OPENING NIGHT THURS 11/4
7:00pm @ SPECTACLE
124 S 3rd St, Brooklyn, NY 11249
Dir. Jeff Preiss 2021
New York, NY 10 min
Originally prepared for Anthology Film Archives “WTC homemovie” program, this "trailer" for a work-in-progress diary film by Jeff Preiss is a masterpiece in itself-- A gorgeous 16mm meditation on clairvoyance and coincidence in life and filmmaking, based around his own and his child’s experiences in New York on 9/11/2001.
According to Preiss: "A trailer for a film I have started only in as much as I have made the trailer… It is nonetheless, a premonition of some future object for mapping the intersection of cinema and the paranormal."
"Ana da Ilha (Ana of the Island)"
Dir. Cecil de Fátima 2021
Sao Paulo, Brazil 8 min
A poetic travel diary composed of photographs and phone videos, documenting time spent at the filmmaker’s partner's home on the Southern Islands of Brazil. “A tribute to Pablo Neruda’s gaze over the sea: glimpses of the unseen, with love for Ana and the wind.”
"10:28, 30" and "The Promise"
Dir. Paige Taul 2019
Chicago, IL 4 min / 6 min
A pair of short personal documentary films that combine home video and intimate film footage with conversational narration, forming a beautiful, deeply honest exploration of familial relationships, identity, and fate. “10:28,30” examines the relationship between Taul and her twin sister, and their relationship to their mother. “The Promise” is an exploration of power and control of one’s own life and others in it, illustrated through Taul’s mother’s retelling of a near death experience.
"Life for a few days"
Dir. Simonas Varvuolis 2021
Lithuania / France 5 min
A dream-like travel diary by Lithuanian filmmaker / musician Simonas Varvuolis. In the film, Varvuolis visits Japan, escaping the fast pace of Tokyo to spend most of his time in the quiet working-class neighborhoods around Hayama beach, with views of Mount Fuji. His slow-zooming gaze through the viewfinder of a miniDV camcorder creates images that blend beautifully with a musical backdrop he composed himself.
"Green Turns Brown"
Dir. Joie Estrella Horowitz 2020
Los Angeles, CA 6 min
A eulogy to the artist Luchita Hurtado, whose work was discovered at the age of 97 in a storage unit in San Bernardino, California, and immediately gained notoriety during the final years of her life. Shot several months before the artist's passing, the Super 8 film explores Luchita’s oscillation between visibility and invisibility as a female painter mirrored by her observations of duality within the natural world. Green Turns Brown is Hurtado’s final contemplation of what the artist called, "the border between life and death".
"Here and There"
Dir. Jake Durham 2021
Minneapolis, MN 10 min
Juxtaposing childhood home video footage from 2001 with Super 8 and 16mm footage from 2020, Jake Durham's "Here and There" provides an action-packed yet nostalgic window on skateboarding, friendship and the passage of time.
"Memory IV Fields of Light" and "MEMORY VIII I Remember You From the Future"
Dir. Gloria Chung 2021 / 2019
New York, NY 10 min / 6 min
This pair of atmospheric diary films from Gloria Chung’s “Memory” series drift through liminal urban spaces and enter the subconscious, as if one is on the verge of reaching a reality that keeps slipping from their grasp. “Memory IV Fields of Light” is a travelogue-turned-elegy to a friend, a contemplation of loss, memory, light, and the afterlife. The film is made of images taken during the last two weeks Chung spent with her friend. “MEMORY VIII I Remember You From the Future” is made with video clips taken while traveling, and on Chung’s daily commute home. Chung reimagines the clips into a science fiction narrative, ruminating on dreams, memory triggers, and Stephen King’s “The Jaunt”.
Dir. Dro Watson 2019
Orlando, FL 1 min
An intimate mental health diary made during a month-long period in 2019. During this time the filmmaker fell off of their medication regimen and worked to get back to a healthy place, documenting their struggles through powerfully honest diary filmmaking. Set in Orlando, Florida, the film explores representations of mental health and gender identity, alone and in relationships.
Note: The full feature length film, which won Best Documentary at Obskuur Ghent Film Festival, is screening virtually on 11/7, as part of Film Diary's online program.
