Sending Off SXSW 2003
EXPERIMENTAL SHORTSD: Various. Out of death, birth. Coming just four days after the unexpected death of pioneering experimental filmmaker and avant-gardist Stan Brakhage, nothing is more apparent than that late cineaste's influence, especially in Stephan Knuesel's "Exercise," which uses a film (video?) loop to repeat effect, all set to Beethoven. Coming from the mainstream, it's easily apparent why Knuesel's film and Christine Khalafian's "Mark Set Burn" -- the only film we've seen this year that marries bikini waxing and Clive Barker-type internal/external horror -- set teeth on edge and eyes aflight. It's not just that their work conjures the spirit of Brakhage (it does) but that it sets a whole new, albeit brief, template for film. Austinite Eric Patrick's "ablution" -- a black-and-white, stop-motion take on, um, gentrification-- is another wonder, mixing local (un-)color with a character that endures an "archetypal cleansing." OK, I know, it's not the narrative you were looking for, but trust me -- the avant-garde is very much alive and well. ("ablution" won the Jury Award for Best Experimental Short.)
A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for almost 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.
Support the Chronicle