Three short films comprise this month's installment of Film Kitchen, a showcase for local and independent filmmakers.
New Castle filmmaker Sean Ferris' "Living on Stilts" is a 12-minute black-and-white meditation shot on film. "Today, I think I died," intones the narrator as grainy images create unease: a headless statue, a guy repeatedly scratching his arm -- and are those doctors operating on me?
"Cyclical" is a, well, admittedly circular work by Brooke Schooles, a grad student who works at Pittsburgh Filmmakers. A couple meet near the statue of Pan in Oakland, begin a relationship, then seemingly break up. But, elsewhere, another woman waits for a similar spark. Schooles intercuts these images with visual winks at "cycles," namely a motorcycle and a child on a bike. The film also features a captivating bit of stop-motion photography in which a flower (or sea anemone?) waves and transforms.
A barrage of Eastern, mythic and primal imagery informs "Chöd: The Laughter of the Dakinis" (or "Don't Strike the Shadow's Head With Its Own Thigh Bone"). Set in a hilltop field decorated with prayer flags on sticks, Bob LaBobgäh's 16-minute film features three nearly nude dancers covered in white paint enacting various scenarios or rituals ("Birdcage," "Severed Heads"). Sex, death and re-birth seem common themes.
8 p.m. Tue., Sept. 14. (7 p.m. reception). Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., N. Oakland. $5. 412-681-9500 or www.filmkitchenpgh.org