Varsity Theater, 123 E Franklin St, Chapel Hill, NC 27514
Nightlight, 405 1/2 W Rosemary St, Chapel Hill, NC 27516
PROGRAM 1: Forms are Facts
Curated and Introduced by Rachael Rakes
This lecture and screening is about how gestures and movements can operate on the idea of a document. We will look at several distinctive recent works that focus on form and performance in order to remediate histories and present politics through different terms of understanding. Each of the artists deals with different conditions and conceives of different approaches, ranging from forms of assembly, language, expression, and revision, and interacting with the inherited historical framing of “the real” in important, insurgent ways
Oneyka Igwe, Steffani Jemison, Ja’Tovia Gary, Regina Jose Galindo
The works discussed and screened in Forms are Facts include: Onyeka Igwe’s Specialised Technique, which returns to archival portrayals of West African dancers from the British Colonial Film Unit, structurally returning the agency over representation to those depicted; Steffani Jemison’s Sensus Plenior, which continues the artist’s unique investigation into alternative and hidden language and movement forms in Black American history and life through a portrait of the leader of the Master Mime Ministry of Harlem; Regina José Galindo’s El Gran Retorno, which stoically captures a performance of mundane assembled refusal in the center of Guatemala City; and Ja’Tovia Gary’s An Ecstatic Experience, which uses found footage in different temporal registers, — current-day protests, an archival account of a Black church service, a Ruby Dee monologue, an Assata Shakur monologue — to stir together a whole new profoundly moving, and mobilizing form.
Oneyka Igwe, United Kingdom, 2018
RT: 6:00 minutes
Steffani Jemison, USA, 2017
RT: 34:00 minutes
El Gran Retorno
Regina Jose Galindo, Guatemala, 2019
RT: 13:00 minutes
An Ecstatic Experience
Ja’Tovia Gary, USA, 2015
RT: 6:00 minutes
Lecture and Screening are co-sponsored by the
Hanes Visiting Artist Lecture Series and Cosmic Rays.
Rachael Rakes is a curator, arts writer, editor, film programmer, and educator. Rakes ongoingly researches tools of ethnographic refusal in visual and audio practices, and forms of radical abstraction and coding in art and everyday life.
She is currently Curator for Public Practice at BAK basis voor actuele kunst, Utrecht, an Editor at Large for Verso Books, and a Programmer at Large for Film at Lincoln Center, New York—where she co-curates the annual experimental nonfiction festival Art of the Real. Until 2019, she was the Head Curator and Manager of the Curatorial Programme at De Appel, Amsterdam.
Rakes is co-editor of the publication Practice Space (2019, NAME/De Appel) and has recently contributed criticism and essays to Art-Agenda, Artforum, and The Village Voice, among several other publications and catalogues. From 2011-2017, she was an editor at The Brooklyn Rail. Recent exhibitions and programmes include DECODERS/RECORDERS: Steffani Jemison and Samson Young (De Appel/Looiersgracht 60, Amsterdam), Relational Capacities (Frame Contemporary/Amos Rex, Helsinki), On Watching Men (SAIC, Chicago), Dark Progress + Uncontained Energy and Contained Fear (Tabakerlara, San Sebastian), CAMP: In Cameras Res (De Appel), The Health Show II (A.I.R., NYC), In Between: Tacita Dean (Centre Pompidou, Paris), EVAN IFEKOYA: A Score, A Groove, A Phantom, A Congregation (De Appel), On Documentary Abstraction (Oolite Arts (Miami), Estructuras de la Razón (Walgreens, Miami), BEN RUSSELL: It is Here, It Will Last Forever (De Appel), and Formal Complaint (Knockdown Center, NYC).
Rakes has taught on documentary aesthetics and socially-engaged art at The New School and Harvard Summer School. She has advised for Sandberg Institut, Amsterdam, and will teach a course on time-based essays in Spring 2020 for the New Centre for Research & Practice.
PROGRAM 2 (Part I): Curious Fantasies
Amour Pour Une Femme
Emily Eddy RT: 09:13
A collaboration between Emily Eddy and Natalie Chami (TALsounds), commissioned by Chicago Film Archives for the 2019 Media Mixer. Human bodies, animals, children, and plants undulate together on rapidly changing frequencies. Between landscapes of anger and sexual desire, a white-hot climax builds under the surface.
