The seventh annual Chicago Underground Film Festival runs Friday through Thursday, August 18 through 24, at the the Fine Arts, 418 S. Michigan. Tickets for most programs are $7; a $30 pass will admit you to five films, and a $55 pass will admit you to ten. For more information call 773-866-8660. Films marked with a 4 are highly recommended.



See Critic’s Choice. (7:30 and 9:30)


Dreams of Life

Animated, experimental, and documentary films by Tim Vierling, Relah Eckstein, Matt McCormick, Heather McAdams, Jim Trainor, and Jay Rosenblatt. 70 min. (1:00)

Games Beyond Frontiers

Short films by Rafael Fernandez, Luis Camara Silva, Lorelei Pepei, Monika Mitchell, Jennifer Gentile, and Felicia Michaels. 76 min. (1:30)

Planet Krulik 2000

Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot) compiled these video shorts, some his own, most documenting eccentric hobbies and off-center tastes. His Obsesssed With Jews shows a man who collects trading cards of Jewish public figures in sports, media, and politics; as obsessive as any collector, the man also points out that he’s documenting Jewish history. In The Brady Bunch directors Brendan Conway and Paul Starke interview 30ish actor Robbie Rist, who played Cousin Oliver in six episodes of the 70s sitcom, but he can’t seem to convince them that there’s more to life than TV. Media fandom informs other segments as well, but there’s also a fine piece in which Krulik discusses pancakes with a waitress, who then takes the camera and tapes him. It makes explicit the sensibility underlying his work: an interest in the marginalized, the mundane, the unimportant. His tone, a fine mix of self-deprecation and delight, turns the whole into more than the sum of its parts. 87 min. (FC) (2:30)


Christopher E. Brown’s 1999 portrait of a poor family in the San Francisco neighborhood of Hunter’s Point avoids narrative contrivances, its understated performances and austere camera work capturing the look and feel of life as it’s actually lived. Ray, an unemployed auto mechanic, spends his days laboring over an old truck in front of his house, his failure to repair it a metaphor for the near hopelessness of his situation. As he and his wife leave the dinner table to argue behind a closed door, the camera stays with their two kids, who hear the whole thing. The characters seem trapped in repetitive situations, which gives a good sense of the drabness of the family’s struggle, and many scenes are only a single shot, separated by brief blackouts that not only intensify the images but remind us of filmmaking’s inevitable elisions. Brown, an American raised in South Africa, pays homage to Charles Burnett and John Cassavetes in the credits. 88 min. (FC) (2:45)

Lost in the Pershing Point Hotel

Leslie Jordan stars in an autobiographical feature, which he adapted from his off-Broadway play, about his search for companionship and sexual identity in mid-70s Atlanta. After fleeing his born-again parents he comes out at the eponymous transient hotel, a playground of sex and drugs, and becomes emotionally entangled with a kooky disowned heiress (Erin Chandler) and a young hustler (Mark Pellegrino). First-time director Julia Jay Pierrepont III draws on the iconography of Breakfast at Tiffany’s for the party scenes and Midnight Cowboy for the tearjerker male-bonding scenes, though they aren’t as meticulously staged. And aside from a few poignant and reflective moments she lets her actors get away with a bathos and kitschy vulnerability that would embarrass John Waters (especially Jordan, whose fey Candide appropriates Truman Capote’s screechy southern drawl). The film’s saving grace is its evocation of the hotel’s seedy, disco-driven milieu, complete with snappish drag queens and garish, saturated colors (courtesy of cinematographer Sacha Sarchielli). With cameos by John Ritter, Sheryl Lee Ralph, and Marilu Henner and Michelle Phillips (as two “mommie dearest” types). 100 min. (TS) (3:15)

Six Easy Pieces

A major American independent who has lived in Europe for the past several years, Jon Jost has recently been reinventing himself in digital video, with results that have ranged from the soporific (London Brief) to the endlessly fascinating and beautiful (the silent Muri Romani). Six Easy Pieces evokes both these extremes. In his films, Jost has worked in narrative, essayistic, and experimental modes. Here the mode is mainly experimental, albeit with some strong documentary elements. Shooting in Portugal and Italy, training his camera on such subjects as a museum, a car trip, street kids, cobblestones, and little girls swimming, and employing various kinds of narration and music, Jost is exploring video as a sort of painting. At times the material seems either touristic or alienated to a fault; at its most engaging, Jost’s formalist reflexes and technical mastery command one’s grateful attention. But he generally comes across here as an artist in search of his subjects. 68 min. (JR) (4:30)

Shadows and Light

Three of these seven shorts are interesting for their exploration of the graphic and sensual possibilities of black-and-white film. Jeff Scher’s Grand Central (1999) was inspired by the uncovering of a long-obscured window in the New York City train station. Intrusive, almost military music overemphasizes the commuters’ mechanical movements, but rendering them as light-drenched forms or stark shadows seems a conscious reference to earlier styles of cinematography. This, along with the consciously antique titles, recalls the old architectural photos that provide our only record of many train stations that have been demolished–a fate that almost befell Grand Central. Christopher Bravo’s 01-03-73 (1999), a silent abstract film made mostly of black or white lines and rectangles, uses rhythm to create a tension between light and dark, positive and negative space, recalling the 20s avant-garde that Bravo acknowledges as an influence. A series of short sections or studies, it was created digitally and then filmed frame-by-frame off a monitor. Deco Dawson’s Canadian Film (Knout) (1999) tells a story of masochism involving woman and her rope, mixing dream and fantasy while lending a psychological dimension to its contrasts of light and dark. On the same program, which runs 80 minutes, short films by Kenneth Eisenstein, Ray Harmon, Matt McCormick, and Kerry Laitala and Isabel Reichert. (FC) (4:45)

Shadow Boxers

Katya Bankowsky’s 1999 documentary profiles boxer Lucia Rijker, a brawny, handsome, racially mixed young woman from the Netherlands who swiftly rose to the top of the heap at the 1997 WIBA world championship. A host of talking heads–family members, trainers, promoters, boxers male and female–comment on her prowess, balletic grace, and odd obsession. But Rijker’s straightforward pop philosophizing amply reveals her motivations for participating in what even she admits is a “brutal, demanding” sport. The film’s inspirational tone obscures the minor setbacks Rijker encountered and diminishes the narrative tension, yet Bankowsky, who’s been a pugilist herself, compensates with a sharp sense of rhythm, using hip-hop and turntablist sounds by Zoel to fuel Anthony Hardwick and Tony Wolberg’s aggressive cinematography (in both actual bouts and staged black-and-white sequences that pay homage to Raging Bull). 72 min. (TS) (5:30)

