Editor’s Note: Welcome to the third program of our Virtual Film Festival, which offers a weekly watching schedule of moving image works available for free streaming, and curated by our expert contributors. Previous programs can be found here. Next week’s program is ‘In Proximity’, curated by Tijana Perović.
As always, links to all of the films and supplementary materials referenced can be found in a table after the program notes.
by Michael Sicinski
For this program, I wanted to consider the medium of transmission. For quite some time, many of us have been experiencing 16mm and 35mm films (as well as digital videos) as digital files, DVDs, or as bits of streaming information. It’s something we now take for granted, even though we should always at least have it in the back of our minds.
But of course, the idea of having access only to home media, and the private viewing experience in particular, is something new. We did not count on toxicity or being under house arrest. We didn’t count on everything suddenly becoming television, the medium that exists almost exclusively in the private realm.
So since this program is decidedly not a conventionally public presentation, I tried to imagine having 75-90 minutes of airtime on some obscure cable TV channel. As I considered our current predicament, something occurred to me. There are cable channels that focus on almost every aspect of life — sport, politics, religion, travel, life with animals, science, history, children of all ages, weather conditions, and so forth. The only exception is death.
This is probably for the best. Given the parameters of commercial television, a hypothetical “death channel” would probably just be infomercials for low-cost coffins and a lot of shows about juice cleanses and probate law. But I programmed what I might like to see, just prior to experiencing the warmth of a more penetrating light. Thanks for tuning in.
THE DEATH CHANNEL — Waiting at the end of your dial.℠
|Title||Year||Filmmaker||Runtime (min)||Reading Material + Resources|
|It Is Here Where We Are…||2018||Andrew Busti||1||Binary Stars|
|The Quiz Broadcast (Part One)||2008||Mitchell & Webb||2||That Mitchell and Webb Look|
|Apt. 309||2014||Rosario Sotelo||1||Reconfiguring Representation|
|Victory Over the Sun||2007||Michael Robinson||13||Victory Over the Sun|
|COVID-19 / Fried Fish||2020||Madonna Ciccone||1||Madonna Fish Fry|
|The Quiz Broadcast (Part Two)||2008||Mitchell & Webb||3|
|Life is an Opinion, Fire a Fact||2012||Karen Yasinsky||10||Conversation w Karen Yasinsky|
|Barneys New York||2020||Sara Cwynar||9||Barneys Closing Sale|
|37/78: Tree Again||1978||Kurt Kren||4||Sentimental Punk|
|The Quiz Broadcast (Part Three)||2008||Mitchell & Webb||3|
|Strange Space||1993||Leslie Thornton||7||Ron Vawter|
|Rehearsals For Retirement||2007||Phil Solomon||13||Sicinski on Solomon|
|Lachrymae||2000||Bryan L. Frye||4||Copyright in a Nutshell|
|All My Life||1966||Bruce Baillie||3||NYT on BB|
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