Monday, February 14, 2011

PXL THIS 15 (2005)

PXL THIS 15, the 15th annual film festival featuring the Fisher Price PXL 2000 toy video camera premieres Saturday, Nov 19, 2 different shows 7 & 9pm at Sponto Gallery, 7 Dudley Ave, Venice, 310-306-7330, free admission. For more info, please visit: and

PXL THIS 15 has the most entries to be shown ever. Highlights include: Terrence Handscomb's THE REVELATION/THE PASSION ACCORDING TO ANDREI inverts the hypocrisy of American militarism by examining the Abu Ghraib political torture issues as if Tarkovsky was into noir beefcake. Maverick music pioneer John Trubee's KAREN'S NODULES digs deep into the psyche. Poet Rich Ferguson rantchants ON BECOMING AN URBAN LEGEND about an event that could happen to anyone! Two more startling revelations from seminal Pixelators Steve Craig (MY BROTHER DOESN'T KNOW) and Ross Craig (THE LAST PXL MOVIE). Jared Busch's SEVENTH IRIS DARK finds a young man's PXL 2000 recording harrowing images of its subjects' pasts. Bart Ezra Plaskoff's GURUDEV explores humility, love, materialism and the human condition by revealing that a homeless man is actually a God-Realized Guru engaging in his final meditation. Julie Fabulous' OUR MONKEY FRIENDS rocks out sock monkeys to Lene Lovich's "Monkey Talk." Robert Dobbs' TV AIN'T NO TACTILE probes McLuhan's dangerous TV breakthrough via the cloning esp and morphic resonance of Salvador Dali's 1968 TV Guide cover. Tahmus Rounds' THE MAN IN THE WATER finds a man, faced with the consequences of a life unattended, escaping to the place that has always given him comfort - the sea.

Michael Possert's HELEN POSSERT: A WWII ROSIE recalls a real life "Rosie the Riveter." Paul Richley's ORSO NERO DI CESANO engages PXL's unique psychcerebral storytelling capacities with a deer and a dog. Richley's SPING traverses the textures of color. Jason Britski's TORTURED BY SIDEWALKS captures the striking landscape of Peggy's Cove, Nova Scotia. Bryan Konefsky's BEAUTIFUL DREAMER views an unsuspecting passenger on a cruise ship in Vancouver, BC as he becomes the object of the filmmaker's desire. I'M IN THE MOOD is Konefsky's colorful portrait of the Ann Arbor, Michigan legendary street performer Shaky Jake, as he serenades pedestrians. Adam Gould's THE EIFFEL TOWER WILL NEVER SEE ITSELF is a personal investigation into the reality of the recorded moving image and the reality of the filmmaker's own existence. Gould's RESEMBLANCE is a meditation on the dissonance between individuality and family ties. Kelly Jones' TEN MOVEMENTS AMERICA slices up "live free or die" Americana while visiting her grandmother. Eli Elliott's ONE is the third film in a trilogy of figuring out one's farcical self. Elric Kane's INNER BEAUTY CONTEST exposes the over saturation of seductive online imagery, and his PRECIPITINS blends archival footage and PXL to make for this ceremony like expulsion of the fears that hold back a man from opening himself up to the woman who loves him. Dahvi Bologh's THE CELLULAR PHONE uncovers the hidden effects of this current dominant invention. Geoff Seelinger's funny yet tragic SECRET RECIPE takes a look at a day working with a friend at his "Mc-job," as a Kentucky Fried Chicken manager. Doug Ing's MONICA is the touching story of a love affair. John Humphrey offers two PXL punch lines: PSA#1 & LUNAR EXPRESSO. Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo's THE YEAR OF TRANSFORMATION cultivates the here and now. Joe Frese swings STRING BASSES & CELLOS. Denny Moynahan, the Ernie Kovacs of Pixelvision, delivers another interactive gem.

"All the PXL THIS videos reflect festival organizer Gerry Fialka's commitment to the freedom produced by making art without financial constraints. PXL THIS is a welcome highlight in the Los Angeles media scene celebrating the rich lexicon available in a tool which might initially seem rather limiting."
- Holly Willis, editor of RES magazine.

"The irresistible irony of the PXL is that the camera's ease-of-use and affordability, which entirely democratizes movie-making, has inspired the creation of some of the most visionary, avant and luminous film of our time." -Steve Schneider, New York Times. "PXL is the ultimate people's video."
- J. Hoberman, Premiere Magazine

"Gerry Fialka's PXL THIS festival snaps, crackles and pops off the screen with the funky, user-friendly energy of real first-person cinema. Goofy, gorgeous, and altogether groovy, his provocative program of pieces produced with the Fisher-Price PXL 2000 toy video camera is not only downright entertaining, but more, its blipping and buzzing black 'n' white picture-bits coalesce into a veritable inspiration to all those who cherish the playful, spontaneous gestures and low-cost of electronic folk art."
-Craig Baldwin.

