This screening is part of Consider the Alternatives: A Documentary Film Series presented by the Burchfield Penney and the Communication Department as part of Buffalo State's Year of the Arts. Download the schedule at www.BurchfieldPenney.org.
Consider the Alternatives asks its audience to consider the alternatives–always. Using an eclectic array of subject matter, the films showcased in Consider the Alternatives explore both alternative responses to social problems and alternative ways of living and organizing families and societies, all while celebrating human triumph over adversity and repression. Consider the Alternatives is curated by documentary filmmaker Meg Knowles and media and social critic Mike Niman, both professors in the Communication Department.
Walls of Sound: A Look Inside the House of Records, David Gracon
This documentary video is a case study of the House of Records, a brick and mortar independent record store based in Eugene, Oregon. The store has been in operation since 1972, and it currently struggles to exist in the midst of digital downloading (both legal and illegal) and the corporate consolidation of culture (in terms of corporate chain and big-box stores). The video is an ethnographic study that combines interviews with the owner and employees, as well as various customers of the store and addresses the socio-cultural significance and various folkloric narratives of the store on a number of levels.
It considers how the store provides cultural diversity, as they cater to the musical fringes and a broad range of musical styles. It is argued the store is akin to a library and acts as an archive of obscure and out-of-print music, where the store-workers share their musical expertise with the customers. The video also addresses the importance of the vernacular design of the physical space (the store is situated in an old house) and tangible musical artifacts, especially the “resurgence” of vinyl records. Lastly, it addresses the importance of face-to-face interaction as the store acts as a community gathering space between the store-workers and customers — one that is ostensibly anti-corporate, fiercely local and subcultural in scope. 60 min. 2012
Girl Next Door, Julie Perini
Girl Next Door is an experimental documentary about a cluster of apartment dwellers in the artist's North Portland neighborhood. The filmmaker interviewed two neighbors in their apartments, but when she tried to interview the remaining four neighbors, she could not persuade them to participate. 21 minutes, 2010
Admission is free to Buffalo State students, faculty, and staff as well as members of the Burchfield Penney. $5 for the general public.