Tag Archives: A Month of Single Frames

The Collector: 10 Films for Photography Enthusiasts / A Month of Single Frames

Feb 19, 2024 • By Lk Rigor, MA Art Studies (Curatorial Studies)

Photography and cinema are kindred visual languages. For photographers looking for inspiration, here are 10 films to watch.

https://www.thecollector.com/films-photography-enthusiasts/

“Movies can be a fertile ground of inspiration for photographers looking to improve and find meaning in their craft. Since cameras are used in photography and cinema, they share technical aspects in image-making such as lighting, composition, exposure, and post-processing. As visual tools used to portray reality, fiction, or a mix of both, photos and films are also used to reflect on concepts surrounding history, memory, identity, humanity, and more. In this list, various filmmakers from Europe, Asia, and the United States offer visual inspiration and introspective views on the art of making pictures.

1. For Contemplating Memories Through Photography: Sans Soleil

2. Capturing Cityscapes: News From Home 

3. Defining Beauty: Claire’s Camera

4. On Experimenting: Emak-Bakia

5. Revisiting Old Photographs: A Month of Single Frames

“Eight years after a one-month residency in an off-grid shack, Barbara Hammer received her cancer diagnosis. A decade after the news, she started to look back at her personal archive as part of her art of dying. That year, in 2018, she entrusted the outputs from her residency to her filmmaker friend Lynne Sachs. A year later, the short film was released, and Hammer finally embraced eternal rest. As Hammer narrated her meditations about life, idyllic shots unfurled in this peaceful farewell: deep purple skies during sunset, long blades of grass dancing with the wind, and gentle rainfall outside the cabin window. This bittersweet tribute is a reminder that there are things that can only be discovered and realized in hindsight.”

6. Visualizing the World and Humanity: Koyaanisqatsi

7. Understanding Walter Benjamin’s Essay: Certified Copy

8. Trusting the Process: Mysterious Object at Noon 

9. Rethinking Your Purpose: The Spectre of Hope

10. Digging Through Photography Archives: To Pick a Flower

“Oberhausen meets Paderborn” / The 14th Short Film Night

NOA, NOA and A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES screen at The 14th Short Film Night, Paderborn University

https://www.uni-paderborn.de/en/event-item/oberhausen-trifft-paderborn-die-14-kurzfilmnacht-praesentiert-internationale-meisterwerke

The city of Paderborn is ready to celebrate the highlights of international short film art when “Oberhausen meets Paderborn” opens its doors for an unforgettable short film night. The event will take place on Wednesday, 18 October at 8pm at Pollux by Cineplex (Westernstraße 34, 33098 Paderborn). Tickets are available online from Cineplex or directly at the box office.

The Short Film Night offers the opportunity to discover emerging talents and renowned filmmakers from all over the world. The programme includes new works by filmmakers such as Lynne Sachs from the USA and artists from Colombia as well as German and Austrian productions. The diverse selection reflects the global range of cinematic art and invites the audience to explore new perspectives and stories.

A special highlight of the event is the presentation of short films carefully selected by students of Paderborn University. Within a seminar, the students were able to experience the “69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen” and have then put together a programme. These films are the result of passionate work and creative inspiration, covering a wide range of genres and narrative styles.

The 14th “Oberhausen meets Paderborn” Short Film Night is not only an opportunity to enjoy art and culture, but also a platform for filmmakers and the audience to exchange ideas and network. Film enthusiasts in particular will have the opportunity to see short films that are otherwise rarely seen on the internet or even on the big screen.

About “Oberhausen meets Paderborn

“Oberhausen meets Paderborn” is an annual short film night that presents the best short films from around the world. The event provides a platform for emerging filmmakers and established artists to present their work to a wide audience and celebrate the magic of short film.


‘A Month of Single Frames’ at State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe / Light Cone

State Academy of Fine Arts Karlsruhe
Light Cone
May 22, 2023
https://lightcone.org/en/agenda?date=20230522

STAATLICHE AKADEMIE DER BILDENDEN KÜNSTE KARLSRUHE
Karlsruhe, Allemagne
May 22, 2023

FILMS
– MESHES OF THE AFTERNOON by Maya DEREN & Alexander HAMMID
– THÈMES ET VARIATIONS by Germaine DULAC
– ÉTUDE CINÉGRAPHIQUE SUR UNE ARABESQUE by Germaine DULAC
– OPTIC NERVE by Barbara HAMMER
– MY NAME IS OONA by Gunvor NELSON
– LIGHT YEARS EXPANDING by Gunvor NELSON
– PSEUDOSPHYNX by Ana VAZ
– EL NIDO DEL SOL by COLECTIVO LOS INGRÁVIDOS
– A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES by Lynne SACHS

Lynne Sachs: Tender Nonfictions / DAFilms

Lynne Sachs: Tender Nonfictions
DAFilms
June 19, 2023
https://dafilms.com/newsletter/view/FaqDIISJsPCIxhEQvdVwfizORrvkbdETtieFAcWaMWuoX-SxpZLAmWQ-SOhznon_/106ef47c25871c598ee634962a34aeab4134f54c

Lynne Sachs: Tender Nonfictions

Spend the weekend with Tender Non-Fictions, a program of films by experimental feminist filmmaker Lynne Sachs, who has been prolifically creating works for cinema for four decades. Her non-fiction films, represented here in 11 works of varying lengths, powerfully evoke the curiosity and richness of a life lived through art.

Based in Brooklyn, New York, Sachs defies easy classification. Instead, her work is best understood collectively as a sprawling adventure playground, stretching across continents and blending influences across the borders of distinct art forms.


Film About a Father Who
Lynne Sachs

RECENTLY ADDED, BIOGRAPHIES, EXPERIMENTAL

From 1984 to 2019, Lynne Sachs shot film of her father, a bon vivant and pioneering businessman. This documentary is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings.


House of Science: A Museum of False Facts
Lynne Sachs

RECENTLY ADDED

Available free for registered users.

