Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chicken and Waffles

Artful silent film about animal slaughter
to premiere at local filmmakers showcase.

Chicken and Waffles, Wednesday July 21, 7p.m. The Tivoli

Experimental Shorts - Theatre #3 - 7p.m.

The short film Chicken and Waffles, which premieres at The Tivoli as part of The St. Louis Filmmaker’s Showcase, is an artful report from the intersection of conscious eating, food politics, public art, and the reemergence of animal husbandry in the urban context.

The 13-minute silent film demonstrates three quick and humane ways to slaughter a chicken: the butcher knife, the cleaver, and the swift human hand. The animals are slaughtered, not only for the demonstration, but also to be fried and shared communally at Artica 2009, the annual public art event near the Saint Louis riverfront, the setting for the film.

Filmed not on the farm, in the factory, or in the supermarket, but on the urban riverfront, Chicken and Waffles re-imagines both the setting and the process of slaughter. The factory farm is the absurd. The country farm is out of reach. The concept of “City Fresh” emerges as a temporary and workable alternative to meeting a basic human need.

The film is a collaboration of local talents. Robert Van Dillen of City Fresh is executive producer and slaughter tutor, Mike Pagano of Staged Fright Media is director, Hugo Flemming shot and edited the film using the Canon 5D, Rats and People Motion Picture Orchestra wrote and performed the musical score that provides the only sound for the otherwise silent short.

The absence of a voice-over lecture leaves it up to viewers to infer their own conclusions, with the help of only a few caption panels, drawn in the style of old-fashioned silent film titles. Is Chicken and Waffles an educational film? Performance art? A political statement? These are some of the questions this brief, artful film leaves with its audience.

High Resolution Photos and/or a "screener" of the movie on DVD can be provided on request. Robert Van Dillen and Mike Pagano are available for interview.

Please email: paganopagano@gmail.com