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Preview Sat Apr 05 2014
Every night of the academic year, Doc Films at the University of Chicago is showing a film. Moreover, one night of the week is dedicated to a specific cinematic theme. Last quarter it was the ever-so-wonderful Nicolas Cage. This quarter it's Michael Snow and Joyce Wieland, two experimental filmmakers who were married for 14 years.
The first showing was of Michael Snow's segment, featuring Wavelength and New York Eye and Ear Control. With barely any narrative or plot line, Wavelength begins in a bland room as two characters enter with muffled dialogue. The film rarely shows any characters from here on out and the audience is left wondering: When is something going to happen? Is there anything wrong? Why is there such a strong ringing noise? The constant questions linger dauntingly over the audience as the camera slowly zooms in to a particular subject in view.
Once New York Eye and Ear Control begins there is exciting, abstract music that does not fit any specific actions occurring in the scenes. This film feels more up-beat, less morbid and a bit more optimistic. The viewer isn't asking as many questions this time around; they are still recovering from the Wavelength experience. By the end of the segment, a few people mentioned that they were "emotionally exhausted" as everyone filed out of the theater into their typical lives once again. The trance-like effect that these films created left a partly confused, partly inspired, audience.
Next Tuesday, April 8 at 7pm, a program of early short films by Weiland will screen.
Doc films is located in University of Chicago's Ida Noyes Hall, 1212 E. 59th St. Admission is only $5.