Established in 1991, Clap Off They Glass Productions supports independent video-making by sponsoring the annual PXL THIS Festival, which is the oldest of its kind in the world. Even with no corporate sponsors, no color brochures, no big shot movie director board members, no ticketmaster access, PXL THIS has been featured on PBS, IFC and NPR, and most recently screened at MIT. PXL THIS spans many genres: documentary, poetry, drama, art, music, political activism, cinema povera, comedy and the avant-garde. The unique Fisher-Price toy camcorder PXL 2000, which records sound and image directly onto audio cassettes, continues to empower artists. This failed toy was only made in the US from 1987 to 1989. The magical PXL 2000 restores a certain humanity to the overpowering technology of video.

Films featured in past PXL THIS festivals are archived and available for viewing at the Academy Film Archive in Hollywood. For viewing appointments and information, please call (310) 247-3016 x 387, or visit the archive's web site at .

"In past years, PXL THIS gave us some fascinating work...definitely an out-there experience. In the last few years, PXL videos have made it to such hallowed domains as the Whitney Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, Sundance, and the London Film Festival, where they have been admired for their characteristic spontaneity, highly personal perspective, visual uninhibitedness and raw, grainy truths." - Mary Beth Crain, LA Weekly.

"PXL THIS is worthy of praise...spellbinding. The shifting bricks of light and dark that form the Fisher-Price PXL 2000's picture lend themselves well to personal essays, creating an invigorating mesh of ambiguity and intimacy in every frame." - Paul Malcolm, LA Weekly.

"Since the start of the 21st century, I've attended the annual screenings of the PXL THIS toy camera festival at San Francisco's OTHER CINEMA. I have discovered several patterns of Pixelators that are similar to the pioneering video artists of the 60's. One, they reclaim film as a one-person project. Contrary to the popular belief that filmmaking must be collaborative, the solo vision is dominant and documented here. Two, in PXL-land, personal and deeply individualistic issues - frequently in the form of confessionals - are dominant. Pixelvision forms a quiet sub-genre within the larger category of the 'personal essay' film, an intimate art-world of privacy, whose entries frequently resemble message-in-a-bottle intimacies. These patterns show that expanding the vocabulary of moving image art is still possible - and, indeed, is growing." -Steve Polta, San Francisco Cinematheque curator.

In spirit, the PXL-2000 toy camera resembles the cheap throwaway still camera, known as the Holga. Writing in ESQUIRE, Joshua Liberson called the Holga: "The world's most unserious serious camera...the Holga takes strangely beautiful, dreamlike pictures. Its two-part interlocking design allows liight to bleed through constantly from the sides, making it almost impossible to take a boring picture, regardless of the subject matter."

"Most exciting art movements have been reactions against technical sophistication. Many have gone 'backwards' to find honesty and truth, the essence of things." - Guy Maddin

PXL THIS 15, 11-19-05, Sponto Gallery, Venice CA
1- KING KUKULELE QUAD - Paul Bacca, 5 minutes
2- GURUDEV - Bart Ezra Plaskoff, 8m
3- STRING BASSES & CELLOS - Joe Frese, 1m
4- ONE - Eli Elliott, 12m
6- BEAUTIFUL DREAMER - Bryan Konefsky, 3m
7- TORTURED BY SIDEWALKS - Jason Britski, 2m
8- TEN MOVEMENTS AMERICA - Kelly Jones - 7m
9- PSA#1 - John Humphrey, 1m
10- LUNAR EXPRESSO - John Humphrey, 1m
11- THE MAN IN THE WATER - Tahmus Rounds, 13m
12- MONICA - Doug Ing, 1m
13- MY BROTHER DOESN'T KNOW - Steve Craig, 3m
14- OUR MONKEY FRIENDS - Julie Fabulous, 3m
15- THE LAST PXL MOVIE - Ross Craig, 3m
16- SECRET RECIPE - Geoff Seelinger, 13m

17- ON BECOMING AN URBAN LEGEND - Rich Ferguson, 7m
18- HELEN POSSERT: A WWII ROSIE - Michael Possert, 6m
20- RESEMBLANCE - Adam Gould, 4m
21- TV AIN'T NO TACTILE - Gerry Fialka, 15m
22- THE YEAR OF TRANSFORMATION - Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo, 5m
23- ORSO NERO DI CESANO - Paul Richley, 7m
24- VR MIRRORS FZ - Suzy Williams, 3m
25- SPING - Paul Richley, 3m
26- INNERVU - Paul Richley, 1m
27- BELLZ - Paul Richley, 2m
28- THE CELLULAR PHONE - Dahvi Bologh, 5m
29- I'M IN THE MOOD - Bryan Konefsky, 5m
30- SEVENTH IRIS DARK - Jared Busch, 15m
31- INNER BEAUTY CONTEST - Elric Kane, 4m
32- PRECIPITINS - Elric Kane, 4m
33- KAREN'S NODULES - John Trubee, 4m

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