Film About a Father Who by Lynne Sachs (2021, 74’)Wednesday 4 August 6:00 PM Boedecker Cinema
on a painstaking personal archive of images, home movies, and interviews, Film
About A Father Who is a rare kind of cinematic portrait: one that succeeds
in expanding our understanding of the filmmaker, her protagonist, and their
relationship through its structure, aesthetic, and method. A beautiful
accumulation of time, contradictions, and a multitude of perspectives reflects
the all-too-familiar operatic dynamics of family.
screening will be followed by a conversation with the artist and a reception
with light refreshments.
Workshop: Day Residue A filmmaking workshop on the every day with opening night artist Lynne Sachs. Thursday 5 August 9:30 – 11:00 AM Grace Gamm Theater
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 for the making
of a film poem. 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 embrace the nuances, surprises and
challenges of their daily lives as a foundation for a diaristic practice.
workshop will include screenings of some of Lynne’s 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
Sphere presents CINEMA GARAGE WITH LYNNE SACHS, an opportunity for open exchange with the experimental filmmaker and her latest feature, Film About A Father Who. Shot over a period of 35 years, this film is a mesmerizing exploration of the director’s relationship with her father, touching upon larger questions of family structures, morality, polyamory etc. Participants of this interactive programme will get to watch her film and engage in a live conversation with Lynne. We are looking forward to an open flow of ideas and discussion, like sitting in a garage and thinking through literature, cinema, and relationships.
The event will take place on 18th July at 7 PM IST and the film link will be provided to the participants a day before that. Along with, some live screening links of her work will be shared during the session to make this experience more engaging and experimental.
As you have reached the registration portal already, let’s watch the trailer first.
Register (free) yourselves before 5th July. The slots are limited.
We strive to identify the problems of multidisciplinary objects and find a concrete and practical panacea with the extensive and experiential applications across the streams of science, art and social philosophy to construct an alternative culture in earth.
THE “WITCHES OF THE EAST” CONQUER THE SQUARE OF PESARO EMERGENCY PRESENTS CAPITAN DIDIER BY MARGHERITA FERRI LUCA FERRI AND LYNNE SACHS TELL THEIR FILMS IN COMPETITION
Last night in Piazza was presented one of the most anticipated films of the Competition of the 57th International Exhibition of New Cinema , or The Witches of the Orient , the new “sports” documentary with which Julien Faraut returns to Pesaro two years after the success of John McEnroe – The Empire of Perfection , with which he won both the professional and student jury awards.
As the director of the exhibition Pedro Armocida recalled on stage, that was the Italian launch of a film that would later garner numerous acclaim and distribution in theaters, and he therefore wished this new work, also in an Italian preview, to undertake same lucky path, having already secured destruction thanks to Wanted Cinema. Julien Faraut, in connection from France, first recalled the good times spent in Pesaro and its ice cream parlors: (“the French know how to do many things, but I miss your ice creams”), then introduces his “witches” with irony , questioning the audience and explaining how in this case it is neither an Anjelica Houston figure in Who’s Afraid of Witches?, nor of those that fly in the sky on a broom like in Kiki – Home delivery by Miyazaki. Her “witches of the East” are those of the Japanese women’s volleyball team and their incredible ride to conquer the Tokyo 64 Olympics, so nicknamed by their Soviet rivals.
A story made of suffering and sacrifice, in which a group of girls who would later form the core of the Japanese national team worked every day in a textile factory and then underwent grueling training for the company’s volleyball team until late at night, under the the watchful and severe eye of a coach with a militaristic manner. Faraut discovered this story ten years ago thanks to a volleyball coach and was able to deepen it over time by working in the film archive of the Institut National du SportFrench. The story struck him to such an extent that he came to develop the conviction of making this film not only to spread its story to an international audience, but above all as a “tribute” to the athletes themselves. Already entered the Japanese collective imagination, in fact, this mythical team has inspired a series of cartoons and comics that then successfully landed in Italy, first of all Mimì and the national volleyball team , of which Faraut takes up numerous sequences to superimpose them on those of the real matches of the national team. To these are mixed, with the precise eye of an archivist and historian, but also with great formal refinement, interviews with some of the survivors of that team and numerous period films.
