Iowa Arts Council
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Iowa Arts Council

Creativity Abounds In ‘Film Lounge’ Season 3

An astronaut’s adventure into a wormhole. A ballet company’s daily routine. Two cowboys in a world that doesn’t make sense.

The stories vary in the third season of “The Film Lounge,” but one thing remains the same: Iowa filmmaking is as creative as ever.

“Every new round of ‘The Film Lounge’ submissions renders new discoveries and surprises,” said the show’s executive producer, Chuck Czech of Iowa Public Television.

IPTV co-produces the show with Produce Iowa and the Iowa Arts Council, and Czech interviews each of the contributing filmmakers to produce short introductions to each entry.

“What struck me on our third season is the different ways films were seen in Iowa,” he said. “This year’s films were connected to film festivals, arts festivals, gallery showings, music contests, student projects and team development efforts. This season really demonstrates how film has found its way into different aspects of our lives.”

Iowa City filmmaker Joshua De Lanoit, for example, produced a music video that stitches together quilt-block animations of the singer.

“I was trying to take something digital and make it more textural,” he said. “I thought it was a unique way to show the passage of time.”

He is eager to show his work to a broader audience and, in turn, see what other films Iowans are creating.

“‘The Film Lounge’ is a really cool idea,” he said. “It’s a great way to see and hear different voices throughout Iowa. It brings together a lot of great storytellers, all in the same room.”

Many of the filmmakers plan to attend this season’s two watch parties, on Jan. 31 at the Fleur Cinema and Café in Des Moines and Feb. 2 at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls.

But if you can’t attend in person, you can also catch the two new hour-long episodes on IPTV. Here’s a quick look at the lineup:

Season 3, Episode 1
10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 3, on IPTV

“The Spaceman,” by Tarrell Christie of Cedar Falls, follows a young African-American astronaut into a wormhole and examines the challenges he faces back home.

“The Art of Living,” by Jack Sarcone of Dubuque, focuses on three Iowa artists who use art to build community in their small towns.

“Proving Ground,” by Jeffery Byrd of Dubuque, presents a Surrealist dream, capturing an act of performance art on film.

“Portrait: A Ballet Film in Four Movements,” by Jack Meggers of Des Moines, was created during the filmmaker’s six-week residency with Ballet Des Moines, when he recognized the dancers as both artists and living, breathing works of art themselves.

“As Above, So Below,” by River Glen Breitbach of Rickardsville, is a music video of the filmmaker’s own folk-pop song, which was loosely inspired by philosopher Joseph Campbell’s philosophical book “The Hero with a Thousand Faces.”

This episode also includes a spotlight interview with Ann Hornaday, the chief film critic for The Washington Post, who discusses the role of critics and how her own approach is influenced by her Midwestern roots.

Season 3, Episode 2
10 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10

“Time is a Sh**ty Friend,” by Joshua De Lanoit of Iowa City, is a music video set to a song by the Iowa City musician Elizabeth Moen, who appears in an animated shape-shifting collage that represents the passage of time.

“Continuity Cowboys,” by Matt Sindt of Iowa City, follows the struggle of two cowboys, caught in a standoff as continuity errors make their lives much more difficult.

“Paintallica,” by Kaitlyn Busbee and Jamie Boling of Iowa City, is a documentary about a world-famous artists’ collaborative that visited an Iowa City festival to make a ruckus and make some art, including rough sculptures chainsawed from tree trunks.

“Extravision: The Dark Where I Could Only See,” by Bruce James Bales of Des Moines, is a music video produced in collaboration with Ryan Stier that traces the start-to-finish evolution of a relationship, from the first flickers of subconscious recognition to the last traces of memory.

“Creativity,” by Tiny Circus of Grinnell, uses interviews and stop-motion animation of ordinary objects — pills, plates and other household items — to explore how creativity pops up in all of our lives.

This episode also includes a behind-the-scenes look at an independent film called “The Burial,” by Iowa filmmaker Jack Meggers, which was shot in a remote corner of northeast Iowa.

— Michael Morain, Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs

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