Besides going on this adventure alone, getting lost, and running out of change for parking; I highly enjoyed the experience of going to downtown Ann Arbor. I loved the atmosphere and thought it was infested with art. The film festival was great, although I knew no one there. However, I did see Gerry Fialka.
The first thing I went to see was Phil Solomon’s American Falls. There were three large screens that were projecting his work. Before reading about it, or catching what the title was, I watched it to see if I could figure what it was about. I thought the piece was really interesting with bits and pictures of history, deformed and blotchy. The integration of images and words was great. It made me think of politics and how “hazy” independence, rights, and equality are, today. The way the images looked and how the sound was intense at times made me think of corruption or how history and what the country fought for has been tossed into the “muck.”
I also went through the exhibition where you had to take a mirror in with you and look at it at eye level, as you walked through it. It made me feel as if I was walking through this different environment with images projected on the ceiling, which were now reflecting at my feet. It was a creative way to play with perception and our idea of space.
After, I went to the Michigan Theater and listened to Craig Baldwin’s speech. His vision is collage-based and he focused a lot on using found footage, making it your own. He looked at film as a form of rebellion, creating your own identity through film. He loves video and thinks using real film to create work is still relative to creativity, and it is how he wishes to continue his work. He mentions the birth of film from the Kuleshov effect and Eisenstein montage (time of Soviet Union), which is something I have learned in my cinema class this semester, so to me it was relevant. Baldwin stressed how music, Avan Garde, Dada, and culture has influenced him, as well as, filmmakers.
Overall, I thought it was great to see something new because I have never heard of the Ann Arbor Film Festival before. I would like to go again next year.