Filmmaker Cindy Stillwell Gets Up Close and Personal With Tractors, Sheep

In all fairness, Cindy Stillwell's A Season on the Move should ideally be seen on the biggest screen possible. This acclaimed experimental documentary look at the American farm (part two of the filmmaker's Western Trilogy) plays off impressionistic visual contrasts: It focuses on wheat cutting and sheep shearing, and the differing seasons in which they occur. It also contrasts the overwhelming stillness of nature with the dramatically mechanized nature of modern farm life. And in thirteen quick minutes, this remarkable work, beautifully shot in color and black-and-white Super 8, manages to place us firmly in its world while creating something mysterious out of seemingly mundane occurrences. Simply put, it's one of the most haunting shorts about farm life we've ever seen. (Part three of Stillwell’s trilogy, High Plains Winter, played the 2006 Sundance Film Festival.) —Bilge Ebiri

A Season on the Move, part two.