Country: USA

Cat Video Festival

A dreamy glance into the camera, a daring jump out the window, a paw running smoothly over whiskers: often small things are enough to make a Youtube hit out of a cat video. Cats took over not only the internet but also our hearts. No human
can ever break the iron will of a cat. They defy gravity, ignore the rules of decent
behaviour, and make the world their own special playground. With “Cats Just Wanna
Have Fun!“ we present a program in five CATegories featuring the funniest and
coolest feline celebrities, as well as some of the hottest (cat) music videos. Besides
stars like Lil Bub, Henri, le Chat Noir, and Keyboard Cat, the program also contains
home videos featuring cats from all over the world, as well as short films that
premiered at international film festivals. The first Internet Cat Video Festival took place in Minneapolis (USA) in 2012. Over 10,000 feline fans attended the event organized by the Walker Art Center Minneapolis. In 2016 Will Braden, director of the Henri, le Chat Noir videos and first Golden Kitty Award winner, took over and established the CatVideoFest, which has since toured the world. In 2013, the wildly popular internet phenomenon took Europe by storm with the Cat Video Festival Vienna. “Cats Just Wanna Have Fun!” is a touring program by the Vienna Shorts Agency in collaboration with CatVideoFest (US).

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SKIP DAY

Intimate glimpses of one very special day in the lives of high school seniors from an industrial corner of the Florida Everglades: prom is over, the future is uncertain, and the irresistible pull of the beach makes the long-time friends drive 60 miles to chill, pose, and revel in the waves.

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A MOVIE BY JEN PROCTOR

A sly reworking of a classic riff on appropriation, authorship, and the malleable magic of the cinema, Jennifer Proctor’s shot-for-shot remake of 1958’s A Movie replaces the found newsreel images of Bruce Conner’s iconic original with their 21st century analogues: extreme sports mashups, terrorist attacks, video-game captures, and amateur porn.

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21 CHITRAKOOT

Vaporous oceans, moonlit temples, and orange-pink sunsets make up a film which borrows the surreal chroma-keyed backdrops of a popular Indian television show from the 1980s. Kaul’s appropriation of the images suggests a landscape in constant flux—a crucible of ecological instability and supernatural possibility, caught between the ancient world and a cosmic future.

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THE INVISIBLE WORLD

This rich, elusive film montages YouTube-sourced video documentation of homes of hoarders and compulsive shoppers in which kitchen cutlery, cleaning products, and designer shoes and watches become the protagonists on a planet seemingly devoid of human life. It’s a vision that persists in the dust of humanity—a world in which the voice of a woman recalling her almost comically horrifying childhood as a scientific test subject takes on the form of a blinking ballshaped machine, and a retro-futuristic Earth combusts in the spectacular apocalyptic finales of 1970s sci-fi movies.

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FALLING SKY

One of a cycle of works that source imagery from a Taiwanese YouTube news agency, this film elegantly depicts a bizarre, CG reflection of our world and its eco-system on the edge of collapse. Meteorological irregularities, airborne toxicities, and a natural world gone wild are rendered in crude computer animation that is alternately uncanny, hilarious, and horrific.

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MAD LADDERS

The mesmerizing pageantry of 1980s and ‘90s American Music Awards telecasts is violently refracted in a oneiric, oozing film. Smeary colorful abstractions and swirling geometric patterning refract the nostalgic textures of late 20th century television and pop iconography into a mix of ritual séance and hurtling proprioceptive experience, all set to a pulsing 8-bit anthem.

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THE GARDEN OF DELIGHT

Inspired by the triptych The Garden of Delight by Hieronymus Bosch, this hand-manipulated collage film made entirely out of 35 and 8mm found footage explores the marriage between beauty and evil, heaven and hell, and the irresolvable endless conflict that goes with human nature.

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THE NATIONAL REHABILITATION CENTER

Two years before Peter Watkins’ famous Punishment Park, director Penelope Spheeris takes the McCarran Act to its inevitable next step and shows us – via an early use of mockumentary – what the U.S. might be like if potential subversives were simply locked up en masse before they had a chance to subvert anything. Preserved by the Academy Film Archive.

 

Screened on 16 mm.

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WHILE I YET LIVE

Five acclaimed African-American quilters from Gee’s Bend, Alabama talk about love, religion, and the fight for civil rights as they continue the tradition of quilting that originally brought them together.

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THE SUN’S GONNA SHINE

A lyrical recreation of Lightnin’ Hopkins’ decision at age eight to stop chopping cotton and start singing for a living. Musicologist Alan Lomax called Blank’s stunning and elegiac short on Hopkins’ reminiscences of his youth “one of the three most important films on the South.”

