“Wish Book” at Crosstown Arts 

"Wish Book," the new film/critics series curated by local artists Terri Phillips and Brian Pera, is named after the famed, huge annual catalogue from Sears. (Yep, the one your perv brother scanned for pictures of women in gigantic bras.)

Wishes are secret, magical things. Something you fling away with a coin into a fountain or puff out at a birthday cake. But the Sears' Wish Book was manifest, and by putting their wishes out there, Phillips and Pera are making their "Wish Book" so.

click to enlarge William E. Jones - PARIS TAVITIAN
  • Paris Tavitian
  • William E. Jones

The first year, the series will deal with film. This is high art, the stuff that grips. Experimental filmmaker William E. Jones is the first artist of the series with screenings of his films Eyelines, Mission Mind Control, Fall into Ruin, and others. Jones uses found footage a lot — sex sting tapes, CIA recordings, old commercials — and deals in themes like conformity but not fitting in, consumption and being consumed. Not popcorn material, exactly. But, says Phillips, this does not make Jones' films "art film" difficult. "Not in any way," she says. The films of the "Wish Book" series, are "outside of the box," outside of "what is expected," she says, using terms like "beautiful" and "personal."

The second year of the "Wish Book" series is dedicated to critics, and the curators' wish for a celebrity guest is sky high: Camille Paglia. "We're aiming for the stars," says Phillips.

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