Robin Starbuck | United States | 20:00 | Short Film

Status: Official Selection

This experimental collage film is characterized by an ongoing investigation of the relationship between images and the spoken (or written) word. This film, grounded by the Mayan sacred text, the Popol Vuh, highlights the vast timetable of the topographical and ethnic rise and fall of the Mayan gods and their people through the more familiar contemporary daily life of living Chiapian people. Executed in Robin Starbuck’s trademark style; long holds separated by black-outs, landscape sequences and observational footage —with voice overs that may or may not relate directly to the settings shown, this film jumps territory and temporal spaces in an idiosyncratic mix. Music, performed on the streets of Chiapas, Mexico and by cellist, Zoe Keating, is minimal while live “ambient” sound, often as spare as a sparrow call at dawn, sustains the film throughout. The juxtaposition of ideas in “The Flight of a Bird …” create a resonance that mirrors the Popol Vuh where reworkings of materials, settings, and the performance of deities have been passed down from earliest societies again and again. Stories in this film mirror those of ancient Central American and are interwoven here with modern stories and footage from Starbuck’s own home fire. The film delights in the world created while it also mourns what is shattered and inevitably lost.

Director Biography – Robin Starbuck

Robin Starbuck is a New York-based filmmaker/artist. Her work in experimental film, installation art, animation and media design for theatre has been exhibited in Museums, Cultural Centers, Galleries, and festivals in the United States, Europe and South America. She has received multiple awards and fellowships both nationally and internationally. Ms Starbuck’s current projects include ‘How We See Water’, a film on indigenous education in Chiapas, Mexico, several projects for art installations, and animated projections for Theater projects in NYC. She has produced the film ‘Iichiilish dark: Going to the Horses’, a feature-length documentary film on Crow Tribe native, Charlie Real Bird, of the US Apsaalooke Nation, media projections for the New York-based puppeteer, Dan Hurlin, projections for the NY Pan Asian Repertory Theater, and for several experimental operas performed at NY’s Symphony Space and in Europe. She has also produced animated media projects for Chicago puppeteer, Tom Lee, for installation artist, Mel Chen and performance artist, Lynn Book among others.
Starbuck is a full time Professor of experimental film and animation at Sarah Lawrence College in New York where she is also the Chair of the Filmmaking & Moving Image Arts department. She holds her MFA in multimedia installation and performance art from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and a post-graduate certificate in Film from NYU in New York City.