When does an independent film become a work of art? The International Experimental Cinema Exposition(TIE) poses that question to nearly fifty featured directors who carve and sculpt in celluloid. The result is a sort of dadaesque feast for the eyes in which said filmmakers manipulate their avant-garde projections in myriad ways -- attaching fiber to their rolls, etching and sketching blank leaders and even processing their reels in black coffee."Most film festivals show film that appeals to the masses. We want to bring the experimental-film genre into focus...in nature and in format," says TIE's Catherine Smith. "Experimental film is always on the cutting edge and risk-taking."
Promising something for everyone, Smith explains that the hip flicks are not just countercultural movies, but actually thought- provoking visual and aural compositions. "It's so different and so refreshing; it makes you think in different ways," she says.
The third installment of TIE begins tonight and continues through Sunday at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center, 30 West Dale Street in Colorado Springs. A gaggle of filmmakers will host discussion forums throughout the weekend, including a tribute to the late, great Stan Brakhage; the legendary abstractionist will be honored for his innovative contributions to the film community.
Tickets, which can be purchased at the door or by calling 1-719-634-5583, are $17 for program blocks or $50 for a festival pass; VIP passes, $125, include priority seating, movie munchies and VIP-only lounges. For complete event listings, visit www.experimentalcinema.com. -- Kity Ironton
The Patriot Act goes burlesque
You don't usually expect a lap dance during live political satire, but you have to admit -- it wouldget your attention. That's what Sasha Zeilig and Adam Chanzit of Burlesqueville Productions are banking on when audiences sit down to view their burlesque-based parody The Patriot Act: A Modern Burlesque du Politique, a bawdy response to the controversial post-9/11 congressional act. A collection of uncensored versions of children's tales, the show is glued together by its own shock value, because, Chanzit notes, it just might work: "A lot of our generation doesn't keep up to date with politics, so if we don't provide some kind of entertainment, the politics would be lost anyway."The irreverent performance, complete with fan dancers and contortionists, was conceived by Zeilig and kneaded into shape by Chanzit after he researched the history of burlesque; he discovered a different, more politicized sort of entertainment in its seminal stages, when it was still a voice for the lower classes. Patriotopens today at the LIDA Project Theater, 2180 Stout Street, and continues weekends through December 20; for tickets and showtimes, call 303-282-0466. -- Susan Froyd