» Best of CUFF Virtual Program

THIS IS MY SHOW
Lori Felker
Working with Nature” can be grueling and painful, but your hostess Adrienne Edmunds is ready and willing to walk you through what it takes to perfect and control your surroundings.

Maurice
Patrick Brice
“Maurice” profiles the owner-projectionist of what may be the last porno movie house in Europe still playing 35 mm films. A champion of 70s vintage pornographic films which he has projected to a loyal clientele for over forty years at his “Beverly” cinema in Paris’ Theater district, Maurice Laroche imagines himself as technician of a dying art form, purveyor of love and adoration of the female form, and defender of this last bulwark of sincere longing and honest lust in the face of impersonal modernity and digital consumerism.

Swatted
Ismaël Joffroy Chandoutis
Online players describe their struggles with “swatting”, a life-threatening cyber-harassment phenomenon that looms over them whenever they play. The events take shape through youtube videos and wireframe images from a video game.

Anti-Objects, or Space without Path or Boundary
Sky Hopinka
“The individual is not an autonomous, solitary object but a thing of uncertain extent, with ambiguous boundaries. So too is matter, which loses much of its allure the moment it is reduced to an object, shorn of its viscosity, pressure and density. Both subject and matter resist their reduction into objects. Everything is interconnected and intertwined.” – Kengo Kuma The title of this video, taken from the texts of the architect Kengo Kuma, suggests a way of looking at everything as “interconnected and intertwined”, as are the historical and the present, the tool and the artifact. Images and representations of two structures in the Portland Metropolitan Area that have direct and complicated connections to the Chinookan people who inhabit(ed) the land are woven with audio tapes of one of the last speakers of the Chinookan creole, chinuk wawa. These localities of matter resist their reduction into objects, and call anew for space and time given to wandering as a deliberate act and the empowerment of shared utility.

Common Carrier
James N. Kienitz Wilkins
A mix of artists struggle to perform their roles, at once connected and alienated by the plague of modern life.

Headlock
Johan Carlsen
A fight for life and death between mother and son. In this surreal nature film, Cornelia Kwanka and son Christopher Kwanka play Susanne (35) and Jonathan (12) as they justify their existence against the world.

Toward the Flame
Paul Turano
Lighting up the morning sky a meteor detonated mid air over Chebarkul, Siberia on February 15, 2013. Existential shockwaves emanating from the explosion caused a momentary chaos, and catalyzed more desperate fears that it was perhaps signaling The End. The music in the work is by Russian composer Scriabin who composed Vers la Flamme — Towards the Flame a few years after the Tunguska event – a devastating explosion from a runaway comet or asteroid, whose impact was equivalent to 10–15 megatons of TNT – had occurred in Siberia in 1908. Hypothetical, but compelling connections between these events inform this work.

Historia Calamitatum (The Story of My Misfortunes), Part 2: The Crying Game
Roger BeebeIt’s all right to cry. Sometimes it’s better than all right.

A video about the forbidden pleasures of male tears.

Sincerity: The Character of Ronald Reagan
Chris RoyaltyChris Royalty is a retired oil painter, devoted tinkerer, and occasional political strategist living in Oakland, CA. The White House Military Office provides video documentation of a president’s daily activities, including press conferences, state functions, and private events. While the majority of this footage is not made public during a president’s time in office, it is mandatory that the material later be made available in the public domain via the National Archives.

“Sincerity” draws upon WHMO footage from 1984 and 1985 surrounding Ronald Reagan’s re-election to the presidency, and examines issues of authenticity, privacy, and performance in the maintenance of a public identity.

Tomorrow Never Knows
Adam Sekuler
The uncomfortable reality of death is faced by Shar and Cynthia who, upon Shar’s diagnosis with early-onset Alzheimer’s, make a brave and difficult decision: she will undertake a conscious death, fully experiencing the end of her life. This documentary moves away from any ominous, taboo or frightening depiction, instead raising the question of what we really mean when we say someone has gone. Is it the senility, the last breath or the burial? How do we prepare for each stage? And what happens when the diagnosis comes soon after your decision to start a gender transition? As our population ages and the number of diagnoses of this little-understood disease increases, these are questions we must find the cultural courage to address. This is a quiet, non-linear and thought-provoking piece that encourages and rewards the honest examination of our own mortality.

Piedad
nayah
Rodolfa and Maria Antonieta, two sexworkers with a deep passion for spliffs and trap music, hang around all day at their workplace: a magic garden at an abandoned airport ground in Berlin. When their colleague Asunción suddenly appears with the corpse of a dead client, they discover how easily sexual desire can cross the borders between the living and the deceased. A tragicomedy that explores ideas never touched before… “Because death really suits some people well”!

Artist Statement
Shayna Connelly
The artist fights for her voice in a world that doesn’t want her to speak. She risks her work being dismissed and herself declared “complicated”, “uncertain” or “irrelevant” unless she can define herself within a certain category. Only when her work is validated by a male authority does the work gain notice.

Ark
Lynne Siefert
Part travelogue, part philosophical mediation, Ark is a film about decadence and illusion. Set in the not too distant future, in a post-apocalyptic world, Ark melds lurid surrealist imagery with sardonic musings of anonymous passengers aboard a cruise ship at the end of the world.

Everybody
Jessie Mott and Steve Reinke
Guided by the filmmaker’s curious eye and personal reflections, Evaporating Borders develops a visual essay that explores the experience of asylum seekers in Cyprus. Through a series of vignettes, it poetically weaves themes of migration, tolerance, identity and belonging.