Skate and Create

Three short works: Mike Finch’s Skate or Die, Wing Ko’s Sponsored, and Coan Nichols and Rick Charnoski’s Fruit of the Vine. 88 min. (6:00)

Treble Without a Cause

Tommy Strange, a musician and anarchist living in San Francisco, is the subject of Naysayer, a thoughtfully minimal 18-minute documentary being shown as part of this program of shorts. Interviews with his band mates–one of whom describes Strange as a thrower of barroom tantrums who gets into surprisingly few fights–give way to performance footage, low-key discussions between Strange and an off-camera interviewer (presumably filmmaker Amy Happ), and montages with voice-over by Strange explaining his views on life and labor (one persuasive idea: being an artist may be just another elitist version of the American dream). He sighs a lot and seems both depressed and full of free-floating ambition as Happ paints her deliberately unfinished portrait of a man in the process of defining himself. (LA) On the same program, which runs 75 minutes: Randy Bell and Justin Rice’s Look Back, Don’t Look Back and Kevin Wisor’s Ed’s Juke Joint. (6:30)

El topo

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s 1970 cult hit from Mexico, which made quite a few waves in its time, is an extravagant hodgepodge of hand-me-down surrealism, mysticism, Italian westerns, theater of cruelty, and Buñuel–more enjoyable for its unending string of outrages than for its capacity to make coherent sense. The writer-director plays the lead, wandering through the Mexican desert in search of enlightenment from a series of enigmatic masters, and leaving behind (or experiencing) a great deal of grotesque violence. This was the first genuine midnight-movie hit, and if you’re looking for pure sensation with intimations of pseudoprofundity, this is the place to go. 128 min. (JR) (7:15)

Rock Opera

This amiably crude stoner comedy (1999), set on the fringes of the Austin music scene, follows the complacent Toe (Jerry Don Clark) as he gets high and sells low-grade pot to finance his band, PigPoke. Thanks to his experiments with a new animal tranquilizer, he fails to repay a loan from his drug supplier, which sets off a chain of misunderstandings and lands the frazzled musician in the crosshairs of some seedy criminals. Writer-director Bob Ray devotes a significant chunk of the movie to Toe and his friends’ pot-induced conversations, which are amusing but get pretty tired after a while. 90 min. (Reece Pendleton) On the same program, She-beast! Scenes From Her Greatest Films, a 1999 short video by Julie Covello. (8:00)

Live! Nude! Girls Unite!

Stand-up comic and stripper Julia Queary collaborated with Vicki Funari on this 1999 documentary, about unionizing Queary’s coworkers at San Francisco’s Lusty Lady, a North Beach peep show. However groundbreaking the labor struggle, at no point does the resulting movie ever threaten to become truly interesting, perhaps because the feminist discourse, prostripping and antistripping alike, remains fairly primitive and sound-bitey. This is somewhat more serious than the recent Sex: The Annabel Chong Story, but the exhibitionism trivializes and vulgarizes the investigative journalism, so that when Queary decides to videotape herself telling her feminist mother for the first time that she’s a stripper, at a conference on prostitution at which they’re both giving presentations, the ploy makes her look fairly shallow and heartless while her mother comes across with considerable dignity. The closing epigraph from Emma Goldman–“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution”–epitomizes this documentary’s tendency to piggyback on the serious work of others to score its not terribly well defined points. A Chicago premiere. 70 min. (JR) (8:30)

In the Dark

This ultralow-budget horror video by Chicago director Clifton Holmes trots out many cliches of the genre (a woman explores a scary house–more than once) but benefits from an engaging plot and sharp timing and editing. A young woman receives a series of notes from an unseen “Master of Games”; each one directs her to a new location and contains double the cash that accompanied the last. As her reward increases she takes greater risks, and the video descends into a low-rent version of Sade, with sadomasochistic manipulations that become increasingly unnerving. The acting is uneven and the story sometimes implausible (common problems in low-budget work), but the narrative kept me watching. A world premiere. 105 min. (FC) (10:00)


Bruce Arntson (a veteran of the Ernest movies) stars as the title character, a retro-beat performance artist who returns to his southern Baptist hometown with his comrade in revolution (Jackie Welch) to initiate a parade of outrageous antics and pronouncements. Arntson and director Coke Sams collaborated on the script for this tongue-in-cheek parody of the culture wars, supplying many pop-culture references and leaving few cliches unexploited, from the underground intelligentsia who suggest The Dirty Dozen to a giant penis reminiscent of A Clockwork Orange to a pompous televangelist modeled after former education secretary Bill Bennett. The satirical jabs grow tiresome after a while, but Arntson’s infectious, mostly R & B sound track carries the action along, climaxing in a neo-swing song-and-dance finale in which libidos run wild as the hipsters celebrate victory over the capitalist pigs. This 1999 film, shot in Nashville with local actors and musicians, clearly aspires to cult status, though it may be too bewildering and gentle for that. With the late Jim Varney. 90 min. (TS) On the same program, Jonathan Bekemeirer’s short film Titler (1999). (10:30)



Of the three video documentaries on this program that were available for preview, the best is Chicagoan Martin Sorrondeguy’s Beyond the Screams (1999, 27 min.), a lively and thoughtful presentation of the Latino punk scene as a political movement. Dating back to the late 70s, Latino punk was reenergized in the early 90s (partly in response to anti-immigration bigotry) and continues to thrive in Chicago and Los Angeles especially. Jose Palafox of Bread and Circuits argues eloquently that “art and culture have to be tied in to larger political action,” and Revolucion X obliges with ironic lyrics like “I’m making my future with the border patrol / Beating Mexicans is too much fun.” Marianna Yarovskaya’s Undesirables (1999, 23 min.) examines the problem of homeless youth in Russia, estimated at one million people; in 1998 many were removed from Moscow by the police–in anticipation of a youth Olympics. Their stories are familiar and touching, but the film offers no new ideas. Hayley K. Downs’s Coleslaw Wrestling (1999) proves that, yes, this really does happen. Fortunately it’s only three minutes long, though that’s enough time for two women to bare their breasts for no apparent reason. (FC) On the same program, Magic City, a short by David Wilson. (12:30)


