Film Festival: Up and Down the Valley

Saturday, October 15, 6:30 pm until 10:30 pm
Montague Common Hall

Up and Down the Valley: An Evening of Valley Filmmakers

An evening of artist's film on place and placemaking by local filmmakers living along the Connecticut River. A program of 11 short-form films celebrating (but not limited to) work shot and screened on celluloid.

When's the last time you saw film projected on film? How do artists living around you see and think about place? Have you ever used your own body to move a filmstrip through a projector? Come and try it out on a set of rewinds and Moviescope! Filmmaker Eric Stewart will be performing live sound to accompany his 16mm film Helios.

Q&A with filmmakers follows the screening.

All this and more at one of your favorite local venues: the Montague Common Hall (the old Grange Hall on the Village Common, Montague, MA). Free parking on the street. Join us!

Program:

Down to the Water. Hand-processed 16mm. B&W, sound. 05:00. 2022.
Davey Bendiksen

A journey down to the water, contemplating the meeting of water and land as a source of both tranquility and quiet vitality. Shot on the seacoast of Maine.

Lódz:22592. HD. 22:06. 2019.
Abraham Ravett

A recently published book by Toronto’s Art Gallery of Ontario, profiling the resurrected photographs made clandestinely by Henryk Ross (1910-1991) in Poland's Lodz ghetto, inspires the filmmaker to wonder once again, how his father survived those turbulent, WW II years in Poland. Filmed in the USA and Poland.

Decroux’s Garden. 16mm, color, silent. 4:00. 2012
Baba Hillman

A return after many years to the home of a beloved teacher. I am less than a trace returning to this garden, but I am here and my heart turns, hearing again, though differently, the songs that hang here still, in the breath of this place. -------- How do we decipher the maps that memory and return trace upon the body and spirit? I’m interested in how moves between memory and return are lived on the body, how return to a place that was once beloved changes the shape that the tongue takes, the rhythm of the gait, the rhythm of the breath, how falling into memory is like entering another body.

Quaker City Home Movies: Pressing Cider. Super 8 blown-up to 16mm, 2015, 3min., b&w, optical sound
Taylor Dunne

Pressing cider with the Pomona Harvesters on the Quaker City Land Trust in late fall 2009. Film processed on location, in a root cellar, with hand carried water and sunlight. Print and optical track made by hand. Soundtrack from The Ethnic Folkways Library, Music of the Ukraine.

Unless You’re Living It. Hand processed 16mm transferred to HD. B&W, tinted and toned. 08:22. 2019.
Sarah Bliss

A portrait of place and power in rural white Ontario that challenges the correlation between seeing and knowing, and the ravages of late-stage capitalism. Hand processing, contact printing, tinting and toning engage the film as a body that, like the residents of Mt. Forest, sustains injuries, wounds and burdens, but also has the capacity for delight, revelatory pleasure, and transformation. With special thanks to Phil Hoffman and the 2016 Independent Imaging Retreat (Film Farm), where Unless You're Living It was shot and hand-processed.

To all Those. Super 8 on 16mm. 6:48. 2020
Josh Weissbach

A city symphony in miniature, dedicated to anyone who has gotten lost in thought while stuck on the midwinter train. to all that unfolds in those private reveries.

Helios. 16mm. Color. 5:02.
Eric Stewart

Time-lapses of cacti and succulent over the course of a year. Environmental data drives the tone and filtration of the sounds while the rising and setting of the sun illuminates the growth of plants moving in and out phase with one another.

Arcadia Rolls I + II. 16mm, color and b&w, silent, 5:00. 2017.
Josh Guilford

Notes from the field, where the field is the woods, and the woods are the mountains. Two from a set of camera rolls shot in the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, a 720-acre conservation area located in Western Massachusetts. Shooting without thinking of the 'spiritual landscape' from which the sanctuary takes its name. Responding to trees, fronds; responding with the camera, to the camera. Each roll a document of that response.

Haunted. 16mm transferred to HD. 02:22. 2020
Danielle Vishlitzky

Shot in Northampton and Amherst, MA, Haunted is hand developed and computer edited. It is about making peace with the feeling of being haunted by people, places, and memories.

Histories of Simulated Intimacy. 16mm transferred to HD. 11:00. 2017.
Emily Drummer

"Great obstacles excite great passions; since eros consists not in possession but in wanting, what could stimulate eros more than distance and especially death, itself the ultimate distance?” (John Durham Peters, Speaking into the Air)

Histories of Simulated Intimacy is a sensory essay film that investigates the gaps in time and space produced by the technological mediation of human love and desire. Roving, dismembered voices – messages left for the filmmaker by former lovers, found voice messages made on gramophone discs – hunt for image-bodies, creating a simultaneous presence and absence: a woman carried gently by the flow of a Lazy River; the undulations of a darkened, glimmering dance party; memories and traces of the once massive Iowan prairies. The film explores polarities such as public and private, nature and culture, near and far, bios and techne, producing a space in which technologies of intimacy, separated by historical measurements of time, can coalesce in perpetuity.

100 Ways to Cross the Border. HD. Excerpt from 84 minute film. 2022.
Amber Bemak

A self-reflexive documentary on the extraordinary Mexican/Chicanx performance artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña and his troupe La Pocha Nostra’s 40-year career of radical artistic practice and work in defying and queering geopolitical and cultural borders.

Image: Josh Weissbach. Frame from To All Those. Super 8 on 16mm. 2020.

Contact: David Bendiksen or Sarah Bliss

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