Here unfolds a new identity. Appropriated from thousands of souls, we boil it down to this. Let us explore the place where our collective mind goes when its Self and the World are wrapped up together into one neatly packaged entity. Visual clarity is forsaken near the end for just a small moment. And once the focus returns, remember to catch a glimpse of the simple wonder before it is wrenched away from your eyes by darkness. This is when true awareness is finally regained.
A program consisting of North Carolina-based filmmakers. Curated by The Smyth Brothers of Durham’s UNEXPOSED monthly screening series.
1. “When Walt Whitman Was a Little Girl” by Jim Haverkamp (11min)
Not your typical History Channel biography, When Walt Whitman Was a Little Girl tells the startling, unuttered truth about America’s good gray poet. Starting out as an ordinary nine year old girl, Walt is soon catapulted into the world with her senses ablaze. Adapted from a prose poem by M.C. Biegner.
2. “Buffalo Common” by Bill Brown (22min)
With the end of the Cold War, North Dakota’s fearsome arsenal of intercontinental ballistic missiles suddenly found itself outmatched not by the Soviets, but by the budget cutters in Washington, DC. In his 2001 film, Bill Brown heads to The Peace Garden State to watch the nuclear weapons that haunted his childhood dreams get yanked out of the ground. Years before today’s shale oil boom, he visits a state whose dwindling population and failed farm economy has lead to talk about turning the whole place into a reserve for buffalo.
3. “Mount Song” by Shambhavi Kaul (9min)
A current runs underneath. It creeps under the door, makes its way into the cracks, revealing, obfuscating or breaking as clouds in the sky. Mountain, cave, river, forest and trap door; martial gestures, reiterated, stripped and rendered. A storm blows through. A parrot comments from a flowering branch. Here, the surfaces of set-constructions are offered for our attachments.
4. “this is (not) YATES” by Joshua Yates (3min)
a narrative fiction disguised as documentary, a pseudo self-portrait of a mischievous filmmaker, or an actual non-fiction video essay by a deranged lunatic. In any of these cases, the video seems to implicitly ask: When does a mask become a face?
5. “cyberGenesis” by Andre Silva (13min)
“cyberGenesis,” a creatively crowdsourced short film, imagines a future creation myth, crafted by cyber consciousness from bits and pieces of humanity’s online legacy.
6. “Leaf” by Charlotte Taylor (3 min)
“A leaf is placed on a glass plate…” Found footage & direct animation.
7. “Kudzu Vine” by Josh Gibson (20min)
A train advances through a railroad crossing flanked by dark masses of leaves and exits through the left of the frame, as if backwards in time. A radio program broadcasting to Georgia farmers waxes lyrical about kudzu’s many uses and virtues. This broadcast ushers in surreal and apocalyptic images and sounds of kudzu vines creeping forward, some say a foot a day. Photographed in black and white, and radiating with the luminance of early cinema, this ode to the climbing, trailing, and coiling species Pueraria lobata evokes the agricultural history and mythic textures of the South, while paying tribute to the human capacity for improvisation.
8. “Suhail and the One Having Crossed Over” by Anna Kipervaser (5min)
Before he was known as Canopus, he was called Suhail. And before that his name was Osiris. In all documented cases, he had two sisters, one of whom was left behind. She always signals the coming of an other, bigger than she. Their legend lives on to this day; each night the two sisters mourn him – and their separation – across the great heavenly river.