Frontier Television

"Silence" by Cesare Battista

This week welcomes the seasonal return of The Territory, the annual short film and video showcase that is beamed weekly into homes throughout the state of Texas. The television series is a co-production of the Austin Museum of Art, Southwest Alternate Media Project (SWAMP), and KUHT-TV (Houston), and is broadcast in Austin on KLRU (cable 9/channel 18) on Tuesday evenings (the times vary). Now beginning its 23rd season, "The Territory" is dedicated to presenting some of the best independent film and video shorts from around the world; the 12-part series features a variety of documentary, narrative, experimental, animated, and digitally generated works. Each week's show is organized thematically. More details about the shows can be found at -- Marjorie Baumgarten

Oct. 27: "Crazy Love" (10pm)

Love, obsession, and betrayal cross international boundaries in these two short narratives -- one French, one American -- that focus on ill-fated men who are done in by their own duplicity.

"Hearing Dead" by Pierre-Francois Lebrun (France, 1993). This neo-noir homage to French detective movies follows an assassin with bad hearing and even worse luck.

"Why I Don't Go to the Movies" by Paul Karlin (New York, 1997). Love with a goddess proves too confining for a pop-culture junkie in this stylish, meditative lament.

Nov. 3: "Revolutionary Anthems" (10pm)

Three distinctive works using very different experimental styles -- digital graphics, music video, and documentary -- invoke the rebellious spirit of past revolutionary eras.

"D.J. Asylum" by Benjamin Stokes (Chicago, 1997). This imaginative melding of live action and digital animation celebrates the political poster art and constructivist style of the early Soviet era.

"Still Revolutionaries" by Siena McLean (San Francisco, 1997). Decades after joining and leaving the Black Panthers, two women recall their frightening, eye-opening experiences.

"Ballad of the Skeletons" by Gus Van Sant (Portland, 1996). Gus Van Sant directing Allen Ginsberg as Uncle Sam?

Nov. 10: "Sarajevo Diary" (10:30pm)

"Black Kites" by Jo Andres (New York, 1996). Based on the journal of an artist trapped in Sarajevo in 1992, this experimental narrative, featuring Steve Buscemi and created by his wife, Jo Andres, provides a harrowing, life-affirming account of desperation, courage, and the impulse to wrest art from tragedy.

Nov. 17: "Animation: Elegant and Strange" (10pm)

In the eerie style of the Brothers Quay, three animated shorts dwell in the exotic otherworld of angels, insects, and plastic wedding-cake brides.

"Secret Joy of Falling Angels" by Simon Pummell (London, 1992). Images of flight, freedom, and caged constraint haunt this understated piece.

"Silence" by Cesare Battista (Canada, 1996). In a dark, medieval cell, the disturbing visions of an ancient monk turn from black to blood-red.

"Bride of Resistor" by Mark Gustafson (Portland, 1996). Mr. Resistor pops up again, spare parts and all, in this little tale of impossible love.

Nov. 24: "Childhood Visions" (11pm)

Two deliberately low-tech experimental shorts capture the world from a boy's point of view.

"The Rocking Horse Winner" by Michael Almereyda (New York, 1997). Adapted from the
D. H. Lawrence story, this Pixel-vision drama starring Eric Stoltz depicts a young boy's misfortunes with psychic powers and horse races.

"Boy Runs to Window" by Mark O'Donnell (Seattle, 1996). Found footage highlights this meditative collage of a boy's fascination with sex and violence.

Dec. 15: "The Art of Love" (10pm)

"Weekends" by Catherine Martin (Montreal, 1995). This evocative French Canadian narrative contemplates the joys and sorrows of love and various other 20th-century preoccupations in a witty homage to French New Wave filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard.

Dec. 22: "Strange Attachments" (10pm)

We hear from pets and their owners about their obsessions with one another and countless other matters.

"Oh, Brother" by Israel Segal (Los Angeles, 1997). Starring Julie Delpy, a women's-only evening turns to tales of woe about the men in their lives -- and one in particular.

