Welcome to the Haverhill Experimental Film Festival 2017! Successfully made it to our fifth annual year. All screenings are $5 at the door and take place at the new Harbor Place hosted by HC Media. Saturday at 2pm is the only free programming we offer this year. Below is a quick look at the screenings H.E.F.F. is offering this year, plus a more detailed description of each event!
Friday, June 9 @ 7pm: PULSE
Friday, June 9 @ 9pm: ORBIT
Saturday, June 10 @ 2pm: CLOSER
Saturday, June 10 @ 6pm: BLAME
Saturday, June 10 @ 8pm: WAY
FRIDAY JUNE 9 @ 7PM
1. “Blue Movie” by Michael A. Morris (7:07, 2015, USA)
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.
2. “I Am Learning to Abandon the World” by A. Moon (10:00, 2016, USA)
This silent found-footage film cuts together eventless moments from a trove of vintage 16mm films discovered at a salvage house with new intertitles to create an elusive anti-narrative of absence, desire, self-loss, and hidden threats.
3. PiFIES! by Ignacio Tamarit (4:00, 2016, Argentina)
¡PíFIES! (from the Spanish slang, "mistake") is an elogy to the technical problems of the amateur filmmaker. A rhythmic collage where the focus is placed on the mistakes, or what would have been discarded by the cineiste, instead of being left.
4. “Corridory” by Matt Meindl (3:30, 2016, USA)
If these walls could talk they'd ramble. Dreamsploitation.
5. “Expo, my dirty attic” by Allan Brown (8:02, 2016, Canada)
My earliest of childhood memories are shrouded in cold war phantasm, conspiracy, sea monsters and a woman describing her first experience on LSD. Expo 67 was the blossoming of Montreal as an international city and my introduction to the complex and complicated mind of a growing child.
6. “26 Pulse Wrought - (Film for Rewinds) Vol. I - Windows for Recursive Triangulation” by Andrew Busti (3:15, 2014, USA)
The first in a series of 9 Films investigating subjective languages, languages of subjectivity, and
interpretive modes thru coded polyphonic articulate signals. A cinema for illumination and reflection.
Exploring travel from east to west and from west to east. Reflecting on the setting Sun of the Winter Solstice, the crux of increasing light… seen thru apertures…setting over the Pacific. Yes it is here…it is here, where we are…
7. “METAL LASER CITY (A CINEPOEM)” by Philipp Ramspeck (13:00, 2015, Switzerland)
A city burns down. It rebuilds itself as if by an invisible hand and is finally obliterated in a cosmic crash… A nightmarish cinepoem on 16mm film about an apocalyptic city and it's bizzare and tragic inhabitants. (All you see is as it was shot and cut inside the Bolex camera!)
8. “Meridian Plain” by Laura Kraning (18:00, 2016, USA)
Meridian Plain maps an enigmatic distant landscape excavated from hundreds of thousands of archival still images, forecasting visions of a possible future, transmitted from a mechanical eye.
FRIDAY JUNE 9 @ 9PM
1. “What Time Is It?” by Karine Versluis (6:00, 2016, Netherlands)
What Time Is It? visualizes several questions about memory and identity. It touches the borders of fiction and reality. The film asks questions about who we are. What makes us who we are, if we cannot share our memories anymore with the ones with whom we experienced them?
2. “This Must Be the Wood” by Anna Hogg (8:40, 2016, USA)
One of three sisters becomes lost in the wood where things have no names. Its ephemeral shadow-light filters into the room of the other two, who search for her in their own reflections. It is a tale of sisterhood and the loss of sisterhood, quest and the failure of that quest. Its images are made through a series of long-exposure time-lapses inside a large camera obscura structure, and its text is based on a series of fictionalized real events and Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass.
3. “dragons & seraphim” by Sasha Waters Freyer (14:00, 2017, USA)
Ancient flowers and animal desire. The past rises up –
a mirage, but I can't bury it deep enough. Fever season
of magic, madness: adolescence. It's their turn now,
our willing sacrifice.
Sound design by Stephen Vitiello.
Poem "Childless" by Michael Morse.
4. “In A Perfect Fever” by Kera MaKenzie and Andrew Mausert-Mooney (8:30, 2014, USA)
In a Perfect Fever riffs on a ubiquitous trick in film and television history, where the switching of a "practical" light -- a light source within the frame -- serves as a moment of conspiracy between filmmakers, characters, and audience, allowing drastic, even impossible changes to the scene while still functioning as a believable, diegetic moment. Unfurling like a dream, the video expands to consider recent psychological studies investigating empathy that find increased stress levels and shorter life spans for the individuals doing the caring. How do we name the value of this costly connection?