“This is a film about trickery, about lies,” intones Orson Welles in F for Fake. His art forgery film was one of the inspirations for this 1999 documentary by Jesse Lerner, who describes it as “part faked newsreels, part travelogue, part drug-induced hippie rant, and part home movie.” Focusing on Maya and Aztec cultures, Lerner addresses misinterpretations of history and misappropriations of the past. At one point his footage of fine Aztec sculptures is accompanied by a reading of a journalist’s 1887 description of pre-Columbian art: “the impression . . . is one of grotesqueness . . . nothing intellectual.” Diners in a Mexico City high-rise listen to a pop song called “The Pathways of the Maya,” while luxury hotels mimic the shape of ancient temples, both phony nods to the past. A native expert presents the current view that archaeologists have badly misread Mayan culture, focusing on elites like themselves rather than on ordinary people–but the interview segment is fictional. Welles’s line about trickery turns up on the sound track, and near the end of the film, when a forger of pre-Columbian art shows his wares, Lerner implies that much of Ruins is forged too. While he uses wry humor to raise serious questions throughout, he acknowledges that he too is part of the problem, that we all invent falsehoods for what we cannot know. 78 min. (FC) On the same program, Jay Rosenblatt’s one-minute film Restricted (1999). (1:00)

30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle

The Seattle uprising in December 1999, occasioned by the World Trade Organization’s convention there, seems to have politicized Rustin Thompson, director of this highly watchable personal video documentary. His analysis of the issues behind the demonstrations is minimal, but the sense of what it was like to be there is pungent throughout, and Thompson includes brief clips from Medium Cool, Godard’s Le petit soldat, and The Grapes of Wrath to pinpoint his own subjectivity. His main discovery, which he conveys in affecting detail, is the continuing capacity of all sorts of Americans to feel passionate about political issues; his principal blind spot is treating opposition to the WTO, and multicorporate greed in general, as an American phenomenon rather than as a global movement. A world premiere. 73 min. (JR) (Reviewed this week in Section One.) On the same program, Little Flags, a short video by Jem Cohen.


We Are Traffic

Two video documentaries on bicycling activists. Ted White’s We Aren’t Blocking Traffic, We Are Traffic (50 min.) examines Critical Mass, a group founded in 1992 in San Francisco. Loose affiliates have sprung up in cities around the world, including Chicago, and periodically the members stage mass bicycle rides that obstruct auto traffic (though they deny that’s their purpose). White presents numerous talking heads, but the goals of Critical Mass are never made clear, and aside from some powerfully chaotic footage of mass-arrests the imagery is pretty bland. The young people documented in Brian Standing’s Pedalphiles (35 min.), on the other hand, are so radical that they’re inherently fascinating. Calling themselves S.C.A.B. (for “Skids Creating Apocalyptic Bicycles”) they prowl Madison, Wisconsin, collecting discarded bikes and hammering or welding their parts together to create highly unconventional designs that are head turning but also ridable–though the rider may sit very close to the ground or high in the air. Through these unusual machines they hope to call attention to bicycling; one of them advocates banning automobiles from cities. But they also offer a critique of consumer culture by creating bikes at no cost and refusing to sell them (though they’ll help you make your own), and their group rides are perhaps a form of performance art. (FC) (2:15)

Songs for Cassavetes

Justin Mitchell directed this well-made 1999 documentary about the current indie rock/alternative/punk scene (no one wants to settle on a term), with concert footage and interviews featuring the Peechees, the Make-Up, Some Velvet Sidewalk, Sleater-Kinney, and Further. Mitchell argues that we need an alternative to the mainstream music industry, though some of his interviewees are their own worst enemies–such as the insufferably smug Calvin Johnson of Dub Narcotic Sound System, who repeatedly suggests that artists like Patti Smith and the Sex Pistols who signed with major labels are beneath contempt while indie artists are automatically radical. Fortunately the film serves up a generous helping of live music, nicely captured by Mitchell’s fine black-and-white cinematography. The title expresses a kinship between the musicians’ uncompromising belief in artistic purity and the independent spirit of filmmaker John Cassavetes; ironically, Cassavetes acted in a number of schlocky Hollywood movies to finance his own work. (Reece Pendleton) (3:00)


This program of 35-millimeter shorts demonstrates what experimentalists, accustomed to working in 16- or 8-millimeter, can do with a larger format. In Slidin’ off the Edge of the World Mark Street places fragments of 16-millimeter film within the larger field, broken images and sprocket holes dancing about and conveying, in Street’s words, “the fluid nature of experience.” Joost Rekveld’s #11 (Marey Moire) combines abstract sounds and images, most of the latter colored rays set against differently colored backgrounds; it’s seductive but starts to seem mechanical over its 20 minutes. The Drowning Room, by Patrick Jolley and Reynold Reynolds, was shot entirely underwater, its players enacting scenes from “everyday life” without scuba tanks. Two men fight, but their movements and the images themselves seem leaden. The water is like a metaphor without a clear referent: it wants to tell us something about our world–but what? (FC) On the same program, films by Robert Stoetzel, Robert Banks, Hannes Langeder, Peter Tscherkassky, and Iippo Pahjala. 72 min. (3:30)

El Rey de Rock ‘n’ Roll

Elvis impersonators are a dime a dozen, but Mexican-American musician Robert Lopez has found his niche as “El Vez,” whose variations on the King’s hits include “You Ain’t Nothin’ but a Chihuahua.” Marjorie Chodorov’s video documentary traces the evolution of the act, which began as a media stunt but developed into a vehicle for Lopez to address issues like imperialism, cultural stereotyping, and immigration policy (“Suspicious Minds” becomes “Immigration Time”). Sincere and self-effacing, Lopez hopes to raise the political consciousness of young people who might be intimidated by such thorny matters, but Chodorov undercuts this with commentary from pretentious academics who inflate the act’s importance to absurd levels. Lopez may have noble intentions, but he’s still jumping around in an Elvis costume and a Cantinflas mustache–and even he admits that he can’t speak Spanish. 65 min. (Reece Pendleton) On the same program, Flaming Lips Have Landed, Bradley Beesley’s 29-minute video documentary on the psychedelic pop band the Flaming Lips. (4:30)

