Soul Chamber

12 minute B&W surrealist film


Soul Chamber (Promotional Trailer)


The surrealist tale of a father who becomes corrupted as he exploits his daughter. Removing her

soul, he places it in a chamber and displays it and her doll-like body for profit throughout the

countryside. For the daughter it is a journey of becoming herself and rising above betrayal

through forgiveness.


The filmmaker, Mark G.E. speaks of how 'we must move beyond the pain that was given us by

others and attempt to move toward allowing it to help us rise to a stronger, more empowered

place.' G.E. explains, 'In this film, the father who is charged with taking care of his daughter finds

the lines between love for his daughter and lusting for her to be blurred, following a path of

exploitation that leads to his eventual down fall. On the other hand, this does not have to be the

fate of his daughter.' The daughter chooses a different path that leads to her transcending the



Primarily in the silent genre, the film pays homage to earlier seminal film work. The filmmaker

has long been inspired by silent and early sound films such as Nosferatu, Dr. Caligari and

Vampyr. It is not an attempt to recreate a silent film, as much as it is using the genre and style.

Further, events are not completely defined, creating more of an aquarium by which viewers are

able to determine their own impression of the events that unfold.


The film is directed by Mark G.E., who may be best known for his documentary Midwestern

Gothic, on the making of Wisconsin Death Trip by Academy Award winner James Marsh. G.E.

was the founder of the nationally award winning comedy show Joy Farm in which he appeared

with Monty Python's Graham Chapman. Currently he is half of the ambient-electronic downtempo

group Cyberchump. Mark G.E. has made over 300 short films. His film, The Unfortunate

Gift; an homage to Edward Gorey, was accepted into the Gorey House Archive and was

presented to them by Kenosha author and Gorey collaborator Florence Parry Heide.


The story is told with images by surrealist artist J. Karl Bogartte whose work is in the Milwaukee

Art Museum collection, as well as known world wide. The sets were shot with Bogartte's images

projected on a screen behind the actors. The was no attempt to hide the fact that the

backgrounds are rear projected images, in fact, the look was embraced. The filmmaker has a

love of 'showing the strings' of film making. The origin of the project was the filmmakers' attempt

to incorporate Bogartte's imagery into his work. The Milwaukee Art Museum is among the many

exhibitors that own Bogartte's work. He has created book covers for authors such as Philip



The music was composed by Sigmund Snopek III and played on an original pipe organ by David

Bohn. Sigmund Snopek has been a dominant figure on the international musical scene since the

late 1960s. As a classical composer, he has written symphonies, operas, ensemble compositions

and song cycles. Many of his major works have been showcased by the major cultural

organizations in Milwaukee, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Theatre X,

Summerfest, Irish Fest and Present Music.


Post production was completed by Nick Waraksa whose film "Weeds' was screened at the

Festival De Cannes in 2008.


Many of the people involved with the film are well-known from the art and music scene. The

father is played by Francis Ford, who has been a photographer for over 40 years; Photojournalist,

editorial, fine arts and commercial. Ford has been teaching photography at MIAD and other

schools for 20 years. Ford has had countless single and group photography exhibits. Ford has

published 4 books and has acted in plays and films.


The film is narrated by Victor DeLorenzo of the folk-punk band, the Violent Femmes; one of the

most commercially successful rock bands of the 1980s and 1990s, selling over 9 million albums.

DeLorenzo's acting history extends back to Theater X; an important Milwaukee theater company.

Nowadays DeLorenzo performs percussion in the chamber rock trio Nineteen Thirteen whose

recording of Hurricane Noel was featured in the 2011 TED Global Conference.


Make up and costumes were created by Shannon Sloan-Spice who has performed with Joy

Farm, Renaissance Theater Company and has personally trained with Ben Kingsley and Alan



The puppets were created by German-born New York artist Tine Kindermann, whose dioramas

and peep hole installations made from found objects have been shown all over New York City

and abroad. Tine has worked and played with The Klezmatics, Iggy Pop, Villa Delirium and other



The landlord is played by Keith Brammer from Die Kreuzen who are named as a source of

inspiration for a wide range of alternative rock musicians, including Soundgarden, Sonic Youth,

Voivod, Drive Like Jehu, Alice In Chains, and Neurosis. Brammer was inducted into the

Wisconsin Area Music Awards Hall of Fame in 2011.


The Woman of Ill Repute is Stonie Rivera from the acclaimed Psychobunnies and Dummy Club in

which she toured Europe and put out seminal recordings. She is the owner of Dominion Gallery.

The Man with Egg is Tom Crawford who is station manager of WMSE and an influential force in

the Milwaukee music scene. Chanel Le Meaux plays the Cleaver Gal and has been touted as

“Milwaukee’s Top Torch Singer” and dubbed “the white Aretha."


From Shepherd Express   Soul of Silence    By David Luhrssen

Milwaukee’s Mark G.E. has been a musician and a cable TV host, but with “Soul

Chamber” he shines under his third hat, filmmaker. A short film in color-tinted black

and white, “Soul Chamber” is an almost silent movie with intertitles interspersed with

voice narration by Victor DeLorenzo and an appropriately moody score by Sigmund

Snopek. An intriguing exercise in Guy Madden Land, “Soul Chamber” explores the

surrealism inherent in early cinema through masterful settings. Milwaukee visual

artist J. Karl Bogartte composed rear screen projections, New York’s Tine

Kindermann made the puppets dance and some fine silent era acting was provided

by such recognizable locals as photographer Francis Ford and musicians Keith

Brammer and Stonie Rivera along with WMSE’s Tom Crawford.

The Georges Melies-era special effects help tell the uneasy story of a father who

imprisons his daughter’s soul and displays her lovely body in a traveling carnival

soul—the sort of production Dr. Caligari might have patronized. “Soul Chamber” will

be featured in this year’s Milwaukee Short Film Festival, 7 p.m., Nov. 9 at the

Milwaukee Art Museum’s Lubar Auditorium.



Catalog | Mark G. E.