The Films of Jennifer Reeves
FEAR OF BLUSHING 2001 6 minutes, 16mm
FEAR OF BLUSHING bursts forth with irrepressible hand-painted color, corroded emulsion and a menacing soundscape of looped voices, distorted instrumentals, samples & rhythm. Fleeting visions and voices erupt out of the ominous abstraction in unusual juxtapositions, suggesting a cinematic free-association marked by anxiety, pleasure and shame. Best appreciated in the immediate; the 7200 painted frames fly by at an average of 12 per second.
WE ARE GOING HOME 1998 10 minutes, 16mm
Solarized, tinted, and optically-printed, this is a surreal portrait of desire, ghosts and pursuit of the sensual. Rhythmic color shifts in the emulsion bring life to the rural landscape, which seems to embody the terrain of the subconscious. Three women seek pleasure and the beyond in parallel universes, which never quite intersect. When one finds another, she is either buried in the sand or asleep under a tree.
WE ARE GOING HOME was shot at Philip Hoffman’s film retreat in rural Ontario. The film was made in the memory of Marian McMahon, an experimental filmmaker who died of cancer in the fall of 1996.
TRAINS ARE FOR DREAMING 2009 7 minutes, 16mm
Eight super-8 film years condensed into seven eye-popping minutes. A dreamer moves through landscapes to far seas -over tracks, winding roads, skies and waters- a journey of flight and fancy. The animals are watching, the chicks are chasing sunsets and dancing with sharks. A 98-year old grandmother reflects on life, while the 38-year old director looks back on her own. Dedicated to my late grandmother and to my late father, whose trumpet playing and voice enter the free-associative collage soundtrack.
COLOR NEUTRAL 2014 3 minutes, 16mm
A color explosion sparkles, bubbles and fractures in this hand-crafted 16mm film. Reeves utilized an array of mediums and direct-on-film techniques to create this boisterous, psychedelic morsel of cinema as material. Reeves' soundtrack mixes samples from rusty, dusty old machines, records and electric waves to suggest an aural passage through technological progress.
A two-year-old boy revels in all things tiny and huge on and around a farm. His father nurtures his exuberant and insatiable curiosity of new experiences– from climbing a crumbling wall to discovering the natural world. As a father-son bond grows, the mother with camera observes, gets lost into a solitary landscape and returns. The fleeting and glowing visual field evokes the delicate tension between distance and intimacy. Richly toned black and white positive, negative and solarized images, combined with snippets of voice, suggest the texture of memory. Reeves shot, hand-processed, solarized and colored Strawberries in the Summertime in rural Ontario at the “Film Farm” Independent Imaging Retreat run by filmmaker Philip Hoffman.
LIGHT WORK MOOD DISORDER 2007, 26 minutes, dual-projection SIDE BY SIDE 16mm WITH SOUND ON CD
Made from the original sewn and painted 16mm film
Jennifer Reeves (b. 1971, Sri Lanka) is a New York-based filmmaker working primarily on 16mm film. Reeves was named one of the “Best 50 Filmmakers Under 50” in the film journal Cinema Scope in the spring of 2012. Her films have shown extensively, from the Berlin, New York, Vancouver, London, Sundance, and Hong Kong Film Festivals to many Microcinemas in the US and Canada, the Robert Flaherty Seminar, and the Museum of Modern Art. Full multiple-screening retrospectives of her work have been held at Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland, Kino Arsenal in Berlin, Anthology Film Archives in New York, and San Francisco Cinematheque. Currently, her 2014 film COLOR NEUTRAL has been making the rounds of the international film circuit. A new collaboration with Composer/Performer Marc Ribot premiered at (Le) Poisson Rouge in New York in August 2015. Ribot and Ikue Mori perform a live score to Reeves' SHADOWS CHOOSE THEIR HORRORS, LANDFILL 16, and HE WALKED AWAY. Marc Ribot performed his original score to the program of Reeves' films at DIA: DETROIT for their Day of the Dead Celebration in 2015.
Since 2003 Reeves has worked with some of the finest composer/ performers, including Marc Ribot, Skúli Sverrisson, Elliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Burr and Eyvind Kang. As the daughter of a trumpeter, gravitating toward film and music collaborations was quite natural for Reeves. Her most ambitious film and music performance, the feature-length double-projection WHEN IT WAS BLUE (2008), premiered at Toronto International Film Festival with live music by composer/collaborator Skúli Sverrisson. Her multiple-projection films with live music have been performed internationally, from the Sydney Opera House and the Berlinale to RedCat in Los Angeles and the Wexner Center in Ohio.
Reeves has also made a number of experimental narratives, most notably her highly acclaimed feature THE TIME WE KILLED. The Village Voice Film Critic’s poll (2005) honored THE TIME WE KILLED with votes from six film critics for categories including: Best Film, Best Cinematography, and Best Performance.
Reeves also teaches animation part-time at The Cooper Union.