For the third program of the first evening of The 8 Fest 2011, had a selection of 14 shorts of recent small-gauge filmmakers. This program, called “Bageroooo, fore!” was so popular with submissions that they split the program into two parts with one on Friday night at 11:00 p.m. and the other on closing night on Sunday at 9:00 p.m.
The first thing I should note is how cool the venue of Trash Palace is for The 8 Fest. Trash Palace is one of the best kept secrets in the city for unique underground film. It has a real sense of community and you feel more like you are getting together to watch movies in a friend’s basement, rather than being in a big movie theatre. The underground location is decorated with everything from custom band posters to Mexican movie lobby cards with snacks in one corner and cushions available for the fold chair seating. The films are projected on a large blank wall. I can’t think of a more fitting way to watch small-gauge films.
My overall impression of this program called “Bageroooo, fore!”, was that these selections were more focused on abstract visuals more than narrative filmmaking. The exciting commonality of all 14 films was that they embraced the tactile quality of small-gauge filmmaking. Here are some of the highlights from the evening.
The Bathers ““ Pixie Cram, 2009, 3 min
Pixie Cram films a sequence of nude bathers gathering by a riverbed. The film is shot from afar. By giving some distance between the bathers and the viewers, we are struck by the beauty of the shot, but also left with the feeling of being a voyeur.
Brouillard ““ Alexandre Larose, 2009, 3.5 min
This film is a short walk on a path to a body of water. The film was superimposed 32 times over the same short journey from different paces and angle created a beautiful hypnotic effect.
Claustrophobia ““ Charlotte Wolf, 2009, 2.5 min
An interesting film showing the effects of claustrophobia on a man in an office being affected by an air conditioner. The imagery has its own claustrophobic feeling to it and was quite effective.
Weekend – Paul Julien Tanti, 2011, 1.5 min.
A series of unslit images (broken into a series of images shown side by side) capturing the last weekend of the summer.
Windy ““ Bill Baldewicz, 1999, 4 min.
Another series of unslit images of wind and wind machines showing the cause and effect of wind on man-made objects and the environment and also those man-made objects effecting the wind itself.
Shoot out the Star ““ Jason Halprin, 2010, 4 min.
Shots of midway rides and Ferris Wheels filmed all at night so that only the lights remain to the viewer. This is super-imposed with a soundtrack of patrons at the midway that both merge together with the visuals but also remain apart as well.
Protocol ““ Lina Rodriguez, 2010, 1 min.
A striking image by filmmaker Lina Rodriguez of a shadow of a flag over the rocks behind in Cartagena, Colombia. A great example of what a strong, simple statement can be accomplished with small-gauge filmmaking.
43rd Street Treelapse ““ Tara Nelson, 2008, 3 min.
Three films are shown at once in this triptych-projection of 43rd Street in Pittsburgh. The film is mix of real time and time-lapse photography with the three images working alone and coming together as one cinematic statement.