Public Hearing Screen 4 articles

Public Hearing


Public Hearing Poster
  • Ineffectuality and meaninglessness cover the proceedings with the weight of a lead blanket, and Wilkins practically dares you to escape. Even a five-minute bathroom break is dutifully replicated, leaving you to stare at a black screen and ponder why, exactly, you feel obligated to remain seated. Yet the gaps that Wilkins opens between reality and performance (within both the re-enactment and the sham of the event itself) prove irresistible to contemplate, even in the face of such banality.

  • If Public Hearing serves to reveal an unexpected poetics in found municipal proceedings, littered with corporate and technical jargon material, the closing discussion of Mediums reveals that poetry, despite its best efforts, can hardly isolate itself from outside interests.

  • Demonstratively boring at times, the film shows how much people are willing to endure to pretend that a democratic process exists in opposition to corporate manifest destiny. The boredom is the point—no one wants to be there because the event itself has no impact either way. It’s all just a bit of gestural pretending. The wonderfully low-pitched dramatic execution makes the effect of this realization all the greater.

  • After 110 minutes... I was still a little unclear on what exactly Public Hearing was. Yet afterwards Wilkins gave one of those rare Q&As that actually makes a movie seem more rather than less interesting, and the film wound up lingering with me after everything else I saw on that long weekend had faded from memory.

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