Where You Thought You Were
Sunday, July 24, 2016, 7:30pm
Los Angeles Filmforum presents
Where You Thought You Were
At the Spielberg Theatre at the Egyptian, 6712 Hollywood Blvd., Los Angeles CA 90028
All Los Angeles Premieres
Ben Russell in person!
Human beings construct their places, the lands and seas and islands that they traverse in physical existence and in fiction, in memory and fantasy. This show highlights four superb recent works, made around the world, that stretch our normal notions of documentary and fiction, while finding ways to make apparent some of the many ways that place and landscape are conceived. Curated by Adam Hyman
Tickets: $10 general, $6 students/seniors; free for Filmforum members. Available in advance from Brown Paper Tickets at http://bpt.me/2571414 or at the door.
The Disappearance of the Aïtus, by Pauline Julier
2014, Tuvalu/Switzerland, HD, 35 min.
This poetic essay about Tuvalu, a microstate in South Pacific, draws an analogy between the disappearance of the country while the sea levels are rising and the imaginary’s erasure of its inhabitants. A metaphorical fable about modernization of the country unfolds the island during a night visit and shows an insular environment as heavenly and scary.
Into the Great Wide Open, by Michaela Grill
2015, Austria/Canada, Digital, 16:00
“Into the Great White Open moves along unstable boundaries and investigates border crossings. Reliable conceptual territories, like abstract or figurative, are not permitted trespass in the land- and soundscapes created by Michaela Grill/Philip Jeck. The ground is unstable, the first shot already misleading: A slow-gliding camera views an Arctic Ocean horizon, drifting ice floes shimmer in the dimming twilight, seagulls flit excitedly across the image – virtually the only reliable companions throughout the course of the entire film. Is it the camera that is moving or drift ice? Is it melting or is the water freezing? And then, are we seeing ice floes or clouds? Positive or negative? William Turner or Caspar David Friedrich?...“Michaela Grill transmits images from a foreign planet, a tire track in the snow becomes a treacherous scandal and passing birds are man’s best friends. In this audio-visual ambience a new habitat is discovered ¬– something between J.G. Ballard’s wastelands and H.P. Lovecraft’s Mountains of Madness: toward delirium and back again. The duel between abstraction and objectivity, between here and there, solid and liquid does not take place.” – Michael Palm, translated by Eve Heller
Atlantis, by Ben Russell
2014, Malta, 16mm film to digital, 23:30
"We Utopians are happy / This will last forever"
Loosely framed by Plato's invocation of the lost continent of Atlantis in 360 BC and its re-re-resurrection via a 1970s science fiction pulp novel, Atlantis is a documentary portrait of Utopia -- an island that has never / forever existed beneath our too-mortal feet. Herein is folk song and pagan rite, religious march and reflected temple, the sea that surrounds us all. Even though we are slowly sinking, we are happy and content.
"Atlantis interrogates this space of fabulation without ever leaving the real island behind, finding itself caught between a portrait of place and the conjuring of a drowned paradise."
— Erika Balsom, Artforum
Dog Island, by Shehrezad Maher
2014, Pakistan/Turkey/U.S., digital, 26:32
Dog Island merges the narratives, myths, embellishments, and rumors about two similar islands in Constantinople and Karachi that were occupied by wild dogs in the early 20th century. Instead of adopting the fixed narrative of the traditional documentary, the work adopts a logic more akin to a fever dream, and seeks to combine two stories about similar islands to reveal a greater truth about uncertainty and violence.