Film: The Andre Trilogy
With James N. Kienitz Wilkins In Conversation
The second of four programs celebrating one of the most exciting and unpredictable experimental filmmakers working today, James N. Kienitz Wilkins. SPACE and Points North Institute are partnering to present a retrospective of works by James N. Kienitz Wilkins, the first one of its kind the US, including both feature and short works from Wilkins created between 2013 and 2018, all of which have screened widely at prestigious festivals and museums across the world. This acclaimed trio of works from 2014-15 will be followed by a post-screening discussion with the Boston-born and Maine-raised artist led by Christopher Stiegler, Program Chair of the MFA program at Maine College of Art.
Special Features | 12 min | 2014 | (New York Film Festival, Winner: Ann Arbor Film Festival, Winner: 25FPS Festival)
Tester | 30 min | 2015 | (BAMcinématek, Flaherty NYC)
B-Roll with Andre | 19 min | 2015 | (Winner, Tiger for Best Short: IFFR, 2017 Whitney Biennial film program)
The Andre Trilogy by James N. Kienitz Wilkins is a series of layered essays on the verisimilitude of media and reality as constructed by entertainment. Special Features is presented as a lo-fi interview fragment exploring a mishap. In TESTER, a private eye guy recounts a complicated case, set against the unedited duration of a found BetaSP tape. B-ROLL with Andre combines both stock footage and imagery shot with a now ubiquitous GoPro camera, presenting an anonymous monologue about a prisoner’s dangerous dream.
The three films were produced in sequential technological formats (BetaSP, MiniDV, HD) to correspond to the timeframes of each story. Engaging with unreliable narrators, performative characters, and the texture of outdated media formats, they provide the familiar and satisfying suspense of a detective story. Wilkins flirts with and subverts cornerstones of the mystery genre: surveillance footage, vocal disguises, noir-evoking voiceovers, and hidden identities. As a whole, the trilogy strays from the confines of genre and and neat cinematic resolutions, offering instead a provocative conceptual shift where our own viewership and assumptions are implicated in the work.
“A destabilized noir… [The Andre Trilogy’s] three films focus on the dreams, memories and idiosyncratic theories espoused by each chapter’s respective narrator. Their stories contaminate one another, circling back on one another with an uncanny logic.” – Whitney Mallett, Filmmaker Magazine
“Kienitz Wilkins has successfully adapted some of the most critical weapons in the arsenal of experimental cinema to produce a stark poetry of the everyday.” – Michael Sicinski, MUBI Noteboook
James N. Kienitz Wilkins is a filmmaker and artist based in Brooklyn. His work has screened in international film festivals and venues including Berlinale (Forum), Toronto, Locarno, Rotterdam, CPH:DOX, MoMA PS1, Tate Modern, New Directors/New Films, Camden, and beyond. In 2017, he was included in the Whitney Biennial and a retrospective of his work was showcased at RIDM (Montréal). In 2018, he opened a solo show at Gasworks Gallery (London) and participated in the Biennial of Moving Images (Geneva). Most recently, his work was presented as part of the 2019 Winter/Spring Flaherty NYC, Puzzling, held at Anthology Film Archives. He grew up in Maine and attended the Cooper Union School of Art in Manhattan.