Previously, the evening had been opened by an event dedicated to EMERGENCY , from this year the official charity partner of the Festival , with the screening of Captain Didier , the short film produced by LYNN, the all-female division of Greenland (Matteo Rovere). To present him on stage, in addition to Michela Greco of Emergency, there were also the director Margherita Ferri , the screenwriter Roberta Palmieri and the composer of the music Alicia Galli. The screenwriter was the first to be interviewed, from whom the entire project started as the winner of the second edition of the “A story for Emergency” competition. Palmieri told how he wanted to give voice to the invisibles of our society which are the figures of the riders , to help the public think that the history and life of many of the migrants arriving from the Mediterranean does not end only in their tragic journey and in the their landing in Europe. A story that required great sensitivity in the staging created by Margherita Ferri, currently working on the set of an Amazon Prime series, capable of returning great emotions, to which the music of Galli also contributes, who has freely re-arranged sounds. typical of Eritrea.
In the morning, on the other hand, there was the usual meeting with the directors of the Pesaro Nuovo Cinema Competition and the Festival had the pleasure of welcoming one of the three Italians competing, Luca Ferri , who presented his new work Mille Cipressi in Pesaro. , with which he continues his research on the image started with Abacucand continued with other works presented in Venice, Berlin and Locarno. The short follows a man visiting the Brion Tomb, in the monumental funeral complex built by the Italian architect Carlo Scarpa, in the cemetery of San Vito, in the province of Treviso. “It is not a film about architecture, but about the meaning of things, about why we are in the world”. The director’s tight formal research, which takes up a series of details of the tomb in 4: 3, starts a reflection on our way of knowing and seeing the world: “The lack of a total shot of Scarpa’s work serves to emphasize the impossibility of being able to grasp its entirety “. This choice marks the departure from a superficial vision, which must leave room for a deep penetration of what one looks at. “There is no new”, he explained in response to a question, “but only a conscious revival of the classic”; exactly as Scarpa himself declared, whose words were taken up by Ferri for the narrator of Assila Cherfi.
The poet and director Lynne Sachs then participated in connection from New York to the second part of the meeting to talk about Film About a Father Who, her new feature film presented in competition. The film is an autobiographical documentary and tells the complex figure of the director’s father, Ira Sachs Sr., using heterogeneous materials collected over more than thirty years: “Every time my father and I have been together, over the thirty years old, I was filming. The result is hours and hours of shooting on 8mm and 16mm film, video and digital ». Over the course of his life, the man has had numerous women from whom nine children were born. Through this home movie, the director carries out the attempt to understand, analyze and deal with the elusive father figure and with that of the various brothers. The goal, as Sachs said, is to relate his memory to that of Ira’s other children in an attempt to grasp their father’s personality: “I wanted to make a film that would investigate the various ways that each of us uses to understand a person and show how you can play with them ». Finally, the director wanted to underline how the choice of using the generic “a father” in the title, as well as being a tribute to Yvonne Rainer’s Film About a Woman Who … their families to deal with that “mysterious figure that parents can sometimes represent for their children”.
The Bergamo director is in competition with a film dedicated to the monumental Brion Tomb by the architect Carlo Scarpa, also the work of the American director Lynne Sachs
“Postmodernism is evil, it is betraying all the rumors that were there before you, it is making a smoothie without putting anything personal in it” . Luca Ferri likes to provoke, there is no doubt. In competition with the thirteen-minute short film Mille Cipressi, the director explained its genesis and realization, also discussing the relationship between classicism and modernity. “When I went to the Brion Tomb for the first time I did not have a defined architecture in front of me and in fact I was unable to collect it all in the film” , said Ferri regarding the monumental building by the Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa, located in the cemetery of San Vito, in the province of Treviso. The short is punctuated by a female voice, that of Assila Cherfi, already present inColombi: “I wanted the words to break away from the“ Scarpa man ”, using a female voice I wanted to enter a territory of non-emulation, to take the text to another level”.
