AMERICAN INDEPENDENTSThursday, 21 January 2016, 10:30 pm

Following and Leaving the Roads

Thom Andersen »Get Out of the Car« USA 2010, 34 min, 16mm
Thomas Comerford »The Indian Boundary Line« USA 2010, 42 min, 16/8/S8mm on digital betacam

Introduction to the programme: Franziska and Sophia Hoffmann

In his film, Thomas Comerford follows a line on the map in the course of time. Drawn as a boundary between Indian and US-American territory in 1816, today it is a striking diagonal in the street raster of Chicago. During a stroll along its 12 miles – between Lake Michigan and Des Plaines River – we face American everyday life. While visiting the close-by parks and in the voice over there emerge last tenacious messengers of Indian history.

„In his most recent films, Chicago musician and filmmaker Thomas Comerford has been at work on a series of quietly-observed films that contemplate the entwined social, political, and environmental histories of Chicago (…) Through its observations and audio-visual juxtapositions, “The Indian Boundary Line“ (…) suggests how this land and its history are an index for the shifting inhabitants, relationships, boundaries and ideas of landscape – as well as the consequences – which have accompanied the transformation of the 'New World' (…)“ www.lightindustry.org/comerford

Thomas Comerford (*1970 Richmond, VA) is a filmmaker, songwriter, singer, guitar player and teaches at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC). Awarded by the Illinois Arts Council and the City of Chicago.

After his acclaimed 'Los Angeles Plays Itself' (2003), Thom Andersen again takes us on a journey through 'his' town. 'Get Out of the Car', shot on 16mm in 2010, is a more than obvious invitation to the audience to observe the metropolis, known for Hollywood, this time from the 'rear' by foot. Thus the camera roams through neglected corners and streets, encountering traces and details of a long gone past. Is there something like a hidden identity of this glamorous City of Angels?

“ (…) In „Los Angeles Plays Itself“, I claimed that the city is not cinematogenic. ‘It’s just beyond the reach of an image.’ Now I’m not so sure. In any case, I became gradually obsessed with making a proper Los Angeles city symphony film. (…) From the beginning, there were two other motives for the project: the desire to work again in 16mm film and the desire to explore the city. Why 16mm? I had made two compilation movies in video, and the quality of the image makes me cringe when I watch them (…)  – Thom Andersen “Get Out Of The Car - A Commentary” www.filmmakermagazine.com/GetOutoftheCar.pdf

Thom Andersen (*1943 Chicago) is a filmmaker, curator and (since 1987) professor at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Los Angeles. 2003 National Film Board Award for Best Documentary/Vancouver International Film Festival, 2004 Best Documentary/Village Voice Critic's Poll und Top Ten Films of the Decade/Cinema Scope Magazine


© Thomas Comerford

© Thom Andersen