"Amy" by Susan Rivo (Boston, 1997). A semi-serious "mockumentary" about doll love and other long-term childhood attachments.

"Pets" by John Lally & Valerie Mih (Redondo Beach, 1996). Digitally animated pets offer their opinions about their owners, culinary preferences, the modern world, and, of course, themselves.

Dec. 29: "Video Collages" (10pm)

Four experimental videos examine the myriad ways that images, language, and legend shape our

"Erosion" by John Sanborn (Palo Alto, 1997). This music video tour de force by John Sanborn celebrates movement and change as the constants of life.

"Mapping a City of Fragments" by Chip Lord (San Francisco, 1997). Another invocation of Jean-Luc Godard, this video essay explores street scenes as a form of trans-national language and legend.

"re-TOUCH" by Mark Chan (Hong Kong, 1995). This mixed-media piece presents a personal view of ancient China and the new Hong Kong.

"Tumitinhas" by Eder Santos (Brazil, 1998). A disquieting phone message hints at unresolved conflicts and the tangle of human relationships.

Jan. 5: "Animation: New and Old" (11pm)

From high-tech to low-tech, five animators examine their cultures using humor, myth, and metaphor to create memorable and unsettling imagery.

"Dust City" by Drouin Sebastian (Paris, 1997). A high-tech parody of High Noon, but with bigger guns.

"Runners" by Kazuma Morino (Tokyo, 1997). This exploration of humans in motion evolves into a flowing digital kaleidoscope.

"Three Birds and a Snake" by Scott Cawthon (Salado, 1997). Computer graphic animation mixes easily with old-fashioned morality in this humble, charming fable.

"Utopia Parkway" by Joanna Priestley (Portland, 1997). Using hand-painted techniques, a master animator invokes natural wonders and urban dangers.

"Linear Dreams" by Richard Reeves (Canada, 1997). This hand-made throwback to the work of Norman McLaren displays an odd affinity with contemporary digital animation.

Jan. 12: "Unruly Women" (10pm)

Two women artists, decades apart in age, display similar traits and a corresponding world view in these two experimental animated works.

"Judy Spots" by Sadie Benning (Chicago, 1995). Using cut-out animation and a driving, grunge-rock score, Sadie Bening devises a witty reflection of modern times.

"Why?" by Carol Halstead (Canada, 1994). This mixed-media memoir paints a portrait of the artist from young womanhood to late middle age.

Jan. 19: "Political Images" (10pm)

These experimental works, ranging from animated public service announcements to video essays, examine how everyday images become cultural icons and political symbols.

"Cuerpos De Papel" by Ximena Cuevas (Mexico, 1997). Movie scenes and familiar art works blend into an enigmatic love story.

"It Is a Crime" by Meena Nanji (India, 1996). An Indian artist laments the appropriation and misrepresentation of culture in the media-saturated modern world.

"Independencia and Cybraceros From Animaquiladora" by Alex Rivera and Lalo Lopez (Chicago, 1997). A movie trailer parody and mock PSA poke fun at a deadly serious issue: the USA's chronic "border mentality" and mistreatment of Latinos. (From CineFestival in San Antonio.)

"A.D.N." by Marc Thoron and Patrick Chereau (France, 1997). This frightening, imaginative tale of graphically animated woe asks: Which comes first, the chicken or the ... ?

"Tug Wilson" by John Francis (Australia, 1997). Computer-generated British canines complain that the old neighborhood is going to the dogs.

Jan. 26: "Dead Ends" (10pm)

The prospect of death haunts these two pieces -- one an experimental video narrative and the other an in-your-face film documentary.

"Conscious Convenience" by Chris Eska (Houston, 1997). This eerie invocation of a near-death experience suggests that it may never be too late for a little romance.

"Vincent: The Junkie Chronicles" by Michael Failla (Seattle, 1996). Cutting through the seductive appeal and dangerous romance of drugs, this documentary excerpt presents a chilling portrait of a heroin addict. (From Houston Young Filmmakers Showcase)

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