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  Experimental Film and Video
Sunday, December 12, 2pm
Woodland Pattern Experimental Film/Video Series

The Woodland Pattern Experimental Film/Video series is proud to present the local premiere of Men's Hockey, the new video from local artist Steve Wetzel on the afternoon of Sunday, December 12. Men's Hockey will be presented as part of the UWM Film Department's annual participation in Woodland Pattern's seasonal Open House.

Men's Hockey is a glimpse at a privileged and intimate space where men prepare for competition with each other. Recorded in a direct observational style with a dispassionate formal rigor, this document reveals the texture, complexity and everydayness of a single day inside the locker room of a professional hockey team in Rockford, Illinois.

Absent of interviews and voiceover, Men's Hockey is formed through a meticulous reconstruction of a believable, palpable and conflicted social space inhabited by a variety of characters and roles including coach, player, audience, referee, mascot and arena maintenance.

Events unfold chronologically, the range of activities captured moving from body movements focusing on the stomach done in preparation for the game to the application of hands and ice to knee joints and ankles afterwards. These seemingly mundane details transform into meaning and rich metaphor in Men's Hockey, where the goal of winning is shared by both team and coach; the respective experiential differences of this goal, however, are great.

Stephen Wetzel holds an MFA degree in painting from the University of Chicago and an MPFA in film and video from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Men's Hockey is Wetzel's first long-format documentary. Until recently, Wetzel produced short experimental videos, installations and performances. Other ongoing projects include a found-text performance group, the Paragraphs, and two documentaries in early stages of production: Dome Homes and Birthday Girl.

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