About Truly Filmic Underground Shorts

With the demise of film perpetually looming as major movie studios move “forward” to the digital future (some having already announced the end of celluloid distribution), critics, scholars, and media practitioners have spent copious time and column inches debating the value of digital and what should be done about film. For those who love the look of film, and for those who wholeheartedly embrace digitality, this program presents a selection of truly filmic films, works that highlight the particular characteristics of that beloved medium.

Shirley Clarke’s Bridges-Go-Round is a kaleidoscopic take on several New York City bridges, which are made by turns ominous, classical, and futuristic. Variations, one of Nathaniel Dorsky’s silent masterpieces, renders the small details of everyday life with images of exquisite, delicate beauty. Janie Geiser’s The Fourth Watch uses old movies re-photographed from a video monitor as the material for a meditation on the lives and deaths of media forms and their use by avant-garde artists. Finally, Looking for Langston is Isaac Julien’s widely celebrated examination of black gay identity during the Harlem Renaissance, developed through a combination of stock newsreel footage and staged scenes. (16mm presentation)

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