So, let’s talk about Hilary Goldberg‘s recLAmation, a feature-length genre-hopping experimental documentary-slash-fictive narrative shot on Super 8, in which capitalism in contemporary Los Angeles is overthrown, and queer superheroes — one of which there’s a more-than-decent chance I inhabit via Gaylord Wilshire, spandex tights and flame-retardant cape notwithstanding — navigate a possible future.
Yes. Yes, let’s talk about it. I spoke of its unique tripartite structure in a previous post, though in brief : In the first two sections, Consumption and Colonization, personal narratives interact with moving images of contemporary Los Angeles, stop motion animation, and sound design. Writer/director Goldberg’s memoir unfolds, offering reflections on time spent with her mother’s violent fiancé and in a mental hospital.
The filmmaker’s recollection of forced institutionalization is as poetic as it is poignant.
[ An excerpt ] :
“There were no ‘Please Do Not Disturb’ signs on the doorknobs because it was too late. Ghosts haunted the halls, moaning and groaning with each unbearable second. People cried and screamed and urinated on the floor. A man continuously kicked himself in the head with his bare foot. Others paced quietly, then dropped to the ground in fits of madness with intervals like a John Cage composition.”
As with the stark black and white film stock utilized in Goldberg’s neo-noir project In The Spotlight, the employment of Super 8 — an anamorphic film format known for producing a unique dream-like quality, as if everything is coated in an amniotic haze; it’s also believed to invoke feelings of nostalgia for the viewer, mimicking a sense of connection to the material presented — renders these passages particularly powerful.
Then? Then comes the third section : a fictional narrative envisions a dream of Los Angeles after it has been liberated from capitalism.
Preview, film stills, and contest info “beneath the cut” . . .