Press enter after choosing selection

Shine your specs and soften your seats!

Shine your specs and soften your seats! image
Parent Issue
Copyright Protected
Rights Held By
Donated by the Ann Arbor News. © The Ann Arbor News.
OCR Text

Shine your specs and soften your seats!

It’s the 16mm Film Festival

Animator Sally Cruikshank's popular character, Quasi, is back for the upcoming 16mm Film Festival

By Constance Crump

Get out your goggles and prepare to view. The Ann Arbor 16mm Film Festival opens Tuesday and if your fanny isn’t in form, you’d better start sitting. Thirty hours of films - screened at thrice-nightly showings Tuesday through Saturday -will be crowned with two screenings of winners on Sunday. All screenings will take place at the Michigan Theater. More than $6,000 in prizes will be awarded.

This year’s festival, the 19th annual, has been culled from a selection of more than 200 entries. The selection committee is composed of largely local people with experience in both independent film and the Ann Arbor Film Festival.

In its 19-year history, the festival has gained a considerable national reputation for excellence. The ever-increasing quality of films submitted and screened testifies to the festival’s fame.

A RECENT SNEAK preview for the press showed several sides of the upcoming screenings. “Reasons To Be Glad,” a five-minute animation by Jeffrey Scher, featured exceptional line drawings, an expressive sound track with Xavier Cugat and Dinah Shore and great use of color.

“Sing For Your Life,” by Cord Keller, featured a cast of dozens, an all-singing, all-dancing story of life in the big city for the just-arrived Louisiana King of Rock and Roll Ersel Lee. Lee drives to the Big Apple to appear on the Sing For Your Life program, a show where the judges literally kill the acts they don’t like. Getting the ax has never been so punked out. Snuff video debuts the concept of expendable entertainment.

Festival fans will welcome the return of crowd pleaser Sally Cruikshank and her animated hero Quasi. This time around, Quasi and friends (especially the ever attractive Anita) star in “Quasi’s Cabaret Trailer,” a self-promotion piece Cruikshank hopes to use to gain funding for a feature length Quasi. Quasi, a quasi-duck, is a real connoisseur. Chocolate cakes to eat and baby burgers to feed to baby alligators are but two elements of his elegant but easy life style.

“THE NATURAL ORDER,” a four-minute film by Franklin Miller, gently satirizes the art historian’s perspective with a “computerized” analysis of five scenic views. The classical soundtrack complements the scholarly vocabulary perfectly.

Two outstanding documentaries will be screened. “Leon ‘Peck’ Clark: Basketmaker” is part of a continuing series on folk art by the Center for Southern Folklore. Accounts From The Life Of George Wilkins, a stark depiction of life in Roxbury was made by two Cambridge filmmakers, Steven Ascher and Claude Chelli.

“Science Fiction,” a very unusual train trip manufactured from found footage, has vintage film with deteriorated color values which add an eerie overtone to the already surreal screen happenings.

“INFERNAL VOYAGE,” about two innocents abroad and bored, will bring back your parents’ trip to Europe.

“Man In The Dark Sedan” is a promotional piece by Ralph Records, a San Francisco independent record label. The film recounts the saga of a post-holocaust despot with unusual transportation needs. Despite repressive tactics, he wins a following through his musical prowess.

The sample screening revealed the wide variety possible at a film festival. Veteran viewers know that boredom will be short-lived, if intense. The next film may be up in a time as short as 30 seconds.

IF YOU DON’T SEE what you like right now, just wait. More entertainment any minute and a great way to survey state of the filmmakers art.

Besides the films themselves, Pat Olezko again returns to Ann Arbor to work her mind expanding magic with “Kostumz and Performanz.” Souvenirs will be available for the sentimental and the trendy alike.

The audience itself is an entertainment, particularly as the festival approaches the weekend. Prices for each screening are modest.