September 6-30th 2021
RITUALS OF RECLAMATION
by Richard Ashrowan. United Kingdom, 2018, 3’
A silent exploration of light and gesture; finding the light, losing it: moments of exploration, hesitation and connection. A collaboration with performers Sandra Johnston and Alastair MacLennan, Scotland, August 2018.
Apertures (a brighter darkness)
by Karissa Hahn. USA, 2019, 3’
and just as the swelter plateaus towards vertical horizon the curtain falls flat in motion a hinge unlatches from sill and a slab of paint is finally relieved, alighting —the window continues to open
Fire Fly Eye
by Kerry Laitala. USA, 2020, 7’
Fire Fly EYE is my response to the devastating re-making of the world brought on by anthropogenic climate change and corporate “stewardship” of our natural resources. A ritual of complaint in the face of overwhelming destruction, invoked through filming discarded consumer products, sifting spectacle out of catastrophe.
by Colectivo los ingravidos. Mexico, 2019, 5’
The magic life of the objects reanimate the ancestry of the aesthetic of dream.
A Study of Fly
by Cherlyn Hsing-Hsin Liu. Taiwan/USA, 2018, 13′
A Study of Fly is a reflection on the relationship between insect, human, environment and the universe. The fly in this film can be approached as a living being, a metaphor for human desire to reach beyond, and a state that demonstrates the capacity to move between the realms of life and death. Artifacts from hand-processing and color filters are emphases of our physical intervention, manipulation and violence against nature
by Eeva Siivonen. Finland/Canada, 2017, 3’
My moving image works experiments with text, image and sound to create an experiential space—a kind of ontology—within which subjectivities and bodies as totalities don’t exist and connections and hierarchies are continuously undone and remade. Subjective experience exists as a dialogical and rhetorical relationship, as something scattered in time and space, emerging and disappearing, resisting language and definition. These works describe the complex, fluctuating, and interdependent relationships between living and non-living entities—relationships that defy linearity and boundaries. My practice is grounded in refusal and resistance to closed definitions and categories such as self/other, human/animal, interior/exterior,
It Matters What
by Francisca Duran. Chile/Canada, 2019, 10’
Absences and translations motivate this experimental animation in an exploration of the methods and materials of reproduction and inscription. The inquiry is set within a framework of practical and critical human relationships with other-than-human-species elucidated by the theorist Donna Haraway.
A fragment from Haraway’s essay “Tentacular Thinking: Anthropocene, Capitalocene, Chthulucene” is reworked here as a poetic manifesto. Enigmatic found-footage calls into question human violence over animal species. Plant life is both the subject matter of the images and assists the means of photographic reproduction.
The techniques used include in-camera animation, contact-prints and phytograms created by the exposure of 16mm film overlaid with plant material and dried for hours in direct sunlight.
by Erica Sheu. Taiwan/USA, 2018, 3′
I transcribe a relationship on film with what I found at home: the flower baby’s breath, love letters my father wrote and sun print papers my lover gave me. This film is a dedication to Shadow Film: A Woman with Two Heads (Nito-onna: Kage No Eiga), 1977, by Shuji Terayama.
Girl is Presence
by Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer. USA, 2020, 4’
During the global pandemic, Lynne Sachs and Anne Lesley Selcer collaborated remotely to create Girl is Presence, a visual rhythmic poem tinged by gender and violence. Against the uncertain and anxious pandemic atmosphere, inside domestic space, the “girl” arranges and rearranges a collection of small and mysterious things. As the words build in tension, the scene becomes occult, ritualistic and alchemical. Commissioned by Small Press Traffic for Bay Area Shorts during the national shelter-in-place order caused by the Coronavirus Pandemic of 2020.
As Long As There is Breath
by Emily Chao. USA, 2020, 2′
An assembly of collected memories shatters the interior and open portals to the outside. Completed during shelter-in-place in Northern California. Commissioned by Small Press Traffic.
