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2015 Ann Arbor Film Festival: Official Lineup

By Mike Everleth ⋅ March 24, 2015

Abstract black and white image with Ann Arbor Film Festival text logo overlaying it

The Ann Arbor Film Festival celebrates its epic 53rd annual edition on March 24-29 with a colossal selection of experimental short films and features.

Feature film highlights include the documentary Speculation Nation by regular collaborators Bill Brown and Sabine Gruffat, which examines the recent Spanish housing crisis; a new ethnographic doc by Ben RussellGreetings to the Ancestors, which plunges deep into the culture of South Africa; and Jenni Olson’s grand California study The Royal Road.

Short film highlights include the much anticipated new film by Jennifer Reeder, Blood Below the Skin, a narrative following a week in the dramatic and romantic lives of three teenage girls; a new music video by Mike Olenick called Beautiful Things with music by The Wet Things; new animations by Don HertzfeldtWorld of Tomorrow, and Lewis Klahr, Mars Garden; plus new experimental work by Vanessa Renwick, Peggy Ahwesh and Zachary Epcar.

Special events include self-chosen retrospectives of work by festival jurors Jesse McLean and Julie Murray; live cinema and music performances every night; tributes to the late filmmaker Harun Farocki and AAFF founder George Manupelli; and a look at classic computer-made experimental media by Mary Ellen Bute, Stan Vanderbeek, Lillian Schwartz and others.

The full 2015 Ann Arbor Film Festival lineup is below, but please visit the fest’s official website for more info.

March 24

8:15 p.m.: “Opening Night Screening”
Twelve Tales Told, dir. Johann Lurf
1000 Plateaus, dir. Steven Woloshen
MeTube: August Sings Carmen ‘Habanera’, dir. Daniel Moshel
Symphony No. 42, dir. Reka Bucsi
Ziegler, dir. Terri Sarris
Babash, dir. Lisa Truttmann
Of the Iron Range, dir. Steve Wetzel
Many Thousands Gone, dir. Ephraim Asii
Necrology, dir. Standish Lawder

March 25

12:15 p.m.: “Juror Presentation: Jesse McLean
The Eternal Quarter Inch, dir. Jesse McLean
Remote, dir. Jesse McLean
Somewhere Only We Know, dir. Jesse McLean
Just Like Us, dir. Jesse McLean
The Invisible World, dir. Jesse McLean
I’m in Pittsburgh and It’s Raining, dir. Jesse McLean

2:30 p.m.: “Music Videos in Competition”
“Light Motif” by Steve Reich, dir. Frederic Bonpapa
“Halo Getters” by Hiss Tracts, dir. Karl Lemieux
“The Ooli Moves” by Nicole Mitchell’s Black Earth Ensemble, dir. Adebukola Bodunrin
“Forgiven/Forgotten” by Angel Olsen, dir. Zia Anger
“Autumn” by Bear in Heaven, dir. Peter Burr, John Lee
“Envy” by The Able Sea, dir. Daniel Stuyck
“Cirrus” by Bonobo, dir. Cyriak
“Coupe” by Future, dir. Christopher Carboni
“Wyie” by SICH MANG, dir. Theodore Darst
“BROMP TREB SPRING TICKLES TOUR Promomercial” by Neil Young/Bromp Treb, dir. Neil Young Cloaca
“Pathetic Magic” by Thank You, dir. N/A at press time
“Tubal Freaks Sneek-a-Peek” by Black Vatican, dir. Andy Roche
Choreography for Justin Bieber, dir. Craig Webster
IWI by Acteurs, dir. Alexander Stewart
Beautiful Things, dir. Mike Olenick
Heavy Flow, dir. Tony Balko
Never Catch Me by Flying Lotus ft. Kendrick Lamar, dir. Hiro Murai

4:30 p.m.: “Computer Age: Early Computer Movies, 1953-1969”
Around Is Around, dir. Norman McLaren, Evelyn Lambert
Mood Contrasts, dir. Mary Ellen Bute
Side Phase Drift, dir. John Whitney Jr.
Cibernetik 5.3, dir. John Stehura
Lapis, dir. James Whitney
Poemfield No. 2, dir. Stan Vanderbeek, Kenneth Knowlton
Permutation, dir. John Whitney
Digital Experiments at Bell Labs, dir. Nam June Paik
Around Perception, dir. Pierre Hebert

