The Observers

Jacqueline Goss is an experimental filmmaker whose shorts employ free-ranging associations, 2-D digital graphics, and apposite tidbits to create funny, distinctly personal miniature histories of ambitious mapping projects. The Observers, her lean 67-minute, 16mm first feature, is composed of a year in the life at the heart of another such endeavor, the weather observatory atop Mount Washington, New Hampshire, famed for its vortex-like winds. The location can only be determined through context clues, for there is no audible dialogue spoken on-screen in this solitary film. Sectioned into ice-rimed winter and summer shifts, this diptych "stars" two female caretakers/climatologists—though, only incidental protagonists, they freely wander in and out of frame. In the downtime, of which there is much, they may practice tying knots, tooting recorders, or trying to open a mysterious code-locked briefcase by process of elimination, before just as mysteriously reburying it under a cairn. There are moments when the tedium loosens you to melt into the landscape, and you swear you can hear the moss on the rocks start talking. (Six other titles in the N-E-X D-O-C-S series run Fri.-Thurs.) NICK PINKERTON

Sat., June 9, 8 p.m., 2012

 
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