The ground rules were set early on in the IFP Film Week panel “Neorealist Features & Hybrid Documentaries.” There was to be no talk about “business.” We were here to talk about art — the art of cinema and how to transcend categorization.
When the experimental filmmaker Lynne Sachs taught avant-garde filmmaking at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1992, few if any in our class had ever heard of the essayist Chris Marker, with whom she later collaborated on Three Cheers for the Whale, or Trinh T. Minh-ha, whose approach to filmmaking strongly influenced her own.
On July 15, The DocYard series, running Monday nights at the Brattle Theatre, will host writer-director Lynne Sachs and her gorgeous, intimate look inside one very crowded New York Chinatown apartment, Your Day Is My Night.
“Your Day is My Night” is a fascinating and innovative portrait of Chinese immigrant life in New York by Lynne Sachs. Sachs made the film through a lengthy series of workshops with Chinatown residents who became the film’s authors and performers.
The public pulse is measured every way: from political polling to pondering why dance videos go viral. But at the avant-garde video extravaganza, Images Festival, it’s possible to reflect on how inward looking we’ve become by having us listen to a long-gone love affair revisited via long-lost tapes or watching a smuggled-in Chinese worker’s quiet private battle to keep his dignity.
With her continuous interest in personal historiography and mixed media, renowned experimental documentary filmmaker Lynne Sachs probes into this kind of urban existence beyond visual sensation. What are the stories of these unrooted people? How do they bond in this living environment? Staged in central Chinatown, YOUR DAY IS MY NIGHT is a hybrid documentary that recreates the shift-bed experience.
It’s a strikingly handsome, meditative work: a mixture of reportage, dreams, memories and playacting, which immerses you in an entire world that you might unknowingly pass on the corner of Hester Street, unable to guess what’s behind the fifth-floor windows.
The multimedia performance “Your Day Is My Night” from independent producer and director, Lynne Sachs, the premiere was launched in Chinatown. The film is talking about all sorts of joys and sorrows of new immigrants in the US and several Chinese immigrants performed their own stories in the movie.