2016 Online New England Film Festival
Craftsmen are dwarfed by giant, abstract sculpture in Memorial, an experimental documentary. Monumental sculptures appear first as silhouettes, emphasizing their geometric purity and reminding us that cinema itself is act of reduction and representation. Human craftsmen provide scale, and the eyes through which we perceive the work. Crawling about and even soaring, God-like, over the rusty plates and tubes, they simultaneously humanize and deify this inanimate work. Archival footage introduces a sense of temporality, and asks us to consider how the scales of time differ for humans and our creations.
Memorial chronicles the complete lifecycle of its steel subject, but leaves the biggest question—why must it be destroyed?—to the audience. In considering this, we confront our own mortality and choices to express ourselves through art, even if it will not outlast us.
Maine Heritage Orchard documents the transformation of a reclaimed gravel pit into the Maine Heritage Orchard, a living museum of apples traditionally grown in Maine. Organic farmer and nationally recognized apple expert, John Bunker, and others pass on their knowledge of working the land to the young farmers settling in Maine, preserving Maine’s orcharding traditions.
Seventy-eight-year-old Elenoir wanders through her home while having nostalgic delusions of her past. These delusions lead her to face the trauma that caused her to lose her mind.
Three men work as dunk tank clowns in carnivals across the north-east. The job requires quick wit, a thick skin and physical stamina. It was once easy money – but times have changed.
We learn the tricks of the trade – how to lure the suckers, how to work the crowd.
Tom has a “Sunday school” game – good-natured and witty. Terry pushes the boundaries of taste – and the crowd gets ugly in response. Kenny, the veteran, just seems a bit tired. They blame dwindling interest on “political correctness.”
The satirical song “Gun Shop” comments on the escalation of mass gun violence in the United States. It argues that the proliferation of guns will continue to increase the number of victims. The song is an appeal to our nation to reexamine its obsession with guns.