• Field Studies: Rose Lowder and Scott Hammen (Fri. Nov 1 – h18.00)

    On: 1 Ottobre 2019
    In: Senza categoria
    Views: 0

    curated by Francisco Algarín Navarro

    BOUQUET 5 © Rose Lowder. Courtesy of Light Cone.

    Rose Lowder, 2001 | 16mm | color | silent | 2′ | 🎥 16mm

    BOUQUETS 1-10
    Rose Lowder, 1994-1995 | color | silent | 11′ 33” | 🎥 16mm

    BOUQUETS 21-30
    Rose Lowder, 2001-2005 | 16mm | color | silent | 14′ | 🎥 16mm

    Scott Hammen, 1995 | 16mm | color | silent | 11′ | 🎥 16mm

    Scott Hammen, 1996 | 16mm | color | silent | 10′ | 🎥 16mm

    LOG ABSTRACT – 1985-87
    Scott Hammen, 1990 | 16mm | color | silent | 17′ | 🎥 16mm

    “If we make a film program, renting short films is more expensive. For a program composed of ten films of ten minutes each, the invoice will prove to be a bit more expensive, but the spectator, watching the program in its entirety, is likely to feel that she/he has watched a much longer program, having seen so many different things – especially if the program is composed of a wide range of films.”

    Rose Lowder

    Rose Lowder’s filmmaking practice is based on a suspicion: pondering on the common assertion that film runs at the speed of 24 frames per second, she noticed that, on the screen, each image doesn’t seem to last the same amount of time. The size is identical, but, in its succession, the resulting image is a composite one. Before owning a camera, Lowder dedicated her time to the study of perception processes, making films with clear leader, a paper perforator and permanent markers. What was the right interval between two frames in order for the eye to compose one single image with two motifs? By way of stimulating certain receptors, two distinct images could be perceived simultaneously. Between the reality of the film strip and the natural quality of the perceived image during the projection, between the images perceived on both surfaces, Lowder discovered an infinite space where she could manipulate optical subtleties created by the enjambment of the images during the screening.

    Later, the Bolex 16mm camera allowed Lowder to shoot frame by frame, emulsifying alternate frames, thus leaving some unexposed. By rewinding the film in the camera, she exposed a second time the frames that she had previously exposed, in such a way that the intertwining of frames generated a superimposition that appeared only on the screen. Again, the perceptive system was based on the overlap of the stimuli. Lowder compared her working method to that of pointillist painters, when they placed a red flower next to a green object in order to enhance the consistence of colours, to make them more vibrant. Just like the coloured flowers that Lowder recorded in each frame, in those paintings the coloured strokes were not superimposed but stood side by side on the painting. In the same way, the filmmaker exposed frames, skipped others, rewinded and created double exposures with previously unexposed frames. On the film strip, we see the red flower along with the yellow and the blue one; on the screen, we see a bouquet of flowers, the colours being perceived simultaneously. The film is exposed in the same way a piece of fabric is woven, by recording the images in various orders and places, and moving forwards and backwards.

    Complete film rolls ran more than once in Scott Hammen’s Bolex as well. Two similar shots show two adjacent fields – in one the crop is more advanced than in the other. By stimulating some receptors (like the privileged presence of the lines, or the forms and the colours) it is possible to intervene within our perceptive system and get it accustomed to the next 24 still images to come, which are closer in time and in space. It is precisely this act of interlacing that allows the unification of two images for the perceptive system, be it recorded in the same place in different time periods – like in Lowder’s films – or at the same time – in Hammen’s landscape films. Sometimes cinema can show us the same point of view recorded in different time periods, like in Rose Lowder’s work (blooming, foliation, fruition) or, through patient attention to the observable natural phenomena (wind, light changes, weather), it can reveal an underlying structure in the chronology and the passing of seasons, or determine the order of the sequences (as in those études en plein air by Corot, to whom Hammen feels so close). As though they were applying brush strokes on a particular portion of the canvas, both filmmakers edit their films in-camera during the shooting itself. The rhythmic punctuation created by the return of the same images in their different takes, or the alternation of the 24 fps speed with other speeds (Lowder), or the creation of layers from multiple shots of the horizon (Hammen) are modulations that are not composed prior to the shooting of the film.

