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2014 Ann Arbor Film Festival: Official Lineup

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 18, 2014

Logo for 52nd annual Ann Arbor Film Festival that features purple static

The 52nd annual Ann Arbor Film Festival will be a jam-packed experimental feature and short film screening event running for six days and nights, this time on March 25-30.

Opening Night will feature a reception and an after-party, and stuffed between those will be a block of nine short films, including new ones by Bryan Boyce, Michael Robinson, Jennifer Reeder and Martha Colburn, as well as a never-before-released work by the legendary Bruce Baillie called Little Girl in which Baillie captured scenes of natural beauty.

Special Events scattered throughout the festival include a retrospective of indie filmmaker Penelope Spheeris that will feature her rock ‘n’ roll-based work, including the original The Decline of Western Civilization, plus The Decline of Western Civilization Part III, her influential punk film Suburbia (screening twice) and a collection of short films.

There will also be several films and presentations by filmmaking scholar Thom Andersen, such as his epic Los Angeles Plays Itself, but also other films such as Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer; Red Hollywood and more. Plus, each member of this year’s film jury — Steve Anker, Hope Tucker and Jeremy Rigsby — will present a selection of short films.

Feature films playing at the festival include Ben Russell and Ben Rivers‘s mind-blowing documentary A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, Brett Kashmere‘s experimental basketball documentary From Deep; and more.

As usual, the fest is stuffed to the gills with short films, including ones by James Benning, Luther Price, Sabine Gruffat, Karen Yasinksy, Paul Clipson, Robert Todd, Jim Finn, Sylvia Schedelbauer, Jodie Mack and loads more.

The full film lineup is below. For more info on the films and other events, including after parties and presentations, please visit the festival’s official website.

March 25

8:15 p.m.: “Opening Night Screening”
bbrraattss, dir. Ian Cheng
Interactive, dir. Bryan Boyce
The Dark, Krystle, dir. Michael Robinson
Division, dir. Johan Rijpma
Cut, dir. Matthias Müller, Christoph Girardet
A Million Miles Away, dir. Jennifer Reeder
Metamorfoza, dir. Martha Colburn
Tacoma, dir. Courtney Krantz
Little Girl, dir. Bruce Baillie

March 26

12:30 p.m.: “Juror Presentation: Steve Anker: Big As Life, 8mm Experimental film in the U.S.:
The Boston Underground, 1976–1992”
Mysterious Barricades, dir. Peter Herwitz
Notes of An Early Fall, Part One, dir. Saul Levine
Apologies, dir. Anne Charlotte Robertson
Earthly Possessions (The Looking Glass Trilogy, Part III), dir. Pelle Lowe
Sodom, dir. Luther Price

3:00 p.m.: “Music Videos in Competition”
“Shikaakwa” by CAVE, dir. Nick Ciontea
“Can’t Say No to Annie” by Jamaican Queens, dir. Katie Barkel
“Varðeldur” by Sigur Rós, dir. Melika Bass
“Omaha” by Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy & Dawn McCarthy, dir. Ben Russell
“Long Island Ice Tea, Neat” by the Coup, dir. Kelly Gallagher
“Tiniest Seed” by Angel Olsen, dir. Randy Sterling Hunter
Auroratone (featuring “So Lillies” by Julia Holter”), dir. Emily Pelstring
“Embodied” by Jib Kidder, dir. Jib Kidder
“Scattered in the Wind” by Implodes, dir. Lori Felker
“No Answer” by Wolf Eyes, dir. Joel Rakowski
“Grip” by Sun Araw, dir. Daniel Brantley
“Brats” by Liars, dir. Ian Cheng
“Temple Walking” by Clay Rendering, dir. Joel Rakowski
“Transmission” by Demdike Stare, dir. Andy Rushton
“Black Refraction” by Tim Hecker, dir. Sabrina Ratté
“Problem Areas” by Oneohtrix Point Never, dir. Takeshi Murata

4:30 p.m.: Gradual Speed, dir. Els van Riel. An homage to analog filmmaking.
Screening with:
White Ash, dir. Leighton Peirce

