While Eden may
at first appear as an image book, to be devoured with the eyes with the freedom
of a journey without plan, engaging with the book in this way will cause you to
miss its immersive, linear construction of meaning. The pages of
images with occasional text are not numbered per se, but this is a book that,
like a film, moves forward in time. I started with Kenter’s introductory text,
one that claims that the art within the book was found, like flora in “wetlands
or between clover and lace umbrellas discarded”. The ambiguity of a
made object and a found object had begun. We will be asked to parse
a “ventriloquism of dots” in the next few pages, words that become images and
images that morph into words. Next, I discovered a series of
overlaid, Cubist-esque faces, confronting me directly and in profile. This
multiplicity of perspectives accentuates a human countenance that speaks to me,
even with closed lips. A ventriloquist for the author perhaps?
Turn page to
another face, this time in the darkness, like the moon’s face but in negative.
Here, I am already wondering what we find in any face. Aren’t they
all the same, really? Soon, a two-page combination that reminds me that we are
in what Kenter calls a “menagerie of planned and found” when I see collaged
images of educational treatises and abstracted line
drawings. Detritus or culture? It matters not. Immediately after,
nature reveals its own spontaneous culture, what appears to me as ephemeral
prints in the snow are here documented, and that is enough. Next, we say
goodbye to everything made, just observing the slightest crevice of light in
the dark — suggested by white on black, black on white, the optics give us such
liberty to see things as we want to see them.
Each pairing in
this book is critical. Together they create suggestions of trompe
l’oeil, make us play with what we think we should see and what we see at first
glance. I relish these shifts in perception. In a later image, a
slit of light, like a key hole becomes explicitly a little angel, not because I
saw this but because the words on the page told me. I am seeing with Kenter,
transporting abstraction into a spirit. This is what art can do, and I am
grateful for the guidance.
Soon, I see a
musically inspired page and another sense is sparked, I hear culture in my
mind, I am aware of the work of writing notes and having them read by a person
with an instrument. I am a musician without instruments, reading and
reproducing soundless sounds. What a journey I have taken, already.
What is left in my hands are a series of word/ image engagements that stretch
and expand upon the place of poetry in all frames of culture – signage,
information tech, children’s tales. If a book is a toy, here I hold
“six toys” and I will continue to play with them when and if I
wish. Now they are mine.
Film by Lynne Sachs,
Poem by Paolo Javier
watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for the
digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas. Syntactical ruptures and the
celebration of nouns illuminate twenty-five years of rediscovered film
Lynne Sachs. Filmmaker & Poet
Lynne Sachs is
an American experimental filmmaker and poet based in Brooklyn, New York.
Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she
searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and
aural textures in each new project. Over the course of her career, Lynne has
worked closely with fellow filmmakers Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara
Hammer, Chris Marker, Gunvor Nelson, Carolee Schneemann, and Trinh T. Min-ha.
produced over 40 films as well as numerous live performances, installations and
web projects. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing the
challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to
image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006,
when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia,
Israel/Palestine, Italy and Germany — sites affected by international war —
where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her
own subjective perceptions.
Lynne is also
deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press
published her first book “Year by Year Poems”.
Figuring out the unique grammar of your life can be difficult. People, situations, can give us question marks with no answers and ellipses that lead to nothing. Lynne Sachs, a Memphis-born experimental filmmaker, attempted to answer some of these questions in her own life with the 2020 documentary, Film About a Father Who. She offers an in-depth look at her father and titular character.
Ira Sachs Sr. is an enigmatic hotelier out of Park City, Utah, with an unmissable mustache and a penchant for colorful button-ups. His approach to love parallels in eccentricity. He despises loving like a “swan,” the idea of mating with a single soulmate for life. Sachs Sr. chose instead to surround himself with a steady flow of young women and went on to marry—and divorce—a number of them. Many of Lynne Sachs’ childhood peers were enamored by the bravado and Hefner-esque life her father led. But this way of life caused tension at times with those closest to him, to say the absolute least.
Beginning in 1984, Lynne Sachs chronicled moments in Sachs Sr.’s life for thirty-five years and those in his mother’s, ex-wives’, children’s, and others close to him. Her mission was to elucidate his tucked-away interior life, not just to an audience but to herself. Two years after the release of the film and two years younger than when Sachs began this project, I got to speak with her about it and her greater body of work. Sachs gave a lecture at Sarah Lawrence in the fall of 2021—for those who took Tanya Goldman’s “Experimental Documentary”course. I sat in my apartment in upstate New York and called Sachs, who was in a hotel room in Paris. She’d left her Brooklyn home for a few weeks to attend a screening of her work. In our hours of conversation, what stuck with me the most was what she said about the image above. Sachs stated that it is “the most important in all of Film About a Father Who.” A scene that wasn’t even filmed by Sachs, instead by her father. It’s a tranquil look at three of her siblings as children playing in a creek. For a film that follows a bon vivant and his unorthodox lifestyle, I was taken aback that this scene was the most important.
The scene occurs once in each of the three acts, all different segments of the same shot. Why? Well, it’s part of what makes this film, like each of her films, have a unique “feeling”—or “grammar”—to them. “Grammar,” as a metaphor, is illustrated in another wonderful scene in act one. I told her,
I really loved that scene in Film About A Father Who.
In it, Sachs, her brother, and her sister sit on her childhood bed talking
about how [your father] doesn’t have a grammar and your mother does when you’re living with each of them. Do you feel that your work as a filmmaker has some sort of grammar behind it? Or is it just question marks when you go into each project?
I think that what really, really distinguishes an experimental film from a more conventional film, whether you’re talking about a documentary or a narrative or any other form, is a refusal to embrace a formula around grammar or a template—the grammar of cinema. Because people say things like, “well, a great documentary is character-driven,” or they say “you can’t break the 180-degree rule when you’re shooting,” or you must have the exposition sort of identified and articulated in a narrative film by fifteen minutes in.
There’s all these rules about the shape of things. The way shot-reverse-shot insinuates that two people are in the same room and doing things simultaneously. If you know about making films, you know that they’re probably not, but it relies on an assumption on the part of the audience that the grammar of the film will be accessible and key to that—key is familiar.
So then you jump over to something that is more playful, experimental, distinctive in terms of each work, having its own cosmos. And you think that the audience at first might be a little disoriented because the audience doesn’t understand its distinctive grammar, but through the shaping, evolution of the film, the audience starts to register how meaning is constructed. And I think that’s really exciting. And I think that is an opportunity to constantly reinvent how you work with the medium of film. When I hear about someone who says, “well, I bought this software that helps you to write your screenplays, it comes with a template.”
I think, okay, if it comes with a template, then you are going to construct time in a certain kind of way. You’re going to create your characters in a, probably, formulaic way. So I’m scared of that kind of stuff. I think it’s problematic. So, then you asked that in relationship to Film About a Father Who, and I think that every family has its own grammar as well and that the grammar is significant because it guides you in terms of how you relate to people of different generations or new members of your family. It has to do with how transparent you are. What it means to do something like tell a lie, or what is a white lie? How many different people in your family do you tell white lies to, to protect them?
What does a white lie really mean? People either withhold information or you shift information because you think the truth is going to be complicated or intimidating or painful. So you were asking about the punctuation marks—are my films question marks? I do actually like when people leave my films, asking questions of themselves or questions of society or questions more ontologically about how we construct meaning. I like that. I think that’s an opportunity for being changed by a work of art. Or perhaps being just slightly shifted by it.
There was kind of a shift at the end of the film when you bring in your sister—the one that had been removed from you for so long. A lot of stories about your father- there’s some sort of way you and your other siblings in your minds might have justified them a lot of times, but in that one, there’s no justification for what happened.
Sachs’ half-sister went on a pre-college trip with a best friend from high school, staying in a ski lodge with Sachs Sr. At the end of the vacation, her best friend announced that she had fallen for and would continue to live with her father.
I felt like that really changed the perception of the film.
Sometimes we do that with things that upset us. We create justification in order to move forward, but then it keeps gnawing at us. So if we finally come to terms with our own anguish with the recognition that the reality is not what we want it to be, but it is there and that we can’t make any more excuses for it. Then I think it’s like a cathartic experience, even if it is difficult.
Also what I loved about that film is I felt you’re really comfortable not only behind the camera but also in front. Your  short film, Drawn and Quartered, you talked about how you at first edited out your face because you were so embarrassed [to show yourself nude], but then you ultimately decided to put it back in. And I felt like that was a moment of growth?
In English, we say, “oh, don’t you feel exposed.” We the word exposed on a physical level, and we use it on a psychological level.
So at that point, I was not very secure with showing my body, and I felt vulnerable and I felt too observed. But then later I made a film called the The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts, and I take my clothes off a little, other people do too—it’s a lot about the body.
But what was more of an exposed feeling was the writing. The idea of that you write about things that go on in your body and the grit of it all, the pus, the urine, and all those things. But the thing is, by exposing that, you’re actually saying I’m just like everybody else.I’m a woman. My body’s like all the other women; we’re just shaped a little different. It’s when you open up and expose the narrative of your life and all the compromises that come with that–that’s even more revealing. So there’s all these layers of what it means to be exposed.
As you’ve made films throughout your career, have you felt you’ve been able to be more comfortable [in front of the camera], or was this something from the beginning you felt—
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, definitely not. Sometimes I go back — not that I do this very much — and look at my progress reports from elementary school. And my teachers would say, “Lynne is a good student, but she’s so shy.” I wasn’t a very forthright child. I wasn’t the first person to raise their hand, you know, in those situations. But I think it’s come to me, and I think part of it is, let’s say, making a film like Film About a Father Who. I was so profoundly nervous about making this film.
It’s not just because I was exposing myself to you or to anyone else in the audience, but I was exposing myself, my life to myself. Does that make sense? I’ve never explored this word in this way. You are really making me think! Like I was saying, “Hey, this is really how it is,” because you can get very wrapped up in the day-to-day activities of your life and not really allow yourself to think in an analytical way, an emotional way about how, how you’ve lived your life. And so the film gave me that chance. I realized as I was making Film About a Father Who that two things happen when you’re interviewing and when you’re trying to write.
If I’m talking to one of my siblings and I’m asking them to tell me about how they feel about something, they’re looking to me, and I’m saying, “yes, yes,” and I’m nodding, and I’m affirming as if that’ll fit perfectly into my edit, you know, [like] that’s exactly what I needed. So I found that if we went together into a very dark place, like a closet, there wasn’t that constant affirmation and perhaps, manipulation. So that’s one thing. But then the other thing had to do with the writing and the construction of a voiceover or narration was that I kept censoring myself. So I used a method that has really proven to be super helpful. That was to just record my thoughts in this kind of unfiltered way and then to send it to a transcription service. And then you come back, and you have 20 pages of text. That was how I did it since I kept writing in my moleskin diary and scratching it all out.
I know you got your start with feminist filmmaking.Seeing Film About a Father Who, I wondered was there any sort of [internal] conflict?
I was actually editing Film About a Father Who during the Me Too movement. So I was cognizant of the fact that I was talking about a man who led a life, well, he’s still alive, in which he had a certain kind of power over different women in his life. Maybe not in the workplace, but you know, in his personal life. And I knew that there were contradictions, but I felt that I was not only making it as a feminist but also as a daughter. You look at your parents as role models, but you also look at your parents for ways to be completely different.
They’re your first models of how to exist in the world and for how to define what their sexuality is—how they define the meaning of their gender. And so either you adhere to that, or you move away. And for example, in Film About a Father Who, I think my brothers were all positioning themselves in very different ways in terms of their own identity as men. I think that they were confronting those things in just as complicated ways as we as daughters were. I mean, my brother Ira said he thinks the gist of the whole movie is a kind of search for a new or refined definition for masculinity in the 2020s.
So I was trying to deal with that all the time to move between my rage at my dad, but also my attempt to forgive him or to recognize his flaws.
I also found it interesting that from the beginning of your career, you started filming people in a unique way, compared to traditional documentarians that do shot-reverse-shot and have them look at a certain place. Whereas I feel like a lot of people that you film will look right at the camera or look right at you. How did you even think to do that? Break that rule.
Oh, you really picked up on something. That happened particularly in a film called Investigation of a Flame
(a 2001 documentary by Sachs that illuminates the story of the Catonsville Nine, who were Catholic activists in 1968 who peacefully yet poignantly burned draft files to protest the Vietnam War.)
When I was shooting that film, most of it, not all of it, I shot by myself. I was shooting it, but I was also using it as an opportunity to get to know these incredible anti-war activists, people who had been fighting the fight—the good fight. And even breaking the law in an absolutely nonviolent way as a statement against the Vietnam war. So I was on my way to interviewing someone near Boston. And a friend of mine who worked for National Geographic [said to me], “How are you going to shoot that by yourself? Because where will they look?” But that’s part of a grammar, that conceit, that idea that you have to look like three-quarters off. I think it was Errol Morris, the documentary filmmaker, who came up with a camera which he reconfigured so that people could simultaneously look at him while he was shooting and appear to be looking off at something. He invented some form of refraction to kind of work against that formula for setting up a relationship that isn’t about that the director controlling—[even though] we know the director is controlling. I mean, one of my very favorite places to do interviews is in the car because I think when people look off at a horizon line, even if the car isn’t moving, they become very introspective. Have you ever noticed all the deep conversations you might’ve had in a car?
Yeah. No, I never thought about that. There must be something with like the horizon—
The horizon, the sort of hermetic solitude—removed from the rest of the world but not really. You’re not in a silent chamber. You’re actually watching the world go by. But people become very— what’s the word? Meditative.
I definitely remember you having a couple of interviews where a person is looking out a window, looking outside.
I’ve been criticized for that. Oh my God. I had an interview in Investigation of a Flame where I’m interviewing this man. And then I look out the window— the camera looks out the window. And a lot of people were surprised that I kept that. They said, “why didn’t you just put in ‘B-roll’?” But I actually hate the term B-roll. I can’t stand it. It’s so disrespectful of the image, but also, I wanted the shot to convey that I was listening to him. I mean, I thought it was honest. I was listening to this man so intensely that I needed to not look at him. I needed to take in what he was saying.
I think that’s so interesting that you hate that term “B-roll.” Because I definitely feel like for a lot of your films, what makes them so good is that you have like an eye for beauty in all moments. No moment is B-roll.
I think that I said it was “disrespectful to the image,” but it actually doesn’t allow for the dialogue or the voiceover to have multiple layers of meaning. It just provides a little bit of distraction. I mean, I would say if the idea of B-roll, as in filler, is all you can do, just put in black.
