Film and TV

Kelly Sears Uses Found Footage to Capture Current Crises: See Them Tonight

Scouring flea markets, thrift stores and film archives, filmmaker Kelly Sears rescues bits and pieces of forgotten movies and reanimates old footage to explore new ideas. But unlike many found-footage filmmakers whose works are an exercise in nostalgia, Sears reinvents histories to reflect on the current crises facing our society. For example, in her film Voice on the Line, she imagines a secret government program that persuaded '50s era telephone operators to keep callers on the line, slowly getting them to reveal their dirtiest secrets. The film uses this story to reflect on surveillance culture and social media exhibitionism.

Whether she's dealing with the Patriot Act, Manifest Destiny or the menacing drama of high school life, Sears creates captivating narratives while exploring the limits of experimental animation techniques and collage -- using both story and frame-by-frame manipulation. In advance of her presentation at First Person Cinema tonight, we spoke with Sears about her work.

See also: Karen Yasinsky Talks Surrealist Animation and Boredom

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Kyle Harris has been Westword’s Culture Editor since 2016, writing about the arts, music and film.
Contact: Kyle Harris