Monday, September 21, 2009

Short Films You Must See: "Jennifer" (Stewart Copeland, 2009)

by James Hansen

Winner of Best Mini Doc at the 2009 Big Sky Documentary Festival and showing tomorrow evening as part of PBS's acclaimed POV Series, Jennifer explores director Stewart Copeland's relationship with his mother in both actuality and memory. Using a conversation between his mother's eighth-grade students and astronauts on the international space station, Copeland uses space as a purveyor of indescribable distance – both between the students and the astronauts, the living world and whatever else is out there, and Copeland and his mother. Wonderfully including segments of stop-motion animation of astronauts in space, Copeland shows that, while some things cannot be seen, anyone who is looking closely can still hear, feel, and love some thing, or someone, who may not be physically present. Managing a dialectic between the audio and visual components, Jennifer plays with not only Copeland's relationship to this personal film, but illustrates and challenges the spectator's relationship with Copeland, the rest of the audience, and the film experience itself. Beautifully rendered, quietly elegant, and subtly complex, Jennifer is a wonderful film and announces Copeland as a major talent to watch.

For more on Copeland and Jennifer, come back here tomorrow for an interview with the filmmaker. You can also visit Copeland's website for more information on his past, present, and future work. Jennifer will show with the feature Bronx Princess and another short So The Wind Won't Blow It All Away on September 22nd at 10 PM on PBS.

Jennifer from Stewart Copeland on Vimeo.


Brandon Colvin said...

Nice use of the Animal Collective tune.

I dig. I'm interested to see what he could do with a feature about his mother.

reassurance said...

I can't wait to read the interview.

j.white said...

I wish it went on longer!