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Short takes, high energy
Short takes, high energy

Hitting the Nerve

Are you ready to be stimulated? Visually stimulated? The North Miami Museum of Contemporary Art presents "Optic Nerve V," an annual collection of innovative short films -- really short films -- that showcase the homegrown talents of local film and video artists.

The museum screens 17 works by South Florida filmmakers -- all of them less than seven minutes long -- that were selected from an open call for submissions. Incorporating narrative and non-narrative filmmaking techniques, the works were originally lensed in Super 8, 16mm film, and digital video formats, though all have been transferred to VHS for viewing. Flicks as varied as Revenge Fantasy, An Only Child Makes His Own Friends, Piscean Symphony, and P.I.U. ("Pump It Up"), a motivational tape for painters, represent a visual cornucopia of what independent filmmakers are up to in 2003. You'll find animated works, black-and-white documentaries, experimental film, nondialog pieces, and productions that chief curator Donna Fields says could be used in future installations. Lest you think this is just a chance to bring in the art snobs and film-school rejects, this exhibit promises to be edgier than the usual write-direct-shoot-edit efforts. Let's just say if you're considering toting the kids to Optic Nerve, viewer discretion is advised. The film and visual arts professionals on the selection panel include Virginia Heckert, curator of photography at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach; Rhonda Mitrani, an independent filmmaker, editor, and cofounder of the Florida Room; and Kevin Arrow, MoCA's registrar and exhibition coordinator and a film and video artist. If you're hungry for some visual nourishment, MoCA's got something for you to chew on. You've got about seven minutes to get up the nerve.

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