The Poetry and Peculiarity of the Everyday: New Film and Video

Nine experimental films and videos, most of them enigmatic. The best is Mark Street's Sliding off the Edge of the World (2000), whose modified images (in negative, or contained on strips of film that move about in the frame) flicker by on the edge of readability, evoking the fleeting quality of memory. In the quirky, almost kinky Simple Life of Elaine Murphy (1997), Andres Sanz juxtaposes seals in an aquarium, close-ups of a woman, and the exterior of a house. Rebecca Meyers's How to Sleep (Winds) observes movement and stillness (farm fields, a vibrating spider web); at one point a siren on the sound track hints at disaster. Matt McCormick's The Virotonyn Decision (1999) reworks TV commercials from 1971 to climax in war and explosions, with an occasional emphasis on strangely artificial moments of silence. Sometimes enigma can be pushed too far; I couldn't make much sense of Stuart Hawkins's Rabbit, Rabbit, Rabbit (1999) or Meg Jamieson's The Strange and the Charm: or How to Still Your Waters and Re-Gain Your Gravity (1998). On the same program, works by Michael Gitlin and D. Kareken, and one more by McCormick. 76 min.

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