"I brought live reptiles, birds of prey and exotic flowers to a very stereotyped and neglected section of the city of St. Louis, Missouri which suffers from from severe abandonment and despair, but also has many tranquil vacant lots where nature flourishes. I chose these birds of prey for their symbolic meaning- The bald eagle a symbol of the United States, hawks and owls are messengers. But this is not a film about St. Louis, It's about an anonymous archetype more than a specific locale. St.
Naked shows a colony of naked mole rats living in a laboratory. This rare and highly socialized species demonstrates modes of behavior that in uncanny ways seem human-like. The mole rats are the most inbred species on the planet, and have the longest life span of any laboratory animal. The film zeroes in on aspects of their existence (overcrowded conditions, violence, tenderness) that have parallels in the life of human society.
Nest-Cams features footage from cameras placed in and around nests. Animals showcased include: black-capped chickadee, red squirrel, house wren, horned lark, red-breasted nuthatch, black tern, brook trout, and song sparrow.
A simple yet moving story of children and a baby deer set against the background of a go-kart track.
A watchful dog in a confusion of reflected chairs begins and ends Cohen’s finely tuned observational portrait of London’s Essex Street, and the inhabitants who work the shops and throng the pavement there. People hurrying, pausing, waiting or simply standing, intermingled with worn statues of historic peerage in the slanted light of late afternoon. A man holds a copy of The Law of Privacy and the Media as though testing its resilience against the quiet onslaught of an average work day.
Introduces the audience to the rockin' talkin' pony, who provides musical accompaniment for a series of Texas country-dance lessons.
This title is also available on Ben Coonley: Trick Pony Trilogy.
A foley artist creates sounds for a film featuring a dressage horse and dissolves into their own imitation. As the character in the film, played by the gender fluid performer Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau seems to transform into a gender-defying centaur, the film reflects on the boundaries between the human and the animal as well as on fictional gender roles and their transcendence. Shot on 16mm film, Passage alludes to Eadweard Muybridge’s pre-cinematic experiments with horses.
Written, Directed, Produced & Edited: Ann Oren
The Badger Series has issues and attempts, each episode, to resolve them. Recasting a glove puppet show through his own present day sensibilities, Paul assumes the role of kindly uncle mentor to a household of capersome woodland creatures. Mortality, self-sacrfice, depression, altered states of consciousness and transgressive art practices are all explored as part of their everyday lives together.
The Badger Series has issues and attempts, each episode, to resolve them. Recasting a glove puppet show through his own present day sensibilities, Paul assumes the role of kindly uncle mentor to a household of capersome woodland creatures. Mortality, self-sacrifice, depression, altered states of consciousness and transgressive art practices are all explored as part of their everyday lives together.
A close-range look at pigs living on a farm in Las Vegas, Nevada. The pigs, individually and as a group, become a metaphor for humanity as they go from leisurely wallowing in the mud to the wildness of a feeding frenzy. In a key shot, a pig confronts the viewer with a prolonged, enigmatic stare, as if questioning the very nature of human/animal relationship.
“Marvelously abstract and perfectly concrete.”
-- The Jury of the 2011 Hong Kong International Film Festival
In imaginary landscapes where trees talk and frogs turn to handsome princes, Pizzly Bear is a story of a cross between a Grizzly and Polar Bear. Like in so many fables, the story is based in fact and this small animal is an archetypal stand-in for humanity.
Primate Cinema: Apes as Family is a drama made expressly for chimpanzees – and the chimps' reaction to its screening at the Edinburgh Zoo. Chimpanzees watch television as a form of enrichment in captivity. But no filmmaker had made a film for a specifically ape audience.
Ray Lowden keeps seventy-two large birds of prey, five deer and some wallabies at his place in Northumberland, England. He’s had ten days off in twelve years and loves what he does. The film is a little homage to his variously coy, imperious, curious, stubborn and comic raptor menagerie.
-- Deborah Stratman
Taking its title from a sound design maxim and using it as a conceit to grasp the desire for connection, See A Dog, Hear A Dog probes the limits and possibilities of communication. In this liminal cinematic space, the fear of conscious machines is matched with a desire to connect with nonhuman entities. Algorithms collaborate and improvise. Dogs obey/disobey human commands, displaying their own artistry and agency in the process. Technology, from domesticated animals to algorithmic music to chat rooms, reflects human desires but has its own inventiveness.