    Nevertheless, the working methods and processes of both filmmakers are thoroughly different. Hammen’s practice was based on looking at the processed film, keeping what was interesting to him and filming again, without taking any kind of notes. His films are successions of sequences, separated by black leader, short blinks that clear the viewer’s sight. The use of multiple exposure is only a very small part of Hammen’s technique. Hammen used to go out to film bringing along a suitcase full of objects, dreaming of Charles-François Daubigny’s bateau-atelier, a floating workshop. Besides colour filters, the use of of black cardboard pieces allowed him to mask parts of the frame and to combine them with frames and borders of various colours. The shorter the focal length and the higher the f-stop (the aperture), the greater the depth of field and the detail of the borders between the masks. In other occasions, Hammen used supplementary masks – one of these consisted in a black rectangle surrounded by a transparent one; another one was a small transparent frame surrounded by a black one. By filming the takes with a wide focal length and strong solar light, Hammen obtained very different results with his cardboard masks than the ones he had achieved with mirrors. The mirrors had allowed him to see the effects in real time through the camera viewer. This gave him the chance to work with only one exposure (should he manage to obtain the reflection of the main image), thus avoiding the juxtaposition of images filmed in different moments, which is what happens with the cardboard masks.

    In his series dedicated to the Sainte-Victoire mountain, Cézanne rendered the real perceptions of the mountain – both its relief and its varied mass. Talking about Rose Lowder’s cinema, Laure Bergala evoked the “plots” that compose all the different facets of a mountain at the same time.Lowder reached the conclusion that the smallest unity in the practice of filmmaking is not the shot, and not even the single frame, as Peter Kubelka once said, but the fragments of each frame that could compose what we see on the screen. It’s the meticulous exploration of the Bolex that allowed Lowder to understand that what we call reality is in fact much more interesting projected on a screen than perceived by the naked eye.

    Even if Lowder used to weave her films frame by frame, on other occasions she also exposed the roll continuously. By only changing the framing and the focal point, she avoided filming both descriptive and abstract shots in filming a river’s waterfall or a small pond inhabited by turtles. These works on “observed reality” – or its agreed upon appearance – are the result of the extreme concentration necessary to the configuration of the images that were forming during the transformation of the motifs, chosen according to the probable evolution of its parameters.

    Just like the type of emulsion chosen in accordance with its sensibility will determine the graphical qualities,  the roughness of the textures, the definition of the shapes, the volumetric components, the size of the grain or the recording and interaction possibilities (Hammen used to shoot his landscape films with a 25 ASA Kodachrome film, which allowed him to overexpose or underexpose the bright yellow colza, the dark line of trees in the background or the deep blue, saturated sky as he liked), Lowder knew that the precise selection of the focal point for each image would not only generate a change to a new “plot of the real”, but also a new framing. And that’s how Lowder, in these films shot in continuity, chooses a type of focal point just for one frame then the next focal point for various images, or returns to one that was already used, but for a different number of frames, thus modifying the composition perceived on the screen.

    Unlike our eyes, Lowder says, the camera only has one eye: reducing this difference is, therefore, necessary.

    Montage of notes elaborated from various statements by Rose Lowder and Scott Hammen:

    – «Entrevista con Rose Lowder», by Vanessa Agudo, Francisco Algarín Navarro, Celeste Araújo, Arnau Vilaró. Forthcoming in Lumière.

    – «Entrevista con Rose Lowder», by Boris Monneau. Xcèntric Cinema. Conversaciones sobre el proceso creativo y la visión fílmica. Barcelona: Terranova, 2018.

    – «Bouquets d’images», by Rose Lowder, booklet, París: Re:voir, DVD. [ESP]

    – «Donner à voir plus que ce qui est filmé. Entretien avec Rose Lowder», by Éric Thouvenel, Carole Contant. Fabriques du cinéma expérimental. París: Paris Experimental, 2014. [ESP / ITA]

    – «Entrevista con Scott Hammen», by Francisco Algarín Navarro. Forthcoming in Lumière.

    • Translated from Spanish by Stefano Miraglia & Renaud Lejosne.
      Spanish version here


    About Log Abstract by Scott Hammen:
    ESP / ITA


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  • WOM Selection 5 (Sun. Nov 3 – h18.00)

    On: 26 Settembre 2019
    In: Senza categoria
    Views: 0

    curated by Giulia Mazzone, Giuseppe Spina, Riccardo Re

    Roger Deutsch, Hungary | 2019 | Super 8/16mm | Color, b/w | Sound | 8’ | Sub Ita

    A man loses himself.

    Excerpt: https://vimeo.com/359534851

    Deborah Stratman, USA | 2019 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 12’ | Sub Ita

    A cross-generational binding of three filmmakers seeking alternative possibilities to power structures they’re inherently part of. The film grew out of abandoned film projects of Maya Deren and Barbara Hammer. Shot at the furthest point of a motorcycle trip Hammer took to Guatemala in 1975, and laced through with Deren’s reflections of failure, encounter and initiation in 1950s Haiti.

    A vever is a symbolic drawing used in Haitian Voodoo to invoke a Loa, or god.

