SYNOPSIS: The Expanded Cinema course focuses on modes of filmmaking that defy classification. It provides students with the historical and political context for nontraditional uses of the moving image. Students experiment with the visual language of cinema and push the boundaries of their work. Topics may include tactile explorations of the medium, experimental film, video art, fiction/nonfiction hybrid, installation, and new uses of video.
Professor Sasha Sumner Students: Will Bermudez, Gianna Cullen, Brighid Fleming, Sam Friedman, Samuel Hardman, Alex Koumbaros, Erika Larson, Alex Leombruno, Paul Plath, Mia Russell, Jake Schwartz, Lucy Shalders, Katrin Spiridonova
LOGLINE: A woman’s two inner selves recognize each other for the first time.
SYNOPSIS: Striving to create an online persona with the hope of approaching wealthy men to fund her project, a young woman struggles with the thought of sacrificing dignity for the sake of her artistic vision. As the persona takes on a life of its own, gradually shifting her focus and purpose, two inner selves recognize each other for the first time in turmoil.
LOGLINE: From class and race to women’s history and gentrification, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker craft an intimate sociohistorical portrait of an urban laundromat using the people who worked there for decades.
SYNOPSIS: In the 21st century, the laundromat has become a symbol of the aging urban community, one of its last units to disappear as gentrification fleshes its roots out across the neighborhood. The people who have been working there for as long as several decades are almost as invisible, perhaps only recognizable by paper-thin button-up vests or pouches stuffed with quarters. Interviewing and creating performances with several of these individuals, filmmaker Lynne Sachs and playwright Lizzie Olesker craft an intimate sociohistorical portrait of this former staple of urban life. While touching on issues of social class, race, and women’s history, Sachs and Olesker’s documentary avoids exposé to prioritize giving visibility to the people that are the lifeblood of this all-too familiar yet fading institution.
LOGLINE: Three women sit down to talk about making her-story.
SYNOPSIS: #womenmarch is a short film about three millennial women living in New York who come together to prepare for one of the biggest moments in history, The Women’s March in DC. After initial excitement the girls start to talk logistics and personal conflicts and their good intentions quickly unravel.
LOGLINE: A man is consumed by a negative relationship with his body, manifested as a slick, toxic companion who lingers on his every move and threatens to sabotage every aspect of his life.
SYNOPSIS: Justin Andrew Davis writes, directs, and stars in his own short film about a man consumed by an eating disorder, manifested as a slick, toxic companion (Ryan Wesen) who lingers on his every move. Over the course of 24 hours, he nearly sabotages his standing at his job and his relationship with his romantic partner (Peyton Michelle Edwards), all while pushing his body to dangerous extremes, giving us a look into how actions motivated by poor self-image can threaten every aspect of a person’s life.
LOGLINE: A shape evolves with an accompanying sound score, birthing a synesthetic collaboration. A cross-like figure grows, moving in captivating harmony with the sound, until it is unclear where the figure starts, where it ends, and where it begins again.
SYNOPSIS: Multiple-disciplinary artist David Brody directs an experimental animation born from an isometric drawing. Brody’s 2003 installation entitled Descent inspired this 2018 iteration, a “synesthetic drama” featuring a single black image expanding from the corner of the screen. The figure, presented in four flowing episodes, builds upon itself as Zig Gron’s accompanying sound score begins to swell. Together, image and sound consume the screen. Through folding and unfolding graphics and sounds, Proliferation is an examination of the relationship between its visual and sonic loops.
LOGLINE: A look inside the studio, routines and life of Brooklyn-based artist Rodney Dickson as he works “along the edge” of art and seeks to push the boundaries of how it can and should be experienced.
SYNOPSIS: Irish artist and motorcycle enthusiast Rodney Dickson chooses many ways to describe “living along the edge,” from his coming of age amidst the political turmoil of 1960s and 70s Ireland to the arduous task of finishing a satisfying, let alone great, painting. It can only be described as a general state of vital, ecstatic uncertainty that has come to define his artistic process, which is by turns contemplative and fervent.
Filmmaker Bill Page focuses on three subjects—the artist, his materials, and his canvas—and their relationship, emphasizing through space and camera movements their connection. Through this, he documents a highly experiential artistic process that is as exciting as the finished product. He films Dickson in his Brooklyn studio as he squeezes, dabs, brushes, scrapes, dilutes and spills prodigious globs of paint upon his large canvases amidst huffs and puffs, with large pauses as he considers what he’s just done and what he’s about to do. “I have to keep creating and destroying, and then pushing one step further,” says Dickson. “I’ve ruined many paintings that way, but that’s okay.”
LOGLINE: In 2017, the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, NY, turned 100. Over the course of that year, portraitist Brenda Zlamany painted 100 of its elderly residents in an effort to engage them as participants in her artistic process.
SYNOPSIS: In 2017, the centennial year of the Hebrew Home for the Aged in Riverdale, NY, artist Brenda Zlamany undertakes a new project and begins a new chapter of her ongoing painting project “The Itinerant Portraitist.” She meets and invites 100 of the home’s elderly residents to sit and have their portrait painted. Zlamany takes every moment as a chance to interact with her subjects, asking them about all aspects of their life. The project, called “100/100,” seeks to show how an artistic process can empower both artist and subject, as well as dignify the often overlooked members of society.