Mountain State (Brown, 2003)

Lo Fi Landscapes: Pictures From the New World

Friday, April 29, 2005 - 8:00pm

Filmmakers Thomas Comerford and Bill Brown follow-up their 2002 Lo Fi Landscapes Tour with a new program of films about the space of history and the history of spaces. These films explore how historical text becomes physical texture, and how filmmaking itself is memory recovered from landscape's amnesia.

Brown's Mountain State is a brief history of the westward expansion of the United States as told by 25 roadside historical markers in the state of West Virginia. History is a ghost, and every historical marker tells a ghost story.

Comerford's Land Marked is a series of four landscape films, each examining a specific place in Chicago. These places are connected in their relationship to 17th-century exploration of the Chicago area by Europeans, in particular, the highly-celebrated French Jesuit missionary, Jacques Marquette. Rather than attempt to tell Marquette's story or offer history, the films examine the monuments to Marquette--the "stories" the monuments tell--and the relationship of the monuments to their surroundings.

Together the filmmakers are currently in production on Chicago Detroit Split. Surveying their current cities-in-residence--Detroit and Chicago, Brown and Comerford find the common ground of shared street names, yet they employ the unslit 8mm format to juxtapose these like-named tracts of land--the juxtapositions allowing for chance encounters across time and space between these two midwestern cities. (program run time approx. 60 minutes.)