Migrating Forms

Chicagoan James Fotopoulos directed this stark 1999 drama in which a man and woman meet repeatedly in a mostly bare room for nearly wordless and apparently passionless sex, filmed in low-contrast black and white. Usually when they commence, an electronic screeching begins and Fotopoulos cuts to the man’s cat, which appears to be watching the action with greater affect than either human displays. The woman has a grotesque growth on her back, and soon the man is infected by it. A few mundane incidents, such as an exterminator wanting to spray the apartment for roaches, take on wider significance later, as when the man finds a roach and myriad dead flies. Flickering white and shots of water open and close the film, enclosing the action like a prison cell; Fotopoulos seems to suggest that life itself is a form of disease–hopeless, meaningless, and ugly. (FC) On the same program, Fotopoulos’s one-minute film Two Cats (1999). (5:00)

Born to Lose: The Last Rock & Roll Movie

Lech Kowalski (D.O.A.) directed this profile of punk icon Johnny Thunders, guitarist for the New York Dolls and later the Heartbreakers, who flaunted his heroin addiction and OD’d in a New Orleans hotel room in 1991. Among the inter- viewees are Dee Dee Ramone, Wayne Kramer, and Sylvain Sylvain. (5:30)

Fucked in the Face

A young man falls for a gay serial killer (whose crime spree recalls Andrew Cunanan’s) after the image on a “wanted” poster suddenly speaks to him. But that’s only the beginning–the video is chock-full of plot twists, nutcases (like the cock-hating lesbians who attack gay men in an alley), and loony, often bloody sex. By carrying excess to excess, Chicago director Shawn Durr risks dulling our receptiveness, but there’s a spooky idea hidden in the tangle of limbs: in a cock-obsessed world, gay men are interchangeable. 69 min. (FC) On the same program, William Jones’s video Fluff. (6:30)

Styles of Beyond

Short films by Shane Acker, Carey Burtt, John Tagamoilila, Marcel DeJure, Jamie Ruddy, Lee Demarbe, and Christian Bruno and Sam Green. 72 min. (7:00)

The Holy Mountain

Alejandro Jodorowsky’s big-budget 1973 follow-up to El topo, again starring himself, is a lot more imaginative and watchable, though no less highfalutin. More overtly religious and New Agey than Jodorowsky’s other pictures, it describes a spiritual quest and slings in outrageous shocks at every opportunity, yielding many eyefuls and occasional food for thought. On the whole, enjoyable nonsense. (JR) (7:30)

Jeff Krulik Presents: A Tribute to “The Scott and Gary Show”

From 1985 to ’87, Scott Lewis and Gary Winter collaborated with video maker Jeff Krulik (Heavy Metal Parking Lot) to tape The Scott and Gary Show, an underground dance-party program that ran on public-access TV in New York City. Krulik compiled this 90-minute retrospective of the six programs they taped together. (8:30)

Wake Up and Smell the Coffin

Short films by Thorsten Fleisch, Giulia Frati, Carey Burtt, Nick Zedd, Scot-Free, Daniel Hartlaub, and Alex Turner. (9:00)


This fine experimental feature by Toronto avant-gardist Steven Sanguedolce uses a rhythmic montage of Super-8 movies and found footage–scratched, solarized, hand tinted–to illustrate a bittersweet oral history of three brothers growing apart. The narrator describes his dysfunctional blue-collar upbringing and his mercurial relationships with his two siblings, one of whom turned to drugs while the other turned to God, and his matter-of-fact This American Life delivery makes the stream-of-consciousness memoir of childhood games, fraternal confrontations, suicidal behavior, and crack-house encounters all the more funny and poignant. Occasionally one of the brothers chimes in, giving his version of their time together, though the sad truth often seems to lie between their testimonies. Sanguedolce manages to invert the narrative hierarchy of film by using the sound track to sustain the narrative, an uncommon feat. Also on the program is Music to Watch Girls By, a short by Christine Cynn that mines a similar vein of traumatic childhood memory but lacks the apt imagery and absorbing narrative of the longer film. The program runs 75 minutes. (TS) (10:00)

Plastic, Fantastic, Inevitables

Evan Minsker’s video The Businessman is a character study of a small-time con man, petty thief, and failed mugger (few believe his toy gun) who will tell anyone anything to get money or a bed for the night. Its main virtue is Omar Rojer’s lively performance as the self-described “businessman,” who manages to be grating and ingratiating at once. In Ned Ambler’s video Hair Burners two Bronx lesbians, determined to go legal after getting out of prison, contact an out-of-town aunt for help and with a third woman open the Hot Pink Joint, a salon for “the cosmopolitan witch.” Stylistically unremarkable, the tape flirts with both parody and self-parody, and the girls’ loud, sometimes incomprehensible ghetto talk wears thin over the 45-minute running time. Pin Pin Tan’s video Microwave is a single shot of a blond doll, its arm outstretched as it rotates in a microwave, starts to smoke, and breaks in half. It’s just a doll, but the image seems oddly cruel. (FC) On the same program, which runs 76 minutes, Noel Dowd’s video Hello Kitty. (10:30)


DGA Shorts Program

The Director’s Guild of America compiled this program of early work by contemporary filmmakers, including John Waters, Martin Scorsese, and Matthew Harrison. (4:45)

Autistic Development

These videos, which either comment on other works or borrow from earlier forms of filmmaking, support the often-argued thesis that experimental film is in a derivative, even decadent phase. Only one piece rises above the mediocre: Dara Greenwald’s Bouncing in the Corner #36DDD (1999) is a takeoff on Bruce Nauman’s early video work that replaces his repetitive movements with a large-breasted woman slamming herself into the corner of a room, the bouncing of her breasts providing a sexy alternative to Nauman’s formalism. Les LeVeque’s 2 Spellbound (1999) is yet another reworking of a Hitchcock film. Though the flickering pace is lively and LeVeque’s doublings–the same character appears on either side of the screen, flipped left to right–relate at least superficially to Hitchcock’s psychoanalytic theme, there’s no particular artistry in evidence. The idea that slow motion reveals more is far from new, and there’s nothing special about the street meeting Alvin Tsang slows down in A Minute With the Elders (1999). The Video Aktivists’ Untitled #29.95 is a sub-Godardian affair with text, voice-over, and pictures but none of Godard’s subtlety. Its protest against current attempts to market video as limited-edition high art (“video was meant to be a democratic medium”) could have been articulated better in journalistic prose. Stom Sogo’s Guided by Voices takes the technique of the 60s flicker film, meant to sensitize the viewer to his perceptions and the nature of the medium, and turns it into a mindless assault of light and techno music. And for A Man and His Pants, Chris Tenzis refilms backward and forward a man’s failed attempt to put on his pants; it’s an amusing parody of Martin Arnold, but Arnold himself is a highly derivative filmmaker whose facile social commentary arguably narrows the far more profound refilming investigations of Ken Jacobs and Ernie Gehr. (FC) On the same program, which runs about an hour: videos by Mike Pellano, Bryan Boyce, and Andrey and Julia Velikanov. (5:00)

