10 min., Super 8 , color, sound 2011
by Mark Street and Lynne Sachs
Released on DVD, mini DV and Betat SP
A wabi sabi summer in Japan – observing that which is imperfect, impermanent and incomplete– produces a series of visual haiku in search of teeming street life, bodies in emotion, and leaf prints in the mud.
Black Maria Film Festival, Director’s Choice, 3rd Prize. 2011
Lynne Sachs has invented a unique hybrid cinema between the investigative documentary and the personal poetic film. Her work explores the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences Sachs’ films have screened most recently at the Museum of Modern Art and the Sundance Film Festival.
On Feb. 2, at 6 PM – two films and a conversation with Sachs, co-sponsored by the Davis Museum and the Art Department.
The Last Happy Day (2009)
An experimental documentary portrait of Sandor Lenard, a Jewish Hungarian medical doctor and a distant cousin of the filmmaker, The Last Happy Day follows Sandor’s flight from the Nazis to Italy, where he reconstructed the bones of dead American soldiers for the U.S. Army Grave Registration Service. Post-war, Sandor moved to Brazil, where he translated Winnie the Pooh into Latin, an eccentric task that catapulted him to brief worldwide fame.
Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam (1994)
When Sachs and her sister Dana Sachs travel north from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi, Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the complexities of shared history. Which Way Is East starts as a road trip and flower into political discourse, combining Vietnamese parables and history with personal memory.
Inventions and Interventions is a monthly series that will present a diverse range of international acclaimed film and media makers who are redefining the art of cinema and contemporary media in the 21st century.
Davis Museum and Cultural Center
106 Central Street
Wellesley, MA 02481-8203
Inspirada en los cuentos cortos de Julio Cortázar, aunque combinada con las realidades contemporáneas de Argentina, Con viento en el pelo (Wind in Our Hair) es una narrativa experimental sobre cuatro niñas que se descubren a través de una fascinación con los trenes que pasan por su casa. Filmado en formatos de 16mm, Súper 8mm, 8mm Regular y video, el cortometraje sigue a las niñas por las vías del tren, en la cocina, por las aceras, entre disfraces y dentro de patios en el corazón de Buenos Aires, además de a las afueras de la ciudad. Es una historia de expectativa y decepción preadolescente, y Final del Juego está circunscrito por un periodo de profunda inestabilidad sociopolítica en Argentina. Sachs y sus colaboradores Argentinos se mueven por Buenos Aires con sus cámaras atestiguando los juegos de las cuatro niñas mientras ellas recorren una ciudad presa de un debate sobre el rol del comercio agrícola, los recursos alimenticios y los impuestos. Con una ambientación sonora bilingüe y complejamente construida, Sachs y su co-editora, la cineasta Puertorriqueña Sofía Gallisá, articulan esta atmósfera agitada de caos urbano que rodea las vidas de las jóvenes protagonistas. Con viento en el pelo además incluye la música atrevida y etérea de la cantante Argentina Juana Molina.
“Inspired by the short stories of Julio Cortázar, Lynne Sachs creates an experimental narrative about a group of girls on the verge of adolescence. While their lives are blissful and full of play, the political and social unrest of contemporary Argentina begins to invade their idyllic existence. Sachs’ brilliant mixture of film formats complements the shifts in mood from innocent amusement to protest. ” – Dean Otto, Film and Video Curator, Walker Art Center
“Inspired by the writings of Julio Cortázar, whose work not only influenced a generation of Latin American writers but film directors such as Antonioni and Godard, Lynne Sachs’ Wind in Our Hair/Con viento en el pelo is an experimental narrative that explores the interior and exterior worlds of four early-teens, and how through play they come to discover themselves and their world. “Freedom takes us by the hand–it seizes the whole of our bodies,” a young narrator describes as they head towards the tracks. This is their kingdom, a place where–dawning fanciful masks, feather boas, and colorful scarves — the girls pose as statues and perform for each other and for passengers speeding by. Collaborating with Argentine filmmakers Leandro Listorti, Pablo Marin and Tomas Dotta, Sachs offers us a series of magical realist vignettes (rock/piedra, paper/papel, scissors/tijera), their cameras constantly shifting over their often-frenzied bodies. A collage of small gage formats and video, the 42-min lyric is enhanced further by its sonic textures that foreground the whispers and joyful screams of the young girls with the rhythms of a city and a reoccurring chorus of farmers and student protesters. Filmed on location in Buenos Aries during a period of social turmoil and strikes, Sachs and co-editor Sofia Gallisá have constructed a bilingual work that places equal value on the intimacy of the girls’ lives and their growing awareness of those social forces encroaching on their kingdom. “ – Carolyn Tennant, Media Arts Director, Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, Buffalo, New York
“Argentine author Julio Cortazar is the inspiration for WIND IN OUR HAIR (2009, 42 min.), which loosely interprets stories in the collection “Final de Juego” against the backdrop of social and political unrest in contemporary Argentina. In her first attempt at narrative filmmaking, Sachs still retains her associative, playful structure and documentary eye. Four young women, again played by Sach’s daughters and family friends, grow restless at home and begin to make their way through Buenos Aires in search of excitement and eventually to a fateful meeting at the train tracks near their home. The film moves from childhood’s earthbound, cloistered spaces and into the skittering beyond of adolescence, exploding with anticipation and possibility. Argentine musician Juana Molina lends her ethereal sound to compliment the wild mix of formats and styles.” – Todd Lillethun, Artistic Director, Chicago Filmmakers
“I completely felt Cortazar’s stories throughout. The fluidity in which a ludic and serious tone mix and the combined sense of lightness and deepness capture the author’s vision.” – Monika Wagenberg, Cinema Tropical