The attention to dialogue is evident in each of Sachs’ films. Her 2013 documentary, Your Day is My Night, documents the lives of Chinese immigrants living in Manhattan’s Chinatown. In a scene where a middle-aged man gives another a back massage, he apologizes for bringing trashed mattresses into their shared living space. He likes to clean them and give them back to people in need. Sachs cut back and forth from a close-up of his hands gingerly rubbing the other’s back to a close-up of his face as he speaks, the window reflecting in his glasses. The audible rhythm of the massage combined with the focus on the scene presented—no, B-roll—makes it feel immersive. It made me linger on every word, every sound.
Sachs cares greatly about the spoken word but also the written. Many of her films intersect both of these mediums. Her 2020 abstract short film, Girl is Presence, silently follows her daughter arranging items from shark teeth to film strips while a poem is recited as a voiceover. For this short, she collaborated with poet Anne Lesley Selcer. I thought it was intriguing that Sachs, being a documentarian who tend to concern themselves with prose-oriented storytelling, has such a strong interest in poetry. Though, it is not surprising because Sachs herself is a poet. In 2019, her first book was published, Year by Year Poems (Tender Buttons Press) which inspired her 2017 documentary Tip of My Tongue.
I know you write poetry as well.
Yeah, I think there’s an interesting intersection between film and poetry that isn’t just about two different disciplines coming together, but it’s a way of listening. So poetry is like a confrontation with or a disruption of more conventional ways of constructing meaning, of organizing sentences. Poetry asks you to think in more associative ways and in speculative ways and redefines words you thought you knew. It asks you to listen in this kind of super-engaged way. And I also like that poetry thinks about the words in collision with each other and overlapping each other like the songs of words and even the fact that we break lines based on sound and based on rhythm, which is not how prose works. And that’s also how I like to edit, for example, dialogue in my films. I like to think about the ways that things are iterated, not just a cause and effect. Like I say this, and then you say that, and then I say this back to you. So I think poetry pushes you to engage with the oral experience in really revealing ways. I have recently, like in the last four or five years, integrated poetry more and more into my own film work, like with “Tip of My Tongue.” Then I made quite a few films in collaboration with other poets, like Bernadette Mayer or Paolo Javier.
Watching your films, I felt like there was a unique flow to the dialogue a lot of times.
One thing that’s been helpful over the years is I often shoot images separate from recording sound. So when you shoot what we call video image or digital, it’s like the sound and the picture usually, as they say, it sounds so terrible, [are] “married.” So you get the image, and you get the sound, and people tend to privilege the hearing of clear, clean sound in order to convey information. But if you let that go, you can allow dialogue to transform into sound effect. Like in conventional filmmaking, you have a track which is dialogue, a track which is effects, and a track which is music. But if you think of it all as an opportunity for dialogue to become music or for a sound effect to register almost like voice, then you start to get surprises that I think are super interesting.
That just reminded me of like- I love that opening of The Washing Society, where it was cutting to different [exteriors of] laundromats [around New York City]. I just remember watching that, and, you know, I had the volume turned up. And I felt like each laundromat, each area, had its unique sounds to it and really flowed into each one quite nicely, but then became distinct.
Thank you for saying that. In that film and about five others, I’ve worked really closely with Stephen Vitiello, who’s a wonderful sound artist and performer. We started working together on Your Day is My Night in 2013. Then he worked with me on Tip of My Tongue , Drift and Bow and Film About a Father Who. I’ll send him sounds from laundromats, then he’ll send me back musical pieces, and they’re usually much longer than the image. So then I have to find more image. And so it’s really like a back and forth the whole time. It’s never simply that he just creates the music track.
That’s the main methodology [for] him making music for your films? You’ll send him soundbites, and he’ll send you music?
Sort of. A lot of times, I’ll send him an image, and then he’ll come up with something, or he’ll say, “listen, [I] sent you all these sounds I made.” He also uses instruments. Sometimes he’ll hire a clarinet player, and then they’ll make these longer pieces, and then I love the piece so much that I think I have to meet him with more image. For me, the places where we have his music are very evocative and also places for thinking so that my films aren’t too much dialogue. I call them a sound vessels so that you can be in this place of resonance without exposition or information or anything like that, listening in a more relational way.
So, sometimes he’ll send you music, and you’ll actually respond by filming more?
Yeah. Yeah, sometimes.
I think that’s awesome.
It’s a lot of pressure, but I try to rise to the occasion.
I think in that way it makes the films breathe a little more, you know, so that you have some kind of scene where you have all this activity and energy and conversation, and then you have, a time that’s more sort of more cerebral. It’s not like a rest time. In fact, I think the audience has to kind of work with what they’ve just experienced in the previous scenes. That’s what I think happens in those sections.
Also, I see that you’re very interested in the ephemeral with a lot of your work. I’m wondering, for something as permanent a medium as film is, what is your interest in that?
Hmm, that’s really a lovely question. So, I guess I explored that most… I’m going to think about a couple of films, but I don’t know if you’ve seen them. Did you see Maya at 24?
Maya at 24 is a four-minute short film she released in 2021, which captures her daughter, Maya, at ages 6, 16, and the titular, 24. It’s comprised almost entirely of three paralleled scenes of Maya running in circles around a camera at each of those ages. Sachs shot it in black and white film on her 16mm Bolex.
So I was thinking about this while my daughter was spinning around me and then later as I was watching those moments on film. There on the screen are aspects of her that are no more—like I can’t touch anymore, that I can’t access anymore. But film itself can remind me; it’s almost like saying film is the antidote to the ephemeral? It’s sort of saying, “well, nothing is ephemeral because we can contain it and put it in our computer or put it in a can,” but yet it is also constantly reminding us that it no longer is. Did you see a Month of Single Frames?
No, but that’s the one about Barbara Hammer?
Yeah. You know, Barbara Hammer’s work?
A little bit. I’m not too knowledgeable of her, though.
Well, she was definitely a mentor of mine and a dear friend—she was never a teacher—but I admired her. She was exactly the same age as my mom is, and she was a powerhouse, “lesbian, experimental filmmaker,” that’s what she called herself. And when she was dying, a year before that, she asked me and some other people to make films with materials she had never been able to finish. And so the film that we made, which is a Month of Single Frames, or that I made in homage to her, is also about the ephemeral because it’s a recognition of the mortal coil as well as the changing landscape that you’ll see in the film. The landscape is- has- will always change. So it’s only there to hold onto and to touch in that exact moment. It’s like the Heraclitus, you know, “you can’t step in the same [stream] twice.” And so, it is always passing us by. I’m working on a new film now called Every Contact Leaves a Trace. It’s about people who’ve left imprints on me, but that expression comes from a forensic study. That if you come into my home or space and you take something from me, you leave something of yourself, a residue. So I’m interested in that. What happens when a tangible, touch-based experience is investigated, which is sort of like, how do we confront the ephemeral?
So for that film, Every Contact Leaves a Trace. Are you trying to take like a neutral stance and pull in people that have had any sort of contact with you—negative or positive?
I actually only have a pool of 550 people.
That’s a lot, though.
But I’m not using all of them. No, I’m not. They are people who, at one point, gave me a card. We had a haptic intersection. It could be a doctor. It could be someone from like a hardware store. I have both of those types of people. I met a man on the border between the United States and Mexico, right in Tijuana. We met for about an hour. He gave me his card. So, I’m actually constructing scenarios in my mind about those. Yeah, it’s kind of similar; you said “ephemeral.” It’s like a passing in the night. That man left something with me. Maybe I left something with him. I don’t know. That happened in 2014, but I have these cards going back all the way to the ’90s. I’m interested in not so much the trajectory of their lives but in the detritus of the moment. I might do kind of playful reenactments. I’m not quite sure.
Like Lynne Sachs’ use of business cards to recall moments with strangers, near the end of the interview, I brought out stills from her films to recall scenes. The image I brought for Film About a Father Whowas one of my favorites, but the one I had the most trouble understanding. It’s the image you have seen twice thus far—Sachs’ siblings playing in a creek. I was first drawn to it by the use of color and light. Then, when I noticed she repeated it across the film it made me believe it had to hold more significance than I understood. Though, I was not prepared for how important. I said to her,
I noticed that you repeated this image in Film About a Father Who.
Oh, thank you. Okay. I love that you brought that up. What happens in Film About a Father Who is that I have a seven-minute shot that my dad recorded with his own camera. So it’s the world and his children perceived by him. In many films that one makes, you talk to people, and they tell you exactly how they feel about things. But that was really a challenge for me with my father. So, to see the world through his lens, through his eyes, was such an opportunity for me to think about the positive things that he brought to his children. I had that material, and at first, I absolutely dismissed it because it had been completely degraded by time, by the weather, by the fact that the material had been in a garage for decades. Then I looked at it again, and I realized it was the most important image in all of Film About a Father Who. Because it has this compassion, but also as an image, it’s like the classical golden triangle. It’s constructed graphically like what you’re taught in design school or in drawing class—to create this perpetual motion inward towards the center through a triangle. And so, I was interested in using that as a marker three times in the film, but it’s not exactly the same shot. It’s different parts of the same seven-minute shot. Each time you, as the viewer, have a different level of engagement. The first time the children are sort of archetypal children playing in the water. The second time you know that they’ve grown up and you’ve seen them in other places, and you’re able to have a kind of comprehensive understanding of life live; they have become thinking, engaged adults. The third time that you see it, you bring a kind of gravitas. Like these people have been through some pain. They have wisdom; they have interesting and complex interactions. So I’m interested personally in how you change as viewer because each time you see that frame, you are slightly more knowing. By the end, you’re almost omniscient, but in the beginning, you’re just engaging with it as material image.
That was so profound. I absolutely love that explanation.
It was really a reversal because I was so dismissive of that shot, and then I was so enthralled by it. There’s one other shot in Film About a Father Who that’s kind of like that. At the very end, there’s this static-y black and white shot where you only see the silhouette of my father, and he’s going off towards the horizon line. It probably was at the end of a tape and was damaged in some way. But I liked that it was pared down to these high contrasts blacks and whites, and that was it. It is my father, but it could become your father or anyone in your life you’re trying to hold onto.
You can find many of Lynne Sachs’s films on the Criterion Channel, Fandor, DAFilms and Ovid:
Available on DAFilms: https://americas.dafilms.com/director/7984-lynne-sachs Drawn and Quartered The House of Science: a museum of false facts Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam States of UnBelonging Same Stream Twice Your Day is My Night And Then We Marched Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor The Washing Society A Month of Single Frames Film About a Father Who
Available on Fandor:https://www.fandor.com/category-movie/297/lynne-sachs/ Still Life With Woman and Four Objects Following the Object to Its Logical Beginning The Washing Society The House of Science: a museum of false facts Investigation of a Flame Noa, Noa The Small Ones Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam Atalanta: 32 Years Later States of UnBelonging A Biography of Lilith The Task of the Translator Sound of a Shadow The Last Happy Day Georgic for a Forgotten Planet Wind in Our Hair Drawn and Quartered Your Day is My Night Widow Work Tornado Same Stream Twice
Available on Ovid:https://www.ovid.tv/lynne-sachs A Biography of Lillith Investigation of a Flame The Last Happy Day Sermons and Sacred Pictures Starfish Aorta Colossus States of Unbelonging Which Way Is East: Notebooks from Vietnam Your Day is My Night Tip of My Tongue And Then We Marched A Year of Notes and Numbers
Swerve 7 min., 2022 a film by Lynne Sachs with poetry by Paolo Javier
A market and playground in Queen, New York, a borough of New York City, become the site for the shooting of a film inspired by Paolo Javier’s Original Brown Boy poems. Wearing the tell-tale masks of our daunting now, five New York City performers search for a meal while speaking in verse. The film itself transforms into an ars poetica/ cinematica, a meditation on writing and making images in the liminal space between a global pandemic and what might come next.
Paolo Javier is a poet who thinks like a filmmaker. I am a filmmaker who thinks like a poet. In Swerve, we’ve come up with our own kind of movie language, or at least a dialect that articulates how we observe the world together as two artists using images, sounds, and words. The first time I read Paolo’s sonnets in his new book O.B.B. aka The Original Brown Boy, I started to hear them in my head, cinematically. In my imagination, each of his 14 line poems became the vernacular expressions of people walking through a food market full of distinct restaurant stalls. I re-watched Wong Kar-wai’s “Happy Together” – a favorite of both of ours – and immediately thought of the Hong Kong Food Court in Elmhurst, Queens, a gathering spot for immigrant and working-class people from the neighborhood who love good cuisine. As we all know, restaurant owners and workers experienced enormous economic hardship during New York City’s pandemic. Nevertheless, the market and the playground across the street become vital locations for the shooting of my film inspired by Paolo’s exhilarating writing. Together, we invited performers and artists Emmey Catedral, ray ferriera, Jeff Preiss, Inney Prakash, and Juliana Sass to participate in a challenging yet playful endeavor. They all said “Yes!”. On a Sunday this summer, they each devour Paolo’s sonnets along with a meal from one of the market vendors. Wearing the tell-tale masks of our daunting now, they speak his words as both dialogue and monologue. Like Lucretius’s ancient poem De rerum natura/ On the Nature of Things, they move through the market as Epicureans, searching for something to eat and knowing that finding the right morsel might very well deliver a new sensation. The camera records it all. “Swerve” then becomes an ars poetica/ cinematica, a seven-minute meditation on writing and making images in the liminal space between a global pandemic and what might come next.
Made with the support of cinematographer Sean Hanley, sound recordist Mark Maloof, editor Rebecca Shapass, and production assistants Priyanka Das and Conor Williams.
Premiere: BAMCinemafest June, 2022
Screenings: Museum of the Moving Image “Queens on Screen” Chicago Underground Film Festival Camden International Film Festival Woodstock Film Festival
On the set of Swerve
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“’SWERVE is shot in Elmhurst, Queens, a richly diverse immigrant space that saw its residents endure our country’s ground zero phase of Covid-19. SWERVE brings tremendous visibility to an Asian food court and workers otherwise invisible and ignored by the city. Some of the film’s performers have lifelong ties to the nabe. Together we all honor the resiliency of Asian American and Pacific Islanders, underscoring the vitality of poetry and cinema in these fraught times’” – interview with poet Paolo Javier in QNS/ Queens News Service by Tammy Scileppi QNS/ Queens News Service: “‘SWERVE’: NYC performers wax poetic in a new film shot in Elmhurst” byTammy Scileppi , June 23, 2022
Please join us on Sunday, October 17, @ 2pm ET to celebrate the publication of O.B.B. a.k.a. The Original Brown Boy, by Paolo Javier, and the debut of Lynne Sachs’ short video, Swerve, which adapts poems from the book. The reading will take place at the Moore Homestead Playground in Elmhurst, Queens—a neighborhood park and location of Sachs’ video—and Javier will be joined by Stephen Motika, Aldrin Valdez, and the cast and crew members of Swerve—Emmy Catedral, ray ferreira, Inney Prakash, Jeff Preiss, Juliana Sass, and Priyanka Das. Swerve will be playing as a video installation inside of HK Food Court, located across from the park at 8202 45th Avenue, from 12 noon to 6 pm.
