FILMS

Cimmerian Darkness

2011/2017, 8 min. 35mm/color

 

A Manhattan writer and intellectual (Matt Mullin) is seemingly at odds and isolated from the world around him, although his paranoia may not be unfounded in this silent existentialist thriller.

Matt Mullin in Cimmerian Darkness.  © Copyright 2017 by Max Alvarez

A Film Over the Eyes

2000/2017, 6½ min. Super-8mm-to-digital/color

 

A man (E. Tom Geniusz) purchases a newspaper and goes through the grueling process of reading its heartless economic headlines, which leads to intellectual reverie as he finds himself inextricably linked to the problems facing 1990s Clintonian society. Filmed between 1993 and 1995 on Milwaukee’s East Side in the old Kodachrome S8 process, a series of political graffiti-laden newspaper boxes influenced Alvarez’s first “real” film.

E. Tom Geniusz in A Film Over the Eyes.  © Copyright 2017 by Max Alvarez

Smart Bombs

1991-1994, 7 min./B&W. Super-8mm-to-digital

 

Filmed entirely on August 17, 1991 in Los Angeles, Smart Bombs is a grim collection of newsmagazine images of the so-called "Gulf War" of 1991. Propaganda photos from corporate newsweeklies are intercut with unofficial views of wartime carnage in this indictment of the brutal invasion and the media's complicity in it. Edited in Milwaukee in October 1994, the controversial film was finally screened in Washington, D.C. in early 2001.

VSDA

1991, 2½ min./B&W. Super-8mm-to-digital

The August 1991 Video Software Dealers Association (VSDA) convention in Las Vegas, NV provides a bizarrely comic setting for this silent documentary short. The camera captures candid glimpses of video store owners posing at promotional booths, including booths designed to simulate the U.S.S. Enterprise of Star Trek and the Bates Motel shower of Psycho IV: The Beginning.

Woman Waiting for a Bus

1990, 2½ min./B&W. Super-8mm-to-digital

 

A woman (Judy Selbst) peruses a newspaper and its leering advertisements as she waits for a bus on Pico Boulevard in Los Angeles. Alvarez’s longtime fascination with the effects of commercial media on consumers anticipates A Film Over the Eyes and was edited entirely in the Super-8 camera.