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Deaf Film Festival

Sunday, February 23, 2003

This collection of European shorts offers many possibilities for a new Deaf cinema practice. The beautifully composed Silent Film by Malcolm Venville (U.K., 1996) compresses the story of a romance into elegant vignettes, centered around a newborn baby's hearing test. (10:30 mins, In British Sign Language with spoken dialogue subtitled, Color, 35mm, From Therapy Films). Kathrin Resetarits's joyful Egypt (Austria, 1996) does a simple thing: people of different ages sign a story, a song, and a movie; each rendering is charmingly expressive and individualistic. (10 mins, In German Sign Language with English subtitles, B&W, 16mm, From Film-Makers' Coop). Jorg Fockele's keen fable Alice and the Aurifactor (Germany, 1995) tells of a once peaceful land of Deaf people oppressed by an evil sorceror who forces them to hear with queer ears. Fockele's imaginative art direction recalls German Expressionism. (15 mins, In German Sign Language with English subtitles, B&W, 16mm, From Louder Than Words). In Antti Raike's The Dancer from the Silence of 100 dB (Finland, 1995), Deaf dancer Juho Saarinen recalls his youthful yearnings for art. Throughout this punchy portrait, Juho turns the landscape into a danceable surface. (32 mins, In Finnish Sign Language with English subtitles, B&W, DVCAM, From YLE Export, Finnish Broadcasting Co.) Finally, Con Mehlum expresses the anxieties of his generation in the experimental performance No Way Out (Norway, 2001). This Deaf artist uses charged objects and actions to evoke a wariness of modernity. (9:05 mins, Silent, Color, mini-DV, From the artist).

• (Total running time: 77 mins)