UNICINEMA – A NEW UNIVERSITY IDEA
“One of the things I share most about Scarpa’s speech is the criticism of everything that doesn’t fit into the classic. I find a lot of my vision in it, in my opinion there is no new, there is no experimentalism. There is only the possibility of entering a classic canon with its own style. ” Ferri did not mince words to describe his idea of cinema, a cinema (indeed, an art in general) that must necessarily deal with what preceded it: “You have to be aware of the past, a word that in this contemporaneity seems to be a dead word ” . According to the filmmaker, Scarpa’s thinking is lucid and theoretical and his architecture reflects the consequences and in this sense he is very close to this approach.
However, architecture is an element that needs time to be understood and admired, in this regard the director said he was amazed to have one day seen a group that remained inside the Brion Tomb for only 15 minutes. “I found it absurd, for art it takes time. Having made this film myself, I feel I have been disrespectful of a place that deserves even more time. This hit and run of culture is no good. ” Speaking of his cinema, Ferri concluded:“I believe that in all my films there is the comic, not the ironic. In serious and busy cinema, the comedian is always pornographic, it always seems that laughter, especially fat laughter, demeans you. Just think of experimental cinema, how seriously certain authors are taken. Experimental cinema adheres to the genre and for me it is reprehensible. “
The meeting was concluded by another protagonist of this year’s competition, Lynne Sachs, with her Film About a Father Who . An intimate and personal film about an important father figure, influenced by Film About a Woman Who , by filmmaker and choreographer Yvonne Reiner. “This film is an attempt to understand what it means to try to be a man today, putting anger on one side and forgiveness on the other,” said Sachs, who also explained how for her the reflection on the parent-child relationship is a constant in his life.“There were aspects of my family that I wanted to investigate, although there was a sense of ambivalence and shame inside me, there was an unease that needed to be analyzed. I have allowed myself to be vulnerable in two senses: form and content. Looking at my 80s footage I thought they looked awful when compared to the clean high definition images. But on the one hand we got tired of clean images and I’m happy to have embraced this work. “
FREE for filmmakers and IN&OUT PASS HOLDERS!! According to 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 for the making of 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 interaction will build on an entirely different creative paradigm that encourages participants to embrace the nuances, surprises and challenges of their daily lives as a foundation for a diaristic practice.
SYNOPSIS: From 1984 to 2019, Lynne Sachs filmed her father, a lively and innovative businessman. This documentary is the filmmaker’s attempt to understand the networks that connect a girl with her father and a woman with her brothers. With a nod to cubist representations of a face, Sachs’s exploration offers simultaneous and sometimes contradictory visions of a seemingly unknowable man who publicly uninhibitedly stands in the center of the frame, but privately takes refuge in secrets. As the alarming facts add up, Sachs, as a daughter, discovers more about her father than she ever expected to reveal.
Poster created by Kino Rebelde, International Sales Agent / Representative of Film About a Father Who.
Over 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.
“An intensely personal documentary in the mode of ‘Must Read After My Death’ and ‘Stories We Tell’ — the hook here being that director Lynne Sachs has evidently been making this film for decades. That fact proves to be the secret sauce that most distinguishes ‘Film About a Father Who’ from other self-reflexive docs about a filmmaker’s own family. ‘FAAFW’ is assembled from snatches of time, way-stations on a lifelong journey to unravel a mystery in the form of a person. It’s not a straight line from nagging questions to satisfying answers, but a swirling impression of what it’s like to live in the shadow of those questions. As Garrett Bradley’s ‘Time’ demonstrated so beautifully last year, scrambling chronology can be more than a structural choice — it can reflect and enhance the feature’s themes, as it does here.
Time keeps slipping back and forth in ‘FAAFW’, which can be (perhaps glibly) described as Sachs’ attempt to vivisect her father Ira Sachs Sr.’s complicated story. Particularly his habit of settling down briefly with a woman, having a child or two, and then moving on to a new wife or girlfriend (or two). Some of these children had no inkling that the others even existed. (“Fucker’s settin’ up franchises,” Brad-Pitt-as-Tyler-Durden once snarked.)
