Sunday, April 10th: Vanessa Renwick Retrospective

Vanessa Renwick: The Oregon Department of Kick Ass
UnionDocs (322 Union Ave., Brooklyn)
$9 suggested donation

Vanessa Renwick is pretty much as punk rock as they come. She’s been self-producing films and videos in her own indomitable style since the early 1980s. Her DIY aesthetic can present a challenge to an indie film scene that sometimes seems to care more about slickness and commercial success than originality of spirit. Which is not to say she can’t be slick when she needs to be. It’s just that with Renwick, there are no rules; only surprises.

This program for UnionDocs is Part One of Renwick’s slam-dunk two-night NYC career retrospective. (Part Two, focused on newer work, is at Anthology Film Archives Monday, April 11). “The Oregon Department of Kickass” is an eclectic sampling of her very best work, spanning over twenty years and in almost every moving image medium there is. It will be fast and aggressive, and also slow and contemplative. It will be achingly beautiful and horrifically ugly. Without fail, however, it will be seriously intense, hard to pin down, and harder to forget.

And the music… Oh, the music! Renwick has commissioned some of the most badass original scores in the history of no-budget film. This program features scores by some of the Pacific Northwest’s best musicians (Sam Coomes, Chris Sand, Tara Jane O’Neil, Johnne Eschleman, Donovan Skirvin). Vanessa Renwick does not come to NYC very often, so this is not an event you’ll want to miss.