"Imposible Encontrar Algo Mirando (Impossible to Find Something Looking)"
Dir. Violeta Mora 2020
Honduras 8 min
A meditation on memory and seeing, told through ambient sound, diary text, and a shaking circular frame that mysteriously searches landscapes. “The endless search, places at a distance, impossibility. A toy telescope and a diary that accumulates fragments. Memories that are not written anywhere reappear. Everything is a child's game.”
"Yeh Woh (Turmoil)" and "Gaurav Chale Gaya"
Dir. Anuj Malhotra 2020 / 2021
India 3 min / 3 min
A pair of intimate video-letters, made to be shared with a close friend. They report on the weather, the food that was prepared earlier in the day, the gossip in the neighbourhood, and the protests that resound throughout the country - the banal, but also the extraordinary, funnelled through the filmmaker's own mire. Both films take place at the end of Winter and the beginning of Spring. Both are set against the backdrop of a tumultuous political climate in India.
"On the Greyhound" and "Last Interview Film of Jonas Mekas"
Dir. Chihiro Ito 2020 / 2021
Japan / New York, NY 30 sec / 15 min
In October of 2018, Japanese multi-media artist Chihiro Ito visited a 96-year-old Jonas Mekas in his apartment, and recorded a video of their conversation. Despite a slight language barrier and the legendary filmmaker's advanced age, the conversation that ensued is fascinating. Mekas, though he confesses he is sick, is still sharp, fielding Ito’s questions about art-making with a mischievous but sincere smile, discussing contemporary poetry, and comparing his small hand-held camcorder to a pencil. In addition to capturing the timeless spirit of “the Godfather of the American Avant-Garde” on video one last time, Ito’s experimental eye adds to the charm of the film, as he shoots partially through the green glass of a bottle of Perrier water. As Ito says about the film “This is a last gift from Jonas to us.” The interview film is preceded by one of Ito’s short diary films “On the Greyhound."
CLOSING NIGHT THURS 11/11
6:30pm @ FILM NOIR
122 Meserole Ave. Greenpoint NY 11222
Dir. Leo Estevez 2021
New York, NY 4 min
Composed of footage repurposed from the artist’s own home video collection, this hypnotic slice-of-life film drops in on a Dominican-American family celebrating a child’s first birthday in a NYC park in the early 90’s. A tube tv texture and the hum of traditional music serve up nostalgia in this short window on an immigrant life experience in New York.
"From Sea to See"
Dir. Eve-Lauryn Little Shell LaFountain 2015
Los Angeles, CA 8 min
A meditation on the legacy of Manifest Destiny and the greed of taking what cannot belong to anyone, told through a voice diary and beautiful Super 8 footage of buffalo fenced in, Native peoples, dances, and cultural tourism. Captured on LaFountain’s last rolls of Ektachrome before the film stock was discontinued.
"Swampy's Diary Vol. 5"
Dir. Swampy 2017
Oakland, CA 10 min
Film Diary is honored to screen the fifth installment of legendary hobo-artist Swampy’s cross-country video diary, which captures freight-hopping, squatting, graffiti, and uprisings. “Swampy has long been an enigma in the art world. Like a proper cult-followed figure, his incredible photos of train-hopping across North-America are nostalgic and an insight into a new wave of bohemian America that feels more like folklore than a reality.” -Juxtapoz
Dir. Kassandra Piñero 2017
New York, NY 4 min
A meditation on memory and the transience of life, told through an atmospheric collage of moments in transition. Multiple small frames function as windows into passing moments and places: time spent with childhood best friends, the halls of apartment buildings, walks through museums, watching the foggy sky through the window on the Staten Island Ferry, a commute they have made their whole life. All of this is layered on top of video taken during a 4am cab ride on Piñero's twenty-first birthday.
"Diary Entry 1" and "Diary Entry 2"
Dir. Ricky Danielle Ford 2021
Minneapolis, MN 30 sec / 4 min
A pair of short voice-over diary entries, visualized cinematically in black and white, focused on events and feelings that occurred across two consecutive Springtimes. "Diary Entry 1" is a poem about "the first Spring," which contemplates space, while "Diary Entry 2" deals with "the second Spring," thoughts about the passage of time, longing, and a passing dream.
"Child of Noble Family (for Jonas)"
Dir. Elias ZX 2019
New York, NY 2 min
A short diary composed of travel footage, made within an hour of learning about the death of Jonas Mekas. "From the midst of that radiance, the natural sound of Reality, reverberating like a thousand thunders simultaneously sounding, will come. That is the natural sound of thine own real self. Be not daunted thereby, nor terrified, nor awed."
