Sun, Apr 14 | 9:30 PM
UW Cinematheque

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Passing Through: Experimental Films and the Search for Transcendence
Program Running Time is 74 min
The centerpiece of this program of short experimental films is a newly restored print of legendary filmmaker Stan Brakhage’s rarely screened Passage Through: A Ritual, an underseen masterpiece of spiritual filmmaking that remains one of the most innovative sound films ever made. Although Brakhage’s films are known for their silence, Passage Through showcases Philip Corner’s haunting composition, “Through the Mysterious Barricade, Lumen I (after F. Couperin).” Long passages of black leader are interrupted by short bursts of imagery as the score rises to a shattering crescendo. A truly meditative film that can only be experienced, Passage Through attempts to slip the surly bonds of earth and touch the face of God. Also showing are three additional films that search for transcendence in unlikely places. The Room Called Heaven, the latest work from Laida Lertxundi, consists of a series of camera tests, or ‘B’ roll, that improbably comes together in a stirring vision of the sublime. Mary Helena Clark’s Orpheus (Outtakes) searches for lost ghosts and interstitial apparitions in an optically printed reworking of Jean Cocteau’s classic film version of the Orpheus myth. And in Time Being, filmmaker Gunvor Nelson unflinchingly trains her camera on her dying mother. In three silent shots that gradually increase in scale, Nelson says her final goodbye, invoking the beauty and brutality of the thin line between here and there.

The Room Called Heaven
USA | 2012 | 11 min | 16mm
dir: Laida Lertxundi
Orpheus (outtakes)
USA | 2012 | 6 min | 16mm
dir: Mary Helena Clark
Time Being
USA | 1991 | 8 min | 16mm
dir: Gunvor Nelson
Passage Through: A Ritual
USA | 1990 | 48 min | 16mm
dir: Stan Brakhage
 
Wisconsin Film Festival
presented by the University of Wisconsin–Madison Arts Institute in association with the Communication Arts Film Studies Program
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