Filmes by Barbara Hammer | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Filmes by Barbara Hammer

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The onetime Chicago-based filmmaker will be here for a screening of seven of her films made during the 80s, presented in conjunction with Women in the Director's Chair. Some of the half dozen of these films that I've seen are lyrical studies in motion whose subjects are usually either tourist attractions or tourists: Pools, Pond and Waterfall, Tourist, and Parisian Blinds--all made between 1980 and 1983. Others are more complex meditations: Optic Nerve (1985), on how and what Hammer's grandmother, who's in a nursing home, sees; and Endangered (1988), on the precarious situation of the independent, artisanal filmmaker. The most recent film to be shown, which I haven't seen, is Still Point, completed last year, which will be receiving its Chicago premiere. Optic Nerve and Endangered, the most interesting of the films I saw, concentrate on the processes of seeing and abound in striking, strobelike effects, superimpositions, and diverse split-screen and jigsaw-puzzle like compositions. Endangered also features glimpses of endangered species from the bird and animal kingdoms. Both films have eloquently spare sound tracks composed by Helen Thorington. (Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont, Wednesday, February 28, 7:00, 281-8788)

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