A defiant feminist mosaic on the ways that science enters our culture and defines what it is to be a woman.


A Month of Single Frames
Lynne Sachs

RECENTLY ADDED

In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. While there, she shot film, recorded sounds and kept a journal. In 2018, she gave all of her images, sounds and writing from the residency to Sachs and invited her to make a film with the material.


Drawn and Quartered
Lynne Sachs

RECENTLY ADDED

In Medieval Europe, a criminal could be “drawn and quartered”, ripped into our four parts by heavy ropes pulled by horses. Here, Sachs appropriates this violent conceit for her own artistic purposes.


Which Way is East: Notebooks From Vietnam
Lynne Sachs

RECENTLY ADDED

In 1994, two American sisters – a filmmaker and a writer – travel from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Together, they attempt to make a candid cinema portrait of the country they witness. Their conversations with Vietnamese strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history.


States of UnBelonging
Lynne Sachs

RECENTLY ADDED

Delving into the religious and political conflicts of the Middle East is never going to be easy, but Lynne Sachs spends three years making an effort. She attempts to make a portrait of Israeli filmmaker Revital Ohayon, a mother and peace activist who was killed near the West Bank.

Tribute to Lynne Sachs: Memorial Work with Winnie the Pooh / Tagesspiegel

Tribute to Lynne Sachs: Memorial Work with Winnie the Pooh
Tagesspiegel
by Jan-­Philipp Kohlmann
April 29, 2023
https://www.tagesspiegel.de/kultur/eine-hommage-an-lynne-sachs-erinnerungsarbeit-mit-winnie-puh-9734297.html

Tribute to Lynne Sachs
Memorial work with Winnie the Pooh

by Jan­-Philipp Kohlmann

The Oberhausen International Short Film Festival honors the feminist filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs whose work questions the relationship between the body and the environment.

In 1998, the experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer spends lonesome weeks in a dune shack in Cape Cod, a picturesque peninsula in southern Massachusetts. She keeps a diary and shoots playful 16mm footage of insects, grass and plastic bags in the wind – sometimes with a color filter, sometimes with the shower head running in front of the camera.

Twenty years later, when Hammer was sorting her estate, she left the material to her friend Lynne Sachs for the short film “A Month of Single Frames”. The film reflects the former filmmaker‘s attempts to inscribe her own presence with the camera onto the images of the landscape. As part of the Lynne Sachs retrospective at the 69th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, this film now seems like a perfect introduction to her work: “A Month of Single Frames” is a homage to the influential colleague, who died in 2019 when the film was released, and at the same time sums up Sachs’s collaborative approach to filmmaking in a nutshell.

“Body of the Body, Body of the Mind”

“We’re not striving for perfection, and we will never replicate reality,” says Sachs about her own and Barbara Hammer’s cinematic ideas in an interview, shortly before she heads to the airport on her way to Germany for the festival. “Instead, we’re constantly looking for a way to present a subjectivity in relationship to reality.”

“A Month of Single Frames” won the Grand Prix of the City of Oberhausen in 2020, when the festival was one of the first to take place online due to the pandemic. This year, twelve intelligent and idiosyncratic short films by Sachs, created between 1986 and 2021, can be discovered in the Oberhausen program “Body of the Body, Body of the Mind”, curated by Cíntia Gil. The retrospective includes Sachs’s early feminist experimental films, several documentary essays from the series “I Am Not a War Photographer” and more recent works that deal with the problem of translation, among other things.

Found Footage Films and Fragmentary Essays

The latter include “The Task of the Translator” (2010), inspired by Walter Benjamin, as well as “Starfish Aorta Colossus” (2015), a film adaptation of a poem by the Filipino-American writer Paolo Javier. In addition, Sachs’s latest film “Swerve”, also a collaboration with Javier, is screened in the festival’s International Competition.

The Brooklyn-based director and poet, born in 1961 in Memphis, Tennessee, willingly references the influence of other artists on her work and relies on close collaborations. Rather than claiming individualist authorship, in our interview, Sachs mentions numerous people from her student years in San Francisco who influenced, trained, or worked with her, thus shaping her own aesthetics.

Her mentions include two especially formative figures in experimental filmmaking: the conceptual artist Bruce Conner, who introduced Sachs to working with found footage in an essayistic fashion; and the filmmaker and cultural studies scholar Trinh T. Minh-ha. With Minh-ha, Sachs shares the conviction of making one’s own position visible, most notably in documentary films set in different communities or cultural environments.

A specific technical aspect adapted from Minh-ha, Sachs explains, is to not use zoom lenses when shooting, making sure she has to approach the people in front of the camera and introduce herself. A film like “Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam” from 1994, for example, is therefore not an ethnographic travelogue, but a fragmentary sketch in which poetic impressions of everyday life, Vietnamese idioms and her own memories of US television reports on the Vietnam War stand side by side.

Another essay film, “The House of Science: a museum of false facts” can be regarded as the feminist core of the Oberhausen program. Sachs first presented the film in 1991, at her first trip to Oberhausen, and it’s only fitting that the retrospective’s title features a quote from it. A collage of patriarchal attributions about women’s bodies, “The House of Science” re-contextualizes educational films about menstruation, scenes from feature films, historical writings about the body features of sex workers and Sachs’s own diary entries about a consultation hour at a male doctor’s office.

Created under the impression of the theoretical writings on écriture féminine, this found footage masterpiece is much more than a document of early 1990s feminist zeitgeist. Sachs herself is convinced that contemporary feminist debates can tie in with “The House of Science”: “The film isn’t exclusively relevant for what we now call cis women, but it’s about inhabiting the feminine. I think it speaks about femininity in a more fluid sense.”