In Reel 1, newly re-mastered in 2005, a series of vignettes and jokes to camera take place, some starring Wegman’s droll and obliging canine partner Man Ray. Both the human body and props are employed to amusing effect: lamps talk, a microphone is dragged around, stomachs sing. At one point, Wegman dribbles milk on to the floor, to be lapped up by a thirsty dog.
Pocketbook Man, 1:19
Anet and Abtu, 0:47
The Ring, 1:11
Randy’s Sick, 0:16
Re-mastered in 2005, Reel 2 features a series of demonstrations and durational tests: how to protect oneself from germs; how to turn a roll call into a role play; and an excruciating exercise in desire, as Man Ray attempts to get his just rewards. While entertaining, these humorous pieces also parody television culture and work to highlight issues of consumerism.
Coin Toss, 2:11
Monkey Business, 1:06
Same Shirt, 0:32
The works on Reel 3 were produced during 1972-73, and re-mastered in 2005 when several newly available titles were added. The focus here is on social relationships and attaining the perfect life, be it through making the right decision, getting something for nothing, or just having it all. Many of the comic skits parody television ads and infomercials, and Man Ray has to make some consumer choices.
A newly re-mastered collection of 22 comedic performances to camera, produced during 1973-74. Absurd stories mix with word play; product demonstrations extol the virtues of a specially modified cocktail tray or canine selling aid; and throughout it all, Man Ray. May Ray woken by an alarm clock, tormented by paper-throwing and map-reading, and ever attempting to understand his master.
Wake Up, 1:33
Trip Across Country, 0:50
Down Time, 0:36
A newly re-mastered collection of 17 vignettes and performances to camera, produced during 1974-75. Some use props and sight gags to preposterous effect; others star Man Ray, lapping milk from a glass, stopping marbles and dropping balls. Many of the pieces feature off-screen dialogue, including a comparison of the differences between audio- and videotape, and video and film.
Audio Tape and Video Tape, 2:04
Dancing Tape, 5:27
Originally recorded during 1975-76 and re-mastered in March 2005, this selection of 11 skits mostly focuses on Man Ray. Wegman appears to test his faithful friend, continually throwing a ball for him to catch even after the dog loses enthusiasm; playing with a cardboard tube which intermittently emits a loud sound recording, alternately attracting and repelling the dog; pulling a cord attached to his leg while making him “stay”. Wegman also take a leap into the world of color with special effects and a monolog about furniture. Includes:
In this piece Dani Leventhal recounts to camera her experiences of living and working in Israel, the fabled land of milk and honey of childhood lessons. With time spent in a metal factory and a battery farm for chickens, her harrowing tale includes stories of sexual harassment and sick birds. Against this background, there are idyllic images of bees and flowers, cows and calves, intimate caresses, dead birds. Every thing is worthy of Dani's gaze, and is transformed by the encounter, becoming more human or sacred, and we are closer to the pain and beauty of being alive.
Shot in a local Natural History Museum in northern Israel. 100 white doves fly around cabinets of stuffed birds and other animals. This is a symbol of a culture which is unwilling to let the past go, and lives so naturally with the dead. They stand in silence, but fully present, as we continue living.
Note: This title is intended by the artist to be viewed in High Definition. While DVD format is available to enable accessibility, VDB recommends presentation on Blu-ray or HD digital file.
Tales of a Future Past is a video about a giraffe and a zebra who fight over an undefined baby creature, in hopes of making it one of their own species. Using toy masks and a sparse theatricality, Cecelia Condit creates a contemporary reflection on species extinction and the lonely, silent world that will ensue from it.
"Fusco revives and embodies the chimpanzee animal psychologist Dr. Zira from the original Planet of the Apes films of the late 1960s and early 1970s. In her Skyped-in introduction, esteemed feminist theorist and technoscience philosopher Donna Haraway explains that Dr. Zira narrowly escaped death in the third film and has been living in hiding, observing human behavior through visual culture. In her lecture, Dr.
A two-headed calf died when one head atrophied. It became a trophy that the artist used as a source for this 16mm film transferred to video.
This title is also available on Sympathetic Vibrations: The Videoworks of Paul Kos.