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Silent Secrets: The Body Language of the Confessor

January 20, 2012 - January 27, 2012, 10:00am-4:00pm

USC School of Cinematic Arts Gallery

“Silent Secrets: The Body Language of the Confessor”

Directed by Laura Cechanowicz

Opening Reception at the USC School of Cinematic Arts Gallery

Friday, Jan. 20 from 6-9 p.m.

No reservations required
Including a discussion with Michael Renov, Marsha Kinder, Mary Sweeney and Ioana Uricaru At 8:15pm in SCA 112

Gallery open daily Jan. 23-27 from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m.

Synopsis of the production process:

Silent Secrets" is an 11 projector installation directed by Laura Cechanowicz, USC Annenberg Fellow and MFA student in Animation. The installation features 22 videos of participants confessing secrets recorded without sound and in slow motion as part of an ongoing study on body language. Participants were left alone during the recording and ranged in age from 17-83.  The USC gallery show will present videos from the “Silent Secrets” database as an 11-projector installation, with the videos projected around the circumference of the gallery.

Laura welcomes all to attend the Opening Reception:

“Silent Secrets: The Body Language of the Confessor” will open the evening of Friday, Jan. 20, and includes refreshments and an interactive discussion of the work with Dr. Michael Renov, Mary Sweeney, Marsha Kinder and Dr. Ioana Uricaru.

Artist Bio:

Conceptual Director: Laura Cechanowicz, M.A.

            Laura Cechanowicz is a Los Angeles-based collage artist who works with animation, film, video and performance. Her work explores nonverbal communication, neuroscience and the embodied mind, and the ways people record and transcribe personal histories. Laura focuses on the importance of the body in physical and virtual space; the design of sets and exhibition spaces are vital aspects of her pieces. Her recent work has included integrated live action and animation. She created a projection mapping installation that interacts with architecture, which premiered during the USC Visions and Voices “Rhythms and Visions” event, alongside D-Fuse and Scott Pagano. She earned her BA from the University of Michigan with Film & Video, Psychology and German majors, and her MA in Film Studies from the University of Iowa. Laura is now a student at the University of Southern California pursuing an MFA in Animation as an Annenberg Fellow.  


Panelist: Michael Renov, (Ph.D.)

            Michael Renov, professor of Critical Studies, has served as the School of Cinematic Arts associate dean for academic affairs since 2003. Renov is the author of Hollywood’s Wartime Woman: Representation and Ideology and The Subject of Documentary, editor of Theorizing Documentary, and co-editor of Resolutions: Contemporary Video Practices, Collecting Visible Evidence, and The SAGE Handbook of Film Studies.

            In 1993, Renov co-founded Visible Evidence, a series of international and highly interdisciplinary documentary studies conferences that have, to date, been held on four continents. He is one of three general editors for the Visible Evidence book series with the University of Minnesota Press. In 2005, he co-programmed the 51st annual Robert Flaherty Seminar, a week-long gathering of documentary filmmakers, curators and educators, creating 20 screening programs and filmmaker dialogues on the theme “Cinema and History.” 

            In addition to curating documentary programs around the world, Renov has served as a jury member at documentary festivals including Sundance, Silverdocs, the Buenos Aires International Independent Film Festival and Brazil’s It’s All True. He has twice taught graduate seminars at Stockholm University and has led documentary workshops in Jordan for the Royal Film Commission and the Red Sea Institute of Cinematic Arts. Renov’s teaching and research interests include documentary theory, autobiography in film and video, video art and activism, and representations of the Holocaust.  

Panelist: Marsha Kinder, (Ph.D.)

            Kinder is a cultural theorist and prolific film scholar, whose specializations include narrative theory, digital media, children's media culture and Spanish cinema. Since 1997 Kinder has directed The Labyrinth Project, an art collective and research initiative on interactive cinema and database narrative at USC's Annenberg Center for Communication. She has published more than 100 essays and 10 books.
            Kinder is author of “Blood Cinema: The Reconstruction of National Identity in Spain” with companion CD-ROM (1993), “Playing with Power in Movies, Television and Video Games: From Muppet Babies to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles” (1991), “Self and Cinema” (1982) and “Closeup” (1978) Editor of “Luis Bunuel's The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” (1999), “Kids Media Culture” (1999) and “Refiguring Spain: Cinema/Media/Representation” (1997). Since 1997, as director of The Labyrinth Project, she is the producer of a series of award-winning interactive installations and DVD-ROMs that have been exhibited at museums, conferences, film festivals and new media festivals worldwide. Kinder worked for Sega as a rater of violence in video games, and has written, directed and produced game protoypes and online courseware projects. Her awards received include the Sundance Online Festival Jury Award for New Narrative Forms, the British Academy of Film & TV Arts for Best Interactive Project in the Learning Category, and the New Media Invision Award for Best Overall Design. 

Panelist: Mary Sweeney, M.A.

            Along with advising graduate students on their thesis projects, director, writer, editor and producer Mary Sweeney teaches advanced screenwriting for production and advanced rewrite courses.

            A longtime producer and creative collaborator of David Lynch, beginning with Blue Velvet in 1986, Sweeney edited Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me (1990), Lost Highway (1996), The Straight Story (2000) and Mulholland Drive (2001), which earned her a British Academy Award for Best Editing. Her producing credits date to 1995 with Nadja, directed by Michael Almereyda, and include Lost Highway, The Straight Story, Mulholland Drive and Inland Empire — all directed by Lynch. She also wrote the screenplay for The Straight Story for which Richard Farnsworth received an Academy Award nomination. Sweeney has recently completed her directorial debut, BARABOO, based on her original screenplay. She also produced and edited the film, which won the Best First Feature prize at the 2009 Galway Film Festival and the jury prize for Best Feature and Best Director at the 2010 Wisconsin Film Festival.

            Sweeney is a longtime board member of Film Independent, sponsor of the Spirit Awards and the Los Angeles Film Festival. She has a Master’s Degree in Cinema Studies from New York University and actively serves the independent film making community in Los Angeles. 

Panelist: Ioana Uricaru, M.F.A., (Ph.D.)

            Ioana was born and raised in Romania, where she lived through her country's totalitarian regime and the anti-dictatorship popular uprising. She relocated to Los Angeles upon admission to the MFA in Film and Television Production program at USC's School of Cinematic Arts. Ioana co-directed the omnibus feature "Tales From the Golden Age," Official Selection Cannes Film Festival 2009, and was a fellow of the Residence de la Cinefondation, a program of the Cannes Film Festival, (2009-10).Her short film Stopoverhad its world premiere at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Ioana earned her (Ph.D.) in2011 from USC's School of Cinematic Arts with a dissertation titled "Intimate Beyond Words: Reconsidering the cinematic subject in light of neuroscience" and is currently a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow in the same school.


Contact Information

Name: Laura Cechanowicz