The orbs

In Thorsten Fleisch’s five-minute Energie! (2007), an untamed 30,000-volt current exposes photographic papers that are then sequenced in a manner that suggests or reveals systems of electrons. Fleisch’s film is a blast. Its black-and-white lightning formations resemble angry veins in the eyeball of an electrical beast — and the veins in your eyes will sprout similarly after gazing at this strobe attack by Fleisch, a student of Peter Kubelka.

The orb that gradually rises to the center of the screen during Energie could be a ferocious cousin of the eclipse that forms the insignia for the digital projects of Other Cinema, Craig Baldwin’s space for visions in the Mission. It also serves as a core symbol for Other Cinema’s latest calendar-closing "New Experimental Works" program.

Here’s an orb, there’s an orb, everywhere’s an orb, orb! There’s one at the center of Shalo P’s Vengeance 2.0, which begins with a word of warning from Michael Jackson before mixing Bernard Herrmann’s score for Vertigo (1958) and numerous Batman symbols into a brew fans of Paper Rad and Michael Robinson might enjoy. There’s even a character named Orb in Apple, a sword-clanging, sprite-eared, and typically ingenious vision from "from the hideous director of Dawn of the Evil Millennium," Damon Packard, whose movies are as potent as laughing gas and better than all other drugs.

Eli Marias’ and Amos Natkin’s An Internal Camaraderie might not feature an orb, but its new age mix of hilarity and potent hypnotism includes just about everything else, including fluorescent rainbow colors, a sea of testifying infomercial faces, and one well-deployed white turtleneck.

Other highlights among "New Experimental Works" that this reviewer was able to see include: Roger Deutsch’s Act Your Age, where a pencil is not just a pencil; Tony Gault’s Count Backwards From 5 (2007), in which images of water — with a powerful use of voice-over — convey the mystery of family and death; and Danny Plotnick’s Out of Print, a four-minute testimonial that should be placed in a time capsule.


Sat/31, 8:30 p.m.; $7

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