"How to Disappear Completely" and "Can't Make Three with Two"
Dir. Cameron Granger 2020 / 2018
Columbus, OH 2 min / 6 min
Film Diary is honored to feature two short, personal works by 2021-22 Studio Museum Harlem artist-in-residence Cameron Granger. "How to Disappear Completely" was shot in a sublet in the West Village during the Summer 2020 uprisings. The film was made entirely on Granger's desktop computer, at a time of feeling that making art was pointless, exhausted by the ongoing wave of police violence against Black people and the heightened visibility and vulnerability of Black artists online. "I wanted to dig myself in a hole so that no one could look at me ever again," says Granger. The heart-felt "Can’t Make Three With Two" is the last piece in a body of work Granger made in collaboration with his mother, Sandra, throughout 2018.
Dir. Isaac Hoff 2020
New York, NY 5 min
Hoff's ongoing "pixel diary" series is a video journal of image fragments and light movements captured with the extremely low resolution PXL 2000, a toy camcorder produced by Fisher Price in 1987 that records monochromatic video onto audio cassette tapes. "1111," (receiving an anniversary screening of sorts at Film Diary's November 11 Closing Night), is described by Hoff as "Light improvisation under the influence of magic." Paired with its haunting soundscape, this film serves as a look into a different, more subconscious variety of diary film.
"Raw Shit by Fatuma"
Dir. Fatuma 2021
Minneapolis, MN 2 min
A futuristic short film that blurs the line between poetry, dance, and diary film. "Nothing about this was written or edited, the spoken word shit or whatever you wanna call it is just my personality. It came to me and then the random singing came to me," says Fatuma. "This film is me, like everything I do, FATUMA... Something born to stand in its power alone. Separate but not equal to nobody, just like the moon & sun."
"Flowers in Mud"
Dir. Sage Ó Tuama 2021
New York, NY 42 min
A month by month video journal of the year 2020. The film film includes the COVID pandemic in NYC, behind the scenes footage of Voxigma Lo preparing One Vvoman Show, and a road trip to Minneapolis after the Summer uprisings.
FREE ONLINE SCREENINGS 11/5 - 11/10
STREAMING DETAILS TBA
"i don't like dogmatic toys"
New York 60 min
Film Diary is honored to present the world premiere of writer and artist Marcus Scott Williams (msw) "I don't like dogmatic toys." Composed entirely of phone video, the film is a travelogue of time spent in Kansas City, MO and Denver, CO, in 2016. As with his singular "flash memoir" writing technique (see "Sparse Black Whimsy: A Memoir") msw's filmmaking invites the viewer into intimate, unexpected fragments of friendship and music, redefining the memoir in the process.
"Conversation Pieces: A Swan Song"
Dir. Eve-Lauryn Little Shell LaFountain 2015
Los Angeles, CA 28 min
A personal documentary about one family’s transitions, composed of conversations between three generations of women, and footage of the homes they've created for themselves. The film moves from a World War II love story, to the next generation's inter-racial marriage, and then to LaFountain's own experience as a child of mixed heritage who walks a fine between her Native American and Jewish cultures. Captured with beautiful 16mm cinematography, the film explores LaFountain's grandmother’s move from a three-story townhouse, downsizing her lifetime’s collections of art and antiques. The granddaughter’s camera travels with the objects from coast to coast as she collects her family’s stories.
Dir. Mark Street 2021
New York, NY 30 min
A pandemic diary filmed mostly in NYC, incorporating Super 8 and digital video recorded with Street's unique experimental eye. "From the uncertain first months when every foray felt perilous to various re openings, outings are recorded and reflections shared. Stills punctuate abstract and documentary footage, offering a collage of mediums in the face of the unknowable. "Sorties" is a military term-- a mission launched from a defensive position. That's sort of what a walk felt like in March 2020 in NYC. And then of course things changed; cases went up and down, the science evolved, fear waxed and waned. Of course, the pandemic continues; but I had to limit myself in making the film; March 2020-August 2021."
