M.U.F.F. 2015 Juror Awards Announcement

5 Juror Awards (in no particular order)

Benjamin Balcom, Marika Borgeson, Kelly GallagherOur 2015 Jurors – Ben Balcom, Marika Borgeson and Kelly Gallagher – have selected five pieces to each be awarded with a $100 cash prize.

Congratulations!

Non-Stop Beautiful Ladies by Alee Peoples

Nonstop Beautiful Ladies, Alee Peoples 9m | 16mm | 2015 | USA

Diaries from Guatemala by Renato Umali

Diaries from Guatemala, Renato Umali 5m | video | 2015 | USA

Wawa by Sky Hopinka

Wawa, Sky Hopinka 6m | Video | 2014 | USA

Fausto and Emilio by Nora Sweeney

Fausto & Emilio, Nora Sweeney 13m | 16mm | USA

Traditional Day for Eating Grilled Eel
by Joel Schlemowitz

Traditional Day for Eating Grilled Eel Joel Schlemowitz 6m | 16mm on video | 2014 | USA

Honorable Mentions

Something About Which Nothing Can Be Said
by Ted Kennedy

Something about which nothing can be said - Ted Kennedy

Under the Heat Lamp an Opening
by Zachary Epcar

Under the Heat Lamp an Opening, Zachary Epcar 10m | video | USA

2015 Full Schedule Here

Thursday, April 30th

Union Theatre, 7pm
Juror Presentation:

The Starry Messenger
with Marika Borgeson

Starry Messenger - Marika Borgeson

THE STARRY MESSENGER, MARIKA BORGESON
20min | 16mm | color | silent | 2013

A black and white negative is placed on undeveloped black and
white print stock and left in the sun for days to weeks and then
fixed. The sun was the only developer used in making the print.
5 Fun Facts About the Sun

1. The Sun’s diameter is about 110 times Earth’s.
2. The Sun makes up 99.86% of the Solar System’s mass.
3. You could fit approximately 1 million Earth’s inside the Sun.
4. It takes light from the Sun approximately 8 minutes and
20 seconds to reach Earth.
5. The Sun is currently classified as a Yellow Dwarf, but in
approximately 6.4 billion years it will become a Red Giant
and will expand to engulf Mercury and Venus.

And a Brief Definition of a Sun Print:
A sun print refers to multiple printing techniques which use
sunlight as a developing or fixing agent.

Life would be tragic if it were not funny - Jolene Mok 2015

life would be tragic if it were not funny, JOLENE MOK
3m55s | HD video | color | stereo | 2015

Every Filter in Final Cut Pro - Lisa McCarty

EVERY FILTER IN FINAL CUT PRO, LISA MCCARTY
10m | Digital Video | silent | 2013

In Every Filter in Final Cut Pro, the filters in the digital editing
software Final Cut Pro that are usually used to enhance,
embellish, or otherwise manipulate images becomes the subject
and the content of the video itself.

Prospector 2015 - Talena Sanders

PROSPECTOR, TALENA SANDERS
13m30s | 16mm transferred to HD | color | sound | 2013

19th century acculturation of two groups living thousands of
miles apart, but sharing the same name, depending on who you
talk to and what language you say it in. Parallel histories of
invasion, assimilation, aspirations, valuation, and re-evaluation.
Prospectors, colonists, and tourists searching future sites of
luxury resources and romance.
Text/audio drawn from Lord Macaulay’s Minute on Indian Education
(1835), Capt. Richard H. Pratt’s speech advocating for Indian
Industrial schools (1892), “Christopher Columbus” Mel-o-Toons
(1960), Jaypee Greens Luxury Condo promotional video (2009),
GE Show n’ Tell Picturesound Indian Pow-Wow (1964).

Fragments of a Tesseract - Lisa McCarty

Fragments of a Tesseract, Lisa McCarty
1m50s | Digital Video | silent | 2013

Adapted from “Eadweard Muybridge: Fragments of a Tesseract”
by Hollis Frampton, 1973.

Excerpt from Arcanam terra lacrimarum,
Marika Borgeson
7m | HD video | color | sound | 2015

Short excerpt from a work in progress exploring why and how
humans cry.


Friday, May 1st

Mitchell Hall, Fine Arts Cinema, B91, 3pm
Juror Presentation:

In Conversation with the Archive
with Kelly Gallagher and Benjamin Risley Balcom

Pearl Pistols1280x720
Pearl Pistols – Kelly Gallagher, 2014

 

Jurors Benjamin Balcom and Kelly Gallagher, present a program of
their own work in conversation with selections from the UWM
Film Archive. Following the presentation, Gallagher and Balcom
will participate in a moderated panel discussion of how the
presented archival material has influenced or is otherwise
related to their practice. They will also interrogate and explore
one another’s work, while inviting the audience to do the same.
Historical and representational interrogation is a mode common
to these two makers. Their work is grounded in discourse with
the moving image object and its role in society; perception and
actuality; history and contemporary experience. In this
presentation we have asked them to orient themselves and the
experience of the audience in relationship to influence, history,
and each other.

