Show Times: The International Experimental Cinema Exposition

, Beacon Correspondent/strong

Wheat field waves ripple in the dying rays of the sun. A rundown Volkswagen sits, rusting away. Inhabitants of a remote mountain village retire after a long day of labor. These are just snippets of some scenes that stray far from the traditional films played at your local movie theater.

Students can to experience this cutting-edge cinema tonight when the International Experimental Cinema Exhibition (TIE) comes to the Paramount Theater’s Bright Family Screening Room.

Christopher May, film curator and founder of TIE, will be showcasing archived avant-garde films that focus on bringing a common concept to the screen: the beauty of the simple things in life that are often overlooked.

The exposition’s films mostly lack clear narrative, instead celebrating the formal elements of cinema that May was drawn to when he first started going to the cinema at the tender age of five.

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“I would have trouble understanding the movie plots. I was more interested in the thrill I got when the lights started to fade and the curtains started to open and the sound that you get from the fluttering of the projector of the 24 frames per second. Those were the things I was paying attention to,” said May in an interview. He described the films he’s drawn to as “artwork of painted poetry on the screen.”

May founded the TIE non-profit organization 11 years ago near Boulder, Col. with three of his colleagues to raise awareness of the restoration projects of avant-garde film. This is done, he said, to appreciate the technical work that goes into making a film.

May said he believes that today we become too absorbed in fast paced, conventional movies and forget the raw beauty that exists beneath it all. He curates his exhibitions to remind people to take the time to appreciate the visual art of cinema in its purest form and its potential to depict life as it truly is.

emValev can be reached at nancy_valev@emerson.edu/em

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