i'm a stranger here myself
featuring ERICKA BECKMAN, WEN HAN CHANG, MARTHA COLBURN & PAT O'NEILL, JIM FINN, CAROLINE GOLUM, SATYA HARIHARAN, STEFANO MIRAGLIA, ANKITA PANDA, SOPHY ROMVARI, ABBY SUN & DANIEL GARBER, PAIGE TAUL, ELIZABETH M. WEBB, ELIAS ZX.
The Annotated Field Guide of Ulysses S. Grant
Jim Finn, 2020, 61 minutes
For four years in the 1860’s, half of the United States was held hostage by an unrecognized white supremacist republic. Shot on 16mm in national military parks, swamps, forests and the suburban sprawl across the former battlefields, the film follows General Grant’s path liberating the southern United States. Part travelogue, part essay film, part landscape documentary, it moves from the Texas-Louisiana border to a prison island off the coast of New England. But instead of relying on actors, vintage photos, and the sounds of bullets and explosions, the battles are illustrated with the paper reenactments of hex & counter wargames and bubblegum cards from the hobbyist gamer subcultures that have sprung up around the Civil War. The sound and music are inspired by 1970’s crime films to celebrate the destruction of the Confederacy with the synth jams they deserve.
FOUR PORTRAITS BY PAIGE TAUL
Filmmaker Paige Taul sees people with a wholeness that draws out the nuances of their features, behaviors, and spirit. These four illuminating celluloid portraits cohere complex questions of identity with the deceptive simplicity of a compassionate gaze. Clockwise from top left, they are:
10:28,30 (2019, 4 minutes)
7-7-94 For my babe (2018, 3 minutes)
It makes me wanna (2017, 3 minutes)
Its a condition (2018, 3 minutes)
Elizabeth M. Webb, 2016, 25 minutes
My great grandmother was a black woman known for her exquisite beauty, yet there are no recorded images of her. Her name was Paradise.
At the age of 18 in Charlottesville, VA, I discovered a family history that had gone unspoken for a generation: my father’s father, whom I never met, was African-American—my father had been passing as white. He had also decided to raise our family as such, giving us no knowledge of our black ancestry. "For Paradise" traces the construction of racial identities within my family where members live on both sides of the “color line.” The story of my great-grandmother Paradise guides me through family histories of migration and racial passing as I navigate spaces where power can be found in absence and loss.
Sophy Romvari, 2020, 17 minutes
A box of stunning family photos awakens grief and lost memories as they are viewed for the first time on camera. Filmmaker Sophy Romvari documents her first-hand experience as an exploration into cinema as therapy in this nonfiction short.
Martha Colburn & Pat O'Neill, 2021
Los Angeles artist and filmmaker Pat O'Neill narrates a journey through his photographs taken over many decades and locations. A travelogue for the 'Stay-at-Home' weary - peering into places no longer functioning and empty signs of civilization, from Pioneer stories, to the streets of Europe, and outside desert bars. Edited by Martha Colburn.
Ericka Beckman, 2006, 12 minutes
“When I began preparing the film in Budapest in 2000, I found myself surrounded by the remnants of the Soviet’s Modernist Architecture. I was immediately captivated by these buildings – not because they were esthetically appealing – but because they embodied perfectly, not only their purpose, but also the ideology upon which they were built. They were not constructed to last but a few years, but rather to endure through millennia, corresponding to the expected lifespan of the regime. The fact that they still stood – solid, defiant even – while the empire had crumbled into dust, made them all the more appealing to me. I chose an abandoned water purification plant on the outskirts of Budapest as the setting for Switch Center. In conceiving of this film, I was inspired by Leger’s early avant-garde picture, ‘Ballet Mechanic’. In my film, the structure itself comes to life through the manipulations of the employees who work inside it. I wanted to make a tribute to the kind of futuristic pragmatism expressed by these buildings that are now being razed to allow space for shopping malls and corporate offices.” — E.B. 2002
Abby Sun & Daniel Garber, 2019, 4 minutes
His name is Naudy Exposito, but while working in the overwhelmingly white Wyoming rodeo circuit, everyone calls him Cuba. A kinetic and humorous glimpse of a man just trying to do his job, the film rides along with Cuba, who fits the rodeo cowboy stereotype no better than he fits into his ill-fated Japanese mini-truck. After a sudden injury, Cuba’s dreams collide with the reality that even the most undignified accidents can be quite painful.
The Sixteen Showings of Julian of Norwich
Caroline Golum, 2020, 8 minutes
Julian of Norwich was 30 years old and living at home when she experienced the sixteen visions that inspired her book, "Revelations of Divine Love." I was 32 and stuck at home when a statewide shut down torpedoed my feature-length live-action adaptation of Julian's story. This actor-less, handmade film was my attempt to combat cabin fever and experiment with practical techniques.
Satya Hariharan, 2020, 14 minutes
A personal essay that meditates on mantras, intergenerational relationships, and the fragmentation of language and memories.
Pause, Play, Repeat
Ankita Panda, 2020, 4 minutes
A film that identifies the patterns that exist in the macro and micro systems around us.
Wen Han Chang, 2018, 16 minutes
No one can be exempted from the need of sleep. In sleep, we are restored and refreshed while suspending between bodily functions and consciousness. We do not know what was happening when lying asleep. Further, those almost in trance are cut off from the reality. What is the relationship between the actual world and the realm reigned by Hypnos?
You Deserve The Best
Elias ZX, 2018, 5 minutes
A film about my mother's cancer and what it feels like to be hit by a truck.
Stefano Miraglia, 2020, 14 minutes
An experimental music ensemble is recording an album. They want a very specific sound: the sound of thick air. The sound engineer struggles to understand and to find that sound. A tale of sleepless nights and loud music.