The Blessed Assurance
Isabelle Carbonell
Every winter off the Georgia coast, fishermen reel in jellyfish from the same waters where shrimp once flourished. The Blessed Assurance is a sensorial documentary experience, a meditation on livelihood exploring both man and jellyfish in the otherworldly ecosystem found on an American trawl boat. Visceral images and sounds immerse us in a primordial world, decentering the human and even going inside a jellyfish.

Evaporating Borders
Iva Radivojevic
Guided by the filmmaker’s curious eye and personal reflections, Evaporating Borders develops a visual essay that explores the experience of asylum seekers in Cyprus. Through a series of vignettes, it poetically weaves themes of migration, tolerance, identity and belonging.

Red Luck
Mike OlenickAnonymous Notes, a jump rope, tin foil, a baseball bat, and a drill are just some of the dangerous objects waiting to be discovered in Red Luck, a surreal psychosexual thriller focusing on a group of individuals and the violence that transpires when their paths cross.

A sense of dread pervades the entirety of the nearly wordless Red Luck: from the abstract close-ups at the beginning that gradually come into narrative focus, to the tainted objects that pass through the story, to the dead animals that litter a seemingly peaceful neighborhood, to the ominous and repeating lyrics from a forgotten 1960s folk song, which reminds us that “some things are not meant to be heard.”

American Arab
Usama Alshaibi
In Kartemquin’s American Arab, Iraqi-born Director Usama Alshaibi takes a provocative look at the contradictions of Arab identity in post 9/11 America, weaving his own life’s journey and “coming-of-Arab” experiences into the life stories of several diverse characters. Exploring the values, passions, and hopes of his fellow Arab-Americans, Usama tries to make peace with his conflicted chosen homeland.

Who Took Johnny
David Beilinson, Suki Hawley, Michael Galinsky
WHO TOOK JOHNNY captures the endless intrigue and conspiracy theories surrounding the eye-witness accounts, compelling evidence and emotional discoveries which span three decades of the most spellbinding missing person’s case in U.S. history.

Horns and Halos
Suki Hawley, Michael Galinsky, David Beilinson
This movie captures the unlikely connection between three men. An ex-con biographer, a janitor turned publisher and U.S. President George W. Bush whose paths to power and popularity become tangled in the controversial biography about George W. Bush, Fortunate Son.

Half-Cocked
Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky
Life among young bohos and would-be rockers gets a strikingly true-to-life treatment in the deadpan road movie “Half-Cocked.” Co-creators Suki Hawley and Michael Galinsky are indie-rock scene veterans, experience that shows in every frame. While the no-budgeter may be too insiderish and understated for the Generation X masses, its wry comic veracity could score a bull’s-eye with hip college auds. – Godfrey Cheshire – Variety

Second Law: S Leh St.
Mike Gibisser
The second law of thermodynamics, the law of entropy, states order tends toward disorder. An old woman passes time in her home. The dust in the air sometimes floats skyward.

Home Near Water
Christopher Lange
Brad attempts to preserve love within his marriage, which coincides with his gradual transformation into a creature. The film mixes HD, DV, and 16mm formats.

Violets
Jim Vendiola
Two strange, reclusive sisters quietly await the advent of their secretly twisted plan. Inspired by true events.

The Casts
Darrin Martin
Three bearded men attempt to describe a series of cast objects in their hands. Relying only on their sense of touch, metaphors flow as fluid as the water that acts as backdrop to both their circularly framed images and the floating objects in question.

Girl Powder
Annelise Ogaard
Jessica is the CEO of a hip, millennial drug cartel. Her assistant Louise handles all the little details.

East of hell
Matthieu Canaguier
Surabaya : a maze of concrete and iron. At the heart of the city, a whole generation of young Indonesians gather around a controversial and underground music : Black Metal. This movement originated in Europe, has been reinvented by local groups: Western codes mingle with indonesian beliefs.??The film follows the destinies of three members of the music scene: Tony, Eric and Andung. They make us discover a lively music, cathartic, blasphemous and sacred.

Black Dog
Joshua Tuthill
Utilizing archival footage and stop-motion animation, Black Dog is set during the US and USSR space race of the 1960s amidst a time of heated social and political tension. Two brothers must deal with the sudden loss of their parents. As one falls into the darkness of a troubled marriage, the other must find an escape from the evil that is devouring his family.

Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise
Kelly Sears
In Once It Started It Could Not End Otherwise (2011), photographs from 1970s high school yearbooks resurface in a minimalist horror story. The images are largely drawn from the candid section, often snap shots of students caught off guard by a yearbook staff photographer as an unknown force seeps into the walls of the school, eerily mirroring larger political and social markers of the recent past.

Voice on the Line
Kelly Sears
igures from archival films from the 1950s are recast in a large-scale secret operation that veers bizarrely off course. The film reflects on current and troubled relationships between the areas of national security, civil liberties and telephone companies. Voice on the Line explores how technology can be used to shape our fears, desires and how we feel connected.

Zero Killed
Michal Kosakowski
People with different non-criminal backgrounds talk about their murder fantasies and get the chance to stage their fantasies as short films. A decade later, the director meets with these people and interviews them about current topics such as revenge, torture, war, terrorism, media, the death penalty, suicide etc. Their replies are juxtaposed with the short films based on their murder fantasies.

V/IRL
Malia Bruker
V/IRL surveys the post-internet art of Lena NW, a self-proclaimed feminist nihilist. Her wildly colorful and explicit video games, comics and rap are NSFW, yet thoughtfully engage ideas about female sexuality and selfhood in the internet age. NW’s frank, articulate commentary includes young girls’ exposure to pornography, cybersex coming-of-age stories, and the complex relationship between commodification, domination, and self-empowerment. V/IRL combines elements of traditional documentary and virtual surrealism to explore not only the artist’s themes, but also the formal techniques of contemporary, transdisciplinary art.