A Commemoration With Winnie the Pooh

For Sachs, personal documents – diary entries, home movies – are often the starting point for a cinematic search for clues. “The Last Happy Day” is the best and at the same time most curious example of this approach: when her younger brother, the fiction film director Ira Sachs (who presented “Passages” at this year’s Berlinale), appeared as Winnie the Pooh in a children’s play in the late 1970s, the Sachs siblings learned of the existence of a distant relative named Sándor Lénárd.

Sachs’s 2009 film chronicles the life of the Budapest-born Jewish doctor and writer, who escaped from Nazi persecution in Austria, worked for the US Army in Italy, and eventually completed a stunningly successful Latin translation of “Winnie the Pooh” in Brazil. With her own children and their friends as “Winnie the Pooh” performers in front of the camera, Sachs brings the unknown relative back into the family, adapting her collective approach not only to filmmaking, but also to a moving work of remembrance.

Lynne Sachs in Oberhausen

The 69th Oberhausen International Short Film Festival dedicates the three-part retrospective “Body of the Body, Body of the Mind” with a total of 12 films to the US director Lynne Sachs. The programs run on April 30th in the Gloria Cinema and on May 1st in the Lichtburg Cinema. In addition, her current short film ”Swerve” is presented in the International Competition of the festival. Twelve films by Lynne Sachs are available online on the platform of Doc Alliance (dafilms.com), the network of seven European documentary film festivals (1.50 to 2.50 euros per streaming).

Body of the Body, Body of the Mind by Cíntia Gil / 69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

BODY OF THE BODY, BODY OF THE MIND
Lynne Sachs Artist Profile
April 26 – May 1, 2023
69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Curator: Cíntia Gil

Program notes by Cíntia Gil:

The title of this retrospective quotes Lynne Sachs in her 1991 film “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”. It speaks of a zone of experimentation that crosses Sachs’ work and grounds filmmaking as a practice of dislocating words, gestures and modes of being into open ontologies. What can be a woman, a word, a color, a shade, a line, a rule or an object? The negotiation between the body of the body and the body of the mind is another way of saying that things exist both as affections and as processes of meaning, and that filmmaking is the art of not choosing sides in that equation. That is why Sachs’ work is inseparable from the events of life, while being resolutely non-biographical. It is a circular, dynamic practice of translation and reconnection of what appears to be separated.

There are many ways of approaching Lynne Sachs’ full body of work, and many different programmes would have been possible for this retrospective. Films resonate among each other. Like threads, themes link different times. Repetition and transformation are a constant obsession in the way images, places, people and ideas are revisited. While looking for an angle for this programme, I tried to look at some of the threads that seem to me the most constant, even if sometimes subterraneous, throughout the films. The three programmes are not systematically bound by themes or built around typologies. There are three different doors to the same arena where body (and the ‘in-between’ bodies) is the main ‘topos’: translation, collaboration, and inseparability of the affective and the political. Yet, none of these terms seems to truly speak of what’s at stake here.

Lynne Sachs knows about the disequilibrium that happens between words and concepts, and about the difference between the synchronicity of life and the linearity of discourse. She also knows that words can be both symptoms and demiurgic actors. That is maybe why she writes poems, and why this programme was inspired by her book, “Year By Year Poems”[1].

1975 [girls with fast lane dreams]

Teachers push us to the precipice –

trick us with conundrums we mistake for algorithms

catch us in a maelstrom of dizzying numbers.

Searching for the exit door

I discover quick methods for finding north –

solace in the gravitational pull of geography

and head for the first opening from a school

with too many ambitions

penalty points

and girls with fast-lane dreams.

Talking about the making of “Which Way is East”, Lynne Sachs said: “the most interesting films are the ones that ask us to think about perception, that don’t just introduce new material.”[2]. Both Lynne Sachs and her sister Dana, a writer, lived the Vietnam War through television – a middle-class childhood sometimes haunted by images of that war that seemed both far away and fundamental to their generation. When Dana moved to Vietnam in the early 1990s, Lynne visited for a month, and they made a film. The film begins with a sequence of movement shots, colors, fleeting forms, interrupted by a popular Vietnamese saying about a frog and the horizon. Three layers come together, predicting one of the strongest traits of Lynne’s work: the world seen through the rhythm of a moving body, and the dialogue between different modes of feeling and thinking. [Lynne’s childhood Vietnam War images were black and white, upside down; the Vietnam landscape in 1991 is crossed on a motorbike, and nature is motion and strangeness; “a frog sitting on the bottom of a well, thinks the whole sky is only as big as the lid of a pot”.]

A travelog in Vietnam became a dialogue of perceptive discoveries, glimpses of meaning and, most importantly, of the many ways of being just here and now, together, facing abysses that should not eat us alive. How to not be eaten alive by life’s infinite and sublime abysses?

Girls with fast-lane dreams is another way of referring to an impulse for joy.

Girls looking at girls, girls playing with girls, Lynne Sachs and Barbara Hammer collaborating on an impossible film. How to work on beauty, without monumentalizing it? How to work on death without freezing the life within? A kid once told me: “you have to pass it through the inside, and let it out through your smart eye”. Is that translation? Isn’t “A Month of Single Frames” the translation of a place and a body, the conditions of light seen through embodied solitude?

There is some kind of radical positioning of Lynne Sachs’ gaze (gaze is a pace and a gesture, and that is its politics): allowing things to unfold as they are, knowing that it is the very act of filming them that constitutes their becoming. Noa becomes play with light. Maya becomes time and unsurmountable individuality. Central Park becomes a porous membrane for the circulation between a musical movement and the event of an emotional form.

1997 [Another baby girl drops down]

(for my daughter, Noa)

Again, nine full moons leave bare

the dust against the sky.

Air fills up with brightness.

Another baby girl drops down.

Dice on a betting table

or rich, ripe fruit atop worn grass.

The political comes forward when things are dislocated from their assigned places, becoming eloquent. When a field of possibilities is problematized by different temporalities, different meanings attach to the same words. New symptoms (not symbols) emerge from the same myths. To the territorialization of body, Lynne Sachs responds with the unspeakable layers of desire, underpinning the history of the body. To the typification of identity, cinema responds with the history of gesture.

