Lois Patiño – Fajr (2017)

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In the Moroccan desert night dilutes forms and silence slides through sand. Dawn starts then to draw silhouettes of dunes while motionless figures punctuate landscape. From night´s abstraction, light returns its dimension to space and their volume to bodies. Stillness concentrates gaze and duration densify it. The adhan -muslim call to pray- sounds and immobility, that was condensing, begins to irradiate. And now the bodies are those which dissolves into the desert. Continue reading

Shelly Silver – Touch (2013)

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A man returns, after fifty years, to Chinatown to care for his dying mother. He is a librarian, a re-cataloger, a gay man, a watcher, an impersonator. He passes his time collecting images that he puts before us – his witnesses and collaborators. Sitting in the dark, we share his cloak of invisibility, both a benefit and a curse. Continue reading

Jean-Marie Straub – Gens du lac (2018)

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It is the discovery of a document recognising the services rendered by two fishermen from Lake Geneva during the Occupation that triggered the investigation undertaken by Swiss author Janine Massard in her novel Gens du lac, published in 2013. Jean-Marie Straub retraces the itinerary of the son, Paulus – just as he and Danièle Huillet had followed that of Jean Bricard just over ten years ago in the last film they made together. Gens du lac does not depart from the rule that sets each Straubfilm as an account of a historical situation in which men have resisted (Daney). Shot aboard a boat and hardly ever leaving the lake’s waters, the film depicts the life of this only son who has found brothers over the course of his fishing – be it his first steps in the trade, the help given to fugitives and deliveries of provisions to the Resistance, or his contribution to the emergence of a new Left in post-war Francophone Switzerland. Finding the seeds of a political act in this unconditional hospitality, Straub gradually dissipates the peaceful impression and conservative spirit of this “friendly, even emollient” landscape, and distinguishes between the silence “recommended during the hostilities” from the silence that subsequently enjoined people not to disturb the political order. While the people of the lake do not guard a frontier, they do, on the other hand, belong to a front. (Antoine Thirion) Continue reading