Fabulous Festival of Fringe Film 2008

Fear Remembered

 
Schedule 2008Tickets and DirectionsFabulous Festival of Fringe Film HomeOpening ReceptionA Pathless LandFear RememberedPeople's ChoiceHandmade Film WorkshopHarvesting the YukonExperiments With TruthTrue Meaning of PicturesTrip-Hop MetropolisAndrew Lampert: Projection Performance

 

 

by Myke Dyer
It’s just across the border, yet it’s a lifetime away. The American South is the focus of this year’s documentary program. These two films explore the mysticism and the lore of the South, not to mention the people, the religion and the good vs evil paradigm. The American South provides fertile ground for these filmmakers by capturing a glimpse of a startling subculture of angels and demons.

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, Andrew Douglas

Jennifer Baichwal’s The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’ Appalachia is an uncompromising exploration into the controversial work of enigmatic American photographer, Shelby Lee Adams, well known for his photographs of the people of Appalachia, Kentucky.

Conventionally structured, True Meaning takes us through various landscapes, with Adams as our tour guide, his photographs and video archives as the main map. Baichwal’s methods are traditional, presenting us with interviews and archival footage as she gathers together differing perspectives about Adams and his work, all the while leading us further into the most isolated of ‘hollows’ hidden in behind the misty mountains of Kentucky.

Without ever placing Adams on trial, Baichwal allows intentions and meanings to slowly reveal themselves. In one telling moment, Adams reveals more about his problematic role in ‘documenting’ Appalachia than any of his video archives or passionate declarations of cultural identification. Adams tells of how his father, as a doctor, would visit the most isolated families. “Although my father had prejudiced views, I came to know those people.” Here is revealed the inner conflict in Adams, and within America in general. The distinction between ‘his people’ and ‘those people’ is not about regionalism or even his vocation as a photographer. It’s about class.

In Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus, Andrew Douglas follows acclaimed Alternative Country artist Jim White as he takes us on an entrancing journey into the heart of the culture of the southern USA, a culture too poor and marginalized to register as important, yet extraordinarily rich in creative spirit.

In the classic road movie genre, Jim in his battered old car—complete with a concrete Jesus statue bought from a wrecker’s junkyard—probes the ‘Ulan Bator’ of America, as he calls it, from the backwater swamps to the backwood mountains, searching for the wellspring of the culture of the South, bringing viewers along for the ride.

This journey is a chain of Southern Stories, each told in various forms and filmed on location. The film features live performances by White and other stars of the new Alternative Country scene, including The Handsome Family, Johnny Dowd, David Johansen, 16 Horsepower, and mesmerizing Southern preachers, as well as funny, gritty, profound stories from celebrated Southern writer Harry Crews.
Jim White’s own story threads through the film, tracing his search for the meaning of faith in the modern world in the haunting atmosphere of the South: still a remarkably fertile territory for an artist. Or as Jim White puts it, he’s “looking for the gold tooth in God’s crooked smile.”

 

August 6, 9pm, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority Pavillion (Main Gate), Durham

The True Meaning of Pictures: Shelby Lee Adams’ Appalachia

(Canada, 2002, 71 min)
Jennifer Baichwal

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The True Meaning of Pictures


August 8, 9pm, Saugeen Valley Conservation Authority Pavillion (Main Gate), Durham

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus

(UK, 2005, 83 min)
Andrew Douglas

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