WATERVILLE — The Maine International Film Festival creeps ever closer to the edge of art interpretation each year with its MIFFONEDGE presentation, which aims to push the boundaries of commonly accepted notions of cinema.

This year is no exception.

Six visual artists are featured in the show at Common Street Arts gallery across the square from the Waterville Opera House in downtown Waterville.

If the “edge” is what these artists were looking for, then they found it — careful you don’t slip over the edge that explores the intersection of film and art, where walls move and minds do, too.

There is a 1959 video by American mediamaker Stan VanDerBeek, who died in 1984, in which images of longtime Soviet strongman Nikita Khrushchev are mixed with unflattering cutouts, as if to ridicule the late dictator. The video is like Monty Python meeting album cover art by the Sex Pistols — 56 years ago.

“He was a Bell Labs guy during the Khrushchev era, and this is a really raw, biting indictment of Khrushchev, which probably just pleased the Soviet authorities a great deal,” said Charles Robinson, of Manchester, who was at the gallery Sunday afternoon. “It’s quite pioneering for his use of animation.”

There is an ear popping crash of sound and visuals in which fine China dinnerware and clay pottery fall and burst in staccato repetition called “Dinner Music” by David Colagiovanni. Still and video images of a floating, toothy mouth from The Institute of Higher Nervous Activities are presented by Nancy Andrews.

Michael Perreault, of Van Buren, a Colby graduate who was facilitating the presentation Sunday, said MIFFONEDGE brings together a variety of sculptures, furniture, photographs and different kinds of experimental media in a unique space for the film festival. It’s modeled after the New Frontier at the Sundance Film Festival, a story lab created to identify and foster independent artists working at the convergence of film, art, media, live performance, music and technology.

“It has new media, old media, bringing everything together to change your perspective and give you something to do while you’re at the film festival,” Perreault said.

He said the Colagiovanni videos in a darkened room off the main gallery is his favorite piece this year.

“It’s a symphony of sound and edited images,” he said. “The repetition creates a rhythm. It’s jarring as things change, as things repeat, as places and time shift.”

Sue Anne Muehlner, a former director of the Colby College library visiting from California, and Clinton artist Harriett Matthews said they liked the Colagiovanni videos, too.

“The interesting thing that we were talking about is that it’s a wonderful example of how either sound or visuals are going to dominate — the sound is really the dominant to me,” Matthews, a sculptor, said. “It’s backed up by the visuals. It’s terrific. Repetition is something that has been explored for years now in video.”

MIFFONEDGE runs from 2 to 9 p.m. each day until Sunday.

Doug Harlow — 612-2367

[email protected]

Twitter: @Doug_Harlow

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

filed under: