Meet the Mini Microcinema

As director of the Mini Microcinema in Over-the-Rhine, C. Jacqueline Wood makes a habit of showcasing local movie premieres you can’t catch at the megaplex. The filmmaker and artist opens an exhibition May 4 at the Weston Art Gallery and the Mini and Weston will co-present a May 19 screening of the 1926 silent film A Page of Madness, with live music accompaniment by Little Bang Theory. We discuss tangible experiences, community spaces, and films—including ones made with actual film.

The Mini isn’t your typical movie theater. I noticed a lack of spaces [in Cincinnati] for filmmakers who are working outside of the mainstream. It’s really hard to get into the Hollywood system of production and distribution, and so there are a lot of filmmakers outside of that system. We want to be a space for them.

You started out as a pop-up. What’s it like to have your own brick-and-mortar space? People can project a movie onto a wall anywhere, but it’s really about curating and creating an atmosphere. Because we are here [at 1329 Main St.] and don’t have to recreate an atmosphere every time we go somewhere, we can really cultivate a consistent experience for people.

What roles do experience and space play in your upcoming exhibition? I consider myself a filmmaker, but technically I’m more of an installation artist. I like to use film and video in new and interesting ways, and project in different spaces. Incorporating film and video into the space at the Weston has been interesting. I’m creating a show for the space that’s available to me. What Makes a Life examines our analog and digital lives.

Has running the Microcinema impacted how you think about your own art? Everyone has an iPhone in their pocket, news is faster than ever, and access to personal lives and information is just open. I miss the good old days—and I’m not that old—of being able to just get together with people. The thing about the Mini is it’s a real experience: You come here and there’s real popcorn, there are real people to meet. It’s almost like one big art experiment, a massive performance piece.

For more info, visit mini-cinema.org

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