Lunchtime Shorts: On the Edge

A special program of short experimental films, curated by Carole Zucker.

The Lunchtime Shorts Series is sponsored in part by Middlebury College

Carole Zucker is a Professor Emeritus of Film Studies at Concordia University in Montreal, where she taught for 35 years. She has published 7 books and is working on a biography of the acting teacher, Stella Adler. Zucker teaches acting workshops in Montreal and the Burlington area, and will be teaching acting for Film Production students at Champlain College.


Directors: Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy | Germany | 2012 | Experimental | 16 minutes

In the German Democratic Republic children played with dollhouses made to resemble the type of life they would one day grow up to have. Now many of these houses can be found for sale on Ebay or in collectors’ hands.
The dollhouses that survive do so as idealized images of a time and place that no longer exists. Through the words of their past and new owners, Eigenheim looks at the memories that once dwelled in these spaces to explore the remnants of a lost world..
About the Director: Anja Dornieden is a filmmaker currently living and working in Berlin. She obtained a Fulbright Scholarship to study at The New School University from 2007 until 2010. During her time in New York she started making her own documentary and experimental films in Super8 and 16mm.

I Was Here

Director: Phillipe Leonard | Canada/Quebec | 2008 | Experimental | 5 minutes

These images were captured during a long afternoon spent sitting in front of the Pantheon in Rome, paced by the sound of a shutter regularly opening and closing for long exposures whose duration was counted off in a whisper. At precise intervals, the photosensitive surface recorded the constant flow of tourists, people-watchers, cars and animals as they moved, stopped, gathered, and took photos. The historic building thus reveals itself as a magnet whose pull on people has lasted for centuries. I Was Here is a reference to the common phrase often found scratched on public walls, marks left as visible proof of a person’s visit to a place. Like that age-old practice, travel photography is an attempt to record a person’s presence in a particular place – a photographed place taken home as proof. The soundtrack comes from the same place, but from a different timeline: it was compiled from the audio tracks of amateur videos posted to YouTube. These audio snippets, all recorded in front of the same landmark, tell a collective story through each “I” that has recorded a visit to that same piazza. The clips of murmuring crowds were then edited and manipulated to give them a particular synchronization with the images.
About the Director: Philippe Leonard is a filmmaker living and working between Montreal and New York. His artistic practice explores still and moving images through film, photography, performance and installations emphasizing a hybrid approach between analogue and digital techniques. His theoretical and aesthetic reflections focus on the temporality and spectral dimension of physical spaces, sensory documentary practices and urbanism. Distributed by Light Cone and CFMDC, his work has been showcased in notable international contexts such as the Rotterdam International Film Festival (Netherlands), Festival des Cinémas Différents (Paris), Cineteca di Bologna (Italy), Festival du nouveau cinéma (Montreal), EXiS Experimental Film and Video Festival (Seoul), European Media Arts Festival (Germany), O ‘Gallery (Milan), Museo Nitsch (Naples), Edinburgh International Film Festival (UK), Annecy International animated film festival (France), Anthology Film Archive (NYC), etc. As a cinematographer, he is involved in artistic, documentary and commercial audiovisual projects, using a broad range of cameras and formats: Super 8, 16mm, 35mm, HD, etc. He is a member of the Montreal collective of experimental cinema Double Negative



Director: Shannon Harris | Canada | 2008 | Experimental | 9 minutesLacuna: 1. an empty space or a missing part; a gap; an absence. 2. a discontinuity in an anatomical structure.. A portrait of open-air theaters documented under the strange light of day, emptied of the once present hum of human voices, radioed-in soundtracks and tires on gravel

L’un Ne Va Pas Sans L’autre (One doesn’t Go Without the Other)

one doesn't go….
Director: Audréane Beaucage | France | Experimental | 7 minutes

L’un ne va pas sans l’autre is a 16mm, dance- movement film It concerns a journey to a mountaintop by a solo dancer, and two couples who act as his doubles. It is inspired by Japanese Butoh dance. The main character is an incarnation of the union between the anima and animus, somewhere  between male and female. His notion of self begins in water – in which he was born. Then  he becomes conscious of the outside world and loneliness, and finally comes to terms with his solitude and and grows into an independent human being.
About the director: Audréane Beaucage is a young experimental filmmaker from Montreal, whose work revolves around movement, light and nature. The Quebecoise filmmaker has made twenty films and video shorts.