7:00 p.m.: “Joseph Bernard: Super 8 Films”
Chamber (1977)
Icon (1978)
Ritual (1979)
Semblance: Frampton Brakhage Relation (1981)
Night Mix (1982)
Drawings on Africa (1981)
Film for Untitled Viewer (1983)
Variant Chants (1983)

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 1”
Sun Song, dir. Joel Wanek
Square Dance, Los Angeles County, California, 2013, dir. Sílvia das Fadas
Burn Out the Day, dir. Sasha Waters Freyer
Letter to a Refusing Pilot, dir. Akram Zaatari
Sea Series #9, dir. John Price
Sea Series #13, dir. John Price

9:15 p.m.: “Thom Andersen: Films 1964 — 2014”
Act Without Words (1964)
Melting (1965)
Olivia’s Place (1966/1974)
—-———(aka The Rock And Roll Film) (with Malcom Brodwick) (1967)
Get Out of the Car (2010)
Hey, Asshole! (2014)

9:30 p.m.: “Out Night: Films in Competition”
The Thing, dir. Rhys Ernst
100 Butches #9: Ruby, dir. Elisha Lim
Falling in Love… with Chris and Greg: “Work of Art! Reality TV Special”, dir. Chris E. Vargas, Greg Youmans
Cakes Da Killa: NO HOMO, dir. Ja’Tovia Gary
Ghost Syndrome, dir. Rita Piffer
Off-White Tulips, dir. Aykan Safoğlu
Akin, dir. Chase Joynt

March 27

12:30 p.m.: “Juror Presentation: Hope Tucker”
William Stokoe Jr., Sign Language Advocate, Dies at 80 (2000)
Bessie Cohen, Survivor of the 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Fire (2000)
Lolo Ferrari (2001)
Big Star (2003)
Missing in the Severe Clear (2001)
Noel (2005)
Vi holder sammen (We hold together) (2011)
Puhelinkoppi (1882–2007) (2010)
Vermont says goodbye to Solzhenitsyn (2012)
Ellis Wilson’s Funeral Procession (2012)
The Sea [is still] Around Us (2012)
Handful of Dust (2013)
Bryant’s Grocery & Meat Market (2008–)

3:00 p.m.: Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer, dir. Thom Andersen. Analyzing the work of the iconic photographer.

5:10 p.m.: “Penny W. Stamps Presents Penelope Spheeris”
A conversation between Penelope Spheeris and Mark Toscano, preservationist for the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Film Archive.

6:45 p.m.: Manakamana, dir. Stephanie Spray. Documenting the journal of pilgrims inside a cable car up to a Nepali mountaintop.

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 2”
A Return to the Return to Reason, dir. Sabine Gruffat
Chicago Loop, dir. James Benning
Rode Molen, dir. Esther Ulrus
Black Drop, dir. Simon Starling
Main Hall, dir. Philipp Fleischmann
Lagos Island, dir. Karimah Ashadu
Lunar Almanac, dir. Malena Szlam
Dot Matrix, dir. Richard Touhy

9:15 p.m.: “Penelope Spheeris: Films 1968 — 1998”
Synthesis (1968)
Bath (1969)
Shit (1969)
The National Rehabilitation Center (1969)
I Don’t Know (1970)
Hats Off to Hollywood (1972)
No Use Walkin’ When You Can Stroll (1998)

9:30 p.m.: “Films in Competition 3”
Wildnis (The Wild), dir. Helena Wittmann
murmurations, dir. Rebecca Meyers
Light Year, dir. Paul Clipson
A Study in Natural Magic, dir. Charlotte Pryce
After Hours, dir. Karen Yasinsky
Prisoner’s Cinema, dir. Joshua Gen Solondz
sfaÍra 1985–1895, dir. Ivan Ladislav Galeta
Let Us Persevere In What We Have Resolved Before We Forget, dir. Ben Russell

