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Connectivity through cinema: Stephanie Gray

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Join Mono no aware for an intimate screening presentation of recent works by Stephanie Gray presented with live poetry readings. Among the works being shown are several city-symphonies about her former hometown, Buffalo, NY; a film of a certain vanishing Coney Island; pockets of mysterious places in lower Manhattan; and atmospheric and wind-driven portraits of streetscapes in Queens and Chinatown. Her work is motivated by a sort of philosophical conversation with the city, “even if I don’t always know what it means or what it is, the filming makes sense of it in a kind of magic way. The city speaks and makes meaning, of both the past, present and future and where do memories fit in?” Her relationship with New York is intimate, and her ability to capture the subtle whispers amidst the chaos allows one to see the invisible.

Programme:
- Seeing Thru Buffalo(s) (12.45 min, color/b&w) – live reading 
Visiting a previous hometown after a long time, the downtown echoes messages remembered from the past, murky messages persevere for the future (and an indeterminable time of present. Thanks, Faulkner.) To see a city named Buffalo, to not see it but to see it and see something else, something you see and not see at the same time. It’s seeing thru buffalos.

- Also Known As (3 min, color) – live reading
Mysterious words, a stuffed animal and gleaned meaning appear through the city’s undercurrents. “Also known as” is also known as many other things in the depths of the super familiar.

- Balloons Tied (up) Your Sky (11.30 min, b/w) – live reading
Did they? These balloons tied up someone’s dreams, leading to mystic messages at the end that make it all make sense. Seeing through the mirage of the sky glimmering back at you through waylaid balloons and sparkle patches where you won’t remember seeing them.

- Caught in your Flickering Weather (11 min, color/b&w) live reading
Have you been caught in someone’s? The allure of these flickerings seem to lead to a message, to something being said. Written after and with inspiration from my friend Chris Martin’s poetry book, Becoming Weather, and inspired by its epigraph – “I keep trying to be honest in this glittering wind” by poet Alice Notley.

- SOMEDAY Behind Coney Island (11 min, b/w) – live reading
The first word of this title takes on more meaning with what’s happening now at Coney. While this was shot before the changing of Coney, now seems an appropriate to try to look back on it, on it all in slow motion. Something else though exists behind the theme park beyond the ride goers. SOMEDAY it will peek through.

- What You Thought you Knew / What You Knew You Thought (3 min, my last roll of Ektachrome) (silent) 
NY’s secrets full of mystery, color and real or fake memories between dulled sparkles. it’s what you thought you knew, what you knew you thought, what you’ve known, all along. What is the word for a story behind a story behind a story?

About Stephanie Gray:
Filmmaker Stephanie Gray is also a poet who is always indeed thinking “what we thought we knew/what we knew we thought” as a crux of what propels her to make super 8 films and write poetry. She has received a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship in Film, New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) Distribution Grant, and NYSCA Finishing Fund Grants.

Featured screenings include Maryland Institute of Contemporary Art, Schweinfurth Art Center, Microscope Gallery, Poetry Project, Millennium Film Workshop Filmmaker’s Cooperative at Angel Orensanz Foundation, Visual Studies Workshop, Mass Art, Squeaky Wheel, Le Petit Versailles and the Thaw Fest. Fests include TIE, Oberhausen, Viennale, Mix-NYC, CUFF, Iowa-Docs, VIDEOEX, Antimatter, Experiments in Cinema, Director’s Lounge, Black Maria, Chicago 8, Videomundi, Recontres Internationales Paris/Berlin, Media Art Festival Friesland, and Madcat Women’s International Film Fest. She has won film awards and honors from the Ann Arbor Film Fest, Cinematexas, Nashville Film Fest and Rutgers Super 8 Film & Digital Video Fest. Her film Dear Joan is distributed by Frameline.

Her collections of poetry include a book, Heart Stoner Bingo (Straw Gate Books, 2007) and a chapbook, “I Thought You Said It Was Sound/How Does That Sound” (Portable Press at Yo-Yo Labs, 2012). She’s read live with her films at poetry and fests including the Segue Reading Series (NYC), the closing night program of the Toronto 8 Fest in 2012, and Mono No Aware in 2010. Journal publications of her poems include Aufgabe, Boog City, Brooklyn Rail, Sentence, 2ndAvenuePoetry, EOAGH, and The Recluse.

Mono No Aware’s new screening series:
The Connectivity through cinema series will present the work of artists, film-makers and curators who are traveling or presenting special interactive programs in-person. Our hope is to engage the community by showing work with a focus on post-screening discussion.

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