7:00 p.m.: “Computer Age: Early Computer Movies, 1971-1987”
Terminal Self, dir. John Whitney
Robert Abel and Associates Demo Reel, dir. Robert Abel
Arabesque, dir. John Whitney
Symmetricks, dir. Stan Vanderbeek, Wade Shaw
La Faim (Hunger), dir. Peter Foldes
Collage, dir. Lillian Schwartz
Sunstone, dir. Ed Emschwiller
Let’s Groove, dir. Ron Hays
Human Vectors, dir. Dov Jacobson
Big Electric Cat, dir. John Sanborn, Kit Fitzgerald, Dean Winkler
Adventures in Success, dir. Lynn Goldsmith, Joshua White
Calculated Movements, dir. Larry Cuba
No No Nooky TV, dir. Barbara Hammer

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 1”
Sound of a Million Insects, Light of a Thousand Stars, dir. Tomonari Nishikawa
Night Noon, dir. Shambhavi Kaul
Time Being V-VI, dir. Barbara Sternberg
The Figure Carved Into the Knife by the Sap of the Banana Tree, dir. Joana Pimenta
Wayward Fronds, dir. Fern Silva
War Prayer, dir. Richard Wiebe
Substanz, dir. Sebastian Mez

9:15 p.m.: “Tacita Dean: Program One”
The Green Ray, dir. Tacita Dean
Kodak, dir. Tacita Dean
JG, dir. Tacita Dean

9:30 p.m.: Haxan, dir. Benjamin Christensen.
Live score by Demdike Stare

March 26

12:15 p.m.: “Juror Presentation: Joanna Raczynska”
White People, dir. Nasko Kriznar and OHO
Black Film (Crni film), dir. Zelimer Zilnik
Oskar Hansen – Groping One’s Way (Oskar Hansen – Po omacku), dir. Piotr Andrejew
1,2,3…Operator’s exercise (1,2,3… wiczenie operatorskie), dir. Pawel Kwiek
Centre (Centrum), dir. Kazimierz Bendkowski
New Year’s Eve (Szilveszter), dir. Elemer Ragalyi
Self Fashion Show (Ondivatbemutato), dir. Tibor Hajas
Transformation (Transformacja), dir. Grzegorz G. Zgraja
Video Manual, dir. Dalibor Martinis

3:00 p.m.: Images of the World and the Inscription of War, dir. Harun Farocki. Analyzing the WWII aerial footage that pinpointed German industrial targets, but totally missed the horrors of the concentration camps.

5:10 p.m.: “Penny Stamps Presents: Tacita Dean” The 16mm filmmaker Tacita Dean will lecture about her work.

7:00 p.m.: Episode of the Sea, dir. Lonnie van Brummelen, Siebren de Haan. Chronicling the unusual landlocked livelihood of the fishing community of Urk in the Netherlands.
Screening with:
Chapri, dir. Katarzyna Plazinska
The Peacock, dir. Andrew Kim

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 2”
Masanao Abe- Cloudgraphy, dir. Helmut Volter
Blue Loop, July, dir. Mike Gibisser
Sightings: Habitat, dir. Sabrina Ratte
Kingdom Come: Rituals, dir. Vika Kirchenbauer, Martin Sulzer
In Waking Hours, dir. Sarah Vanagt
Detour de Force, dir. Rebecca Baron

9:15 p.m.: “Tacita Dean: Program Two”
Disappearance at Sea, dir. Tacita Dean
Bubble House, dir. Tacita Dean
Teignmouth Electron, dir. Tacita Dean
Merce Cunningham performs STILLNESS (I), dir. Tacita Dean
Edwin Parker, dir. Tacita Dean

9:30 p.m.: “Out Night: Films in Competition”
The Little Deputy, dir. Trevor Anderson
Like rats leaving a sinking ship, dir. Vika Kirchenbauer
Confessions, dir. Curt McDowell
Blood Below the Skin, dir. Jennifer Reeder

11:30 p.m.: “Cinema and Music Performance: Ojoboca/Wojciech Bakowski”
Ojoboca are Berlin-based artists Anja Dornieden and Juan David Gonzalez Monroy, who will present A Home Inside that features three 16mm projectors projecting images of “good domestic design.” Wojciech Bakowski will provide a live music soundtrack.

March 27

12:15 p.m.: “Juror Presentation: Julie Murray
End Reel, dir. Julie Murray
I Began to Wish, dir. Julie Murray
If You Stand With Your Back to the Slowing of the Speed of Light in Water, dir. Julie Murray
Orchard, dir. Julie Murray
Line of Apsides, dir. Julie Murray
Untitled (light), dir. Julie Murray
Distance, dir. Julie Murray

3:00 p.m.: What Farocki Taught, dir. Jill Godmilow. This screening of Godmilow’s documentary will be followed by a discussion between the director and filmmaker Mike Hoolboom.

5:00 p.m.: “Gallery Talk & Reception: Jane Cassidy” The filmmaker will discuss her interests in visual music, live visuals, electro-acoustic composition and multi-channell work.

