MUFF 2016

JURORS:
David Dinnell is a filmmaker and film programmer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Since 2010, he has been the Program Director of the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Previously he was the film programmer for five seasons at UW-M Union Cinema. His own moving image work has been exhibited at various places including the International Film Festival Rotterdam, EXiS (Korea), Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (Czech), Images Festival (Toronto) and the Views from the Avant Garde (New York Film Festival).

Alee Peoples (born 1981, Oklahoma City) currently lives and works in Los Angeles. She maintains a varied artistic practice that involves screen-printing, sewing, sculpture and film. She has taught youth classes at Echo Park Film Center and organized a 13-date film tour in the spring of 2014. This past summer she collaborated with filmmaker Mike Stoltz at an ACRE residency in Stueben, WI.

Eileen Rae Walsh is an artist and writer living and working in Chicago, IL.  She works primarily in photography, video and the written word.  She received her BFA from the University of North Florida in 2012, and will receive her MFA from Columbia College Chicago in May of 2016.  Her work is steeped in the romantic, playing with photographic tropes tied to sublime sensation. Concerned with elevated states of being, the work obscures perception, relying on the inexplicable and the poetic — an idealized version of experience.  She has exhibited at Women Made Gallery, The Franklin, ACRE TV, Mana Contemporary, The Pitch Project and ­Filter Photo Space, and has been featured in Ain’t Bad Magazine and Bridge Eight.  She is the cofounder of the Crit-Exchange in Chicago and is a bookmaker for The Chicago Perch.

JUROR AWARDS:
Jáaji Approx., Sky Hopinka
Night Swells, Zachary Epcar
Solitary Acts #5, Nazli Dincel
Suhail and The One Having Crossed Over, Anna Kipervaser
Traces/Legacy, Scott Stark

HONORABLE MENTIONS:
Holland Man, Aaron Zeghers
Mad Ladders, Michael Robinson
Prima Materia, Charlotte Pryce

 

PROGRAM:

Thursday April 28th 7pm – Juror Presentation: Alee Peoples
Union Cinema (2200 E Kenwood Blvd, 2nd Floor)

Friday April 29th 3pm – Juror Presentation: David Dinnell
Fine Arts Cinema, MIT B91 (3203 N Downer Ave. Mitchell Hall)

Friday April 29th 7pm – Program in Competition 1
Union Cinema (2200 E Kenwood Blvd, 2nd Floor)

Fever (Lake Monroe. Sanford, FL), Daniel Watkins, 3 min 27 sec
Lake Monroe at 6:45 am is rendered into abstraction through re-photography (multiple generations of the same footage, copied over and over and over again). My own personal history with this place blends together with the history of the land itself to create a moving image that slowly “un-defines” itself. Unbecoming here is a way of saying goodbye to the place that raised me.

Suhail and The One Having Crossed Over, Anna Kipervaser, 5 min 55 sec
Before he was known as Canopus, he was called Suhail. And before that his name was Osiris. In all documented cases, he had two sisters, one of whom was left behind. She always signals the coming of an other, bigger than she. Their legend lives on to this day; each night the two sisters mourn him – and their separation – across the great heavenly river.

Mototanaka Dérive, Michael Lyons, 4 min 17 sec
Shot in Super 8, the film documents an aimless walk through one of Kyoto’s former outcaste neighbourhoods, which continues to exist below normal Japanese living standards. Despite pro-active legislation, people from families associated with such areas can experience discrimination. The soundtrack was created in collaboration with Malte Steiner using a self-built apparatus we call ‘The Octopus’. Voltages from light sensors on the projection screen control an analogue modular synthesizer allowing the film itself to act as a score.

Night Swells, Zachary Epcar, 5 min 14 sec
And you love that humid atmosphere/ And you look so lush under glass.

Morning Mass, Brian Wilson, 1 min 25 sec
Mass, as it is enacted in the domestic church.

Prima Materia, Charlotte Pryce, 3 min
Delicate threads of energy spiral and transform into mysterious microscopic cells of golden dust: these are the luminous particles of the alchemist’s dream.
Prima Materia is inspired by the haunting wonderment of Lucretius’: De Rerum Natura. It is an homage to the first, tentative photographic records that revealed the extraordinary nature of phenomena lurking just beyond the edge of human vision.

Jáaji Approx., Sky Hopinka, 7 min 37 sec
Logging and approximating a relationship between audio recordings of my father and videos gathered of the landscapes we have both separately traversed, this work approaches its concept through a tapering use of IPA (International Phonetic Alphabet) transcriptions of the audio. The initial distance between the logger and the recordings, of recollections and of songs, new and traditional, narrows while the images become an expanding semblance of filial affect. Jáaji is a near translation for directly addressing a father in the Hočak language.

