Ecologies and Other Earthly Movements

Flaherty NYC - film screening and discussion Tue 1 Mar 2016 7.00PM-9.00PM Anthology Archives
32 2nd Avenue
New York City
Tickets on sale at the box office day of screening. Doors open 6:30 pm.
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Filmmakers Melissa Friedling and Cate Giordano in person for a post-screening discussion moderated by Flaherty Board President and Ford Foundation's JustFilms Program Officer Chi-hui Yang.

This program proposes that our changing relationship to the planet, and the alienated anxieties it seems to be producing, is not occurring without avid and imaginative human responses. We find ourselves in landscapes ravaged by an angry planet. We romanticize the vastness of our country-scapes even while creating closed systems of belief. In this program, speculation and satire function as salves for our ecological sorrows. Our bodies race and convulse beyond language as they inhabit suburban,urban and outer space, animated environs and America's mythological great plains.

This screening is co-programmed by Cauleen Smith and 2009-2011 Vera List Center Fellow Lana Lin,co-presented with The Flaherty.


Ditch Plains
Directed by Loretta Fahrenholz
(2013, 31 min, digital)
Shot in the East New York section of Brooklyn around the time of Hurricane Sandy, Ditch Plains is a dystopian sci-fi street dance film featuring members of Ringmasters Crew.

Garden Roll Bounce Parking Lot
Directed by Melissa Friedling
(2010, 4.5 min, 16mm)
Pop culture and land-use practices converge in Brooklyn, NY where a Bangladeshi family kept a thriving urban garden. In Garden Roll Bounce Parking Lot, a brother and sister share their memories of that garden which was recently leveled in order to make a parking space for their father's livery car. The kids recall the summer that the trellis for the climbing vines in their garden was woven out of a 35mm motion picture film (while also riffing on Selena Gomez, Michael Jackson, and Urdu-language children's songs). Bits of the film that were left in the street after the garden was cut down were optically printed. On inspection, it turned out that the found film holding up the garden was the nostalgic urban teen movie, Roll Bounce (2005) – the plot of which hinges around the closing of a local roller rink called The Gardens.

Shades of Shadows
Directed by Amir George
(2015, 6.5 min, digital)
Commissioned by Chicago Film Archives, Shades of Shadows is a collaboration with psychedelic soul band The O'Mys, that delves into spiritual mysticism and ritual sacrifice. Created with all archival footage, the characters in the film seek to manifest a better self.

Directed by Cate Giordano
(2012, 30.5 min, digital)
It is 1888 and all the buffalo are gone, leaving one of the largest cities in South Dakota empty. Now there are two residents left: Beau, a hunter once regaled for his 4000 buffalo pelts, and his disgruntled wife, Ruby. In the absence of buffalo to kill, Beau erects an enormous statue of a White Buffalo, while a horrified Ruby begs him to abandon his project. When an out ¬of ¬town preacher arrives with his brainwashed followers and destroys Beau's buffalo and steals his wife, Beau embarks on a journey to find the real White Buffalo. Shot 'on location' in New York City, Heritage is a melodrama about a man, played by a woman, who learns to deal with the reality of change and the freedom of being alone.


Loretta Fahrenholz (1981 in Starnberg, Germany) lives and works in Berlin. Recent films include Haust (2010), Que Bárbara (2011), Implosion (2011), Grand Openings Return of the Blogs (2012), and Ditch Plains (2013).

Melissa Friedling has been making films and videos for over 20 years. She is deeply interested in the subject of failure – in the unforeseen directions that failure leads to and the unplanned possibilities it opens up. Her work explores and embraces mistakes, misunderstandings, accidents, misfortunes, mishaps, misplacements, and misuses. She lives in Brooklyn and teaches filmmaking at The New School in New York City.

Amir George is a beaming spirit of light transmuting energy for the greater good. Practicing as a motion picture artist and film programmer, Amir creates work for the cinema, installation, and live performance. Born and bred in Chicago his motion picture work and curated programs have been screened in festivals and galleries nationally and internationally. In addition to founding Cinema Culture, a grassroots film programming organization, Amir is the co-curator of Black Radical Imagination a touring experimental short film series.

Cate Giordano is originally from Pensacola, FL, and currently works in Brooklyn, NY. Giordano shoots films, builds sculptures, and performs in various states of cross dress. Giordano's work explores a grotesque Americana by placing melodramatic narratives in loosely fabricated sculptural environments.


Chi-hui Yang is Program Officer for Ford Foundation's JustFilms initiative, a global effort that supports emerging and established filmmakers whose work addresses the most urgent social issues of our time. Yang has worked extensively as a film curator and educator; he is the former co-curator of MoMA's Documentary Fortnight and director of the San Francisco International Asian American Film Festival. He has taught as an adjunct professor at the Columbia Universty Graduate School of Journalism and Hunter College.

About The Flaherty
The Flaherty is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the proposition that independent media can illuminate the human spirit. Its mission is to foster exploration, dialogue, and introspection about the art and craft of all forms of the moving image. It was established to present the annual Robert Flaherty Film Seminar, named after the maker of such seminal documentaries as Nanook of the North, Man of Aran, and Louisiana Story. The Seminar remains the central and defining activity of The Flaherty. Other activities include: Flaherty NYC, a seasonal screening series showcasing innovative nonfiction media; Flaherty on the Road, presenting films from the Seminar at venues across the country; and the preservation and distribution of Robert Flaherty's Nanook of the North and Louisiana Story, as well as audio recordings from Seminar discussions dating back to 1958. For more information, visit