This week, Cinema Project explores the super indie side of political and critical film with "Expanded Frames," "a screening series and public symposium exploring the past, present, and future of critical cinema." The series—which is the first to occur at Cinema Project's new downtown microcinema—examines films that "force us to question our psychological/social/political investment in the conventional," according to festival presenter Scott MacDonald. The topics here are touchy (race, war, class), but for those of us used to narrative film, the styles might be more jolting: archival footage alongside modern interpretations; clips played without apparent explanation; long, silent, unnarrated scenes. Errol Morris this is not.
One of the most notable screenings is Filming (in) War: Recent Lebanese Video, which consists of short films made during the country's 2006 war. The films offer interesting (if not altogether clear) looks at the conflict. The filmmakers and their styles are diverse, ranging from silent scenes to a video diary in which the director explores her feelings and her city as war starts again. Foreign and indie, these films might make the brain hurt a bit, but if you're into that, they're worth it. For more info, hit cinemaproject.org.