This event is generously funded by NYFA’s City Artist Corps Grant and co-sponsored by the Queens Museum. Free and open to the public! The Moore Homestead Playground is located on the corner of Broadway, 45th Ave, & 82nd St, and off the Elmhurst Ave R train and Q60 and Q32 bus stops.
About Lynne Sachs Lynne Sachs makes films, installations, performances and web projects that explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences by weaving together poetry, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design. Strongly committed to a dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in her work with each and every new project. Between 1994 and 2009, her five essay films took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany — sites affected by international war – where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions.
Recently, after 25 years of making experimental documentaries, Lynne learned something that turned all her ideas about filmmaking upside down. While working on Your Day is My Night in the Chinatown neighborhood of New York City, she came to see that every time she asked a person to talk in front of her camera, they were performing for her rather than revealing something completely honest about their lives. The very process of recording guaranteed that some aspect of the project would be artificial. She decided she had to think of a way to change that, so she invited her subjects to work with her to make the film, to become her collaborators. For Lynne, this change in her process has moved her toward a new type of filmmaking, one that not only explores the experiences of her subjects, but also invites them to participate in the construction of a film about their lives.
Her films have screened at the New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Toronto’s Images Festival and Los Angeles’ REDCAT Theatre as well as a five-film retrospective at the Buenos Aires Film Festival. The San Francisco Cinematheque recently published a monograph with four original essays in conjunction with a full retrospective of Lynne’s work. In 2014, Lynne received a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in Film and Video.
About Ovid With the help of an unprecedented collaborative effort by eight of the most noteworthy, independent film distribution companies in the U.S., Docuseek, LLC launched an innovative, new, subscription video-on-demand service, OVID.tv.
OVID.tv will provide North American viewers with access to thousands of documentaries, independent films, and notable works of international cinema, largely unavailable on any other platform.
OVID’s initial offerings fall into roughly three categories: a) powerful films addressing urgent political and social issues, such as climate change, and economic justice; b) in-depth selections of creative documentaries by world-famous directors; and c) cutting-edge arthouse feature and genre films by contemporary directors as well as established masters. And new films in all three areas will be added to the OVID collection every two weeks.
OVID.tv is an initiative of Docuseek, LLC, which operates Docuseek, a streaming service for colleges and universities which was established in 2012, streaming a library of over 1600 titles.
The eight founding content partners are:
BULLFROG FILMS The leading U.S. publisher of independently produced documentaries on environmental and related social justice issues, in business for more than 45 years, it currently distributes over 750 titles.
THE DGENERATE FILMS COLLECTION dGenerate Films distributes contemporary independent film from mainland China to audiences worldwide. They are dedicated to procuring and promoting visionary content, fueled by transformative social change and digital innovation.
DISTRIB FILMS US An independent distributor of international feature films, Distrib Films US is known for its strong collection of French and Italian fiction feature films.
FIRST RUN FEATURES Founded in 1979 by a group of filmmakers to advance the distribution of independent film, First Run has been honored with a major retrospective at the Museum of Modern Art for its significant contributions.
GRASSHOPPER FILM A distribution company founded in 2015 by Ryan Krivoshey, dedicated to the release of independent, foreign, and documentary film.
ICARUS FILMS A leading distributor of documentary films in North America, with a collection exceeding 1000 titles. It recently celebrated its 40th anniversary.
KIMSTIM A distribution company dedicated to the release of exceptional independent, foreign, and documentary film.
WOMEN MAKE MOVIES Women Make Movies (WMM), a non-profit feminist social enterprise based in New York, is the world’s leading distributor of independent films by and about women.
Sachs’ Films Selected by MEHDI JAHAN & LIBERTAD GILLS
This 2021 has been a complex year, to the extent that we continue to be subjected to a pandemic, which still continues to limit the ways we access movies. It has also been a year of resilience for a type of experimental cinema, which has perhaps been forced or motivated by the “materiality” of digital. We think of spaces like @preservationinsanity by Mark Toscano on Instagram, which every week projects films from a projector while transmitting that experience live via Live. Isn’t it a kind of lifeline for those of us who find ourselves removed from these kinds of opportunities? Or the imperative of seeing the Thai – Colombian Memoriain a movie theater, not necessarily because of its visual stakes, but because of the demanding sound experience, often neglected: gathered under the darkness of a movie theater to listen attentively. The pandemic has also filled us with noise pollution, and their silence and its subtleties become escape valves, or echoes of a future survival of cinema in times of streaming and torrents.
From Desistfilm, we continue with our commitment to continue to make visible a cinema supported by online festivals above all, and the mission of this type of list is to share this appreciation for a cinema that resists and that continues to transform us. Here is the list of collaborators and friends of Desistfilm, who this year accompanied us in some way, either with their texts, appreciations or other forms of love for cinema.
This 2021 has been a complex year, to the extent that we continue to be subjected to a pandemic, which still continues to limit the ways of accessing movies. It has also been a year of resilience for a type of experimental cinema, which has perhaps been forced or motivated by the “materiality” of digital. We think of spaces like @preservationinsanity by Mark Toscano on Instagram, which every week projects films from a projector while transmitting that experience live via Live. Isn’t it a kind of lifeline for those of us who find ourselves removed from these kinds of opportunities? Or the imperative to see the Thai Colombo Memoriain a movie theater, not necessarily because of their visual stakes, but because of the demanding sound experience, often neglected: gathered under the darkness of a movie theater to listen attentively. The pandemic has also filled us with noise pollution, and there silence and its subtleties become escape valves, or echoes of a future survival of cinema in times of streaming and torrents.
From Desistfilm, we continue with our commitment to continue to make visible a cinema supported by online festivals above all, and the mission of this type of list is to share this appreciation for a cinema that resists and that continues to transform us. Here is the list of collaborators and friends of Desistfilm, who this year accompanied us in some way, either with their texts, appreciations or other forms of love for cinema.
NICOLE BRENEZ, professor (Sorbonne nouvelle / Fémis), programmer (Cinémathèque française)
The most exciting cinephile event of 2021 for me is the simultaneous release of two magnificent and complementary documentaries / film-essays on Omar Blondin Diop, the young revolutionary filmed by Jean-Luc Godard in La Chinoise (1967) and murdered in prison in 1973: the first in Africa (Senegal) by Djeydi Djigo; the second in Europe (Belgium-France) by Vincent Meessen. This indicates to us the slowness it takes for humanity to light a sparkle of symbolic justice. But also, that perhaps the forever young Omar Diop is sending us the signal to start the general revolt.
(By alphabetic order of the authors, Twelve films)
Omar Blondin Diop le révolté / Omar Blondin Diop the rebel (Djeydi Djigo, Senegal, 2021) Topologie d’une absence / Topology of an absence (Rami El Sabbagh, Lebanon, 2021) Jean Genet: Notre-Père-des-Fleurs / Jean Genet: Our-Father-of-Flowers (Dalila Ennadre, Morocco, 2021) Signe Byrge Sørensen, Our Memory Belongs To Us (Rami Farah, Denmark / France / Palestine / Syria, 2021) Moune Ô, Belgium (Maxime Jean-Baptiste, 2021) Masters of the Land , Mongolia / Belgium (Jan Locus, 2021) Juste un Mouvement / Just a Movement (Vincent Meessen, Belgium / France, 2021) Filmatruc a? verres n ° 2, Oiseaux/ Glass film trick n ° 2, Birds, (Silvi Simon, France, 2021, Film, Installation) Frères / Brothers (Ugo Simon France, 2021) En Corps + (Lionel Soukaz, Stéphane Gérard, France, 2021, Film, Installation) The Visit (Kristi Tethong Canada, 2021) Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2021)
+ 2 wonderful essays from 2020 I saw only this year: IWOW: I walk on water (Khalik Allah USA, 2020) Fiertés, inc. / Pride, Inc. (Thibault Jacquin, France, 2020)
The most amazing work I read in 2021 is Thibault Elie’s monumental research on Florent Marcie, titled Florent Marcie sur le front de l’information (“ Florent Marcie on the news front ”). I hope it will be published soon, so that cinephiles could share this sum of knowledge and passion.
One of the wittiest and most energetic book ever written about cinema is Jurij Meden’s Scratches and glitches. Observations on Preserving and Exhibiting Cinema in the Early 21st Century , Vienna, FilmmuseumSynemaPublications, 2021. Finally, one doesn’t have to be a diviner to predict that the greatest book of 2022 is Bidhan Jacob’s long-awaited Aesthetics of the signal / Esthétique du signal , to be published next February, fruit of almost 20 years of research, a true event.
ADRIAN MARTIN , Australian film critic, audiovisual essayist
To 2021 Memoir
The name of this online journal has always grabbed me: not Resistfilm , but Desistfilm . Desist: refuse, refrain from doing something, cease or abstain, just stop it. So I will desist from handing in the same old ‘Top Ten Movies’ of the year list here. I want to record some other kinds of filmic phenomena.
I discovered one of my happiest and most surprising film viewing experiences in 2021 through my occasional teaching and tutoring at the EQZE film school in San Sebastián, Spain. A student (Haizea Barcenilla), investigating collective filmmaking involving community groups, screened a 21-minute work from 2016 from the Basque region titled Andrekale, credited to Sra. Polaroiska, which is the name of a duo comprising Alaitz Arenaza and María Ibarretxe. As it began on the screen, I expected nothing: maybe a simple, observational documentary about a local community. I was wrong! Its specific subject is a ‘Street of Women’ in Hernani – a place where women gather to talk, play games, socialize, and so on. The film begins with a camera tracking backward, snaking down a curved path with tightly-spaced buildings of three or floor floors on either side. No human presence at the start. Then women begin to emerge, pouring out of one doorway and then another, and immediately taking up their voluble place at some table or sidewalk display. The camera keeps moving, the frame keeps filling, life keeps flowing – what an explosion, all in one magnificent shot! And an absolutely pure cinematic idea. From that point, I had the sense that almost anything could happen in this film – and it did. Two seemingly demure elderly ladies are seen sipping tea and chatting outdoors. Suddenly, without any prompting, they begin to hurl their cups, their fine chinaware, at a nearby rock face, smashing it all. It goes on and on, a great liberating orgy of anarchistic destruction! There’s more toAndrekale , but I will let you discover that for yourself, if you can. I loved this film, seen by chance, unforgettable.
Thanks to the job of catalog-entry-writing for the Viennale, I encountered, for the first time, the work of UK artist-critic Morgan Quaintance: his recent films A Human Certainty (2021, 20 minutes), and Surviving You, Always (2020, 18 minutes). These films offered me another kind of bracing shock: true minimalism, no slickness, no padding, no easy wash of image or sound to make the materials more palatable. Stories told in written texts, over often mysterious and cryptic image-archives: achingly personal, and also keyed to numerous forms of collective, social breakdown. An uncompromised, unfashionable form of political art.
Watching, over and over, Birth ( https://laughmotel.wordpress.com/2021/08/05/birth/), a 13-minute video by Cristina Álvarez López, was an especially powerful experience for me. She has spent a lot of time in 2021 exploring techniques of superimposition, a skill she has added to her long-conquered dexterity in audiovisual montage. You couldn’t find a more perfect fit between style and subject, form and content, than here: the emotional and psychic schisms of individual subjectivity – fusion and separation, especially in relation to mother and daughter – traced through the joining and merging, splitting and redefining, of spaces, colors, shapes, bodies. Voices on the soundtrack whisper privately or speak in unguarded conversation about loss of self, of ground, of origin, of center. Sobbing tears of depression flow from eyes, but there is distance here, as well as closeness, for the spectator as well as for the maker: the arrangement of image and sound forms takes us to another plateau of empathic contemplation. As she writes: “This is all about what images can do to each other and about how they become something else when affected by the other’s properties: it’s exactly like with people”.
For regular online reading, I like the less institutionalized or commercialized independent sites: Ubiquarian (for which I reviewed Zulfikar Filandra’s fascinating 64-minute feature Minotaur ), Desistfilm , Sabzian . Among book publications devoted to adventurous cinema, I value Jurij Meden’s Scratches and Glitches (Austrian Film Museum), and Erika Balsom’s Ten Skies (Fireflies Press).
I pull of all the modish talk of algorithms, artificial intelligence, non-fungible tokens, digitally-readable and computer-generated imagery. Of Netflix and YouTube. Of whether Marvel Superhero blockbusters are Art or not. All this bears little on the reality of what I watch, from day to day, and what moves me. Cinema is still, fundamentally, what you or I can manage to film, to edit, to shape, to express, and to show to another person. Some people high up the industrial ladder still manage to do that in an intimate, eloquent, touching way, whether they are Leos Carax, Kelly Reichardt or Clint Eastwood: I salute them as a viewer and as a critic. That’s film art to me, just like the far more modestly scaled productions by Abel Ferrara ( Zeros and Ones ) or Marco Bellocchio ( Marx Can Wait); and just like the streaking, no-budget comets in the sky of cinema that I have barely described above.
TOMÁŠ HUDÁK Film critic and programmer based in Bratislava, Slovakia.
If last year I was trying to take advantage of all the online offerings and attend festivals I had never been to physically, in 2021 I had to skip many of them. I was just too tired. But it was not a “Zoom fatigue”, just good ol ‘pressure to be everywhere and see everything, to not waste any time and always be productive. I was slowly burning out (again) and had to throw in the towel many times.
Still, I have seen most of my favorite film of 2021 at home. Notable exceptions are Memoria and What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? which I am so happy that I managed to see in cinema on really huge screen. I spent a lot of time with Peter Watkins films, both watching them and reading about them ( The Journey and La Commune are still waiting for me). I have seen The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On for the first time and it was one of the most devastating film experiences I have ever had. Practices of Viewing , an ongoing series of video essays by Johannes Binotto, is always challenging and illuminating. I learned so much reading Kim Knowles’ bookExperimental Film and Photochemical Practices . Probably no piece of writing made deeper impact on me this year than Abby Sun’s essay On Criticism . Berwick’s BFMAF public discussion about its internal practices was so important and inspirational. I had some great time with NBA and WNBA league passes. And finally, special shout out to Ecstatic Static, Another Screen, Global Media Cultures Podcast and to everyone talking about mental health (in film industry).