March 28

12:30 p.m.: “Juror Presentation: Jeremy Rigsby”
15/67 TV, dir. Kurt Kren
Rhinoceroses, dir. Karl Kels
Da Capo: Variations on a Train with Anna, dir. Guy Sherwin
Hong Kong (HKG), dir. Gerard Holthuis
Boston Fire, dir. Peter Hutton
Shot-Countershot, dir. Peter Tscherkassky
Boston Steamer, dir. Friedl vom Gröller
Erwin, Toni, Ilse, dir. Friedl vom Gröller
Portrait, dir. Sergei Loznitsa

3:00 p.m.: From Gulf to Gulf to Gulf, dir. Shaina Anand, Ashok Sukumaran. This documentary was primarily filmed by Indian sailors who captured their daily existence travelling with their cargo from India to the Persian Gulf and back.

4:00 p.m.: Red Hollywood, dir. Thom Andersen, Noël Burch. A remastered and re-edited version of the documentary about “communists” working in the movie and TV industry.

5:00 p.m.: The Decline of Western Civilization, dir. Penelope Spheeris. The classic documentary on the Los Angeles punk rock scene.

7:00 p.m.: A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness, dir. Ben Rivers, Ben Russell. An enigmatic character is captured in three separate times of his life: Living in an Estonian commune, exploring the wilds of Northern Finland and performing in a black metal band in Norway.
Screening with:
Still Life, dir. Bruce Baillie

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 4”
Misterio (Mystery), dir. Chema García Ibarra
The Obvious Child, dir. Stephen Irwin
Cars & Killers, dir. Gretchen Skogerson
The Blazing World, dir. Jessica Bardsley
Nail Art, dir. Martha Jurksaitis
ELSA merdelamerdelamer, dir. Abigail Child
Adeline For Leaves, dir. Jessica Sarah Rinland

9:15 p.m.: The Decline of Western Civilization Part III, dir. Penelope Spheeris. The classic documentary that profiles young punks living in Los Angeles.

9:30 p.m.: “Animated Film in Competition”
The Reality Factory, dir. Bryan Boyce
Unicorn Blood (Sangre de Unicornio), dir. Alberto Vazquez
Velocity, dir. Karolina Glusiec
Crux Film, dir. Alexander Stewart, Lilli Carré
Blanket Statement #2: All or Nothing, dir. Jodie Mack
Tropical Depression, dir. Kelly Sears
Toto, dir. Zbigniew Czapla
Unmistaken Hands: Ex Voto F.H., dir. Quay Brothers
To Thy Heart (Do Serca Twego), dir. Ewa Borysewicz
The Great Rabbit, dir. Atsushi Wada

11:59 p.m.: Suburbia, dir. Penelope Spheeris. Outcast punks struggle to survive in an abandoned bungalow in Los Angeles.

March 29

11:00 a.m.: “Films in Competition 5 (Ages 6+)”
Give Me a Pie, dir. Gina Kamentsky
What A Day, dir. Shannon Lee
Strange Wonderful, dir. Stephanie Swart
Whispers of the Prairie, dir. Deanna Morse
Light Plate, dir. Josh Gibson
Early 12 New York Song, dir. Amanda Katz
Little block of cement with disheveled hair containing the sea., dir. Jorge Lopez Navarrete
Forward Biased Condition, dir. John Woods
F-Line, dir. Silvia Turchin
Musical Recordings from the Realm of the Dead, dir. Troy Morgan
FFF1, dir. Marcin Giżycki

11:00 a.m.: “Films in Competition 6”
Sleeping District, dir. Tinne Zenner
Cold Open, dir. Seamus Harahan
South Bland Street, dir. Lina Verchery
The Land Behind, dir. Sabrina Ratté
Certain Things, dir. Mark Toscano
Mille Soleils (A Thousand Suns), dir. Mati Diop

12:30 p.m.: Los Angeles Plays Itself, dir. Thom Andersen. The remastered version of the legendary documentary about how L.A. has been portrayed throughout the history of cinema.

