Rezene Tsegai is from Seattle's south end and paints his friends and neighbors. This short documentary featuring him and his work was directed by his identical twin brother Futsum, who was a student at Seattle Central's soon to be defunded Film and Video program at the time. "Rezene" is a great document of the eponymous artist and what inspires him. There's an urgency to his painting that should be exciting for artists of all disciplines to hear about.
Ash Tree Lane
MS MR came seemingly out of nowhere this year, but in reality the duo comes from New York. They released one EP of four songs, including "Ash Tree Lane". This is the video for that song, created by David Dean Burkhart out of a dizzying variety of found footage from all over the later half of the 20th century. Besides nicely complimenting MS MR's haunting music, Burkhart combines these recycled images to create a kind of nostalgic terror; it's like a big city having a nightmare, rendered from the 16mm and VHS detritus of our debauched media playground.
Further blurring the already hazy line between short narrative film and music video, "Hey Jane" is only one of many great pieces by LA based filmmaker AG Rojas. We follow an increasingly harrowing day in the life of a transvestite, which includes struggling to make ends meet and raising a son. The story is a neorealism for and by the residents of this new century.