With the renovation of the Bentson Mediatheque upon us, this program highlights two films that seek answers in the practice of re-creating. These selections from the Ruben/Bentson Moving Image Collection explore rebirth, transformation, and the art of reenactment as the catalysts to confront reoccurring issues, joining one place to another, and questioning. “What constitutes now and then across social, economic, racial, cultural and aesthetic terms?” asks filmmaker Elisabeth Subrin. The renovation of the space begins in August. We invite you to explore the new Bentson Mediatheque space when it reopens in November 2016.
Directed by Apichatpong Weerasethakul
Cactus River (Khong Lang Nam) is a diary of a visit to a woman once named Jenjira Pongpas as she lives out her daily routine with her husband. Weerasethakul explores his continued fascination with rebirth, the changing Mekong River, and his relationship with his beloved actor. This black-and-white tribute film features fast-paced edits intertwined with lingering moments—changes in flow and rhythm much like the movement of the river.
Cactus River made its debut as the first artist commission on the Walker Channel. The source for live and archived video of the Walker’s public programming, the Walker Channel includes lectures, dialogues, and performances involving artists, scholars, and critics of contemporary art and culture. 2012, B&W, digital, sound, Thailand, 10 minutes.
Directed by Elisabeth Subrin
“Subrin turns the past into an amusement park attraction for the present, strapping us playfully into our seats, and in the process gives us a glimpse of the video of the future.” —San Francisco Bay Guardian
In 1967, a student film crew from Chicago shot a documentary on art student Shulamith Firestone, who three years later wrote the groundbreaking feminist text The Dialectic of Sex: The Case for Feminist Revolution. Elisabeth Subrin’s film is a shot-by-shot, line-by-line remake using the conventions of ’60s direct cinema to explore the residual impact of social movements and the boundaries between fiction and nonfiction forms. Originally shot on Super 8. 1997, color and B&W, video, English, USA, 36 minutes.