1:00 p.m.: “Films in Competition 7”
We Had the Experience But Missed the Meaning, dir. Laida Lertxundi
Life/Expectancy, dir. Michele Fleming
Winter Present, dir. Robert Todd
Toros, dir. Robert Fenz
The Disquiet, dir. Ali Cherri
By the Lake, dir. Chick Strand

2:59 p.m.: “Films in Competition 8”
Eleven Forty Seven, dir. Marika Borgeson
Rivergarden, dir. Jack Cronin
Lagos Sand Merchants, dir. Karimah Ashadu
DER SPAZIERGANG, dir. Margaret Rorison
Fresno, dir. Leandro Listorti
Brimstone Line, dir. Chris Kennedy
45 7 Broadway, dir. Tomonari Nishikawa
Denkbilder, dir. Pablo Marín
sound that, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
Fe26, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson

5:00 p.m.: From Deep, dir. Brett Kashmere. An experimental documentary on the sport of basketball in America.

5:00 p.m.: The Absent Stone (La Piedra Ausente), dir. Jesse Lerner, Sandra Rozental. This documentary recounts the moving of the largest carved stone of the Americas, which happened between the town of Coatlinchan to the National Anthropology Museum in Mexico City in 1964.

7:00 p.m.: Touch, dir. Shelly Silver. A man returns home to Chinatown to care for his dying mother.
Screening with:
Farther Than the Eye Can See, dir. Basma Alsharif

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 9”
Encounters With Your Inner Trotsky Child, dir. Jim Finn
Mount Song, dir. Shambhavi Kaul
A Short Organon for the Hero, dir. Elise Florenty, Marcel Türkowsky
Single Stream, dir. Paweł Wojtasik, Toby Lee, Ernst Karel
Suchy Pion (Dry Standpipe), dir. Wojciech Bąkowski

9:15 p.m.: Costa da Morte, dir. Lois Patiño. This documentary explores the Costa da Morte region of Spain.
Screening with:
Canadian Pacific, dir. David Rimmer

9:30 p.m.: “Films in Competition 10”
Broken Tongue, dir. Mónica Savirón
Creme 21, dir. Eve Heller
With Pluses and Minuses, dir. Mike Stoltz
The Handeye (Bone Ghosts), dir. Anja Dornieden, Juan David González Monroy
Photooxidation (Fotooxidación), dir. Pablo Mazzolo
Mountain in Shadow, dir. Lois Patiño
Gowanus Canal, dir. Sarah J. Christman
Sea of Vapors, dir. Sylvia Schedelbauer

11:59 p.m.: Suburbia, dir. Penelope Spheeris. Outcast punks struggle to survive in an abandoned bungalow in Los Angeles.

March 30

11:00 a.m.: It for Others, dir. Duncan Campbell. This documentary explores how art intersects with modern society.
Screening with:
Statues Also Die (Les statues meurent aussi), dir. Chris Marker, Alain Resnais

12:00 p.m.: Reconversão, dir. Thom Andersen. A survey of the work of architect Eduardo Souto de Moura.

1:00 p.m.: “Films in Competition 11”
Thing, dir. Anouk De Clercq
Aviary, dir. Katherin McInnis
Model Village, dir. Hayoun KWON
Swamp, dir. Nancy Holt, Robert Smithson
Hacked Circuit, dir. Deborah Stratman
Psalm IV: “Valley of the Shadow”, dir. Phil Solomon
Picture Perfect Pyramid, dir. Johann Lurf
Never a Foot Too Far, Even, dir. Daïchi Saïto

2:00 p.m.: The Forgotten Space, dir. Noël Burch, Allan Sekula. This documentary analyzes how the evolution of the international transportation chain across the world’s oceans.

3:00 p.m.: Purgatorio, dir. Rodrigo Reyes. This documentary examines the physical landscape and the identity of the peoples who inhabit both sides of the U.S./Mexican border.

3:00 p.m.: “Films in Competition 12”
Gente Perra (Dog People), dir. Anja Dornieden, Juan David González Monroy
Tender Feet, dir. Fern SIlva
The Pieced Quilt, dir. Scott Fitzpatrick
Will o’ the Wisp, dir. Andrew Kim
Strawberries in the Summertime, dir. Jennifer Reeves

6:00 p.m.: “Awards Screening 1”

8:15 p.m.: “Awards Screening 2”

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