In the end, Sachs doesn’t stumble onto any grand, penetrating conclusions about her family, her father, or about why exactly Ira Sr. has elected to live the life he has. The film’s most salient psychological observations about the elder Sachs seem to emerge organically from the director’s interviews and roundtables with her numerous half-siblings. There’s no summary statement at the end, just questions about the meaning of love and family, and about whether it’s ever possible to understand another human being — even our own parents.
Which is for the best, really. Indeed, one of the most appealing things about ‘FAAFW’ is its refusal to offer easy answers. There’s a definite sensation that the film is — and will always remain — unfinished, which feels like a bold statement in and of itself. Sachs could (and may) continue to unearth old footage and record new footage, but she might not get any closer to understanding her father. As much as anything else, she seems to have made this film to document her viewpoint and that of her extended family, to catalog the ever-expanding ripples initiated by her father’s often questionable choices. The only constant is that there seems to be no end to the revelations.
The feature’s strong sense of stasis despite the march of time is what evoked Bradley’s film for me, and it manifests in the way ‘FFAFW’ flits across thousands of miles and decades of time. While the film roughly follows the chronological birth order of Ira Sr.’s many children, it also skips around a lot, drawing from a wealth of 8mm, 16mm, video, and digital footage. It’s the 90s. No, it’s the 00s. No, it’s the 10s. There are three siblings, then five, then seven. It is then and it is now and Dad is Dad, graying and slowing but somehow unchanged and still unknowable. Perhaps, ‘FAAFW’ ponders, we are all mysteries to one another.”
– Andrew Wyatt
Film About a Father Who, Lynne Sachs’ family self-portrait, opens with a shot of the documentarian brushing her father’s hair. Her gentle combing is then disrupted by a knot that won’t detangle. Sachs fights it, nervously laughing as she does, but refusing to give up. It’s a scene so personal, the act of grooming your own parent, but Sachs makes the audience aware that even in tenderness there is pain.
“Film About A Father Who is Lynne Sachs’ latest, and evidently most personal, feat of documentation. Patched together from various conversations and intimate moments inked on 16mm film, camcorder tapes, and digital masters — cleverly staggered to disrupt any linear timeline, and, by extension, any discernible narrative sequence — the film traverses the emotional interstices passed down by an absent father who radiates a kindly, domesticated charm in our first glimpses at him. This towheaded wayfarer is Ira Sachs Sr., a self-styled refusenik liable to one-time flings that conveniently fall within his orbit — affable though he may be, but waning in physique. This impression of the man — when contrasted with preceding home movie clippings, depicting scenes of play and hiking vignettes, tinselled in noise and unnaturally variegated — seems to complicate an expected narrative of old-age sentimentalism.”
A daughter explores her feelings about, the biographical landmarks and the explosion of family begotten by her father in Film About a Father Who, a free-flowing documentary whose title might lack the literal ellipsis that is nevertheless implied. For here is director Lynne Sachs, a veteran experimental filmmaker, reflecting upon exactly who her father, Ira Sachs Sr., is, and, more importantly, how she came to understand the who, when and why of his legacy. This is remarkably candid about a man who is, in many ways, anything but candid.
“I’m happy to feel an affinity for Lynne Sachs and I would like to say for now she is my favourite filmmaker. film about a father who was an exquisite hodgepodge about an elusive father and an even more elusive maw maw, told by the 7 children and former partners of ira (this was my granddads name too) very intimate storytelling, and ugh the scenes shot on film in the meadows, with maw maw in repose staring into light, the shots of children like held against their will by sachs in front of the camera, i really enjoyed and it was visually a beautiful viewing experience. i loved that at every stage of mature life sachs was there with a camera carving out this picture for audiences of complete strangers who could be equally intrigued by her father as she is, and the embarssment and awkwardness that comes from the outside inqiuiry into this man, and then the children who had to live with the repercussions of their dad’s lifestyle. loved a lot” – ‘uglymother’
Watched in my Documentary Traditions II class at NYU. Sachs was in attendance and gave a Q&A after the screening.