Feminism in Lynne Sachs’ work comes from an obsession with ontological fluidity – women as possibilities, bringing with them the memory of what has not been captured by politics, the promise of kinder political places. Such invention requires the deconstruction of the gaze, the transformation of language through the power of a thinking (collective) body. Collective as in-between, in circulation, in transition with others: the Lilliths who may or not become mothers in “A Biography of Lillith”, the enfolding body in “Drawn and Quartered”, the collage that renders old measures useless in “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”.

Materiality is a key aspect in this cinema, it sustains the emergence of a filmic gesture. The presence of things in their most concrete form, be it a birth, a hand helping to translate an idea, a splash of light on a face, the astonishment of a baby in front of a camera. Things occupy a certain space, move in a certain way, and their sensuality is never sublimated or forced into metaphors. It is their material presence that saves them from their assigned roles and chains of meaning, revealing their vitality as a principle for a political imagination.

“Incendiary, but not arson.”[3]

2009 [scars     muscles    curves of the spine]

I hold the mirror just inches away and look

shy

detached

brave

I touch myself with knowledge

Scars muscles curves of the spine

I trace a path across my chest

searching for surprises I’d rather not find –

knots in the fabric

Translation comes, then, as a movement between transmitted memory, embodied experience, affective vocabulary and the never-accomplished labor of form. Nothing stays determined within a field of possibilities, but the field itself is in a constant motion, resignifying every aspect, reconnecting every moment in time, every glimpse of an image.  The work done around Sandor Lenard, a distant cousin, seems key to consider her full body of work. “The Task of the Translator”, presents three movements, three ways of looking for the body. It starts with the reassemblage of bones of dead American soldiers during WWII by Sandor Lenard, in a sequence that will come back in “The Last Happy Days”. Here, translation is both an effort to make sense of the materiality of time and history, and a question about the translatability of such. Like in “Which Way is East”, how can history be translated through the gestures of the present, of the living? Is the way the past escapes linearity and expresses its vitality?

The second movement in “The Task” shows a group of scholars translating an article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. Tentative words and articulations around a table, hands helping meaning through gestures. Is Latin a dead language? Sandor Lenard, after moving to Brazil, translated Winnie the Pooh into Latin. What paradox lies in the gesture of translating a children’s story into a dead language? Translation is a game of materiality, of dislocating the world into another regime of forms and movements. Allowing language to pass through the materiality of the present time. In “The Last Happy Day”, children tell the story of Sandor Lenard while rehearsing Winnie the Pooh. Translatability through bodies and gestures, vitality: one does not simply look at the past, but rather invents a dialogue of embodied time. In “The Task of the Translator”, suddenly the camera leaves the scholars and focuses on the drops of rain on a foggy window, and on the gestures of a hand, before we start hearing radio news about human remains after an attack.

Translation keeps all things alive at the same time – even the matter of death.


Cíntia Gil

Born in Portugal, Cíntia Gil studied at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema (Lisbon Theatre and Film School) and holds a degree in Philosophy from the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto (Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Porto). From 2012 to 2019, Cíntia Gil served as co-director and then director of Doclisboa – International Film Festival. From 2019 to 2021 she has directed Sheffield DocFest in England. In 2022, Cíntia started the programme of screenings and study groups “Artistic Differences”, at UnionDocs (NY), as a co-curator together with Jenny Miller and Christopher Allen. She is part of the programming team of Cannes Directors Fortnight.

Gil has curated a variety of contemporary and historical film series, retrospectives and exhibitions, besides publishing articles in various publications. In addition, she has taught seminars, lectures and workshop  in different institutions (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica in Mexico, EICTV in Cuba, HGK Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Germany among others), and she is a project tutor for the Master on Creative Documentary at the Pompeu Fabra University . She has also served on juries in international film festivals, such as Berlinale, Cairo Film Festival, Mar del Plata, Jerusalem Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, London Film Festival, IDFA, Taipei IDF, FidMarseille, Seville European Film Festival, DokuFest, Ficunam, DocsNYC, Guadalajara, among many others. She has been a member of the executive Board of Apordoc – Associação pelo Documentário, the Portuguese documentary film association since 2015.


[1] Lynne Sachs, “Year by Year Poems”, Tender Buttons Press, NY, 2019

[2] “Observe and Subvert”, interview by Inney Prakash for Metrograph, December 2021

[3] In “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”.

69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen – Profile programmes / Experimental Cinema

69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen – Profile programmes
Experimental Cinema
By Marcos Ortega
April 14, 2023
https://expcinema.org/site/en/events/69th-international-short-film-festival-oberhausen-profile-programmes

The 69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is presenting five shows of works by filmmakers and artists from different generations and countries who work with the short form in very different ways. They come from the arts, experimental or documentary film, their themes are personal, political or historical, they use performances, collages, text or feature film elements, demonstrating the enormous range and versatility of the short form.

Marcel Broodthaers, Belgium (1924-1976)

A programme of rarely shown cinematic works by the Belgian artist

A poet who decided to become a visual artist at the age of 40, Marcel Broodthaers created a fascinating body of work in a relatively short time, consisting of texts, drawings, paintings, publications, photographs, sculptures, installations – and films. With limited economic and technical means, Broodthaers produced idiosyncratic works that explored the boundaries and rules of film. Oberhausen will be showing a selection that concentrates on Broodthaers’ work as a filmmaker rather than on the exhibition or performance documentaries that were also made. The works are presented in loose chronological order, from Défense de fumer (1967-70) to La Bataille de Waterloo (1975), compiled by curator, scholar and author Xavier García Bardón.

The highlight of the programme is an Expanded Cinema work conceived especially for the festival, presenting projects in which Broodthaers made the screen an integral part of the work. On 28 April, in a special screening outside the cinema hall, a number of his films will be projected onto three special screens. The festival would like to thank Maria Gilissen Broodthaers for her collaboration.

