Live Performance By Stephanie Gray & Pam Swarts
This live performance will include super 8 film, poetry and sound by visiting filmmaker Stephanie Gray, accompanied by local musician Pam Swarts (formerly of Hooked on Casiophonics and early Gray collaborator). Gray, a former Buffalonian and Squeaky volunteer and staffer from 1997-2004, learned filmmaking and began her film exhibition career at Squeaky Wheel. Since then, she has shown internationally and has received many awards for her filmmaking, including a Fellowship in Film from the New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Film. Her event at Squeaky Wheel coincides with the release of two poetry books and includes a sampling of works recently exhibited during a three-day retrospective at Anthology Film Archives in New York City. This event is part of Squeaky Wheel’s 30th Anniversary celebration.
*We will have an ASL interpreter present for the Q&A portion of the event.
Works to be screened
Total Running Time: 90 min
More Bread (Forever) (super 8, b/w, live sounds, 6.5 min, 2004) The next to last day of Zito’s Bakery which closed in 2004 and as far as we know, the last we checked (or for a very long time) another business still hadn’t moved in to its space on Bleecker St.
Also Known As (super 8, color, live reading, 3 min, 2011) AKA is also known as many things in the depths of the super familiar. Even the teddy bear you see in this film.
Magic Couldn’t Save Magic Shoes (super 8, b/w & color, live sounds 6.5 min, 2010) Magic Shoes closed in 2008 after being in biz since 1979. No one did handwritten labels like them no one kept their prices low. When I finally had extra money to buy more Converse, which is mostly all I wear, thinking they’d still be around, even after I filmed it, it was gone. I shot this film in its last week.
Storefronts before other storefronts (super 8, b/w, live reading, 6.5 min, 2008) before this storefront was another and another …
Gertel’s galore lore ore (super 8, b/w, live sounds, 6.5 min, 2007) One the last real Jewish bakeries on the Lower East Side succumbs to the unfriendly real estate market in NYC. Gray caught its next to last day. The bakery continues as a wholesaler/mail order in another borough.
Satanic Bible on Interlibrary Loan (super 8, color, live reading, 9 min, 2011) The title is a true situation that occurred when I was 15. The words you hear came together with the images you see on the screen. I was an ardent metal head in junior high.. What you see is what you get.
Balloons Tied Up Your Sky (super 8, b/w, live sounds, 11 min, 2012) something familiar is made strange, something you don’t even know to look up and see in your busy nyc day…
Never heard the word impossible (super 8 film, CD sound, b/w, 6.5 min, 2007) This work uses images from Laverne & Shirley remixed through hazy video layers. What did the L really stand for? All sound is distorted from the theme song.
What You Thought You Knew/What You Knew You Thought (super 8, color, live sounds, 3 min, 2014) NY’s secrets full of mystery, color and real or fake memories between dulled sparkles. it’s what you thought you knew, what you knew you thought, what you’ve known, all along. What is the word for a story behind a story behind a story?
Seeing Thru Buffalos (super 8, b/w & color, live reading, 12 min, 2007/2015) seeing through this city like the buffalo we used to see, like a dream…
Mountains and Dresses into Windows (super 8, b/w, 7 min, live sounds, 2014) Walk deep enough into the window and the street and dress merge as one. Swiss Alps appear lonely on the streets of New York. Everything is not what it seems yet again. Remember as a child you thought you could go into mirrors.
You know they want to disappear Hell’s Kitchen as Clinton (super 8, color & b/w, live sound/live reading, 17 min, 2010) In mysterious insistent shots, Gray films an inspired letter of sorts to writer E.B. White, author of the midcentury infamous Here is New York essay. The sound is a mix of the filmmaker’s voiceover, bits of poetic prose prefaced by, and inspired by quotes from White. Interspersed are reverbed lines from a 60s surf song New York’s a Lonely Town. She treats this letter as a film essay of old and disappearing Hell’s Kitchen which developers have been trying to rename Clinton for years. The filmmaker tried to trace some of the scenes that perhaps White was thinking about, wonders what White would think of this city today, and Hell’s Kitchen. Or was it Clinton’s Hell? Or Hell’s Clinton. Or whatever.
Since 1998, Stephanie Gray has produced more than 57 short experimental and documentary films, many diaristic or city symphonic. Her film, video, and poetic explores issues related to city (especially the vanishing city), along with queer, feminist, and hearing loss themes. She has received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Film, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Distribution Grant, and NYSCA Finishing Fund Grants. Featured screenings include Mono No Aware, Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art, Schweinfurth Art Center, Microscope Gallery, Poetry Project, Millennium Film Workshop Filmmaker’s Cooperative at Angel Orensanz Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, Mass Art, Squeaky Wheel Film & Media Art Center, Le Petit Versailles and the Thaw Fest. Fests include TIE, Oberhausen, Viennale, MixNYC, CUFF, IowaDocs, VIDEOEX, Antimatter, Experiments in Cinema, Director’s Lounge, Black Maria, Chicago 8, Videomundi, Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Media Art Festival Friesland, and Madcat Women’s International Film Fest. She has won film awards and honors from the Ann Arbor Film Fest, Black Maria, Cinematexas, Nashville Film Fest and Rutgers Super 8 Film & Digital Video Fest. Her film Dear Joan is distributed by Frameline. She’s read live with her films at poetry series and fests including the closing night program of the Toronto 8 Fest.