Director: Christopher Becks | Netherlands | Experimental | 3 minutes

Working independently in two different cities, Peter Miller and Christopher Becks composed the elegantly intimate corps exquis Ritournelle: Miller created the melodic yet haunting soundtrack which Becks used as the inspiration for the 16mm film, set entirely in the confines of Becks’ Berlin apartment. The subtle beauty of light beams bouncing off the surfaces of the apartment’s rooms slowly reveals the spatial context. Circles of white light dancing across the darkness of the screen give the feeling of awakening in the early morning to glimpses of daylight sneaking through shrouded curtains. The audio track works in harmony with the soft imagery to create a lovely warmth, a respite from the frenetic action of the first three films which sets the tone for the quiet, focused observations that pervade the second half of the program. Becks is Canadian.

The Broken Altar

Broken Altar
Director: Mike Rollo | Canada | Experimental | 20 minutes

A portrait of open-air theaters documented under the strange light of day, emptied of the once present hum of human voices, radioed-in soundtracks and tires on gravel. Scripting the landscape and exploring the residue of a cinematic history, The Broken Altar forms a sculptural treatment of the architectural artifacts of these abandoned and barren spaces: speaker boxes rise from tall grass like grave markers and the screens themselves are monumental, sepulchral in their peeling whiteness.
About the director: Born and raised in Saskatchewan, Mike Rollo obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Film Production at the University of Regina and a Master of Fine Arts in Studio Arts at Concordia University. His work explores first person cinema and experimental approaches to documentary filmmaking. Rollo’s films and videos have been shown at festivals, galleries, conferences and venues internationally. His film Ghosts and Gravel Roads was recognized as one of Canada’s Top Ten Shorts of 2008 by the Toronto International Film Group and received the Mikeldi Silver Documentary Award at the 50th Edition of the International Festival of Documentary and Short Film of Bilbao. Mike Rollo is also a founding member of the Double Negative Film Collective, a Montreal-based group of film, video and installation artists interested in creating, curating and disseminating experimental film and video. Mike teaches film production at the University of Regina.

The Handeye (Bone Ghosts)

Director: Juan David González Monroy & Anja Dornieden | Austria | Experimental | 7 minutes

In early 20th century Vienna Robert Musil invited Sigmund Freud to partake in, what he called, “a very special séance”. Seated at the table Musil revealed that they were going to summon the ghost of Frans Anton Mesmer, discoverer of animal magnetism and forefather of hypnosis. Musil told Freud about a series of dreams he had which involved a talking flea. Musil, who had secretly become a follower of the imaginationist school of animal magnetism wanted to question Mesmer as to the meaning of these dreams, in which said flea foretold of impending catastrophes all over Europe. It is said that Mesmer obligingly appeared and spoke in a repetitive and oblique manner. Mesmer’s words were transcribed by Freud in several scraps of paper and hidden separately in a series of objects that, owing to the vicissitudes of history, would end up in the collections of three Viennese museums. Legend has it that he who could piece together the text would find instructions for the assembly of a film. We visited these museums and, unable to break away the objects from their glass prisons, have made an attempt to reconstruct the film, hoping that the magnetic force inside the objects would transfer to the film’s silver halide crystals, allowing us to make sense of the single written testimony left over from the séance. In her diary as the lone entry for that date, Eugenie Schwarzwald, the only other known participant wrote: “A distinguished flea hypnotizes the ghost of a distinguished man.”
About the directors: Anja Dornieden and Juan David González Monroy are filmmakers who live and work in Berlin. They met in New York where they both received graduate degrees in Media Studies from The New School University. Since 2010 they have been working together under the moniker OJOBOCA. Their work encompasses films, performances, installations and workshops. They have presented their work internationally in a variety of festivals, galleries and museums. They are currently members of the artist-run film lab LaborBerlin.

The Yellow Ghost

yellow ghost
Director: Guillaume Vallée | Canada/Quebec | Experimental | 3 minutes

Director’s note: Based on a Recurrent nightmare from my childhood, usually ending in night terror A yellow specter riding a horse, the filmstrip being destroyed by multiple expositions with a flashlight, hand-processing and a heavy noise soundtrack composed by Eric Gingras. Camera less film