Port Angeles filmmaker retells Poe’s ‘Tell-Tale Heart’

PORT ANGELES — Sarah Tucker remembers reading “The Tell-Tale Heart,” Edgar Allan Poe’s psycho-thriller short story, when she was a girl.

The 168-year-old story, about a madman haunted by the sound of his murdered companion’s heartbeat, awakened her to the fact that people live in both outer and inner worlds.

On Friday night, Tucker will premiere her own “Tell-Tale Heart” — the short film she has made in black, white and red — in the first Far West Video Night at the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center, 1203 E. Lauridsen Blvd.

“Tell-Tale” will screen along with “Why Don’t We Disappear,” a movie shot in Port Angeles by Seattle-based filmmaker Tristan Seniuk, and “Albatross, Albatross, Albatross,” a short video by Matt Daniels, also of Seattle.

The evening will start at 7:30 p.m.; admission is a suggested donation of $5.

And while Seniuk, the son of fine arts center director Jake Seniuk, used high-end video equipment and nine local actors in his movie, Tucker chose simple, stop-motion silent-film type effects and herself portrays both the old man and the young man in “Tell-Tale Heart.”

Her flickering video montage, paced by the old man’s heartbeat, plays against a soundtrack by DJ Schmeejay, aka Mattias Jarvegren of Port Angeles.

Using Torq software, Jarvegren — who also brings his music to Port Angeles nightclubs and parties — adds delays and reverberations, weaving together an aural collage.

“His music,” Tucker said, “gives [the movie] a dreamlike quality.”

Tucker reappears in “Why Don’t We Disappear,” which Seniuk filmed over a three-day weekend in the woods near Port Angeles and in the Hoh Rain Forest.

The story is about a young couple pursued by “Messengers,” torch-carrying elders portrayed by local residents Harris Verner, Ed Bedford, David Haight, Lou Sarna and the late Jim Butler.

The young couple, played by Laurie Roberts and Rob Bennet of Seattle, take refuge in the home of a trapper family — portrayed by Tucker, her husband, Scott, and their daughters, Zoe, 11, and Celeste, 6.

Filmmaker Seniuk, at work on a movie in Los Angeles, is flying to Port Angeles for Friday’s event, said his father, Jake.

Far West Video Night is part of the fine arts center’s Enter Stage Left series, which finishes May 13 with an 8 p.m. performance by Cirque de Boheme, a Port Angeles circus-burlesque troupe.

“The series is a sampler of the talent in our midst,” Jake Seniuk said, “and a new opportunity for artists and performers to come together.”

For details about the Port Angeles Fine Arts Center’s exhibitions and events, visit www.PAFAC.org or phone 360-457-3532.

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Features Editor Diane Urbani de la Paz can be reached at 360-417-3550 or at diane.urbani@peninsuladailynews.com.

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