Tuesday night in the Granoff Center, BMP and Preview hosted “Expo,” an event celebrating independent student media. The occasion featured work ranging from stop-motion animations and experimental films, to real-time music systems. Expo boasted work by student artists of all ages, ranging from freshman to graduate students.
The films were remarkably well done. The screenings were between one and seven minutes long, and divided into the categories of animation, narrative, experimental, digital, mixed, and documentary. The experimental films were gripping and, at times, a little hard to follow. A lot of the narrative films simply told great stories.
The only documentary was by Kent Smith ’16, who asked random people on the street to interview him in a “reverse documentary” style. The topics of the questions ranged from the government, to the Ferguson protests, to Smith’s favorite color.
I was genuinely frightened by a short film by Daniel Fethke ’15 titled “Michael the Mean Sawhorse.” (Note to self: never buy a sawhorse at a garage sale or it will rip out your intestines.) I was equally enthralled by “The Skin I Live In,” a film by Evan Silver ’16 that offered an intriguing commentary on identity. Meanwhile, my heart was broken by the unrequited love in “10:10,” a film by Pom Bunsermvicha ’16, in which two girls wait to be picked up at a train station.
In between the films were two student performances. The first was by electronic music PhD student Alexander Dupuis. The performance involved electronic sounds and moving images of shapes and circles flashing on the screen. The performance was intriguing, if not a little jarring.
The second was an impressive game of ping-pong designed by Abraham Peterkin ’17 and RISD graduate Sam Bellamy (’14); the game involved making sounds either by mouth or with a keyboard to move the ping-pong paddles up and down and hit the ping-pong ball between them. The performance was fun and clearly quite technically advanced.
All in all, it was a wonderful night of student film and performance. My emotions were dragged every which way, from terror to heartbreak to elation in the span of a few minutes. If you didn’t make it to the performance tonight, you can contact the individual artists, many of whom have their work posted online.