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The title of the next film in the “AAFF Presents” series is unpronounceable in spoken language. “<3” is an emoticon that lives in the realm of digital communications and the Internet. The title is an icon, a symbol, a wormhole. The film is a love story told in a fierce female dialect, in which what we know IRL is plunged deep into the digisphere as the parable unfolds.

Described by LNZ (Lindsey Arturo)—who is both the subject and maker—as a “60-minute selfie,” the film launches us into space in a self-styled La-Z-Boy rocket. Our protagonist tells a tale of what may be her last night on earth. She swaggers and emotes (often both at once) through a constellation of music videos punctuated by short interludes that move the narrative forward.

LNZ was hailed by Reddit as “the best suburban female rapper of 2017,” and the music presented in her feature-length film stands on its own. The “album” is well-produced with a considerable amount of attention to detail.

<3 the movie (or “visual album”) blends older and newer media together into a unified visual vocabulary that exploits a full spectrum of hardware and software tools—from AfterEffects, 3-D animation, and screen capture to green screen, night vision, and GoPro—with a generous measure of karaoke, glitch, and flip-phone emoji text thrown in.

LNZ is gutsy, expressive, and unapologetic, as she leads us along a highly imaginative adventure into the digital realm and beyond.

<3 plays on September 11, just in time for students returning to campus (and in honor of your return, students, your popcorn's free!). It will be preceded by the short experimental film Landscape of Absence by Verena Looser and Melina Weissenborn.

Join us at 7:00 p.m. at the State Theatre (233 South State Street) in Ann Arbor on a Wine-Down Wednesday, featuring half-price wine by the glass. Tickets are free for AAFF members and Michigan Theater gold card members. There’s no better time to become a member or learn more about membership, including $25 student memberships.

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