Todd Chandler’s excellent music/art film makes it Texas Premiere at the Aurora Picture Show in Houston this weekend with Todd Chandler in attendance. With subtle themes of creative reuse in an industrial society, the program includes live music and short films by Chandler, as well as the Texas premiere of his first experimental feature film FLOOD TIDE. Blurring the line between documentary and fiction, FLOOD TIDE is a road trip movie on the water inspired by the junk raft art of Brooklyn-based artist Swoon set to the folk music of Chandler’s own band, Dark Dark Dark.
A collection of short films, accompanied by a live score by Chandler, will kick off the evening and will be followed by the 70 minute feature FLOOD TIDE. The film tells the story of a group of artists and musicians living, working and making art and music in a small, post-industrial town. When their friend dies, they set out on an extraordinary voyage, unknowingly accompanied by her ghostly presence. Creating extraordinary boats out of ordinary junk the film follows their journey to the open water as a quiet narrative unfolds through fragments of memories, songs, letters and diary entries.
FLOOD TIDE is anything but a typical film. A narrative reconstruction, retelling, and reimagining of an actual art experience/community in which creative people came together and built art barges to float down the Hudson River, Flood Tide weaves together several layers of storytelling into a comprehensive journey, both physical and spiritual. Flood Tide exists in a truly fascinating world, one drawn on either side by cinematic narrative and visual artistic expression. As glimpse into an art project that could only be truly understood by those creating it, it captures a mood more than a definitive account. However the mood and tension and the way this particular artist chooses to comment on another artist’s work, adding to it, shaping it, re-expressing it, is far more interesting than any chronicle of the event that could exist. The film is gorgeous, the music is evocative, and the journey is somewhat perplexing, just as it must have been for those on it.