Filmmakers Brian Comfort and David Bendiksen will screen their films, discuss their work, and answer questions.
Brian Comfort: Eminent Domain, 2012
Jim Bishop has been building a castle in the mountains of Colorado for more than 40 years. His seemingly limitless capacity for manual labor is matched by his fiercely opinionated diatribes about the state of the world today and how we got there. Weaving conspiracy theory rants with violent pleas for his newsworthiness and jokes about televangelists, Bishop regales, offends, entertains and frightens the thousands who come to his castle every year. As impressive as his castle is, more often the main attraction is the castle builder himself.
David Bendiksen: Lichtstark, 2014
A young photographer recovering from personal loss turns to his craft for consolation. Lichtstark is as much a short narrative as it is a meditation on the moving and still image. Shot in full-frame digital, Lichtstark uses a setup of vintage 1960s cine lenses as a "compromise" between film and digital cinema. Its title, translated literally, means "lightstrong," a term used to describe a camera lens's ability to illuminate and create an image.
Brian Comfort is an academic researcher, teacher, writer, and filmmaker. His film, Eminent Domain, premiered at the 2012 Boston International Film Festival, and his screenplay "Welcome to Rainbow Trout" was a finalist in the 2009 Ivy Film Festival competition. He is a doctoral candidate in history at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he is writing his dissertation on eccentric characters like the castle builder Jim Bishop, the subject of his documentary short. He hopes to incorporate documentary filmmaking as a means of presenting his historical scholarship.
David Bendiksen is currently pursuing a PhD in Comparative Literature at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, where he serves as a graduate teaching assistant while studying, translating, and making films. He received the 2014 University of Massachusetts Amherst Special Collections Fellowship in Digital Humanities for archival work of 1920s New England photography, on display now at Du Bois library. His scholarly and artistic interests include film materiality, Pictorialist printmaking, historical photographic and cinematic avant-gardes, and translation studies.