About Handmade: The Films of Stacey Steers

Stacey Steers is known for her process-driven, labor-intensive animated films composed of thousands of handmade works on paper. Using images appropriated from early cinematic sources, she constructs original, experimental narratives that investigate the nature of longing and how it provokes and mediates experience. Her award-winning films have screened at some of cinema’s most prestigious venues and events, including the Sundance Film Festival, the Telluride Film Festival, the National Gallery of Art, and MoMA, among others. This series showcases three such films.

Edge of Alchemy (2017): Mary Pickford and Janet Gaynor, seamlessly appropriated from their early silent films, are cast into a surreal epic with an upending of the Frankenstein story and a contemporary undercurrent of hive collapse. The story is assembled from appropriated images inserted into newly imagined collage environments, built by hand from fragments of 19th-century engravings and illustrations. [19 min; experimental; English]

Night Hunter (2011): In this film composed of more than four thousand collages, the actress Lillian Gish is taken from silent-era cinema and plunged into a new and haunting role. Night Hunter evokes a disquieting dreamscape, drawn from allegory, myth, and archetype. [16 min; experimental; English]

Watunna (1989): Watunna ("the memory of our beginning") retells the creation myths of the Yekuana Indians who reside in Venezuela's rain forest, stories of night, evil, sexuality, animals, fire, and food. For the filmmaker, this is a reckoning with years spent living remotely in Latin America. Narrated by Stan Brakhage. [24 min; experimental, animation; English]

"Steers has created a figurative animation film of such complexity and all-inclusive human 'world view' that her Watunna exists without rival in the history of cinema, only comparable to Smith's Heaven and Earth Magic feature and Jordan's Sophie's Place." — Stan Brakhage

"Steers gracefully explores the rhythms of mythology and dreamtime in her animated film Watunna. Eschewing the fidgety pixilation that passes for cutting-edge animation, Steers' archaic imagery and parchment-textured backgrounds suggest a timeless circularity.” — Richard Gehr, The Village Voice

"Edge of Alchemy is the epitome of Stacey Steers' unique vision of collaged re-examination animations, an uncanny way to carry on in the great tradition of surrealist cinema.” — Canyon Cinema

Any film screened at IU Cinema may contain content that viewers find sensitive or upsetting. Visit our Audience Advisories page to learn more.

/film_images/Steers 3 cropped.jpg /film_images/Steers 4 cropped.jpg
/film_images/Steers 1 cropped.jpg

Parking, map, and more

Plan your visit