Electrocuting_an_Elephant_edison_film_1903_frame_shot

Electrocuting an Elephant ,
Edison Manufacturing Company
74s | 16mm | 1903 – filmed for Kinetoscope

Topsy, the famous “Baby” elephant, was electrocuted at Coney Island on January 4, 1903. We secured an excellent picture of the execution. The scene opens with keeper leading Topsy to the place of execution. After copper plates or electrodes were fastened to her feet, 6,600 volts of electricity were turned on. The elephant is seen to become rigid, throwing her trunk in the air, and then is completely enveloped in smoke from the burning electrodes. The current is cut off and she falls forward to the ground dead.

Found video object (Massive Unidentified Sea Monster Caught on Oil Rig Cam)
5m
Found video object (Turning a Sphere Inside Out)
2m
Array, Ben Balcom
7m30s | digital video | 2013

Wandering through the city, wondering about the potentialities of space, wishing and wanting a full experience of the virtual. These thoughts are rooted to spaces on the outskirts, rendered without detail. Listen to the code. An indecipherable alphabet floods the brain. “Space is really a bad metaphor for the Internet.”

A Symptom, Ben Balcom
6m30s | 16mm | 2014

A mirrored discourse. The object we see is that which wants enumeration, but it is never said quite right. We are looking at speech from both sides of the mirror, listening to the wretch who elaborates upon the grid of desire.

Digital Actualities, Ben Balcom
6m | 16mm/digital | 2012

Actual or virtual? Here are actualities culled from the network: two acts of falling, two registrations of time. These images mark the oneiric margins of the archive.  The re-inscription of the digital to analog (and back again) conflates the actual and the virtual in an uncanny drift.

Annabelle Dances, The Edison Company
5m | BW Silent | 1895

Annabelle Serpentine Dance is a short silent American film produced and distributed by Edison Manufacturing Company in 1895. It is one of several released by the studio the late 19th century.

Thumbelina,  Lotte Reiniger
11m | BW Silent | 1955

One of the century’ s major animation artists Reiniger pioneered a distinctive style of black and white silhouette animation in her interpretations of classic myths and fairy tales.

From Ally to Accomplice, Kelly Gallagher
3m excerpt | video | 2015
Pearl Pistols, Kelly Gallagher
3m | video | 2014
The Herstory of the Female Filmmaker,
Kelly Gallagher
15m | video | 2009

 


Friday, May 1st

Union Theatre, 7pm
Films in Competition 1

Steel Mill Rolling, Ross Nugent 2014

Steel Mill Rolling, Ross Nugent
12m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Equal parts landscape, industrial and portrait film, “Steel Mill Rolling” is a document of a functioning steel mill in Western Pennsylvania where the filmmaker’s family has worked for nearly 100 years. This plant operates with a fraction of the laborers it once employed,and the operations are relegated to specialized processing. The steel slabs transformed at this mill in Farrell, PA come primarily from Russia, where the government subsidizes their production. It is a contemporary portrait from Russia, where the government subsidizes their production. It is a contemporary portrait of the steel industry, considering the economic, political, and environmental realities of multinational steel manufacturing.

Demolished Every Second, John Davis 4m25s | Film on Video | 2014 | USA

Demolished Every Second, John Davis
4m25s | Film on Video | 2014 | USA

This short work utilizes imprints from Soviet-era film leader culled from dozens of films viewed while working as an artist in residence in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2014. The material was largely 1980’s-era educational and propaganda films that contained a broad range of content, but had only subtle variations on more or less the same leader. Foregrounding the often ignored hand-written or machine printed artifacts found on leader, the imprints become the primary source material for a psychotronic audio/visual salvo set to an original score.

Something about which nothing can be said - Ted Kennedy

Something About Which Nothing Can Be Said,
Ted Kennedy
14m | Video | 2015 | USA

Wolkenschatten Anja Dormieden & Juan David Gonzalez Monroy 17m | 16mm| 2014 | Germany
Wolkenschatten, Anja Dormieden &
Juan David Gonzalez Monroy
17m | 16mm| 2014 | Germany

In 1984, for three weeks in May, what appeared to be a giant cloud shrouded the small town of Hüllen-Hüllen in darkness. Before the end of the month the cloud had dispersed and life seemed to return to normal. One month later, however, the town was hastily abandoned and its residents were nowhere to be found.

Watercourse, Hanna Chetwin 4m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Watercourse, Hanna Chetwin
4m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

An exploration of the interplay between the formal and representational characteristics of water in motion. Soundtrack by Francis Plagne

Under the Heat Lamp an Opening, Zachary Epcar 10m | video | USA

Under the Heat Lamp an Opening, Zachary Epcar
10m | video | USA

An expanded view of the lunch crowd at an open-air restaurant, from a bird’s-eye of the exterior to the depths of the interior.

Vindmøller, Margaret Rorison 3m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Vindmøller, Margaret Rorison
3m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Four generations of grain, choreographed turbulence finds form through static frequencies from the mouth.

Leather, Jimmy Joe Roche 3m | video | 2014 | USA

Leather, Jimmy JoE Roche
3m | video | 2014 | USA

Inspired by Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Begotten, Dog Star Man, Phil Solomon’s films, and Peter Kubelka’s 1958 Schwechater Beer commercial, Jimmy Joe Roche’s Leather provides the perfect nightmare fuel.

Wake, Eric Stewart 8m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Wake, Eric Stewart
8m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

“Wake” is a dirge in celluloid. It is a celebration of my fathers life, a meditation on his body and a visual record of mourning. When my father died, there was never a chance to see his body after life had left it. This film was made by placing his ashes directly on 35mm film in a dark room and moving the film a frame at a time. What we see in this process of photograming is not the object in the photographic sense, but instead a representation of the space surrounding an object. The photogram is a shadow charting the distance between things.

