Three days of experimental films may sound intimidating, but the Takoma Park/Silver Spring Experimental Film Fest is actually rather accessible. Most films are quite short, averaging just over five minutes. And though there are few narratives to speak of, the films tend to be quietly poetic. Mimente features several minutes of river-based footage, documenting the details of a lazy summer stream and the people enjoying it. Staring Back offers a house’s point of view, peering through and around old windows with the ambient sounds of the outdoors warmly setting the tone.
Of course, not all the films are as subtle. Motions of Bodies takes the energy up a notch, offering a few dizzying minutes of found footage that comedian Benny Hill might have enjoyed. Taking a more psychedelic bent, Sun Moon Stars Rain is a hand-animated video collage set to the crazy sounds of Baltimore trance band Teeth Mountain. One of the longer films, Trace Elements, documents the process of sculpting object imprints with rust and decay.
The Experimental Film Fest runs the gamut, offering a broad assortment of films from all over—France, Canada, the UK, and here in the States—that simply wouldn’t fit in at other festivals. Considering it’s entirely free, it’s more than worth checking out.
The fest runs May 6-8 at the Pyramid Atlantic Art Center in Silver Spring. www.pyramidatlanticartcenter.org