Oh My Homeland
Stephanie Barber RT: 04:00
Oh My Homeland, while being simply a shot of Ms. Price’s face as she receives the applause and before returning to the role, expands with the unaltered meditation on the shot. The transformational power of art for society and the maker alike; the implication of Ms. Price’s race and the context to which she dedicated her life; the staggering political implications of the Verdi aria (a mournful and complicated love letter to Aida’s homeland) in a time in which love of country is hard to muster.
It Matters What
Francisca Duran RT: 09:06
A collaboration between Emily Eddy and Natalie Chami Absences and translations motivate this experimental animation in an exploration of the methods and materials of reproduction and inscription. The inquiry is set within a framework of practical and critical human relationships with other-than-human-species elucidated by the theorist Donna Haraway.
A Woman In Trouble is a Temporary Thing
Karen Yasinsky RT: 07:00
A fictional portrait film including Victoria Legrand set in a flat dystopian space. I was thinking about Philippe Garrel’s portrait film of Nico and Jean Seberg and Friedl Kubelka’s films. Opens with a scene from Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev, tempered by an animated disintegrating cobweb.
Jesse Mclean RT: 08:10
The descriptive language of celebrity perfumes serves as inspiration and source material. Give us your songs, your smells and we will give you everything. The rich get richer, everyone smells poorer.
My Favorite Object
Meredith Moore RT: 04:54
Any object, intensely regarded, may be a gate of access to the incorruptible eon of the gods. (James Joyce, Ulysses)
When It is Still
Anna Kipervaser RT: 10:00
An enactment of transmutation, of the animation of the previously inanimate, the dead, the unborn. A rebirth of the self.
Francesca Talenti RT: 06:30
Seeing music flow: one continuous charcoal drawing, reinterpreted as a digital film.
PROGRAM 2 (Part 2): Films by Naomi Uman
Naomi Uman RT: 06:30
Using a piece of 1970’s porn film, nail polish and bleach, the filmmaker has created a new pornography, one in which the woman exists only as a hole – an empty, animated space.
Naomi Uman RT: 06:00
A love story in three parts. This film tells of a woman’s journey of love, with nostalgia, pets, places and men.
Hand Eye Coordination
Naomi Uman RT: 10:00
An exploration of manual manipulations upon the film body, examining the cinematic result of mechanical interventions. This film tells the story of its own making.
On This Day
Naomi Uman RT: 04:00
On This Day presents snapshots of a Ukrainian wedding. The film examines my personal relationship to the subject, and reveals a secret I had kept hidden during the making of the film.
PROGRAM 3: Live Cinema Program + After Party
Alex Mackenzie RT: 20:00
Phosphene 2 X 16mm performance. Using carefully orchestrated lens interference with colour gels, frame-edge masking, vignetting and glass objects, Phosphene induces a variation on closed-eye vision and non-light hallucination: a subtly immersive and sublime sculpting of light. Created with a series of film loops rendered individually with sprayed paint, scraped and abraded softened black emulsion, pin and hole punctures, india ink craquelure and meticulous frame by frame application.
Alex MacKenzie is a Vancouver-based media artist working primarily with 16mm analog film equipment and hand processed imagery. He creates works of expanded cinema, light projection installation, and projector performance. His work has screened at the Rotterdam International Film Festival, the EXiS Experimental Film Festival in Seoul, Lightcone in Paris, Kino Arsenal in Berlin and many other festivals and art spaces worldwide. Alex was the founder and curator of the Edison Electric Gallery of Moving Images, the Blinding Light!! Cinema and the Vancouver Underground Film Festival.
Liquid Conglomerate Presence Cycle
MSHR (Brenna Murphy + Birch Cooper) RT: 40:00
MSHR improvises with cybernetic instruments through a sequence of gestural interfaces. The systems used in the piece are based on feedback between light and sound and the physical interaction of the players with their unique instruments. These instruments are designed and constructed by MSHR, combining handmade analog hardware and programmed software instruments. MSHR act as agents within a synthetic ecosystem, improvising inside the electronic frameworks they have constructed.
MSHR is the art collective of Birch Cooper and Brenna Murphy. The duo collaboratively builds and explores sculptural electronic systems that take shape as installations and performances. Their practice is a self-transforming cybernetic entity with its outputs patched into its inputs, the resulting emergent form serving as its navigational system.
