Tag Archives: Animals


“Windows” retracts in and out from the longing vantage of several windows (seemingly ones of Elam’s Logan Square home). Beginning in a dark room, the short immediately depicts contrasting environments, in- and outside, which are brought to juxtaposition via these windows. Tromboning, the camera focuses on objects outside, e.g. a discarded box of Miller Lite

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Cats on Bed

After meditating for several beats on darkness, “Cats on Bed” flares out in color and gets under way rendering two black kittens (most likely the same that frequent Elam’s work) scuffling about a vividly depicted quilt, as the camera staggers to keep pace. Abruptly the footage freezes on one of the cats about to pounce,

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Cats Garden / Birds

Elam provides a small, voyeuristic case study of animal behavior in “Cat Garden / Birds.” Via binary structure, the film begins swiveling about (what appears to be) Elam’s Logan Square backyard inhabited by two black cats salient to her work. Initially out of focus, the cats loiter, drenched in saturated colors. Shedding ambiguity, Elam puts

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Cats 4/82 – Joe

“Cats 4/82 Joe” coyly presents two black cats (and their silhouettes) lackadaisically lounging. As prelude, the titular cats sip from a bowl, sniff, and stretch at a relative distance. The camera cuts closer, in due time, depicting the pair more intimately as they bathe themselves and contemplatively gaze. Several jump cuts punctuate the introduction of

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Cats & Kittens

Through a decent amount of visual noise, “Cats & Kittens” parallels, in two sections, the quaint evening happenings of a group of humans and cats. Opening around a dinner table, the film depicts a chummy group: drinking Old Style and finishing a meal (a group which includes JoAnn Elam herself). The intial section continues in

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Monterey Goats

Coming around a bend, saturated and noisy images introduce a murky day on a country road as rhythmically a wiper chops across the windshield, and thusly the point-of-view. The titular goats, on an abrupt cut, introduce themselves (seemingly one of the goats is the same as in Elam’s “Monterey 81); several gentlemen accompany the goats.

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[Black Cat & Green Garden]

Beginning with a black cat sunbathing, “[Black Cat & Green Garden]” opens ground level, cutting frantically. After several restless, feline-centric beats, the camera moves upward, swiping from left to right vigorously, and takes blurry note of the garden at eye level. The camera finally relents;it slows to depict the garden at a manageable rate, surveying

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“Cats” follows the lackadaisical affairs of two black cats. From lounging on a window sill and pawing at an encroaching plant to playfully tussling around in some unwound 16mm film, the camera stalks one or both of the cats, documenting their inquisitive nature.


“Memphremagog” violently sprints and halts through a collage of travel montage, providing a glimpse at cattle, nature, and road tripping. The sequence paces out on a close up of seemingly JoAnn Elam’s face before transitioning into a family scene on a cabin’s back porch. There, a parliament of characters engages with one another: talking, laughing,

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