5. “Granular Film - Beirut” by Charles-André Coderre (6:11, 2016, Canada)
Reminiscence of a trip in Beirut. The sea. the palm trees, the buildings melt when my eyelids began to close. My memories now have a separate life of their own.
6. “TWO” by Christopher Spencer-Lowe (12:30, 2016, Canada)
TWO is a cinematic rendering of memory, shot entirely on Super 8 film. Co-created by its subject Harley from age two to four, TWO is a document of the filmmakers' 2 years at home together and an exploration of the line between ‘art’ and ‘home’ movies, documentation and expression, contrivance and authenticity.
7. “All Still Orbit” by Sanja Padjen (23:00, 2016, Croatia)
All Still Orbit links together two apparently unrelated moments in the construction of Brasília: the dream by an Italian saint used to justify its creation and a small city built by the workers constructing the new capital to house them and their families. How do you make sense of a city built on a dream? Are all dreams made equal? Sometimes a documentary can feel like a fairy tale.
SATURDAY JUNE 10 @ 2PM
1. “If I Were Any Further Away I’d Be Closer to Home” by Rajee Samarasinghe (14:30, 2016, Sri Lanka/USA)
A silent poem reflecting on the place of my mother’s birth and her first traces on earth. A generational portrait of South Asian “makers” becomes a perceptual voyage into memory, experience, and touch.
2. “Low Season” by Jonathan Johnson (16:00, 2015, USA/Thailand)
Loosely framed by interviews with the filmmaker’s parents, Low Season is an experimental documentary portrait of lives shaped global forces. Meditations on war, melding cultures and life lessons ebb and flow across time, continents and landscapes.
3. “Kindah” by Ephraim Asili (11:17, 2016, USA/Jamaica)
Shot between the Maroon village of Accompong, Jamaica, and Hudson, New York, the alternately sparse and exultantly polyrhythmic Kindah is part of a series of films examining the filmmaker’s relationship to the African diaspora. The title alludes to the mango tree that symbolizes common kinship in the Jamaican Maroon culture. The fourth film in an ongoing series of 16mm films exploring my relationship to the African Diaspora . This one was shot in Hudson NY and Accompong, Jamaica. Accompong, Jamaica was founded in 1739 after rebel slaves and their descendants fought a protracted war with the British leading to the establishment of a treaty between the two sides. The treaty signed the Maroons 1500 acres of land between their strongholds of Trelawny Town and Accompong in the Cockpits and a certain amount of political autonomy and economic freedoms.Cudjoe, a leader of the Maroons, is said to have united the Maroons in their fight for autonomy under the Kindah Tree—a large, ancient mango tree that is still standing .The tree symbolizes the common kinship of the community on its common land.
4. “Nocturnal Eye Printings” by Jean-Jacques Martinod (6:40, 2016, Ecuador/Morocco)
A collage of collected imagery turned ritual travelogue: from the Sahara to the oceans of South America, passing through an old ancestors abode.
5. “The Interior” by Jonathan Rattner (22:00, 2015, USA)
January, the Alaskan Interior, 56 dogs, four humans, five hours of sunlight. This observational work – shot on both 16mm and digital video – is a sensory journey that follows Brent Sass, an award-winning dog musher, and his community of dogs living in isolation in the rural inland of Alaska.
SATURDAY JUNE 10 @ 6PM
1. “ENOLAEMEVAEL” by Kathryn Ramey (7:00, 2016, USA)
An unfaithful remake of Man Ray's 1926 "Emak Bakia" made without
the use of a motion picture camera, ELONA EM EVAEL/LEAVE ME ALONE is a
nonsensical response to brutality alongside a celebration of silver
2. “$CREENING/OUT” by Jonathan Palomar (3:15, 2014 Canada)
A deconstructive remix of television ads.
3. “RECKONING 4” by Kent Lambert (9:50, 2016, USA)
RECKONING 4 is the second in a series of investigations into (among other things)
1. Terror and wonder in big-budget virtual worlds
2. The fluidity, fragility and loneliness of technologically mediated social identities and friendships
3. The queerness and malevolence of archetypal masculinity
4. The poetics of blockbuster aesthetics
4. “Point of No Return” by Zachary Finkelstein (10:25, 2016, Canada)
Under a microscope tiny shards of ice loom large as glaciers. Using microscopic videography and polarizing lenses, Point of No Return is a visually stunning study of melting ice in real time. The film provides a micro perspective on climate change, a massive but incremental global event that is usually imperceptible in our day to day lives. With narration in eleven of the most widely-spoken languages in the world, Point of No Return presents a dialogue in abstraction between emotional understanding and scientific fact in the face of rising global temperatures.
