The Water Show | Chicago Reader

The Water Show

Seven films and videos loosely connected by water references. In Richard Fung's affecting Sea in the Blood (2000) underwater swimming serves as a metaphor for the video maker's relationship with his HIV positive lover, whom he met at “a gay Marxist study group.” Fung then interweaves the story of his sister, who died of an inherited blood disorder, and the film's ending (the lover is living with AIDS) feels appropriately tenuous. In Miranda July's horrific Atlanta (1996) mothers push their young daughters to train for the Olympics (one mom, standing offscreen during an interview segment, unsuccessfully urges her child to “tell them that you love me”). Sara Takahashi's Taxidermy Dreams or How I Became Hawaiian (2000) uses travel films to construct a provocative essay on the exoticizing and colonizing of Hawaii, though it's marred by an overly interpretive narrator. And David Gatten's brilliantly conceived What the Water Said Nos. 1-3 (1998) was made by placing unexposed film in an undersea crab cage, the resulting scratches on the unprocessed footage representing the “organic logic of the ocean's authorship.” Also showing: work by Jennifer Reeder, Jeanne Liotta, and Soopum Sohn. 84 min.

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