17th Chicago Underground Film Festival

TUSSLEMUSCLE
Steve Cossman, 5 min, 16mm, 2009, USA

“The work presented explores humanity’s ecological relationship and the ritual of restoration. The violent pulse speaks with a sense of urgency and chaotic struggle, while the hypnotic arrangement keeps us in blinding awe to its condition. This dynamically animated piece is composed of 7,000 single frames which were appropriated/‘recycled’ from view-master reel cells and hand-spliced to create a linear filmstrip. Original score by Jacob Long.” (SC)

GOLDEN HOUR
Robert Todd, 17 min, 16mm, 2010, USA

“What if the Looking Glass were, at the same time, a window and a mirror, if the window was the mirror, the mirror the window? And your projection through this transparent/reflective plane brings you to a world that is as externally rich as the self, with its internal churnings shifting through dark and light, directs it to be – the self and the world open to each other, if but for a moment? And that window offers itself to you as a space in your life, held shimmering in your being and your vision throughout that sustaining moment, that golden hour.” (RT)

SLEEPING BAR
Jack Cronin, 11 min, video, 2009, USA

“Sleeping Bear was filmed at the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore in northern Michigan over the course of three years. The film, which loosely follows the cycle of seasons, is a study of the landscape and an attempt to represent the unique character of this region.” (JC)

WORM ROOM
Matt Marsden, 3 min, video, 2009, USA

“Through a condensed journey up a fantastic evolutionary ladder Worm Room celebrates the 35 mm educational natural history film reels of the 50s and 60s.” (MM)

CAMPANA DE LA NOCHE
Michael Mills, 6 min, video, 2010, Canada

“Three children wander along the Andean plateau. They are beckoned by a distance bell, perhaps calling them home, perhaps warning them of the sinister element tracking them.” (MM)

SNAKES
Patrick Jolley, 5 min, 16mm, 2009, Ireland

“Sounds of slow traffic on a rainy street: a man in a cheap suit lies on the bed in a quiet apartment. Snakes entwine him, crawling slowly in and out of his clothes.”

IF THETRE BE THORNS
Michael Robinson, 12 min, video, 2009, USA

“A dark wave of exile, incest and magic burns across the tropic of cruelty, forging a knotted trail into the black hole.” (MR)

FENCES
José Vonk , 6 min, 35mm, 2009, The Netherlands

“FENCES is a short abstract handmade film, creating optical illusions by exploring graphic fence and wheel structures. the spokes of a wheel which are viewed in motion through a series of vertical bars, assume the optical illusion of a curvature of the spokes. This perception was the overture to the invention of film.” (Light Cone)

NIGHT MAYOR
Guy Maddin, 14 min, video, 2010, Canada Winnipeg

1939: Inventor Nihad Ademi harnesses the waves of the very Aurora Borealis itself and uses the power to broadcast images of Canada to its own citizens from coast to coast. The unregulated imagery angers the government, who send a crack team of federal agents to shut Nihad’s project down.