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Thursday, September 18, 2014 |  Madison, WI: 47.0° F  Fog/Mist
The Daily
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Wis-Kino gets 'complicated' for its spring Kabaret
View several films from the screening
<i>Waxwing</i>, a music video with commentary by John Feith
Waxwing, a music video with commentary by John Feith

By all accounts, the Sunday, May 13 screening of short films created for the spring Kabaret at Wis-Kino was an entertaining one, all nine completed entries convincingly incorporating the required theme of "complicated."

This rather abstract element was announced the previous Friday at the kick-off screening to the biannual festival organized by the local group dedicated to short films. A two-day frenzy of filmmaking followed, capped by the second screening at the Orpheum Stage Door theater.

I was unfortunately unable to attend the screening.

Thankfully, though, Kabaret participants John Feith and Angela Richardson were on hand, and provided The Daily Page a list and brief descriptions of the nine entries completed over the previous two days. Many of these shorts, moreover, are now available for viewing online.

These nine short films created for the 2007 spring Kabaret at Wis-Kino -- each riffing on the idea of "complicated" in one way or another -- follows below:

  • Real by Tona Williams
    This reflective short features a conversation between two characters, Feith notes, who are portrayed through a face-blending sequence of multiple actors.

  • Waxwing by John Feith
    Inspired by a poem in Vladimir Nabokov's Pale Fire, music video focuses upon cedar waxwings eating the flowers of a crabapple tree in the UW Arboretum. This serves as the backdrop to "running commentary by a deranged person," explains Feith, who also performed the music for it. "This commentator thinks that this video is brilliant," he quips in conclusion. The short follows:

  • Complicated Complications by Angela Richardson
    This entry featuring Cycropia Aerial Dance was shot in two locations. The first was at the amidst the crabapple trees at the UW Arboretum, and the second was at the State Street Center dance studio where the troupe practices on Friday nights. "Cycropia danced structured improvisations on the ground and in the air, riffing on the idea of 'complicated,'" explains Richardson, who also published a photo set from the shoot. The short follows:

  • Super Shooter 5 by Blame Society Productions
    Matt Sloan and Aaron Yonda return to their series featuring a gun-happy vigilante after leaving it on hiatus in the autumn of 2005. Each more-often-than-not mustachioed character is portrayed by the pair in the episode, which follows the titular character as he goes on the lam from the law. The film follows:

  • The Best Laid Schemes by Shelby Floyd and Shelby Falk
    Set to an acoustic folk song of the same title that's both written and performed by Floyd, this music video details the methodical construction of a house of cards around the central pillar of a can of PBR. The short follows:

  • Complicated Theory by Lucie Ferrari "A scientist becomes a giant after discovering some new energy harnessed by dancing," explains Feith about the short film, which ends with a sequence of breaking multilingual news reports from around the world.

  • Readvolution by Aaron Catalano
    In this short, notes Feith, "dinosaurs evolve intelligence by reading books."

  • Complicated by Rob Matsushita
    This short tells the story of "a drug dealer who decapitated her would be killer with a samurai sword" via a gunfight, describes Feith. Several photos from the storyboarding to the shooting of this entry (available here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) were published online by Emily Mills, one of its actors and an organizer of Wis-Kino's June screening.

  • Cottage Mill by RASH Films
    The final film screened for the Kabaret is actually a collection of four different elements, including the shorts Well, You See... and I'm Pregnant with your Jihad, which are book-ended mock trailers for the films Killer Queen and Bringin' Back 'da Sexy.

    Before beginning the Kabaret, RASH Films collaborator Josh Klessig and Sam Lawson decided upon creating a double feature. "Sam came up with the first short and trailer, and I came up with the second," explains Klessig in an introduction to the collection. "All together, this film (named Cottage Mill) has it all, children, murderous pop icons, sexyness, and jihad," he concludes. The short follows:

The next monthly screening for Wis-Kino will be at 7 p.m. on Sunday, June 17 at Escape Java Joint & Art Gallery on Willy Street, with an optional theme of "Photography."

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