In the past year, they have performed for Ruang Gulma in Yogyakarta, Neighbors in Bangkok, The Bangkok Noise Festival, Liquid Architecture in Melbourne, a Japan tour with Shinji Masuko and Moan, Coaxial in Los Angeles, The San Francisco Electronic Music Festival, Somewhere Else in Portland, The Moscow International Experimental Film Festival, De Player in Rotterdam, Cashmere Radio in Berlin, Canicas in Oaxaca.
The Sick Sense, Part 3
Brent Coughenour RT: 15:00
Phasing, color blending modes and the verbal transformation effect combine to create a sensory overload spurring a variety of auditory and visual hallucinatory phenomena and depth illusions, a series of techniques clinically proven to have salutary effects on depression, schizophrenia, obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronophobia, and other maladies of the mind.
Brent Coughenour is a media artist originally from the Motor City, currently based in the Golden State, whose most recent work incorporates computer programming for live manipulation of sound and image. He has presented his work at a variety of festivals and venues throughout the U.S. and internationally and is distributed by Video Data Bank.
Relicit: A Phantasmagoria
Melissa Ferrari RT: 35:00
Relict: A Phantasmagoria is an experimental documentary performed with antique magic lanterns and hand-drawn animation. Invoking the history of magic lantern phantasmagoria as an exercise in belief and perception, Relict considers the zeitgeist of pseudoscience, fake news, religion, and documentary ethics collapsed within contemporary cryptozoology.
Melissa Ferrari is an experimental animator, nonfiction filmmaker, and magic lanternist who seeks to acquaint folklores of the past with contemporary culture. Her practice engages with the politics of contemporary cryptozoology and skepticism, the history of phantasmagoria and documentary, and the mythification of current science and pseudoscience. Originally from Virginia, Melissa is now based in Los Angeles where she recently received an Experimental Animation M.F.A. from CalArts. Her films and magic lantern performances have been shown internationally in venues such as the Ottawa International Animation Festival, Hauser & Wirth, Ann Arbor Film Festival & Slamdance Film Festival. Melissa currently teaches at Whittier College and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.
PROGRAM 4: An Excavation of Us
Moon (for Alan)
Laurel Beckman RT: 01:45
An abstract tribute to Alan Turing (1912 – 1954), British mathematician, computer scientist, cryptanalyst, philosopher, and gay icon. A pioneer of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence (A.I.), Turing was instrumental in breaking the German Enigma code, an elliptical language based encoder (in-out, out-in, repeat), leading to an Allied victory over Nazi Germany. In 1950 he published a theoretical paper outlining an ‘imitation game’ for comparing human and machine outputs, now called the Turing Test. Later in life he turned to the understanding, through computing, of biological patterns in nature, followed by his criminal conviction of homosexuality, with court mandated chemical castration, and eventual suicide. As played out through A.I. and machine learning, the ongoing negotiation of what it means to be human features desire and will as precarious tethers to humans and machines on all spectrums.
If the edges start to hurt
Emma Piper-Bucket RT: 03:44
There is a big tree in Southwestern New Mexico where wild turkeys sometimes roost. The tree is near a house, and at dusk everyone in that house gets very quiet hoping the turkeys won’t get scared away and go somewhere else to sleep. As the birds fly up to the highest branches their wings flap, displacing the wind around them. The whole process can last an hour or more. This film was conceived under that tree, it is about staying supple after heartbreak and what happens when it snows in the desert.
The House with No Corners
Caitlin Ryan RT: 04:00
Known as the Devil’s House, the Town hall, and the Bull Valley Police Department. “The House With No Corner’s” observes the uncanny past and present of those who haunt a midwestern landscape.
Lilli Carré RT: 03:00
A forensic study of a private space.
Johann Lurf RT: 05:00
Can we believe our eyes? The short films of Johann Lurf often explore the enigmatic territory between the real and the perceived, challenging our senses to comprehend visions and sounds taken from the environment around us by means of subtle, beautiful trompe l´oeil effects. Cavalcade, equally dazzling in 2D or 3D, sees him make a direct intervention into physical space for the first time.
Daniel Robin RT: 11:00
In 1974 the local news station came into our home to document and learn about Jewish rituals. A narrative evolves about the formation of American Jewish identity, and transforms into an analogy for the current rise in nationalism and anti-Semitism in America and the world.