City 3, Sam Hoolihan & John Marks 18m | 3x16mm | 2014 | USA

City 3, Sam Hoolihan & John Marks
18m | 3x16mm | 2014 | USA

City 3 is an improvised, analog, expanded cinema performance by Sam Hoolihan and John Marks that focuses on the transportation systems, pedestrian life, green spaces, and industrial textures of Minneapolis, MN, incorporating a triptych of original, artist-processed 16mm films with an original live electroacoustic sound accompaniment.


Saturday, May 2nd

Microlights Cinema, 4pm
Films in Competition 2

Broadcast Eschatology Warpaint Cantata, David Witzling 8m | Video | 2015 | USA

 

 

Broadcast Eschatology Warpaint Cantata,
David Witzling
8m | Video | 2015 | USA

When the machine is a symbol of modern hybrid TV modulator psychological horror of communism.

Chorus, Josh Lewis 4m12s | 16mm | 2015 | USA

Chorus, Josh Lewis
4m12s | 16mm | 2015 | USA

In any photographic process there are essentially two opposing forces at work: one, the developer, aims to turn silver salts to black; the other, the fixer, wants to dissolve those salts. In Chorus, dry granular forms of both are added to the film stock simultaneously. When water is introduced, each begins a struggle for its intended conclusion. The film bears witness to the conflict, an ecstatic sum of individual grains asserting.

Turn on the Hill, Lori Felker 5m | Video | 2014 | USA

Turn on the Hill, Lori Felker
5m | Video | 2014 | USA

“As we move together, be aware of the many-sided nature of the causes of behavior, do not be looking for one right reason for what happens, nor aim at pat answers why this does this or that. … People require for play, activity, striving, unpredictability, faith, companionship and supervision. They feel better and are much nicer people after a turn on the hill.” – Sister Alice Francis (edited)

Wayward Fronds, Fern Silva 13m | 16mm on Video | 2014 | USA

Wayward Fronds, Fern Silva
13m | 16mm on Video | 2014 | USA

Mermaids flip a tale of twin detriments, domiciles cradle morph invaders, crocodile trails swallow two-legged twigs in a fecund mash of nature’s outlaws … down in the Everglades. Wayward Fronds references a series of historical events that helped shape the Florida Everglades today, while fictionalizing its geological future and its effects on both native and exotic inhabitants. Nature begins to takeover, engulfs and tames civilization after centuries of attack, and even guides it into its mysterious aqueous depths, forcing humans to adapt and evolve to its surroundings.

Wawa, Sky Hopinka 6m | Video | 2014 | USA

Wawa, Sky Hopinka
6m | Video | 2014 | USA

Featuring speakers of Chinuk Wawa, a Native American language from the Pacific Northwest, Wawa begins slowly, patterning various forms of documentary and ethnography. Quickly, the patterns tangle and become confused and commingled, while translating and transmuting ideas of cultural identity, language, and history.

The Peacock, Andrew Kim 12m | 16mm | 2015 | USA

The Peacock, Andrew Kim
12m | 16mm | 2015 | USA

A meditation on our fantastic condition of mortality and impermanence… “The peacock painted on the window will never dance or speak. It is only the peacock that lived in the forest which used to speak, dance, and walk in a sweet manner.”

Shwebontha, Meredith Lackey 12m | 16mm to Video | 2014 | Burma

Shwebontha, Meredith Lackey
12m | 16mm to Video | 2014 | Burma

The signboard builders of Shwebontha Street in Yangon, Burma prompt a search for the sonic and visual traces of a country in transition. Performance of military, labor and sport suffuse the sallow hunger of foreign eyes; pleasure’s lilting arrow prompts scalar confusion; past and future swirl in the peeling bells of global imperative, like hydropower.

The Plastic Garden, IP Yuk-Yiu 11m | Video | 2013 | Hong Kong

The Plastic Garden, IP Yuk-Yiu
11m | Video | 2013 | Hong Kong

Evoking imagery and memories of the atomic age, THE PLASTIC GARDEN summons the ghost of a forgotten future, the grim fatality of a total nuclear war that held the world hostage half a century ago. A nuclear war, once a tangible inevitability felt by many, has seemingly slipped into oblivion in recent times. Despite going out of fashion as a symbol for the socio-political imaginary, the nuclear drama, like a malicious return of the repressed, continues to haunt the contemporary world in various forms, with the recent North Korean threat as one of the latest episodes.

As Near As Light, Susan DeLeo 1m | Video | 2014 | USA

As Near As Light, Susan DeLeo
1m | Video | 2014 | USA

A visual haiku of an ephemeral and potent journey into the unconscious through hand manipulated super 8mm film. It combines sound with imagery to create a trance-like state and glimpse into the realm of fleeting memories.

Scrapbook, Mike Hoolboom 18m | Video | 2015 | Canada

Scrapbook, Mike Hoolboom
18m | Video | 2015 | Canada

Lensed in Ohio’s Broadview Developmental Center in 1967 by secret camera genius and audiovisual healer Jeffrey Paull, Scrapbook tells the story of audacious autistic Donna Washington in her own words, as she encounters pictures of one of her former selves fifty years later.