Wired Angel: Acts of Joan of Arc

This chiaroscuro masterpiece is an inspiring reminder of what filmmakers can do when they have aesthetic goals beyond the telling of a story. The gracefully horrific, strikingly beautiful images–poetic tableaux featuring burning, dripping constructions built to be reimagined through a sensitive lens by a sensitive cinematographer–combine Christian and pre-Christian iconography with idiosyncratically expressive natural and industrial elements. The hagiography that results is a narrative, and its components are representational as well as symbolic, but their conjunction often achieves pure abstraction, stimulating free association as much as it conveys any sense of metaphor, character, or plot. Written, directed, and shot by Sam Wells; with Caroline Ruttle. 95 min. (LA) A Chicago premiere. (5:15)

Westway to the World

A plodding and disingenuous documentary on the Clash, the English punk band of the late 70s and early 80s whose eclectic music and passionate social commentary won them a devoted following in the U.S. Director Don Letts used to spin records before Clash gigs in the early days, shot several of their videos, made a film (since lost) about their 1981 residency in Times Square, and was later inducted into Big Audio Dynamite, the post-Clash combo headed by guitarist Mick Jones. With that kind of resumé Letts isn’t about to probe the Clash’s dodgy legend, so he contents himself with digging up old concert footage, allowing the four members to blandly reminisce for the camera, and cutting in a lot of scratched and scrawled-on celluloid, a self-consciously arty element that recalls the Pollock-inspired stage wear the Clash favored when they were still groping for an image. The film glosses over the friction between Jones and guitarist Joe Strummer that ultimately ruptured the group, the firing and rehiring of Svengali-like manager Bernie Rhodes, and the harrowing drug addiction of drummer Topper Headon, who’s been in and out of rehab since then and looks like a wraith. If you want an honest appraisal, read Marcus Gray’s book Last Gang in Town; if you want to revive the myth, crank up that old copy of Give ‘Em Enough Rope–this tired rockumentary delivers neither. 80 min. (J.R. Jones) (6:00)


This program of five videos lives up to its title, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. In Xan Price’s Nitwit Predelik a man and woman start licking pictures of horses in a book and then graduate to a telephone and steel wool; an image of a baby is intercut, calling for its mother. The piece is somewhat charming but doesn’t make much sense. Naoko Nozawa’s Monkfish Dream is a mildly amusing but fairly obvious take-off on men objectifying women: after a frustrated young man brings a corpse home for sex, an animated vagina with little arms and legs separates itself from the body, and he begins courting it. In Deep Africa, Steve Hall and Cathee Wilkins imitate children’s television, using animated dolls to tell the story of two girls who order an extraterrestrial from “deep Africa.” He snorts their cocaine and chews on one of their dildos, and the proceedings go downhill from there–though you may enjoy it if you’re into scenes of anatomically correct dolls fucking, complete with money shot. Nathan Pommer’s Monkey vs Robot, in which a monkey and robot fight outdoors, and Jason Moran’s Bad News From Bonzo Beans, involving torture among sock puppets, are truly juvenile. 79 min. (FC) (6:45)


Borrowing stylistically from Godard, this 1999 experimental feature by Roddy Bogawa ponders the relationship between nature and industrial decay as well as the pervasiveness of technological surveillance. The slim narrative thread involves a man who wanders a desolate urban landscape picking up discarded electronic equipment and reassembles it in his apartment. He becomes romantically involved with a young woman he meets in a theater, who may or may not be part of an anarchist plot to foster terrorism. I’m not sure how the political angle fits in, but Bogawa seems to suggest that in our eagerness to play God we’ve turned much of the world into a junk heap. The film contains some striking and poetic imagery, but its tedious stretches and often pretentious voice-overs work against it. 85 min. (Reece Pendleton) (7:15)

Santa Sangre

This 1989 feature by Alejandro Jodorowsky is just as silly and pretentious as his previous El topo and The Holy Mountain, but it’s similarly watchable and fun in a campy, sub-Fellini sort of way–if only because of its dogged devotion to surrealist excess. (The Mel Brooks of vulgar surrealism, Jodorowsky’s basic principle is that if you throw 30 outrageous ideas at the audience, 2 or 3 are bound to make an impression.) It’s basically a sadomasochistic circus story about a crazed former magician (played at different ages by Jodorowsky’s sons Axel and Adan) whose father (Guy Stockwell) ran a circus and whose mother (Blanca Guerra) is a religious fanatic who worshiped an armless saint and lost her own arms. Many years after a traumatic (if, for Jodorowsky, characteristic) family incident that involves the mother’s mutilation and the father’s mutilation and suicide, the mother compels her son to become her lost hands, forcing him, among other things, to murder lots of women (Thelma Tixou, Zonia Rangel Mora, Gloriella). A deaf-mute the son loved as a child (Sabrina Dennison and Faviola Elenka Tapia) turns up later to redeem him. Scripted by Jodorowsky, Roberto Leoni, and Claudio Argento, and filmed in Mexico in English. (JR) (8:00)

Alien Landscapes

Short videos, and films transferred to video, by Meg Hannah, Paul Terrago, Jeff Warrington, Jeff Gate and Tony Roach, Andrey and Julia Velikanov, and Mark Hejnar and T.M. Caldwell. 73 min. (8:30)

Dreams of Life

See listing for Saturday, August 19. (9:15)

Rock Opera

See listing for Saturday, August 19. (10:30)


My Charbroiled Burger With Brewer and An Incredible Simulation

Two rock documentaries by local artists. Jim Sikora’s 45-minute My Char-broiled Burger With Brewer is a takeoff on Louis Malle’s My Dinner With Andre that features LA poet Jack Brewer and bassist Mike Watt discussing the glory days of punk rock. Jeff Economy and Darren Hacker’s hour-long An Incredible Simulation examines the rock subculture of tribute bands. (5:00) (For more see Post No Bills in the Music section.)

