Burnt in Memory

Sunday, May 17

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01 Burnt in Memory_1

Burnt in Memory, My Lover Has Steel Legs and Street Lights For Eyes

Robert Stockwell

73 min., Video, 2015, USA

“Burnt in Memory chronicles life in Chicago. Its impressionistic tableau has no dialogue, no characters, no story, and no acts. It is just a glimpse of people and their places, their in between places, and their forgotten places. Burnt in Memory documents the mundane. The places passed on the way to work. Finding the moments worth looking at, showing something you’ve seen but never remembered. It’s seeing again the things all around that are filled with life and yet forgotten about. The film/video is an experiment to rewind and strip away the conventions about narratives in documentaries. My intent is to bring back the simplicity of walking around with a camera capturing life and moments, without the overuse of effects, and very little money. I entrust the viewer to see for themselves. The music is entirely improvised. The musicians include Azita Youssefi on piano, Amber Amar-Walton on cello, Justin Martin on guitar, Nandini Khaund on the Folktek Quadrum, and Ben Clarke as musical director. These mainstay Chicago musicians played to a projection of the film and the results are unique and varied from most every other film score. Rather than composing restrictive melodies and rhythms the musicians played just as freely and uninhibited as Burnt in Memory was photographed. I hope you enjoy seeing Chicago as I see it. It’s a city steeped in stereotypes, but after wandering around the city day after day its true personality comes forth. Its beauty and ugliness, its power and frailty, its inhabitants and its abandoned caverns are what make this city intriguing. It’s been a pleasure to explore Chicago completely without commercial pretense. We’re not trying to sell you on Chicago. We’re not saying, “come on over, the water is nice!” We’re simply sharing what we see.” – Robert Stockwell