Dark Horse Films is a non-profit film and video production company that produces and distribute “media as art”. Established in 1976 in Montpelier, Vermont, the company for several years offered CETA (Comprehensive Employment and Training Agreement) film production internships to people interested in pursuing a career in motion picture production. At the same time in the 1980’s the company produced an annual showcase for regional American and Canadian independent filmmakers. It was a daily weeklong program each year at the Pavilion Auditorium, Montpelier called “Vermont Independents”. Each day was devoted to the work of a different filmmaker. The filmmaker would be present at the event to discuss his or her work at a Q&A at the end of the evening. Filmmakers included Randall Conrad, Christine Dahl, Jacques Drouin, David Ehrlich, Ellen Hovde, John Karol, Manfred Kirchheimer, Doreen Kraft, Robin Lloyd, Derek Lamb, Theodore Lyman, Norman McLaren, Ed Pincus, Anne Clair Poirier, Dorothy Tod, and Walter Ungerer. Today the primary concern Of Dark Horse Films is to support the work of its founder Walter Ungerer.
Ungerer is a longtime filmmaker and artist beginning with the underground film scene of NYC in the early 1960s. He began producing his own work in 1963. In 1969 he moved to Vermont, then established Dark Horse Films, a non-profit production company in 1976 in order to produce feature length experimental narrative films. In 2003 he moved to Maine where he continues to make films albeit shorter and computer assisted. With fifty years of filmmaking, video, computer, and media experience; Ungerer's works have been shown at museums, festivals and competitions throughout the world including Berlin Film Festival Black Box; Filmmuseum, Amsterdam; MoMA, NY; Tate. Great Britain; and the Venice Biennale.
How the universe evolved, and how humans developed are questions that arise with our awareness of life on the planet. There seems always to be much conjecture about it, but no clear answers. Mystery and wonder are pervasive. This film stems from my thoughts about it. As the images I created evolved into continuous sequences, I pursued the direction until it was a film, and finished. Does the eye at the beginning represent the all seeing eye? Is it the nucleus around which the universe swirls, or is it simply an eye?
This work is an exploration of digital still camera motion clips I recorded while visiting the downtown art district of Los Angeles. Initially, material shot with a digital still camera of a visit through the art district during "art walk" day, was the starting point. Once it was transferred into a computer editing system, the realistic imagery of people, places and things, was transformed into explorations of shapes, patterns, colors, text, rhythms and sounds. It was stretched, squeezed, turned upside down, continuously repeated and otherwise distorted both in picture and sound...with playful intentions. Some obscured somewhat recognizable images do remain: a face, eyes, sunglasses, a street corner, a police car, a woman singer and an outdoor concert, another woman eating a piece of cherry pie at a restaurant. Hopingly they invite interpretation and meaning, yet remain illusive.
Today the primary concern of Dark Horse Films is to support the work of its founder Walter Ungerer.