Dir. Zulfikar Filandra 2020
Bosnia and Herzegovina & Ireland 64 min
Film Diary is honored to present the US premier of Sarajevo-based Zulfikar Filandra's "MINOTAUR." The film is massive in scope, dancing between essay film and experimental diary film, and encompassing 15 years of its author’s life. Composed of various video textures, including Filandra’s previous films and sketches for films, social media materials, and home videos. "MINOTAUR" invites the viewer on an intimate Proustian journey and a cathartic confrontation with the poetry of life, passage of time and the fascinating power of cinema to capture both. The film came to be through a crowdfunding campaign produced by Experimental Film Society from Dublin and Kolumbija from Sarajevo.
Dir. Dro Watson 2019
Orlando, FL 60 min
An intimate mental health diary made during a month-long period in 2019. During this time the filmmaker fell off of their medication regimen and worked to get back to a healthy place, documenting their struggles through powerfully honest diary filmmaking. Set in Orlando, Florida, the film explores representations of mental health and gender identity, alone and in relationships.The film won Best Documentary at Obskuur Ghent Film Festival.
ONLINE SHORTS PROGRAM 1
"Downer Canada - Environmental Dubs"
Dir. Clint Enns 2021
Montreal, Canada 8 min
A PXL2000 video with sound from Downer Canada's Environmental Dubs. “a domestic noir, filled with dread and portent. everything is too close, the world closing in, the boundaries collapsing. cat cabin fever, cooped up, overheated, a world of close up and touch. haptic deliriums.” - Mike Hoolboom
Dir. Brandon Walley 2021
Detroit, MI 6 min
An intimate diary film composed of nostalgic Super 8 home movie footage and diary text, focused on an event that changed the filmmaker's life. "9-20-2004 was a day that culminated in emotional and actual events that forever changed my reality as well as the future of my family."
"I Am What You Will Be"
Dir. Graham Carroll 2021
Kansas City, MO 10 min
A meditation on the march of time and the call of death, told through month by month video fragments, and voice over narration. The film takes place over the course of a year following a series of family tragedies. In an attempt to examine cultural understandings of time, the filmmaker reorders the events of the year to produce a calendar of grief.
"Not to freak you out again"
Dir. Hallie Ayres 2021
Brooklyn, NY 10 min
"Not to freak you out again" is a personal diary film which chronicles the filmmaker's mother through a journey of illness, as told via text messages sent to the filmmaker. While these messages detail the nervous complexities of the early stages of an unknown medical condition, the footage shows a sparse domestic interior, almost brutal in its emptiness, save for a floral bouquet that bears witness to the passage of time.
ONLINE SHORTS PROGRAM 2
Maximilien Luc Proctor 2021
Berlin, Germany 4 min
A silent short film shot on expired Super 8 film, "Winter Flare" offers a dream-like glimpse of winter scenery."A call for life while surrounded by the tranquility of death. Remembering the warmth of the sun from the thick of the snow. Seeking sight through movement."
Taylor Yocom 2021
St. Louis, MO 4 min
In "flowers/distance" an artist grapples with the idea of productivity amid uncertainty through embroidery and diary entries during Spring 2020. Typing over an unfinished work that had to be put on hold at the start of the pandemic, the film cycles through questions surrounding making work, "women's work," and the urge to make something while her practice is "stopped." A sampler of flowers keeps filling up, the bouquets die and are replaced. The film abruptly stops.
"easy to learn hard to forget"
Justin Clifford Rhody 2020
Santa Fe, NM 15 min
A travel diary composed from a series of video vignettes Rhody made while traveling in Cambodia, Vietnam and Laos for two months. Shot using a tiny, pocket sized digital camera. "I initially didn't intend to make a video from them or have them shown publicly. I was just making a diary of moments that I found graceful during the frequent downtime that occurs when traveling. My partner, Abigail Smith, created a large collection of field recordings during this same time, some of which were later published under the title "Indochina Soundscraps". And although the two projects stand-alone, I think they compliment each other in attitude and approach - which works well as a metaphor for our relationship."
"THAT WAS WHEN I THOUGHT I COULD HEAR YOU"
Matt Whitman 2021
Brooklny, NY 9 min
A silent experimental diary composed of lush 16mm colors and lights invites the viewer into a beautiful, almost science-fictional visual space. "That was when I thought I could hear you on petals. That was when I thought I could hear you on fire. That was when I thought I could hear you on the edge of the bridge."