17th Chicago Underground Film Festival

FF
Deborah Stratman, 3 min, video, 2010, USA

“A short flicker film adulterated by representational images. FF was an assignment given by artists Melissa Dubbin and Aaron Davidson who created the soundtrack to which I was asked to make a “future film”.” (DS)

GIRI CHIT
Simon Tarr, 14 min, video, 2009, USA, Japan

“Giri translates as ‘duty’ in Japanese, but the concept is in fact far more complicated. Giri is a sort of interpersonal political capital that informs careers, family relations, and much more. Its presence and flow is palpable in Japan, where this film was shot. A ‘giri chit’ then may be a hypothetical voucher for this intangible flow (with a tip of the cap to Thomas Pynchon’s “Vineland”). (ST)

GREAT MAN AND CINEMA
Jim Finn, 4 min, video, 2009, USA

“Kim Jong Il, the Stalinist David O. Selznick, runs the state film studio as a way of promoting his own and his father’s cult of personality. This film succinctly synthesizes the Dear Leader’s directing philosophy with his feelings toward the imperialist beast at his heels.” (JF)

L’ INTERNATIONALE
Marianna Milhorat, 9 min, 16mm on video, 2010, Canada

“In a foreign landscape, futuristic factories and boreholes harvesting geothermal steam interact with natural forces. Recognizable objects raise questions regarding an insinuated narrative. A solitary figure posing with a gun suggests an unstable political environment; emptiness suggests extinction.” (MM)

VERY SIMILAR TO
Peter Miller and Alexander Stewart, 3 min, 16mm, 2009, USA

“A film with mirrors in the woods.” (AS)

ALIKI
Richard Wiebe, 5 min, video, 2010, USA

“An encounter with a flamingo at an ancient salt lake in Cyprus.” (RW)

5 LESSONS AND 9 QUESTIONS ABOUT CHINATOWN
Shelly Silver, 10 min, video, 2009, USA

“10 square blocks, past, present, future, time, light, movement, immigration, exclusion, gentrification, racism, history, China, America, 3 languages, 13 voices, 152 years, 17,820 frames, 9 minutes, 54 seconds, 9 questions, 5 lessons, Chinatown” (SS)

YANQUI WALKER AND THE OPTICAL REVOLUTION
Kathryn Ramey, 33 min, 16mm, 2009, USA

“This film is about a, now obscure, American expansionist and military dictator, William Walker who, through military force and coercion, became president of Nicaragua in 1856. The film blends found footage, documentary photography, ethnographic inquiry and personal travelogue with experimental film techniques such as hand-processing, optical printing and hand conducted time-lapse to detour and derail the various approaches to history making that have been applied to this story.” (KR)