Here are some of my favorite films I saw in 2021 for the first time:
All Light, Everywhere (Theo Anthony, USA, 2021) Decasia (Bill Morrison, USA, 2002) earthearthearth (Daïchi Saïto, Canada, 2021) Edvard Munch (Peter Watkins, Norway, Sweden, 1973) The Emperor’s Naked Army Marches On (Kazuo Hara, Japan, 1987) Gunda (Victor Kossakovsky, Norway, USA, 2020) Landscapes of Resistance (Marta Popivoda, Serbia, Germany, France, 2020) Luukkaankangas – updated, revisited (Dariusz Kowalski, Austria, 2005) Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Colombia, Thailand, United Kingdom, Mexico, France, 2021) A Night of Knowing Nothing (Payal Kapadia, France, India, 2021) Now, At Last! (Ben Rivers, United Kingdom, 2018) Point and Line to Plane (Sofia Bohdanowicz, Canada, 2020) Still Processing (Sophy Romvari, Canada, 2020) This Is Not a Burial, It’s a Resurrection (Lemohang Jeremiah Mosese, Lesotho, 2019) Those That, at a Distance, Resemble Another (Jessica Sarah Rinland, United Kingdom, Argentina, 2019) What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (Alexandre Koberidze, Germany, Georgia, 2021)
EVE HELLER Filmmaker (Austria)
Backyard (Peggy Ahwesh, 2021, USA, 2 min) Twin Peaks: The Return (David Lynch, 2017, USA, 18 hours) Anathema (Julie Murray, 1995, USA, 7 min) La Signora di tutti (Max Ophüls, 1934, Italy, 89 min) The Coronation (Talena Sanders, 2021, Mexico, 8 min) Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse [Mr. Bachmann and His Class] (Maria Speth, 2021, Germany, 217 min) Kristallnacht (Chick Strand, 1979, USA, 7 min) Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2021, 20 min).
Most intricately stirring and thought provoking film program series of 2021:
Carte Blanche. Mark McElhatten— “To The Lighthouse,” Oct 29 – Nov 16, 2021 MoMA
JULIAN ROSS Programmer, curator, film critic
Have feature films
A Night of Knowing Nothing (Payal Kapadia, 2021) Memoryland (Kim Quy Bui, 2021) El Gran Movimiento (The Great Movement, Kiro Russo, 2021) The Story of Southern Islet (Nan wu, Keat Aun Chong, 2020) Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2021) Inside the Red Brick Wall (Hong Kong Documentary Filmmakers, 2020) Memoria (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021) Ste. Anne (Rhayne Vermette, 2021) White Building (Bodeng Sar, Kavich Neang, 2021) Feast ( Tim Leyendekker, 2021)
Have short films
Song for dying (Korakrit Arunanondchai, 2021)
Surviving You Always (Morgan Quaintance, 2021)
Maat Means Land (Fox Maxy, 2020)
Manifesto (Ane Hjort Guttu, 2020)
Tellurian Drama (Riar Rizaldi, 2020)
One Thousand and One Attempts to be an Ocean (Wang Yuyan, 2020)
Polycephaly in D (Michael Robinson, 2021)
Isn’t it a beautiful world (Joseph Wilson, 2021)
Glass Life (Sara Cwynar, 2021)
earthearthearth (Daïchi Saïto, 2021)
Have first views
Includes two 35mm films, a 16mm double-projection performance and a digital restoration presented in a cinema, as well as online presentations by Another Screen, Light Industry, MUBI, Thai Film Archive, Jeonju International Film Festival and @preservationinsanity.
Silent Light (Stellet Licht, Carlos Reygadas, 2007) La Ciénaga (Lucrecia Martel, 2001) The Round-Up (Szegénylegények, Miklós Jancsó, 1966) Tongpan (Yutthana Mukdasanit, 1977) The Zone of Total Eclipse (Mika Taanila, 2006) Untitled 77-A (Han Ok-hee, 1977) Lost Book Found (Jem Cohen, 1996) Stendalì: Suonano ancora (Cecilia Mangini, 1960) Vital Signs (Barbara Hammer, 1991) Bhuvan Shome (Mrinal Sen, 1969)
JEAN HYEMIN KIM, film scholar / writer / teacher, USA.
10 films I enjoyed this year (New & Old)
The Tsugua Diaries / Maureen Fazendeiro and Miguel Gomes
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? / Alexandre Koberidze
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy / Ryûsuke Hamaguchi
Stray / Elizabeth Lo
A Love Song For Latasha / Sophia Nahli Allison
The Girl from Chicago / Oscar Micheaux
Le Mystère Bunny / Wayne Koestenbaum
Nénette and Boni / Claire Denis
The Velvet Underground / Todd Haynes
10.Belle / Mamoru Hosoda
PETER TSCHERKASSKY , Filmmaker (Austria)
Au bord du monde (Gaspar Noé, F / B / Monaco 2021, 142 min) The Card Counter (Paul Schrader, USA / GB / China 2021, 112 min) Herr Bachmann und seine Klasse [Mr. Bachmann and his Class] (Maria Speth, Germany 2021, 217 min) Jaddeh khaki (Panah Panahi, Iran, 2021, 97 min) Kelti (Milica Tomovic, RS 2021, 106 min) Report (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, CO / Thailand / GB / Mexico / F / China / Taiwan 2021, 136 min) Promenade 1 (Zélie Parraud, F 2021, 1 min) Promenade 2 (Zélie Parraud, F 2021, 1 min) Re Granchio (Alessio Rigo de Righi, Metteo Zoppis, I / AR / F 2021, 106 min) Singing in Oblivion (Eve Heller, A 2021, 13 min) A Police Movie (Alonso Ruizpalacios, Mexico 2021, 107 min.)
DAISUKE AKASAKA . Film Critic (Japan)
Gavagai (Rob Tregenza, 2017) Harley Queen (Carolina Adriazola, José Luis Sepúlveda. 2019) Death will come and he will have your eyes (José Luis Torres Leiva, 2019) White on White (Théo Court, 2019) The floor of the wind (Gustavo Fontán , Gloria Peirano, 2021) Chapter eo chapter (Júlio Bressane, 2021) Luz nos tropicos (Paula Gaitán, 2020) Lúa Vermella (Lois Patiño, 2019) The year of discovery (Luis López Carrasco, 2020) Picasso in Vallauris (Peter Nestler, 2021) Annette (Leos Carax, 2021) First Cow (Kelly Reichardt, 2019) Fourteen(Dan Sallitt, 2019) Wheel of fortune and fantasy (Ryusuke Hamaguchi, 2021) Love Mooning (Kunitoshi Manda, 2021) Danses macabres, Squelettes et autres fantasies (Rita Azevedo Gomes, Pierre Léon, Jean-Louis Schefer, 2019)
DAN SALLITT , Filmmaker, USA
My favorite films that were released for the first time in 2021. This list usually grows considerably over the next 18 months or so:
El Planeta (Amalia Ulman, 2021) Souad (Ayten Amin, 2021) Pebbles (PS Vinothraj, 2021) Outside Noise (Ted Fendt, 2021) France (Bruno Dumont, 2021) Who prevents it (Jonás Trueba, 2021) Susanna Andler (Benoît Jacquot, 2021) The Cathedral (Ricky D’Ambrose, 2021) In Front of Your Face (Hong Sang-soo, 2021) Sacred Spirit (Chema García Ibarra, 2021) Wood and Water (Jonas Bak, 2021)
Some excellent older films that I saw for the first time in 2021, in chronological order: Mashenka (Yuli Raizman, 1942); But What If This Is Love? (Yuli Raizman, 1962); Encore (Once More) (Paul Vecchiali, 1988); Aux petits bonheurs (Michel Deville, 1994); Kippur (Amos Gitai, 2000); Beautiful Valley (Hadar Friedlich, 2011); Aferim! (Radu Jude, 2015); Season (André Novais Oliveira, 2018); Short Vacation (Kwon Min-pyo and Han-Sol Seo, 2020).
DENNIS COOPER, filmmaker, writer, USA
Favorite 2021 films (in no order)
Whether Line (Ryan Trecartin & Lizzie Fitch, 2019)
Sisters With Transistors (Lisa Rovner, 2020)
Nature (Artavazd Pelechian, 2019)
Unsprung Der Nacht (Lothar Baumgarten, 1982)
Annette (Leos Carax, 2021)
When We Were Monsters (Steve Reinke & James Richards, 2020)
The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson, 2021)
L’anne Derniere A Dachau (Mark Rappaport, 2020)
The Velvet Underground (Todd Haynes, 2021)
The Masturbator’s Heart (Michael Salerno)
On The Island (Daniel & Clara , 2021)
I’m Free (Laure Portier, 2021)
France (Bruno Dumont, 2021)
Mudmonster (OB De Alessi, 2021)
About Endlessness (Roy Andersson, 2019)
Tori Kudo Archive
Accidental Luxuriance Of The Translucent Watery Rebus (Dalibor Baric, 2020)
Censor (Prano Bailey-Bond, 2021)
Fat Chance (Stephen Broomer, 2021)
Moments Like This Never Last (Cheryl Dunne, 2020)
Death And Bowling (Lyle Kash, 2021)
JOSE SARMIENTO HINOJOSA Director, desistfilm.com, curator, film critic
2020, 2021 films
Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, 2021)
Transparent, I Am (Yuri Muraoka, 2020)
Luz Nos Tropicos (Paula Gaitán, 2020)
Memory (Apitchapong Weerasethakul, 2021)
Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude, 2021)
Light Trap (Pablo Marin, 2021)
Zeroes and Ones – Abel Ferrara (2021)
EARTHEARTHEARTH – Daichi Saito (2021)
Drive my Car – Rysuke Hamaguchi (2021)
10.Red Post on Escher Street – Sion Sono (2020)
11.Bela – Prantik Narayan Basu (2021)
12.Saxifrages, Quatre Nuits Blanches – Nicolas Klotz, Elizabeth Perceval (2021)
Steve Polta’s Rituals of Regeneration for Dobra Film Festival
Daniella Shreir for Another Screen :
[Silence] […] [Laughter] + Focus on Mara Mattuschka
The Practice of Disobedience: Carole Roussoupolos & Delphine Seyrig ‘restrospective
For a Free Palestine: Films by Palestinian Women
Marguerite Duras on Television
Eight Films by Cecilia Mangini
Hands Tied / Eating the Other
A One Woman Confessional: Films by Cecilia Mangini
Stephen Broomer’s Art & Trash Videoessay series The Mechanics of Light by S (8) Mostra de Cinema Periferico
First seen in 2021:
Double Labyrinthe – Maria Klonaris, Katerina Thomadaki (1976)
From Today Until Tomorrow – Danielle Hulliet – Jean-Marie Straub (1997)
Blind Beast – Yasuzo Masumura (1969)
A Portrait of Parvaneh Navai – Maria Klonaris, Katerina Thomadaki (1983)
To Camel – Ibrahim Shaddad (1981)
The Margin – Ozualdo Ribeiro Candeias (1967)
The Whole Shebang – Ken Jacobs (2019)
The Spiral Staircase – Robert Siodmak (1946)
Trail on the Road – Aleksei German (1986)
10.One Hamlet Less – Carmelo Bene (1973)
11.Messiah of Evil – Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz (1973)
12.My Winter Journey – Vincent Dieutre (2003)
13.Juvenile Court – Frederick Wiseman (1973)
14.The Crowd – King Vidor (1928)
15.Hangover Square – John Brahm (1945)
16.Flammes – Adolfo Arrieta (1978)
17.Lady Snowblood / Lady Snowblood 2: Love Song of Vengeance – Toshiya Fujita (1973, 1974)
18.Pets – Albertina Carri (2012)
19.Playback – Agustina Comedi (2019)
20.Pull / Drift / The Waiting Sands – Margaret Rorison (2013, 2013)
21.Mirage – Edward Dmytryk (1965)
22.Bourbon Street Blues – Douglas Sirk (1979)
23.The Howling – Joe Dante (1981)
24.The Hot Little Girl – Yasuzo Masumura (1970)
25.Yoshiwara: The Pleasure Quartet – Tomu Uchida (1960)
26.Blood is Redder Than The Sun – Koji Wakamatsu (1966)
27.La Casa Lobo – Cristobal León, Joaquín Cociña (2018)
28.Relativity – Ed Emshwiller (1966)
29.The Long Hair of Death – Antonio Margheriti (1964)
30.Paranoia – Umberto Lenzi (1969)
31.The Whispering Star – Sion Sono (2015)
32.Autour de Jeanne Dielman – Sami Frei (1975)
33.The Amazonian Angel – Maria Klonaris, Katerina Thomadaki (1992)
34.Satan’s Rhapsody – Nino Oxilia (1965)
35.History of Postwar Japan as Told as a Bar Hostess – Shohei Imamura (1970)
36.The Oracle – Roberta Findlay (1965)
37.Eggshells – Tobe Hopper (1969)
38.Black Sabbath – Mario Bava (1963)
39.Mark of the Devil – Michael Armstrong, Adrian Hoven (1970)
40.Madhouse – Ovidio G. Assontis (1981)
41.Her Man – Tay Garnett (1930)
42.Human Being – Ibrahim Shaddad (1994)
43.Another Decade – Morgan Quaintance (2018)
44.Ghosts – André Novais Oliveira (2010)
45.The Carabineers – JLG (1963)
46.Lost Note – Saul Levine (2015)
47.Through the Ruins – Claudio Caldini (1982)
48.Abiding – Ugo Petronin (2019)
49.Bom Bom’s Dream – Jeremy Deller, Cecilia Bengolea (2016)
50.Dark Logic / Gedanken Aus Der Lift / Funes El Memorioso / Vindmoller / Memory of August / Understory – Margaret Rorison (2016, 2017, 2014, 2014, 2014, 2019)
51.The Devil’s Backbone – Guillermo del Toro (2001)
52.Karelia – International with Monument – Andrés Duque (2019)
53.Lake Mungo – Joel Anderson (2008)
MÓNICA DELGADO , film critic, director desistfilm.com
Films released for the first time in 2021
Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, 2021)
Memory (Apichatpong Weresethakul, 2021)
Drive my car (Ryusuke Hagamuchi, 2021)
earthearthearth (Daïchi Saïto, 2021)
The great movement (The great movement, Kiro Russo, 2021)
Pejzazi otpora (Lanscape of resistance, Marta Popivoda, 2021)
Diários de Otsoga (Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes, 2021)
Eles transportan a morte (They Carry Death, Helena Girón, Samuel M. Delgado, 2021)
Dangsin eolgul ap-eseo (In Front of Your Face, Hong Sangsoo, 2021)
10.The Inheritance (Ephraim Asili, 2021)
11.Chapter eo chapter (Capitu and the Chapter, Júlio Bressane, 2021)
12.Mad God (Phil Tippett, 2021)
13.A Night of Knowing Nothing (Payal Kapadia, 2021)
14.Saxifrages, quatre nuits blanches (Nicolas Klotz, Elizabeth Perceval, 2021)
15.Ostinato (Paula Gaitán, 2021)
16.Sycorax (Lois Patiño, Matías Piñeiro, 2021)
17.Rock Bottom Riser (Fern Silva, 2021)
18.Annette (Leos Carax, 2021)
19.Pr1nc3s4 (Raúl Perrone, 2021)
20.Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude, 2021)
21.Ste. Anne (Rhayne Vermette, 2021)
22.The Great Void (Sebastian Metz, 2020)
23.The Red Filter is Withdrawn (Minjung Kim, 2020)
24.Zeroes and Ones (Abel Ferrara, 2021)
25.All Light, Everywhere (Theo Anthony, 2021)
26.Light trap (Pablo Marín, 2021)
27.Nuclear Family (Travis Wilkerson, 2021)
28.Ahed’s Knee (Nadav Lapid, 2021)
29.Outside Noise (Ted Fendt, 2021)
30.Sacred Spirit (Chema García Ibarra, 2021)
31.Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm: Essa Terra É Nossa! (Isael Maxakali, Sueli Maxakali, Carolina Canguçu, Roberto Romero, 2020)
32.Rêve de Gotokuji par un premier mai sans lune (Natacha Thiéry, 2020)
33.Erial (Javiera Cisterna, 2021)
34.The Canyon (Zacary Epcar, 2021)
35.Surviving You Always (Morgan Quaintance, 2021)
I’ll wait here until I hear my name (Héctor Galvez, 2021)
The Old Child (Felipe Esparza, 2021)
Programs or tributes in festivals
Eight films by the Italian filmmaker Cecilia Mangini (1927–2021), presented by Another Screen.
