From Midlife to Eternity (via Cinema) | Chicago Reader

From Midlife to Eternity (via Cinema)

Local filmmakers Michele Fleming and Zack Stiglicz have collaborated frequently, and this “dialogue” comprising their recent individual works shows a great similarity between them: both approximate the memories and associations conjured up during psychoanalysis, using rapid montage, movie clips, time-lapse photography, and the juxtaposition of found footage and sound. In Fleming's deftly edited but rather precious Life/Expectancy (1999, 30 min.) images from everyday life—fluttering curtains, rose bushes, an old phonograph, billowing chimney smoke, family gatherings—are intercut with clips from The Misfits, Sunset Boulevard, The Lady From Shanghai, and other classics, while on the sound track a woman softly speaks of a mother who can't talk about her past. The effect is at once jarring and wistful, as if the narrator longs to escape from the labyrinthine film references to something more immediate and personal. Stiglicz's Pompeii (1993, 27 min.) also tries to excavate the past, with a nearly abstract swirl of images centered on a man sticking a pistol in his mouth in front of a girlfriend; aggressive editing and eruptive noises on the sound track underline the macho posturing. I Shall Have to Invent a Name for You/Strange Bedfellows (1998, 11 min.), also by Stiglicz, presents a collage of dysfunctional couples, from Mickey and Minnie Mouse to Bill and Hillary Clinton, though the relevance of comparing Marlon Brando in Last Tango in Paris and in Apocalypse Now escapes me.

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