Tuesday, September 25, 2007

11th Annual MadCat Women’s International Film Festival

A Hand-Made Tale

El Rio

Presented in association with MadCat Women’s International Film Festival

While media made from ones and zeros continues to conquer the world, these artists continue to explore the tactile medium of celluloid. Stories of disappearing rural communities, fragile filial relations, and life’s ineffable moments are revealed as if in bas-relief by these virtuoso filmmakers who use optical-printing, hand-processing, bleaching, and scratch-on-film techniques to share worlds rarified and unsung. The Bay Area Premiere of award-winning filmmaker Deborah Stratman’s The Magician’s House, a letter to an alchemist-filmmaker and quiet homage to the vanishing art of celluloid. Laska Jimsen’s Miss Rose Fletcher (World Premiere) combines interviews and archival research with the lyricism of experimental film processes to investigate the history of residents living in Oregon’s once idyllic Willamette Valley. Penny McCann’s Lake Ontario (in my head) (US Premiere) is a meditative look at a mutable and hypnotic horizon. Grainy Super-8 imagery, optically printed 16mm footage and an atmospheric soundtrack evoke the stillness of mind reached when standing before expansive sky and water. (Ariella Ben-Dov)