Treble Without a Cause

See listing for Saturday, August 19. (5:15)

Benjamin Smoke

Jem Cohen and Peter Sillen’s 70-minute documentary examines the life and legacy of the cross-dressing, HIV-positive lead singer for the Atlanta band Smoke. A Chicago premiere. (6:00)

Put the Cult Back in Culture

True believers populate the two documentary videos on this program. In The Magnificent Andersons (1999), Julie Morrison profiles a large Nevada family that insists that flying saucers are everywhere, that JFK was assassinated because of the alien cover-up, that black helicopters from the United Nations fly nefariously overhead, and that martial law is coming. They cook a Thanksgiving dinner (which looks awful), work on their numerous old cars, and talk about the “certain ten people” who are in charge of the country. Morrison presents it all without judgment or irony, as does video maker Dewey Nicks in Hell House (1998). The Abundant Life Christian Center in Arvada, Colorado, hopes to counter the “big party place” view of hell supposedly promoted by rock music; to that end it’s developed a theme-park-like tour of evil featuring enactments of abortion, date rape, and satanic human sacrifice. Visitors are treated to the foul odor of burning Limburger cheese, and afterward they’re brought into a brightly lit room to meet Jesus. Language Sign Duality Is Assymetrical (1999), a Russian video by Andrey Velikanov, is a hilarious fake documentary on a unique folk culture: its people play music, dance, and sing in a foreign tongue, but the subtitled translations are phrases from deconstructionist theory. (FC) On the same program, which runs 81 minutes: Virtual Body of God (1999) by Andrey and Julia Velikanov and A Cold Hearted Look at Your Last 60,000,000 Years by the Institute for True Purpose Technology. (6:45)

Scratching the Surface: Films From the Avant-Garde

In the old days a flicker film at an avant-garde screening would prompt some audience member to yell, “Fix the projector!” This program may draw the same response: by conventional standards most of the films look as if something has gone awry. In Tom Whiteside’s Flag and Bruce McClure’s Dithercumber, fragments of commercial films are projected backward and upside down, the sound track reversed too, and in Emily Cronbach and Elizabeth Day’s unslit regular 8-millimeter The Parenthetical Trap the frame contains four images, two of them upside-down. Such manipulations ask the viewer to participate in putting it all together–or accept intentional fragmentations. For Delamination, Luis A. Recoder appropriates footage from the 1971 film Brian’s Song but peels off much of the emulsion so that partial images flit by, the original film seen through a grid of decay; there’s a powerful friction between the remnants of the film’s original rhythm and Recoder’s almost random patterns. For Oona’s Veil, Brian Frye slows down a found screen test of Oona Chaplin, often blacking out parts of the image to create a surpassingly intense meditation on viewing and being viewed. And I loved Julie Murray’s Domain, which juxtaposes reverse-motion images of a beetle with those lenticular-screened cards in which figures vibrate between different poses as you rock the card. The wonderfully playful transitions produced by her handheld camera recall the cinema’s origins in optical toys, while her other images suggest the very different rhythms of nature. Also showing: Murray’s Micromoth, Stephanie Barber’s Letters, Notes, Peggy Ahwesh’s Mirror, Mirror, and Scott Stark’s Friendless Faceless, a long and hilariously weird excerpt from soft-core gay porn. (FC) 79 min. (7:15)

Born to Lose: The Last Rock & Roll Movie

See listing for Sunday, August 20. (8:00)

Nasty Girls and Dirty Boys

Six videos with erotic themes. The Fall of Communism As Seen in Gay Pornography, a 20-minute tape by William E. Jones, is a fascinating critique of eastern Europe in the 90s that combines deeply disturbing imagery with genuine insight. Jones compiles excerpts from gay porn but shows no genitalia and focuses instead on faces smiling or frowning for the camera. The tape ends with a long series of screen tests in which a British pornographer quizzes prospective actors (“What do you think about when you masturbate?”) and gratuitously fondles them; they’re completely exposed while only his hands are visible, a clear articulation of the power relationship. Jones’s argument reaches past the commodification of sex: smiles and even thoughts are pinned down for the camera like butterflies, youths robbed of their privacy and their souls for “the money.” Katrina del Mar’s 27-minute Gang Girls 2000 makes a powerful companion piece; a fiction about girl gangs (the Ponies, Glitter Girls), it depicts their antics (mostly fighting and kissing each other) by mixing black and white with color and clear close-ups with fuzzier shots, edited with an excellent sense of rhythm and the erotic possibilities of brief close-up images of a whip or a pair of lips. It’s light and humorous, a fantasy that moves from violence to sex rather than vice versa, drawing its energy not from single objects or figures but from connections between editing, speech rhythms, and character and camera movement. On the same program (which totals 77 minutes): Gritt Uldall-Jessen’s Femminist Fatales, Joaquin delaPuente’s Hateman, O. Perez’s Pacifier, and Akira Shimazaki’s mildly unpleasant castration drama/detective film Kiss XXX. (FC) (8:30)

Styles of Beyond

See listing for Sunday, August 20. (9:15)

Slidin’: Bright and Shiny World

Like Doug Liman’s Go (1999), which shares some of its look and attitude, this unblinking 1998 Austrian feature about young slackers in a provincial town conflates three separate stories, the central characters from one moving to the periphery of the next. Barbara Albert directed the first, a tender look at two gullible teenage girls who hang out at raves and shopping malls, locked in a tight but teetering friendship. Billie, the bored secretary at the center of the second, is older but no wiser, flirting with danger and looking for sexual conquests at clubs and parties; director Reinhard Sud perfectly captures the hazy nonchalance of the drugged and listless clubgoers, but his treatment of Billie as some kind of Bressonian hero in search of salvation lacks the required conviction. In the third and longest story a scruffy bunch of kids driving to a rave on the outskirts of town get stuck in the mud and look for help in a nearby village; the ensuing revelations and recriminations are supposed to define a generation brought up on booze, drugs, and electronica, yet director Michael Grimm never really gets inside their heads. 94 min. (TS) (9:30)

