NEW MAPS OF THE NEW WORLD
experimental shorts by Roger Beebe
As part of his 55-day East Coast tour, filmmaker/programmer/professor/video store owner Roger Beebe will be presenting a program of his short films and videos. These films and videos attempt to marry experimental forms with a documentary interest in a cinema as a means of engaging with pressing issues in our everyday lives. If the works are diverse in subject matter—covering such disparate topics as women in the air force in World War II, the origin of Shaquille O’Neal’s last name, and the horrors (and beauties) of suburban sprawl—and are equally diverse in format—with work in both film (16mm, super 8mm, regular 8mm) and video—they are united by their use of an ironizing poetics to cast a sidelong glance on some often overlooked realities of 20th and 21st Century Americana.
"[Beebe’s films] implicitly and explicitly evoke the work of Robert Frank, Garry Winogrand and Lee Friedlander, all photographers of the atomic age whose Western photographs captured the banalities, cruelties and beauties of imperial America." --David Fellerath, The Independent Weekly
"Beebe's work is goofy, startling, and important." --Daniel Kraus, Wilmington Encore
ABOUT ROGER BEEBE:
Roger Beebe is a professor of Film and Media Studies at the University of Florida. Beebe has screened his films around the globe at such unlikely venues as McMurdo Station in Antarctica and the CBS Jumbotron in Times Square as well as more traditional venues such as the Museum of Modern Art and the Pacific Film Archive in addition to numerous festivals, among them Sundance, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, and New York Underground. He has won dozens of awards including a 2006 Individual Artist Grant from the State of Florida and Best Experimental Film at the 2006 Chicago Underground Film Festival. In addition to his work as a filmmaker, he is also a film programmer: he ran Flicker, a festival of small gauge film in Chapel Hill, NC, from 1997-2000 and is currently Artistic Director of FLEX, the Florida Experimental Film Festival. (If that isn’t enough, he also owns Video Rodeo, an independent video store in Gainesville, FL.)
ABOUT THE FILMS:
TB TX DANCE (2006, 16MM, 2 min. 30 sec.)
A cameraless film made in a balck & white laser printer with an optical soundtrack made of dots of varying sizes provides the backdrop for revisiting Toni Basil’s appearance in Bruce Conner’s 1968 film “Breakaway.”
S A V E (2006, 16mm, 5 min.)
A study of a disused gas station provides the occasion for a reflection on our interest in the decaying monuments of mom & pop capitalism. "An elegant, elegiac film…The "SAVE" sign acquires the dignity one ordinarily would assign to an old poplar tree, struggling for life against the ravages of time and the elements." --David Fellerath, The Independent Weekly
(rock/hard place) (2005, 16mm, 6 min. 30 sec.)
Two massive structures—one manmade, the other natural—sit on opposite ends of a causeway in Morro Bay, California, waiting for someone to put them in the same frame.
The telephone game (a.k.a. “grapevine”) gets a new twist as scriptwriters and filmmakers take turns attempting to faithfully reproduce a cynically patriotic Tommy Hilfiger commercial.
A hyperflat exploration of the limitations of our binary thinking about race, featuring appearances by stars of sport & screen. "There just aren't enough films out there like Roger Beebe's 'Famous Irish Americans,' a graphic lecture insisting that black celebrities with Irish last names really are Irish." --Kimberly Chun, SF Bay Guardian
A strange homage to Mondrian, featuring McDonald’s restaurants stretching from Gainesville, FL to Oakland, CA, culminating in an appearance by every McD’s in the East Bay. "Astoundingly hilarious" --Matthew Holota, Artvoice (Buffalo)
A Woman, A Mirror (2001, 16mm, 15 min.)
A anti-dance film dance film about gender and technology and the “technologies of gender. “Essential viewing for anyone interested in true visual experimentation.” --John Citrone, Folio Weekly
The Strip Mall Trilogy (2001, super 8, 9 min.)
A look straight into the heart of the most postmodern of architectural forms, the strip mall, shot in a mile-long parking lot that could be Anywhere, USA. “He has actually managed to bust apart the mind-controlling code of relentlessly commercial space and reconfigure it into a landscape of beautiful colors and forms. It is a remarkable piece of Super 8 alchemy." --David Finkelstein, Film Threat