Local Film Paul F. P. Pogue (Clockwise from bottom) Dawn Whetzel, Gabriel Maltreya, Geoff George and Trevor Charles presented an evening of local film at the inaugural event of the Mass Ave. Video Media Garden. I’m always up for new and interesting takes on not only media-as-message, but presentation-as-message. On that level I’m quite pleased with the newly inaugurated Mass. Ave. Video Media Garden. It’s a strange but appealing mix between a folding-chair theater and a drive-in, with a covered screen set up for an otherwise outdoorsy presentation. It’s an intriguing feeling, hi-tech combined with that do-it-yourself feel of coming across something new and different. Tom Battista, owner of the building, said that he hopes the creation will provide a new outlet for local film. “I want them to have an available venue for screenings,” Battista said. “My goal is to reach out to young artists to participate and collaborate for the arts.” The film fest, bringing together work from Bloomington film artists Dawn Whetzel, Gabriel Maitreya, Geoff George and Trevor Charles, was an experimental first run for the venue. The screen quality was quite high, though the sound system seemed off-balance. The filmmakers frequently displayed a creative eye for editing and framing but their story sense didn’t match up. There was a tendency towards the self-indulgent and pretentious, more concerned with cleverness than telling a coherent story. Possibly the strongest of the shorts was a post-apocalyptic bunker film entitled Until the Last Time, which held together nicely until, for no reason I could discern, the editing became non-linear and things jumped around in time. Another decent entry was Inverses, about a young woman searching through the underworld and overlapping realities for her daughter. It contained some very strong and memorable moments and images, but fell apart as a story; it felt at times like a parody of an art film rather than an art film itself, one random event leading into the next. Filmmakers interested in screening at the Media Garden can contact Tom Battista at battista@email.com.

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