City Kids

Short videos about the downside of urban life. The most accomplished is 253-B (1999), a computer-generated animation by Carlos Eduardo Nogueria of Brazil in which a young medical student turns tricks to pay her tuition. Nogueria’s futuristic vision of the naked city is straight out of The Matrix or The Fifth Element–a dark, mechanized wasteland teeming with predators–but his video ends on a sweet, purgative note. Another ingenious animation, Savin Yeatman-Eiffel’s funny and cynical Squat (1999), portrays a police raid on the motley crew who inhabit a dilapidated house in a cookie-cutter suburb of London. Scott Saunders’s This Close to Nothing is a rather pointless live-action video about two self-absorbed Manhattanites whose adulterous tryst ends in a cruel prank. Benjamin Meyer’s Georgie Porgie, about a squabbling couple, plays like Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf? without the venom; their taunts are as flat as their sex life. (TS) On the same program, videos by Colius and Benton Jew. 76 min. (10:15)


The Seedling

Thomas Campbell directed this video documentary, shot on 16-millimeter film, about surfers in Mexico, France, California, Hawaii, New York, and the Canary Islands. 63 min. (5:00)

Wake Up and Smell the Coffin

See listing for Sunday, August 20. (5:30)


The intertwined plots of this intriguing digital video function more as a nicely balanced, well-acted set of character studies. The main story, which director Esther Bell acknowledges is autobiographical, commences in 1988 when 17-year-old Teri (Nika Feldman) visits the gay father who left her in infancy for reasons she’s never understood. But Bell gives almost equal weight to Teri’s family and friends in South Carolina, the zine she brings to New York to sell (Skid Marks), the drug-fueled music scene she quickly plunges into, and her father’s troubled relationship with his longtime lover (convincingly played by Fred Schneider of the B-52s). Despite some rough edges, the film is frequently amusing, bringing out the absurdities and contradictions of its various milieus. 90 min. (FC) On the same program: Aerobicide, a four-minute short by Kathleen Hannah and Sadie Benning. (FC) (6:00)

System Noise

Josh Ferrazzano’s 70-minute 1999 video has a fairly minimal plot: Gilgamesh Jones (apparently a conflation of the Mesopotamian and Spielbergian heroes) is a modern-day seeker who escapes from a chain gang and becomes obsessed with Starlett, a singer he sees on TV. As he journeys to New York in search of her, he encounters zombies and a government attack against the “reanimation of the recently deceased.” The story unfolds with minimal dialogue, a near-oceanic maze of music and sounds by M’lumbo, and even more dense layers of imagery: rapid editing, superimpositions, split screen, and speeded-up motion. Jets flying overhead are intercut with a reanimated woman in a store window eating a human arm; Gilgamesh is an empty shell through which all the film’s sounds and images flow, a frightening example of the postmodern idea that we are all constructions of media, lacking will or soul. (FC) On the same program, Doug Lussenhop’s six-minute video “There’s Another One” by TV POW. (6:30)


A small band of dissidents, led by a saxophonist named Doc Dorance, flee an authoritarian government that has banned all music, and carrying a mysterious casket, they slowly find their way to an island of caverns called “the Zone.” First-time director Pierre Desir, intent on creating a tone of elegiac doom, not only casts narrative logic to the winds but also sets a lethargic pace, dwelling on bucolic settings and studied poetical images. The actors pose like forlorn figures in the landscape and recite their few lines–including quotes from Leonardo da Vinci, Fidel Castro, John F. Kennedy, and Thelonious Monk–as if they were sleepwalking. Some scenes, in which radicalized characters engage in a sort of guerrilla theater, recall Les carabiniers or Weekend–with all of Godard’s pretentiousness and none of his intensity or intellectual sleight of hand. At its worst Zona seems like a film-school project, mistaking obscurity for art. 94 min. (TS) (7:00)

Once and Future Queen

Philly, a regular of director Todd Verow’s, plays a homeless woman calling herself Anti-Matter, and she’s so vivid and unpredictable, such a fascinating bundle of contradictions, you might assume that like Warhol’s superstars she’s mostly playing herself. Middle-aged and plump, with thinning hair, she prefers heroin and cocaine to antidepressants, yet she has no trouble attracting gorgeous young men and women. When a young friend phones her, distraught that he’s fallen off the wagon, she arrives at his home immediately, puts him to bed, promises to throw out all his liquor–and then drinks it herself until she passes out. She speaks in the flat tone of a medicated mental patient and can’t understand why her friends are always kicking her out, yet she also displays genuine emotion and realizes that she’s her own “biggest nemesis.” She sings in her own rock band too (Philly’s band, Eager Meat), delivering eccentric lyrics in a throaty voice that’s not unexpressive. She’s appealing in her weird blend of sincerity and self-parody, emotional desperation and blase unconcern. 76 min. (FC) (8:00)

Searching for Roger Taylor

Aaron Barnett’s 1999 video documentary explores 80s new wave, the birth of the music video, and their effects on commercials, films, and TV dramas. On the same program, “Frustration” by Asshole, a short experimental video by Thomas Patterson. 93 min. (8:15)

Journey to Your Mind’s Eye

Short films by Sandra Gibson, James Schneider, Francois Miron, Thomas Comerford, Karl Staven, Suzie Templeton, and Chris Harris. 78 min. (9:00)


Sean, a young slacker who waits tables and lives with his parents, gets dumped by his girlfriend because he lacks “drive” (after a dinner at her parents’ house where he gets so drunk that his face drops into his plate). This picaresque comedy approaches the surreal in its exaggerated situations and stereotypes–when a patron sends a dish back to the kitchen, the cook responds by peeing in it, after which the patron finds it much improved–and its imperious diners, hideous minor characters, and the girlfriend’s smug new guy make Sean look good by comparison. Director Patrick Hasson frequently interrupts the story to let his main character narrate on camera or inserts highly subjective point-of-view shots, trading traditional coherence for an air of fantasy. 80 min. (FC) (10:00)

Celluloid Heroes

John Dorr may have shot the first feature-length video; frustrated by his failure to get his screenplays produced, he founded the Los Angeles cooperative EZTV to screen videos and facilitate personal productions. Though Dorr died of AIDS in 1993, his organization survives, and Nina Rota’s video Who Needs Hollywood! The Story of Video Pioneer John Dorr and EZTV suggests that he anticipated the whole digital-video revolution with his conviction that technology could democratize image making. In his video How to Become a Film Freak in Seven Easy Lessons (1999), Harald Schleicher pokes fun at cinephiles with excerpts from classic films about filmmaking, from Sunset Boulevard to Contempt. It’s fast paced and amusing, but the implication that film lovers are mindless cultists certainly wasn’t true of, for instance, John Dorr, whom I knew briefly. In Greg Pak’s video The Penny Marshall Project (1999), an occasionally funny but mostly adolescent Blair Witch parody, Penny Marshall, Francis Ford Coppola, and Akira Kurosawa try to make a film in the woods, certain their accomplishments place them above those “little inexperienced bastards.” On the same program, which runs 84 minutes, films by Jesse Brown, Usama Alashaibi, Michael Kang, Vanessa Buccella, Les LeVeque, and Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley, and Kevin Kurytnik’s Abandon Bob Hope All Ye Who Enter Here, an engagingly weird combination of Gustave Doré engravings with an animated squirrel. (FC) (10:15)