Intersection, Vincent Grenier, 6 min 50 sec
At a highway intersection is an amazing planting of Forget-Me-Nots and Dandelions. An improbable dance between different layers of reality, one organic, the other mechanical, another the numbing everyday. Timeless fragility joust with fleeting enamels and the upstanding violence.

Synthase, Sam Kirchoff, 7 min 33 sec
A journey through a microbial landscape reveals a bizarre and abnormally infectious proteobacteria at large. All visual for this piece where captured in-camera without the use of computer generated special effects.

Abandoned Generations, Linda Fenstermaker, 10 min 14 sec
A portrait of farmland in the Pacific Northwest, “Abandoned Generations” explores relationships with land and time in different generations. Told through the perspective of a female farmer in the 1940s, the film questions the distance that modern society has from the earth and how that relationship informs daily life.

Traces/Legacy, Scott Stark, 9 min
As with my earlier film Traces, the 35mm projector can only show a portion of the image at a time, so the viewer sees alterations between the top and bottom half of each frame. The images also overlap onto the optical sound area of the film, generating their own unique sounds.

Wait wait spring, Cade Bursell, 3 min 22 sec
Made during a difficult winter of family illness, when the promise of spring was all that sustained us. Handmade with flower and seed catalog magazine transfers, paint and markers on 35 mm clear film leader, still photographs, spoken word, field recordings and music.

Holland Man, Aaron Zeghers, 21 min (expanded cinema performance)
As three growing years pass, Don Zeghers – farmer from Holland, Manitoba – phases out his multi-generational family farm. With experimental photography on Super 8, 16mm and digital mediums, his son Aaron Zeghers follows this life change. The dissolution of the family farm is seen both intimately but also as a microcosm of the modern industrialized world. Nature is contrasted with industrial might in this sentimental and existential portrait of one’s own family.

Saturday April 30th 2 pmJuror Presentation: Eileen Rae Walsh
Woodland Pattern (720 E Locust St.)

Saturday April 30th 4pm – Program in Competition 2
Woodland Pattern (720 E Locust St.)

Tempo of Tomorrow Revisited, Josh Gibson/Annie Gibson, 13 min 15 sec
A meditation on tourism and nostalgia in Cuba. Two American travelogues about Cuba intertwine. One shot in 1958 in the months before the Revolution and another in 2014, shot from the same locations and camera angles. As these two travelogues combine, their narrations split apart, forcing an active relationship between sound and image, past and present. Two detached narrators separated by fifty-seven years, at two distinct transitional moments in these two countries histories, speculate on what tomorrow will bring.

Beneath a Glass Floor Lobby, Lisa Danker, 5 min 4 sec
This short essay film, shot on Super 8, reflects on the denigration of historically significant sites as a result of commercial real estate development in Miami––a city that has long thought of itself as having little history. In 2011, the Miami Herald building was purchased by the Genting Group, a casino corporation based in Malaysia. Genting planned to build a mixed-use development to include casinos, stores, and residences, but the site remains undeveloped as of April 2016. At the Met Square mixed-use development a few miles away, artifacts of a Tequesta village dating back to at least 600 A.D., were discovered in 2013. Mediated agreements between the City of Miami and the developer reveal that plans for a future building were designed at the expense of preserving the past.

Ceallaigh at Kilmainham, Kelly Gallager, 7 min 14 sec
A 16mm collaged and handcrafted exploration of land, roots, and the strength of the women who came before me.

A tone halfway between lightness and darkness, Kelly Sears, 7 min 30 sec
A lyrical investigation of a spirit photographer and his ability to channel the deceased. The film is a channeling of lost mediums, lost lives, lost histories and lost hopes, in middle gray.  Based on photographer William Mumler, this story, and the images of the photographers taken from discarded 35 mm photography books, are rendered unsteady and unreliable.

Setting West, Judith Porier, 5 min 25 sec
Setting West was made using original printing materials from eminent North American letterpress studios*. Printed directly onto 35mm film stock, these type & stereotypes of “Cowboys and Indians”, trains and bison produce a unique texture on screen as well as an original sound track, evoking the western genre.* including the Hamilton Wood Type & Printing museum in Two Rivers, Wisconsin

Snowbirds, Lorenzo Gattorna, 8 min 29 sec
The onset of northern winter transitions towards the solace of southern latitudes. A dense nostalgia nestles into the former as a peculiar splendor surfaces upon the latter. However, what remains constant is a forecast for the near future. A certain unease surrounds eventual passersby and the establishment of permanence.

