Underground Film Journal

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UnionDocs: Argument Of The Eye

By Mike Everleth ⋅ January 5, 2011

Flag logo for UnionDocs

Jan 8
7:30 p.m.
322 Union Ave
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Hosted by: The Film-makers’ Cooperative

Curated by Coleen Fitzgibbon, Argument of the Eye is a collection of short films that were chosen based on “the artist’s strength of character.” They range from Fitzgibbon’s own 1973 film Trip to Carolee’s — about a trip to the home of fellow underground filmmaker Carolee Schneeman — to the 2010 film Defunct by Katie Torn — a dance film that has been modified video effects.

The title of this screening has been taken from the work of the English art critic John Ruskin, who wrote about the way the eye was able to intuitively discern beauty. This is a very diverge group of films, with many of the filmmakers in attendance for a post-screening discussion with Fitzgibbon. In attendance will be: Andrea Callard, Katy Martin, Sandra Gibson, Liza Bear, Susan Cox, and Katie Torn.

Below is the full lineup of films. Descriptions are excerpted from the UnionDocs website.

  1. Trip to Carolee’s, dir. Coleen Fitzgibbon (USA, 1973, 7 minutes, digital projection)
    Trip to Carolee’s is a diary, filmed by C. Fitzgibbon and partially by Margie Keller; trip starts in NYC as they drive up to Carolee Schneemann’s for the weekend to take care of her cat, Kitsch, and to relax in the country.
  2. X-Magazine Benefit, dir. Alan W. Moore and Coleen Fitzgibbon (USA, 1978, 11 minutes, digital projection)
    Colab’s X Magazine Benefit documents the punk rock performances of DNA, James Chance and the Contortions and Boris Police Band in NYC in the late 1970’s.
  3. 11 thru 12, dir. Andrea Callard (USA, 1977, 11 minutes, 16 mm)
    11 thru 12 is an avant-garde meditation on the principles of the I Chin.
  4. Earthglow, dir. Liza Béar (USA, 1983, 8 minutes, 16 mm)
    A city dweller attempting to write a poem about a desert trip is distracted by a recent argument.
  5. The Sheepdog and the Mayor Get Their Ducks in a Row, dir. Liza Béar (USA, 2004, 7 minutes, digital projection)
    Union Square, New York — A sheepdog herds ducks while at a nearby press conference the Mayor announces sale of public land via a public /private partnership.
  6. Breathing Twice, dir. Katy Martin (USA, 2009, 7 minutes, digital video projection)
    Calligraphic images of paint on skin, which the filmmaker traces on her own body, are intercut with details of New York’s Chinatown.
  7. By Night – No Stillness, dir. Katy Martin and Miriam Parker (USA, 2009, 10 minutes, digital projection)
    By Night – No Stillness is a study in black, where black becomes a radiant space within which one finds inner light.
  8. Defunct, dir. Katie Torn (USA, 2010, 3 minutes, digital projection)
    In Defunct, a human figure wearing painted constructions confronts the viewer with an awkward dance.
  9. Homeless Children, dir. Sandra Gibson (USA, 1986, 11 minutes, digital projection)
  10. Why Did I Say Yes?, dir. Susan Cox (USA, 2010, DVD, 3 minutes)
    Reflections on procrastination.