Julie Murray studied Fine Art in Dublin, Ireland and moved to the US in 1985. She has made more than twenty-five films and digital artworks since 1986 which have been exhibited at numerous international events including the New York Film Festival, the Hong Kong International Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, The Centre George Pompidou (Paris), and Redcat (Los Angeles). Her work has been featured in two editions of the Whitney Biennial and is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Murray has had numerous solo screenings at venues around the world including Media City Film Festival, Pacific Film Archives, the San Francisco Cinematheque and Cinematheque Ontario (Toronto).
Screening introduced by Albert Alcoz
- FF (1986) Super 8, 24 fps, color, sound, 10' FF is around three years' worth of collected footage culled from all sources in a variety of formats, from dumpsters to video. It is put together in such a way as to provide miniature, almost instantaneous fictions, confined and numerous, where meaning can occur between the frames as much as it might in the frame. Overall, the film could be described as a visual assault as well as a reference to the invasive nature of the act of taking photographs and more abstractedly with the problem of image or picture functioning as representation of some or all aspects of an object or thing.
While the movements and the pace of the film are structured as to suggest relentlessness and insistence of control, the assembly of images therein serve to illustrate the nervous breakdown of the characters represented as their actions, forced into exact repetitions, lose their original expression and take on a new, more ominous existence.
The original condition of the found footage (damaged, scratched, etc.) and the method and process of rephotographing it is intended to be as much a vital part of the film as is the content re-represented. (FF is originally known as Fuck Face).
- Tr'Cheot'My P'y (1988) Super 8, 24 fps, color, sound, 4'
TR'CHEOT'MY P'Y is a three-and-a-half minute hiccuping audio news segment to which footage from many sources is loosely choreographed. The film is intended as a portrait of the body and embodiment, systems of information and representations of the body itself.
As the creamy-voiced news announcer trips over news items in and out of sync with the background beat, the visuals are treated in such a way as to reduce the complexity of individual gesture and action to a simple and finite set of rather robotic movements. In this way, there is then little difference between the rhythm of the pornographic sexual encounter and that of the cartoon sports characters, implying a lack of difference in the potential meaning of these individual actions. This is further emphasized by the fragmented and repetitious voice of the announcer, which, while utilizing a small and specific range in modulation, conveys no sense of being conscious of the tragedy of the events recounted.
The sexually/surgically suggestive title has some of its vowels removed in reference to the idea of vowels being holes in the body of the word itself.
"I laugh with my mouth because that is the only way." –Goofy
"Sumu ya nena ni nena." (A poison for a word is a word) –Swahili
- A Legend of Parts (1988/94) Super 8, 24 fps, color, sound, 10'
A LEGEND OF PARTS presents a history of civilization condensed into ten minutes in a less-than-historically-accurate manner where the actions of the prehistoric animals changing into those of sociopolitical "man" careening towards the organized chaos of ultimate annihilation become hopelessly confused and reversed; where the random energy of lightning itself is endowed with the colors of the flag.
In a somewhat cartoonish and childish manner we are asked to ponder our gaseous beginnings and subsequent evolution while at the same time are offered the position of spectator in space and with that, the illusion that in this position we are arbiters of world events since we see and are shown so much. We have forgotten for these moments that we are silent, absorbing and not administering. We are permitted to forget also that we ourselves are part of the unconscious of these systems, that we are the scurrying insects watched in fascination.
The film, then, is the result of the tapping of the image and sound bank of a brain that has spectated and speculated silently all things relatively equally and is now expelling a composite of these pieces of information in the following Tourrettescopic manner.
Fragments of live footage combined with found footage and that of 3-D animated postcard images coalesce through the trusted, though not always trustworthy, medium of film.
- Conscious (1995) 16mm, color, silent, 10'
In this montage a melding of camera original and found material hints at a realization which is evident only in the fissures of splintered associations. Obscured among visceral absurdities and lightweight witticisms there seeps a viscera, an acrid recollection, coiled in the intangibles of puzzled shadows.
- Anathema (1996) 16mm, color, sound, 7'
Doubt assails the doctor and his assistants, who, through ritualized posturing, admit themselves to an arena of abject violence to inherit the disease they believe to be death. Home spun film footage reveals a number of points in this ceremony where through feeble act and over-wrought desire contamination mortifies catharsis.
Screening format: HD 2K (National Film Preservation Foundation)
Special thanks to Julie Murray