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Carleton professor has film screened at film fesitval

<rleton’s own Lewis Weinberg will have a slot in the 15th Annual Chicago Underground Film Festival and Filmmakers Summit lineup on October 29-November 2. The film, entitled “Future Antiquity: Domestic Surveillance,” is actually the 4th in a 5 part series of short films that together make up Weinberg’s 27-minute movie, “Future Antiquity.” The 8-minute segment that will be shown in the Chicago festival consists of a series of still photographs set to the foreboding voice of an ambiguous narrator. “I've been hired to follow someone I don't know, for reasons I don't care to know, by people I'm afraid to know,” explains the disembodied narrator as pictures of skylines, streets, men and women, bars, loan offices, neon signs, and graffiti flash by and fade in and out on the screen.

Weinberg, the Media Technologies Specialist and Team Leader for PEPS, says that the motivation for creating the film sprouted from a need to respond artistically to the political situation of the past several years. “I felt something important had disappeared from our lives,” he states. The film is his attempt to comment on the disappearance of this essential something, to make a statement about the “holes in sole” as he puts it, that are manifest in our society today. The film seeks to do this by raising questions not only about the surveillance that is done upon us, but about the surveillance we do on ourselves.

Weinberg has been involved in filmmaking nearly all his life. He began at 8 years old with what he calls ‘magic films,’ “I would make things disappear and reappear,” he remembers. He later took a cinema class in high school that gave him both the opportunity to create and an audience to create for, not to mention it got him out of taking P.E. Weinberg also states that during this time in his life he was somewhat troubled and that making movies is what allowed him to push on. “I think it was film that saved me,” he says, “both watching it and making it.”

Given this, it is not surprising that he finds self-expression to be one of the most important aspects of his filmmaking. “I’ve always made things not with the idea of making money from them, but with the idea that’s the way I could best express myself,” he explains. He also greatly admires self-expression in the films he sees. “One of the things I love about DVDfest,” he states, “is this tremendous explosion of creativity on campus…I’m looking for [the films] in which people truly express themselves. That’s what making videos is all about.”

In regards to “Future Antiquity,” Weinberg admits that it’s only second the time in his life that he feels he has completed a truly self-representative work of art. “I really feel that I gave it my all,” he states. “For better or for worse I think [this film] gives you an accurate picture of who I am artistically. Its strengths are my artistic strengths; its flaws are my artistic flaws.”

“Future Antiquity: Domestic Surveillance” will be the first film by Weinberg to have a spot in the Chicago festival. He is looking forward to seeing the reaction of a large audience, as most of the festivals and venues it has been shown in so far have been on the smaller side. One of these smaller venues was the Twin Cities Underground Film Festival. “I kind of shook people up a little bit with [the film],” he states in reference to the crowd’s reaction there. “It’ll be interesting to see it in a room with lots of people.”

Weinberg states that as of yet there are no plans to show the film on campus, but at some point he would like to have a showing here at Carleton of both “Future Antiquity” and a work he terms its “distant cousin,” a film entitled “The Sex Life of the Pyramids.”

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