With his work in film, music, and visual art, Joe DeNardo has crafted a style based on layering, warping, and splicing, whatever subject he’s focused on. Choppy, blown out, grainy, and looping, DeNardo’s short films are congruous with his collage work and the sounds he’s created with his band Growing and his latest outfit Ornament. Last year Ornament droned through a 14-minute multi-media performance at Secret Project Robot, throwing sheets of noise and throbbing sound at the audience while visuals pulsed in syncopation.

Still from Start Somewhere.

Still from Start Somewhere.

This Sunday at 7:30 p.m., DeNardo will be screening three films at UnionDocs Center for Documentary Art in Williamsburg, along with a rough cut of a new project called True Face. Ornament will also play live, and Eleanor Friedberger of The Fiery Furnaces will play solo. One of the films being screened is a hypnotic 16mm trance, featuring Friedberger, called She’s a Mirror, a title taken from a song on her record Personal Album.

“With She’s a Mirror, the biggest obstacle was staying focused and determined despite shooting at various times over a five month period,” DeNardo said of his collaboration with Friedberger, written by Paul Felten who will also be part of the screening Sunday. “Keeping friends involved and excited can be tough when everyone’s schedules are so insane and tough to wrangle. The ‘managing’ aspect of directing films is not my favorite.”
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Also being screened are Where’s Anton, Ima Nema, and True Face. Though the topics range from Friedberger’s solo career journey, to a folk music festival in the Bulgarian mountains, it’s DeNardo’s hazy approach to collage that ties them together. It’s something that’s not necessarily planned or sketched out beforehand. “Different ways of arranging and stretching the footage or sounds develop as you go,” he said of his process. “I’m always trying to recreate the feeling of coming upon something new–that bit of confusion and excitement at the same time. It can be uncomfortable but you want to keep looking and listening.”