Wasteland No.2: Hardy,Hearty
Jodie Mack RT: 06:40
Garden ghosts flirt with the weeds of spring, cycling matter[s] and lives and deaths. From Felix Salten’s Bambi, chapter on Winter: “Can it be true,” said the first leaf, “can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we’re gone and after them still others, and more and more?” “It really is true,” whispered the second leaf. “We can’t even begin to imagine it, it’s beyond our powers.” “It makes me very sad,” added the first leaf. They were very silent a while.”
Pwdre Ser the rot of stars
Charlotte Pryce RT: 06:44
6 minutes & 44 seconds, sound, 16mm film transferred to digital format. The film depicts an encounter with a mysterious, luminous, electrical substance. Inspired equally by medieval accounts of visionary experiences and by 19th century photography of the invisible, Pwdre Ser joins Kirlian photography with hand-processed images. Pwdre Ser is the Welsh name for a mythical substance that has been observed by many since the 1400’s.
Bill Witherspoon’s Thoughts on Light and Electricity
Philip Rabalais RT: 08:17
A portrait of Bill Witherspoon, retired founder of The Sky Factory. Bill has been living alone out in the high desert of eastern Oregon for a number of years, surrounded by nothing but miles of sage brush. However, he is still involved in his company, and my friend and I were hired to visit Bill and create a “mission statement” video for The Sky Factory. “Bill Witherspoon’s Thoughts on Light and Electricity” is a reworking of the footage we shot for the marketing video. Rather than relegating the earth and sky to the status of “b-roll”, here they take on a lead role, reversing the structure of b-roll and subject. Bill’s presence, as well as the presence of the filmmakers, is felt as something fleeting.
Lines to color within
Matthew Wolkow RT: 06:50
EXT. DAY. MONTREAL. / On the outskirts of the metropolitan highway, a Mediterranean fig tree stands. / Said Ficus carica, this tree is the work of a 60-year-old Montrealer of Argentine origin. / The miracle of a backyard where three regions of the world meet. / The story of an observation.
Soetkin Verstegen RT: 05:00
Freeze frame: the most absurd technique since the invention of the moving image. Through an elaborate process of duplicating the same image over and over again, it creates the illusion of stillness. In this stop motion film, identical figures perform the hopeless task of preserving blocks of ice, like archivists. The repetitive movements reanimate the animals captured inside.
An Excavation of Us
Shirley Bruno RT: 11:00
The shadows of Napoleon’s army fall upon a boat traveling through the mysterious cave named after her legend Marie Jeanne, a female soldier who fought in the Haitian Revolution. It is this battle inside her cave that will become the most successful slave revolution in history.
I Say ‘See’ Twice In The Same Sentence, So Please Change To
Joshua Mabe RT: 04:30
“But to the end of time certain places of the world remain defined for him as the place where those sensations were; and his only possible answer to the question where anything is will be to say ‘there,’ and to name some sensation or other like those first ones, which shall identify the spot. Space means but the aggregate of all our possible sensations.” -William James
Eyes of Summer
Rajee Samarasinghe RT: 15:00
The Eyes of Summer was shot in the filmmaker’s mother’s village in southern Sri Lanka in 2010, immediately after the civil war. Together with family members, he developed an improvised story around a shy girl who becomes friends with a spirit, based on similar encounters from his mother’s childhood. A story from a repressed community that doesn’t seem to draw defined boundaries between life and death.
PROGRAM 5: Orbit
Scenes from the Periphery
Derek Taylor RT: 02:50
An aerial survey of the filmmaker’s place of origin, “Scenes from the Periphery” is a frame intensive search for home, place and direction. Edited in camera on Super 8, changing position two frames at a time, the movements of lines and masses offer a renewed look at this once lost but now rediscovered locale in a continuing quest for a sense of provenance.
Tomonari Nishikawa RT: 06:00
Shot with a telephoto lens from inside a cabin of Cosmo Clock 21, a Ferris wheel at an amusement park in Yokohama, Japan. The distorted image shows the structure of the Ferris wheel, focusing on the intermittent vertical movement, which resembles the movement of a film at the gate of a film projector or camera.
