“Native Memphian Lynne Sachs, an experimental documentary filmmaker based in NYC, presents I Am Not a War Photographer, a two-night presentation exploring her artistic fascination with the resonance of war.”
“Anthology groups together shorts by the experimental filmmaker, offering a diverse look at her studies of people undergoing change. It’s dense, difficult, and allusive, but Sachs has a fundamental mastery of tone that makes the films worthwhile, even for relative avant-garde novices.”
Three Films by Lynne Sachs (Friday and Saturday) This review of recent work by one of the leading New York independent filmmakers includes the local premiere of “Wind in Our Hair,” a 41-minute video, made in Argentina with the collaboration of Leandro Listorti and Pablo Marin, that explores the world of four teenage girls, both as they imagine it and as it exists within the restraints of social reality.
We’ve been spying on children in the city for about a century now.
Using our movie cameras, we become omniscient god-like figures who
traipse behind a mischievous boy or a dreamy girl, privy to their
every move, even their thoughts, and, in this way, finding a
deceptively easy access to our own pasts.
“The Last Happy Day” is a stunningly beautiful essay film by Lynne Sachs, in which she uses the remarkable story of her distant cousin Sandor Lenard, a Jewish Hungarian doctor who survives two world wars, as a lens for her meditations on trauma, survival, history, and healing.
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 and the ethereal music of Argentine singer Juana Molina complement the shifts in mood from innocent amusement to protest. 2010, video, in English and Spanish with English subtitles, 41 minutes.
Events like the one you reexamine flickered past on the limited news that reached my remote village. Their function on an ethical plane of giving witness to an alternative view of community and relationships was not lost on me, not after having followed King’s efforts in some detail. But this had to be filtered out from the general hysteria, scapegoating and demonizing. I never had access to the interiority of the event, certainly not with the density and complexity that you are now able to offer.
Inspired by her children’s ubiquitous ABC picture books, not to mention the traditions of avant-garde alphabetizing, experimental mainstay Lynne Sachs concocted Abecedarium: NYC, an exquisite online corpse of cinematic cartography.
All my life I’ve been working in the arts. I drew, took pictures and wrote poetry a lot as a kid. Later, when I was a teenager, I got very excited and disturbed by a number of issues—particularly the reinstatement of the draft and abortion rights. I realized, “There’s this part of me that cares about social and political situations; but, I’ll still need to keep this other part that is about my more private self, the part that wants to play with images and words, exploring the everyday.”
If I had to choose a single word to encapsulate Lynne Sachs’ cinema, it would be “searching.” Her work is marked by a mode of inquiry, of seeking out connections, of investigation. What is she looking for? Meaning, maybe. But more so, historical consciousness, an ethical way of being in the world, a politics of humanity. I’ve known her to get on a plane to move a film project forward, unsure what she will find when she lands or where the project is going. It seems every time we talk and check in, she’s been someplace else, at work on yet another project. She is indefatigable in her search, and she has been extraordinarily prolific.