Indy Film Talk: Underground Undone

Stills from "Trouble in the Image"

Most of the films we recommend are, well, complete.

This Friday, IU Cinema's Underground Undone festival is showcasing "works that have been partially destroyed, left unfinished, finished posthumously, or otherwise designed to be indeterminate in ways that trouble finite ideas of film production and release." 

The program includes Pat O’Neill’s Trouble in the Image (1996), David Wojnarowicz’s A Fire in my Belly (A Work in Progress) (1986– 1987), and Helen Hill’s The Florestine Collection (2011). The 16mm print for The Florestine Collection is provided by the Harvard Film Archive. 

A smorgasbord of strange sights and sounds, Trouble in the Image deconstructs what we consider conventional cinema — and it does so quite literally at one point with time-lapse footage of a film set being destroyed. 

A Fire in My Belly was created by artist and activist David Wojnarowicz in 1986-87 as an expression of his outrage over the AIDS epidemic and his own HIV diagnosis. (The film was considered unfinished when the artist died of AIDS complications in 1992). Much of its imagery — such as the footage of ants crawling over a crucified Jesus — has stirred controversy. 

The Florestine Collection found its genesis when animator Helen Hill stumbled upon 100 handmade dresses in a trash pile one Mardi Gras day in New Orleans. What resulted from the discovery is an animated exploration of the dressmaker's life. 

Underground Undone starts at 6:30 this Friday, Dec. 12 at IU Cinema. The event is free but ticketed. 

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