Thursday, March 27, 2008

Light Industry

I move to Sunset Park, and film culture follows. Or something like that. Light Industry is the brainchild of Ed Halter and Thomas Beard, a weekly experimental film series curated by a rotating cast of notable critic/artist/know-it-alls. Located in "Industry City", a rather desolate swath of manufacturing landscape underneath the Gowanus Expressway along 3rd Avenue, the series has the feel of a secret society, with a handdrawn sign leading you up the institutional gray staircase until you reach the stubbled man behind the cafeteria table. The directions are "last door on the left", which puts one in mind of Wes Craven. I find that state of mind to be agreeable. The stale, unsullied air builds a sense of anticipation - for surely the eau-d'artiste will soon overpower this bland (lack of) an odor. And of course, it did, as the room soon filled with hirsute loners, decked out dilettantes, and attentive alliteration seekers (I am both the first and the last).

I'm pretty sure they sold Grolsch and Heineken in the back of the screening room, but I took a seat instead, worried about their apparent Dutch bias. Halter and Beard gave a brief intro, apologized in advance for Mr. Halter's lack of projection experience - but it didn't quite matter, despite the removal of the opener (Kurt Kren's Co-op Cinema Amsterdam) from the program.

I enjoyed Nancy Holt and Robert Smithson's Swamp, a 6 minute amble through New Jersey wetlands that achieves fleeting glances of abstract beauty through mindless wandering. The follow-up, Michael Robinson's Victory Over the Sun, was also rather fun - as it framed old World's Fair monuments as if they were all the monolith from 2001: A Space Odyssey. He added some psychedelic colors and rhythmic choral chanting to add to the future-pastness.

The rest of the night was a wash for me, but so what? I'll be back. Next Tuesday's April Fool's Day show sounds especially intriguing. Along with some Mekas brothers and Aphex Twin, it promises "silent comics & moronic soundies, early porn & looney tunes. " Alright then.



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