Saturday, May 2nd

Microlights Cinema, 8pm
Films in Competition 3

The Waldgeist and Me, Joe Bichard 10m | Video | 2014 | UK

The Waldgeist and Me, Joe Bichard
10m | Video | 2014 | UK

A dark tale of Love and Dismemberment. The Waldgeist & Me explores the many intricacies of love and hate and how the two can be intertwined. Written and directed by Joe Bichard. The film also includes the vocal talents of Matt King (aka Super Hans from Peepshow) and immense sound design by Oswald Skillbard.

Pas de Cheval, Courtney Krantz 3m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Pas de Cheval, Courtney Krantz
3m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

This film draws from a long lineage of movement studies for the camera – including Muybridge’s motion studies of both humans and animals. Realized completely in-camera, the goal for this film was to transfer aspects of live performance execution to a one-take process. “Pas de cheval,” or step of the horse, is the classical ballet action I’m referencing but this interpretation is modernized and hybridized into a montaged synthesis of unison.

The Wrong Story, Ali Aschman 4m | Video | 2015 | USA

The Wrong Story, Ali Aschman
4m | Video | 2015 | USA

Limbs detach, bodies open to reveal hidden objects, peculiar figures gather among stepped archways, hesitating to touch. The Wrong Story wavers at the frayed edges of a narrative, unraveling the artist’s desire for both connection and solitude.

Fausto & Emilio, Nora Sweeney 13m | 16mm | USA

Fausto & Emilio, Nora Sweeney
13m | 16mm | USA

Waiting, snipping, shaving, smoking, and chatting. These are the daily rhythms of a barbershop in downtown Cincinnati, Ohio where brothers Fausto (age 83) and Emilio (age 75) have worked together for decades.

Nonstop Beautiful Ladies, Alee Peoples 9m | 16mm | 2015 | USA

Nonstop Beautiful Ladies, Alee Peoples
9m | 16mm | 2015 | USA

A Los Angeles street film staring empty signs, radio from passing cars and human sign spinners, some with a pulse and some without.

Watershed, Charlie Egleston 9m | 16mm | 2014 | Canada

Watershed, Charlie Egleston
9m | 16mm | 2014 | Canada

A watershed moment serves as a site for perceptual contemplation and a meditation on the transitory nature of things. Using the multiple meanings of a watershed basin, moment and the literal ‘watershed’, the film is deceivingly simple but unfolds layers of meaning concerning images, representation and ontology.

C’est Mignon Tout ça (Sweet Oh Sweet), Kevin Gourvellec & Anne Marie Piette 4m | video | 2013 | Canada

C’est Mignon Tout ça (Sweet Oh Sweet),
Kevin Gourvellec & Anne Marie Piette
4m | video | 2013 | Canada

Remake of the eponyme film of Pierrick Sorin. A comedy about a peeping tom.

My Insatiable Apotemnophilia, August Traeger 4m | video | 2014 | USA

My Insatiable Apotemnophilia,
August Traeger
4m | video | 2014 | USA

This video is part of a series of databending experiments.The process involves taking raw video footage through a series of digital “mistranslations” until the exotic and beautiful underlying digital nature of the original video file emerges from within.

Field Notes, Vashti Harrison 17m34s | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Field Notes, Vashti Harrison
17m34s | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Field Notes is an experimental documentary about the ghosts embedded in the culture of Trinidad and Tobago. The film is structured as a visual and aural field guide to the ghosts spirits and jumbies throughout the island. From personal tales about the soucouyant and lagahoo, to the ghosts of Trinidad’s past.

Check, Carlos Dominguez 4m | 16mm | 2013 | USA

Check, Carlos Dominguez
4m | 16mm | 2013 | USA

Inspired by experiments in film-phonography, Check explores the sonic potential of running sequences of patterns through a 16mm film projector. Collages composed of three different patterns and solid patches of black and white were composed and photocopied onto strips of clear film leader. The sequences provide not only the images projected on to the screen, but also the soundtrack to the film.

Under the Atmosphere, Mike Stoltz 14m30s | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Under the Atmosphere, Mike Stoltz
14m30s | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Filmed on the Central Florida “SpaceCoast”, site of NASA’s launch pads. Dormant spacecraft, arcane text, activated landscape, and the surface of the image work towards a future-past shot reverse shot.


Sunday, May 3rd

Kenilworth Building, 3pm
Films in Competition 4

Night Noon Shambhavi Kaul 11m | video | 2014 | India

Night Noon, Shambhavi Kaul
11m | video | 2014 | India

Unmoving rock collapsed to ocean—geology’s “thrust and fold”—becomes the unlikely habitat for two actors’ shadowy encounters with sand, waves, night, desert, dread, calm, trepidation and escape.

Invocation of Uzi Ross Meckfessel 4m30s | super8 | 2014 | USA

Invocation of Uzi, Ross Meckfessel
4m30s | super8 | 2014 | USA

An abstracted portrait of actress Jojo Hill as she portrays five different characters in this behind-the-scenes documentary of Uzi’s Party: an experimental pagan teen drama by Lyra Hill.

Beautiful Things Mike Olenick 5m | video | 2014 | USA

Beautiful Things, Mike Olenick
5m | video | 2014 | USA

Sunlight sparking through a window sets into motion this story of a woman recovering from a break up. She heads outside looking for love, but what she doesn’t expect to fnd is a perfect match. With music by the Wet Darlings.

