This Radiant World: Lines of Force: Moving Forward and Standing Still
This Radiant World: Recent and Retrospective Experimental Films is a four-program series of exceptional experimental films from the last few years, complemented by several newly restored and preserved retrospective works. Many of the films comment directly or indirectly on the anxieties and uncertainty of the past two years; others serve as joyful and playful counterpoints. Together, they demonstrate the continuing richness of experimental cinema, the history of which is exemplified by this selection of lesser-known works that are overdue for rediscovery and reappraisal.
The six works in this program act in counterpoint to each other—some are focused on stasis, pausing, and contemplation; others on movement, progression, building, and speed. James N. Kienitz Wilkins’s Best Year Ever is a pause, a breather, a nostalgic turn to the past in a complicated year in which Richard Scarry’s animal protagonists are social creatures exploring their world; the irony is not lost. In Bill Morrison's Wild Girl, actress Eva Tanguay is trapped in deteriorating film emulsion, struggling to get free. Thai filmmaker Apichatpong Weerasethakul takes a micro-look at the insect life gathering on a bed during lockdown in Night Colonies, while a house is never a home in Janie Geiser’s enigmatic animation 22 Light-Years. The simple action in David Haxton’s Bringing Lights Forward—a series of lights are brought nearer to the camera in stages—is transformed by shooting in black and white and printing in negative; structural and performative qualities are subsumed by a spectral materiality. Finally, Austrian experimental film master Peter Tscherkassky creates a vortex of 35mm speed and motion in his propulsive Train Again. Co-curated by Julia Gibbs and Patrick Friel. (digital, 16mm, and 35mm, 77 min.)
Best Year Ever (James N. Kienitz Wilkins, 2020, 14 min, digital video)
Wild Girl (Bill Morrison, 2021, 6 min, digital video)
Night Colonies (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021, 14 min, digital video)
22 Light-Years (Janie Geiser, 2021, 17 min, digital video)
Bringing Lights Forward (David Haxton, 1970, 4 min, 16mm)
Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, 2021, 20 min, 35mm)
Bringing Lights Forward preserved by the Academy Film Archive.
Masks and proof of vaccination are required for entry for this in-person event at the Logan Center. Learn more at arts.uchicago.edu/visitlogancenter.