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3 items from 2011


Web Series: Next To Heaven: Judy’s Smile

1 September 2011 11:18 AM, PDT | Underground Film Journal | See recent Underground Film Journal news »

Sometimes a happy, smiling face can inspire joy and encouragement. Other times, it can instill a murderous rage. The second option is the case in the episode “Judy’s Smile” from Rob Parrish’s Next to Heaven web series. Parrish re-edits video found on Archive.org and composes new, surreal — and usually very funny if you have a dark sense of humor — voice over. “Judy’s Smile” is one of his darkest efforts yet, taking an innocuous film of a brother and sister and layering a disturbing subtext over it.

Episodes of Next to Heaven are hosted by Blip.tv andhe series is very atypical of the mainstream fare hosted on that video sharing site, where one normally finds vlogs, chat shows, comedies, dramas, etc. The site doesn’t even offer ‘experimental,’ ‘avant-garde’ or ‘cult’ categories probably under the correct assumption that those categories would be poorly trafficked. (Parrish lists »

- Mike Everleth

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Short Film: A Reasonable Man

18 June 2011 2:07 PM, PDT | Underground Film Journal | See recent Underground Film Journal news »

“This is the scariest chase I ever saw since The French Connection.” That’s what a U.S. Supreme Court justice says in reference to videotaped evidence of a high speed police pursuit along George back roads, which has been appropriated by filmmaker Brian L. Frye for his gripping short film A Reasonable Man, embedded above. Another justice — or maybe the same, it’s hard for me to tell — later invokes a Chico Marx joke regarding the evidence: “Who are you going to believe? Me or your own eyes?” How about you watch the evidence yourself and decide the answer to that question?

Frye doesn’t give any background information in the film about the case that’s being argued, but it’s easy to figure it all out from the Supreme Court audio. (Or check the film’s Vimeo page as a cheat sheet.)

A teenage kid gets spooked »

- Mike Everleth

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2011 Onion City Experimental Film And Video Festival: Official Lineup

10 June 2011 3:24 PM, PDT | Underground Film Journal | See recent Underground Film Journal news »

The 23rd annual Onion City Experimental Film and Video Festival presents four nights of international avant-garde and experimental media from all over the world. The fest runs June 23-26 with the Opening Night festivities taking place at the Gene Siskel Film Center and the rest of the screenings held at the venerable Chicago Filmmakers, which has been behind the event for the past 11 years.

The Opening Night presentation begins with the new short film from the Brothers Quay, Maska, which was produced in Poland and based on a short story by Polish author Stanislaw Lem (Solaris). Also included in the opening screening are films by Thom Anderson, Mati Diop, Christopher Becks, Milena Gierke and more.

The Closing Night film is the much anticipated new feature by former Chicagoan James Fotopoulos. He will be screening Alice in Wonderland, an adaptation of an 1886 musical based on the classic children’s book. The film features hundreds of drawings, »

- Mike Everleth

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3 items from 2011


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