Hosted in conjunction with Inclusive Arts London, London Ontario Media Arts Association (LOMAA) presents a selection of 16mm films by New York-based artist Jennifer Reeves. Featured is her 1996 film, CHRONIC, an elegiac and transcendent portrait confronting disorder, trauma, tragedy and loss. Both honest and unflinching, this semi-autobiographical portrayal of a young woman’s struggles and experiences with severe mental health issues is conveyed through an impressionistic style, collaging dream and memory while offering a profound message of resilience and catharsis through artistic expression. Accompanying the film are two other shorts by Reeves, exploring themes of queerness, longing and identity.
Admission by donation; $5 suggested, no one turned away.
Total duration: 63 minutes
For more information: Chronic: Films by Jennifer Reeves on Facebook
Content warning: this film may be difficult and/or triggering for some audiences; subjects include trauma, self-harm and suicide.
Monsters in the Closet
1993, 16mm, 15 minutes
Dirty little girl stories, girl gangs, and other tales from the closets of adolescence. (J.R.)
1996, 16mm, 38 minutes
CHRONIC is an experimental narrative about a young woman who began mutilating herself as a girl to cope with a traumatic mid-western childhood. The lush optically-printed scenes take Gretchen’s point of view from her punk youth, a stay in a mental hospital, and her release into the big city. Scripted scenes are inter-spliced with documentary and found footage, illustrating the culture Gretchen lives in, her inner world and relationships from her birth to her final day. (J.R.)
We Are Going Home
1998, 16mm, 10 minutes
Solarized, tinted, and optically-printed, this is a surreal portrait of desire, ghosts and pursuit of the sensual. Rhythmic color shifts in the emulsion bring life to the rural landscape, which seems to embody the terrain of the subconscious. Three women seek pleasure and the beyond in parallel universes, which never quite intersect. When one finds another, she is either buried in the sand or asleep under a tree.
WE ARE GOING HOME was shot at Philip Hoffman’s film retreat in rural Ontario. The film was made in the memory of Marian McMahon, an experimental filmmaker who died of cancer in the fall of 1996. (J.R.)
About the filmmaker:
Jennifer Reeves (b. 1971, Sri Lanka) is a New York-based filmmaker working primarily on 16mm film. Her work has shown around the globe from microcinemas in the US to the Berlin, New York, London, Sundance, and Hong Kong Film Festivals, the Robert Flaherty Seminar, the Museum of Modern Art, and at various universities and arthouse cinemas in the US, Canada, and Europe. She has had multiple-program retrospectives at the San Francisco Cinematheque, Kino Arsenal in Berlin, Anthology Film Archives, the London Gay and Lesbian Film Festival in the UK and a major 10-screening retrospective at the Era New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Poland in 2009.
Reeves has made 20+ film-based works dating back to 1990. Since 2003, she has collaborated with numerous composers, including Marc Ribot, Ikue Mori, Skúli Sverrisson, Elliott Sharp, Zeena Parkins, Anthony Burr and Eyvind Kang for a series of live multiple projection performances that have toured internationally.
She does her own writing, cinematography, editing, and sound design. Her subjective and personal films push the boundaries of the medium through optical-printing and direct-on-film techniques including hand-painting film frames. Reeves has explored themes of memory, mental health and recovery, feminism, sexuality, landscape, music, and politics in her films.
Reeves also teaches film part-time at The Cooper Union in NYC.