24th Chicago Underground Film Festival - DAY 3


FRIDAY  |  DAY 3

Friday June 2
6:30 PM

SHORTS 3: THE ONE WITH THE WHALE CARCASS

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News From the Sun
Brendan & Jeremy Smyth
4 min., 2016, USA

An apocalyptic narrative unfolds through the words of "The Sun", a British tabloid created by media mogul Rupert Murdoch. 4000 single frames were exposed, unedited, and accompanied with the pulsing rhythms of the sun collected by NASA, resembling the Buddhist "Om", the sound of our universe.

Meridian Plain
Laura Kraning
19 min., 2016, USA

“Meridian Plain” maps an enigmatic distant landscape excavated from hundreds of thousands of archival still images, forecasting visions of a possible future, transmitted from a mechanical eye.

Kindah
Ephraim Asili
12 min., 2016, USA/Jamaica

Shot between the Maroon village of Accompong, Jamaica, and Hudson, New York, the alternately sparse and exultantly polyrhythmic Kindah is part of a series of films examining the filmmaker’s relationship to the African diaspora. The title alludes to the mango tree that symbolizes common kinship in the Jamaican Maroon culture.

A Stroll Down Sunflower Lane
Mayye Zayed
14 min., 2016, Egypt

An old grandfather, a little granddaughter, an old house and some glimpses of memory. She was growing up building hers. He was getting old losing his.

The film is a reenactment of the filmmaker's own memories with her late grandfather, using actors but real old TK tape recordings.

350 MYA
Terra Jean Long
5 min., 2016, Morocco/Canada

A sheet whips before the camera, shaped by the same wind that forms the rigid, undulating lines of sand below it as the film conjures the continued presence of the now vanished Rheic Ocean in the Tafilalt region of the arid Sahara Desert.

Limbo
Konstantina Kotzamani
30 min., 2016, France/Greece

The leopard shall lie down with the goat.
The wolves shall live with the lambs.
And the young boy will lead them.
12+1 kids and the carcass of a whale washed ashore…

Friday June 2
7:00 PM
THE PINK EGG

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Animal Condensed>Animal Expanded #1
Jennet Thomas
8 min., 2016, United Kingdom

Somewhere between virtual and actual, through the collision of meanings and anti-meanings, a visionary fever dream produces an enigmatic philosophical encounter between two post-anthropological agents. In an attempt to reconcile themselves with some unspecified trauma of mass biotechno violation, they quiz one another on the origins and ontologies of their species.

The Pink Egg
Jim Trainor
71 min., 2016, USA

Luis Buñuel's observation - "You can find all of Shakespeare and de Sade in the lives of insects" - was the inspiration for this experimental horror movie, in which human actors wordlessly enact the life-cycles of wasps and bees. Its purpose is to depict with emotion, humor and unnerving specificity an alternative society that really exists and has nothing to do with human beings. A highly stylized depiction of nature in all her deceitful glory.

Friday June 2
8:30 PM
SHORTS 4: THE ONE WITH THE ASBESTOS

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Reckoning 4
Kent Lambert
10 min., 2016, USA

“Reckoning 4” is the second in a series of investigations into (among other things) 1. Terror and wonder in big-budget virtual worlds 2. The fluidity, fragility and loneliness of technologically mediated social identities and friendships 3. The queerness and malevolence of archetypal masculinity 4. The poetics of blockbuster aesthetics

Maelstroms
Lana Z Caplan
8 min., 2016, USA

Using animation, heat sensitive camera footage from US border patrol screens, military bombing drone monitors, and other collected footage, Maelstroms is a meditation on the dehumanizing use of image technology in current practice.

How to have your / own television show! / (you already do)
Jesse Malmed
13 min., 2016, USA

An unreliable narrator details how to deliver people in the age of surveillance from within and without, a how-to for lateral minds, a hippie family sitcommune set to a bootleg of Peter Hutton's “Florence”, a drearily rousing theme song as gps-to-mp3 directions out to the country. With Henry Thomas, Vic Mizzy and Peter Hutton

Asbestos
Sasha Litvintseva and Graeme Arnfield
20 min., 2016, UK

Shot in the mining town of Asbestos,Quebec, home to the world’s largest asbestos mine that only stopped extraction in 2012, the film is a meditation on the entanglement of the fragility of bodies, the nonlinearity of progress, and the persistence of matter.

Ark
Lynne Siefert
32 min., 2016, USA

Part travelogue, part philosophical meditation, Ark is a film about decadence and illusion. Set in the not too distant future, in a post-apocalyptic world, Ark melds lurid surrealist imagery with sardonic musings of anonymous passengers aboard a cruise ship at the end of the world.

Friday June 2
9:00 PM
DIM THE FLUORESCENTS

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Dim the Fluorescents
Daniel Warth
128 min., 2016, Canada

"Dim The Fluorescents" follows the friendship and creative partnership between struggling actress Audrey and aspiring playwright Lillian. Lacking a proper outlet for their creativity, they funnel all of their considerable passion and talent into the only paying work they can find: role-playing demonstrations for corporate seminars. With copious rewrites and rehearsals, immersive lighting and sound design, and wildly uninhibited performances, the duo attempts to elevate these ostensibly educational presentations (on subjects such as ‘Handling the Dissatisfied Customer’ and ‘Workplace Safety’) to the realm of high art... all for bewildered audiences of mid-level office employees.

When Lillian and Audrey book their biggest gig to date - at a hotel conference with an expected audience of three-hundred - the two commence what will surely be their most ambitious production to date. Over the course of their lengthy and emotionally fraught rehearsal process, two lifetimes' worth of personal, professional and creative compromises rise to the surface and the ensuing tensions threaten to derail both the production and their friendship.

As wryly funny as it is unexpectedly poignant, Dim The Fluorescents is a one-of-a-kind portrait of the artistic life and process in the unlikeliest of settings.