The films of Erin Espelie strike sparks at collisions between the scientific and the poetic. Her lustrous images experiment with representations of nature and light, sometimes in seemingly straightforward pictures of animals or trees in the “wild”; other times experimenting with matted frames and superimpositions. Her rich soundtracks create tensions with the images, finding the ironic contrast between traditional nature films with their anthropomorphizing tendencies against her poetical organizations and concern with language; other times crafting a bold layering of “natural” sonic possibilities. Conventions of science films fall asunder as a different form of nature film is built. Conventions of poetic films are similarly questioned through the regular referencing to the scientific. We’re delighted to host Erin Espelie, who also currently serves as the editor-in-chief of Natural History magazine, at the first screening of her short films in Los Angeles.
“My moving-image work spans the poetic and the scientific, which as the astronaut Mae Jemison said are both avatars of human creativity. So by exploring metamorphosis, or the effects of time on a planet, on a landscape, on an archival interview, on a historic icon, on a medium, or on a species (like a hummingbird or a human), then I can better understand where we’ve been, where we are, and where we might be headed—all inevitably different iterations of the same materials, subjects, and meanings.” – Erin Espelie, ("Landscapes & Language of the Anthropocene," Labocine Spotlight, 23 July 2017)
Erin Espelie is a filmmaker, writer, researcher, and editor, whose science-based experimental and poetic documentaries have shown at the New York Film Festival, the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the British Film Institute's Experimenta, CPH:DOX, the Copernicus Science Center in Warsaw, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and more. With a degree in molecular and cell biology from Cornell University and an MFA in experimental and documentary arts from Duke University, Espelie taught courses in environmental issues and the documentary arts from 2012 to 2015 at Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies, the Nicholas School of the Environment, the Department of Evolutionary Anthropology, and the Program in the Arts of the Moving Image. She currently serves as Editor in Chief of Natural History magazine, and works at the University of Colorado Boulder as an assistant professor in Cinema Studies & Critical Media Practices and co-director of NEST (Nature, Environment, Science & Technology) Studio for the Arts.
Tickets: Note the change in ticketing for our events at the Egyptian Theatre starting with this program. Advance tickets can be purchased for the Egyptian Theatre based shows on Fandango.com or in person at the Egyptian Theatre box office. The American Cinematheque is now handling paid ticket sales.