Negotiating the Past Through Film
August 4 8pm

CineMemory: Negotiating the Past Through Film
Thursday, August 4, 2016
Museum of Human Achievement (map)
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Austin, Texas

Join us for a program of international and local experimental films that explore how personal and collective memories are mediated through the use of various cinematic devices. Curated by Kamila Kuc (London, UK) and Reed O’Beirne (Seattle).

Popehelm  (Sam Jury, 2016, UK, 18:00)
Popehelm holds no definitive narrative. The texts, soundscape, and images are shaped together to suggest not only an aftermath of unexplained calamity, but also the post-traumatic repetition of narrative that exist around such events. The film merges three distinct languages, that of dystopic cinematic, the personal, poetic narrative, and an innovative use of voice to create atmospheric acoustics.


Batum (Kamila Kuc, 2016, UK, 9:00)
Batum takes as its starting point the experience of near drowning in the Black Sea of Batumi, Georgia. It explores how memories become fiction once recorded and how in this process of recording, the camera itself holds a mysterious agency. Images that feature in the film are a constellation of personal and prosthetic memories, acquired through historical and cultural knowledge as exemplified by the poems of Osip Mandelstam and Joseph Stalin, among other cultural tropes.


Swallowed Whole  (Heidi Kumao, 2014, Ann Arbor MI, USA, 4:12)
A somber, animated, experimental film about surviving extreme isolation and physical limitations as a result of traumatic injury. This abbreviated, jarring journey explores the physical and psychological landscapes of hospitalization and recovery. Edited to emphasize the physical impact of dropping, crashing, and slamming, the film repeats vertical frame-rolls from analog TV to metaphorically replay the impact that literally broke the filmmaker’s back.


Last of Our Kind (Reed O’Beirne, 2012, Seattle WA, USA, 13:23)
The memory of a lost love is transformed into a ritualistic incantation of longing. Featuring an original soundtrack by Robin Guthrie, the lovers’ tale unfolds poetically into a modern interpretation of the Persephone myth.


Is it true what they say (Scott Stark, 2015, Austin, TX, 9:25)
Made for the Texas Archive of the Moving Image for ‘Mess With Texas’ 2015. Is it true what they say uses archival films from ‘itinerant’ filmmakers who traveled the South in the 1930s through the 1950s, documenting the local townsfolk and showing the films in a local theater. One of those filmmakers, Melton Barker, used the same script – a kidnapped girl is rescued by the local children – in every town over several years. This piece reworks that footage, presenting it as ghostly apparitions in modern urban Texas settings.


Ektacy (Caryn Cline, 2016, Seattle WA, USA, 2:00)
Short and sweet bits of home-movie footage from 1958, with rich Ektachrome images and a jazzy score.


A film that could have been discovered in a long-forgotten vault but is in fact newly created. Super 8 images of megalithic architecture (dolmens and passage graves) across the Iberian peninsula set to vintage new age music by Edmund Bordeaux Szekeley (1909-1979).


YOU DECIDE (Sally Cloninger, 2016, Olympia WA, USA, 1:51)
Cinema for the Anthropocene: images and sound from the front line of climate change. Produced in Huahine, La Polynésie française.