The summer issue of Cineaste features Michael Sicinski’s three-page article about book-DVD combos by Stephanie Barber and Abigail Child. It explores the questions filmmakers face about making DVDs of their work, and if it makes sense for an audience to attend screenings with some foreknowledge of the experimental films they’re going to see.
The article nicely summarizes Stephanie Barber’s work available on These Here Separated (“carefully designed and assembled by Publishing Genius Press,” it says!), and says in the end,
“These women produce rigorous, intellectual films and videos, works which not only engage with multiple discursive fields and external media, but also do so in an exceptionally compact aesthetic mode, one which demands and rewards intensive viewing. Not only does this mean watching single short films repeatedly. It also means reading along, and reading up. This will hardly bias one’s viewing of these films. Rather, it will deepen our engagement with them, help us to see (and hear) much more than we ever could …”
It’s true. Even after watching “Catalog” three or four times, it took reading along to approach a full understanding of all the things that happen in the film. Thanks to Cineaste and Michael Sicinski for the wonderful article.