Artists' Television Access

Surveillance Times

The 10th Annual MadCat Women's International Film Festival

Friday, September 22, 2006, 7:30 pm, $7-

Surveillance/tune in

Renegade independent radio stations keep activism alive by stealing from the omnipresent corporate airwaves. Phone conversations are overheard and surreptitiously recorded. Ubiquitous video cameras capture a steady stream of unguarded moments. These innovative documentaries reveal the power of modern surveillance technologies, the incumbent whittling away of civil liberties and the upending of notions of privacy.

Tune In Esther Johnson (World Premiere)
Follow the fascinating world of amateur radio operators, better known as Radio Hams. Dealing with the politics of space and social communication, this film blends documentary and abstract audio to reflect a world that bridges both do-it-yourself and state-of-the-art technologies. 2006, 14:30 min , Color, 16mm, UK

The Intimacy of Strangers Eva Weber (West Coast Premiere)
A clandestine film crew prowls the streets of London capturing phone conversations that take place in public. Weber “steals” these intimate moments and explores the ever-shrinking gap between private and public spheres. She weaves seemingly random exchanges into a modern-day love story, from first attraction to bitter end, creating an anonymous dance of life, love, loss and hope. 2005,19:35 min , Color, Beta SP, UK

How Little We Know of Our Neighbours Rebecca Baron (SF Premiere)
This innovative documentary traces photography’s evolution from staid portraiture to the introduction in the 1880s of the handheld camera, which moved photography out of the studio and into the streets. For the first time, subjects could be photographed in public without knowledge or consent. Baron simultaneously investigates Britain’s Mass Observation Movement (MOM), the surreptitious use of photography to record and scrutinize public behavior. MOM was an eccentric social science enterprise founded in England in the late 1930s, which combined surrealism with anthropology. The film follows the history of the movement from its inception as a progressive, if naïve, “anthropology of ourselves” through its reincarnation as a civil spy unit during World War II, and its eventual emergence in the 1950s as a market research firm. Baron examines MOM’s history and the ways in which it is echoed in a range of present-day phenomena, from police surveillance to Web cams and reality television, illustrating how our notions of privacy and self-identification have changed. 2005 , 49 min , Color , Mini-DV , US

For a complete program go to

Co-presented by SF Cinematheque and The Exploratorium

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