Patrick Bokanowski – Patrick Bokanowski Short Films (1972-2008)

Quote:
Patrick Bokanowski, the ‘artist-alchemist of celluloid’, employs an extraordinary range of technical invention – combining live-action with optical experiments, drawing, performance, painting, and animation – to conjure magical forays into a parallel universe: moving from dread and terror in the early shorts, via bursts of zany humour, to sublime serenity in the landscape films and joyous kinetic energy in his most recent work.

“The pinnacle of experimentalism in the film arts.”
– Richard Curnutte, The Film Journal

“Magisterial images seething in the amber of transcendent soundscapes. Drink in these films through eyes and ears.”
– The Brothers Quay Continue reading

Albert Lamorisse – Le ballon rouge AKA The Red Balloon (1956)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Quote:
The story of a boy and his toy, The Red Balloon is widely praised for its narrative and visual “purity,” but not enough is said about the movie’s delightful manipulation. A quasi-silent comedy with musical cues straight out of the Charlie Chaplin tradition, Albert Lamorisse’s film plays a game with its audience, just as the little boy (Pascal Lamorisse) and his glowing red orb cling to, fall away from, and chase each other throughout the 34-minute running time. With its many stairs and sloping alleyways, the blue-gray Ménilmontant neighborhood of Paris is like a maze, constantly threatening to come in between the boy and his new pal, but like a magnet or a dog starved for attention, the balloon always comes back to him. He lets go of it on his apartment balcony and watches it fall to him downstairs. He directs it to “wait here” while he buys a treat at the local bakery. A group of neighborhood bullies chase the balloon through a perilously narrow corridor, throwing rocks as it tries to escape. The honeymoon is short-lived, but Lamorisse suggests that kids are always keenly attuned to the objects of the world around them: After the boy loses his red friend, a montage of balloons across the city shows them flying to his side and, in the final shot, launching him into the sky. For Lamorisse, then, the pleasures of childhood are as fleeting as they are ecstatic. Continue reading

Virpi Suutari – Eleganssi AKA Elegance (2016)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Elegance is a short film about a group of Finnish men, and the style and elegance of hunting partridge and pheasant. The film’s protagonists are all wealthy men, for whom hunting is a treasured hobby, a passion and a way of life. The film unfolds in three acts on a scenic autumnal field. Meet the three businessmen: Nokia’s former CEO, Jorma Ollila, engineering company Kone Oy’s owner, Antti Herlin, and the charming narrator, Publishing Company Otava’s former CEO, Heikki A. Reenpää. His narration leads the viewer through hunting expeditions, creates the mood and introduces the people. Almost equally important are the gentlemens’ dogs: handsome pointers and setters, whose pedigrees, abilities and hunting prowess ultimately determine whether any birds are caught at all. Continue reading

Cecile B. Evans – Hyperlinks or it didn’t happen (2014)

Hyperlinks or it Didn’t Happen questions the identity of the mediated subject. “PHIL,” a “bad copy” of recently deceased actor Philip Seymour Hoffman, narrates a procession of bodies generated or augmented by computers. The most alluring among them is the Invisible Woman, who—like the anti-hero of Ralph Ellison’s 1952 novel Invisible Man—is invisible not because of magic but because she is unseen. She is a metaphor for all the women in the film: Yowane Haku, the synthesized, holographic pop star developed in Japan; AGNES, the bot that Evans was recently commissioned to embed in the Serpentine Galleries’ website; the Computer Girls, programmers in the 1960s; and Evans herself—all of them under-recognized workers who maintain the system that oppresses them. Continue reading

Lois Patiño – Noite Sem Distância AKA Night Without Distance (2015)

29f7c043f76a2bde437fd0d52a185152

Synopsis:
An instant in the memory of landscape: the smuggling that for centuries crossed the line between Portugal and Galicia. The Gerês Mountains knows no borders, and rocks cross from one country to another with insolence. Smugglers also disobey this separation. The rocks, the river, the trees: silent witnesses, help them to hide. They just have to wait for the night to cross the distance that separates them. Continue reading

Ben Rivers – There Is a Happy Land Further Awaay (2015)

A hesitant female voice reads a poem by Henri Michaux, recounting a life lived in a distant land, full of faltering and mistakes. Island imagery of active volcanoes, underwater WW2 debris, children playing, and wrecked boats transform into intangible digital recollections of the island, made on the opposite side of the world. Images of the eroded land merge with eroding film, a lone figure on a boat drifts at sea. Continue reading