Mary Helena Clark at FilmScene, Thursday, March 31 at 6pm – FREE!


Visiting from Colgate University, filmmaker Mary Helena Clark will be in town to present a program of her engrossing and enigmatic short works. Parts narrative, puzzle, avant-thriller, and nimble material play—Clark’s films present a deft sensitivity to the poetics of process, each an engrossing investigation of the illusionistic space of the cinematic screen.

Headroom Screening Series is a roving microcinema that collaborates with local venues to curate screenings and other media-related events and performances. It is always FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

With filmmaker, Mary Helena Clark, in attendance!


Mary Helena Clark lives and works in central New York. Her work has been exhibited and screened nationally and internationally, including presentations at the Swedish Film Institute (Stockholm), The Gene Siskel Film Center, the Museum of Contemporary Photography, Document Space (Chicago), the Wexner Center for the Arts (Columbus, OH), Anthology Film Archives (New York), the Yerba Buena Center (San Francisco), the National Gallery of Art (Washington) and at the New York, London and Toronto International Film Festivals. She has curated film programs for Altman Siegel Gallery, San Francisco, and The Nightingale, Chicago, among other venues.


2009, 6 minutes (16mm)
Blue sky and blue sea meet on emulsion.

2011, 9 minutes (multiple digital formats)
A walk through the proscenium wings. You close your eyes and suddenly it is dark.

“In the dream we call cinema there is no either, no or. We move from cave to forest to theater and back again, certain only that we are elsewhere, at least until the reel runs out. Here is objective truth, or “hypnosis” by another name.” – Ben Russell

2008, 5 minutes (digital)
“Henry James had his figure in the carpet, Da Vinci found faces on the wall. Within this Baltimore wallpaper: a floral forest of hidden depth and concealment, the hues and fragrance of another era. Surface decoration holds permeable planes, inner passages. There emerges a hypnotic empyrean flower, a solar fossil a speaking anemone, of paper, of human muscle, of unknown origin, delivering an unreasonable message of rare tranquility.” – Mark McElhatten

2015, 5 minutes (16mm > digital)
Students of the Sanford Meisner school of acting play extremes of human feeling.

2012, 6 minutes (16mm)
“Using footage from Cocteau’s Orphée, Clark optically prints an interstitial space where the ghosts of cinema lurk beyond and within the frames.” – Andrea Picard

2012, 8 minutes (16mm > digital)
A spy film, built on the bad geometry of point-of-view shots.

2015, 9 minutes (16mm > digital)
Palms is constructed in four parts, each moving further away from a human subjectivity. Alluding to a state of disembodiment, the film’s images arrive like thoughts, encountering them as both agents of and extractions from the real world. Here our vision is monocular.

2014, 14 minutes (16mm)
An experimental detective film made in remembrance: keeping a diary, footnotes of film history, and the puzzle of depression.

What are you thinking?
I am thinking of how many times this poem
Will be repeated. How many summers
Will torture California
Until the damned maps burn
Until the mad cartographer
Falls to the ground and possesses
The sweet thick earth from which he has been hiding.
What are you thinking now?
– Jack Spicer, Psychoanalysis: An Elegy

TRT: 62 minutes
THANK YOU TO ALL OF OUR SPONSORS: the Department of Cinematic Arts, the Public Digital Arts Cluster, the Digital Scholarship & Publishing Studio, and Little Village Magazine

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