Women in the Director's Chair Film and Video Festival | Festival | Chicago Reader

Women in the Director's Chair Film and Video Festival 

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The last three days of a five-day festival, now in its eighth year, that highlights film and video shorts and features by women, including documentary, animated, narrative, and experimental works. It continues Friday, March 10, through Sunday, March 12, at Chicago Filmmakers, 1229 W. Belmont. Films and videos are grouped under such program headings as "Live in a Glass House," "Play With Fire," and "Take One's Life in One's Hands." Festival tickets are $5 per program for the general public, $4 for members of Women in the Director's Chair, Chicago Filmmakers, and the Center for New Television, students, and senior citizens. For further information call 281-4988.


RUN FOR IT Seven film and video shorts: Jill Goldman's expressionistic film about female desire and its representation in film, Fort/Da (1987); Marilyn Wulff's autobiographical video Little Stories (1988); Frances Leeming's Canadian and animated film Orientation Express, about Life magazine's treatment of women over three decades; Helen DeMichiel's 1987 experimental video Consider Anything But Don't Cry, Kristine Diekman's short narrative video Circular Vision (1988); Susan Delson's 1987 film Cause and Effect; and Lynn Kirby's interesting 1987 narrative film, Sharon and the Birds on the Way to the Wedding. (6:30)

LIVE IN A GLASS HOUSE Three documentary videos, all made last year: Nancy Kalow's Sadobabies: Runaways in San Francisco, Marsha V. Morgan's Crossing With the Light (a tribute to the Chicago street corner of Clark and Diversey), and Sachiko Hamada's Inside Life Outside, which deals with the homeless in a New York shantytown. (6:30)

PLAY WITH FIRE Seven films and videos, all made over the past couple of years: Margaret Hussey's film Two Eggs Any Style ("a narrative without a story line"); Alison Morse's pixilated animation The Romance of Reorganization; Cynthia Cohn's documentary film Lovestruck; Susan Emshwiller's black comedy Breakfast Messages; Megan M. Sinciair's one-minute tribute to Alfred Hitchcock, Norman; Maggie Sherman's video The Gift; and Camille Billops's experimental narrative-documentary video, Older Women and Love. (9:00)

DEFY DANGER Four recent videos: Marianne Connor's personal travel journal through Jordan and the West Bank, Impressions of Jordan; Margot Starr Kernan's experimental and autobiographical narrative Watching; Carol Yourman's Building Peace in the Midst of War, which focuses on the sister-city relationship between Cambridge, Massachusetts, and the repopulated village of San Jose las Flores, El Salvador; and Jenny Morgan's Angola Is Our Country, in which Angolan women describe their experience of South Africa's 12-year undeclared war against their own country. (9:00)


CARRY TOO MUCH SAIL Two short documentary features on film, both made last year: Diane Garey and Lawrence Hott's history of nursing, Sentimental Women Need Not Apply, and Sue Maslin and Sue Hardisty's Australian film about a group of women farm workers during World War II, Thanks Girls and Goodbye. (11:00 am)

MARCH UP TO THE MOUTH OF THE CANNON Two video documentaries of 1987: Gabrielle Baur and Kristina Konrad's Swiss video about the role of women in postrevolutionary Nicaragua, Cada Dia Historia (Everyday History), and Ying Ying Wu's Vietnam Vets: Dissidents for Peace. (11:00 am)

CAST YOUR FATE TO THE WIND Two short documentary features on film, both completed last year: Diane Kitchen's Before We Knew Nothing, about the life of the Ashaninka Indians in the jungles of Peru, and Kelly Holland's Viva la Paz, about 300 people from around the world who traveled to Central America in support of peaceful dialogue and nonmilitary alternatives. (1:30)

WALK A FINE LINE Two short feature documentaries on video, both made last year: Dayna Goldfine's Isadora Duncan: Movement From the Soul, and Demetria Royals's Marna's Pushcart, about Ellen Stewart and the La MaMa Theater. (1:30)

TAKE ONE'S LIFE IN ONE'S HANDS Five videos and one film that's been transferred to video, all dealing with the physically handicapped. The latter is Beverly Shaffer's Canadian, Oscar-winning I'll Find a Way (1977), about a nine-year-old with a crippling congenital disease. The original-format videos, all made last year, are Sharon Conrad's You Got Me Working Day and Night, about a Little City Foundation resident born with developmental disabilities; Morgan Thomas's Twentieth Century Child, about a seven-year-old girl with birth defects; Barbara Jean Gregornik's autobiographical My Life Story, about her progress from being born with Treacher-Collins syndrome to becoming an ambassador for the developmentally disabled; Linda Gerber's Good Neighbors, about a successful project enabling the mentally handicapped to lead relatively normal lives in small, supervised group homes; and Mona M. Smith's film about an Ojibwa Indian woman, Her Giveaway: A Spiritual Journey With AIDS. (4:00)

WALK ON HOT COALS Two films and two videos. The films are Doreen Bartoni's Daily Double (1988), about the meeting of a budding comedienne and a racetrack teller, and Casi Pacilio's Out of Our Time (1988), which follows two Chicago women's circles--one literary and artistic in the 30s, the other academic and artistic in the present. The videos are Doreen Bartoni's Hazel's Photos (1987), in which a group of contemporary women discuss photos of women at the turn of the century, and Pam Walton's 1988 Out in Suburbia, a documentary about eleven suburban lesbians. (7:00)