Standing Forward Full
Alee Peoples RT: 05:38
A helter skelter is an amusement ride with a spiral slide built around a tower. Like this film, an exorcism attempt of an unrequited desire, itʼs either moving too fast or at a complete standstill. Disorienting but exciting.
Aaron Zeghers RT: 10:00
“There is history behind it and the history becomes the story and the story becomes the pattern and the pattern becomes rigidity.” It’s stories that we tell ourselves that make us, create and destroy us, immortalize and misrepresent us, damn us. Through three successive generations, reflections of reality are dusted off, and presented as remaining fragments, archived via digital and analog processes. Fleeting thoughts on familial history, narrative traditions, human perception and “the story” from known and unknown sources. Here for now, gone later.
Dave Rodriguez RT: 03:35
T A R T A M U D E O–a Spanish word for “stutter”–traces the connections between language, trauma, and cultural memory in a Cuban-American family. Assembled from archival fragments–home movies, educational films about stuttering, anti-Communist propaganda–and refracted through methods of analog and digital synthesis, the work explores a shared loss of language between two generations–one spurned by violent revolution, the other by speech impediment.
The Air of the Earth in Your Lungs
Ross Meckfessel RT: 11:00
Drones and GoPros survey the land while users roam digital forests, oceans, and lakes. Those clouds look compressed. That tree looks pixelated. A landscape film for the 21st century.
Wenhua Shi RT: 06:00
Wenhua took on a radical use of single frame image capture and examines his strange and familiar hometown in China, which he has been away from for nearly two decades. The film title comes from postwar Japanese avant garde artist group Gu-Tai. The kanji ( Chinese) used to write ‘gu’ means tool, measure, or a way of doing something, while ‘tai’ means body. The film is the result of intense looking and seeing what might not be there.
Bitter with a Shy Taste of Sweetness
Saif Alsaegh RT: 08:47
Bitter with a Shy Taste of Sweetness contrasts the fragmented past of the filmmaker growing up in Baghdad with his surreal California present. Through poetic writing and jarring visuals, the film creates a calm and cruel sense of memory and landscape.
Tess Martin RT: 06:49
Spinning drawings guide us along the flow of energy through our planet, and let us ponder our place in the natural cycle.
Mike Gibisser RT: 04:40
A motion study of passing time. Shot using a hand-built camera, 35mm film is drawn past a thin vertical aperture, organizing the image temporally. Familiar objects dissolve into abstract lines unless in motion past the lens, their shape determined not by their physical features but in the speed of their movement.
A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message
Rhea Storr RT: 12:00
Celebration is protest at Leeds West Indian Carnival. A look at forms of authority, ‘A Protest, A Celebration, A Mixed Message’ asks who is really performing. Following Mama Dread’s, a troupe whose carnival theme is Caribbean immigration to the UK, we are asked to consider the visibility of black bodies, particularly in rural spaces.
Jonathan Furnell RT: 02:42
BLICK is an environmental lament, in the vein of black metal. An angry planet filled with beauty and terror will destroy us.
Jeremy Moss RT: 14:20
Grain size criteria. Pixels in space. The earth spins while bodies and cameras wind and rotate on its surface. Sand particles infest recording devices scratching unravelling celluloid. The camera and its operator transform from seers to ecstatic performers.
PROGRAM 6: Autopoiesis
As if Standing on Fishes
Jenny Stark RT: 03:00
The video, in part, is a response to Cy Twombly’s untitled “Pond” paintings and the poem scribbled on one of them: “Moving Forward” by Rainer Maria Rilke. I started the film as a response to the news that my former hometown of Houston, where the paintings are located, was underwater. A story of simultaneous disasters, both natural and private, and the tenuous boundary between distant lived events.
Lana Caplan RT: 07:15
#aerialskiers #SeoulWinterOlympics #divers #LeniRiefenstal #Olympia #OpticalIllusions #SpeculativelyGeneratedOuterSpace #SelfHypnosis #SunRa #SpaceIsThePlace #4ECognition #AssaultByHashtags #MeToo #BlackLivesMatter #StillMarching #GiletJaune #Brexit #IdeasofUtopia #AfroFuturism #AryanRace #HashtagActivism #YouAreASystem #ConstantlyBuffeted #Maintain
An Optical Printer Duet
Jon Behrens + Caryn Cline RT: 03:20
Two filmmakers. Two direct animation strategies. Two optical printers. One roll of 16mm film.
