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    Ghost Ship, 2015, s8mm-to-video, color/b&w, sound, 5:00

    'In the tedium, so desolately green,
    of the glasshouse of sorrow,
    the flowers entwine my heart
    with their evil stems.
    Ah! When will the dear hands return
    about my head, so tenderly disentwining?'

    -Claude Debussy, Proses Lyriques

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    My Daddy, Whistling Jim, 2013, 16mm/video, b/w & color, sound, 30m

     What began as an investigation into my family's oral history became a portrait of my grandmother recalling her deceased father, known as Whistling Jim, near the end of her own life. Whistling Jim was an author, poet, baseball announcer and most famously a street performer who lived in Little Rock at the turn of the century. He died there in 1912, beaten to death in a mental hospital, but not before self-publishing a book detailing his experiences in the asylum. This film alternates between present and remembered tenses, with moments of recollection with my grandmother interspersed with images of Whistling Jim in the asylum, embodied and as imagined by me, his great-grandson. Additional photography (including above press still) by Lorenzo Gattorna.

    contact peterbuntaine[at]gmail for screening information

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    The Absent One, 2010, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 6:30

    A love separated by great distance, relived in the ruins of memory. An edict; to keep loving. 'The Absent One' is a film about loneliness and longing which borrows its title from Roland Barthes' 'A Lover's Discourse.'  It is filmed in two French locations; the mountaintop ruins of Chateau Peyrepertuse (one of the final Cathar strongholds against the Catholic Inquisition) and Europe's oldest botanical garden, 'Le Jardin des Plantes' (literally 'Garden of Plants') in Montepellier. Both locations, though beautiful, seemed full of sadness. The epitaph displayed at the end of the film is a cautionary mandate: 'Live Joyously.'

    contact peterbuntaine[at]gmail for screening information

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    Bushwick – Heavy Woods, 2010, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 4:30

    Bushwick is a neighborhood in Brooklyn, NY east of Williamsburg and north of Bedstuy. The Dutch West India Company purchased the Bushwick area from the local Lenape people in 1638 and Peter Stuyvesant chartered it in 1661, naming it 'Boswijck,' meaning 'little town in the woods' or 'heavy woods' (in the 17th century Dutch). This film juxtaposes the past and present of my Brooklyn neighborhood through double exposures and digital superimpostions of Bushwick street scenes and images captured in the woods.  The forest images are captured in the filmmaker's hometown of Sherborn, MA, and in this way the film is also an exploration of its author's past and present living-places.  This film is the first piece of a serial work titled Old/New York.

    contact peterbuntaine[at]gmail for screening information

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    108, 2009, 16mm-to-video, color, sound, 8:30

    A first-person reenactment of Danzan Rabjaa’s initiation into his 19th Century Mongolian monastic order.  Danzan Rabjaa is the Fifth Noyon Incarnate Lama of the Gobi, and is considered by many to be Mongolia’s greatest mystic, poet and playwright.  Plato’s allegory of the cave, frequently referenced by cinema scholars, also was a major source of inspiration. This film draws from these two sources, one eastern and one western, to explore ideas of enlightenment and meditation.  108 was a collaboration with poet Joseph Voelbel who has traveled extensively in Mongolia and wrote and voiced the poem recorded on-site and heard in voice-over. Text and voice by Joseph Voelbel. Music by Tom Murphy.

    contact peterbuntaine[at]gmail for screening information

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    Tokyo Fish, 2008, s8mm-to-video, color and b/w, silent, 8:30

    When traveling in a foreign land surrounded by an unfamiliar tongue, visual information becomes more important as well as decontextualized. One begins to notice colors, gestures and symbols, aestheticized and divorced from their context in the everyday. Finding myself in this mode of observation – which is by the same token very instinctual/insightful as well as extremely superficial (limited to surface-level observations) – I crafted a s8mm film about the surfaces and textures at play in the intersection of fish and man in Tokyo, Japan.

    contact peterbuntaine[at]gmail for screening information