First edition of Prismatic Ground, a festival centered on experimental documentary (USA). It’s wonderful when a new experimental film and video festival comes out. I loved the films of Anita Thacher.
Bette Gordon at Playdoc International Film Festival (Spain). An important tribute to a great American filmmaker. Her film Variety is indispensable. Pleasant that this fest has been able to show this film.
Homage to filmmaker Paula Gaitan at Tiradentes Film Festival (Brazil) and a retrospective at Frontera Sur Film Festival (Chile). Paula is one of the great Latin American filmmakers and her work is being revalued in the last few years. Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm(Essa Terra É Nossa! By Isael Maxakali, Sueli Maxakali, Carolina Canguçu and Roberto Romero, 2020) at Sheffield Doc Fest. A film of an indigenous community obtaining the most important award. It is not frequent. The Big Headed Boy, Shamans & Samurais , by Bibhusan Basnet and Pooja Gurung (Nepal) at Lima Alterna Film Festival.
FARID RODRIGUEZ, program Lima Alterna Fest
In order of preference
Babi Yar. Context (Sergei Loznitsa, Ukraine)
Wood and Water (Jonas Bak, Germany)
The bones (Joaquín Cociña and Cristóbal León, Chile)
Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, Japan)
10.Terranova (Alejandro Alonso Estrella and Alejandro Pérez, Cuba)
11.Rock Bottom Riser (Fern Silva, United States)
12.Husek (Daniela Seggiario, Argentina)
13.A River Runs, Turns, Erases, Replaces (Shengze Zhu, China)
14.Nullo (Jan Soldat, Austria)
15.The great movement (Kiro Russo, Bolivia)
16.Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude, Romania)
17.Sacred Spirit ( Chema García Ibarra, Spain)
18.Faya Dayi (Jessica Beshir, Ethiopia)
19.In Front of Your Face + Introduction (Hong Sang-soo, South Korea)
20.9 (Martín Barrenechea and Nicolás Branca, Uruguay)
12 of 2020 seen in the 21
Dau. Degeneration , by Ilya Khrzhanovskiy and Ilya Permyakov (Russia)
Digital Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro: The Real-World Guide to Set Up and Workflow , by Hong Seong-yoon (South Korea)
Ailleurs, Partout , by Isabelle Ingold and Vivianne Perelmuter (Belgium)
The Big Headed Boy , Shamans & Samurais, Bibhusan Basnet and Pooja Gurung (Nepal)
Sweetie, You Won’t Believe It , by Yernar Nurgaliyev (Kazakhstan)
The Wasteland , by Ahmad Bahrami (Iran)
Liberty: An Ephemeral Statute , by Rebecca Jane Arthur (Belgium)
Eyimofe , by Arie Esiri and Chuko Esiri (Nigeria)
Mama , by Dongmei Li (China)
February,by Kamen Kalev (Bulgaria)
Catavento , by Joao Rosas (Portugal)
Day in the Life , from the Karrabing Film Collective (Australia)
12 Great Movies of the 20th Century First Seen in 2021
Distant Journey , by Alfréd Radok (Czechoslovakia, 1949) Dracula , by Terrence Fisher (United Kingdom, 1958) Operazione paura , by Mario Bava (Italy, 1966) The bird with the crystal feathers , by Dario Argento (Italy, 1970) Muna Moto , by Jean-Pierre Dikongue-Pipa (Cameroon, 1975) One People , by Pim de la Parra (Surinam, 1976) Beirut, Never Again , by Jocelyn Saab (Lebanon, 1976) Next of Kin , by Tony Williams (Australia, 1982) Beirut, My City , by Jocelyn Saab (Lebanon, 1983) Winter adé, by Helke Misselwitz (East Germany, 1989) The Belovs , by Viktor Kossakovsky (Russia, 1992) Little Angel, Make Me Happy , by Uzmaan Saparov (Turkmenistan, 1993)
Pneumatic conduction, by Genietta Varsi Notes on Connection III , by Andrea Franco Arquitectura entre species , by Mauricio Freyre I ‘ll wait here until I hear my name , by Héctor Gálvez Las_chicas.mp4 , by Ximena Medina, Romina Bran, Valeria Marín and Francesca Bobbio
VICTOR GUIMARÃES, film critic (Kinetics / With eyes open) and programmer (FICValdivia, FENDA) –Brazil
14 imaginary double bills in 2021:
Memory (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021) + El Cuervo, la Yegua y la Fosa (Beatriz Santiago Muñoz, 2021)
The sonic depth of delusion.
The Whole Shebang (Ken Jacobs, 2019) + Agua del Arroyo que Tiembla (Javiera Cisterna, 2021)
A film is an image being born from the viscera of another image.
Detours (Ekaterina Selenkina, 2021) + Ste. Anne (Rhayne Vermette, 2021)
Landscape as fiction. Fiction as landscape.
Open Monte (María Rojas Arias, 2021) + Notes for a Déjà Vu (Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, 2021)
Truly facing the present requires some anachrony.
Antonio Valencia (Daniela Delgado Viteri, 2020) + Self-Portrait: Fairy Tale in 47 KM (Zhang Mengqi, 2021)
The politics of tenderness.
The Sky is Red (Francina Carbonell, 2020) + One Image, Two Acts (Sanaz Sohrabi, 2020)
Drive my Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2021) + Chapter eo Chapter (Julio Bressane, 2021)
The theater of passion.
Il n’y Aura Plus de Nuit (Eléonore Weber, 2020) + Zeros and Ones (Abel Ferrara, 2021)
A plunge into the darkness of our times.
Rodson ou (Onde o Sol Não Temdó) (Clara Chroma, Cleyton Xavier y Orlok Sombra, 2020) + Love is a Dog from Hell (Khavn, 2021)
Cinema is full of sound and fury.
Rua Ataléia (André Novais Oliveira, 2021) + Summer (Vadim Kostrov, 2021)
The delicate rigors of light.
south (Morgan Quaintance, 2020) + A Night of Knowing Nothing (Payal Kapadia, 2021)
A fistful of burning images.
Nuhu Yãg Mu Yõg Hãm: Essa Terra É Nossa! (Isael Maxakali, Sueli Maxakali, Carolina Canguçu, Roberto Romero, 2020) + Voltei! (Glenda Nicácio & Ary Rosa, 2021)
The musical heart of political cinema.
Nosferasta (Adam Khalil & Bayley Sweitzer & Oba, 2021) + El Gran Movimiento (Kiro Russo, 2021)
How many times can a film mutate and still be awesome?
I would like to celebrate the work of two great platforms for showing films that made our lives better this year: Another Screen and Prismatic Ground. Also, the peak of my cinephile year was discovering the work of the Sudanese Film Group – especially Jamal (1981) and Jagdpartie (1964) by Ibrahim Shaddad – during the Flaherty Seminar programmed by Janaína Oliveira.
VICTOR PAZ MORANDEIRA , film critic and programmer, Spain
Ten highlights of my 2021: eight queue filmmakers will remain in the memory
Apichatpong Weerasethakul – Memory : A fit Apitcha, comfortable in Colombian terrain developing his usual themes and aesthetics. The novelty is the sound treatment, literally from another world.
Leos Carax – Annette : Total creative freedom without fear of ridicule, without barriers. It is a joyous, complex and uncomfortable film in terms of subject matter and form. Adam Driver is an acting beast.
Ryûsuke Hamaguchi: Roulette of fortune and fantasy + Drive My Car . Few times in the history of cinema will someone have made two masterpieces in one year. I like both their elaborate plot structure, their narrative pulse and the outstanding direction of the actors, supported by excellent dialogues. At the end of the day, I think I connect with the sensibility of Japanese, and that is what makes me adore him.
Yuri Ancarani – Atlantide . As if you catch one of A full throttle but with boats through the canals of Venice and give it an air of a documentary YouTuber with urban music hitting your eardrums. The edition is radically to applaud.
Pedro Almodóvar – Parallel Mothers : A brave film in which the man from La Mancha shows himself open-heartedly around the concepts of motherhood and historical memory. That last scene is breathtaking, one of the best Almodóvar has ever shot. Penelope Cruz has never shone so bright.
Abel Ferrara – Zeros and Ones : The best film that exists about confinement, no matter how much it disguises itself as a psychotic thriller. Ferrara lets her apocalyptic paranoias flow in a new exercise in cinema as therapy. Just as cryptic as his recent tapes, but less allegorical, more direct. Very playful with the digital image. A cry of a free caged artist.
Alexandre Koberidze – What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (What do we see when we look at the sky?) Beautiful and original urban symphony in the form of an elegant romantic comedy.
Ridley Scott – The Last Duel . Crude Rashomon vintage film about how elusive the truth can be. I like him that he doesn’t judge the characters and presents his versions of events without Manichean tricks. Put together an intelligent feminist speech without the need to present yourself as a militant. What a piece of actress Jodie Comer.
An ideal shorts session
In Flow of Words (Eliane Esther Bots, 2021) + Surviving You, Always (Morgan Quaintance, 2020) + Imperdonable (Marlén Viñayo, 2020) + Le quattro strade (Alice Rohrwacher, 2021). They are films that, with different approaches to non-fiction cinema, speak of our current reality with rigor and each one of them from its own singularity.
Classics (re) discovered
The complete work of Márta Mészáros, which MUBI is recovering using new restorations from the Hungarian Film Library; and two tapes by Bette Gordon, to whom Play-Doc dedicated a complete cycle this year: The United States of America (1975, along with James Benning) and Variety (1983).
RAÚL CAMARGO , director of the Valdivia Film Festival, Chile.
15 films, in alphabetical order:
– A night of knowing nothing , by Payal Kapadia.
– Open mount , by María Rojas Arias.
– Water from the creek that trembles , by Javiera Cisterna.
– Under the sky , by Diego Acosta.
– Diários de otsoga , by Maureen Fazendeiro & Miguel Gomes.
– The Great Movement , by Kiro Russo.
– In front of your face , by Hong Sang-soo.
– The bones , by Cristóbal León & Joaquín Cociña.
– Luto , by Pablo Martín Weber.
– Memory , by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
–My brothers dream awake , by Claudia Huaiquimilla.
– Ste. Anne , by Rhayne Vermette.
– Summer by Vadim Kostrov.
– Une histoire de cheveux (Sibérie) , by Boris Lehman.
– What do we see when we look at the sky? by Aleksandre Koberidze.
15 special mentions, in alphabetical order:
– A morte branca do feiticeiro negro , by Rodrigo Ribeiro.
– Antonio Valencia , by Daniela Delgado.
– Bad luck banging or loony porn , by Radu Jude.
– Dry winter by Kyle Davis.
– Eles transportan a morte , by Helena Girón & Samuel M. Delgado.
– Uruguay is not a river , by Daniel Yafalián.
– Grandma’s scissors by Erica Sheu.
– Notes, incantations. Part II: Carmela , by Alexandra Cuesta.
– One image, two acts , by Sanaz Sohrabi.
– What will be of the summer , by Ignacio Ceroi.
– Retour à Reims (Fragments) , by Jean-Gabriel Périot.
– Short vacation by Kwon Min-pyo & Seo Hansol.
– Train again , by Peter Tscherkassky.
– Tonalli , from Colectivo Los Ingrávidos.
– Tropico de Capricornio, by Juliana Antunes.
PABLO GAMBA , film critic and teacher, Venezuela, Argentina
Terranova , by Alejandro Alonso and Alejandro Pérez (Cuba, 2021)
Israel , by Ernesto Baca (Argentina, 2021)
The promise of return , by Cristián Sánchez (Chile, 2020)
Sol de campinas, by Jessica Sarah Rinland (Brazil, 2021)
Watchmen , by Paz Encina (Paraguay, 2021)
The Wind Floor , by Gloria Peirano and Gustavo Fontán (Argentina, 2021)
The dog that does not shut up , by Ana Katz (Argentina, 2021)
35combro5 , by Raúl Perrone (Argentina, 2021)
Window boy would also like to have a submarine , by Alex Piperno (Uruguay-Argentina-Brazil, 2020)
10.Dark journey light , by Tin Dirdamal (Mexico-Vietnam, 2021)
Terranova’s approach to Havana , which may seem unusual, delusional, is the successful result of the search for an honest way of looking at one of the cities and one of the countries in the world on which preconceptions weigh the most, the cliches. It is also an expression of Cuban cosmopolitanism, a way of seeing the country in the world that can be very different from how the world sees this country.