Manhattan 1234 Tomonari Nishikawa 3m | Super8 -18fps | 2014 | USA

 

 

 

Manhattan 1234, Tomonari Nishikawa
3m | Super8 -18fps | 2014 | USA

A study in visual rhythm by shooting architecture with certain camera angles and movements in Manhattan, New York. All edited in-camera and hand-processed afterwards.

Model Fifty-One Fifty-Six Josh Weissbach 11m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

 

 

Model Fifty-One Fifty-Six, Josh Weissbach
11m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Model Fifty-One Fifty-Six displays the physical changes of the maker’s heart since being born with the congenital disorder, Transposition of the Great Vessels. This chronicle showcases a movement from human to cyborg that connects personal vulnerability to 1980s science fiction.

Traces Erin Celeste Weisgerber 5m | 16mm | 2014 | Canada

Traces, Erin Celeste Weisgerber
5m | 16mm | 2014 | Canada

Trace

noun

1.

a. A visible mark, such as a footprint, made or left by the passage of a person, animal, or thing.

b. Evidence or an indication of the former presence or
existence of something; a vestige.

2.

A barely perceivable indication

Stick It Stefan Ramirez Perez 5m | video | 2014 | Germany

Stick It, Stefan Ramirez Perez
5m | video | 2014 | Germany

Merging himself and the young gymnasts of the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta into one composite character, he enters an ambivalent position between envy, identification, rejection and critique of these highly controlled bodies and their restricted performative roles. The video follows the preparation and execution of a floor routine, suspending the marginal moment right before the action, encapsulating ambition, the pressure to succeed and the looming possibility of failure.

Old Growth Ryan Marino 8m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Old Growth, Ryan Marino
8m | 16mm | 2014 | USA

Amid the arboreal giants and temperate organisms of a primeval rain forest lurks an elusive luminous force.

Rest In Me Henning Frederik Malz 6m | video | 2014 | Germany

Rest In Me, Henning Frederik Malz
6m | video | 2014 | Germany

The film “Rest in Me” describes an everyday routine oscillating between devotion and surrender. Malz’s rapid rhythmic montage of found footage from feature films from over the last twenty-five years chronicles in visual terms the increasing outsourcing of physical presence in favour of virtual identity. What began as the opening up of the world through the internet has mutated into an increasingly comprehensive encryption and surveillance of the individual   subject.

Stories Houses Tell Scott Fitzpatrick 3m30s | Super8 | 2014 | Canada

Stories Houses Tell, Scott Fitzpatrick
3m30s | Super8 | 2014 | Canada

Four Winnipeg houses as documented by reporter Lillian Gibbons, and illustrated by Arlene Osen. Shot for the 9th annual WNDX OneTake Super 8 Event.

Coming Cold Rob Todd 6m | 16mm on video | 2015 | USA

Coming Cold, Rob Todd
6m | 16mm on video | 2015 | USA

Shiverings in anticipation of the approaching chill.

sound of a million insects, light of a thousand stars Tomonari Nishikawa 2m | 35mm on video | 2014 | Japan

sound of a million insects, light of a thousand stars
Tomonari Nishikawa
2m | 35mm on video | 2014 | Japan

I buried a 100-foot 35mm film under fallen leaves, about 15 miles from Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, for a night to expose it to the possible remaining of the radioactive materials. The area was once an evacuation zone but now people live there after the removal of the contaminated soil.

Bad Bitches Elisabeth Albeck 1m30s | video | 2015 | USA

Bad Bitches, Elisabeth Albeck
1m30s | video | 2015 | USA

Bad bitches have existed in all time periods. Exploring the concept of “badness” as defiance against social norms, and the gendered characterization of the term “bitch,” is a short film moment intended to reframe the phrase positively. In this short incantation, I face a portrait of my namesake, Elisabeth, whose scandalous
amorous relations shook the bedrock of society in aristocratic Norway and Denmark in the late 1800s. I pay respect to her otous spirit, bravery and the unshakable confidence I detect in her smirk.

Traditional Day for Eating Grilled Eel Joel Schlemowitz 6m | 16mm on video | 2014 | USA

Traditional Day for Eating Grilled Eel,
Joel Schlemowitz
6m | 16mm on video | 2014 | USA

Events of a summer day in Tokyo’s Yoyogi Park.


Sunday, May 3rd

Kenilworth Building 7pm
Films in Competition 5

War Prayer, Richard Wiebe 17m | video | 2015 | USA

War Prayer, Richard Wiebe
17m | video | 2015 | USA

There are icons in Cyprus that are centuries old. They bloom like flowers in houses, churches, monasteries, and markets. Last summer marked the 40th anniversary of Cyprus’s invasion and partition. Today the island remains divided with abandoned spaces on both sides of the Green Line. For decades every US administration has exploited this partition, using military bases on the island to conduct surveillance in the Middle East. Aniconisa prayer, a window to heaven, to a listening ear.

I Am Made of Matter and I Matter, Grace Mitchell 4m | video | 2014 | USA

I Am Made of Matter and I Matter, Grace Mitchell
4m | video | 2014 | USA

This is a (dysfunctional) dialectical conversation that could also be experienced as an internal monologue. S & J represent to micro and macro of one’s mind. They are contrary to each other and this difference in perspective leads to the impossibility of understanding, while simultaneously being the reason for their codependency.

