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Movies by Michael Betancourt


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Movies by Michael Betancourt

Going Somewhere posterConcepts of Heavens and Earth provide a visionary subtext to scientific exploration since culture is a layering, where new ideas and interpretations form sedimentary layers over earlier ones, contradicting them, forming new meanings for old symbols. This principle organizes the historical material in my book Two Women and a Nightengale (1996-2004) whose imagery is an explicit reference point for my later movies: Telemetry and the shorts Aurora (2001), Illumination (2001), Contact Light (2012) and the Dark Rift (2014). These ideas also emerge in my microwatt broadcast radio/video installation Reception/Transmission (2006). Unlike Telemetry, Contact Light and the Dark Rift, where the content of the movie directly addresses both space and the Moon, Star Fish (2012) and Helios | Divine (2013) both draw on this iconography, addressing the fantasy::reality dialectic posed by the Moon in an implicit fashion, through its double, the Sun. The reversibility of signifiers in these systems is what informs their organization in my movies.

José Manuel García Perera wrote a critical discussion of my work.

A selection of his movies can be seen on Cinegraphic, or on the Michael Betancourt vimeo channel, or you can find about more about them on his portfolio site,


Peripheral ARTeries Interview about Going Somewhere

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 6, 2017 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

My Movies

The interview about Going Somewhere begins on page 32.


Going Somewhere: Episode IV (TRANSCENDENCE)

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 7, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

My Movies

Going Somewhere: Episode IV reconfigures science fiction movies with documentary/scientific NASA/JPL documentation and abstract glitch footage to reveal an underlying fantasy of transcendence. The story follows a simple trajectory: a traveler arrives, then embarks on a more abstract journey into inner spacea transcendent metaphor for exploring the self.

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Going Somewhere - Animated Title Card

story © Michael Betancourt | published November 28, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

My Movies

This is a the animated title card for my new movie, Going Somewhere:

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The Dogs of Space

story © Michael Betancourt | published July 22, 2015 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

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A short dramatizing the launch of two Soviet space dogs, Belka and Strelka, into orbit. This narrative fuses documentary, scientific, fictional and abstract glitch footage into a composite story.

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My Moon Landing Movie

story © Michael Betancourt | published July 20, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

My Movies

Since today is the 45th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon landing, here is my Moon Landing movie:

Contact Light is made from 19th and 20th century depictions of the Moon, Georges Mlis famous fantasy film from 1902, and the reality of Apollo 11 in 1969. The title comes from Buzz Aldrin saying, Contact light. A very smooth touchdown. heard at the end of my movie.

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Fireplace movie

story © Michael Betancourt | published June 30, 2014 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

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Just a bit of fun for the fireplace; it's a loop so feel free to set this on repeat.


The Kodak Moment (2013)

story © Michael Betancourt | published October 21, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

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The silent film actress Mae Murray, known as the girl with bee-stung lips, appears in fancy dress, pouting and flirting with the audience. Hers is an archetypal image of white feminine beauty from the start of the twentieth century, a form that was already old when the source film was shot in 1922, here glitched and fragmentedyet remaining coherently recognizable throughout this movie. The music is from a vintage 1920 recording of inventor, visual music pioneer, and symphony piano soloist Mary Hallock-Greenewalt playing Chopins Nocturne in G Major.


Helios | Divine (2013)

story © Michael Betancourt | published October 9, 2013 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

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This movie follows the development of a revelatory experience from a 'parting of the veil' into the emergence of a new landscape where the 'distractions of physicality' are replaced by the 'numinous encounter' and beyond.


Dancing Glitch (2013)

story © Michael Betancourt | published December 29, 2012 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

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Here is a new movie that I've decided is finished, just in time for the new year.

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Star Fish (2012)

story © Michael Betancourt | published September 22, 2012 | permalink | TwitThis Digg Facebook StumbleUpon  |  Print

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