17th Chicago Underground Film Festival

TREE
Tony Balko, 3 min, 16mm, 2009, USA

“Light, water and air coax a tree out of the soil in a manner foregrounding time’s relativity to different forms of life on Earth.” (TB)

DON’T LOOK DIRECTLY AT THE SUN
Kathleen Rugh, 9 min, 16mm, 2010, USA

“Sunlight is abstracted and accentuated through alchemy. Through a pinhole lens, then hand-processed and toned, this film chases sunlight through its reflections in water and glass and streaming through branches and clouds.” (KR)

LIGHTHOUSE
Chi Jang Yin., 16 min, Video, 2009, USA/China

““Lighthouse” is about Chinese workers working and living at a factory town in southern China. The viewer is led to actively compose narratives through the ironic and the sublime images. It aims to open borders that separate cultural, linguistic and historical differences in the global labor systems.” (CJY)

BEAUTY FOR ASHES
Angie Waller, 9 min, video, 2010, USA

“’Beauty for Ashes’ takes its title from the speech given by Robert Moses during the opening ceremonies of Flushing Meadow Park in Queens. A small swath of land near Shea Stadium escaped his development plan. This area became densely populated with family-run automotive shops that thrived despite city neglect and the absence of basic infrastructure like sewage, street maintenance and waste disposal. Now city leaders have deemed it blighted and plan to redevelop the area under eminent domain. Set in the shadow of a new stadium named after an ailing financial giant, ‘Beauty for Ashes’ is a portrait of the area and its laborers anticipating their imminent displacement.” (AW)

CHICAGO CORNER
Bill Brown, 5 min, video, 2009, USA

“When I lived in Chicago, I rented an apartment near the Henry Horner Homes, a failed housing project on the West Side. For months, I watched the projects get dismantled, the former residents displaced, and a new private housing development get built. This film is a brief meditation on the transformation of domestic space into real estate.” (BB)

GARDEN ROLL BOUNCE PARKING LOT
Melissa Friedling, 4 min, 16mm, 2010, USA

“Pop culture and land-use practices converge in Brooklyn, NY where a Bangladeshi immigrant family recalls the found film that formed the overhead lattice support for their urban garden – before it was leveled to make a parking space for the father’s livery car.” (MF)

VINELAND
Laura Kraning’s, 10 min, video, 2009, USA

“At the last drive-in movie theater in Los Angeles, dislocated Hollywood images filled with apocalyptic angst float within the desolate nocturnal landscape of the City of Industry. In this border zone, re-framed and mirrored projections collide with the displaced radio broadcast soundtrack, revealing overlapping realities at the intersection of nostalgia and alienation.” (LK)

SONGS FROM THE SHED
Melika Bass, 23 min, 16mm on video, 2009, USA

“A fractured, makeshift family seeks out a meditative existence, their lives mysteriously intertwined through ritual and habit. Part musical, part melodrama. An enigmatic tale of eternal return, a decayed slice of American Gothic.“ (MB)