Sarah Christman is one of my favorite experimental filmmakers–and it’s not just because she’s a fellow MFAer from Temple University. Many of you have seen her film Dear Bill Gates, which I share often as an example of the style of filmmaking I tend to gravitate toward. When I teach experimental film in my intro to film analysis classes, students usually describe Sarah’s work as some of the most interesting and accessible while still pushing boundaries and introducing new ways of story telling for them.
Sarah will be presenting a few of her films, including her newest short As Above, So Below at the I House this Friday.
Friday, February 8th 2013, 7pm with reception immediately following. Hosted by Judy Adamson and Fred Jackes, Jolley Christman, and Nancy and Neil Hoffmann.
International House, 3701 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia
As Above, So Below (2012, 50 min)
Shedding light on local and global acts of alchemy, “As Above, So Below” is a deeply personal and thought-provoking reflection on the ephemeral life of material objects. Christman’s intimate documentation of her family’s decision to have her stepfather’s ashes transformed into a memorial diamond frames a larger exploration of the recycling of matter. The story ranges from Belgium, where precious metals are “mined” from discarded electronics, to New York, where a long-term reclamation project is converting what was once the world’s largest landfill into the city’s second largest public park system. Overturning common conceptions of a disposable culture, this beautifully-composed essay film underscores the vast and unimagined potential lying dormant in our waste.
From a recent review of the film:
“The filmmaker’s faith in nuance, respect for mystery and openness to interpretation is what makes “As Above, So Below” such a rare, offbeat treat.”
Eric Rumble, Alternatives Journal, January 2013
Dear Bill Gates (2006, 17 min)
A simple correspondence evolves into a poetic visual essay exploring the ownership of our visual history and culture. Combining original and archival film, video and images from the internet, “Dear Bill Gates” draws unexpected connections among mining, memory and Microsoft.
Broad Channel (2010, 14 min)
Over the course of four seasons, the nuances of everyday activity are examined along one narrow stretch of public shoreline in New York City’s Jamaica Bay. Moments of recurrence and change cycle through an ecosystem rooted in migration.
Sarah J. Christman makes non-fiction films that explore the intersections between people, technology and the natural world. She received the New Visions Award from the San Francisco International Film Festival for her film “Dear Bill Gates”, and Jury Awards from the Ann Arbor Film Festival for “Broad Channel” and “As Above, So Below.” Christman’s work has screened widely at festivals including Rotterdam, Oberhausen, EMAF, Antimatter, AFI Fest, SXSW, and the Margaret Mead Film Festival, among others. She is an Assistant Professor in the Film Department at Brooklyn College.