Arts & Culture » Theater Critic's Choice

Preservation of the Song

by

comment

Carter Martin's 30-minute Preservation of the Song is far from perfect cinema. The cinematography isn't consistent from scene to scene, and the editing often advances the story by fits and starts; one never feels a fluid narrative progression. But it has an emotional authenticity that most slicker films lack, stemming from the story's autobiographical roots. Victor (a Caucasian) and Renaldo (a Filipino-American) are lovers with different approaches to activism. Renaldo helps AIDS patients, while Victor prefers going to demonstrations and getting arrested. What I found moving about the film is the way in which Victor and Renaldo's naturally presented love is interwoven with the ugly lesions and advancing dementia of two dying AIDS patients Renaldo cares for. The way the disease is ever present in their relationship provides a depiction of AIDS more devastating than many more direct cries. The terrified voice of what sounds like an actual caller to an Asian AIDS hot line over the final credits helps bring the fictional story into our world. It's being shown as part of this weekend's Festival of Illinois Film & Video Artists, sponsored by Columbia College. Also on its program are films and videos by Shaz Kerr, Mehrnaz Saeed-Vafa, Susan Mroz, Stephen Ream, Ines Sommer, Michael N.J. Wright, Daniel Brehm, Caroline Plazek Miller, and Marie-Joelle Rizk. Kino-Eye Cinema at Chicago Filmmakers, 1543 W. Division, Saturday, September 30, 7:30, 663-1600, ext. 5434.

Add a comment