5. "Misters (without blame)” by Annalisa D. Quagliata (2:44, 2016, Mexico)
Misters (without blame) illustrates Mexico as a country where the ones pointing to and denouncing the corruption and impunity are silenced. The main focus of the piece is the murder of reporter Rubén Espinosa, an iconic event that exemplifies the growing violence in the state of Veracruz. The use of b&w film gives it the look of another era: The context of violence and injustice are current but the issues seem to be the same as before, like an old story that repeats over and over again.
6. “In Still Time” by Leslie Supnet (10:23, 2016, Canada)
In Still Time is an experimental animation that investigates the catastrophic image and spectacle through direct animation of still images onto 16mm film. The film uses still images found on the internet from the current Syrian civil war; these were laser printed directly onto the film, simultaneously abstracting these images and re-animating them. These images are juxtaposed with audio from news sources, interviews and YouTube videos posted by Syrian civilians, activists and journalists on the ground of different events that have taken place during the crisis. Through clues of shape, line, colour, and sound these abstracted images of catastrophe attempt to facilitate questions about the moral imperative to look, our ability or inability to bear witness to unthinkable human suffering and our complicity in the violence documented in the image. What are the limits of the catastrophic image? How can trauma and the unthinkable ever be properly represented? How do we give meaning to an event that stops and disrupts time?
7. “Swarm Circulation” by Yeonu Ju (11:52, 2016, South Korea)
Swarm Circulation is a question about the reality of the existing epistemology, order and system, reality, and so on. The question is about the facts that we have overlooked. It is also an observation of how things change in meaning when we unconsciously tame things or surely put in different contexts. This film looks at the relationship between human being and technology through the life of electronic products. Using archive footage, the work consisted of a documentary on the manufacturing of electronics, a commercial for electronics as TV, and an image of incinerating the ‘e-waste’ in the Third World.
8. “Identification” by Mike Hoolboom (29:30, 2017, Canada)
Shot in the murk and fog of a breakdown. Friends jam, a body lies on the ground, James Baldwin visits his father for the last time. Inspired by Black Lives Matter. Remembering Charlie “Africa” Keunang.
SATURDAY JUNE 10 @ 8PM
1. “Chiaroscuro” by Rich Fedorchak (4:06, 2015, USA)
"It is in the shadows that momentous encounters take place " - Alfred Fabre-Luce
A study of light and shadow shot on Tri-X super 8 black and white film and largely edited in-camera. Music by the composer Peter Garland.
2. “Shadows of Summer” by Jason Younkman (12:20, 2017, USA)
Remains of days that so easily slipped away.
3. “First Inquiries on Community or, two plus n is greater than or equal to one” by Armand Yervant Tufenkian (18:00, 2016, USA)
Beginning with the premise that the word community is a homonym, two films "A Scent of Heliotrope and Citron" and "View of the Plaza. Durham, North Carolina," each approximately 350ft, comprise this first inquiry asking "what does community look like?"
4. “Sight Unseen” by Diane Nerwen (7:02, 2016, USA)
Sight Unseen is a multi-layered reverie that merges shot and found images of iconic New York City into a dislocated screenscape. City walkers stroll dreamily through hazy streets and glowing lights where images are more real than the city itself.
5. “Histories of Simulated Intimacy No. 1” by Emily Drummer (11:05, 2017, USA)
"Great obstacles excite great passions; since eros consists not in possession but in wanting, what could stimulate eros more than distance and especially death, itself the ultimate distance?” -John Durham Peters, Speaking into the Air
6. “way of the gods” by Lorenzo Gattorna (10:05, USA)
"The mysterious stirs a reaction: an ah! This ah! is not an ah ha! or Eureka—that is, an exclamation of discovering an answer. The ah! response to mystery is more a dumbfounded recognition and appreciation of an inexplicable power or presence ... For Shinto, though, the point is to accept the awesome as part of the world in which we live. To deny or try to eradicate the wondrous mystery is no less than to run away from home." – Shinto: The Way Home, Thomas P. Kasulis, 2004