Thursday, June 9, 2011

Film Festival Kicks Off with Light Factory at Sacred Heart


The opening event for the Duluth International Film Festival was a music/film/art installation at Sacred Heart on 4th Street. I've heard much about groups recording here, including Alan Sparhawk and Low. I'd not been inside the sanctuary in perhaps a dozen years when we attended an art event there. I can't recall the last time I saw so many projectors in one place.

At the entrance a projector sprayed images on a large screen past which you walked to enter, your own body serving as screen or barrier for the brief moment you passes through the projected light. Inside the mood was gradually altered throughout the evening as the only lighting was candles, films projected on screens and the sunlight sliding in through the stained glass windows. The spaciousness yielded to much free movement within the luminous cathedral.

Another layer of impressions came from the music and sound provided by Tim Kaiser, Coleman Miller, Angela Brannon, Kathy McTavish and others. Early on I was listening as an evocative riff was being played on perhaps a guitar or synthesizer or some kind, with a chord structure like a familiar John Lennon tune, but it wasn't and as my mind wrapped itself around the song I realized it was a creative interpretation of the Monkees' "I'm a Believer." Kind of set me back in time a step.

The event had two aims. First, to kick off the film festival. The second aim was to make us aware of Life House, a Duluth program aimed at helping kids-at-risk.

Tonight's opening night film and party features the film Sing Your Song, Harry Belafonte's story. Belafonte's daughter Gina, who produced the film, will be on hand for a Q&A session afterwards. The after-party will feature bossa nova and Calypso style music by Buffalo Moon. Too bad some of us have to get up and go to work the morning after.

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