Laitala grew up on the Maine coast, while developing a chronic passion for old things. She attended Massachusetts College of Art studying Photography and Film and received her Masters degree from the San Francisco Art Institute in Film. She has been awarded the Princess Grace Award in 1996, and the Special Projects Grant from PGF in 2004 and 2007.
In 2011, Laitala finished the hand made, hand processed films entitled the "Muse of Cinema Series" with a flashlight in her studio. This film artist uses the “Muse Series” to directly address the audience by re-animating Magic Lantern slides from the early years of cinema and before the birth of cinema as we know it. By incorporating them into a cinematic collage, the works pay homage to magicians of an earlier age who thrilled audiences with their spectral displays. Her work has been screened internationally and in the celestial ether which connects us with the music of the spheres.
Laitala was also chosen as a recipient of a GOLDIE- (Guardian Outstanding Local Discovery Award) -2007 from the San Francisco Bay Guardian
Laitala was Voted By the SF Weekly: "Best Filmmaker Without a Pixar Contract (Yet) - 2011
SF WEEKLY Writes: "The brilliant experimental filmmaker Kerry Laitala is a conjurer, summoning vestigial image-remnants from ancient films and, applying her singular skills in divine manipulation, evoking the fantastical world of jagged dreams, faded realities, and shadowy fairy tales. Working with the endangered material of celluloid, she constructs handcrafted gems that explode with fantastical associations. The great contradiction embodied in her oeuvre is precisely what makes her such a singular, important artist: She devotes endless, painstaking hours to works for transient, temporal movie-going experiences. Laitala will never be co-opted or corralled by any latter-day animation companies. After all, what do they know about film?
For More information about her work go to:
The Muse of Cinema was funded by the Princess Grace Foundation Special Projects Grant 2004 & 2007 and the Museum of Contemporary Cinema Grant 2005. A Princess Grace Foundation Special Projects grant was recently awarded for three more films in the series («Spectrology» Legerdemain» and «Afterimage- A Flicker of Life»).
Laitala has now expanded her terrain to work in a series of light/ motion/color experiments called the Chromatic Cocktail Series. She has recently collaborated with Wobbly for the Chromatic Cocktail Work "Afterimage: A Flicker of Life". Several of these works have screened in Europe and she is currently working on live chroma performances in collaboration with Eats Tapes, and installations involving 3D chromadepth technology in collaboration with the Freddy McGuire Show.
In addition, Laitala has been continuing her explorations with expanded cinema performances. "The Color Red Bleeds Blue", "Velvet of Night "and "Trip the Light Fantastic" are recent additions to this body of work.
Some Press about the Films of Kerry Laitala:
Scott Stark Writes: "Kerry Laitala takes eye-popping visual phenomena and turns it into refined artistry, in a body of work that is playful, visually articulate and a loving homage to the fundamental magic of cinema."
"Abandon yourself to a morass of imagery. This retrospective offers a chance to share in the uncanny visual associations that reside in the recesses of Kerry Laitala's imagination. Film noir, mystical surrealism, psychoanalysis, fairy tales- a cacophony of symbols and stylistic devises are used in the creation of these consistently enigmatic and richly crafted little films. Laitala is like an alchemist deeply absorbed in a process, removed from the constraints of commercialism and transient styles, working alone in her lab, searching for the unexpected poetry of cinema and the subconscious." (Louis Benassi)- Curator, Edinburgh International Film Festival.
"The films of Kerry Laitala evoke a glowing world in which spirits, memories and moldering artifacts swirl into feverish dreams recalling gothic conditions of poetry and decay. Seeming to hover on the borders between life and death, madness and sanity, these haunting alchemical films raise the dead from long slumbers to become luminous phantoms of flickering cinema. Just in from the Black Forest, Ms. Laitala will present Awake, But Dreaming, Retrospectroscope, Secure the Shadow (including its mysterious Prelude), The Adventure Parade, The Escapades of Madame X and new films Conquered, Hallowed, and Black Bile." (Steve Polta)-San Francisco Cinematheque.
MOVING IMAGE WORKS:
2011 Conjuror’s Box- 35mm
2011 Chromatic Cocktail 180 Proof-Digital Video In Chromadepth 3D, Soundtrack by Kenneth Atchley
2011 Chromatic Revelries- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
2011 Tongue of Flame- Film/Video Hybrid In Chromadepth 3D
2010 Afterimage: A Flicker of Life-Film/Video Hybrid, in Chromadepth 3D, A Collaboration between Wobbly and K. Laitala
2010 Green Glass- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Chromatastic- Digital Video in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Mercurial Madness-Film/Video Hybrid in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Ebb & Flow-Super 8, stereo sound
2009 Coming Attractions- 16mm
2009 Chromatic Cocktail Extra Fizzy- Film/Video in Chromadepth 3D
2008 Chromatic Cocktail Straight-Up- Film/Video Hybrid in Chromadepth 3D
2006 Muse of Cinema- 35mm
2006 Orbit- 16mm
2005 Torchlight Tango-16mm
2005 Terra Firma- 35mm
2003 Out of the Ether-16mm
1997 Secure the Shadow… "Ere the Substance Fade-16mm
2012 Velvet of Night- Expanded Cinema projector performance, Sound Collaboration by Kerry Laitala & John Davis
2012 Trip the Light Fantastic- Expanded Cinema, Projector performance with Sound Collaboration: Kerry Laitala and Neal Johnson
2011 The Color Red Bleeds Blue-An Expanded Cinema projector performance, Sound Collaboration by Kerry Laitala & John Davis
2011 1000 Deaths- Expanded Cinema Work, Triple 16mm projector performance, sound by Wobbly
2010 After 1000 Deaths-Installation in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Glitter Gulch- Installation in 3D, sound by the Freddy McGuire Show
2010 Peepshow Pin-Up- installation in Chromadepth 3D
2010 Legerdemain- Expanded Cinema Performance, dual 16mm projectors, sound
2008 Little Bassy Velvet- Expanded Cinema Performance, Dual 16mm projectors, slides and sound collage
2007 Hocus Pocus, ABRACADABRA, Dual 16mm projection, 35mm slides & video projection, ATA, MadCat, Coppola Winery, Other Film Festival
2002 Breathing for Others-Projector Performance, & Artist Television Access- San Francisco, CA and 21 Grand- Oakland, CA
2001 S.O.S., Film Installation/Projector Performance- A Collaboration with Maximilian Godino, San Francisco Cinematheque
1998 Dissipation Between Here & Nowhere Film installation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany
1998 Perpetual Chasm-Film installation, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart, Germany, and the Edinburgh Royal Academy of Art as part of the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Edinburgh, Scotland
1998 Trajectory-installation/Live Performance- A collaboration with Wolfgang Suppan, Akademie Schloss Solitude, Stuttgart Germany
1999 The X-Oscope-Mixed Media installation, Zeum, S.F., CA
1997 Cycloramic Cinema of Attractions-Film/Mixed Media- A Collaboration with Shane Valentino, San Francisco Art Institute, San Francisco, CA
1996 The Retrospectroscope Mixed Media Installation, San Francisco Art Institute (1996), The Lab (2002), Artist Television Access April (2008)