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BASEMENT FILMS

 

documentary by

Elizabeth Lowe

(currently in production - March 2023)

2023 is the centennial of the 16mm film format. It also happens to be the 30th anniversary of Basement Films--a nonprofit that keeps dead technologies alive and thriving in the Albuquerque, NM arts community. 

 

Basement films functions as a micro-cinema, a community center for engagement with the cinematic arts, and an archive that is home to thousands of 16mm and 8mm films. 

The archive is part library and part museum. Each member of Basement Films has a cherished item or memorable story contained within its walls. Together, the team continues to create films and educate on the lineage of artists' moving image and current practices happening within alternative cinemas.

 

This film is being made possible with the Basement Films Artist-in-Residence  program and a National Endowment for the Arts grant.

DRIFT

(2020)

a film by Elizabeth Lowe

score by Calvert Cruz

This is the story about how cinema transformed one woman's life...

 

Drift  weaves together three themes: silent cinema, women filmmakers, and life after death. The film is heavily imbibed with religious symbolism and asks, "What is to be learned from a life devoted to the dance of light and shadow?"

 

Drift was shot on two separate continents with analog and video cinematography. It is digitally composited and edited into a visual river of multiple layers and gorgeous patterns! 

 

Drift has been taught at universities in the United States and Great Britain. It has also been shown at festivals including: Defy Film Fest, Enguage Experimental Film Fest, The Film and Video Poetry Symposium, and Les Femmes Underground Film Festival. 

You can watch the trailer here. Please inquire about screenings via email

HER PLOT OF BLUE SKY

 (2023)

 

directed by Kamila Kuc

 edited by Elizabeth Lowe

Fused with the poignant words of a Moroccan human rights activist Rachida Madani’s poem, 'Tales of a Severed Head', Her Plot of Blue Sky is a relational glimpse into the joys and struggles of a group of Amazigh women in a care home in Sefrou, Morocco.

 

While the women engage in creating visual diaries of their everyday lives, many of their experiences of abuse, alienation, loss and poverty, are captured in one particular resident’s story.

 

Like other women in the care home, Fatima too struggles to survive in a society that, more often than not, undermines women’s existence. By taking their own images, the women reclaim their power to be themselves. The images they create - of themselves and others - are playful yet harrowing, they point to the invisibility of women, non-hetero normative, neurodiverse, functionally diverse and elderly people in media more generally.

This film is currently in festivals. 

Elizabeth: I was inspired by Derek Jarman's Blue (1993). The way Jarman could transform the color blue and imbibed it with multiple meanings, giving it depth...It is with Fatima's story that I wanted to harness Jarman's energy and paint the film in varying shades of blue. As with Kuc's previous work, the ocean is an important persona in her films. I wanted to honor this sentiment by weaving waves and seagulls into the over creative montage of the documentary.

I worked with analog and digital mediums, sculpting the edit into a river of blue. 

Not Because You Can Hear, It Means You Are Listening (2022)

 

directed by 

Angela Rosales Challis

original score by 

Nate Anderson

inspired, edited, &

digitally composited by Elizabeth Lowe

This film is composed of handmade cinema where strips of 16mm found footage and 16mm clear leader were directly animated upon by painting, drawning, and scratching.

 

Elizabeth: The film strips were scanned and passed along to me. I edited and digitally composited this film for director Angela Rosales Challis of the BYU Kinnect Dance Company. I really loved visually mixing the layers together to honor Nate Anderson's score. In this sense, this film more closely resembles a visual, musical composition. 

 

It was then projected behind the dancers, who were also the artists that worked on the film strips, as they danced live to the score. You can watch it here.

 

Mindscape

Reverie 

(2018)

 

a film by Elizabeth Lowe

Mindscape Reverie is the result of three micro-films shot on 16 mm that have then been combined into a structural triptych essay.

 

The film combines digital compositing with 16 mm experimentation that encompasses collage montage, triple exposures of floating heads superimposed over wintry landscapes, and an homage to the phenomenal ending of Erich von Stroheim’s Greed (1924).

 

In this film Elizabeth explores surrealist montage and semiotics with a reading of an excerpt from Virginia Woolf’s “The Cinema.”

 

This film is as much a reflection on Elizabeth's film studies both as a student and graduate professor, as it is a requisite exploration of the feminine, avant-garde.

SEED 

(2017)

 

a film by Elizabeth Lowe

cinematography by

Eduardo Ayres Soares

 

featuring

James Westervelt &

Emily Luersson

Elizabeth: As an avid fan of Ingmar Bergman's Persona (1966), I still had my reservations. As I observed Anna sharing her memories of her day at the beach from years ago, it felt as if this scene was written more from a male perspective and lacked all feminine energy. 

 

Seed reimagines the moment of Anna's sharing of her darkest secret. I casted James Westervelt as Anna, in drag, to reflect my sentiment on Bergman's direction. The scene felt more honest this way. 

 

Seed is filled with playful and gorgeous camera work by Eduardo Ayres Soares. Elizabeth Lowe edited vivid montages playing homage to the wonderful and intricate opening and closing montages contained within Persona

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