Love and the Epiphanists (Part 1)

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2018, 32 mins., 35mm film + slides, voice, audio, digital subtitles

Love and the Epiphanists (Part 1) is the first part of an ongoing 35mm film project with live performance components, including wide-screen anamorphic 35mm film, 35mm slides, digital video, audio recordings and live spoken text.The films used are largely sourced from my collection of 35mm Hollywood movie trailers from the past 20+ years, using a hand-made contact printing process that allows me to repeat, reorder, reverse, double-expose, stain, misalign, twist and otherwise strangle the images. The result is a chaotic narrative and love story set against a future time known as the Epiphany – the moment in history when the effects of climate change became irreversible and undeniable.

Detailed description

"Love floats through Hollywood cinema like a flaming dirigible." - SS

Love and the Epiphanists (Part 1) is the first part of an ongoing 35mm film project with live performance components, including wide-screen anamorphic 35mm film, 35mm slides, digital video, audio recordings and live spoken text. The films used are largely sourced from my collection of 35mm Hollywood movie trailers from the past 20+ years, using a hand-made contact printing process that allows me to repeat, reorder, reverse, double-expose, stain, misalign, twist and otherwise strangle the images. I also apply stencils, filters and other visual elements to further alter and repurpose the original material. The soundtracks are similarly reproduced and altered. The process results in a visual and aural cacophony of shifting frame lines, percussive sequencing, multi-layered imagery and general disruption.

The narrative of the film is set against future moment in time known as the Epiphany, when the catastrophic effects of climate change are no longer reversible, and a succession of environmental crises each surpasses its critical tipping point. Rising sea levels, droughts, wildfires and flooding have led to mass migrations of coastal populations, disappearing agricultural lands, and widespread starvation, poverty and disease, which in turn have triggered political instability and violent insurgencies worldwide.

In this toxic environment, two individuals find love and sanctuary: Tonya, a brilliant software engineer working for a large corporate security firm inside the walled-off central green zone, and Shane, an enigmatic loner who’s a reluctant soldier in a growing network of underground insurgency.

In addition to the main 35mm wide-screen projection, other media is used to pull the disparate elements together, including subtitles, spoken word, audio excerpts and music. Narrative explication is supported by excerpts from romance novels, reinforcing the notion of love as a marketable commodity in the form of popular prose; and by historical texts about climate change denial, waste management (and mismanagement), and environmental calamities.

Love and the Epiphanists is an ongoing, long-term project that will have several “parts” released over the coming years, with each part being a self-contained unit. I am currently working on Parts 2 and 3. Part 1 is approximately 30 mins. in length.

Playful and chaotic, with the original trailers reprinted by hand onto raw film stock, and augmented by a battery of other media, Love and the Epiphanists creates a pulsing, kinetic and intensely dramatic visual joyride.

 

Screenings