ANDREEA PATRU , programmer and film critic (Romania / Spain)
Petit Maman (Céline Sciamma, 2021) The Worst Person in the World (Joachim Trier, 2021) The Tale of King Crab (Alessio Rigo de Righi, Matteo Zoppis, 2021) The Card Counter (Paul Schrader, 2021) Vengeance Is Mine , All Others Pay Cash (Edwin, 2021) The Girl and the Spider (Ramon Zürcher, Silvan Zürcher, 2021) The Tsugua Diaries (Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes, 2021) The Dorm (Roman Vasyanov, 2021) A Night of Knowing Nothing (Payal Kapadia , 2021) All Light, Everywhere (Theo Anthony, 2021) Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2021) Dirty Feathers(Carlos Alfonso Corral, 2021) What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (Aleksandre Koberidze, 2021) North by Current (Angelo Madsen Minax, 2021) The Souvenir: Part II (Joanna Hogg, 2021)
Civil War Surveillance Poems (Part 1) (Mitch McCabe, 2020)
Naya (Sebastian Mulder, 2021)
In Flow of Words (Eliane Esther Bots, 2021)
Creature (María Silvia Esteve, 2021)
Beast (Hugo Covarrubias, 2021)
SEBASTIAN WIEDEMANN , Filmmaker, film scholar, editor and curator at humanacine.com (Colombia)
In no particular order:
Open Monte (Maria Rojas Arias, Colombia, 2021) Dark Pacific (Camila Beltrán, Colombia, 2020) Bicentennial (Pablo Alvarez Mesa, Colombia, 2020) Memory (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Colombia / Thailand, 2021) To Ultima Floresta (Luiz Bolognesi, Brazil , 2021) A Cosmopolítica Dos Animais (Juliana Fausto & Luisa Marques, Brazil, 2021) Fluxus Fungus (Tuane Eggers, Brazil, 2020) Seed, Image, Ground (Abelardo Gil-Fournier & Jussi Parikka, Spain / Finland, 2020) Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, Austria, 2021) Signal 8 (Simon Liu, Hong Kong, 2019)
+ Online Retrospectives
Bruno Varela – Mexico (Camara Lucida Film Festival, Ecuador, 2021)
Jürgen Reble – Germany (Filmmuseum München, Germany, 2021)
Becoming Earth by Ursula Biemann – Switzerland (Art Museum at the Universidad Nacional de Colombia, Colombia, 2021)
Carrabing Film Collective – Australia (Forumdoc.BH Film Festival, Brazil, 2021)
ÁNGEL RUEDA , director S8 Mostra de Cinema Periférico, Spain
A list of some of the films, programs and cycles that I want to highlight from this 2021, mostly seen in the theater and some in online programs.
– Earthearthearth (Daïchi Saïto, 2021)
– Ste. Anne (Rhayne Vermette, 2021)
– Flowers blooming in our throats (Eva Giolo, 2020)
– Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky, 2021)
– Configurations (James Edmonds, 2021)
– Bethanien Tetralogy (Deborah S. Phillips, 2020)
– Letter from Your far-off Country (Suneil Sanzgiri, 2020)
– The Fantastic (Maija Blåfield, 2020)
– One Image, Two Acts (Yek Tasveer, Do Bardasht) (Sanaz Sohrabi, 2020)
– Spinoza / Ongodist(Bruno Delgado Ramo, 2021)
– Meihodo (Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas, 2020)
– # 005 and # 006 (Yonay Boix, 2021)
– Light Trap (Pablo Marín, 2021)
– Be careful out there (Alberto Gracia, 2021 )
– Bravío Flash ( Ainoha Rodríguez, 2021)
– Sacred Spirit (Chema García Ibarra, 2021)
– Eles Trasportan a Morte (Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado, 2021)
– Husek (Daniela Seggiaro, 2021)
The following Film Performances:
– Listening Exercises 2. Film performance by Helena Girón and Samuel Delgado. 2021
– Kicked with the front foot on the dark side of the deck. Film performance by Esperanza Collado. 2021
– “A Lecture by Hollis Frampton”, performed by Valentina Alvarado Matos and Carlos Vásquez Méndez. 2021
– Echo Chamber. Film performance by Valentina Alvarado Matos and Carlos Vásquez Méndez. 2021
The carte blanche produced by Jean-Claude Rousseau at the (S8) Mostra de Cinema Periférico 2021, which included the following titles:
– La Chambre (Chantal Akerman, 1972)
– Standard Time (Michael Snow, 1967)
– Césarée (Marguerite Duras, 1979)
– Surface Tension (Hollis Frampton, 1968)
– Films Sans Caméra Stst (Giovanni Martedi, 1975)
– Taris, Roi de L’eau (Jean Vigo, 1931)
The cycle on the 40 years of Light Cone, curated by Elena Duque and Yann Beauvais for the Seville European Film Festival 2021.
– SESSION 1. LANDSCAPE / ECOLOGY. http://festivalcinesevilla.eu/peliculas/ciclo-light-cone-sesion-1-paisajesecologia
– SESSION 2. GENDER / IDENTITY http://festivalcinesevilla.eu/peliculas/ciclo-light-cone-sesion-2-generoidentidad
– SESSION 3. CINEMA AS MATERIAL http://festivalcinesevilla.eu/peliculas/ciclo-light-cone-sesion-3-el-cine-como-material
ORISEL CASTRO . Filmmaker, programmer and coordinator of the Master in Documentary Film, EICTV
Year of returning to Cuba, to film school, to Glauber Rocha. Less solo films and more in the living room, with the students. The island of the island. The most important is divided into: what I saw on the big screen programmed by Jorge Yglesias, the teacher; what I saw on the computer, sometimes through MUBI, especially to program EDOC and what I saw to think of professors for the Master’s in Documentary Film that I coordinate at EICTV.
I. What I saw in the Glauber Rocha room
– Bad Luck Banging or Loony Porn (Radu Jude, 2021)
– The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion, 2021)
– Annette (Leos Carax, 2021)
– The Spirit of the Beehive (Víctor Erice, 1973)
– Last year in Marienbad (Alain Resnais, 1961)
– Beau Travail (Claire Denis, 1999)
– In a certain way (Sara Gómez, 1974)
II. Alone and for EDOC
– Victoria (Sofie Benoot, Liesbeth De Ceulaer, Isabelle Tollenaere, 2020)
– Bosco (Alicia Cano, 2020)
– Things we don’t do (Bruno Santamaría, 2020)
– Hiroshima mon amour (Alain Resnais, 1959)
– Princes Cyd (Stephen Cone , 2017)
– The Quince Sun (Víctor Erice, 1992)
– Bergman Island (Mia Hansen-Løve, 2021) thanks to Jules for “the refuge”
III. Casting for mastery
– Playback: rehearsal of a farewell (Agustina Comedi, 2020)
– In the image and likeness (Jessica Sarah Rinland, 2019)
– My Mexican Bretzel (Nuria Giménez, 2020)
– Arabia (Affonso Uchoa, 2017) in the presence of the director, also in the EICTV room, when he came to teach the Experimental and Hybrid Cinema class.
– Recollection (Kamal Aljafari, 2015) in the presence of the director, on the recommendation of the master’s students. A great revelation for me.
– Memory (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021)
A haunted projection in a mixing studio in a foreign country, full of familiar thoughts and sonorous ghosts. A true sonic attack on the heart of cinephilia. I was awakened by the memory of The Sleeping One (Pascal Aubier, 1966) and I showed it in class the next day. A song in the chest …
LIBERTAD GILLS , filmmaker, film critic, video essayist, Ecuador
I imagine my list as a program that would be shown in this order:
Belmarsh Christmas Day Soundscape (Julian Assange, Stella Morris)
Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky)
Birth (Cristina Álvarez López)
Dreams Under Confinement (Christopher Harris)
Covid Messages (John Smith)
Quebrantahuesos (Martin Baus)
Notes, Imprints (On Love): Part II, Carmela (Alexandra Cuesta)
Figure & I (Lynne Sachs)
Light Year (Bruno Varela)
Mutationem (Maile Costa Colbert)
Light Trap (Pablo Marin)
a long: Under the sky (Diego Acosta)
“Young (Women) Filmmaker (s)” (Katie Bird)
Edge (Catherine Grant)
Murky Waters (Jaap Kooijman and Patricia Pisters)
Once Upon a Screen: Explosive Paradox (Kevin B. Lee)
“Unmaking Cinema”: conversation with Raphael Montañez Ortiz at Light Cone
Program by Cecilia Mangini at Another Gaze
“Practicing Abolition Futures” with Pooja Rangan, Brett Story, Christopher Harris & Alex Rivera at UnionDocs
State of Cinema 2021 by Nicole Brenez
in Ecuadorian cinema:
Equatorial Program at Cámara Lúcida Festival
JUAN CARLOS LEMUS POLANÍA, Film Critic and director of Cine con Acento podcast
A list of the movies that moved me the most in 2021
2021 was the year in which we realized that nothing was going to change if not to get worse. More so when we have been depleted by overexposure to everything, to the immeasurable of knowledge, of attention. This being, knowing and doing everything and for everything has become imperative for many of my contemporaries. More so when Bauman’s liquid has appeared in gaseous: and the Berlinale I could see her in her pajamas while stopping Wheel of Fortune and Fantasy because the water bill came to the door. But resistance — to which one can cling, to which one puts faith — in my case goes through the adjective given to a certain cinema: slow. The works that I will list do not all fit into the aforementioned category, but for the most part they walk through that introspection,
Babardeala cu bucluc sau porno balamuc (Bad Luck Banging or Lonely Porn, Radu Jude, 2021 Berlinale 71) Golden Bear for the Romanian director with this satire that on the surface shows the life of a couple and the no border between the private and the public , diluted today by technology, with its blow it has called in past decades the “weaker sex”. And meanwhile he talks about the social cost of entering Europe for his country. Understanding its metaphor, it would be multiple penetration received with feigned pleasure, just like in hardcore porn.
Azor (Andreas Fontana, 2021, Berlinale). The Swiss director surprises with this dramatic thriller set in Argentina to talk about how corruption is engendered and who are the progenitors. The big bankers, of course from the white countries that have third world countries listed as corrupt, do not fare very well in this DNA test to certify paternity.
Gûzen to sôzô (Wheel of fortune and fantasy, Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2021, Berlinale 71) Replicating the first Christians, Hamaguchi creates his Holy Trinity in this work. I do not think I fall into a solipsism when I say that we have become used to gruesome, and sometimes even brutal, narratives and make these our masterpieces – did Romanticism abuse us? -. So when this wonder of compassion and humanity is revealed; of solidarity and human warmth; It is possible to classify it as brilliant and subversive from distancing itself from the self to reaching the we. And more today than before, or as always, a necessary balm.
Annette (Leos Carax, 2021, Cannes 74). The French director brings this musical in which he is related to the tradition of his fellow sociologists dedicated to radiographing the state of the art of human behavior at a certain time. Carax undresses us in this narcissism and struggle of egos, at the point of social networks, which has become our daily life. This particular moment where high and low culture coexist in marriage, where sexist violence is increased by professional jealousy and where we exploit even the most precious in search of wealth as a synonym of success.
Memory (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, 2021, Cannes 74) The first film I saw by this director was at Cannes 2015, and it left my head scratched for a long time, something that led me to become interested in his work and try to find meaning, or a message. I found relationships between the physical and what is not seen, but which is. However, with Memoria I feel that the Thai is going to more and can only be carried away in the trance in which the viewer is induced to see his cinema. A sensory experience that speaks of being, being and transcendence. As a Colombian, you can read what we have been hiding in order to forget when what we must collectively remember.
Compartment No. 6 (Juho Kuosmanen, 2021, Cannes 74) A budding separation and a journey kick off this road trip, but on rails and very claustrophobic. A trip in a train car that allows two worldviews to meet and then some understandings to emerge. The Finn is another of those who proposes this kind of vital companionship, of detaching armor to make the fucking path of life calmer and cushion the shocks.
The Velvet Underground (Todd Haynes, 2021, Cannes 74). The Californian’s documentary is special for fans and informative for neophytes. Haynes imitates his idols and breaks some of the rules, making his work formally disruptive and that form is already a message — I bet on Warhol’s blessing. The lives of Nico, Tucker, Reed, Cale and how the avant-garde was made music in an unthinkable and little exposed sixties nihilism, which would later bring to punk. Also a memory about the cool pose, which has already been marked since Wilde’s decadence and that pretentious way of being in the cold, boring world and of no surprise and therefore conservative and elitist.
Drive my Car (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi, 2021, Cannes 74) Handling personal and moral losses. The weight that we have left and that we must continue to carry as we can. But it seems that the Japanese sum up stoicism and temperance, according to the protagonists without actually teaching us. Hamaguchi repeats on the list with plenty of reasons. Because in addition to those moral forces mentioned, it also gives way, once again, to human communication beyond words, where hugs, looks, affection, subtleties have a place. And compassion and tenderness.
The Power of the Dog (Jane Campion, 2021, Venice 78) And the donkey returns to the wheat, however. Campion flaunts the purest postmodernism in his mix of film genres with such mastery that The Power of the Dog doesn’t have a bump. And from western to drama and thriller and something else. What and where is the power of the dog? Perhaps in that he domesticated us insofar as he made us believe otherwise.
The Card Counter (Paul Schrader, 2021, Venice 78) You already remember Travis. And it is that the protagonists of Schrader are in search of personal redemption through the other. And just as I have mentioned compassion for the other as a force that supports and helps us, perhaps among those on the other side is revenge. This one that in certain cases is necessary to the point of stupidity. Also, I add that this is the year of Oscar Isaac with this magnificent role for which we will remember.
To pay the debt with last year (before): So many souls (Nicolás Rincón Gille, 2019. Just released this year due to its cancellation in 2020 by COVID). To contribute with the commercial fee: No Sudden Move (Steven Soderbergh, 2021, HBO Max). The usual: The empire of the senses (Nagisa Oshima, 1976). The classic: The discreet charm of the bourgeoisie (Luís Buñuel, 1972). The unforgettable: Mimosas (Oliver Laxe, 2016). The Colombian: Bicentennial (Pablo Álvarez-Mesa, 2020).
ALDO PADILLA , Cinemancia Festival programmer and critic, Bolivia – Chile
In astronomy there is often talk of “looking back” when looking at planets outside the solar system, we look at them hundreds or thousands of years ago while it seems impossible to think of that planet in the present. The cinema of this 2021 seems in the same way a cinema of a past world, since although two years have passed since the beginning of the pandemic and its multiple waves, the masks and the radical changes that the world has undergone seem something alien to a cinema that by its nature usually takes more than two years from its filming to its presentation, will 2022 be a cinema with masks, with social distances, with slight references to a world that is no longer the same? For now, the films that have referenced the global pandemic seem to have understood human fragility (The Great Movement),
The Great Movement , Kiro Russo, Bolivia, 2021
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? , Alexandre Koberidze, Georgia, 2021
Rêve de Gotokuji par un premier mai sans lune , Natacha Thiéry, France, 2020
10.Beyond the night , Manuel Ponce de León, Colombia, 2021
PAOLA VELA, Peruvian visual artist and filmmaker
Movies (short and long) seen through platforms like MUBI, by festivals like MUTA or Lima Alterna, or thanks to friends who sent me the private links from VIMEO.
Four Roads (2021) by Alice Rohrwacher Terranova (2021) by Alejandro Alonso Estrella and Alejandro Pérez Serrano The Cloud in her Room (2020) by Xinyuan Zheng Lu Private Collection (2020) by Elena Duque One thousand and One Attempts to Be an Ocean ( 2020) by Yuyang Wang 13 Ways of Looking a Blackbird (2020) by Ana Vaz Felix in Wonderland (2019) by Marie Losier
Three Peruvian voices working outside Peru: No One Cried (2021) by Daniel Jacoby Notes on Connection III (2021) by Andrea Franco The Old Child (2021) by Felipe Esparza
Short films seen in person in museums Plastic Limits – For the Projection of Other Architectures (2021) by Rosa Barba, short film as part of her solo exhibition In a Perpetual Now at the Neue Nationalgalerie Berlin, Germany. Framer Framed (2021) by Ramaya Tegegne, documentary film as part of the group exhibition The Equality of the Possibility at the Kunstverein Bielefeld, Germany.