Alberta, Dan Browne 3m | video | 2014 | Canada

Alberta, Dan Browne
3m | video | 2014 | Canada

Journeys in Banff and Jasper National Parks, Alberta.
“A journey without arrival in the great tradition of Canadian landscape travelogues.” – Richard Kerr

A Knight’s Walk (and other speculative events), Clint Enns 12m | video | Canada

A Knight’s Walk (and other speculative events),
Clint Enns
12m | video | Canada

A knight traverses the chessboard, as a bored radical traverses a Winnipeg supermarket by chance (played by Chance Taylor).
Consider Cameron Frye (played by Alan Ruck) from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off stuck in the speculative space between point and pixel. Video art in the expanded field.
The Klein Bottle, a 4D object rendered in 3D reduced to 2D (4D->3D->2D). A spatial analysis of a non-orientable surface with no boundary, a space potentially like our own.

Diaries from Guatemala, Renato Umali 5m | video | 2015 | USA

Diaries from Guatemala, Renato Umali
5m | video | 2015 | USA

Innocuous vacation footage of a hike up Volcán Pacaya combine with images from the Guatemala Death Squad Diary combine with travel guide suggestions forgetting the most out of your trip produce this video.

Ungun, Jessica Fenlon 6m30s | video | 2013 | USA

Ungun, Jessica Fenlon
6m30s | video | 2013 | USA

The object shatters our ability to discuss it sanely.
After reading another Monday morning Chicago news list of names, of those killed by handguns, I started glitching photographs of guns. I ‘steal’ photos of guns hosted online, and ‘break’ those photos, manipulating the code supporting the image, a symbolic trafficking in stolen guns.

I Love You, Daniel Watkins 2m30s | video | 2014 | USA

I Love You, Daniel Watkins
2m30s | video | 2014 | USA

Moreso than photographing the subject into nothingness, the camera here reassembles its subject with every repetition allowing the image to constantly redefine itself while simultaneously heading down path towards the undefinable.

Fort Morgan, Alexander Stewart 22m | video | 2014 | USA

Fort Morgan, Alexander Stewart
22m | video | 2014 | USA

Fort Morgan is a short film inspired by a brick fort of the same name on the Alabama coast. The film uses live-action footage and drawn animation to examine the geometric plan, physical materials, and structure of the 200-year-old fort. Following an intricate geometric diagram, the fort grows of its own accord like an oyster shell or a crystal forming, until it is eccentrically shaped, encrusted, and overgrown.

Subtle Distance, Christina Santa Cruz 3m | video | 2014 | USA

Subtle Distance, Christina Santa Cruz
3m | video | 2014 | USA

For every trip and/ or move we bring various amounts of suitcases and boxes filled with our tactile possessions. Have we become obsessed or is it merely a necessity in order to be comfortable in one’s own skin? I don’t know…

Babash, Lisa Truttmann &Behrouz Rae 9m | video | 2014 | USA

Babash, Lisa Truttmann &Behrouz Rae
9m | video | 2014 | USA

Babash is a parrot. He lives in Los Angeles. Kept by an Iranian family, he speaks mostly Farsi. Sometimes he mixes English and Azeri into his conversations. Behrouz Rae has made friends with him over the years. Babash is a portrait about a special relationship and the domestic surroundings in which it grew.

Bag of Film, Matt Rossoni 4-10m | 16mm performance | 2014 | Canada

Bag of Film, Matt Rossoni
4-10m | 16mm performance | 2014 | Canada

Sitting beside the screen is myself and a bag of 16mm film scraps. A long piece of film is threaded into the projector. Once engaged, I reach into the bag and randomly select additional pieces of film, and splice them onto the tail end of the strip running through the projector. The scraps are of a variety of discarded material: leader; scratched and worn film;non-image. The result is a film whose production (editing) takes place simultaneously with its exhibition. The film ends either when a splice breaks or I can no longer keep up with the film dragging along the ground – MR

Off to the Printer!

We’ve sent the program booklet to the printers! It will come back in Black and White, but if you want a little color, here it is:

This Friday, Fern Silva’s in Town.

The Work of Fern Silva
Friday, Fine Arts Cinema, Mitchell Hall B91

Fern Silva - Wayward Fronds
Wayward Fronds – Silva – 2014

Oddly enough, when watching the work of Fern Silva, I find myself hearing the opening lines of the television series Farscape. In the series, astronaut John Crichton finds himself flung across the universe through a wormhole. In the opening credits he muses over not knowing how to share the wonders he’s seen with those he’s left home. Silva, on Earth, finds the same dilemma and, being in possession of a Bolex, solves it.

In Silva’s work expect to find a tension between what was, and what is; between extinction and preservation. Forests burn, carpets fly and, always, there is an eagle. The vantage point here is one of a traveler. A person who is in a place long enough to record it, long enough to find boredom, but not free from a departure date and time. A traveler not quite free enough to leave the hotel room and the television behind to find their own adventure. As with Marker’s globe trotting time traveler in Sans Soleil, the television provides a deceptive window into the culture at large. For Silva’s traveler though, media invades the space of the travelogue. It bends and is bent along with it. It writes the soundtrack, and perhaps parts of the script as well. The traveler may, at times, lack a bit of cultural sensitivity. However, this traveler has only come long enough to find the need to return home, with a head full of strange television and strange landscapes.