Teboho Edkins (Germany/South Africa)

An agent between cultures

Born in the USA, raised in South Africa and Lesotho and now living in Germany, Teboho Edkins sees himself as a mediator and translator between cultures. His documentary works provide insights into the world of South Africa and Lesotho in particular, be it the gangs of Cape Town in his “gangster trilogy” Gangster Project (2011), Gangster Backstage (2013), and Gangster Film (2020) or the culture of cattle herders in Lesotho as in Shepherds (2020). Both Gangster Backstage and Shepherds won awards at Oberhausen. Edkins’ films are documentary in nature, and he shows them in art contexts as installations as well as at numerous film festivals. In 2020, his feature-length film Days of Cannibalism screened at the Berlinale, and his new short film Ghosts was selected for this year’s International Competition in Oberhausen.

The programme is curated by art historian and curator Susanne Touw.

Alexandra Gulea (Romania)

The first complete show of her short films

Alexandra Gulea was born in Bucharest and studied art in Bucharest and Paris as well as film in Munich. With her expressive, mostly documentary films she has won numerous prizes, including at Oberhausen. Now the festival is showing the first complete show of her short films. She often sheds light on institutional and social constraints, for example in Dumnezeu la Saxofon, Dracu’ la Vioara (The Thumb Twiddlers, 2003), where she portrays the residents of a psychiatric home in Romania, or in Valea Jiului – Notes (2018), which is about the quasi-orphaned children of parents working abroad. Most recently, she won the Prize of the German Competition at Oberhausen with Ńeale azbuirătoare (Flying Sheep, 2022). In the film, she tells the story of her grandparents, who were members of the persecuted Aromanian minority.

Curated by the author, film curator and teacher Madeleine Bernstorff.

Lynne Sachs (USA)

Body of the Body, Body of the Mind

The New York experimental and documentary filmmaker Lynne Sachs is one of the pioneers of feminist experimental film. In around 45 feature and short films to date, she explores the connection between the body, the camera and the materiality of film, mixing personal observation and historical experience, essay, performance, poetry and collage. She won the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen in 2020 with A Month of Single Frames; now the festival is presenting a showcase of her work whose central topos is the body. Three programmes, inspired by Sachs’ 2019 poetry collection Year by Year Poems, explore three different approaches: translation, collaboration and the inseparability of the affective and political. Twelve films from 1986’s Drawn and Quartered to Maya at 24 (2021) form a cross-section of Sachs’s work, compiled by publicist, programmer and curator Cíntia Gil.

Lynne Sachs’ new work Swerve has been selected for this year’s International Competition in Oberhausen.

Yamashiro Chikako (Japan)

An international discovery

Born in Okinawa, video artist Yamashiro Chikako is well-known in her home country, but has yet to be discovered in Europe. In Oberhausen, she won the ZONTA Prize for Tsuchi no hito – 2017 gekijyoban (Clay Man – 2017 Film Ver.) in 2018; now the festival is presenting a first show of her work in Europe. Since the 2000s, Yamashiro has been artistically exploring the history, social issues and geopolitical conditions of her homeland. Her focus is above all on the consequences of the American occupation, its cultural influences, the blending of traditional culture and American elements: Ryukyu singing meets Verdi opera, Japanese cowgirls meets spoken word poetry. Curated by Okamura Keiko, curator of contemporary art, Oberhausen shows an overview of Yamashiro’s short film work.

Full festival programme:

https://kurzfilmtage.filmchief.com/shop/tickets

69th Festival: Five Profile Programmes Press Release / 69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen

69th Festival: Five Profile programmes Press Release
69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
April 13, 2023
https://www.kurzfilmtage.de/en/press/detail/69th-festival-five-profile-programmes/

69th Festival: Five Profile programmes

13.04.2023 Press Press Release News

69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen, 26 April – 1 May 2023

Five Profile programmes:

Marcel Broodthaers, Teboho Edkins, Alexandra Gulea, Lynne Sachs, Yamashiro Chikako

The 69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen is presenting five shows of works by filmmakers and artists from different generations and countries who work with the short form in very different ways. They come from the arts, experimental or documentary film, their themes are personal, political or historical, they use performances, collages, text or feature film elements, demonstrating the enormous range and versatility of the short form.


Marcel Broodthaers, Belgium (1924-1976)

A programme of rarely shown cinematic works by the Belgian artist

A poet who decided to become a visual artist at the age of 40, Marcel Broodthaers created a fascinating body of work in a relatively short time, consisting of texts, drawings, paintings, publications, photographs, sculptures, installations – and films. With limited economic and technical means, Broodthaers produced idiosyncratic works that explored the boundaries and rules of film. Oberhausen will be showing a selection that concentrates on Broodthaers’ work as a filmmaker rather than on the exhibition or performance documentaries that were also made. The works are presented in loose chronological order, from Défense de fumer (1967-70) to La Bataille de Waterloo (1975), compiled by curator, scholar and author Xavier García Bardón.

The highlight of the programme is an Expanded Cinema work conceived especially for the festival, presenting projects in which Broodthaers made the screen an integral part of the work. On 28 April, in a special screening outside the cinema hall, a number of his films will be projected onto three special screens. The festival would like to thank Maria Gilissen Broodthaers for her collaboration.


Teboho Edkins (Germany/South Africa)

An agent between cultures

Born in the USA, raised in South Africa and Lesotho and now living in Germany, Teboho Edkins sees himself as a mediator and translator between cultures. His documentary works provide insights into the world of South Africa and Lesotho in particular, be it the gangs of Cape Town in his “gangster trilogy” Gangster Project (2011), Gangster Backstage (2013), and Gangster Film (2020) or the culture of cattle herders in Lesotho as in Shepherds (2020). Both Gangster Backstage and Shepherds won awards at Oberhausen. Edkins’ films are documentary in nature, and he shows them in art contexts as installations as well as at numerous film festivals. In 2020, his feature-length film Days of Cannibalism screened at the Berlinale, and his new short film Ghosts was selected for this year’s International Competition in Oberhausen.

