January 25, 2012

‘Film Fridays’ feature avant-garde, edgy works

by Pete Rosenbery

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Films and videos that feature “edgy and avant-garde” work are part of Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s “Film Fridays at the Varsity” series this spring.

The first screenings, “Constructing Situations and Making a Scene,” feature five videos and will be shown at 4:30 p.m., Friday, Jan. 27, at the Varsity Center for the Arts, 418 S. Illinois Ave., Carbondale.

Made possible by the SIU Student Fine Arts Activity Fee, admission is free and open to the public, although the general public is encouraged to donate to the Varsity Center for the Arts, said Susan Felleman, an associate professor of Cinema Studies and Women’s Studies.

The screenings all begin at 4:30 p.m. with an introduction by curators, followed by casual open discussion after the films.

Felleman, along with Cade Bursell, an associate professor also in the Department of Cinema and Photography, are curating the series this semester, along with Deron Williams and Derek Smith, who are both third-year graduate students in the College of Mass Communication and Media Arts’ Masters of Fine Arts program.

 “All of these programs have me incredibly excited,” Felleman said. She teaches history of experimental film and video and said Williams and Smith “put together three programs that do not have one film in them I have seen.”

The series features a “strong representation of women filmmakers and feminist filmmaking throughout the semester,” said Felleman, who is teaching a course on feminism and film this semester.

Two of the three programs in March -- “!Women Art Revolution,” on March 2, and “Kid on Hip, Camera in Hand,” on March 23, are coordinated with Women’s History Month, Felleman said.

On March 2, Felleman will curate the 2010 film, “!Women Art Revolution,” by Lynn Hershman-Leeson, which shows how the Feminist Art Movement “fused speech and politics into an art that radically transformed the art and culture of our times,” according to organizers.

Bursell’s program on March 23 will include among others, films by two SIU Carbondale graduates -- Enie Vaisburd and Jennifer Hardacker, both of whom are media arts department faculty at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Ore.  Vaisburd and Hardacker have also curated the program of films about motherhood.  Vaisburd and Hardacker each earned Master of Fine Arts degrees from SIU Carbondale -- Vaisburd in 1996; Hardacker in 1998.

Williams is teaching a class in alternative digital production this semester, and his students will attend the screenings.  He said he hopes students see there are more alternatives outside of commercial narrative and documentary productions.

“There are different ways to go about documenting or telling a story that often get overlooked,” he said.

Additional information on the films and the schedule will be on the Cinema and Photography department website, http://cp.siu.edu/.

The spring 2012 “Film Fridays at the Varsity” schedule is:

  • Friday, Jan. 27 -- “Constructing Situations and Making a Scene,” features the films “The Creators of Shopping Worlds,” by Harun Farocki, 2001; “Temple of Torment,” by George Kuchar, 2006; “Living Inside,” Sadie Benning, 1999; “Girl Next Door,” by Julie Perini, 2010, and “Hard Stares and Broken Mirrors,” by Vera Brunner-Sung, 2007.

  • Friday, March 2 -- “!Women Art Revolution,” directed by Lynn Hershman-Leeson, 2010.

  • Friday, March 9 -- “Abjection: The Body Once Removed,” features the films “Chop Off,” by M.M. Serra, 2008; “P,” by Yuri A, 1999; “Keratin Reserve,” by Josh Solndz, 2009; “Menses,” by Barbara Hammer, 1974; “Dark Sun Squeeze,” by Pawel Wojtasik, 2003; “Dear Dennis,” by Susan Mogul, 1988, and “Waterways: 4 Saliva Studies,” by Vito Acconci, 1971.

  • March 23 -- “Kid on Hip, Camera in Hand,” features the films, “Photograph of Wind,” by Lynne Sachs, 2001; “I Wonder What You Will Remember of September,” by Cecilia Cornejo, 2004; “Winged,” by Jennifer Hardacker, 2010; “Set, Set, Spike,” by Emily Hubley, 2002; “A Bump Was a Pearl,” by Johanna Hibbard, 2008; “Fall,” by Kathryn Ramey, 2011; “You Can See the Sun in Late December,” by Sasha Waters, 2010, and “Walk,” by Enie Vaisburd, 2011.

  • April 27 -- “Watching Yourself Watching,” features the films, “The Gr8 Task Remaining B4 Us,” by Karl Lind, 2011; “The Amateurist,” by Miranda July, 1998; “Angel Beach,” by Scott Stark, 2001; “On the Marriage Broker Joke as Cited by Sigmund Freud,” by George Landow, 1977-1979, and “What You Mean We?,” by Laurie Anderson, 1987.