I Pity the Fool (2007)

Super 8 film presented on video

Experimental narrative

83 minutes

In an effort to improve its image for the nationwide attention brought to the city by the hosting of the 2006 Super Bowl, the city of Detroit began demolishing long-vacant buildings, hastening the natural slow decay caused by decades of industrial collapse. As the city dismantles itself, clues to its past resurface. Collections of scraps sifted from rubble—an archeology of unanswered questions—combine to tell a surrogate narrative filled with missing pieces and forgotten motives, old letters, photographs, and home movies. Fractured moments occurring on one summer day echo events from thirty years earlier. The day is sunny, but it is humid, and clouds are gathering. It is going to rain.

“Like the pieces of a puzzle, I PITY THE FOOL gradually accrues more elements as it goes on: fragments of narrative combine with other fragments that at first have no obvious connection. As opposed to story-lines in many feature-length films that gradually tie up and resolve their different threads, the focus of the film continues to broaden and expand, becoming more complex, open-ended and mysterious. Undertaking a kind of archaeological search for things nearly recent and long past, the film attempts to re-capture the marginalized and defiantly minor histories of [the city’s] forgotten tenants . . . . I PITY THE FOOL is essential viewing to anyone interested in, among other things, urban space, post-industrial landscapes, psycho-geography, found objects, DIY filmmaking, super 8, experimental narrative, and radical film form.” Luke Sieczek, Northwest Film Forum


Museum of Contemporary Art Detroit (work-in-progress)

Union Theatre, Milwaukee, WI, USA

Detroit Film Center, Detroit, MI, USA

Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, WA, USA

Artists’ Television Access, San Francisco, CA, USA

Echo Park Film Center, LA, CA, USA

Documental Showcase, Santa Monica, CA, USA

AS220 Gallery, Provicence, RI, USA

Mass Art Film Society, Boston, MA, USA

Avant-Garde Film Series, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

MIX/NYC salon, Manhattan, NY, USA

1818 Gallery, Baltimore, MD, USA

Ann Arbor Film Festival, Ann Arbor, MI, USA

Wisconsin Film Festival, Madison, WI, USA

Antimatter Film Festival, Victoria, BC, Canada

Filmgruppe Chaos, Kiel, Germany

Director’s Lounge Festival, Berlin, Germany

D21, Leipzig, Germany

Cinema Spoutnik, Geneva, Switzerland

Festival Cable#2, Nantes, France

Cinema Le Barbizon, Paris, France

The Nightingale, Chicago, IL, USA

Early Monthly Segments, Toronto, CA