by Mike Corrigan & r & Flicker Film Festival & r & If you don't show up to the Flicker Film Festival at CenterStage this Sunday afternoon, you forever forfeit the right to bitch about how there's never anything artistically viable happening in Spokane. Because if you let this one slip by, you're missing out on one of the high-water marks on the local arts calendar. Seriously. I've been there. I've witnessed this Flicker thing with my own brain for two years running -- and after getting a sneak peak at this year's film batch, I'm drooling for number three. So I suggest you join me, sit back with a snack and the beverage of your choice and have your mind expanded (if not blown) by previously unimagined possibilities, by the wonders of shimmering images captured on film.

Flicker is a non-commercial, grassroots entity supported by filmgoers and filmmakers working in small-gauge (super 8 and 16mm) film formats. The festivals are held all over the world, including Los Angeles; Prague; Chapel Hill, N.C.; and now, Spokane. Your hosts -- local filmmakers Derrick King, Travis Hiibner, Gary McLeod and Lonny Waddle -- pioneered the festival two years ago with the desire to expose Spokane to styles of filmmaking rarely experienced here. We're talking experimental films, films that excite and challenge, films that push against boundaries -- and sometimes breach the limits of taste as well.

There are no fees and only two rules to follow when submitting films to a Flicker Festival: the project must originate on film (no video) and it must be under 15 minutes in length. After that, it's anything goes. This year's festival is no exception. Flicker Spokane 2005 will showcase more than a dozen independent short films in a wide range of styles, including expressionist, abstract, animation, found film and more. The festival will once again be held in the lovely CenterStage auditorium, as comfortable and as accommodating as your living room and eminently more spacious. Food and beverages of every imaginable variety (yes, even the alcoholic kind) will be available for purchase.

Films of particular note this year include a pair by New York filmmaker Martha Colburn (XXX Amsterdam and Skelehellavision), an artist who uses found images and paint to create sharply satiric two-dimensional animated shorts. Spokane filmmaker Lonny Waddle has also contributed two films this year -- Found: Cat and 9 Iron -- both of which were shot on Super 8 and then hand-processed, giving the films an intriguingly distressed quality. Lost and Found by Massachusetts filmmaker Jeff Silas is a stunning stop-motion animation piece reminiscent of the Brothers Quay. Met State by Bryan Papeiak is a time-lapsed tour of an abandoned insane asylum, while the absurdist nudist colony freak-out that is Funny Farm Summit Meeting by Kent Bye has a curious way of driving you to your own brink of insanity.

Others include Zombie Business by Mario DeGiglio, Ei by Karel Doing, Cold Turkey by Rick Pukis, Unearth by Oliver Whitehead, A Good Strong Roof by Tony Gault, Arapadator by Anna Geyer, Donkey Harvest by Allan Brown and Slut Shack (described as "concubines turn on their captor") by Bob Moricz. Also on the schedule is a (naturally) short preview of Jack the Vomiter, an experimental absurdist horror tale from a Spokane team consisting of King, Hiibner, McLeod and your humble scribe. All of the films are unrated; many contain adult themes, violence and/or nudity.

Now that you've been sufficiently warned, it's time to spread the word: Flicker's back in town.

The Flicker Film Festival will take place on Sunday, Oct. 9, at 2 pm and 6 pm, at CenterStage, 1017 W. First Ave. Tickets: $5. Visit or call 747-8243.

Art, Nature and the Voice of the River @ People's Park

Sun., June 13, 11 a.m.
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