Underground Film Journal

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2009 Migrating Forms: Early Picks

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 20, 2009

Like the Phoenix rising from the ashes, the first ever Migrating Forms is taking over where the New York Underground Film Festival ended its historic 15 year run last year. Two former NYUFF directors, Nellie Killian and Kevin McGarry, have created this new entity to fill the avant-garde film void and their inaugural effort will run April 15-19 at the only place that could hold an event of this magnitude: The Anthology Film Archives.

While the full Migrating Forms lineup is yet to be announced, Killian and McGarry have released a few titles and details of what their new film festival will look like. First of all, the fest will run for five days and screen over 12 features and 60 shorts.

The opening night film, on Wednesday the 15th at 8:00 p.m., will be Dialogues, the new work by Owen Land (aka George Landow), one of the early pioneers of structuralist films. This first new movie in 10 years by Land is described by the filmmaker as:

On one level, Dialogues is a parody of Scorpio Rising, using era-specific hit records to locate scenes in time and mood; on another level, it’s an interpretation of Plato’s dialogue Phaedo, in which Socrates proves the doctrine of re-incarnation; on still another level, it is a polemic for the Tantric belief in the sacredness of male-female polarity. With music by Meredith Monk, Laurie Anderson, Joan Baez, Patti Smith, The Byrds, Phil Collins, Alice Cooper, Genesis, The Human League, et al. Rated R: Restricted to audiences with a knowledge of Art History.

The closing night film, on Sunday the 19th at 8:00 p.m., will be The Earth Is Young by Michael Gitlin, who describes it thusly:

The Earth Is Young takes as its starting point a series of interviews conducted with Young Earth Creationists, who find evidence of a six-day, six-thousand-year old creation in their reading of the fossil and geological record. Bordering on a kind of science-fiction film, The Earth Is Young is an essay about the nature of science, and about the tools, both physical and ideological, with which one builds a model of the world.

In addition to those two films, Migrating Forms will be premiering several new works, including:

What Manner of Person Art Thou?, dir. Erin Cosgrove — N.Y. Premiere
Ponytail, dir. Barry DoupĂ© — U.S. Premiere
7915 KM, dir. Nikolaus Geyrhalter — U.S. Premiere
Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, dir. Jessica Oreck — N.Y. Premiere (Read the review)
Impolex, dir. Alex Ross Perry — World Premiere (Read the review)

Also, there will be guest curators such as 16beaver, Bidoun Magazine, e-flux and Bradley Eros. Plus, a three-person jury will determine “special distinctions for outstanding new work.” The members of that jury are artist Redmond Entwistle, Jacob Korczynski of the Images Festival, and former NYUFF friend and curating superstar Astria Suparak.

Please check out the Underground Film Journal in the coming days for the full Migrating Forms lineup. And visit the official festival site for more info.

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