises, words, and snatches of music, it dances at the edge of chaos. Those mourning the recent death of Stan Brakhage should see the work of Jennifer Reeves, a young filmmaker he deemed especially worthy of attention. Her Fear of Blushing (2002) is a lush abstraction that juxtaposes sensuous granular textures, thick fields of color veined with cracks, and haunting depth effects. Although lacking the spatial complexity of her two-screen gallery pieces, Shirin Neshat's Tooba (2002) is a poetic study of silent figures in landscapes. Also showing: Laurel Almerinda's Firepussy, Charles Lofton's I Like Dreaming (1994), and Frilot's Strange and Charmed. Frilot, who has curated for several festivals, will be present for a postscreening discussion of the "festival process and the challenges of the experimental film programmer." 72 min. Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State, Thursday, March 27, 8:00, 312-846-2800.

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