The programme is curated by art historian and curator Susanne Touw.


Alexandra Gulea (Romania)

The first complete show of her short films

Alexandra Gulea was born in Bucharest and studied art in Bucharest and Paris as well as film in Munich. With her expressive, mostly documentary films she has won numerous prizes, including at Oberhausen. Now the festival is showing the first complete show of her short films. She often sheds light on institutional and social constraints, for example in Dumnezeu la Saxofon, Dracu’ la Vioara (The Thumb Twiddlers, 2003), where she portrays the residents of a psychiatric home in Romania, or in Valea Jiului – Notes (2018), which is about the quasi-orphaned children of parents working abroad. Most recently, she won the Prize of the German Competition at Oberhausen with Ńeale azbuirătoare (Flying Sheep, 2022). In the film, she tells the story of her grandparents, who were members of the persecuted Aromanian minority.

Curated by the author, film curator and teacher Madeleine Bernstorff.


Lynne Sachs (USA)

Body of the Body, Body of the Mind

The New York experimental and documentary filmmaker Lynne Sachs is one of the pioneers of feminist experimental film. In around 45 feature and short films to date, she explores the connection between the body, the camera and the materiality of film, mixing personal observation and historical experience, essay, performance, poetry and collage. She won the Grand Prize of the City of Oberhausen in 2020 with A Month of Single Frames; now the festival is presenting a showcase of her work whose central topos is the body. Three programmes, inspired by Sachs’ 2019 poetry collection Year by Year Poems, explore three different approaches: translation, collaboration and the inseparability of the affective and political. Twelve films from 1986’s Drawn and Quartered to Maya at 24 (2021) form a cross-section of Sachs’s work, compiled by publicist, programmer and curator Cíntia Gil.

Lynne Sachs’ new work Swerve has been selected for this year’s International Competition in Oberhausen.


Yamashiro Chikako (Japan)

An international discovery

Born in Okinawa, video artist Yamashiro Chikako is well-known in her home country, but has yet to be discovered in Europe. In Oberhausen, she won the ZONTA Prize for Tsuchi no hito – 2017 gekijyoban (Clay Man – 2017 Film Ver.) in 2018; now the festival is presenting a first show of her work in Europe. Since the 2000s, Yamashiro has been artistically exploring the history, social issues and geopolitical conditions of her homeland. Her focus is above all on the consequences of the American occupation, its cultural influences, the blending of traditional culture and American elements: Ryukyu singing meets Verdi opera, Japanese cowgirls meets spoken word poetry. Curated by Okamura Keiko, curator of contemporary art, Oberhausen shows an overview of Yamashiro’s short film work.


Full festival programme:

https://kurzfilmtage.filmchief.com/shop/tickets

Download stills:

https://www.kurzfilmtage.de/en/press/#c261

Accreditation deadline: 17 April 2023

https://www.kurzfilmtage.de/en/visit/#t2638

Oberhausen, 14 April 2023

Press contact: Sabine Niewalda, T +49 (0)208 825-3073, niewalda@kurzfilmtage.d

Lynne Sachs Profile / 69th Oberhausen Short Film Festival

Lynne Sachs Profile
69th Oberhausen Short Film Festival
May 1, 2023
Program 1 – [girls with fast lane dreams]: https://kurzfilmtage.filmchief.com/shop/tickets?v=1493
Program 2 – [Another baby girl drops down]: https://kurzfilmtage.filmchief.com/shop/tickets?v=1494
Program 3 – [scars     muscles    curves of the spine]: https://kurzfilmtage.filmchief.com/shop/tickets?v=1495

Lynne Sachs Artist Profile Trailer

Lynne Sachs 1 [girls with fast lane dreams]

An overview of the films of the New York pioneer of experimental documentary. Sachs’ films are inseparably linked to events of life, though they are resolutely non-biographical. Inspired by her poetry collection Year by Year Poems, the central “topos” of these programmes is the body (and the bodies „in-between“). The negotiation between the body of the body and the body of the mind leads from the Vietnam War to feminism to death.

Films in this Program

A Month of Single Frames
Lynne Sachs
USA, 2019

In 2018, Barbara began her own process of dying by revisiting her archive. She gave her Duneshack materials to Lynne. ‘The words on the screen came to me in a dream. I was really trying to figure out a way to talk to the experience of solitude that Barbara had had, how to be there with her somehow through the time that we would all share together watching her and the film.’

Noa, Noa
Lynne Sachs
USA, 2006

Over the course of three years, Sachs collaborated with her daughter Noa (from 5 to 8 years old), criss-crossing the wooded landscapes of Brooklyn with camera and costumes in hand. Noa’s grand finale is her own rendition of the bluegrass classic ‘Crawdad Song’.

Drift and Bough
Lynne Sachs
USA, 2014

A winter morning in a Central Park covered in snow. Graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper. The black lines of the trees against the whiteness become an emotional drawing. Stephen Vitielloʼs delicate yet soaring musical track seems to wind its way across the frozen ground, up the tree trunks to the sky.

Which Way is East: Notebooks from Vietnam
Lynne Sachs
USA, 1994

Lynne and her sister Dana travelled from Ho Chi Minh City to Hanoi. Their conversations with strangers and friends reveal to them the flip side of a shared history. Lynne and Dana’s travel diary revels in the sounds, proverbs, and images of daily life. Their film becomes a warm landscape that weaves together stories of people they met with their own childhood memories of the war on TV.


Lynne Sachs 2 – [Another baby girl drops down]

Films in this Program

The House of Science: a museum of false facts
Lynne Sachs
USA, 1991

Combining home movies, personal remembrances, staged scenes and found footage into an intricate visual and aural collage, the film explores the representation of women and the construction of the feminine otherness. A girl’s sometimes difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.

