Cinememory: Negotiating the Past Through Film, Grand Illusion Cinema, Seattle, 26 July 2016, co-curated with Reed O’Beirne
Popehelm (Sam Jury, 2016, UK, 18:00) Popehelm holds no definitive narrative. The texts, soundscape, and images are shaped together to suggest not only an aftermath of unexplained calamity, but also the post-traumatic repetition of narrative that exist around such events. The film merges three distinct languages, that of dystopic cinematic, the personal, poetic narrative, and an innovative use of voice to create atmospheric acoustics.
Video Diary 01: A Foray into Cine-mnemonics (Dustin Zemel, 2015, Baton Rouge LA, USA, 5:13) An experiment exploring cinema's memory function i.e. the medium's capacity to document and remember.
Swallowed Whole (Heidi Kumao, 2014, Ann Arbor MI, USA, 4:12) A somber, animated, experimental film about surviving extreme isolation and physical limitations as a result of traumatic injury. This abbreviated, jarring journey explores the physical and psychological landscapes of hospitalization and recovery. Edited to emphasize the physical impact of dropping, crashing, and slamming, the film repeats vertical frame-rolls from analog TV to metaphorically replay the impact that literally broke the filmmaker’s back.
Batum (Kamila Kuc, 2016, UK, 9:00) Batum takes as its starting point the experience of near drowning in the Black Sea of Batumi, Georgia. It explores how memories become fiction once recorded and how in this process of recording, the camera itself holds a mysterious agency. Images that feature in the film are a constellation of personal and prosthetic memories, acquired through historical and cultural knowledge as exemplified by the poems of Osip Mandelstam and Joseph Stalin, among other cultural tropes.
Tidal Wave (Salise Hughes, 2005, Seattle WA, USA, 1:37) Made after the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, and before hurricane Katrina. A narrator remembers his recurrent tidal wave dreams begun before he had seen an ocean.
Last of Our Kind (Reed O’Beirne, 2012, Seattle WA, USA, 13:23) The memory of a lost love is transformed into a ritualistic incantation of longing. Featuring an original soundtrack by Robin Guthrie, the lovers' tale unfolds poetically into a modern interpretation of the Persephone myth.
Ektacy (Caryn Cline, 2016, Seattle WA, USA, 2:00) Short and sweet bits of home-movie footage from 1958, with rich Ektachrome images and a jazzy score.
Abandoned Generations (Linda Fenstermaker, 2015, Seattle WA, USA, 10:00) Through overlapping layers of film, Abandoned Generations tells the story of a female farmer living in the 1940s and the distance modern generations have placed between themselves and the land they live on.
Nothing to Undo (Jason Robinson, 2012, Charlottesville VA, USA, 4:04) I use the camera on my iPhone to capture small moments in my life. Making dinner. Playing soccer with my son. A trip to the museum. Nothing to Undo is an abstract collage of these memories, an attempt to organize, preserve and remember.
YOU DECIDE (Sally Cloninger, 2016, Olympia WA, USA, 1:51) Cinema for the Anthropocene: images and sound from the front line of climate change. Produced in Huahine, La Polynésie française.