Adeline through Montana, Kim Kielhofner, 7 min 57 sec
Composed of a collage of personal and found footage and archival stills, this video investigates the memory of a night through narration and visual associations.

LE VISIBLE ET L’INVISBLE, Manuela De Laborde, 5 min 40 sec
Titled after Maurice Merleay-Ponty’s book, Le visible et L’invisible is a family portrait and an observation on the image. My grandmother’s blindness and devotion contrast and defy the experience, seeing, of my uncle, mother, and myself; that document exhaustingly in our cameras what she holds only in memory.

Familiar Memories, Pol Merchan, 3 min 52 sec
The reconstruction of a family archive through fragmentary and disturbing memories, is moved to the limit of what we classify as fiction. A voice over tell in about the invisible and buried elements of a biography not captured by the camera or not wanted to be seen.

A Cinematic Lunatic Trial, Angelica Vergel/Christopher Gorski/Laura Trager/Tzuan Wu, 4 min 4 sec
A Cinematic Lunatic Trial is a document of the morbid and uncanny that repurposes literary and cinematic texts of influential writers and filmmakers. Narration, forms and tones collide to convey the tensions of the strange language of cinema, where angels and ghosts populate a world of terror and beauty.

Aufgelöst, Stefanie Weberhofer, 4 min 3 sec
A 16mm color film first documents chemical processes through a microscope and then has to experience these processes for itself. Aufgelöst is a dyadic study showing change – change as the only constant.

Mad Ladders, Michael Robinson, 10 min
A modern prophet’s visions of mythical destruction and transformation are recounted across a turbulent geometric ceremony of rising curtains, swirling set pieces, and unveiled idols from music television’s past. Together, these parallel cults of revelation unlock a pathway to the far side of the sun.

Saturday April 30th 8pm – Program in Competition 3
Woodland Pattern (720 E Locust St.)

Here There, Alexander Stewart, 4 min 40 sec
Here There gives graphic form to memory’s malleable, straying lines. It begins as a traveler’s sketchbook, drawn in Croatia in the summer of 2014, but details soon fade away into abstract impressions on the edges of memory. This film is a reduction to the essence, a condensed feeling of one place and time.

Neverland, Edda Manriquez, 3 min 2 sec
Neverland is an intergalactic journey through the childhood’s mind. Entering the blurred lines of memory. Neverland is a videographics composited film recorded on VHS.

Picture Start, Hannah White, 6 min 39 sec
Shadows on the wall teach us about our blindness, our seeing, and ourselves. What are your ways of seeing?

INVERT AND ALL THAT IS SOLID, Olivia Ciummo, 3 min 15 sec
A retelling of words through textures, movements and sounds– the images and sounds try to wrangle with linguistics. Based on the poem A HEART by Ian Dreiblatt.
Blue Movie, Michael A. Morris, 6 min 30 sec
Blue Movie is an elegiac tribute to the late Juanita Slusher, a Dallas-based exotic dancer well known in the 50s and 60s as “Candy Barr”. Footage from the stag-film Smart Alec, a film given to me by my grandfather, is used as the majority of the source imagery set to a rendition of Autumn Leaves performed by Dallas-based vocalist Lily Taylor. The song was noted by Candy Barr as her favorite to dance to, while also noting that she viewed her dancing as a form of creative expression. The silver-based emulsion of the film was replaced with cyanotype chemistry and laid under the sun to create the blue image. This film is a companion piece to my 2010 film, Confessors.

Continent, Katya Yakubov, 3 min
Travel and domestic imagery weave a spoken letter to a friend, evoking the mind states of a young woman who chooses to stay within the confines of her own psyche.

A Ghost in his Shadow, Michael Rice, 10 min 17 sec
Growing up in Boston, I felt as if I had a strangely close relationship to the notorious gangster, Whitey Bulger. Although few people ever met or saw the man (including myself), his presence was always felt permeating the city and each of its neighborhoods. Through the stories told about him (some true, some embellished), the city learned to both fear and at the same time idolize him. Over time, he became a mythic presence – even today, years after his ultimate arrest in Santa Monica, this film concerns itself with a more broad subject: how a person’s presence can be feared despite their physical absence. The imagery in the film is drawn mostly from surveillance footage of Whitey and images of the places where he would frequent while he lived in Boston and Santa Monica. To me, these liquid images suggest a man as an elusive and lurking presence; they are images and words that describe a living ghost, the realization of a disembodied menace.

