Indie Shorts on Display

The Territory Begins New Season



Shooting the Breeze

Ever wish that your TV would break outside the confines of the humdrum? For a half-hour every week beginning October 28 through February 10, 1998, statewide PBS series The Territory promises to do just that. Now embarking on its 22nd season, the co-production of the Austin Museum of Art, the Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), and KUHT-TV (Houston) showcases some of the best independent film and video shorts from around the world. Featured are documentaries, short narratives, animation, digital, and experimental works. A total of 28 works will be broadcast during the 14-episode show.

The 1997 season of The Territory will also highlight some of the best work discovered at five major Texas film and video festivals: the SXSW Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Dallas Video Festival, USA Film Festival (Dallas), and the Houston Film Commission's Young Filmmakers' Showcase. Other new additions this season include a souped-up website where viewers can obtain film descriptions and stills, and download clips (http://www.swamp.org). Also on the website are directions for participating in a live Internet chat following the Nov. 18 "Language/Performance" program (that features the contributions of local artists Bill Jeffers and Tina Marsh).

Each program is a half-hour long and airs every Tuesday night in Austin on KLRU-TV (channel 18/cable 9) at 10pm (except for the time changes noted below and any last-minute programming changes). -- Marjorie Baumgarten


SXSW FILM CONFERENCE/SURREAL WORLDS (Oct. 28)

Excerpts from SXSW and two visionary, symbolic works that share a fascination with our deepest fears.

The Lion and the Lamb by Luc Beauchamp (8 min/Canada/1995). Stories of everyday street life interweave in an elaborate utopian fable, as chaos gives way to an upbeat vision of urban community.

How Wings Are Attached to the Backs of Angels by Craig Welch (11 min/Canada/1996). A bizarre meditation on obsession, death, and sex, told in the baroque, macabre style of the great European animators and expatriates, the Quay Brothers. (Included are excerpts from works by the Quay Brothers.)


DIGITAL ANIMATION (Nov. 4)

As digital technologies continue to revolutionize media, artists are radically reworking the making of images and the telling of stories.

Law of Averages by James Duesing (15 min/Cincinnati/1996). This savvy combination of postmodern parody and experimental narrative shows, yet again, that L.A. really is a virtual reality.

Tiny by Kevin Thomason (1 min/College Station/1995); Strange Attractor by Rose X Media House -- Ken Adams, Britt Welin, and Chip Mosher (6 min/Austin/1996); 3-Ds Around the World by Michele Bousquet (4 min/Brighton, MA/1995). From comic shorts and travelogues to feature-length films, new media artists search for increasingly sophisticated and engaging ways to communicate ideas.


LOVESICK: MALE AND FEMALE (Nov. 11)

Two very different yet oddly similar views of love, courtship, and loss in the angst-ridden modern world.

Anita Liberty by Dan Portland (15 min/New York/1997). Performance art, stand-up comedy, and girl talk are blended into an experimental narrative on the woes and liberation of being jilted.

Anna in the Sky by R.J. Cutler and Mark Edgington (10 min/Brooklyn/1997). An amusing, disconcerting tale of the personal psychodramas and elaborate rituals we create to deal with unrequited love.


LANGUAGE/PERFORMANCE (Nov. 18)



Don't Be Nice

Word and image combine to celebrate the human voice and the power of language.

Nothing by John Sanborn (24 min/California/1996). A leading video artist's study of memory, movement, and the vital role of language in our construction of everyday life.

Don't Be Nice produced and directed by Michael Moss; written by Bill Jeffers and performed by Tina Marsh (3 min/Austin/1996). A jazz-tone-poem offers a crucial bit of advice.


DALLAS VIDEO FESTIVAL (Nov. 25, 11pm)

Humor and hoop-dreams from the Dallas Video Festival.

Hoops by Chel White (3 min/Portland/1997). Jump-shot musings by a Gen-X slacker who contemplates life and love in this blend of music video and personal reverie.

Tryptych by Daniel DeLoach (9 min/Arlington/1994). A trio of deadpan vignettes satirizes Russia's communist optimism.

Apparent Confession by Dee Dee Flynn (4 min/Dallas/1990). An amusing anecdote about secret childish delights and a mother's conscience.