Silva’s craft with celluloid is deft and easy to consume. Set shots, tv screens, soundtracks, field recordings, and verité are cut together with skill. In Silva’s traveler we might find ourselves and consider our own cultural tourism, for a moment.

Join us Friday, 3pm. Artist in attendance. For now.

To Screen:

Wayward Fronds 2014 13mins
Tender Feet 2013 16mm 10mins
Concrete Parlay 2012 16mm 18mins
Passage Upon the Plume 2011 16mm 7mins
Peril of the Antilles 2011 6mins
In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails 2010 13mins
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Meet the Jury!

Wow! Thanks so much for your help this year with our fundraising on Indiegogo.

There is so much more to do, of course. The programming, the parties, and the rock shows. And then, there’s

The Jury

Please allow us to introduce

Marika Borgeson

Marika Borgeson Marika Borgeson is a filmmaker and photographer currently based in Los Angeles, California. Fascinated by the fluidity and mythology of American histories, she uses film and video to explore the suspension of time and the creation of legends through historic sites, museums, landscapes, and archives. She also works with 16mm film using cameraless techniques and alternative processes.

Her work has screened in galleries and festivals, including the New York Film Festival in Views from the Avant Garde, the Ann Arbor Film Festival, the Void Gallery in Derry, Northern Ireland, and the Media City Film Festival in Windsor, Canada.  Before receiving an MFA in Experimental and Documentary Arts from Duke University, Marika served as the Assistant Director of the Experiments in Cinema Film Festival in Albuquerque, NM.

Kelly Gallagher

Kelly GallagherKelly Gallagher is an experimental animator and filmmaker currently based in Iowa City. She is the 2014 recipient of the Helen Hill Award for her political cutout animation, “Pen Up the Pigs,” which explores connections between the history of slavery and modern day racist policing.

Her films have screened in venues across the world including: the Ann Arbor Film Festival, Anthology Film Archives, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, ICA Artists’ Film Biennial, Winnipeg Underground Film Festival, London Hackney Picturehouse, Berlin Mobile Kino, and Alternative Film Video Festival Belgrade. She is interested in the history of handmade cinema and the radical possibilities of collage film and cutout animation. She is currently finishing an experimental documentary on abolitionist John Brown.

Ben Balcom

Ben Balcom - Likes Trees - Makes MoviesBen Balcom is film and video maker currently living, working, and teaching in Milwaukee, WI. His work in film and digital (and digital-film hybrids) investigates ordinary objects and affects through the lens of speculative realism. In addition to making films and videos, Ben also is the curator and co-founder of a neighborhood cinema in Milwaukee called Microlights, which specializes in avant-garde film and video work (www.microlightscinema.com).

There you have it, three amazing makers. They are going to have a lot to show. So please join them this year. The Milwaukee Underground Film Festival runs from April 30 to May 3rd, 2015. See you then!

 

 

The Indiegogo

This is it friends, we’re bringing the house down. Fundraising for the 15th Annual Milwaukee Underground Film Fest is now open! Let’s work together to make this year 2015 the best year the festival’s ever seen. April 30 through May 3. Mark your calendars.

You can also just make a donation directly to the festival:

The Staff

Yo yo, all you beautiful young hepcats who support all we do here at the Milwaukee Underground Film Festival, we are proud to present our festival staff for 2015! We’re building this festival from the ground up to bring you the best in film and artistic culture from around the world, so get ready for it. April 30 to May 3, 2015, will certainly be four days to remember.

Josh Lewis, Mad Document Maker

This past Winter, Milwaukee Underground Film brought Mono No Aware to Microlights for a screening to compliment their two days of hands on filmmaking workshops. Just after this year’s call for entries posted, we were treated to the work of Josh Lewis.

From Lewis came two entries in a series of “Doubts.” Doubt #6 and Doubt #9 come from a collection of 9 films created in a laboratory, mad scientist fashion. Working under a red light, in the basement of a lab (which already existed nearly as a basement itself to begin with), Josh scattered various chemicals onto outstretched canvases of 16mm black and white film. In his own words, “the struggle to maintain control quickly gives way to a kind of desperate religion.”

A documentary of his exploits in that basement, an exploration of his doubts about the outcome of his filmmaking process manifests itself in these artifact reels. Unknown combinations of chemicals applied to the celluloid surface expose the emulsion’s thickness. Exposures along the line of the strip make its vertical run clear. Meanwhile, chemicals continually shout out their acidic force or lack of it, their ability to make permanent or erase, and a general frenzy of applicative hits and misses.

One of my favorite moments in handmade film is the very thing that digital exhibition of them is completely incapable of– the refraction of light along the edge of exposure. Where the emulsion is removed by chemical or physical action, the projection of light to a distant screen renders the bevel of the exposure visible. Like bright sunlight grazing a window blind, there is that small bend of the lamp’s rays. It’s a bend that spreads over the distance from emulsion to screen that results in a display of an edge’s depth. Without the distance from the bulb, through gel, to screen, this is lost in the transfer to digital.

The Doubt series then becomes something of a meta-document. A document of its own making, one which, once described, I find entertaining and unforgettable. Mad scientist, in the basement of the lab, trying to come up with something but coming up with something else entirely. Beyond that beginning image, this series manages to document the space in which it is projected and develops, for a brief moment, an on-screen record of room, lamp, equipment and distance. It is in the nature of a no camera projection, that one can find that the bending of light past thin boundaries, into patterned refractions, renders form and depth, light, darkness, and color. And it can only be found in that room, at that time.

