Jane Gillooly's "Suitcase"


© Love and Shame LLC

I really enjoyed yesterday's screening of Jane Gillooly's new film Suitcase of Love and Shame at the Museum of Fine Arts (it showed earlier in the year at the ICA). With a subtle sound design composed of audio from an adulterous affair in the 1960s Midwest, ambient music, and constructed sounds, the film sinks the viewer/listener into a haunting sea of desire and frustration. The filmmaker's decision to use only authentic photos of the couple - but to withhold their faces - maps this desire and frustration right onto the audience. 

Gillooly came across a suitcase full of photos and reel-to-reel tapes this couple had mailed to each other over many years. Jeannie and Tom quite meticulously recorded erotic interludes, romantic chats, and tearful explosions - labeling everything and carefully erasing the most sensitive parts (though they left a lot of juicy material). I couldn't help but marvel at their love affair with the technology of audio recording itself, which seems to have endured and evolved along with their relationship.

A Premiere in Pittsfield, NH

Last night Pittsfield Middle High School premiered our video In Charge, the first of what we hope to be six longitudinal videos documenting different aspects of their work redesigning their school around student-centered learning.

The event was a lot of fun - they literally rolled out a red carpet!  We had a great discussion that included school staff, families, leaders from the NH Department of Education, and representatives from project funder Nellie Mae Education Foundation.

The 13-minute video shows how this small rural school uses Student-Led Conferences, in which students prepare a portfolio of work and lead a presentation with their parents, adviser, and an invited guest. Attendance at the conferences is much higher than that of previous Parent-Teacher Conferences.

We are currently in production on two more videos: on one the school district's administrative re-organization that replaced its two principals with a Dean of Instruction and a Dean of Operations; and one about its Extended Learning Opportunities program, in which students can pursue job shadows, internships, and community service for high school credit.