Discoveries / reviews of Peruvian filmmakers from the past thanks to Corriente Encuentro Latinoamericano de Cine de No Ficción, friends who sent me the links, or YouTube. 3 x 16 (2007) by Marcos Arriaga Beijing (1988) by Rose Lowder Cimarrones(1975) by Carlos Ferrrand Niños (1974) from the Liberation without Rodeos Group Vision of the Jungle (1973) from the Liberation without Rodeos Group
RODRIGO GARAY YSITA , Co-editor of Correspondences, Berlinale Talents student and member of FIPRESCI (Mexico)
I never thought a Wes Anderson movie or car commercial would end up among my favorites of an entire year, but here we are. I am very excited about what I saw in 2021. I was accompanied by darker movies last year, but now I notice a game search on this list. I feel restless, in a good way.
I never thought a Wes Anderson flick or a car commercial would end up among my year-long favorites, but here we are. I’m truly moved by my 2021 picks. Last year I turned to more somber films, but now I feel a spirited pursuit in this list. I feel restless, in a good way.
What Do We See When We Look at the Sky? (Alexandre Koberidze, 2021)
The French Dispatch (Wes Anderson, 2021)
What will be of the summer (Ignacio Ceroi, 2021)
The Canyon (Zachary Epcar, 2021)
Das Mädchen und die Spinne (Ramon Zürcher and Silvan Zürcher, 2021)
Day is Done (Dalei Zhang, 2020)
Friends and Strangers (James Vaughan, 2021)
earthearthearth (Daïchi Saïto, 2021)
A táxi do Jack (Susana Nobre, 2021)
10.Looking for Venera (Norika Sefa, 2021)
11.Flowers blooming in our throats (Eva Giolo, 2020)
12.Blutsauger (Julian Radlmaier, 2021)
13.The founders (Diego Hernández, 2021)
14.Rock Bottom Riser (Fern Silva, 2021)
15.Feast (Tim Leyendekker, 2021)
16.Jesus Egon Christus (David Vajda and Sasa Vajda, 2021)
17.È Stata la mano di Dio (Paolo Sorrentino, 2021)
This year I also took the time to go back to old favorites of mine that I hadn’t seen in years — like Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, 1980), The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) or Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1984) – and confirm my resounding love for them.
This year I also took the time to revisit old favorites of mine that I hadn’t seen in years —such as Airplane! (Jim Abrahams, David Zucker and Jerry Zucker, 1980), The Wild Bunch (Sam Peckinpah, 1969) or Once Upon a Time in America (Sergio Leone, 1984) -, confirming my resounding love for them.
RENATO LEÓN , journalist and film critic from Peru
My favorite movies that I saw this 2021 (theaters, streaming, festivals, Torrent), in order of preference.
Drive my car by Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
Memory , by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.
The card counter , by Paul Schrader.
Wheel of fortune and fantasy , by Ryusuke Hamaguchi.
Annette , by Léos Carax.
Petite maman , by Celine Sciamma.
Malignant by James Wan.
The innocents by Eskil Vogt.
Benedetta , by Paul Verhoeven.
10.Bergman Island by Mia Hansen-Løve.
11.Esquirlas , by Natalia Garayalde.
12.Night of fire , by Tatiana Huezo.
13.Power of dog by Jane Campion.
14.Un médecin de nui t, by Elie Wajeman.
15.La Nuée , by Just Philippot.
16.Spencer , by Pablo Larraín
17.Nobody by Ilya Naishuller.
18.The Green Knight by David Lowery
19.Val by Ting Poo and Leo Scott.
20.Cruella by Craig Gillespie.
Succession , Season 3 (HBO Max).
Midnight Mass (Netflix).
Small Ax .
Them (Prime Video).
The white Lotus (HBO Max).
Mare of easttown (HBO Max).
Servant , Season Two (Apple TV +).
Sex Education , third season (Netflix).
10.Scenes from a Marriage (HBO Max).
Films more inflated than a hot air balloon:
Titane by Julia Ducournau.
Cry male , by Clint Eastwood.
Nomadland by Chloé Zhao.
FRANCISCO ÁLVAREZ RÍOS , programmer and director of the Cámara Lúcida festival, Ecuador
Non-fiction circuits, or experimentation fiction:
Just a Movement by Vincent Meessen The great movement by Kiro Russo Rock Bottom Riser by Fern Silva The Invisible Mountain by Ben Rusell The moon represents my heart by Juan Martín Hsu Taming the garden by Salomé Jashi One image, two acts by Sanaz Sohrabi A night of knowing nothing by Payal Kapadia Ste. Anne by Rhayne Vermette Eles transport a morte by Helena Girón and Samuel M. Delgado
earthearthearth by Daïchi Saïto Train Again by Peter Tscherkassky Pentalfa Neón by Bruno Varela The Canyon by Zacary Epcar Zero Lenght Spring by Ross Meckfessel 2020 by Fried Von Gröller Epoca is Another Thing by Ignacio Tamarit and Tomas Maglione Notes on connection III by Andrea Franco Tonalli from the Colectivo Los Ingrávidos Night Reflection (IV) by Benjamin Ellenberger
Dawn of Datura by Jean-Jacques Martinod and Bretta Walker Winds of Chanduy by Mario Rodríguez Dávila Notes, incantations: part II, Carmela by Alexandra Cuesta Open sky / Open sea / Open ground by Libertad Gills and Martin Baus Bearded vulture by Martin Baus
ALONSO CASTRO , Peruvian film critic
In no order of priority:
– Charm Circle , Nira Burstein (2021)
– Luto , Pablo Martín Weber (2021)
– My last adventure , Ezequiel Salinas, Ramiro Sonzini (2021)
– Window boy would also like to have a submarine , Alex Piperno (2021)
– Her socialist smile , John Gianvito (2020)
– The Wheel of Fortune , Ryusuke Hamaguchi (2021)
– Une chanson d’anniversaire , Jaques Perconte (2021)
– The dog that does not shut up , Ana Katz (2021)
– A l’abordage , Guillaume Brac (2020 )
– Otsoga Newspapers, Miguel Gomes (2021)
– Notes on Connection III , Andrea Franco (2021)
– Les choses qu’on dit, les choses qu’on fait , Emmanuel Mouret (2020)
– The bones , Cristóbal León, Joaquín Cociña (2021)
AARON CUTLER (Mutual Films / The Moviegoer), United States / Brazil
Some movies I loved in 2021 (and as always, I apologize to all the works I forgot):
– All of Your Stars Are but Dust on My Shoes (Haig Aivazian)
– Blind Body (Allison Chhorn)
– The Canyon (Zachary Epcar)
– earthearthearth (Daïchi Saïto)
– Home When You Return (Carl Elsaesser)
– The red filter is withdrawn (Minjung Kim)
– Rua Ataléia (André Novais Oliveira)
– sem title # 7 : Rara (Carlos Adriano)
– Light Trap (Pablo Marín)
– Untitled (34bsp) (Philipp Fleischmann)
– Wasteland No. 3: Moons, Sons ( Jodie Mack)
– What is it that you said? (Shun Ikezoe)
– Quinzaine des Réalisateurs – 2021 edition
– Paulo Rocha Retrospective – São Paulo International Film Festival
A thought: One of the first values I discovered in the cinema was a healthy opportunity to get out of the house. Always when I read about a new virtual programming now, even the most interesting one, I end up remembering that. The physical movie theater will always have its value.
MALENA MARTÍNEZ CABRERA , filmmaker, Peru
Films by Florent Marcie A.I. at War. France 2021, 107min
[Retrospective Film as a subversive art of the Vienna Filmmuseum. Curated by Roger Koza]
SAÏA. A front line at night in Afghanistan . France, 2000, 30 min.
Films of Grace Passô: Republic . Brazil, 2020, 15 min. Vaga carne by Grace Passô, Ricardo Alves Júnior, Brazil 2019, 45 min.
[Flaherty International Film Seminar]
In a certain way . Sara Gomez. Cuba 1974, 1975, 1976, 1977. 73min.
Other films from the Retrospective Film as a subversive art, a tribute to Amos Vogel from the Vienna Filmmuseum.
Demain et encore demain, journal 1995 Dominique Cabrera. France, 1997, 79 min. [Curated by Birgit Kohler]. Cage rain . César González, Argentinien, 2019, 82 min. [Curated by Roger Koza] brouillard # 14 by Alexandre Laroes, Canada, 2013, 10 min. Lightning dance by Cecilia Bengolea, Argentina, 2018, 6 min. [Curated by Nicole Brenez] What am I doing in this very visual world? Manuel Embalse, 2020, AR, 64 min. [This Human World Festival (online)].
Other films seen at the Flaherty International Film Seminar, online.
The Klan comes to town by Deanna Bowen. Canada, 2013, 20 min. Sum of the parts what can be named by Deanna Bowen. Canada, 2010, 19 min. Yãy Tu Nunãnã Payexop: Encontro de Pajés (Meeting of Shamans) of Sueli Maxakali, Brazil, 2021, 23 min. Jamal (A Camel) from Sudanese Film Group, Sudan, 1981, 14 min. Public service announcemente from Athi Patra Ruga, South Africa, 2014, 15 min. Thaumamorphic Video 2: Massage by Teddy Ogborn, US, 2020, short. [Fellows screenings]
Films by the duo Gray Cake (Alexander Serechenko, Ekaterina Pryanichnikova): Dreams of the Machine . Russia, 2021, 14 min. Backlash , Russia 2020, 4min Vremyanka , Russia, 2’33 ”
Uncanny Dream Cycle of Ars Electronica Animation Festival 2021
Etéreo y Lejano de Juan Llacsa, DOCLA, Moyobamba, Peru, 2021 1’41
[DOCLA School social networks]
Genaro’s betamax , Miguel Villalobos, 2015, 114min
[Cineaparte.com, Peruvian film platform].
Seen in Focus Peru at the Latin America Festival of Biarritz
Films by Omar Forero Complex Cases . Trujillo, 2018, 81 min. Chicama . Trujillo, 2012, 75 min. Manco Capac by Henry Vallejo, Puno, 2021, Among these trees that I have invented by Martín Rebaza, Trujillo, 2021, 78 min.
BonusVista again in 2021. AI by Steven Spielberg, US, 2021, 146 min.
MARIANA DIANELA TORRES VALENCIA , visual artist, video essayist, Mexico
10 or 15 Favorite Movies 2021
Sedmikrásky (Vera Chytilová, 1966)
Where Is My Friend’s House? (Abbas Kiarostami, 1987)
Ozols (Laila Pakalnina, 1997)
Selva Tragica (Yulene Olaizola, 2020)
Double Phase (Takashi Makino, 2020)
Glimpses from a Visit to Orkney in Summer 1995 (Ute Aurand, 2020)
Holiday (Holiday) (Azucena Losana, 2021)
The road is made by walking (Paula Gaitán, 2021)
What will be of the summer (Ignacio Ceroi, 2021)
Labor of Lov e (Sylvia Schedelbauer, 2020)
S4D3 (Raúl Perrone, 2021)
Underground pulses (Elena Pardo, 2020- 2021-…)
Neon Crystals(Bruno Varela, 2021)
All the light we can see (Pablo Escoto, 2020)
The wait (Celina Manuel, 2021)
WILDER ZUMARÁN , film critic, Peru
This year, due to different factors, I have seen very little cinema. I saw little and, above all, I was aware of what could be seen in Peru and at festivals in Latin America. I think this list reflects well the intermittent journey that 2021 has been for me. A political year, a bit tragic, energetic at times, suffocating many times. A year, for me, however, of great brief moments with the cinema.
Luz nos Tópicos , by Paula Gaitán
Los conductos , by Camilo Restrepo
La France contre les robots , by Jean-Marie Straub
Chaco , by Diego Mondaca
First Cow , by Kelly Reichardt
Fauna , by Nicolás Pereda
Like the sky after it rains , by Mercedes Gaviria
The Whole Shebang , by Ken Jacobs
Playback. Essay of a farewell , by Agustina Comedi
Of all the things to know , by Sofía Velázquez
Esquirlas , by Natalia Garayalde
Sutís Interferências , by Paula Gaitán
Poilean , by Claudio Caldini
Sisters with transistors , by Lisa Rovner
Of all the things to know , by Sofía Velázquez
The Old Child , by Felipe Esparza
pov: you have dystrophy and you are going to turn 25 artificial years , by Claudia Vanesa Figueroa
Spotlights and curatorial proposals
Spotlight María Galindo and Mujeres Creando – Transcinema
Spotlight Paula Gaitán – Frontera Sur
Traversed Peruvian cartographies: Heterogeneous routes and horizons in five decades of audiovisual production – Corriente. Latin American Non-Fiction Film Encounter
María Galindo and Mujeres Creating
Kinuyo Tanaka [Thanks to Marianela Vega]
Carolee Schneemann’s trilogy [thanks to Ivonne Sheen]
The disappearance (and the future return?)
CARLOS ESQUIVES , Peruvian film critic
These are the recent movies seen this year that I liked the most. It is worth mentioning that my presence in physical theaters has been almost nil, which has limited me to see commercial premieres. I also add to the failure to see important recent releases of the Netflix platform so far. Here is my list, in no order of preference.