Drawn and Quartered
Lynne Sachs
USA, 1986

Optically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections. An experiment in form/content relationships that are peculiar to the medium. A declaration of desire of and through cinema.

Maya at 24
Lynne Sachs
USA, 2021

‘My daughterʼs name is Maya. Iʼve been told that the word maya means illusion in Hindu philosophy. I realized that her childhood was not something I could grasp but rather – like the wind – something I could feel tenderly brushing across my cheek.’ Lynne filmed Maya at ages 6, 16 and 24, running around her, in a circle – as if propelling herself in the same direction as time, forward.

A Biography Of Lilith
Lynne Sachs
USA, 1997

Off-beat narrative, collage and memoir, updating the creation myth by telling the story of the first woman. Lilith’s betrayal by Adam in Eden and subsequent vow of revenge is recast as a modern tale. Interweaving mystical texts from Jewish folklore with interviews, music and poetry, Sachs reclaims this cabalistic parable to frame her own role as a mother.


Lynne Sachs 3 [scars     muscles    curves of the spine]

Films in this Program

The Task of the Translator
Lynne Sachs
USA, 2010

Three studies of the human body compose an homage to Benjamin’s The Task of the Translator. Musings of a wartime doctor grappling with the task of a kind of cosmetic surgery for corpses. A group of classics scholars confronted with the task of translating an article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. A radio news report on human remains.

The X Y Chromosome Project
Mark Street, Lynne Sachs
USA, 2007

Sachs and her partner Mark Street use the split screen to cleave the primordial to the mediated. Their diptych structure transforms from a boxing match into a pas de deux. Newsreel footage brushes up against hand painted film, domestic spaces, and movie trailers. Together, Sachs and Street move from surface to depth and back again.

Starfish Aorta Colossus
Lynne Sachs
USA, 2015

Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for the digital sculpting of an 8 mm Kodachrome canvas. Syntactical ruptures and the celebration of nouns. Paolo Javier invited Lynne to create a film that would speak to one of his poems. She travels through 25 years of her 8 mm films.

The Last Happy Day
Lynne Sachs
USA, 2009

In 1938, Sandor Lenard, a Hungarian doctor, fled from the Nazis to Rome. Shortly thereafter, the U.S. Army hired him to reconstruct the bones of dead American soldiers. Eventually he moved to Brazil where he embarked on the translation of Winnie the Pooh into Latin. The film weaves together personal letters, abstracted war imagery, home movies, interviews, and a children’s performance.


BODY OF THE BODY, BODY OF THE MIND
Lynne Sachs Artist Profile
April 26 – May 1, 2023
69th International Short Film Festival Oberhausen
Curator: Cíntia Gil

Program notes by Cíntia Gil:

The title of this retrospective quotes Lynne Sachs in her 1991 film “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”. It speaks of a zone of experimentation that crosses Sachs’ work and grounds filmmaking as a practice of dislocating words, gestures and modes of being into open ontologies. What can be a woman, a word, a color, a shade, a line, a rule or an object? The negotiation between the body of the body and the body of the mind is another way of saying that things exist both as affections and as processes of meaning, and that filmmaking is the art of not choosing sides in that equation. That is why Sachs’ work is inseparable from the events of life, while being resolutely non-biographical. It is a circular, dynamic practice of translation and reconnection of what appears to be separated.

There are many ways of approaching Lynne Sachs’ full body of work, and many different programmes would have been possible for this retrospective. Films resonate among each other. Like threads, themes link different times. Repetition and transformation are a constant obsession in the way images, places, people and ideas are revisited. While looking for an angle for this programme, I tried to look at some of the threads that seem to me the most constant, even if sometimes subterraneous, throughout the films. The three programmes are not systematically bound by themes or built around typologies. There are three different doors to the same arena where body (and the ‘in-between’ bodies) is the main ‘topos’: translation, collaboration, and inseparability of the affective and the political. Yet, none of these terms seems to truly speak of what’s at stake here.

Lynne Sachs knows about the disequilibrium that happens between words and concepts, and about the difference between the synchronicity of life and the linearity of discourse. She also knows that words can be both symptoms and demiurgic actors. That is maybe why she writes poems, and why this programme was inspired by her book, “Year By Year Poems”[1].

1975 [girls with fast lane dreams]

Teachers push us to the precipice –

trick us with conundrums we mistake for algorithms

catch us in a maelstrom of dizzying numbers.

Searching for the exit door

I discover quick methods for finding north –

solace in the gravitational pull of geography

and head for the first opening from a school

with too many ambitions

penalty points

and girls with fast-lane dreams.

Talking about the making of “Which Way is East”, Lynne Sachs said: “the most interesting films are the ones that ask us to think about perception, that don’t just introduce new material.”[2]. Both Lynne Sachs and her sister Dana, a writer, lived the Vietnam War through television – a middle-class childhood sometimes haunted by images of that war that seemed both far away and fundamental to their generation. When Dana moved to Vietnam in the early 1990s, Lynne visited for a month, and they made a film. The film begins with a sequence of movement shots, colors, fleeting forms, interrupted by a popular Vietnamese saying about a frog and the horizon. Three layers come together, predicting one of the strongest traits of Lynne’s work: the world seen through the rhythm of a moving body, and the dialogue between different modes of feeling and thinking. [Lynne’s childhood Vietnam War images were black and white, upside down; the Vietnam landscape in 1991 is crossed on a motorbike, and nature is motion and strangeness; “a frog sitting on the bottom of a well, thinks the whole sky is only as big as the lid of a pot”.]

A travelog in Vietnam became a dialogue of perceptive discoveries, glimpses of meaning and, most importantly, of the many ways of being just here and now, together, facing abysses that should not eat us alive. How to not be eaten alive by life’s infinite and sublime abysses?

Girls with fast-lane dreams is another way of referring to an impulse for joy.

