On Tuesday evening, Proteus Gowanus featured three filmmakers in our screening, “The Wayfarers: Films on Solitary Migration“, part of the ongoing series based on Proteus’ year-long theme of Migration. All three films documented the diverse American landscape in their own way while revealing the directors’ intentions for embarking on their trips.
Kevin Gallagher’s piece about his hike through the Appalachian Trail evoked the idyllic, and at times hypnotic, feeling of traveling through the natural world on foot. While more of a structural film than the others, Kevin’s piece achieved a lot without saying much.
Bill Brown journeyed north from the Carolinas to present “The Other Side” on 16mm film, which documented his trip along the U.S. border with Mexico. Vanessa Renwick’s film “Crowdog” recounted a barefoot hitchhike she took around the States, at one point stopping to visit a Native American reservation in North Dakota. Both films pondered what means to be an outsider looking in on such distinct regions. Both filmmakers meditated on their experiences through narration, and both visited American landscapes where borders are part of an intense political and cultural environment.
During the post-screening discussion, “The Other Side” sparked a conversation about first-person cinema with a political viewpoint, and whether the filmmaker has a responsibility to be conscious of his or her own presence. In the end, Bill’s film had many layers of migratory imagery, including borderlines, meandering rivers, tracker trailers,and ultimately illegal immigrants. There was a lot to dissect, but surely not enough time to do it in one discussion.
Proteus would like to thank the filmmakers for submitting their work, and Bill Brown for appearing in person with his film.
The next screening in the series will be on Tuesday, April 3rd.