Monday, April 30, 2007

Oberhausen launches Sherry Millner's restored Disaster

One of the highlights of the 53rd edition of the International Short Film Festival Oberhaunsen that starts this week (3-8 May) is a restored print of Sherry Millner's seminal Disaster. In 1975/76, while living in San Francisco, Millner produced what has been deemed the first situationist film made in the U.S.

Disaster, a two-screen, 30 minute, b & w Super-8 film, scripted and shot by Millner and Ernest Larsen, won a major prize at the Ann Arbor Film Festival. At the time, Hollywood was producing all-star blockbusters that depicted overwhelming disaster--like The Towering Inferno and Earthquake. Millner felt that the films exploited audiences’ ardent if repressed desire to see the present day metropolis torn to bits. Buried under such spectacular ruins was the real arena of disaster--so difficult to face--everyday life.

The quotidian--that panoply of humiliations (beginning with the alarm clock’s imperious summons each morning), routines, disciplines, distractions, and fantasies which sooner or later reconcile all of us to a regimen of delayed gratification. This was the site that needed to be excavated. Millner decided to take back the cinema for her own ‘cheapskate’ cinemascope disaster epic and to use two screens to animate the gulf that yawned between the two sites of catastrophe.

Further info +


An excerpt from the video 41 Shots by video Millner and Larsen.

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