Gone in 59 seconds


His face covered in a blue, pudding-like substance, a man lets two people and a dog take turns licking his countenance clean again. The scene comes from the film LIX, by Chicago-based artist Dubi Kaufmann. LIX is 59 in Roman numerals, and that's how many seconds the movie runs. It's part of the 59 Seconds Video Festival, the 53rd screening of which took place August 25 at Doc Films, an organization that, as it happens, is on 59th Street.

During all the festival videos, the number 59 keeps showing up: in signs, a girl's height and weight, even in the residue left by an opium smoker. The festival, put on by Project 59, encourages video artists from around the world to submit 59-second works that may or may not incorporate the chosen number into the piece. One video has a cat eating 59 food pellets. Another features a man calling a "she-male" escort service to see what 59 pesos will get him—which turns out to be nothing. A third clip compiles 59 pieces from the One Second Film Festival. The changing lineup has lit up screens from Slovenia to Australia to Brazil, where audiences, like the one in Max Palevsky Cinema, voted for their favorites.

Seth Mayer, '08

Image: Still from Perfect Family by Irina Danilova and Hiram Levy.

August 31, 2007