Thursday, February 25, 2016

3/2/16 Rob Todd HUMAN NATURE

Emerson professor and acclaimed experimental filmmaker Robert Todd will present 3 films from his HUMAN NATURE series. Nature is what we make of it, right? These films poke at the Western notion that nature exists in service to humanity.
Emerald Necklace positions “natural” elements as spiritual commodities. Over Water explores mastery over water through looking at scattered pieces of an archaic water-related infrastructure in the Northeast. Artificial Atmospheres, made in collaboration with Deb Todd Wheeler, looks at the membrane between us and other, the air we breathe and out, contributing to the transformation of the planet in our own small ways.

Robert Todd A lyrical filmmaker as well as a sound and visual artist, Robert Todd continually produces short works that resist categorization.
In the past twenty years he has produced a large body of short-to-medium format films that have been exhibited internationally at a wide variety of venues and festivals including the Media City Festival, San Francisco International Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, New York Film Festival, Les Rencontres Internationales, Black Maria Film Festival, Festival de Nouveau Cinema in Montreal, Cinematheque Ontario, the Harvard Film Archive, Pacific Film Archive, the Paris Biennial, Slamdance Film Festival, and others. His films have won numerous festival prizes, grants, and artist's awards. He has taught film production at Boston College, the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Art Institute of Boston, University of Massachusetts, and the Boston Film and Video Foundation.
He has also worked as editor, sound designer/editor, post-supervisor or music producer on various award-winning broadcast and theatrically-released media programs.  

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

2/24/16 Jean Rasenberger

Film Description

Jean Rasenberger’s On These Grounds, (72 min, 2015) is an essay film about a prison in Northern Ireland -- what led to its construction, what occurred there, and what happened to it in the aftermath of a war that came to define a nation. Its history is told by surviving Irish Republican ex-inmates who are tasked with remembering a war that some say succeeded and others see as otherwise. Screening On These Grounds in 2016 is in recognition of the Easter Uprising of 1916 in Ireland.

Jean Rasenberger has screened her work in exhibitions at The Museum of Modern Art, the Hammer Museum, the Renaissance Society, and the Long Beach Museum, and screen her videos at film festivals such as the Atlanta Film & Video Festival and the AFI Film & Video Festival. She has curated video exhibitions including the internationally traveled "Into The Lapse.” Her performance work has been shown at LACE Angeles and the Rosamund Felsen Gallery. She has given lectures on video, photography and her work at the Society for Photographic Education, Los Angeles, and the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, Copenhagen. She has been awarded several awards including a NEA Regional Fellowship, a Brody Arts Fund, and several ACCD Faculty Grants. Rasenberger was awarded a Great Teacher Award from Art Center College where she has taught since 1994. She is honored to be teaching at Mass College of Art this year.


Thursday, February 11, 2016

2/17/16 Dave Fischer

a 103 minute abstract film
ON COPPER WINGS  is a film made by insects. No individual insects are listed in association with it - it is thought that hundreds of millions of insects worked on this production. The movie tells the story of the insect creation myth, which involves the insect development of science and technology, insects time traveling to 450 million years ago to rescue the early proto-insects from the Ordovician-Silurian extinction event, and genetically modifying them to be more competitive. 

The film is very difficult to follow for a human audience. Some sequences are thought to represent the perspective of an insect hive, rather than an individual insect. Much of the film also respresents idealized versions of things, which, since we have no idea what ideals insects possess, are completely abstract and mysterious to the human viewer.

Dave Fischer is a filmmaker from Providence RI. He works algorithmically, editing video via mathematical equations, using software he writes in C, on old computers he rescues from scrap yards. On Copper Wings was primarily shot with a still camera and microscope lenses. More info at

Friday, February 5, 2016

2/10/16 Spencer Williams

BLOOD OF JESUS by Spencer Williams 

Spencer Williams, who had been an actor and screenwriter since 1929, was one of the most important African-American filmmakers of the 1940s, producing dramas with all-black casts that found a ready audience in all-black movie houses. Williams made his directorial debut with this low-budget drama, for which he was also the producer, screenwriter, and lead actor. Highly religious Martha (Cathryn Caviness) is married to Razz (Williams), a ne'er-do-well who has trouble supporting his family and rarely goes to church. Razz accidentally shoots Martha while tending to his hunting rifle, and her fellow parishioners pray over her as she hovers between life and death. Her spirit leaves her body, transported to the Crossroads between Heaven and Hell. There, Martha is tempted from the path of righteousness by Judas Green (Frank H. McClennan), a smooth-talking demon sent by Satan (James B. Jones) who introduces her to the pleasures of liquor and dancing and tries to talk her into a new career as a nightclub hostess, before she realizes that she has begun to travel the path of sin and degradation. Shot in Texas on a budget of only $5000, The Blood of Jesus uses both ethereal gospel music and down-and-dirty blues on the soundtrack is an effective metaphor for the film's battle of sacred and profane influences. Williams would direct seven more films before the decade was over, and in the 1950s he gained fame as Andy on the Amos 'n' Andy TV series.
~ Mark Deming, Rovi

Monday, February 1, 2016


THE EXILE by Oscar Michaulx