LIVE AGAINST THE GRAIN Four videos about black women, all made last year: Silvana Afram's Brazilian Mulheres negras (Black Women of Brazil); Elena Featherston's documentary about author Alice Walker, Visions of the Spirit; Myrna Schloss's experimental piece about King Solomon and the queen of Sheba, Connection: An Ethiopian Tale; and Mary Easter's Some People, in which dancing and story telling are used to explore the lives of nine black characters. (7:00)

HANG BY A THREAD Seven videos and four films. The videos are Abby Luby's 1988 Paper Dance, featuring interactions between a dancer and a wall of paper; Diane Teramana's 1988 Stress Test, about a mother enduring migraine and noisy kids; Annette Barbier's 1987 My Country 'Tis of Thee, which features a series of transmutations of the title melody over footage of a deteriorating landscape; Cecilia Condit's striking "mini-opera" Not a Jealous Bone (1987); Meg Amato's 1988 Breaking Out of the Reptilian Brain, "a portrait of a state of mind"; Margot Starr Kernan's 1988 Breaking and Entering, set in California during the cold war; and Steina's experimental Lilith (1987). The films are Marcy Hedy Lynn's 1987 expressionistic fairy tale, Whether Willed; Ines Sommer's very striking and original experimental work, A Still Life of Postcards (1988); Melanie Magisos's examination of the use of women's bodies in artworks, Streets of the Dream (1986); and Sharon Sandusky's experimental 1987 Richtung. (10:00)

TELL A SECRET Two videos and a film that's been transferred to video that offer political commentaries. Sherry Millner and Ernest Larsen's Out of the Mouths of Babes (1987) uses a young child learning language as an ironic ploy for considering the follies of the U.S. government in Central America; Monica Kendall's 1988 Politoons 1 and 2 are cartoon film editorials; and Barbara Trent's excellent and chilling 1988 Coverup: Behind the Iran-Contra Affair is a short documentary feature that should have had a pronounced effect on last year's presidential election--and might have if it had received a much wider exposure. (10:00)


LIE BETWEEN THE HAMMER AND THE ANVIL Four films: Saundra Sharp's animated 1988 Picking Tribes, which "takes a light look at a daughter of the 40s as she struggles with racial identity"; Gaylon Emerzian's 1986 It's Not Always Happy in My House, a narrative film about children's perceptions of family violence; Karen Goodman's 1988 Children's Storefront, a documentary about a school for poor children abandoned by other institutions; and Shirikiana Gerima's 1985 documentary Brick by Brick, about the displacement of people due to "urban renewal," which is viewed as an international problem. (Noon)

TREMBLE ON THE VERGE Two documentary short features in which women discuss their experiences: Trish Fitzsimmons and Mitzi Goldman's Australian Snakes and Ladders, a film to be shown on video, features three generations of Australian women between the ages of 16 and 94; Deborah Perkin's English 1988 video Out of the Doll's House: Breaking Free gives a historical account of British women's experience of politics at the parliamentary and grass-roots levels. (Noon)

GO TO SEA IN A SIEVE Three films, all of them made last year. Martina Attille's Dreaming Rivers, made in England, is a "dream drama" about migration. Lise Yasui's Family Gathering takes a personal look at the incarceration of the Japanese in U.S. concentration camps in 1941 through the experiences of her own family. Midi Onodera's Canadian Displaced View offers another examination of Japanese identity and history, this time in a Canadian context. (2:00)

TEMPT PROVIDENCE The only program in this festival that consists of only one work: Margaret Wescott's 130-minute Behind the Veil: Parts 1 & 2, made for the National Film Board of Canada and Studio D in 1984, a film transferred to video that considers the history and achievements of women in religion, from pre-Christian Celtic communities to the present. (2:00)

CHEAT THE DEVIL Three films of 1988: Sally Kellerman's "docu-comedy," Midnite Climax, describes a brothel operated by the CIA where LSD experiments were conducted; Helen Prince's Take Me Out to the Ball Game uses both baseball and the assassination of John F. Kennedy as "metaphors to create a morality play on the polarities that lie within a single person, a nation, and the human consciousness"; and Anne Cottringer and Alex Anderson's Hell to Pay England is a documentary about the effect of foreign debts in Bolivia told through the testimony of women. (4:30)

GO OUT OF ONE'S DEPTH Two short video features made in 1988 about women in the sex market--Caitlin Manning's Stripped Bare, about former and current strippers in San Francisco erotic clubs, and Sarah Wynter's Prostitution: A Matter of Violence Against Women, written and produced by former prostitutes. (4:30)

BARE ONE'S SOUL Three films: Meg Partridge's Portrait of Imogen (1988), about the work of her grandmother, photographer Imogen Cunningham; Janet Perlman's all-penguin fairy tale, the Canadian The Tender Tale of Cinderella Penguin (1981); and Martha Sandlin's 1988 documentary about the pioneering historian of American Indian culture, Angie Debo, Indians, Outlaws and Angie Debo, which was recently shown on PBS. (8:00)

VEER OFF THE BEATEN PATH An all-video program in three parts. The first part is a collection of videotapes curated by the late Lyn Blumenthal, Variety Is the Spice of Life, which includes Jill Kroesen's Lowell Moves to New York (1983), Valie Export's A Perfect Pair (1986), Linda Look's Luchare (1986), Blumenthal's own Double Cross (1985), Max Almy's Modern Love (1979), and Laurel Chiten's Two in Twenty (1987). Part two is Suzie Silver's eight-minute treatment of a lesbian relation, You Know Something (1984), and part three is Julie Zando's strange and disquieting look at power relationships between women, Let's Play Prisoners (1988). (8:00)


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Agenda Teaser

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