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Sat Feb 22, 2020 – 12:00 pm | La Casa Grande
Mon Feb 24 2020 – 5:30 pm | Domenico’s

Work Songs

Directed by Mark Street
Documentary Feature
USA | 68 min | 2019

Through interviews and observational footage Work Songs explores how various workers find meaning in their jobs. The gig economy, automatisation and the decreasing power of unions are explored in planned and spontaneous interviews, leavened by finely observed evocations of work places.

The violence in Chicago, specifically the South Side of Chicago has been talked about and discussed in the media a lot in recent years and for good reason – it is statistically one of the most violent places in America today. However, what the media doesn’t dive very far into is how the community is fighting back from within. There are a lot of people like LaVonte who are
products of this community – born and raised in this community that are trying to rewrite the narrative and give each and every kid an opportunity to succeed beyond the South Side. This is
what drew me to this project. My team and I spent a lot of time living/sleeping in the South Side where we were filming because we wanted to experience the community first hand and really
get to know this group of extraordinary people. There were certainly challenges, but at the end of the day we wanted to shine some light on the good that is being done and perhaps open up a dialogue about what else could be accomplished to combat the violence if something as simple as baseball can make such an enormous impact on a child’s life.

Work Songs - Mark Street

Work Songs - Mark StreetMark Street

Mark Street has been making films, videos and installations for 30 years. His work has moved from tactile, abstract explorations of 16mm film to essays on the urban experience to improvised feature length narratives. He has shown at places like the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the National Gallery in Washington DC as well as venues such as the Point Reyes California Oyster Farm. His current project, Work Songs, is a feature length documentary on how work has changed in the face of the gig economy and increasingly automatized job sites.

He graduated from Bard College (B.A, 1986) and the San Francisco Art Institute (MFA 1992). He has shown work in the New York Museum of Modern Art Cineprobe series (1991, 1994), at Anthology Film Archives (1993, 2006, 2009), Millennium (1990,1996), and the San Francisco Cinematheque (1986, 1992, 2009). His work has appeared at the Tribeca (5 times), Sundance, Rotterdam, New York, London, San Francisco, New York Underground, Sarajevo, Viennale, Ourense (Spain), Mill Valley, South by Southwest, and other film festivals.

His projects has been supported by a number of grants from foundations, including the Jerome Foundation, the Film Arts Foundation, New York State Council on the Arts, the Maryland State Arts Council and the NY Experimental TV Center. In 2006 he was asked to participate in the Hallwalls Artists Residency Program in Buffalo, NY. In 2018 he was a Visiting Artist at the Brooklyn Navy Yard.

Some of his film work has been performed live (at Tonic, Galapagos and Let Petit Versaille in NYC) with accompanying musicians, including Marc Ribot, Zeena Parkins, Bradford Reed, Marco Testoni and Jane Scarpantoni. In 2007 at Hallwalls he presented a multi media show entitled Inside and Out: Infected Districts and Memory Lanes with Buffalo performance and music groups Real Dream Cabaret and Open Music Ensemble.

He has curated and judged several film and art exhibitions including Ventana al Sur: An Evening of Argentine Experimental Film (with Lynne Sachs) at Anthology Film Archives and Pacific Film Archive in 2009 as well as Video Landscapes (2005) and Real Abstractions (2007) both at Fordham University’s Center Art Gallery.

His 2016 essay “In Defense of Street Photography in an Iphone Age” appeared in Filmmaker Magazine, online. His self published book of photographs 100 Sides of a Sphere is on sale at Printed Matter in NYC. Two of his personal essays “Film is Dead: Long Live Film” and “Festival of Flight” appeared in Film Arts Magazine in 2008. An essay about film funding “Who’s Asking?” appeared Millennium Film Journal # 51 entitled Experimental Documentary. Cinema Argentina – An Argentine excursion: film frames and talk therapy (with Lynne Sachs and Pablo Marin) appeared in the Spring 2009 issue of Gonzo Circus.

He has led community workshops a variety of venues (Echo Park Film Center in LA, Cucalorus Film Festival in Wilmington, NC, Fondacion d’Arte Contemporaneo in Montevideo Uruguay, Utopia Art Space in Murcia Spain, Cinema Tonali in Tijuana, Mexico) on a variety of topics, including “The Devil is in the Details: Urban Street Videography.”

He is Program Director of the Visual Arts Program at Fordham University where he teaches film/video production and other courses that engage contemporary artistic practice.

Film Information

Director: Mark Street
Country: USA
Year: 2019
Language: English
Runtime: 68 min.
Rated: PG


Producer: Mark Street
Writer: Mark Street

Connect With This Film

BIFF - Beloit International Film Festival
BIFF | Beloit International Film Festival