Wastelands No. 2 : Hardy, Hearty
by Jodie Mack. USA, 2019, 7’
“Can it be true,” said the first leaf, “can it really be true, that others come to take our places when we’re gone and after them still others, and more and more?”
“It really is true,” whispered the second leaf.
“We can’t even begin to imagine it, it’s beyond our powers.” “It makes me very sad,” added the first leaf.
They were very silent a while. (Felix Salten, Bambi: A Life in the Woods)
Garden ghosts flirt with the weeds of spring, cycling matter[s] and lives and deaths.
Founded in 2010, CROSSROADS is the San Francisco Cinematheque’s annual film festival that showcases contemporary film and experimental media produced by artists from the international art and film community. CROSSROADS is curated by the Artistic Director of the San Francisco Cinematheque, Steve Polta, with the intention of evoking the creative resonance between works by established artists and that of emerging artists, reflecting on the field and inspiring trends.
Consisting of eleven works presented at CROSSROADS 2019 and 2020, regeneration rituals evoke both the toxic and the transcendent, the violent and the sublime, while contemplating the contemporary psychic landscape. Intimacies and delicacies discovered in nature and domestic space contrast with the brutalities of the Capitalist Anthropocene Era as computational mythologies are explored.
Established in 2010, CROSSROADS is San Francisco Cinematheque’s annual film festival, presenting contemporary cinema and experimental media by artists from the international art and film community. CROSSROADS is curated by Cinematheque’s Artistic Director Steve Polta with the intent of evoking creative resonance between works by established and emerging artists while reflecting on and inspiring trends in the field.
Consisting of eleven works presented in CROSSROADS 2019 and 2020, rituals of complaint evokes both toxic and transcendent, violent and sublime, while contemplating the contemporary psychic landscape. Intimacies and delicacies discovered in nature and domestic space are contrasted with the brutalities of the capitalist Anthropocene were the mythologies of reckoning are explored.
SAN FRANCISCO CINEMATHEQUE
An open letter from Cristiana Miranda on the 2021 DOBRA Festival
With which weapons can we overcome dismay? Arduous and uncertain struggle, in this Neo-fascist, pandemic and global warming context. About art’s vital power, we had many opportunities to read and write. Today, it rests the certainty that in this battle for the enchantment of living, we need to have feet that touch the land and eyes that see the sky, whose movable painting made of lights is overshadowed by the screens of our smart and portable communication equipment. If the 20th century seems to have finally ended with the pandemic, the 21st century’s odyssey is yet to be build. Many ancient wonders will survive as mere little active curiosities, cinema, however, continues to grow in practices more and more new and necessary.
In the massive presence of audiovisual language in the contemporary world, experimental film grows in shapes and lights, in an even more pandemic contagion that connects us, instead of separating us. Seven years ago, DOBRA – International Experimental Film Festival has been the author and witness of a history where the experimental language of film has become a fundamental tool of the artist’s action in critics and in the world’s transformation.
In 2021, DOBRA maintains its breath by bringing to the public a screening program where the artists’ voices from various locations of the planet toast us with films that stir the contemporary sore, practice critical exercise and propose different forms of comprehending and living the defies of the current world. Cristiana Miranda, Lucas Murari and Luiz Garcia, from the more than a thousand film submissions on the open call made by the festival, created 8 screenings where wefts, bodies and lines of flight bring a vanguard cinema that doesn’t fear being ahead in the construction of another world. To celebrate the force of encounters and bonds of friendship, we have the honor to receive the participation of Steve Polta as invited curator,
We are still moved by the consciousness of urgency, by the desire of retrieve life as an act of producing beauty. More and more convinced of the transforming power of experimental film, we invite all to one more edition of DOBRA, so together we can make the virtuality of online transmissions an encounter of thinking and emotions, a shared act of creation. May cinema infect us with luminous experiments.
_ Cristiana Miranda