Greetings Soldiers and Cinephiles,
It is less than a week until our next Views from the Underground screening at PhilaMOCA! What better way to kick off the new year, then with some new and exciting independent films! You won’t see anything better at the multiplexes or at the Ritz. Check out the details for the films below.
Monday January 13, 2014 at 7pm
The Greggs by Bruce Bundy, Nigel DeFriez, Jessie Levandov, Rob Malone, Alex Mechanik, Kira Pearson, Jonathan Rosenblit, 20 minutes
A secret origin type story of how the standardized tests are written. They’re written by the Greggs.
Perfect Thoughts by Doron Max Hagay, 50 minutes
PERFECT THOUGHTS tells the story of a dissatisfied young woman whose quest for improvement begins when she discovers a self-help book titled “Perfect Thoughts”. Her inner turmoil escalates upon meeting and developing an obsessive longing for the author’s assistant - prompting her to create mood boards, purchase a car, and develop a strange lump on her body. Employing handheld camera work and long, messy shots without edit, the camera becomes an invasive presence recording detritus and meaning in equal measure; producing a film that exists in a realm between cinema, documentary, and low-budget porn.
Irina by Michael Johnston, 13 minutes
Struggling with the disastrous review of her latest play, an aging theater actress transforms her apartment into her stage, her husband into her audience, and the dead bird on her balcony into an allusion to Anton Chekhov.
Movement by Cronistas, 3 minutes
Some Thoughts On Movement
Movement is a short, stream-of-consciousness-style montage drawn from nearly twenty hours of video footage of the 2011 May Day demonstrations in Oakland, California. It was filmed as part of an ongoing effort to chronicle the reemergence of radical consciousness in the city that developed in response to the police murder of Oscar Grant III on New Year’s Day 2009 and has continued to the present.
In our opinion, Movement embodies many of the traits we dislike about what is often regarded as radical cinema. It lacks context, it’s not strategic, it doesn’t advance revolutionary politics… Actually, it falls pretty squarely into the so-called category of “riot porn,” which is not meant pejoratively, but does none-the-less denote an approach to radical filmmaking we have generally moved away from.
On the other hand, it succeeds in capturing the frustration that seeped from under the surface of the day—a frustration that had been building since the loss of the Occupy Oakland encampment six months earlier. What Movement captures is the leading up to a confrontation in which police snatch squads begin grabbing and arresting demonstrators they’ve singled-out. There is an obvious desire to fight back, but it is muted and doesn’t, for a number of reasons, go all the way. That frustrated response functions as a metaphor of the period in general and is intensified by the aesthetics and use of dislocated sound and disjunctive editing. This complicates our earlier critique and, in the least, it makes the film useful for debates concerning the relationship between aesthetics and content in radical cinema.
Crisis by Marc Dickerson, 45 seconds
A man has a crisis.
Rough Edits by Dan Dickerson, 27 minutes
Integrity vs. survival. Art vs. commerce. Man vs. himself. A former academic and bestselling author’s mental state is called into question when deadlines and responsibilities are forgotten in a one sided, belligerent quest for the truth. Anxiety, business pressure and self-hatred give way to a vision of a forgone American civilization that may or may not have existed.