Day 6: Hour 15 Showcase is Set to Shock Your Senses, A Foreign Exchange and An Alternate Reality Showcase New Realities and A Closing Ceremony That You Won’t Forget

Staring off bright and early at 10 am at the Carbondale Community Arts Center Artspace 304 is the Saturday Morning Cartoons Animation Showcase. The Showcase will be featuring animated films of all kinds that all can enjoy. You don’t have to be a kid to appreciate what we have in store for you this morning. The films being screened are: Corky, Sunny and Gerd in Spring Cleaning, The Puppy Trials, The Art of Aping, Stars, The Three Siblings and FireFire. 

The Foreign Exchange Narrative Showcase will take place at 11 am-1 pm at the SIUC Mass Communications Soundstage (Room 1116). The Big Muddy Film Festival not only stands for independent cinema, but we also aid in showcasing cultural stories from around the world. Living in Southern Illinois, the world can see so small when we only focus upon our little region. The best thing about The Big Muddy Film Festival is the way in which we showcase the lives of people that live in worlds outside of our own. We are the platform for filmmakers to extend their voices and illustrate the ways in which they lives their lives and their overall experiences.

Pale White is the story of a young girl and her brother attempting to build a kite and is part of the governing space on girls and children in the traditional Afghan society.

No Place Like on the Road, Balint Mark Turi, is interested in developing and creating stories by interacting with elements of its creation. His main interest was in telling a story from the main character’s point of view through digression into his cognitive processes (dreams, thoughts, memories, etc). This process resulted in this film.  No Place Like on the Road is about a young man, Nándi, who returns to his homeland after several years of abortive wandering across Europe. He ends up in a situation where he has to come in terms with his life.

After that showcase, from 1-3 pm at the SIUC Mass Communications Soundstage (Room 1116), An Alternate Reality begins. This film showcase depicts the ways in which our reality sometimes blends in with the virtual worlds we have created for ourselves online. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Internet, in general, has changed the way we see both ourselves and the world around us. These films attempt to decipher and draw meaning from these new worlds we have created.

Director, Laura Iancu, is  a visual artist working primarily in non-fiction, experimental and animation video forms, with an expanded practice of installation, photography, and graphic design. I am foremost concerned with the impulses behind the digital conservation of matter (an archival tendency) and the problem of mediation as highlighted by the conflicted relationships that emerge between subjectivities on different sides of lenses and screens (attunement, voyeurism).

Minerals and Butterscups is a film about viewing, vision and preservation made around unceremoniously manipulated diary entries of John Ruskin.

In cosplay of the Japanese cyber diva Hatsune Miku, the director, Ann Oren, moves to Tokyo, seeking an identity in the world of Miku fanatics, where she is drawn into a love affair with one of the fans. Miku is a Vocaloid, a vocal synthesizer software personified by a cute animated character. Her entire persona: lyrics, music and animation – is fan created, and that’s her charm. She even performs sold out concerts as a hologram. By transforming herself into a Miku character through cosplay, Oren enters a world of real hardcore fans where fantasy is more real than reality and the differentiation between the two becomes obsolete.

Oren states that, “the phenomenon of cosplay, as performed by M, the film’s protagonist, has become a global hot topic. Cosplay has surfaced in surprising areas, from a Louis Vuitton runway collection to a public gathering in Tahrir Square during Comicon. The unabashed pleasure of taking on fictional identities is definitely part of the zeitgeist.”

The World is Mine examines the performative nature of cosplaying – dressing up and playing the role of fictional characters – as a hybrid space where reality blurs into fetishistic fantasies and pop culture clichés. Combining fan-made lyrics and songs, Oren’s trials and tribulations in the fictional Miku world unfolds through vague erotic episodes and encounters with characters whose ontological status remains mysterious, bringing to mind the adventures of a modern Alice in a virtual Wonderland.

Oren believes that even though “we may not yet be attending concerts where the performer is a hologram in the west, we do have conversations with customer service computers and Siri all the time. We play virtual tennis on the Wii platform and rock out with Guitar Hero. Even games of chance like Spin-the-bottle or the I-Ching have been transformed into phone shaking apps.”

The World Is Mine explores these issues by asking several questions: is living one’s life deeply immersed in fiction all that different from how we are on social media already, performing our best selves? Maybe a hybrid fantasy/reality world can make us happier? Is this phenomenon a tremendous loss or is it simply where things are headed in the future and we might as well embrace it?”

These are the questions driving the film.

Later on at 3 pm, Big Muddy alum, Diana Galimzyanova’s film, The Lightest Darkness, will be screening at the SIUC Mass Communications Soundstage (Room 1116). It is the first ever female-directed Russian film noir with reverse chronology and is about a neurotic private eye who struggles to finish the case takes a train voyage as his own dark secrets begin to reveal themselves.

Warning: The Hour 15 Showcase is a compilation of strange adult-oriented short films. This showcase is not for kids!  Only those 19 and over can attend this screen. This feature of alternative programming includes animation, narrative and experimental shorts that deal with sexual themes, frank sexual discussion, nudity, strong language, and graphic violence, but many, if not all of them, are its programs are also aesthetically experimental, transgressive, improvised, and surrealist in nature. This showcase will take place at Pinch Penny Pub from 3-5 pm. 

The films screening are: North & Nowhere, Conditioner, Breakdown, Professional Cuddler, Big Little Sky, Be Able, Isolamento, In a World of Bad Breath, and The Story of Everything. 

Our closing ceremony will occur tonight from 6-9 pm at the Guyon Auditorium in the Morris Library.  At our closing we plan on announcing the winners, showcasing the past and honoring not only our founder, Mike Covell, but also the Big Muddy Film Festival in general as celebrate it’s 40th year. There will be food, films shown and there will even be a cash bar available.

We welcome students, faculty, alumni and community goers alike to come on out as there will be food, film, fun for everyone as we take a trip down memory lane to remind everyone of all that the Big Muddy has done for not only Carbondale but the Southern Illinois region.