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MadCat Film Festival Celebrates Female Avant-garde Filmmakers

The MadCat film festival continues the tradition of pushing the
forum for women filmmakers.

What a night it was at the Parkway Theatre with the premiere of
six local and international short films accompanied by inspiring
directors. If you’ve never been to the MadCat festival before,
you’ve truly missed out on a tantalizing display of work by some
wonderful female filmmakers.

The screening was entitled “A Turning Point” with feature films
from Taiwan, Korea, Italy, the U.S. and Australia.

In chronological order starting with my favorite, here’s a

First, The Waves! director Yael Brahas produced a stunningly
beautiful ode to the life of statues that made them seem even more
breathtaking on 35mm than in person. Traveling between her homes in
Rome and Oakland, Brahas brings to life the frozen figures of
Willie Mays, Joan of Arc, St. Francis, and Bernini’s Angels though
the narration of the statues’ historic past. Picture Joan of Arc
looking down at you, speaking in a French accent, telling you of
the pain of her heroic life while never budging form her high
horse. Brahas said that much time went into personifying the
statues, making each one a character with a distinct outlook upon

Next, was a short entitled Homecoming that was jumpy in a sort
of “we just got home from work and decided to dress up in a bear
costume” way. A bear named Sisco drinks a soda pop and then we meet
his friend the crow. This film didn’t go anywhere but was just so
darn cute that no one seemed to mind.

Dust by Korean director Yae-Hee Hong follows the splitting
moments of a housewife’s day-to-day boredom of a life spent inside
cleaning. Hong shot in black and white photography, emphasizing the
stillness of the woman’s soul as she cleans the house. Once her
husband leaves, she cuts her hair, veils her face and sits and
waits to be buried in dust. This film was perhaps one of the most
somber of the evening.

I’VE GOT TO GET OUT OF HERE by Alison David reminded me all too
well of my times spent living on campus in Olney Hall. This film
uses jotty animation to capture the terror of not being able to
leave your room so strikingly, it was scary.

Each film illustrated a unique view of the many driving forces
in our lives and collectively had much to say about the current
artistic concerns of women today. If you missed the festival this
year, stay tuned, the avant-garde Film Club with support of film
studies professor Ken Burke are working to bring MadCat back to
Mills in the spring.