Doubt #?
as lovely as this frame is, its depth and document is stolen by the absence of a lamp and a distant surface.

 

 

2015 Call for Submissions NOW OPEN!

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Find it here.

Form and Content

A Review of the Friday 7pm Program of 2014’s Milwaukee Underground Film Festival

by Connor Martin

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(Matt Rossoni & the set-up for his performance piece Lunar Phases)

On Friday, May 2nd the audience of the 14th Milwaukee Underground Film Festival was able to glean why this annual event has shown continued success and growth since its genesis.  Each piece in this 80 minute program managed to flourish on their own merits, but what speaks to the quality of the festival as a whole is how well each film in this program functioned as components of a larger machine.  This program was my vote for the most successful of the competition and since three of our nine juror awards came from that evening it would seem the sentiment was shared.

peacock_Alexanderstewart

(Peacock by Alexander Stewart)

Appropriately chosen as the piece to kickstart this program, Peacock by Alexander Stewart deconstructs cinema into a few of its core components through its dazzling manipulation of light, shape, and movement.  A feast for both eyes and ears, Stewart’s 16mm film seemingly adopts a referential approach, intentional or not, towards the musical genres of classical and jazz as it muses on the concepts of repetition, pattern, and eventual variation.  For an audience with a clean palette, Peacock serves as an effective usher into the world of the senses as it offers itself up as unadulterated graphical and aural pleasure.

SHORT_RobertTodd

(Short by Robert Todd)

On the heels of Peacock, Robert Todd’s 16mm short, Short (winner of this year’s best experimental film), continued to mine deeper into the concept of using light and shape to create a series of evocative, emerging imagery.  As the variable shutter on his camera “sleeps and rises” light floods the frame momentarily only to slowly recede, contour, and then reveal a loose narrative through masterful composition and editing.  Through the collision of silent, high-contrast imagery, Todd’s piece began to the bring the audience into the realm of storytelling segueing effectively into the films that followed.

NilePerch_JoshGibson

(Nile Perch by Josh Gibson)

Nile Perch (taking second place in the category of documentary), tracks the migration of a fish caught in Uganda’s Lake Victoria from market to export commodity.  Josh Gibson’s 35mm hand-made film fashions a “modern-day parable of the effects of globalization on Africa” through a striking exaggeration of the play between light and dark that accentuates the skin of his subjects as well as amplifying the sun’s impact on a their environment.  The results are uniquely effective in wrapping this minimalistic approach to the genre with a truly alluring set of aesthetics that typically rest in the hands of experimental directors such as the aforementioned Robert Todd.

lunar_phases_MattRossoni

(Lunar Phases by Matt Rossoni)

Lunar Phases, a 16mm performance piece by Matt Rossoni interrupted the form of the evening’s content.  Rossoni’s empty-projector offers the audience a chance to experience the phases of the moon in a new context.  By experimenting with the artifice of cinema and its many facets, Matt’s performance captured the movements and magnitude of celestial bodies and placed them within the confines of a theater.  This manipulation of the mechanics of film and the spaces they typically occupy offered Rossoni’s audience a different perspective on the opportunities of the medium.

Natural Magic_CharlottePryce

(A Study in Natural Magic by Charlotte Pryce)

LightYear_PaulClipson

(Light Year by Paul Clipson)

45 7 Broadway_Tomonari

(45 7 Broadway by Tomonari Nishikawa)

The next three pieces continued the theme of exploring the realms of space, shape, and light.  Charlotte Pryce’s A Study in Natural Magic, was a gleaning of  “an alchemist’s spell; the transmutation of light into substance; a glimpse of gold.”  Light Year, a film from director Paul Clipson and commissioned by the San Francisco Exploratorium, manifests itself as a collage of images that study the water systems and architecture of the bay area’s waterfront both through abstract and formal approaches.  An impressive demonstration of composition and the layered image that paint a portrait of the area.  The second to last film of the evening, 45 7 Broadway by Tomonari Nishikawa delves intro the bustle of Times Square.  Described as showcasing “noises in visual and sound”, Nishikawa’s color splitting technique that effectively created three layers of imagery that both complimented the tone of the space as well as distorted the onslaught of digital advertisements, transcending the intersection and its inhabitants into new realities.

PERSEVERE_BenRussell

(Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget by Ben Russell)

The last piece in the program , Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget, by Ben Russell (winner of this year’s best documentary) rapped up the evening with a beautifully shot and realized attempt at highlighting forms of happiness outside of the economic, career driven success of modern capitalism.  Through wonderfully patient and visually stimulating shots, Russell muses on a slice of life who’s simplicity feels foreign and uncomfortable.  We are convinced of this existence’s legitimacy and ultimately its allure, by a Samuel Beckett quoting wise man clad in an Arsenal soccer jersey.
What defines a successful program?  This amalgamation of works stands as an prime example of that definition.  Interwoven pieces that, devoid of their creator’s intent, inform and enhance both the visual attraction and thematic strength of the works surrounding.  This is a testament not only to the overall quality of the submissions that M.U.F.F. receives, but points to an innate understanding of the medium and its intricacies that allow the organizers of the festival continued success.