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Off The Screen: Performances

Published March 10th, 2022

The Ann Arbor Film Festival welcomes back live performances to the in-person portion of the 60th AAFF!

This years' Off the Screen! (OTS!) program includes live cinema performances, new media installations, and other intermedia moving image artworks. OTS! engages artists, festival attendees, the general public, students and educators. The program provides opportunities for constituents to experience expanded cinema art, and to more deeply engage with festival subject matter, as well as each other.

See below the full list of performances including locations and times. All performances are at the Michigan Theater in downtown Ann Arbor unless otherwise noted.


Tuesday, March 22 (Opening Night)

Tilted Axes: Reel to Real led by Patrick Grant

Various times starting at 6pm | Free

Post-rock composer and guitarist Patrick Grant takes guitars out into the wild. Through Tilted Axes: Music for Mobile Electric Guitars, he brings together musicians to take to the streets of Ann Arbor and bring music to the public in celebration of AAFF’s 60th Anniversary. With the help of battery-powered amps and inspired by his work as a composer and street musician, Patrick Grant and Tilted Axes will bring spontaneous moments of beauty and connection to Ann Arborites and AAFF festival goers alike!

Patty’s Infernal by Pat Oleszko

8:15pm | opens Films in Competition 1, ticket required

Pat Oleszko makes a spectacle of herself—and doesn’t mind if you laugh. Following absurdity to its unnatural ends, the work includes elaborate costumes and props enabling a diverse array of performances, films, installations, spatial events, and interventions laced with much pun-tification, ever in heavy disguise. The truth squirts.


Wednesday, March 23

Spectral Landscape by Luis Macias

9:15pm | opens Films in Competition 4, ticket required

A Landscape. Without color and movement. Only a Landscape.

Luis Macias is an artist, filmmaker, and image composer. Focused on experimental and procedural practices of analog image, his works in Super 8, 16mm, 35mm and video formats are composed for projection, performance, or installation.


Friday, March 25

Spoken Word Performance by Lydia Lunch

7:15pm | opens Films in Competition 8, ticket required

Photo by Jasmine Hirst

Celebrated writer and No Wave queen Lydia Lunch will cast one of her trademark spoken word spells.

Lydia Lunch is a writer, musician, photographer, controversial spoken word artist, and one of the primary instigators of the ​No Wave movement of the late 1970s in New York City. Her work typically features provocative and confrontational noise music delivery (she was the lead guitarist and singer of Teenage Jesus and the Jerks, an influential No Wave band), and has maintained an anti-commercial ethic, operating independently of major labels and distributors.

Mystic Fire Visuals

11pm | Club Above the Heidelberg | Free

Mystic Fire Visuals is an homage to the great home video company that distributed masterworks of the avant-garde throughout the late 20th century. It is also a tribute to the wonder and magick that analog video is capable of, and secretly can be unlocked with gear mostly procured from thrift stores, flea markets, and garage sales.

At its heart, Mystic Fire Visuals is a champion of the lo-fi aesthetic and embraces the tradition of VHS, and what can be found that was once lost within the endless spools of videotapes.


Saturday, March 26

Musical Performance by Joseph Keckler

7:15pm | opens Films in Competition 12, ticket required

Photo by Michael Sharkey

Singer and artist Joseph Keckler will lead the audience on an underworld adventure with a couple of his signature brief-yet-epic musical stories.

Joseph Keckler is a musician, writer, and artist who has been featured by NPR’s Tiny Desk Concerts, Lincoln Center, and Centre Pompidou. His writing has appeared in McSweeney’s, Vice, and his book Dragon at the Edge of a Flat World was published by Turtle Point Press. He toured the U.S. as the national support act for rock band Sleater-Kinney and is the recipient of awards from Creative Capital, Franklin Furnace, New York Foundation for the Arts.


Sunday, March 27

Bitch, Thunder! | led by Jess Hancock

Various times starting at 5:30pm | Outside the Michigan Theater | Free

This all-female drumline from Toledo, Ohio, led by accomplished percussionist Jess Hancock, consists of eight women committed to inspiring female musicians while proving the power of drumming in public spaces. To help wrap up this year’s festival, Bitch, Thunder! will lay down their percussive sounds in front of the theater and in the theater before the final screenings of AAFF 60. Afterwards, they’ll lead a parade of festival-goers down Liberty Street to the afterparty at Babs’ Underground, where everyone is invited to join in the celebration of the festival’s exciting conclusion.


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