IN HARM'S WAY (Dec. 2)

A haunting memoir by Jan Krawitz (27 min/Palo Alto/1996) who tries to reconcile childhood lessons with terrifying adult experience. Weaving together educational films, TV news footage, and family photos, this film creates both a chilling personal portrait and a telling commentary on our ideas about "public safety."


MEDITATIONS ON TIME (Dec. 23)

Two highly innovative films ponder the mysteries of time, the workings of memory, and our obsessive efforts to recover the past.

A Film of Her by Bill Morrison (12 min/New York/1996). A film about film, about film preservation, about how films preserve our collective past, and also a mystery that veers from documentary to soulful drama.

Identical Time by Seongho Cho (13 min/New York, 1997). Another reflection on riding the subway, which may qualify as an experimental film genre all its own. Here, a night ride and evocative musical score punctuate the poetry of Octavio Paz.


OFF-SCREEN VIOLENCE (Dec. 30)

In two role-reversal dramas, women are both victims and victimizers in a world of nightmare violence and off-screen terror.

Elevated by Vincenzo Natali (20 min/Canada/1996). Creative use of a claustrophobic interior and our ability to imagine the very worst raise questions of whether the monster is in here or out there.

Shooting the Breeze by Christina Andreef (8 min/Australia/1996). Ambivalent responses to domestic violence -- and noisy neighbors -- lead a couple to violence in their own troubled space.


FROM RUSSIA (Jan. 6, 11pm)

Zinky Boys Go Underground by Paul Tickell (24 min/Russia/1996). Post-modern, post-Soviet Russia is seen through a lens darkly, in this neo-noir subterranean slasher film with an offbeat romantic twist.


POST-MODERN RIFFS (Jan. 13)

Two futuristic, post-apocalyptic visions, both funny and frightening, speak volumes about our current cultural conditions.

Grijs/Grey by George Van Rompaey (10 min/Belgium/1996). In this Orwellian fable, one real person in an army of grey-suited automatons finds his double -- and an odd liberation -- on a subway platform.

NY, The Lost Civilization by Dylan McNeil (18 min/Monaco/1996). Found footage and a savage sense of humor merge in an insightful, satiric swipe at Gotham City.


BACK TO BASICS
(Jan 20)

Two experimental films recall the deepest traditions of avant-garde cinema: the surrealism of Salvador Dali and Luis Buñuel, and the poetic documentaries of Robert Flaherty and Dziga Vertov.

A Giraffe by Dylan McNeil (20 min/Monaco/1996). This surreal tribute to Luis Buñuel both spoofs and celebrates our fascination with the symbolic play of free association, and the sometimes-loopy legacy of the avant-garde.

Nocturne by Michael Crochetiere (6 min/Canada/1996). A haunting, impressionistic tour of fog-bound Montreal by night -- a nocturnal city symphony recalling the experimental portraits of the 1920s and 30s.


HOUSTON FILM COMMISSION'S YOUNG FILMMAKERS SHOWCASE (Jan 27, 11pm)

Two experimental narratives by Texas filmmakers create very different portraits of addiction and potentially fatal attractions.

Breezeway by George Langworthy (13 min/Austin/1996). A deadline at work and a quest to quit smoking push George to the edge in this quirky take on the classic nicotine fit.

Beyond Babylon by Jim Shelton (13 min/Austin/1996). A brooding, baroque Texas tale about brotherly love and male bonding, and the thin line between salvation and self-destruction.


AUSTIN HEART OF FILM FESTIVAL (Feb 3)

Discovered at the 1996 Austin Film Festival, these two offbeat dramas focus on violence, male invincibility, and fantasies of escape.

Death in the Forbidden Zone by Emory Van Cleve (15 min/St. Louis/1995). Increasingly wacky variations on a theme trace the engaging illogic of male action-adventure films.

Gun Play by Wes Roberts (9 min/Florida/1995). A young boy faces up to violence under very different circumstances inside and outside his home.




Third Ward Blues

THIRD WARD BLUES (Feb 10)

This film by Heather Korb (24 min/Houston/1996) explores the birthing ground of four internationally famous blues guitarists who grew up within three blocks of each other in the Third Ward area of Houston: Albert Collins, Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown, Johnny Clyde Copeland, and Joe "Guitar" Hughes.

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