Townhomes Scare Me 1, Benjamin Edelberg, 3 min 16 sec
Townhomes Scare Me 1 explores my first childhood experience with panic. I attempted to cope with these then foreign feelings of anxiety with a journal of drawings, which I recently rediscovered while visiting my home in Chicago. The title phrase is lifted from one of my entries.

Direct Route, Pam Minty, 48 min 22 sec
Direct Route  observes a blind woman (the director’s mother) navigating her domestic surroundings, presented alongside landscape images and the retelling of memories prior to losing her vision. Through conversations, and the solving of word puzzles with her daughter, a story emerges about the relationship between memory and the texture of experience.
The Queen of Material, Rajee Samarasinghe, 2 min 15 sec

A short procession of colorful material and a mysterious woman lit by the sun. A paean to Kenneth Anger.

Song for Koko, Tommy Becker, 4 min
A life force is being held against its will or once again running wild through the streets. The moment the lion lunges at the tamer we understand his motives. We relate viscerally to his oppression as we connect to the soul of its being.

Plane Wave, Daniel Robert Kelly, 9 min
Plane Wave is an interactive analog film. The film itself is a series of lenses that attempt to focus the working of the projector on to the exhibition screen. Each exhibition’s visuals are dependent on the lens/lamp/screen arrangement. A love letter exposing the refractive nature of light bending around the edges of metal, bone through tiny celluloid windows.

Sunday May 1st 2pm-7pm – Installations on Display
Kenilworth Square East, 4th Floor (1915 E Kenwood Pl)

Reality Models, Andrew Norman Wilson, 6 min 10 sec (loop)
In 2010 the physicist Aaron O’Connell and his colleagues proved that a strip of metal, visible to the naked human eye, can both oscillate and not oscillate at the same time. Essentially this means that objects, whatever their size, can be in two places at once.

Rust Golem, Nicholas DiMichele, 6 min 30 sec
Rust Golem is the world’s first Choose-Your-Own-Path virtual reality music video to be filmed in 360-degree live action! Guide your protagonists as they try and escape a dungeon of full of magic, mystery, and 8-bit video game stylings. Featuring six distinct endings and a rigorous display of hand-rotoscoped animated elements, Rust Golem is a fun, spooky adventure that begs to be played again and again!

Topophilia, Peter Bo Rappmund, 62 min
Topophilia employs time-lapse photography to follow the path of the above-ground Trans-Alaska Pipeline System as it carries crude oil some 800 miles across the state. Each shot stoically follows the previous one, just as each section of the pipeline inevitably links to the next. The camera is locked down, but the scale of time inside the static frame varies widely. Here, the natural and industrial clash and converge, and new environments both geologic and manmade emerge.

Sunday May 1st 3pm – Program in Competition 4
Kenilworth Square East, Room 408 (1915 E Kenwood Pl)

Intimacy is Hair Down in the Drain, Hanna Chetwin, 8 min
A film exploring cohabitation and the everyday bodily functions and grooming rituals of a shared home. Using my rayogrammed hair as a mask, I assembled glimpses of private moments of my partner and I in our apartment, resulting in an abstract yet slightly voyeuristic portrait of a couple’s shared life.

4min15 au révélateur/ 4min15 in the Developer, Moïa Jobin-Paré, 4 min 44 sec
A young woman and an urban landscape interact with each other. Developing images and intricacies by scratching and sewing them on again. Mixed techniques.

WorldBuilding, Janelle VanderKelen, 9 min 50 sec
An exercise of extending perception in time and space follows musings on both. The tentative space between two people is explored, and words, all the things you want to say, are rendered useless. Does the onus lie on the shoulders of the speaker when communication breaks down? An invitation for an intimate experience is proposed, or not, and permission granted, or not. What remains?

Prison Island, Susan DeLeo, 3 min 42 sec
Prison Island is an exploratory journey through an island previously inhabited by prisoners of war. It is a portrait of a place conceived through three rolls of super 8mm film and the impression left on the filmmaker from a days visit to this abandoned and fascinating site.

A Fire In My Brain That Separates Us, Benjamin Ramirez Perez, 17 min 10 sec
In an initially deserted room objects slowly begin to move; they are manipulated from the off-screen space, being pulled and dragged by strings, cables or the carpet. This is accompanied by superimposed subtitles, which consist of a collage of existing film dialogue taken from ‘gaslighting’ films: A text assemblage on seduction and betrayal unfolds in relation to signifiers and performative re-enactments of codes associated with classical cinema.

