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 STAGE - NOV 14-15 2023, 8:30pm, Frascati Theatre  



Jeanie Finlay

Dorota Lech

Chloe Abrahams

Lynne Tillman

D.L. Alvarez

Steven Sheil

Michael Palmieri

Donal Mosher

In the traditional ghost story terror and trauma can alter time, cause it to loop, extend the resonance of an incident or experience long beyond its initial duration. But in many ghostly tales love too has the power to bend time. This edition of Spectral Transmissions presents nine stories demonstrate how the strength of physical, emotional, and creative passions can shape our futures, reshape our pasts, and alter our relationships with time itself. Family bonds, childhood friendships, compassion for animals: these are not typical gothic fare but these stories reveal that the human heart may be most uncanny thing of all. 


Moonshiner’s Ghost - Michael Palmieri, John Cohen

Despite the best intentions, every filmmaker has a film that got away from them. But do these projects truly disappear? This dreamlike portrait of musician, photographer, and folk archivist John Cohen the ways that uncompleted work haunts and shapes our creative lives.


Save Me From the Pious and the Vengeful - Lynne Tillman

The winner of the 2022 Katherine Ann Porter Award reflects on shifting nature of consciousness, trauma, and time in this poignant and deeply personal essay .

Low Star - Donal Mosher
A family’s oral traditions have a ghostly influe
nce on a fateful night in the rural American South. 


Lost Dogs - from the Spirit Phone community interactive project.
In a haunted coastal town a man gives redeeming love to the ghosts of abused dogs that inhabit his home. 


Drowning Marzanna - Dorota Lech
Film Scholar and programmer Dorota Lech gives an intimate account of a family heirloom from a grandmother who died of Covid that embodies family tradition and Polish folklore.


My Enemies Have Sweet Voices - Steven Sheil and Jeannie Finlay
Documentary filmmaker Jeannie Finlay and author and filmmaker Stephen Sheil bring a tale of lost siblings connected by an uncanny tape recorder.


Limbo - Chloe Abrahams
Multimedia artist and filmmaker Chloe Abrahams turns a personal experience of sleepwalking into exploration of desire and the strange places that exist between waking and dreaming. 


Regan Era - D. L. Alvarez

Artist, author, and queer activists D.L. Alvarez brings us to a San Francisco gay bar where The Exorcist, Ronald Reagan, and classic gay porn intertwine in a meditation on cinema, grief, and sensuality.


What Music They Make - Donal Mosher
While watching a 1950’s werewolf film two boys explore their sexualities, their response to the violence of their worlds, and the shifting moral positions of fantasy. 


Portland Art Museum, May, 2023

Artists in Residency shows, PAMCUT

Museum of the Moving Image, March 2023

Working On It: Spectral Conversations

Museum of the Moving Image, March 2022

Working On It: Spectral Conversations

IDFA: On Stage - November 2021




Kirsten Johnson & Dick Johnson

Jeanie Finlay

Steven Sheil

Courtney Stephens

Maya Daisy Hawke

Charlotte Selb

Dodie Bellamy

James Davis 

Michael Palmieri

Donal Mosher


I. Marseilles

By Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Narration by Charlotte Selb


Robots turn to a magical belief system to expand their consciousness using the Tarot. Narrated by documentary programmer and translator Charlotte Selb. In French with English subtitles.


II. Strange Gardens

by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Live narration by Donal Mosher


Using personal experience and the uncanny history of medical and visual technologies, Strange Gardens explores the links between dream states experienced during the current pandemic and those experienced by long term HIV survivors.


III. Improvement

by Robert Ashley

Adapted by Courtney Stephens

Live narration by Courtney Stephens


A spoken-word version of Robert Ashley’s dreamlike libretto.


IV. Ghosts

by Dodie Bellamy

Narration by Dodie Bellamy

With special appearance by a disembodied mystery guest


Celebrated novelist, critic, and experimental writer Dodie Bellamy explores paranoia, information overload, and pop culture in gentrifying San Francisco.


V. The Woman in the Screen

Written by The New York Times staff, 1953

Live narration by Michael Palmieri


A true story of a spectral television phenomenon as reported in the New York Times in 1953.


VI. The Lover

By Marguerite Duras

Original narration by Maya Daisy Hawke

Live narration by Courtney Stephens


Filmmaker, editor and multimedia artist Maya Daisy Hawke shares a haunting passage about time, love, and displacement from the classical novel by Marguerite Duras.


VII. Sprite Limits

by James Davis

Narration by James Davis


Poet and media critic James Davis looks at video game ghosts and childhood memories.


VIII. My Enemies Have Sweet Voices
Written by Steven Sheil

Narration by Jeanie Finlay


Writer and director Steven Sheil gives a contemporary take on the classic ghost story in which a cassette player holds the key to tender memories and a sinister mystery. Performed by the renowned documentary filmmaker Jeanie Finlay.


VIV. Night Wind Remembers

By Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

LIve narration by Donal Mosher


Created as a special live cinema performance for the First Look Festival at the Museum of the Moving Image, Night Wind Remembers is both a personal story and a reflection on performing in the midst of the pandemic that interweaves the classic film Fantastic Voyage with a meditation on aging, concepts of the body, and the power of breath itself. 


X. Phone Call from the Future

Narrated by Kirsten Johnson and Dick Johnson

Adapted by Michael Palmieri


Award winning Filmmaker Kirsten Johnson and her father (Dick Johnson of Dick Johnson Is Dead) negotiate disembodied space and attempt to connect through a series of voice messages left when calls to one another go unanswered.

Spectral Transmissions Nightstream Edition, Winter 2020


This special festival program features a host of filmmakers and writers explore memory, technology, and how the past and the future haunt us today.

Featuring works by Steven Sheil and Jeannie Finlay, Maya Daisy Hawke, Dodie Bellamy, James Davis, Christine Shields, Donal Mosher, Michael Palmieri, and special mystery guests.

Directed by Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher

Original Score composed and performed by Michael Palmieri

Tickets and program at:

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