Other Worlds: Time and Place in Recent Avant-Garde Film | Chicago Reader

Other Worlds: Time and Place in Recent Avant-Garde Film

The six works on this program are connected only loosely, but the strongest three evoke feelings of almost surreal dislocation. Lewis Klahr's Marietta?s Lied, concerning the forced emigration of Jewish-German composers in the 1930s, uses cutout animation of performers floating across shifting backgrounds, often of ruined cities, to suggest displacement and loss. Louise Bourque?s Imprint focuses obsessively on home-movie images of her family?s house, which seems gloomily oppressive, almost filling the frame; she repeats the images with various alterations—tinted, bleached, partly scraped away—as if she?s attacking the place, turning its darkness into light. Leslie Thornton's video Another Worldy, the strangest piece on the program, intercuts long portions of mildly erotic dancing-girl films with a travelogue on Africa, subtly showing how films exoticize their subject matter and define the viewer as voyeur. Also on the program: Scott Stark's in.side.out, a rather formal study of buildings and building lots; Leighton Pierce's pretty but empty Memories of Water 21, 6, 27; and Henry Hills's embarrassingly sentimental Porter Springs 4.

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