Migrating Forms

See listing for Sunday, August 20. (10:30)


Best Bad Behavior

The only really “bad” behavior in these short videos comes from the two young men in Huck Botko’s Julie (1999), who plan to infect a woman with venereal disease because she fabricated stories about herself while talking to one of them at a party. They may be evil, but the video is bland and goofy; in one amusing scene the woman explains that she lied because she found herself sitting next to an “asshole,” which seems like a pretty good assessment. The male dreamer in Frank Zirbel’s She-Wolf (1999) conjures up dozens of nude women from old stripper films, finally overwhelming himself–and us. In Urban Scrawls, Jamie Shenck documents the graffiti in men’s and women’s bathrooms, but some examples flash by too quickly to be read, and there are too many experts theorizing about them. Jim Jacob’s Basic Rules of Restaurant Etiquette is the strongest video on the program, and the most minimal: a deadpan Jacob explains the rules to the camera, his intonation so awkward that he sounds as if he doesn’t understand what he’s reciting. It seems pointless at first, but his absurdly flat speech soon becomes a witty twisting of the authoritative voice used in so many instructional films. Also showing: Dylan Griffin’s Meat (about a taxidermist), Joe Winston’s Love Gun (about a gigolo), and Jennet Thomas’s pleasantly whimsical 4 Ways He Tried to Tell You (about a ghost). 76 min. (FC) (5:00)

Shadows and Light

See listing for Saturday, August 19. (5:00)


The best parts of Kevin Fitzgerald’s 63-minute video documentary are its long sections of “freestyle” rap and poetry, a kind of improvised performance art (featuring Mos Def, Pharoahe Monch, Medusa, Supernatural, Divine Styler, Cut Chemist, and Freestyle Fellowship). The artists and a few scholars also explain the form, placing it, and hip-hop generally, in the tradition of blues, jazz, and the African-American church; their observations are interesting, but the pedantic tone contradicts the spirit of the form. In contrast, Milan Spasic, Tom Oldham, and Shirley Hopkins’s State of Play (28 min.) explores the British hip-hop scene with a lively, almost controlling rhythm, as if the piece were itself a single performance; a host’s hand gestures add energy to his explanations, and the bursts of music and imagery recall music videos. Brian Beletic and Blood of Abraham’s nine-minute video Eyedollartree is a stylish and ominous fantasy of an urban apocalypse. (FC) (5:15)


Short videos by Ian Haig, Usama Alshaibi, Janice Inskeep, David Ellsworth, Ann Steuernagel, Yuri A., Matt Konicek, Jennet Thomas, Miranda July, Brian Trecka and Paloma Boiles, Paul Kell and Faisal Lutchmedial, and Jennifer and Amber Cluck. (6:30)

Mondo Edutainment

Danny Plotnick combed through his personal collection for these five educational films from the 60s and 70s, and it’s often amusing to see what passed for instruction back then. Most of the prints are severely faded, but no matter: typically the images are little more than equivalents for the words on the sound track. Narcotics: The Pit of Despair is the most obnoxious entry: by having a narrator interpret all the action, the filmmakers show little respect for their viewers, and their attempts to keep up with hipster lingo are laughably wooden (the protagonist is about to “shake this square world and blast off for kicksville”). The other drug film, Focus on LSD/Psychedelics, at least acknowledges the prodrug arguments, which it then refutes. Coping With Parents actually offers good advice on opening communication and avoiding argument, but the filmmakers assume that all parents will respond, refusing to admit that some are real abusers. (FC) (7:00)

Summer of Surveillance

Nine videos on the divide between technology and the human figure. The strongest is Pixave: Denominator by Matthew Biederman and Bart Woodstrup: mostly abstract sounds accompany moving grid patterns, whose tightly woven, almost hypnotic surfaces seem to exclude the human figure, and in a chilling moment near the end, trees viewed from the window of a moving vehicle give way to the stark forms of electrical transmission towers, suggesting that our “real world” is equally abstract and removed from nature. In Animal Charm’s Target a man drives aimlessly around a parking lot, isolated both by his car and by the bandages that unaccountably swathe his face; the occasional intercut images, such as a carpenter working, only underline his imprisonment. In Bureau of Inverse Technology’s Bit Plane a camera aboard a tiny remote-controlled plane tapes black-and-white views of Silicon Valley; one feels implicated in its creepy spy mission, both superior to and separated from the landscape. Jaak Kilmi’s The Human Camera is even creepier: a young man, ignoring his girlfriend’s protests, tapes their deteriorating relationship, the process becoming a pathetic exercise in narcissism. Britta Hosman and Rob Smits’s Best in Beef intercuts a sterile slaughterhouse with an executive munching fruit as he checks prices on the phone, both scenes clean and totally removed from the messiness of living animals. Also showing: SMX’s We the Living, Animal Charm’s Preserve Your Estate (Live), Jonathan Green’s Sunday 10:42 AM, and Brian Doyle’s Yestermorrow. 76 min. (FC) (7:15)

Superstarlet A.D.

The big-haired women in this cagey science fiction movie ride horses and carry machine guns, clad in panties and sometimes bras–clothes as we know them have been destroyed in “the Cataclysm.” In the hypothetical future (or satirical present) concocted by master of mixed metaphor John Michael McCarthy (The Sore Losers), nearly all humans are lesbians, and the few remaining males are literally cavemen. The women, descended from actresses in stag films, have formed a society subdivided by hair color, and roam the countryside in search of their roots–long-lost film reels starring their grandmothers. Clumsy stripteases and soft sex scenes dominate the allegorical plot, tweaking its politics and making for intriguingly reflexive pornography. 80 min. (LA) On the same program, Psycho Samba (1999), a three-minute video by Ian Haig. (9:00)