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WATERFALL

A gorgeous and delicately haunting film that uses hand-processing, solarizing, and contact printing techniques to transform various sequences of found footage into an ethereal and sweetly enveloping experience.

 

Screened on 16 mm.

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BATH

Made in an environment and at a time when frequent and gratuitous images of nude women permeated the work of her male counterparts, director Penelope Spheeris produced this intimate and sensual observation of a woman bathing. The appearance of Spheeris’ credit at the beginning of the film seems to ask the question: how does voyeurism change when we know the voyeur is actually a voyeuse? Preserved by the Academy Film Archive.

 

Screened on 16 mm.

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WHY I NEVER BECAME A DANCER

The film invokes the artist’s early teenage years spent kicking against the boredom of the seaside town, Margate, where she grew up, and experimented with sex from an early age until she became disillusioned with men and turned instead to dancing.

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IF EVERY GIRL HAD A DIARY

Setting her pixelvision camera on herself and her room, Benning searches for a sense of identity and respect as a woman and a lesbian. Acting alternately as confessor and accuser, the camera captures Benning’s anger and frustration at feeling trapped by social prejudices. These diaries are prescient works that portend YouTube and youthful digital culture with an extraordinary eloquence.

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WHITE TRASH GIRL PART I: THE DEVIL INSIDE

This is the first installment in the monstrous adventures of White Trash Girl: a blond Super-Hero and Cyborg figure of a totally different kind. Born as the result of an incestuous rape, flushed down the toilet and raised in a chemical dump, the female outcast struggles for her survival. Her toxic bodily fluids and her knack for disrupting polite society situates the erupting human body in the form of a female super hero as a place of power and resistance.

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TAKE OFF

An amusing portrait of a stripper, beginning with a depiction of a professional mature stripper performing her act. After having removed her clothes, she starts to undo her body parts as well. Nelson is considerate towards her object. The stripper is performing the act with professionalism, both dignity and distance, and this force is hailed by the camera.

 

Screened on 16 mm.

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SCHMEERGUNTZ

The title of the film is coined after Nelson’s father’s nonsense word for sandwich (“smörgås” in Swedish), is a hilarious, grotesque, and grave attack on the public ideal of the American housewife. Critic Ernest Callenbach wrote in excitement that “A society which hides its animal functions beneath a shiny public surface deserves to have such films as Schmeerguntz shown everywhere.”

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MY NAME IS OONA

Nelson’s final breakthrough on the American avant-garde film scene. The sound consists of Nelson’s daughter, Oona, repeating the names of the days of the week and of her saying “my name is Oona”. The latter is edited into an expressive rhythmical structure that accompanies the visual structure of the film that plunges into the experience of a child.

 

Screened on 16 mm.

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MOONS POOL

The explicit body politics in Nelsons early film Take Off is developed further in this highly personal film. The film begins with shots of naked bodies in a bath and transgresses into depicting male and female bodies swimming naked underwater. The latter part of the film is almost totally liberated from speech and has a complex, dreamlike soundtrack consisting of sounds of waves, voices, water, and music woven together into a seamless web of sounds.

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KIRSA NICHOLINA

“In extremely graphic detail, we watch the birth, becoming so involved, we’re feeling the heat and tension. Kirsa Nicholina is a simple, poetic statement that is fantastically involving and moving.”
– Danny Weiss

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JIEJIE

Embarrassed by her un-American look, Fen betrays her younger sister on their first day at church, fueling the first outburst since their immigration.

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THIS MY FAVORITE MURAL

A German amateur filmmaker becomes infatuated with a tire shop’s mural. She decides to find the artist who painted the mural and make her first documentary film. The more she investigates the mundane subject, the further she gets tangled in a web of tire shop mysteries.

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BRITNEY

This film is rooted in the desire to offer its character a real place in the world. To invent this new space, the director describes her return to an abandoned house. The film looks at the shape of this failure, which lies in front of the audience.

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THE MAIL LADY

Suspecting the mail lady is delivering love letters to his mother, a tenacious young boy seeks help from an unhinged neighbour in an attempt to ease tensions at home.

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STILL WATER RUNS DEEP

Within a small Nigerian family, the father is the patriarch and protector of his flock. The film tells the intimate story of a man whose concealed emotions begin to stir when faced with the portent of a missing son.

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FACING NORTH

Almost all the men in the village have left for greener pastures in Europe. A bride is torn between two possible futures. Through the support of her maid of honour, she navigates her past love and pending commitment.

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HOLLOW COIN

Existing between spy thriller and prank call, this charmingly facetious video is about a man at a payphone desperately trying to retrieve his SD card, which is hidden in a hollow coin. Referencing an incident involving a Soviet spy, secrecy and public space dovetail in this hilarious art film comedy.

