First Look 2017 to feature array of Moving-image art
by Jennifer Khedaroo
Jan 03, 2017 | 5387 views | 0 0 comments | 556 556 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Image courtesy of AFC–Austrian Films
Image courtesy of AFC–Austrian Films
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The sixth annual First Look Festival, featuring art across various mediums, will take place between Friday, January 6 and Monday, January 16 at the Museum of the Moving Image.

The showcase will feature global moving-image art from 20 countries, such as films, virtual reality experiences and a video game. Nearly all of the works will be New York premieres.

First Look 2017 was programmed by Chief Curator David Schwartz, Associate Film Curator Eric Hynes, Curator of Digital Media Jason Eppink and guest curator Mónica Savirón. The Festival has continued its partnership with FIDMarseille, a French festival, with Festival Director Jean-Pierre Rehm appearing in person.

“We are excited by this year’s lineup for First Look,” Schwartz said. “One of the strongest undercurrents in the work this year is the notion of empathy and engagement, the way that filmmakers and their subjects relate to each other.”

“All of the work in First Look is idiosyncratic and unique, inspiring strong responses from the audience, Schwartz added. "It will be a great two weeks of discovery and discussion, as many of the filmmakers will be here to present their work.”

Emerging themes for First Look 2017 include works that use audio as a central element. On the other hand, works such as ‘Between Fences,’ ‘UFE (Unfilmevenemente),’ ‘Helmut Berger,Actor’ and ‘Silencio,’ explore the experimentation of theatricality and performance.

Hynes was proud to work with some of the most exciting developments in film and visual media and artists like Charlie Lyne, Ognjen Glavonic, Takehiro Ito, Eleanor McDowall, Kazik Radwanski, and Christopher LaMarca.

“Numerous works, through the use of sound, subtitling, and various recording devices, interrogate and even reinvent the cinematic space, while others, such as the video game and VR pieces, transcend cinema entirely," Hynes said.

For the first time, the festival will showcase the two new virtual reality experiences and the video game, ‘Chalo Chalo.’ All three exhibits will commence on opening night. ‘Chalo Chalo’ is a minimalist tactical racing game for three to eight players, where users can plan a route and navigate their racers across various landscapes.

The 10-minute virtual reality experience, Irrational Exuberance, is set on an asteroid in outer space. Visitors will experience a mysterious, zero gravity playground without any particular goal.

The world premiere of the virtual reality experience ‘A Short History of the Gaze,’ will be haunting. The exhibit is a virtual reality essay that looks at the history and its long relationship with violence. ‘A Short History of the Gaze’ only responds to where your gaze lands, implicating you, the looker, in damning and often unsettling ways, festival organizers said.

Director Alexandra Cuesta explores Ecuador and its people in 'Territory' (‘Territorio’), which will air on Sunday, January 8 at 2 p.m. Cuesta studied film with the legendary filmmaker James Benning, and her visionary work carefully emphasizes the contract between both sides of the camera.

Focusing on subject matters that most of us are aware of but hardly pay attention to, director John Wilson will be on hand to screen his various films on Friday, January 13 at 7 p.m. Wilson’s short and quirky films like ‘How to Walk to Manhattan,’ ‘How to Live with Bed Bugs,’ ‘How to Act on Reality TV’ and ‘Los Angeles Plays New York,’ feature a dry comedic counterpoint that many could relate to.

Experimental filmmaker Ken Jacobs will screen his new films on Saturday, January 14, including the U.S. premiere of ‘Reichstag 9/11 .’

‘The title aligns the Neo-con anticipated ‘new Pearl Harbor’ with the infamous Reichstag fire the Nazis exploited to solidify their power,” Jacobs said. “The images of Reichstag 9/11 are derived from eyewitness recordings on the web. Deception upon deception, this time optical.”

Other works in the festival include ‘After the Storm,’ ‘Out There,’ ‘Fear Itself,’ and ‘Boone.’

To see the full schedule and for ticket information, head to movingimage,us. With the exception of Opening Night, tickets for First Look films will be $15 each. Tickets for Opening Night January 6 screening of After the Storm and reception will be $20. A First Look Festival pass, good for admission to all films, is available for $45.

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