Familiar landscapes become meditative dreamscapes when Phantom Theater’s winter partnership with the Big Picture Theater continues with Luminous Visions, an evening of five short art films by Montpelier-based filmmaker Andreas John on Saturday, February 17, at 7 p.m.
John began working in film in 2020. A cabinetmaker by trade, he brings his hand-crafted aesthetic to the screen. His use of medium and large analog formats distinguishes his pieces. His films have won multiple awards including “Outstanding Achievement, Experimental Short” at the Los Angeles International Film Festival.
John describes his filmmaking process as a living ceremony: “The experience for me is one of receiving an invitation, either from the choreographer, or a more subtle invitation from the location itself, the land, the elements, the play of light and shadow.”
Rather than imposing a narrative, John lets the story develop in situ. “A loose story arc is formed ahead of time,” he noted, “but I don’t work off a shot list or highly planned storyboard. Instead, I rely on intuition and inspiration of the moment in a collaborative process with the subjects, performers, and energetics of the place. Moving in a reciprocal relationship with a place opens the door to some of its hidden qualities and exquisite subtleties. In every one of these pieces something completely amazing and unexpected presented itself.”
Exploring themes of transformation, human connection, and the healing power of nature, several of the films feature Vermont-based choreographers Isadora Snapp and Hanna Satterlee. They are familiar faces at Phantom, having appeared in numerous performances over the years, most recently as members of the dance troupe, Lunch. Their programs often include their own short films, making the alliance with John especially fruitful.
John relishes the opportunity to work with these folks. “They are so willing to say ‘yes’ and completely immerse themselves in a piece of work, even with the wind howling and the light fading in sub-zero temperatures. I also find it a beautiful creative challenge to ask a story to come through with very little spoken word.”
There will be a Q and A with the director after the screening. Tickets are available at the door and in advance through sevendaysvt.com. For more information, visit big picturetheater.info or www.phantomtheater.org.