Tomorrow–Mother’s Day–would have been Helen Hill‘s 40th birthday. She was a filmmaker, activist and mother who was murdered during a home invasion robbery in 2007. Her murder, along with others around that time, instigated a tide of outrage in the New Orleans community that led to a massive march on City Hall, and national news attention.
Today at 3, Zeitgeist is having a fundraiser, featuring a special short preview from the newly completed The Florestine Collection, which is the film Helen was working on when she died. Funds raised go towards creating sound and master prints in 16mm film of the film, which was Helen’s preferred screening format. The film was inspired by a collection of handmade dresses that Helen found in a garbage pile. Her 1995 film Scratch and Crow will also be screened. It was named to the Library of Congress’ National Film Registry in 2009. Also, there will be other shorts by filmmakers inspired by Helen, a performance by The New Dopey Singers, and a fashion show by Howl Pop. And, later on at 9:30, author Cheryl Wagner will read a short excerpt about Helen and her animations from her book Plenty Enough Suck to Go Around.
Also this evening, from 6-10, is the closing of Automata, an exhibition of kinetic, automatic, mechanic, robotic, &etc. sculpture, at The Candle Factory.
It features works by nearly 40 local artists, including Myrtle von Dammitz III (one of my favorites). Automata promises:
a pooping goat, a nickelodeon, a harmonograph, a monkey on a wire, a moving dress, ironic technology, a bucking narwhal, noise machines, clockwork deep sea creatures, a device that changes your perception of light and reality, music boxes, hand-cranked films and drawing machines, an automatic printer, a crawling insect monster, a handmade book scanner, and a lot we don’t know about till the curtains open!