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Onion City Film Festival

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Bill Brown's Roswell, being screened in the Friday program of the Onion City Film Festival, takes a fanciful, humorous look at the supposed crash of a flying saucer near Roswell, New Mexico, in 1947, an "event" UFO types cite to this day as evidence of a massive government cover-up. Brown, a recent Harvard graduate who appears in the film and whose voice is heard on the sound track, seems to take the event seriously. He wonders what the craft was doing in Roswell of all places, speculating it was piloted by a "star boy . . . joyriding through the cosmos" who "got lost and lost control." But Brown also sees his subject playfully, as if through a child's eyes--objects suggest others, nothing has a stable meaning, flying saucers are fun. The film begins with a Frisbee flying through the air, a metaphor repeated many times. The fish-eye lens used for some landscape shots curves the horizon line, making the sky seem enclosed--navigable, traversable. In the film's strongest image Brown stands facing the camera with a sheaf of papers in his hand, as an animated drawing of a spaceship scoots across the paper, suggesting a connection between UFO fantasies and the magical possibilities of cinema. Thirty-three experimental films will be screened in four programs during the festival, including works by Lynne Sachs, Martin Arnold, Matthew McCormick, Nina Fonoroff, Paula Froehle, Heather McAdams, Chris Ligon, Shaz Kerr, Albert Nigrin, and Phillip Solomon. Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Friday, May 5, 8:00; Saturday, May 6, 7:00 and 9:00; and Sunday, May 7, 7:00; 986-1823.

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