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NIGHT SOIL – FAKE PARADISE

Night Soil examines the healing eff ect of the hallucinatory plant Ayahuasca on modern man’s troubled mind. Can it be, for Western civilisation now, what LSD was for the 1960s? How can shamanism, medicinal drugs, sexuality and the return of the feminine be aligned with the narcissism of cyberspace? Exploring these questions the 􀃶 lm presents an amalgam of personal accounts on the spiritual and bodily experiences with the Amazonian substance, giving particular weight to the feminine voice and point of view, traditionally neglected in psychedelic research. Can empathy, spirituality, feminism and ecological consciousness enable a healthy future for all living organisms on the planet?

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HI, STRANGER

A rosy-cheeked, round-butted clay figure is talking to you, the viewer in the audience, in a halfsultry, half-unsettling voice. The naked protagonist is open, trustful, utterly vulnerable and wholeheartedly there for you.

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IRON HANDS

As a 12-year-old girl prepares for her final test trying out for the traditionally all-boys Chinese youth Olympic weightlifting team, she makes an unlikely connection with the gym’s reclusive groundskeeper.

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STRAWBERRIES

Kate, a shy tween, enlists her best friend Marie to gather information on her crush Adam. Discovering that he likes strawberries, Kate crafts a love letter and includes what she thinks is a piece of strawberry candy. When she discovers the candy is actually a condom, the two best friends have to find him.

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WHAT HAPPENED TO HER

A forensic exploration of our cultural obsession with images of the dead woman on screen. Interspersing found footage from police procedural films and television shows and one actor’s experience of playing the part of a corpse in the film “the River’s Edge”, the film offers a meditative critique on the trope of the dead female body.

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DEAR HENRI

Nine-year-old Henri recently lost her beloved namesake and pen pal, Grandpa Henry. She misses him
deeply – but could their correspondence continue? One summer day, Henri “sends” a series of letters, as
she imagines the magically circuitous route her messages take. Will she ever receive a response?

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ANSWER PRINT

The fading that devastates color films occurs in the dark. It is accelerated by high temperatures and, to a lesser extent, relative humidity. Dye fading is irreversible. Once the dye images have faded, the information lost cannot be recovered”—Image Permanence Institute.

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CRYSTAL LAKE

Crystal Lake is about a group of girls who take over a skate park, forming an all-female force field on the half pipe. There on the ramp, with no boys around, they are thriving and visible. This is an anthem for young feminists, it presents female friendship as a means to survive adolescence.

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AMERICAN DREAMER

A young man is searching for his way and his identity in a country that also seems to be suffering from the confusion of an identity crisis. Against the background of the tenth anniversary of 9/11, the film observes the aftermath of this tragic moment in American history and the tensions that are tearing at the fabric of society.

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BORDERLAND

Joel, a Latino immigration officer, moves to a Texas town to pursue his career and must decide how to best serve his country while still honoring his culture.

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FERGUSON DOCUMENTED: IN 36 HOURS

On August 9, 2014, Michael Brown, an 18-year-old black teenager, was killed by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri. The outrage over the killing mobilized Ferguson’s black community and it also sparked massive protests throughout the US. How could a tiny suburb that no one had heard about before serve as the epicentre for the new civil rights movement?

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BATTALION TO MY BEAT

A determined and headstrong young girl living in the Sahrawi Refugee Camp envisions herself as a leader and liberator, transcending the humdrum of everyday life. Her discipline and willpower highlight one of the most protracted conflicts in North Africa.

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CIAO L.A.

Three upcoming actors are interviewed – they are the undercover cops from the Spike Jonze music video Sabotage. The actors were the Beastie Boys and Jonze’s then-girlfriend, Sofia Coppola.

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INTERGALACTIC

A gigantic robot is fighting an octopus-shaped monster. This parody of Japanese monster films is a fitting visual interpretation of the band’s creative spirit and wit.

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COSMIC RAY

A classic proto-music video, combining footage of a nude woman with a pearl necklace, cartoons and newsreel footage of atomic bomb explosions, all set to Ray Charles’ ”What’d I Say.”

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ALLURE

Molecular structures and astronomical events mixed with sensual, spiritual, and subjective phenomena – all happening simultaneously in this classic visual experiment.

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ANOTHER VOID

Jefre Cantu-Ledesma meets Dario Argento in a vertiginous San Francisco in this part drip painting, part contour drawing, and part cubist collage piece.

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BROKEN TONGUE

Set to to the sounds of Tracie Morris’s Africa, comes an ode to the freedom of movement and expression, challenging the way we represent our narratives.

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