...These Blazeing Starrs!

Deborah Stratman

2011 | 00:14:14 | United States | English | B&W | Stereo | 4:3 | 16mm film

Collection: Single Titles

Tags: Found Footage, History, Poetry, Science

Since comets have been recorded, they've augured catastrophe, messiahs, upheaval and end times. A short film about these meteoric ice-cored fireballs and their historic ties to divination that combines imagery of 15th-18th Century European broadsides with NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory footage.

...These Blazeing Starrs! juxtaposes a modern empirical desire to probe and measure against older methods, when we translated the sky to predict human folly. These days, comets are understood as time capsules harboring elemental information about the formation of our solar system. We smash rockets into them to read spectral signatures. In a sense, the remain oracles — it's just the manner of divining which has changed.

...These Blazeing Starrs!

Threaten the World

with Famine, Plague, & Warrs:

To Princes, Death:

to Kingdoms, many Crosses:

To all Estates, inevitable Losses!

To Herds-men, Rot'

to Plowmen, haples Seasons:

To Saylors, Storms;

to Cittyes, Civil Treasons.

— Guillaume de Salluste Du Bartas, 1578

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International Film Festival Rotterdam

Exhibitions + Festivals

Video Fest (formerly Dallas Video Fest), Dallas, TX, 2012

FLEX Festival, Gainesville, FL, 2011

Ann Arbor Film Festival, MI, 2011

Images Festival, Toronto, 2011

Melbourne International Film Festival, 2011

Aurora Picture Show, Houston, TX, 2011

Off+Camera Film Festival, Krakow, Poland, 2011

Dawson City International Short Film Festival, Yukon Territory, 2011

Chicago Underground Film Festival, 2011

Onion City Festival, Chicago, 2011

VIVO 11th Signal and Noise Media Art Festival, Vancouver, BC, 2011

Maryland Film Festival, 2011

Rooftop Films, Brooklyn, NY 2011

BFI London International Film Festival, 2011

Mostra de Ciencia e Cinema Festival, Gailicia, Spain 2011

Stream Single Title

Title Awards Image Major Exhibitions/Festivals Description
Sea in the Blood

Equal First Prize for Best Male Short, Inside Out, Toronto Lesbian and Gay Film Festival

Sea in the Blood

OutFest (LA, CA.), 2001

Rotterdam International Film Festival (The Netherlands), 2001


Athens Int'l Film/Video Festival (OH), 2001



Sea In The Blood is a personal documentary about living with illness, tracing the relationship of the artist to thalassemia in his sister Nan, and AIDS in his partner Tim. At the core of the piece are two trips. The first is in 1962, when Richard went from Trinidad to England with Nan to see a famous hematologist interested in her unusual case. The second is in 1977 when Richard and Tim made the counterculture pilgrimage from Europe to Asia. The relationship with Tim blossomed, but Nan died before their return. The narrative of love and loss is set against a background of colonialism in the Caribbean and the reverberations of migration and political change.

"Sea in the Blood was to be a meditation on race, sexuality and disease, but after working with the material for three years, it was the emotional story that came through. It's hard to work with such personal material, but in the end the work takes on a life of its own. 'Richard' is a character. Because of the subject matter — disease and death — I wanted to avoid sentimentality. I'd like the audience to think as well as feel."

— Richard Fung