Optic Nerve 14: Wall Portals, Eerie Puppets, and Winning Hound Dogs
The series maintained a dynamic diversity, as whittled down from 271 entries by a committee of five panelists, including the museum's executive director and last year's winner of the festival, Brain Bress, among others. The mix of shorts included witty concepts, social commentary, minimalist explorations of the medium itself and occasional narrative moments.
The winner of the festival, as chosen by the panel, was a local artist whose work had shown at Optic Nerve twice before. Miami Beach resident Juan Carlos Zaldivar offered one of the neater narrative moments: "Shift," a surreal experience with heart. The film had a stop motion feel, as it was composed of a series of still images. The technique worked well, as it incorporated what appeared to be hounds and pieces of hounds made of papier-mâché that ran through a wooded area by a seashore in a pack. As the dogs-- and pieces of dog-- lope about, the film intercuts a wandering person with a face seemingly made of similar material. This humanoid form wore an elaborate dress that looked like a hoopskirt made of mother of pearl. It appeared to be a freshly borne creature, as blue and red veins were still visible on its waxy arms. Costume and design added visual splendor to the film, whose climax arrives when the paths of these dogs, with their frozen growls, cross paths with the figure.
|Hillerbrand + Magsamen, "Whole" (Film Still)|