I Touched Her Legs remix
Mike Hoolboom RT: 07:20
Eva Marie Rodbro’s embedded ethnographic maestro short, originally shot in Brownwood, Texas in 2009, is given a fan remake. Night vision animal life and teen hangouts conjure a temporary and fragile collective, while conversation fragments, alternately performed and raw, shouted and whispered, collide.
Here You Can Only Gain Respect by Killing Other Men
Renee Lear RT: 06:24
This video is made by weaving together parts of the final fight scenes from all three of Sergio Leone’s Dollars Trilogy films: A Fistful of Dollars, For a Few Dollars More and The Good, the Bad and the Ugly “Here you can only gain respect by killing other men” is a line spoken about 10 minutes into A Fistful of Dollars. It sums up the narrative, the why-things-happen, of all the films in the Trilogy. In a sense, in a line (or as a title) it dispenses with the why, leaving the what, the wonderful stuff – both material and temporal – that makes the films what they are rather than what they are about. Reimagining a bit of this stuff is, in part, what my video enacts.
Shelly Silver RT: 03:38
In 1959, Jean Seberg stares into Raoul Coutard’s 35mm camera lens and then turns – the closing frame of Godard’s Breathless is the back of her head. For the film it is a closing. For her character it is less clear. Is it a refusal? A denial? A shying away from? An admission of guilt or not caring? A disappearing act? In 2017 on the streets of Berlin, twenty-three women, friends and passersby, reverse Seberg’s action.
Raw Materials for A Theory of The Young-Girl
Lydia Moyer RT: 07:04
Psychological speculation on the roots of Ayn Rand’s philosophy become intertwined with Tiqqun’s theories of late capitalism and the formulation of the young-girl, culminating in a roll call of contemporary public figures who are on record as having been influenced by Rand’s ideas.
Talena Sanders RT: 04:37
Stemming from a found archive of decades of footage documenting the lives of the patients and employees of one of the oldest mental health institutions in the US, Eastern State seeks the moments when the source materials start communicating something outside their intended purpose. Bringing these images into dialogue with Barbara Loden’s 1970 film Wanda through digital video corruption, VHS artifacting, stroboscopic effects, direct animation, and overlays, this found footage collage film considers the fidelity of nonfiction media to represent lived experiences of isolation.
Zachary Epcar RT: 08:03
The reenactment of a scene from an early episode of Melrose Place opens this domestic psychodrama, a look into the horrors of interior decoration and the boundless entanglement of things.
Fixing a Hole
Pierre Ajavon RT: 03:10
By trying to fix a hole to stop my mind from wandering on the other side… Electronic music composition mixed with a lunar sound recording from NASA.
So Many Ideas Impossible To Do All
Mark Street RT: 11:00
A year before her death, Barbara Hammer asked me to work on a project she’d envisioned based on her correspondence (1973-85) with Jane Brakhage. She also gave me outtakes from her 1974 film “Jane Brakhage” and told me to let the project take me wherever it led. What emerges is a portrait of Barbara as a brave and vibrant artist and a complex and nuanced long distance friendship.
Jackie Goss RT: 07:10
“Failing Up” describes career advancement despite bad decisions, bankruptcies, and intellectual mediocrity. In this short film, the Manhattan real estate holdings of the King of Failing Up are catalogued and synced to a soundtrack that suggests how it feels to be one of his subjects.
A Fixed Answer
Brittany Gunderson RT: 03:00
Exploring identity through indecision, these ordinary spaces are juxtaposed with the personal and private, yet both have equal amounts of public analysis. Using physical objects as a way to separate the image from place and author from image, a commitment is made and dimension is formed. A fear of commitment thins itself out through the refusal of romantic and friendly gestures.
Lost Child Reel
Evan Morgan RT: 08:35
“The Lost Child”, a tune from the Stripling Brothers (1918-1936), passes through the prism of folk and ethnographic processes, digital and physical media, and never arrives. The first film in the American traditional music cycle “Variations On”.
On the Road & Other Places
Elizabeth Landesberg RT: 15:00
A conversation across time, space and the veil between a daughter and her late comedian father. Through personal and public archives, the filmmaker traces her own autobiography and reconstructs an image of her father as a man who both read her bedtime stories, and told jokes about her to strangers.