Now Showing: Scout Tafoya's XENOLITH ATLAS
Recycled Screenings debuts with the premiere of Tafoya's latest experimental feature
I am thrilled to share that Recycled Screenings officially launched today with the world premiere of Scout Tafoya’s latest experimental feature, Xenolith Atlas. You can watch the film for free through January 31st at the platform’s website.
Recycled Screenings is a curated, free, donation-based platform through which video essay and other found footage filmmakers can screen their work.
Goal one: to offer a space for filmmakers to debut new works or bring older works into the digital space for a limited time. This a not-for-profit initiative, with the second goal being to provide a way for creators to raise funds via donations. Learn more here.
The film is accompanied by a conversation about the work between Scout and myself. We also wrote the following statements:
Few video essayists are as prolific as Scout Tafoya. Between his ongoing series at RogerEbert.com, "The Unloved," the prodigious archive and ongoing work found on his Patreon page, and his Vimeo channel, where projects like the recent collaboration with Tucker Johnson, "The End of History," reside, it would be impossible to tell the history of the video essay without mentioning Scout Tafoya. With a wide scope and style, it would also be difficult to describe his work (which includes written essays and feature films) in a single day, let alone a paragraph. But when I think of Scout and his films, I first think of him as the premier videographic diarist, chronicling furiously his thoughts, feelings, and experience with cinema and other moving images. Beneath many video essays is the impulse to immerse oneself in sounds and images. In so much of Scout's work, that impulse comes to the surface, providing infectious, revelatory moments of how he sees, understands, and engages with the world.
Tafoya's virtuosic ability to think through sound and image shines in Xenolith Atlas, his latest experimental feature. Windows as screens. Screens as windows. Living with and via rectangles. Surviving while caged. Xenolith Atlas is a pandemic diary that could only be made by Scout. Like much of his work, deeply personal experiences feed a more universal examination of world events and media we encounter everyday. The vertical screens of Instagram, views of the city out the window, bridge beams, all taken on new meaning in Scout's meditation on living amidst unconscionable grief.
- Will DiGravio
The following work is a project I started to keep myself sane during the start of the pandemic. It was initially meant to be more of a straight video essay and ended up closer to something like the great George Kuchar's Weather Diaries. It's a record of what I saw when it seemed like our ability to see anything was being taken away by terrible misfortune, an event that claimed millions. I would sit in my apartment, paralyzed by dread, and hear about the rising death tide. It straps ten thousand pound weights to the simplest act. Millions dead, and you're stuck on your couch. What can we do with that information? How can we promise to make something of ourselves given a gift denied to so many. Xenolith Atlas is a bad dream, a collection of the things I saw and the yearning to see more, to not exist in the confines of my apartment, to just vanish into the images I longed to see.
- Scout Tafoya
I encourage you all to check out this fantastic work, and please consider sharing the link with all you can! Thank you very much!
All the best,