New York Video Film Festival

Program 1: Personal Anthology

Learning Stalls (Torsten Zenas Burns and Darrin Martin) A compedium of special effects-type technical experiments involving rudimentary, morphing, Flash-type animation superimposed onto human forms and exercises on multiple exposure, the amateurish video unfortunately overplays the novelty of wire meshing, image compositing, and dynamic, spirograph-like digital renderings to the point of abstraction and tedium.   The… read more »

Program 8: Me and My Camera

La Tombola (Ximena Cuevas) Cleverly conceived as the titular, cheaply produced, campy Mexican variety show as the video artist is among an odd assortment of guests that also include a flamboyant celebrity who owns a gaudy, ostentatious estate, an uninhibited exhibitionist who is eager to expose herself at the slightest prompting, and an uptight, conservative… read more »

Program 1: Road Trip

Rome, NY (Ada Bligaard Søby) It is unfortunate that the first program of the festival would prove to be so flaccid, and made even more unappealing by the almost grotesque level of derision and contempt (and arrogant superiority) exhibited by the two local tour guides enlisted by Søby to guide her through the struggling, working… read more »

Program 6: In This World

Ssitkim: Talking to the Dead (Soon-mi Yoo) My favorite entry from the festival so far, Korean filmmaker Soon-mi Yoo visits Vietnam to examine the suppressed history of the South Korean military’s involvement in the annihilation of a rural village during the Vietnam War (due in part to President Park Chung Hee’s efforts to win political… read more »

Program 8: Who Do You Love?

Mother, Father, Son (Oliver Hockenhull) Composed of a series of family photographs and military archival footage, Hockenhull traces his father’s reluctant participation in the assault of Dresden as a navigator in the Royal Canadian Air Force (a bombing that his father would subsequently describe as a “war crime”) and in the process, creates a powerful… read more »

Program 9: Thème Je/The Camera I

It is unfortunate that some filmmakers still seem to confuse self-critical emotional nakedness with physical nakedness, and it is especially unexpected to see this in an artist of Françoise Romand’s caliber and artistic maturity (her documentary Mix-Up is a sublime and intelligent psychoanalytical discourse on identity in light of two middle-aged British women who were… read more »

Program 10: Bright Future

War at a Distance (Harun Farocki) Expounding on Farocki’s familiar themes of production and warfare (particularly in the depopulated, automated factory assembly line integration processes of Images of the World and the Inscription of War), War at a Distance is a brilliant, intelligently reasoned, and provocative video essay on the interrelation, not only between war… read more »

Program 11: Mike Kelley

Although illustrating versatility in both technique and content, I found Kelley’s films particularly repellant. The first is Out O’ Actions, a split-screen installation commissioned as a Visitor’s Gallery installation for the inaugural exhibition of Out of Actions: Between Performance and the Object 1949-1979). The short film is presented in delirious, rapid fire fast-forward playback of… read more »

Program 12: Foreign Affairs

Program 12: Foreign Affairs How to Fix the World (Jacqueline Goss) Goss approaches the social implications of cultural integration with humor and incisive observation in the delightful short film, How to Fix the World, an animated sketch drawn from A.R. Luria’s cognitive studies of the rural villagers of the Ferghana Valley in the former Soviet… read more »

Program 12: Life Is a Dream

Robots of Sodom and Every Evening Freedom (Tom Kalin) Two video excerpts from a larger work in progress entitled Behold Goliath or The Boy With the Filthy Laugh based on the experimental fiction of Alfred Chester, Robots of Sodom (from In Praise of Vespasian) and Every Evening Freedom (from Behold Goliath) are composed primarily of… read more »