Artists' Television Access

A German and a Mexican Tour

Sunday, June 24, 2007, 8:00 pm, $6

A German and Mexican

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Straight from Austin, TX “A German and a Mexican Tour” showcases work from filmmakers Katja Straub and Miguel Alvarez.  Both love, tell and collect stories – narrative or documentary – always with an emphasis on visual exploration. Their rather non-traditional shorts range from personal documentary to narrative film, from experimental to cinema verité.  Drawing upon their unique cultural roots, Katja and Miguel offer up stories of Bavarian weather candles, inherited music toys in the forest of Latin America, imprisoned African magic in Berlin, and the like.

The Lineup:

All White People are French
documentary, 12min, miniDV (c)2004
The childhood memory told by an asylum-seeker living in Berlin. These stories of African magic meet drawings on the walls of a prison in Berlin, where refused asylum seekers are kept prior to their expulsion to their countries of origin.

The White Bunny
experimental short, 7min,16mm (c)2005
Explores the conscious and sub-conscious longings of the human mind, told through the story of a woman, an injured boy, a small girl in a red dress, and a white bunny.

documentary,13min, Super8 (c)2007
A documentary portrait of the filmmaker’s father and grandfather, two men whose lives are ultimately defined by the wars they’ve waged both abroad and within themselves.

You’re Not a Cowboy Unless You Got a Hat
documentary, 16min, miniDV/Super8 (c)2006
Explores the difference between German and American perceptions of the American West. The film follows three elder gentlemen who all claim to be cowboys. They talk about the cowboy mentality and lifestyle and how it feels for them to live in a world where these values are more and more shifting.

short narrative, 8min, 16mm (c)2005
A story, told through the eyes of a young boy, about the tendency that people have to ignore the lessons learned from allowing inhuman actions to pervade humanity in times of war.

The Greeting From my Mother
documentary, 12min, 16mm/Super8 (c)2007
Traces the sublime and almost invisible bonds of motherhood, daughterhood and sisterhood over “one hundred years and two world wars.” Notes of faith and the passage of time, are combined in a collage of images.

Katja Straub comes from Berlin.  She studied experimental media at the University of the Arts and worked as a scenic painter and art director before traveling to the US.  Miguel Alvarez comes from San Antonio. Depending when found, he is at times, an engineer, writer, or photographer. Both are award-winning filmmakers whose work has screened in the Museum of Modern Art, on PBS, and at numerous festivals around the world.  They met in 2004 as graduate students at the University of Texas at Austin and have been friends ever since.

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