Filmmakers Pam Minty and Alain LeTourneau embody the spirit of a recent movement of landscape documentarians who deploy avant garde film practices to the task of documenting the American experience. In Empty Quarter, they set their sights on southeast Oregon, a familiar and yet foreign region characterized by the constant re-working of the land by cultural and agricultural forces. Through a series of meditative images, interspersed with the voices of local people, the film tells the story of the place and its inhabitants: East Indian and Japanese families, ancestors of Basque sheep herders, Paiute tribes people, and Latinos who have come to help work the land. (2011, 16mm, 71 min)
Pam Minty is a Portland, Oregon based filmmaker and sound recordist. She works for the Northwest Film Center as the School of Film Registrar and instructor for field sound recording workshops. Alain LeTourneau is a filmmaker, photographer and film preservationist engaged in efforts to sustain the 16mm format as a viable production and exhibition medium. Learn more about the filmmakers at their website.
LeTourneau and Minty will conduct a workshop entitled "Experimenting with Documentary Form" at Chicago Filmmakers on Saturday, October 29, 12-3pm. Details here.