Best described by critic Ernest Callenbach as “one long raucous belch in the face of the American Home …”, Schmeerguntz, made with Dorothy Wiley, was Gunvor Nelson’s first film and instantly identified her as a compelling talent. Invented by Nelson’s father as an imaginary German word for sandwich, Schmeerguntz encapsulates the filmmaker’s overarching interest in undercutting surface layers to examine the ugly and the sublime underneath.
Curated by Alice Butler, this programme of what Nelson prefers to be termed ‘personal’ rather than experimental films, also includes Moons Pool, a dreamlike aqua-film and intrepid self-portrait, and Red Shift, a paean to the complexity of family that features readings of extracts from Calamity Jane’s unsent letters to her estranged daughter.
Alice Butler, curator of SCHMEERGUNTZ Films by Gunvor Nelson, discusses the programme with EFC’s Daniel Fitzpatrick here.
The IFI would like to thank Filmform Distributors for supplying Gunvor Nelson’s films for this programme.