Mesmerizing manipulations of motion studies, Super 8 sequences of rhythmic light and color, and nonnarrative celebrations of Coney Island's Astroland all get their 15 (or fewer) minutes of fame as the 13th Annual MadCat International Womens Film Festival hosts a one-night screening of short experimental films. It all takes place under the stars and is chock-full of unusual and extraordinary screenworks made by women. Projected pieces emphasize innovation: Minimeditations on the destructive nature of obsession like Harriette Yahrs The Horses, They Came and willfully anachronistic plays on the musicals of the 1930s (featuring disembodied legs dancing in the Busby Berkeley style) by filmmaker Eve Gordon exemplify the focused, inventive spirit of the festival. Spectrology, a featured longer film made by Kerry Laitala, draws inspiration from the historical influence of Ars Magna Lucis et Umbrae, a 17th-century text concerning the display of images on a screen using a device akin to the magic lantern (the precursor to the modern slide projector). Instrumental musical outfits Tartufi and Silian Rail perform scores to silent films, conjuring up a lush hometown soundtrack before MadCat takes its disembodied legs on the road to universities, art houses, and microcinemas across the country.
Wed., Sept. 16, 8:30 p.m., 2009