    James Edmonds, UK | 2018 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 6’
    To return again, to re-align is the object of these visits, perhaps. Geography of origin becoming catalyst for an inner re-alignment with the secret, private, unspoken work of one’s being.
    A series of rapid contrasts, a synthesis of elemental and everyday experience:
    structures shift and intermingle, two worlds become one.
    “A Return consists of two reels of 16mm film shot on a visit to my home village in the South of England. The footage begins in Berlin, in the location I was working with Robert Beavers on the restoration of Gregory J. Markopoulos’ epic film cycle Eniaios. Following on from this starting point, I continued to shoot people and locations from my everyday life – returning to England during the Christmas holidays, a gathering of old friends, the house of my parents, and glimpses of ancient folk traditions they are involved in. […]” (JE2018)
    Alex Faoro/Helena Deda, USA | 2019 | Video | Color | Sound | 3’

    My wife Helena was five years old when the Kosovo War began in February of 1998. She and her family were forced to flee their homes as Serbian soldiers swept the countryside, massacring ethnic Albanians and destroying their land. Ditët e Luftës is a meditation on these experiences of war and displacement.

    Excerpt: https://vimeo.com/339751306

    Roger Horn, Zimbabwe | 2019 | Super 8 | Color | Sound | 13’

    Filmed on Super 8mm, Scenes from a Transient Home presents a fractured portrait of life for Zimbabwean migrant women when they visit family back home.

    trailer: https://vimeo.com/302537201

    Sarah Bliss, USA | 2019 | 16mm | b/w | Sound | 8’

    A portrait of place and power in rural white Ontario that challenges the correlation between seeing and knowing, and the ravages of late-stage capitalism. Hand processing, contact printing, tinting and toning engage the film as a body that, like the residents of Mt. Forest, sustains injuries, wounds and burdens, but also has the capacity for delight, revelatory pleasure, and transformation.

    Extract: https://vimeo.com/341796615

    Mike Stoltz, USA | 2015 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 12’

    This project began out of a fascination with a giant sculpture of a dragon attached to a Central Florida mansion. The property had recently been left to rot, held in lien by a bank. Hurricanes washed away the sculpture.
    I learned about the artist who created this landmark, Lewis Vandercar (1913-1988), who began as a painter. His practice grew along with his notoriety for spell-casting and telepathy.
    Inspired by Vandercar’s interest in parallel possibility, I combined these images with text from local newspaper articles in a haunted-house film that both engages with and looks beyond the material world.

    Excerpt: https://vimeo.com/232281522

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  • WOM Selection 6 (Sun. Nov 3 – h19.00)

    On: 26 Settembre 2019
    In: Senza categoria
    Views: 0

    curated by Giulia Mazzone, Giuseppe Spina, Riccardo Re

    Jean-Jacques Martinod, Ecuador | 2019 | Super 16mm | Color | Sound | 17’

    Isidro wanders through the rainforest while he and his brother recount the times he found himself face to face with death itself.

    Trailer: https://vimeo.com/311506789

    Jodie Mack, UK | 2018 | 16mm | Color | Silent | 5’ 45’’

    Featuring crystallized magic markers and the kidney stone of a horse, the generously-curated mineral collection of Mary Johnson comes to life in a manual labor of love for the process of archival procedure.

    Annalisa Donatella Quagliata, Mexico | 2018 | 16mm | b/w | Silent | 1’30’’

    Short film that captures fragments of the statue Xochipilli “The prince of flowers;” aztec god of art, dance and poetry. The statue is covered with flowers, some of them psychoactive plants. The figure seems to be in a trance; looking up to the sky, in communication with the divine.

    Colectivo Los Ingrávidos, Mexico | 2019 | HD | Color | Sound | 9’

    Mexican Colectivo Los Ingrávidos’ films break away from the entrenched viewing patterns of the dominant film and TV culture. Piramide erosionada is indeed something else: a wild, single-frame, free jazz film experience, completely removed from traditional cinematic linear storytelling. The poetic synopsis: “The piramid used to be a mountain.”

    Laurence Favre, Switzerland | 2017 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 10’50’’

    Resistance is a series of visual and sound impressions of a melting glacier. Beyond its majestic appearance sporadic elements reveal its fragility. Objects regurgitated through the melt witness the passing presence of mankind, leaving traces and scars. Never ending sounds of collapsing ice blocks under the weight of stones continuously reveal the symptoms of an evident decrease. This landscape that at first seemed motionless appears to be permanently changing. And yet in tension this magnificent and frightening body of ice and stones stands, impressive, resisting.

    Prantik Basu, India | 2018 | 2K | Color | Sound | 26’

    Until recent years, the Santhali tribe of India did not have its own written language. Their stories and myths were preserved and passed on verbally through the generations. Each narration has a different form, much like the rocks of a nearby hill that come in various hues. While a woman from the community narrates a tale about the origin of creation and how their first house was built, the village prepares for an annual ritual.

