Underground Zero II | Chicago Reader

Underground Zero II

San Francisco filmmakers Jay Rosenblatt and Caveh Zahedi curated this subtly therapeutic anthology of 16 short films and videos responding to the September 11 attacks. Barbara Klutinis's Ashes to Ashes: The Art of Rebecca Haseltine shows the title artist wearing a protective breathing mask and long white gloves as she rubs charcoal powder on tall white canvases, creating black figures that resemble both shrouded mourners and smoking skyscrapers. In Innocence and Despair, Phil Solomon takes old newsreel footage of New York and superimposes the deep blue waters of the Pacific Ocean, his shimmering cityscape graced by an elegiac piano piece by Arvo Part. Chel White's New York, my favorite work on the program, makes a ruined city enchanted again: jets ascend in the twilight, framed by silhouetted rooftops and cranes, and droplets sparkle like tiny diamonds as kids delight in the spray of fire hydrants. 78 min.

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