PXL THIS 18, the 18th annual Fisher Price toy camera film festival, will screen in Santa Monica at 7 p.m. Monday, March 9th at the Unurban Coffeehouse, 3301 Pico Blvd.
Admission is free. Pre-show starts at 6 p.m. Information, (310) 306-7330, or www.myspace.com/sevendudleycinema/.
This year’s festival entries come from New Zealand, Canada, Czech Republic and across the U.S.
The entries from Canada include Clint Enns, whose “An Exploration Into Digital Representation” renders how pure light is interpreted by the PXL-2000, says festival director Gerry Fialka.
Another entry is Will Erokan’s “I’m Not Beer,” which reconstructs Todd Haynes’ Bob Dylan film, with Robert Dobbs channeling five satellite conductors including Arthur Kroker and William Irwin Thompson, unveiling the hidden effects of the news humming celebrity culture, Fialka says.
Geoff Seelinger’s “Birdly” takes flight with other worldly imagery, and Donovan Seelinger’s “Watery Camera” enters the PXL lense through the eyes of a frisky four year old, Fialka says.
From New Zealand, Ashby and Parkhurst’s “The Trimorphic Hypotheses” imagines what it might have been like if Teshigahara had directed an episode of “Lost In Space,” Fialka describes. The filmmakers have developed a process of de-digitizing video using the “PXLvision Reduction system,” which Fialka says is a post-production feature that turns the crisp, high-definition video of today’s technology into the coarse, low-resolution of yesterday’s lost artistry.
Other entries, Lisa Marr and Paolo Davanzo, teach history and playfully entertain in the lively “The Fruit of Love.” William Rees and JoEllen Martinson’s “Tape Eleven” combines fashion and PXL.
An entry from the Czech Republic, Michael Koshkin’s “Does This Look Sexual?” follows the transformation from prey to predator of a guy who happens to be at the wrong place at the right time, says Fialka. Edited in Prague, this Chicago post-Neorealist film stars three experimental Chicago poets and also includes music by indie folk artist, Peter and the Wolf.
The film “Postcard From Hell” by Mr. TV features ex-Saint of the Church of the SubGenius Janor Hypercleats as a street puppeteer conning pinks, Fialka describes. “Selection ’08,” another entry by the filmmaker, finds Venice Boardwalk performer Janor Hypercleats, contributor to The Book of the Subgenius, exposing political corruption, he said.
Clap Off They Glass Productions sponsors the annual PXL THIS festival, which was established in 1991 and is considered the oldest festival of its kind in the world. The festival prides itself with no corporate sponsors, no color brochures, no big shot movie director board members, no ticketmaster access and no competition, Fialka explains.
PXL THIS, which has been featured on PBS, IFC and National Public Radio, has screened at MIT and other major venues across the U.S. 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 records sound and image directly onto audio cassettes. This failed toy was only made in the U.S. from 1987 to 1989, and Fialka says it “restores a certain humanity to the overpowering technology of video.”
Filmmaker Bryan Konefsky said Pixelvision is “the haiku of cinema — the minimum of means delivering the maximum of meaning. The PXL2000 toy camera’s limited image-quality forces moviemakers to focus on essentials, and thereby to produce a richly connotative cinematic experience.”
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, (310) 247-3016 ext. 387, or the archive’s Web site at www.oscars.org/filmarchive/.