An excerpt from an essay I wrote comparing the film to The Grand Bizarre:
“[T]he footage in Film About A Father Who is often of a kind we’re used to seeing in documentaries – archival home videos, interviews, ect. What’s unconventional is the achronological way in which the footage is stitched together. […] Sachs’s sound design […] is absolutely vital to her film’s success. It frames the entire project almost as a memory or a dream – getting at the nostalgia inherent in Sach’s central premise. This nostalgic quality cuts some of the darker emotional stretches of the film and keeps them from overwhelming everything else.
In class, Sachs described the structure of her film as ambiguity followed by clarity. If this was the intention, the film’s ending fails to achieve it. The clarity Sachs describes simply never arrives. Her film is an incredibly thoughtful and stimulating one, but I can’t honestly say that I left it with a greater understanding of who her father is […] Intent aside, an argument could certainly be made that the film is stronger this way, provoking the audience to think without supplying an answer. The problem, however, is that this lack of resolution doesn’t feel graceful in context. The film simply ends.”
– Burt Reynolds
Director Lynne Sachs’ documentary “Film About a Father Who” poses an intriguing question about fathers and their children — and whether the child can ever truly know what is going on in their parent’s head.
Sachs tries to make sense of her father, Ira Sachs Sr., through footage accumulated for 35 years, from home movies in 1984 to interviews taken from the ‘90s to now. The footage spans all formats, from 8mm and 16mm film to VHS, Hi-8 and digital. The different formats serve as historical markers, and also showing how intimate the moments become, with the older film more formal and the tape and digital cameras becoming less obtrusive and more ubiquitous, to the point where people act like they’re not there.
About Vox Feminae Festival: Vox Feminae Festival is an international festival held annually, since 2007, in Zagreb, Croatia.
Vox Feminae Festival was founded with the aim to promote and increase the visibility of women’s artistic achievements through the international competition film program, exhibitions and performances as well as workshops and educational content.
Vox Feminae Festival presents and rewards films of all genres, and topics include gender equality, women’s creativity, and achievements, non-stereotypical gender roles and relationships, as well as feminist and LGBTIQ themes. Vox Feminae Festival especially encourages submission and presentation of the biography films that celebrate women who made significant contributions to the society in the fields of culture, politics, science, human rights, and art.
Vox Feminae Festival is organized by non-profit organization Expanse of Gender and Media Culture ‘Common Zone’ that provides innovative cultural and gender patchwork.
From 1984 to 2019, Lynne Sachs shot film of her father, a bon vivant and pioneering businessman. This documentary is her attempt to understand the web that connects a child to her parent and a sister to her siblings. With a nod to Cubist renderings of a face, Sachs’ exploration offers simultaneous, sometimes contradictory, views of one seemingly unknowable man who is publicly the uninhibited center of the frame yet privately ensconced in secrets. As the startling facts mount, Sachs as a daughter discovers more about her father than she had ever hoped to reveal.
Lynne Sachs is a filmmaker and poet living in Brooklyn, New York. Lynne has made 37 films, including features and shorts, which have screened, won awards or been included in retrospectives.
A PANEL DISCUSSION BETWEEN LYNNE SACHS (DIRECTOR), REBECCA J SHAPASS (EDITOR), STEPHEN VITIELLO (MUSIC AND SOUNDSCAPE), KEVIN T ALLEN (SOUND COLLAGE AND MIX), AND RACHEL ROSHEGER (ANIMATION AND CREDITS) WILL TAKE PLACE ON SATURDAY, APRIL 3 AT 4PM EST. MODERATED BY EMILY APTER AND INNEY PRAKASH.
“Our conversation will look at the way that films can be made with collaborators who bring their own vision and insight to a project. Dialogue with each of these people was critical to the making of my film, providing challenges to my own assumptions about working with and beyond reality. These four people pushed me to think in new ways about my own process and intention in the editing, sound and graphic design that were so much a part of the making of Film About a Father Who.” — Lynne Sachs