Manual Cinema‘s Mementos Mori is a feature-length cinematic shadow play that combines overhead projectors, intricate paper puppets, sound effects, a live onstage chamber ensemble, and live actors to discuss digital culture and our relationship with death and dying. The piece weaves together three intersecting narratives: an elderly film projectionist finding romance with a mysterious stranger; a bike messenger exploring the afterlife using her iPhone; and a seven-year-old discovering her own mortality.
Chicago-based cinematic shadow puppetry ensemble, Manual Cinema, is acclaimed for its works using handmade puppets, cinematic motifs, and live sound manipulation. The group creates works that transform the experience of attending the cinema, using the eclectic backgrounds of its five founders – in theater, visual arts, and music – to imbue it with ingenuity and theatricality.
The performance runs during the opening weekend of the new Chicago International Puppet Theater Festival, which features 20 projects in total and celebrates contemporary puppetry through showcasing the work of local, national, and international artists. Meanwhile, Museum visitors to MCA Chicago can observe the artists working on the production Mementos Mori on 14 January during the Open Doors event and the director of MCA Performance Programs, Peter Taub, will hold a talk with Manual Cinema on 15 January.
Manual Cinema: Mementos Mori, 15 – 17 January at 7:30 pm, 18 January at 3 pm, Edlis Neeson Theater, MCA Chicago, 220 East Chicago Avenue, Chicago.
1. Lula Del Ray, Photo: Jerry Shulman.