Girls looking at girls, girls playing with girls, Lynne Sachs and Barbara Hammer collaborating on an impossible film. How to work on beauty, without monumentalizing it? How to work on death without freezing the life within? A kid once told me: “you have to pass it through the inside, and let it out through your smart eye”. Is that translation? Isn’t “A Month of Single Frames” the translation of a place and a body, the conditions of light seen through embodied solitude?

There is some kind of radical positioning of Lynne Sachs’ gaze (gaze is a pace and a gesture, and that is its politics): allowing things to unfold as they are, knowing that it is the very act of filming them that constitutes their becoming. Noa becomes play with light. Maya becomes time and unsurmountable individuality. Central Park becomes a porous membrane for the circulation between a musical movement and the event of an emotional form.

1997 [Another baby girl drops down]

(for my daughter, Noa)

Again, nine full moons leave bare

the dust against the sky.

Air fills up with brightness.

Another baby girl drops down.

Dice on a betting table

or rich, ripe fruit atop worn grass.

The political comes forward when things are dislocated from their assigned places, becoming eloquent. When a field of possibilities is problematized by different temporalities, different meanings attach to the same words. New symptoms (not symbols) emerge from the same myths. To the territorialization of body, Lynne Sachs responds with the unspeakable layers of desire, underpinning the history of the body. To the typification of identity, cinema responds with the history of gesture.

Feminism in Lynne Sachs’ work comes from an obsession with ontological fluidity – women as possibilities, bringing with them the memory of what has not been captured by politics, the promise of kinder political places. Such invention requires the deconstruction of the gaze, the transformation of language through the power of a thinking (collective) body. Collective as in-between, in circulation, in transition with others: the Lilliths who may or not become mothers in “A Biography of Lillith”, the enfolding body in “Drawn and Quartered”, the collage that renders old measures useless in “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”.

Materiality is a key aspect in this cinema, it sustains the emergence of a filmic gesture. The presence of things in their most concrete form, be it a birth, a hand helping to translate an idea, a splash of light on a face, the astonishment of a baby in front of a camera. Things occupy a certain space, move in a certain way, and their sensuality is never sublimated or forced into metaphors. It is their material presence that saves them from their assigned roles and chains of meaning, revealing their vitality as a principle for a political imagination.

“Incendiary, but not arson.”[3]

2009 [scars     muscles    curves of the spine]

I hold the mirror just inches away and look

shy

detached

brave

I touch myself with knowledge

Scars muscles curves of the spine

I trace a path across my chest

searching for surprises I’d rather not find –

knots in the fabric

Translation comes, then, as a movement between transmitted memory, embodied experience, affective vocabulary and the never-accomplished labor of form. Nothing stays determined within a field of possibilities, but the field itself is in a constant motion, resignifying every aspect, reconnecting every moment in time, every glimpse of an image.  The work done around Sandor Lenard, a distant cousin, seems key to consider her full body of work. “The Task of the Translator”, presents three movements, three ways of looking for the body. It starts with the reassemblage of bones of dead American soldiers during WWII by Sandor Lenard, in a sequence that will come back in “The Last Happy Days”. Here, translation is both an effort to make sense of the materiality of time and history, and a question about the translatability of such. Like in “Which Way is East”, how can history be translated through the gestures of the present, of the living? Is the way the past escapes linearity and expresses its vitality?

The second movement in “The Task” shows a group of scholars translating an article on Iraqi burial rituals into Latin. Tentative words and articulations around a table, hands helping meaning through gestures. Is Latin a dead language? Sandor Lenard, after moving to Brazil, translated Winnie the Pooh into Latin. What paradox lies in the gesture of translating a children’s story into a dead language? Translation is a game of materiality, of dislocating the world into another regime of forms and movements. Allowing language to pass through the materiality of the present time. In “The Last Happy Day”, children tell the story of Sandor Lenard while rehearsing Winnie the Pooh. Translatability through bodies and gestures, vitality: one does not simply look at the past, but rather invents a dialogue of embodied time. In “The Task of the Translator”, suddenly the camera leaves the scholars and focuses on the drops of rain on a foggy window, and on the gestures of a hand, before we start hearing radio news about human remains after an attack.

Translation keeps all things alive at the same time – even the matter of death.

Cíntia Gil

Born in Portugal, Cíntia Gil studied at the Escola Superior de Teatro e Cinema (Lisbon Theatre and Film School) and holds a degree in Philosophy from the Faculdade de Letras da Universidade do Porto (Faculty of Arts and Humanities at the University of Porto). From 2012 to 2019, Cíntia Gil served as co-director and then director of Doclisboa – International Film Festival. From 2019 to 2021 she has directed Sheffield DocFest in England. In 2022, Cíntia started the programme of screenings and study groups “Artistic Differences”, at UnionDocs (NY), as a co-curator together with Jenny Miller and Christopher Allen. She is part of the programming team of Cannes Directors Fortnight.

Gil has curated a variety of contemporary and historical film series, retrospectives and exhibitions, besides publishing articles in various publications. In addition, she has taught seminars, lectures and workshop  in different institutions (Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica in Mexico, EICTV in Cuba, HGK Karlsruhe University of Arts and Design in Germany among others), and she is a project tutor for the Master on Creative Documentary at the Pompeu Fabra University . She has also served on juries in international film festivals, such as Berlinale, Cairo Film Festival, Mar del Plata, Jerusalem Film Festival, Torino Film Festival, London Film Festival, IDFA, Taipei IDF, FidMarseille, Seville European Film Festival, DokuFest, Ficunam, DocsNYC, Guadalajara, among many others. She has been a member of the executive Board of Apordoc – Associação pelo Documentário, the Portuguese documentary film association since 2015.


[1] Lynne Sachs, “Year by Year Poems”, Tender Buttons Press, NY, 2019

[2] “Observe and Subvert”, interview by Inney Prakash for Metrograph, December 2021

[3] In “The House of Science: a museum of false facts”.