Western Wild

Western Wild
painting from an animation

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

Wanderlust West: Expanded cinema performance

Wanderlust West: Expanded cinema performance
triple 16mm and super 8 mm film projections and live music by Orquesta del Perdido
Jan 28. 2018
International Film festival Rotterdam
stills by Ernst van Deursen

the movement 'West'

'Western Wild...how I found wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand' is about my mythical space and the mythical space that Karl May created and his 'followers' followed as a way towards a resolution to the violence or oppression they experienced in their society. The story of the West is a shared historical terrain of ideas about heritage, geography and the artists place in all of this. The American West was an idea that Karl May formed in his imagination; that became a place through the production television shows,Spaghetti Westerns and American Westerns. I am a descendant of the Western edge of the European continent (Ireland and Scotland) and my early relatives in the 1600’s, moved to the hinterlands of North America. This movement became a main directional thrust or theme of the idea of America and came to represent the idea of freedom; the movement West. The film is about movement both as a topic and contains the concept of it within its structure. It reflects a free mind at play, it is an essay, a documentary and an animation.

Friday, January 19, 2018

USA and World/ Dutch Premier

World Premier
International Film Festival Rotterdam​
In the program ‘Living Statues’ Bright Futures
Friday, January 26, 19:30- 21:30 Cinerama 5 , Rotterdam, NL
Saturday, January 27, 12:00-13:48 Kino 4, Rotterdam, NL
Expanded Cinema Performance ‘The Wanderlust West’
part of Sound/ Vision program at IFFR
Sunday, January 28, 21:30-late, WORM, Rotterdam, NL

North American Premier
Western Wild…or how I found wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand​‘​
2017. USA. Directed by Martha Colburn. 9 min.
North​ ​
American premiere
​Museum of Modern Art New York​, NY USA
Sunday, February 18, 7:30 p.m. T2
​in the program ​Doc Fortnight: 17th Annula MoMA International Festival of Nonfiction Film and Media
Opening for ‘A Ludodrama about Walter Benjamin’ Directed by Carlos Ferrand. 78 min. ​
screening discussion with Ferrand and Colburn

trailer to 'Western Wild...or how I found Wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand'


trailer to 'Western Wild...or how I found Wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand'

Friday, December 1, 2017

Description of my film 'Western Wild...or how I found wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand'

'Western Wild...or how I found Wanderlust and met Old Shatterhand' is a mixed genre documentary about the filmmaker making a film about the famed German author Karl May. The animator (filmmaker) and author share their will for 'Wanderlust' and an escape from their surroundings (the animators home in Pennsylvania's the Appalachian Mountains and the author's home in Kaiser Wil

Friday, November 18, 2016

From a Personal History of Gun Violence : Western Wild

 'Western Wild' is a film combining and exploring the iconography of the American West and contemporary topics. It is inspired partially by the author Karl May and my personal history. This controversial, eccentric and  extraordinary German author wrote about the American Wild West, the Middle East and South America from his native Germany, having never been out of his small village. Escaping a childhood of poverty, a mid-life of  criminal persecution and imprisonment  and numerous mental issues, yet decorated with a high intellect, he is most known for his moralizing Westerns starring Winnetou and his alter-ego Old Shatterhand.

Former President Obama is quoted as saying“This is unique to our country. There is no other advanced nation on earth that tolerates multiple shootings on a regular basis and considers it normal and to some degree that's what's happened in this country”. In my year of researching into Karl May - gun violence, riots, racial injustice, church burnings and hate crimes have escalated almost to a daily occurrence. Living between Pennsylvania and the Netherlands; I- like Karl May - author works on America from Overseas.

 My personal history with firearms and gun violence is deep and varied. I grew up near one of the bloodiest battles of America- Gettysburg. Lasting three days in 1863, there were 51,000 casualties. Ending less than a decade before this was the longest and largest historical genocide lasting from 1500-1800 of 150 million American Indians.

 As a child I remember be woken up by the sound of a revolver as my father shot birds eating his garden from the bedroom window. I helped load the shotgun gun shells that killed every thing that moved; our dinner plates would be lined with the lead buck shot balls that we’d managed not to swallow. We made our own flintlock rifle from scratch and had the equivalent of an artillery cache in our living room. In elementary school the kid brought a pistol to school in a paper lunch bag that was luckily apprehended.  Our neighbors up the hill ran a gun shop and the owners son was in school with me until the age of 14 when he threw his shotgun into his truck, causing it to fire one cartridge into his torso: killing him instantly. Two brothers played Russian roulette and one brother shot the other through the head in our fields where we could be found playing on weekends.

My membership in the Fish and Game Club lead to my first commercial art commission of drawing a huge life size Elk target for a shooting contest. Two women were shot and one killed by a ‘mountain man’ who as an abandoned child, grew up in the woods and lived in a hole in the ground off the Appalachian Trail. For college I moved to Baltimore, which had an average of 300 murders per year. An artist in school with us was shot in the back as a gang initiation across the street from my loft. Everyday I could follow trails of blood around the city from the crimes which took place the prior night. My life was almost taken once at close range, but I evaded this by asking for the masked man to either do it now, but don't make me late for my cabaret job.

In Western Wild we witness is a phantasm of the movie screen, which open up into chambers of forgotten histories, restless fragmented dreams, lost honor and blind hope.