The Father (Florian Zeller, 2020)
A Man on a Camera (Guido Hendrikx, 2021)
The Viewing Booth (Ra’anan Alexandrowicz, 2019)
A Very Long Exposure (Chloé Galibert-Laine, 2020)
Piccolo Corpo (Laura Samani, 2021)
Digital Video Editing with Adobe Premiere Pro: The Real-World Guide to Set Up and Workflow (Hong Seong-yoon, 2020)
Mother Lode (Matteo Tortone, 2021)
Friends and Strangers (James Vaughan, 2021)
Petite maman (Céline Sciamma, 2021 )
The Killing of Two Lovers (Robert Machoian, 2020)
Between Two Dawns (Selman Nacar, 2021)
The Taking(Alexandre O. Philippe, 2021)
Who prevents it (Jonás Trueba, 2021)
Our happiest days (Sol Berruezo Pichon-Riviere, 2021)
Annette (Leos Carax, 2021)
The Green Knight (David Lowery, 2021)
Memory (Apichatpong Weerasethakul , 2021)
CRISTIAN SALDÍA , Filmmaker, director and programmer at the Frontera Sur Festival (Chile)
Memory (Apichatpong Weerasethakul) Eles transportan a morte (Helena Girón, Samuel M. Delgado) Train Again (Peter Tscherkassky) Un monde flottant (Jean-Claude Rousseau) In Front of Your Face (Hong Sang-soo) Esquirlas (Natalia Garayalde) Les Antilopes (Maxime Martinot) Water from the creek that trembles (Javiera Cisterna) Bicentennial (Pablo Álvarez-Mesa) Saxifrages, quatre nuits blanches (Nicolas Klotz, Elisabeth Perceval) The great movement (Kiro Russo) The floor of the wind (Gustavo Fontán, Gloria Peirano ) The sky is red(Francina Carbonell) Light trap (Pablo Marín) Pão e Gente (Renan Rovida) Diários de Otsoga (Maureen Fazendeiro, Miguel Gomes)
MEHDI JAHAN , Filmmaker (India)
Favorite first time views of 2021 / Films seen for the first time which reinforced my faith in Cinema this year:
FEATURES (in no particular order):
1. Fertile Memory | Michel Khleifi | Palestine | 1980
2. Wedding in Galilee | Michel Khleifi | Palestine | 1987
3. Leila and the Wolves | Heiny Srour | Lebanon | 1984
4. Radiograph of a Family | Firouzeh Khosrovani | Iran | 2020
5. Pride | Manuel Mur Oti | Spain | 1955
6. O Cangaceiro (The Bandit) | Lima Barreto | Brazil | 1953
7. Sunday Afternoon (Sunday Afternoon) | Antonio De Macedo | Portugal | 1966
8. Daichi no Komoriuta (Lullaby of the Earth) | Yasuzo Masumura | Japan | 1976
9. Duel to the Death | Ching Siu-Tong | Hong Kong | 1983
10. Onna (Woman) | Keisuke Kinoshita | Japan | 1948
Welcome to the 99th and final podcast from THE SCREEN’S MARGINS of the year! What a year it’s been, and what better way to round out 2021 than by…okay there’s nothing special, it’s just B Peterson and Witney Seibold talking good film that’s available on Ovid.tv, aka the premise of OLL OBOUT OVID! We talk Alain Renais’ 1956 tribute to libraries, Madeline Anderson’s documentation of Civil Rights activism and activists, Lynne Sachs’ experimental explorations of history, language and the documentary form itself, Jill Li’s chronicling of a democratic movement in Southern China, and more besides! We hope you enjoy, and thank you for your time.
We are really excited to work with aemi’s Artist in Focus Lynne Sachs to deliver a workshop as part of CIFF 2021. This in-person workshop in Cork will focus on the interplay between poetry and cinema. Based in New York, Lynne Sachs is an award winning filmmaker whose work bridges personal experience and political concerns through her singular approach to filmmaking. Lynne uses both analogue and digital mediums, weaving together text, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design.
‘Day Residue: A Film-Making Workshop on the Every Day’ is open to both emerging and established artists interested in film and writing. The workshop is an excellent opportunity for film artists to deeply consider creative approaches to writing and film, both in relation to their own practices and within wider contexts.
Day Residue: A Film-Making Workshop on the Every Day
Lynne Sachs: According to Sigmund Freud’s theory of dreams, our day residue is composed of the memory traces left by the events of our waking state. In this workshop, we explore the ways in which fragments of our daily lives can become material in writing for a personal film. While many people in the film industry rely upon a chronological process that begins with the development phase and ends with post-production, our Day Residue workshop will build on an entirely different creative paradigm that encourages artists to embraces the nuances, surprises and challenges of their daily lives as a foundation for a diaristic practice.
The day will be structured by two sessions: in addition to introducing her practice and collectively watching Lynne’s programme of short films curated by aemi for CIFF (see film info below), Lynne will also lead a session on writing and film / writing for film, and the possible interplays between the two – extending to the role of poetry.
In-person screening programme within the workshop:
Lynne Sachs, Carolee, Barbara & Gunvor, 2018, USA, 8 min From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three artists who embraced the moving image throughout their lives.
Lynne Sachs, Still Life With Women And Four Objects, 1986, USA, 4 minA portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a ‘character’.
Lynne Sachs, Drawn and Quartered, 1986, USA, 4 minOptically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections.
Lynne Sachs, The House of Science: A Museum of False Facts, 1991, USA, 29 min A girl’s difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.
Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer, Girl is Presence, 2020, USA, 5 min Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, a ‘girl’ arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things.
Lynne Sachs and Moira Sweeney, Longings, 2021, USA/ Ireland, 90 seconds A collaboration exploring the resonances and ruptures between image and language.
Lynne Sachs, Drift and Bough, 2014, USA, 6 minLynne Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper.
Lynne Sachs, Starfish Aorta Colossus, 2014, USA, 4 min Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas.
Lynne Sachs, Maya at 24, 2021, USA, 4 minLynne Sachs films her daughter Maya at 6, 16 and 24.
Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer, A Month of Single Frames, 2019, USA, 14 min In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. She shot film and kept a journal. In 2018 Hammer, facing her own imminent death, gave her material to Lynne and invited her to make a film.
This is a free workshop, however as numbers are limited, prior booking is essential.
Please email Emer at firstname.lastname@example.org in advance to secure a place.
Lynne Sachs (Memphis, Tennessee, 1961) is a filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. Her work explores the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences by weaving together text, collage, painting, politics and layered sound design. Strongly committed to a feminist dialogue between cinematic theory and practice, she searches for a rigorous play between image and sound, pushing the visual and aural textures in her work with every new project. Her moving image work ranges from short experimental films, to essay films to hybrid live performances. Lynne has made 37 films, including features and shorts, which have screened, won awards or been included in retrospectives at New York Film Festival, Museum of Modern Art, Sundance, Oberhausen, Viennale, Sheffield Doc/Fest, BAFICI, RIDM Montréal, Vancouver Film Festival, Doclisboa, Havana IFF, and China Women’s Film Festival. In 2014, she received the Guggenheim Fellowship in the Creative Arts.
I will be heading to Cork International Film Festival in Ireland to present “Film About a Father Who” with 10 short films as part of their AEMI artist focus on my work. Honored to share four collaborative film poems: “Longings” made with filmmaker Moira Sweeney (who will be there with us!); “A Month of Single Frames” made with Barbara Hammer; “Girl is Presence” made with Anne Lesley Selcer; and, “Starfish Aorta Colossus” made with Paolo Javier.
Making work since the 1980s Lynne Sachs’ films have incorporated a cross-pollination of forms that extend to the essay film, documentary, collage, performance, and poetry. Deeply reflexive, Sachs’ films to date have outlined a rich interplay between the personal and the socio-political. aemi is delighted to present this overview of selected short works by Lynne Sachs at Cork International Film Festival, many of which are screening in Ireland for the first time.
In addition to this shorts programme Lynne will also be in attendance at the festival for the Irish premiere of her celebrated feature Film About a Father Who.
CAROLEE, BARBARA & GUNVOR Lynne Sachs From 2015 to 2017, Lynne visited with Carolee Schneemann, Barbara Hammer and Gunvor Nelson, three artists who embraced the moving image throughout their lives.
STILL LIFE WITH WOMEN AND FOUR OBJECTS Lynne Sachs A portrait that falls somewhere between a painting and a poem, a look at a woman’s daily routines and thoughts via an exploration of her as a ‘character’.
DRAWN AND QUARTERED Lynne Sachs Optically printed images of a man and a woman fragmented by a film frame that is divided into four distinct sections.
THE HOUSE OF SCIENCE: A MUSEUM OF FALSE FACTS Lynne Sachs A girl’s difficult coming-of-age rituals are recast into a potent web for affirmation and growth.
GIRL IS PRESENCE Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, a ‘girl’ arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things.
LONGINGS Lynne Sachs and Moira Sweeney A collaboration exploring the resonances and ruptures between image and language.
DRIFT AND BOUGH Lynne Sachs Lynne Sachs spends a winter morning in Central Park shooting film in the snow. Holding her Super 8mm camera, she takes note of graphic explosions of dark and light and an occasional skyscraper.
STARFISH AORTA COLOSSUS Lynne Sachs Poetry watches film. Film reads poetry. Paolo Javier’s text is a catalyst for digital sculpting of an 8mm Kodachrome canvas.
MAYA AT 24 Lynne Sachs Lynne Sachs films her daughter Maya at 6, 16 and 24.
A MONTH OF SINGLE FRAMES Lynne Sachs with and for Barbara Hammer In 1998, filmmaker Barbara Hammer had an artist residency in a shack without running water or electricity. She shot film and kept a journal. In 2018 Hammer, facing her own imminent death, gave her material to Lynne and invited her to make a film.
The Irish premiere of Lynne Sachs’ celebrated feature Film About a Father Who screens here alongside the world premiere of Myrid Carten’s short film Sorrow had a baby. Both artists will be in attendance for a discussion of their work following the screening.
Both Film About a Father Who and Sorrow had a baby deal, in very different ways, with familial legacy incorporating personal archives and pushing against the traditional boundaries of documentary practice. Myrid Carten’s film Sorrow had a baby is also the first film produced through aemi’s annual film commissioning programme, supported by Arts Council of Ireland.
Myrid Carten, Sorrow had a baby,2021, Ireland, 16 minutesaemi Film Commission 2021
‘I absorbed the women in my life as I would chloroform on a cloth laid against my face.’ – Vivan Gornick
Sorrow had a baby explores the mother-daughter relationship through multiple lenses: memory, beauty, inheritance. Who writes the stories in a family? Who can change them?
Lynne Sachs, Film About a Father Who, 2020, USA, 74 minutesOver a period of 35 years between 1984 and 2019, filmmaker Lynne Sachs shot 8 and 16mm film, videotape and digital images of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., a bon vivant and pioneering businessman from Park City, Utah. Film About a Father Who is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to the Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ cinematic exploration of her father offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. In the process, Sachs allows herself and her audience inside to see beyond the surface of the skin, the projected reality. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.
The Flow Chart Foundation’s Text Kitchen hands-onWorkshops provide writers and other art-makers opportunities for deep exploration into poetry and interrelated forms of expression.
Frames and Stanzas: Video Poems—encore presentation! a virtual filmmaking and poetry writing workshop with Lynne Sachs
Tuesday, September 14 & Tuesday, September 21, 2021 (registration includes both sessions) 6:30pm – 9:30pm (EDT) on Zoom
In this two-part virtual workshop, Sachs will share insights and experiences she has in bridging poetry with cinema. Participants will explore and expand the intersections between still/moving images and written/spoken words over the course of two three-hour evening meetings (participants must be able to attend both sessions). Lynne will guide the workshop on a creative journey that will include writing several poems in conjunction with shooting moving or still images using an iPhone and simple editing software. Lynne has always been fascinated by the conversation between large-scale public events beyond our control and our subsequent, internal responses to those experiences. Her workshop will build itself around this public/private convergence.
Participants are encouraged to join us for a free, public presentation of Lynne’s short films and poetry taking place virtually at 6PM (EDT) on Monday, September 13th. More info here.
Workshop fee (includes both three-hour sessions): $80
Frames and Stanzas: Video Poems a virtual filmmaking and poetry writing workshop with Lynne Sachs
Thursday, June 10 & Thursday, June 17, 2021 (registration includes both sessions) 6:30pm – 9:30pm (EDT) on Zoom
When award-winning Brooklyn filmmaker and poet Lynne Sachs first discovered The Flowchart Foundation’s enthusiasm for poetry as a conduit for an interplay with other artistic modes, she knew that we would be a great place to offer a workshop that would nourish a deeply engaged dialogue between the written word and the image.
In this two-part virtual workshop, Sachs will share insights and experiences she has in bridging poetry with cinema. Participants will explore and expand the intersections between still/moving images and written/spoken words over the course of two three-hour evening meetings (participants must be able to attend both sessions). Lynne will guide the workshop on a creative journey that will include writing several poems in conjunction with shooting moving or still images. Lynne has always been fascinated by the conversation between large-scale public events beyond our control and our subsequent, internal responses to those experiences. Her workshop will build itself around this public/private convergence.
We encourage those with backgrounds in either or both poetry and image-making to sign up. Participants will need only a smartphone for creating their short films. Because creative collaboration between participants is a vital part of the experience, Lynne will carefully pair participants based on a questionnaire sent after registering. Note that this is not a tech-focused workshop, though some basic tech instruction will be shared.
Lynne’s virtual workshop will include the screening of some of her own recent short film poems, including “Starfish Aorta Colossus” (2015), “A Month of Single Frames” (2019), “Visit to Bernadette Mayer’s Childhood Home” (2020), and “Girl is Presence” (2020) as well as excerpts from her feature “Tip of My Tongue” (2017).
Join us in this 2-week multimedia investigation of the sounds, texts, media images, home-made movies, and sensory experiences that all come together in a video poem. We could not be more delighted to be launching the Text Kitchen workshop series with this event.
Workshop fee (includes both three-hour sessions): $80 [event SOLD OUT]
Since the 1980s, Lynne Sachs has created cinematic works that defy genre through the use of hybrid forms and cross-disciplinary collaboration, incorporating elements of the essay film, collage, performance, documentary and poetry. Her highly self-reflexive films explore the intricate relationship between personal observations and broader historical experiences. With each project, Lynne investigates the implicit connection between the body, the camera, and the materiality of film itself. Lynne discovered her love of filmmaking while living and studying in San Francisco where she worked closely with artists Craig Baldwin, Bruce Conner, Barbara Hammer, Gunvor Nelson, and Trihn T. Min-ha. During this time, she produced her early, experimental works on celluloid which took a feminist approach to the creation of images and writing— a commitment which has grounded her body of work ever since. In tandem with making films, Lynne is also deeply engaged with poetry. In 2019, Tender Buttons Press published Lynne’s first book Year by Year Poems.
From essay films to hybrid docs to diaristic shorts, Sachs has produced 40 films as well as numerous projects for web, installation, and performance. She has tackled topics near and far, often addressing directly the challenge of translation — from one language to another or from spoken work to image. These tensions were investigated most explicitly between 1994 and 2006, when Lynne produced five essay films that took her to Vietnam, Bosnia, Israel, Italy and Germany—sites affected by international war–where she looked at the space between a community’s collective memory and her own subjective perceptions.
Over her career, Sachs has been awarded support from the Guggenheim Foundation, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Rockefeller Foundation, and the Jerome Foundation. Her films have screened at venues such as the Museum of Modern Art, Wexner Center for the Arts, the Walker and the Getty, and at festivals including New York Film Festival, the Sundance Film Festival, Punto de Vista, DocAviv, and DocLisboa. Retrospectives of her work have been presented at the Museum of the Moving Image, Sheffield Doc/Fest, Buenos Aires International Festival of Independent Cinema, Festival International Nuevo Cine in Havana, and China Women’s Film Festival. Her 2019 film “A Month of Single Frames” won the Grand Prize at Oberhausen Festival of Short Films in 2020. In 2021, both the Edison Film Festival and the Prismatic Ground Film Festival at the Maysles Documentary Center awarded Lynne for her body of work in the experimental and documentary fields.