Memphis experimental film auteur (and occasional Memphis Flyer contributor) Ben Siler is one of the most fascinating talents this community has produced. Siler's short films range from the heady to the confessional to the downright weird. His editing is impeccable, and he's never afraid to tell you exactly how afraid he is.
On Friday, March 29th, Cooper-Young Gallery and Gifts will put on a retrospective of Siler's work. Beginning at 6 p.m., the gallery will screen a curated collection of the dozens of short film Siler has produced and directed over the last decade. Curator Joel Rose says the films will screen in an art gallery environment, and "you can move freely around the rest of the shop, like an art opening." Siler will be on hand to meet and greet and answer questions, of which I am sure there will be many. Hopefully, he will also give life advice, like he does in this short film, directed by Robby Grant.
I don't know exactly which films Rose and Siler have selected for this retrospective, but I will never pass up a chance to share this film. An Indie Grant-funded collaboration with director Edward Valibus Philips, and actors Jessica Morgan and Alexis Grace, "On The Sufferings Of The World" has a unique look that came about when Phillips took his cut and Siler's cut and superimposed them on each other. It packs more story and characterization into a wordless four minutes than most blockbusters. Watch it now, or regret it later.