The House You Were Born In, John Powers, 10 min
A faux slideshow of Christmas lights, cloud atlases, and interior decorating manuals, all of which show their seams. Language seems inadequate to describe a familiar place, but are images any better? Should we be troubled when we feel nostalgic?

Frida Was Here, Renato Umali, 10 min 43 sec
This is about the time Renato went to Mexico to interview a couple of people about the discovery of a trove of artifacts supposedly once owned or created by Frida Kahlo. The authenticity of the archive, that is, whether Kahlo once owned the material, is in question.

Night Visions, Zoe Kirk-Gushowaty, 7 min 30 sec 16mm x 2
Night Visions developed as an audio/visual conversation about psychic energy, sleep cycles and synaesthesia. The result is a haunting spell of color and rhythm.

The Unthinkable Bygone, Andrew Norman Wilson, 2 min 19 sec
Humans, using computers, try to model in stunning detail and complexity forms from the evolution of intelligent organisms that have both disappeared and, hypothetically, have yet to appear. Embedded within these models are speculations on the organisms’ intelligence, experience, and points of view, typically informed by conventions of cinema and television.

Alle tankers slekt//All thoughts are kin, Aleksander Johan Andreassen 24 min 47 sec
The film follows a young man who claims to be possessed by demons. Through his openness and unique perspective we get an insight into what it’s like to be at the fringes of society, and what the consequences of this can be.

Sunday May 1st 7pm – Program in Competition V
Kenilworth Square East, Room 408 (1915 E Kenwood Pl)

Body Contours, Kristin Reeves, 6 min
Make movies in your mind, feel the soundtrack, and drift away from your body for the win. Produced through a media art residency at Signal Culture using real-time analog video processing tools.

A Boy and His Guns, Sean Kafer, 7 min 25 sec
A young boy. His adventure. His world? Our world? Fantasy and truth weave through the lines that separate instinct and reason.

Mourning Rite, Robert Todd, 11 min 30 sec
Finding memorials in the urbanscape; totemic palaces of distant emotions.

Cupido, Natali Voorthuis, 3 min
A man is hit by Cupid’s arrow and falls in love with a girl. Unfortunately she’s already in love with someone else. This makes him question Cupid’s ways and doubt his existence. This music video was made in 2014 for the Dutch band The Kik.

Counter-Charge, Alex Hovet, 12 min 45 sec
In the 1989 adult-oriented computer series, Leisure Suit Larry’s eponymous hero, in an act of cathexis, concentrates on unattainable Passionate Patti in a complex of libido, love, and gender expression that leads Larry/Patti on an investigation of duality, with bell hooks’ attempts at intervention rejected by the game’s instinct.
Snow Angel, Stephanie Hutin, 1 min 28 sec
Carmen is the Snow Angel. Animation as documentation of performance.

A Vestal Fire, Alex Ingersoll, 8 min 34 sec
As carbon simmers, the digital blooms. An expectant mother receives a call after dark that opens up a world of absence.

My Sister Swallowed the Zoo, Maya Yu Zhang, 10 min 40 sec
My Sister Swallowed the Zoo investigates an ordinary phone call between a mother and a daughter, taking the audience on an emotional journey. The daughter and mother talk frankly about a newly adopted baby sister and the life choices of the older sister, which the mother opposes. The film explores hope and disappointment, adoption and replacement, freedom and captivity.

Deux Champs, Kevin Obsatz, 7 min 50 sec
Victor Obsatz, a young photographer in Greenwich Village, created a double-exposed portrait of Marcel Duchamp by mistake in 1953. Fifty-five years later that photo appeared in the pages of Smithsonian Magazine, and was featured at a Duchamp retrospective in Washington DC. This short documentary is a reflection on the distant memory of that day in 1953, and everything that has happened since.
Solitary Acts #5, Nazli Dincel, 5 min 25 sec
The filmmaker films herself practice kissing with a mirror. She recalls teenage memories of overconsumption, confusing oral fixations that are both sexual (kissing) and bodily (eating). She ends up eating the carrot she is masturbating with, and feels a sense of cannibalism.

Lullaby Optic, Steve Wood, 7 min 52 sec
An abstract work generated by moving lights through multiple video feedback loops, resulting in a catalog of transient electronic forms.  Captured in-camera, with no additional graphics or color enhancement. Scored with sounds from the NASA archives, and also with recordings of circuit-bent toys.

Shutter Utter, Matt Rossoni, 6 min
An empty 16mm film projector is rephotographed and brought into the digital domain. The rolling lines change in size and speed corresponding to shutter speed. The digital as a kind of microscope, revealing and orchestrating visual music that was there all along. Image becomes sound.