[DCIFF] Three Short Films

Last night at the DC Independent Film Festival, I had the chance to catch three short films, all of which deserve a much wider audience. I can’t write full reviews for all of these films (I also want to write a longer review of last night’s documentary feature, Desire), but all three are worth checking out.

Escape Velocity
Escape Velocity, made by visual artist and musician Scott Ligon,* was a subtly humorous animated autobiographical film about Ligon’s experiences with ADD. The film’s narrative and animation reproduce the stream-of-consciousness associative experience of having ADD, with Ligon postulating that ADD thinking may enable new connections to be made when ideas or thoughts collide in unexpected ways. Ligon’s film is visually compelling, and while it is an autobiographical film, it is also quite modest about Ligon’s accomplishements as an artist and musician. The film also features Ligon singing “Jackson Pollock was an Alcoholic” over the closing credits, which was pretty cool, too.

Somebody Loves Me
Stephen Valentine’s Somebody Loves Me follows the story of an itinerant DC blues musician, Prentis Richardson. The DV short follows Richardson to guitar shops, choir practices, tiny apartments, and lonely bars, where Richardson relates stories about playing with Barry White and James Brown. Whether the stories are true isn’t clear and doesn’t really matter, but the film offers a picture of a talented, self-taught musician who manages to charm and connect with others, while also charming the camera itself. Richardson, who ofetn played at Adam’s Morgan bar, Madam’s Organ, was recognizable enough in DC to even appear as a cover story for DC’s City Paper (presumably well before I moved to DC).

Nancy Kelly’s Smitten relates the story of Rene di Rosa, an independent art collector living in northern California’s wine country. Di Rosa is an intriguing figure, in that he once operated a winery but sold it to support his art collection habit, which grows out of the pure enjoyment of collecting and finding the new and undknown artist, and less out of a desire for status. But what I found fascinating was di Rosa’s aversion to using the labels that typically frame musuem pieces, and in his personal collection, which is open to the public, he tends to shun labels so that people will focus on the “art itself.” The film culminates in the curation of a national tour featuring some of di Rosa’s art.

* Corrected to remove link to photograph of a different Scott Ligon.


  1. LouLou Said,

    June 21, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

    The photo is a different Scott Ligon, I’m afraid. Scott of the Escape Velocity film has a picture of himself posted at his web site, http://www.ligon-art.com – The alt/country singer is someone completely different.

  2. Chuck Said,

    June 21, 2006 @ 2:18 pm

    That’s strange. I’ll correct that now.

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