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  • WOM Selection 2 (Thu. Oct 31 – h23.00)

    On: 26 Settembre 2019
    In: Senza categoria
    Views: 0

    curated by Giulia Mazzone, Giuseppe Spina, Riccardo Re

    Josh Weissbach, USA | 2017 | HD | Color | Sound | 9’

    A series of spatial limits are defined while a maker imbibes. Interdependence is inherited after a substance cannot be shook. An animal carefully guards an outlined space as a river runs backwards.

    Excerpt: https://vimeo.com/232281522

    Zachary Epcar, USA | 2018 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 8’

    A shifting in the light of the lot, where parked cars become containers for a collective estrangement.
    Excerpt: https://vimeo.com/292595768

    Ross Meckfessel, USA/Japan | 2018 | 16mm | Color | Sound | 11’

    Drones and GoPros survey the land while users roam digital forests, oceans, and lakes. Those clouds look compressed. That tree looks pixelated. A landscape film for the 21st century.
    Trailer: https://vimeo.com/288633642

    Zeno van den Broek, Netherlands | 2018 | HD | b/w | Sound | 15’44”

    Paranon revolves around the idea of juxtapositioning fundamental elements of sound and image. This process is executed by manipulating various parameters in canon structures: The canon is a counterpoint-based compositional technique that creates one or more imitations of a movement after a given duration. The custom programmed sine wave generators Zeno van den Broek uses for the sound on Paranon make it possible to manipulate parameters such interference and phase shifting with great precision. These sine waves find their visual companion in lines, grids and cubes of which parameters such as distance and rotation slowly develop. The method of the canon creates tension and unexpected, yet cherished, results between the initial element and the imitations that folow. Van den Broek is fascinated by how the interference that occurs in image and sound manipulate our senses and perception of spatiality in the flat surface of the screen in relation to the sound waves that occupy the space.
    Trailer: http://www.vimeo.com/zenovdb/paranontrailer

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  • WOM FOCUS – LUCA FERRI (Fri. Nov 1 – h21.00)

    On: 26 Settembre 2019
    In: Senza categoria
    Views: 0
    in presence of the author
    Luca Ferri, Italy | 2018 | VHS | Color | 70′ | sub Eng

    Pierino Aceti is a man of fixed habits, a film lover, and is currently retired after a white-collar life.
    For one year, for exactly fifty two Thursdays, the director went to visit Mr Aceti at his house from 10.30 to 11.30 am. Every meeting revolved around one question: “what did you do this week?”.
    The rigorous organisational schedule of Pierino’s days, his relentless ability to classify and remember things and details about films and life, to fragment time in meticulous and measurable events emerge during the formal agreement.
    Trailer: https://vimeo.com/293094442

    For a whole year, every Thursday morning, I went to visit Mr Aceti at his house. As in all my previous works, strongly characterised by a stylistic and structural rigour, in Pierino I used a narrative storytelling device where the limit is a fundamental part of the film itself. Only this time private life and filming have undergone a substantial fusion: the film follows the protagonist’s life’s rhythm and the slow passing of time during the agreement made with Mr Aceti, in a timeframe that is as important as the main character.
    This film, entirely shot in VHS with an old camera that doesn’t have a battery and thus needs to remain plugged into the socket outlet in order to function, is part of my project of a “domestic trilogy”. The three works are to be completely shot in small domestic environments in three different formats. Dulcinea in 16mm, Pierino in VHS, and The House of Love in the digital format.
    The choice of the analogue shooting format for Pierino is an homage to Mr Aceti’s cinephile nature, that led him to gather a wide collection of arthouse VHS films. The film couldn’t have been shot in any other format in order to achieve a coherent fusion between shape and content.

    luca ferri (Bergamo, Italy, 1976) (bergamo, italy, 1976), self-taught, since 2011 he has been dedicating to the writing, photography and direction of films presented to italian and international festivals, such as pesaro film fest, filmmaker, indielisboa, documenta madrid, atlanta film festival, punto de vista, curta cinema, fidocs, ghent flanders, poff, vilnius short film festival and videoex and in museums and art galleries, such as spazio forma meravigli (milan), mambo (bologna), macro (rome) and schusev state museum of architecture (moscow).
    in 2013 the national film library of rome organizes a restrospetictive of his works.
    his first feature film abacuc, released in 2015, was presented at torino film festival and mar del plata festival de cine.
    the film colombi was presented at 73rd venice festival in the orizzonti section.
    in 2018 his work dulcinea is selected at 71st locarno film festival in competition in the section signs of life and his last work pierino is presented at 61st dok leipzig.

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