The collaborative husband-and-wife team Mary Magsamen and Stephan Hillerbrand, who live in Houston, were recently awarded a grant from the Austin Film Society for the above experimental film Four Place Setting. The emotionally cold and ethereal short work is a kind of video portrait of a family dinner that becomes enveloped in actual fog. There's no dialogue, and the nameless (but specifically American) family doesn't react to the thick haze engulfing them, so the metaphorical layer rests entirely upon the viewer to interpret at will. It's terribly compelling imagery.
While Four Place Setting definitely exudes a somber tone, the duo does have a wacky side. Here are two examples, Air Hunger and Let's Get Married.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to the mission of the Houston Press. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Houston’s stories with no paywalls.