Independent Projects Screening | Chicago Reader

Independent Projects Screening

Seven videos by students at Columbia College. The best of them, Bryan McHenry's Cucumber Chronicles, genially deconstructs a gay personals ad in ten short segments, each of which analyzes a different portion of the ad (“straight acting,” “no fats, fems, or druggies”) with spoken commentary and animation of images (faces, a cucumber) appropriated from the Internet. Michelangelo's David crops up perhaps too often, and the video's questioning of such terms as “gay” and “male” is hardly groundbreaking. But its lively good humor also has a personal authenticity, and McHenry even concludes with his E-mail address and the information that he's “currently unattached.” Hyup Kim also seems to be seeking love in Ice Hand, but the tone is far bleaker, with fragmented urban and interior spaces creating a sense of displacement. Gym Jones's Monkey Goes to Washington is a political parody in which the unsuccessful “Vox Populi” party decides, after heated debate, to run a monkey for president; the humor is sometimes adolescent, but the snippets of newscasters taking the monkey seriously are hilariously credible. In Dan Gorski's Gravity a young man can't decide between his girlfriend and his jazz band, but too often the imagery seems mechanically transferred from a script or storyboard. Also showing: Deidre Syvertson's Beth and Nikki, a brief erotic encounter between female roommates; and works in progress by Junko Kajino and Armand Diab.

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