7:00 p.m.: “Wojciech Bakowski: Making New Worlds Instead of Forgetting About It”
Glos mojej duszy (Sound of My Soul), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Budowa dnia (Construction of the Day), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Prezegld Widok (Prospects’ Overview), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Pogorszenie widzenia (Worsening of Eyesight), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Suchy pion (Dry Standpipe), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Robienie nowych wiatow zamiast da spokoj (Making New Worlds Instead of Forgetting About It), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Film mowiony 5 (Spoken Film no. 5), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Milosc (Love), dir. Wojciech Bakowski
Strach (Fear), dir. Wojciech Bakowski

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 3”
Your Silent Face (fucking finland series), dir. Seamus Harahan
Regal Unlimited, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
Black, dir. Anouk De Clercq
Clinker, dir. Eric Gaucher
Scrapbook, dir. Mike Hoolboom
7285, dir. Sarah J. Christman
Herd, dir. David Redmon, Ashley Sabin

9:15 p.m.: Transatlantique, dir. Felix Dufour-Laperriere. A trans-Atlantic voyage lasting a month on an enormous cargo ship.
Screening with:
vindmoller, dir. Margaret Rorison
Steel Mill Rolling, dir. Ross Nugent

9:30 p.m.: “Animated Films in Competition”
Optimist, Pessimist, Solipsist, dir. Will Bryan
Chorus, dir. Benjamin Edelberg
One Night in Florida, dir. Tess Martin
Jiro Visits the Dentist, dir. Gina Kamentsky
Pen Up the Pigs, dir. Kelly Gallagher
Google Mission, dir. Bryan Boyce
IOA, dir. Gabriel Mohring
The Bigger Picture, dir. Daisy Jacobs
SimGyeong (Mirror in Mind), dir. SeungHee Kim
Inkjet 3056A, dir. Karissa Hahn
Descent, dir. Johan Rijpma
Swallowed Whole, dir. Heidi Kumao
Padre, dir. Santiago ‘Bou’ Grasso
World of Tomorrow, dir. Don Hertzfeldt

11:30 p.m.: “Cinema & Music Performance: Buke & Gase with Ted Kennedy & Technicolor N.G.”
Dual video projections by Ted Kennedy with a live soundtrack by Arone Dyer and Aron Sanchez. Walter Forsberg and Kohn Klacsmann will screen and live score a Technicolor dye transfer printing error.

March 28

11:00 a.m.: “Films in Competition 4 (Ages 6+)”
Road Funner, dir. Jason Sudak
Eclipse, dir. Jacky De Groen
Clarabel, dir. Ben Bruhmuller
We Are Not Amused, dir. Vicki Bennett
the point., dir. Andrea Maurer, Thomas Brandstatter
Graminoids, dir. Demelza Kooij, Lars Loens
Living Fossil, dir. Sean Hanley
Refreshment, dir. Johan Rijpma
Uto, dir. David Buob
33 Yo-Yo Tricks, dir. P. White
// Ladybug, dir. Flatsitter (Jax Deluca & Kyle Marler)

11:15 a.m.: “Films in Competition 5”
Immortality, Home and Elsewhere, dir. Sasha Livintseva
Not and Or, dir. Simon Payne
The Kiss, dir. Luis Macias
Parallel I-IV, dir. Harun Farocki

1:00 p.m.: “Films in Competition 6”
Seven Signs That Mean Silence, dir. Sara Magenheimer
Things, dir. Ben Rivers
Relief, dir. Calum Walter
Port Noir, dir. Laura Kraning
The Many Colors of the Sky Radiate Forgetfulness, dir. Basim Magdy
Echo Chamber, dir. Guillermo Moncayo

1:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 7”
Old Jewish Cemetery, dir. Sergei Loznitsa
Blue Line Chicago, dir. Richard Tuohy, Dianna Barrie
Eyrie, dir. Stephen Connolly
A Set of Miniatures, dir. Jonathan Schwartz
Videe, dir. Diane Kitchen
Yonder, dir. Jessica Bardsley
Reduit, dir. John Skoog

3:00 p.m.: “La Revelateur and Karl Lemieux / Roger Tellier-Craig”
La Revelateur is video artist Sabrina Ratte and musician Roger Tellier-Craig who will perform together. This will be followed by Karl Lemieux performing unzip violence, which features five 16mm projectors, accompanied by live music by Roger Tellier-Craig.

3:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 8”
A Symptom, dir. Ben Balcom
Project Gasbuggy, dir. Carl Elaesser
Volatilidad, dir. Bruno Varela
There Are Pictures, Because There Are Walls — A Prologue, dir. Sasha Pirker
Clear and No Screws, dir. Brett Story
William in White Shirt, dir. Antoine Bourges
Three Quarters, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
All That Is Solid, dir. Louis Henderson
O, Persecuted, dir. Basma Alsharif

5:00 p.m.: Iron Ministry, dir. J.P. Sniadecki. Journeying across the vast China landscape by rail.

5:15 p.m.: Greetings to the Ancestors, dir. Ben Russell. Profiling the local inhabitants of the region between Swaziland and South Africa.
Screening with:
Depositions, dir. Luke Fowler
Occidente, dir. Ana Vaz

7:00 p.m.: The Creation of Meaning, dir. Simone Rapisarda Casanova. A shepherd lives his life in the Tuscan Alps, an area where German soldiers massacred civilians during WWII.

7:15 p.m.: “Films in Competition 9”
Corda, dir. Pablo Lobato
Federsee, dir. John Skoog
Falling, dir. Robert Todd
Mars Garden, dir. Lewis Klahr
Brouillard-Passage #15, dir. Alexandre Larose
Layover, dir. Vanessa Renwick
Two Ways Down, dir. Laura Heit
Buffalo Juggalos, dir. Scott Cummings

9:15 p.m.: Speculation Nation, dir. Bill Brown, Sabine Gruffat. Examining the Spanish housing crisis as citizens unite to fight for their right for a place to live.
Screening with:
Atlantis, dir. Ben Russell

9:30 p.m.: “Films in Competition 10”
Become an Artist, dir. George Manupelli, William Farley
Rabbit Season, Duck Season, dir. Michael Bell-Smith
The Song Remains the Same, dir. Mark Toscano
Accent Grave on Ananas, dir. Tamara Henderson
Grand Finale, dir. Kevin Jerome Everson
Lessons of War, dir. Peggy Ahwesh
Quiet Zone, dir. David Bryant
Second Sighted, dir. Deborah Stratman
Color Neutral, dir. Jennifer Reeves
Wolkenschatten, dir. Anja Dornieden, Juan David Gonzalez Monroy
OM Rider, dir. Takeshi Murata

11:30 p.m.: “Cinema & Music Performance: Jane Cassidy & Justin Walter / Alvarez & Dye”
Projections by Jane Cassidy accompanied by live music by Justin Walter. Alfonso Alvarez and Steve Dye perform This Tunnel, a piece involving four 16mm projectors, sound and an FM broadcast.

12:00 a.m.: Tron, dir. Steven Lisberger. The classic 1982 film about a computer programmer who gets trapped in a digital world.

March 29

11:00 a.m.: “Regional Films in Competition”
V V, dir. Elizabeth Wodzinski
Feral, dir. Shannon Lee
A Park for the City, dir. Nicole Macdonald
The Dum Dum Capitol of the World, dir. Holly Hey
Arts Work, dir. Christine Hucal
Time I Change, dir. Oren Goldenberg
Noise \\ Void, dir. Simon Alexander-Adams
I See Faces in All Places, dir. Donald Harrison

11:15 a.m.: Forest of Bliss, dir. Robert Gardner. A profile of the daily life of the citizens of Benares (Varanasi), India.

1:00 p.m.: “Films in Competition 11”
Akbar, dir. Richard Myers
From A to B, dir. Julia Dogra-Brazell
Under the Heat Lamp an Opening, dir. Zachary Epcar
Sister City, dir. Dani Leventhal
Poetry for Sale, dir. Friedl vom Groller
Dan Mark, dir. Eva Marie Rodbro
Special Features, dir. James N. Kienitz Wilkins

1:15 p.m.: The Royal Road, dir. Jenni Olson. A cinematic essay tying together on the Spanish colonization of California, the Mexican American War, butch identity, unavailable women and Alfred Hitchcock’s Vertigo.
Screening with:
The Dragon Is the Frame, dir. Mary Helena Clark
Orizzonti Orizzonti!, dir. Anna Marziano

2:45 p.m.: “Tribute to George”
A tribute to George Manupelli, the founder of the Ann Arbor Film Festival. Includes a screening of Manupelli’s film Portraits, Self Portraits and Still Lives 1972-73 with Special Reference to the Assassination of President John F. Kennedy, or This is Not Aufwiedersehen This is Goodbye.

3:00 p.m.: Maidan, dir. Sergei Loznitsa. Chronicling the revolutionary events in Kiev square in 2013-2014 through static master shots.

6:00 p.m.: “Award Screening 1”
Presentation of awards followed by a screening of some of the winning films.

8:15 p.m.: “Award Screening 2”
Screening of more of this year’s award-winning films.