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Slow Volumes, courtesy of the filmmaker

SCREENING + Q&A

Persistent Visions Program 2

Saturday, Mar 19, 2022 at 9:00 pm

Location: Redstone Theater

With filmmakers James Edmonds, Ben Balcom, and Mike Gibisser in person

Gestural lyrics, offerings to the heavens, rituals for ancestors, meditations on unfulfilled dreams for sustainable living give way to new forms, conceptually radical structures for restoring luminous contact with physical reality, which, in turn, prepare the way for primordial visions of the world and our first tremulous contact with it. Featuring Erica Sheu’s pài-la̍k ē-poo (saturday afternoon), Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas’s Meihōdō, James Edmonds’s Configurations, Ben Balcom’s News from Nowhere, Mike Gibisser’s Slow Volumes, Philipp Fleischmann’s Untitled (34bsp), Malena Szlam’s Merapi, and Nathaniel Dorsky’s William.

pài-la̍k ē-poo (saturday afternoon)
Erica Sheu. Taiwan/USA. 2021, 2 mins. 16mm-to-digital. “A half-moon on the blue sky. A quiet offering connects the unreachable world with the physical ground. An elegy for the filmmaker’s grandma.” New York premiere

Meihōdō
Jorge Suárez-Quiñones Rivas. Spain. 2020, 10.5 mins. Super 8mm
“A day of practice.
At the foot of Mount Aso Caldera in Kyushu Island,
Japan, a small community devoted to traditional martial
arts trains everyday, from sunrise to sunset.
Super-8 in-camera edited blocks of condensed present as
a calligraphic writing that tries to formalize by means of
cinema an aware experience of presence.
A film composed of gestures and faces, guided by the
energy of movement.” United States premiere

Configurations
James Edmonds. Germany. 2021, 8 mins. 16mm. “The little personal myths and structures we set up to aid the survival of the psyche in times of low harvest. Finding subtle points of reference in subject and camera movement, in the landscape, its details and the traditions of the season, I attempt to connect the outside with the embodied camera and the inward gesture of the brush.” New York premiere

News from Nowhere
Ben Balcom. United States. 2020, 8 mins. 16mm-to-digital. “Simplicity of life, even the barest, is not misery but refinement.” – William Morris. New York premiere

Slow Volumes
Mike Gibisser. United States. 2019, 4.5 mins. 35mm. “A motion study of passing time. Shot using a hand-built camera, 35mm film is drawn past a thin vertical aperture, organizing the image temporally. Familiar objects dissolve into abstract lines unless in motion past the lens, their shape determined not by their physical features but in the speed of their movement.” New York premiere

Untitled (34bsp)
Philipp Fleischmann. Austria. 2021, 5 mins. 35mm. Shot on-site at the Ciccillo Matarazzo Pavilion, designed by Oscar Niemeyer and home to the Bienal de São Paulo since 1957. If we don’t follow the industrial standards of the film camera, which establish a given and controllable rectangular frame, we could highlight a simple, but crucial point: all images based on the Camera Obscura are round-shaped. Here, I felt a connection to Niemeyer’s free-flowing architecture. While the site-specific camera that travels the pavilion is an autonomous object that purposely doesn‘t touch the space, the way that light inscribes itself onto the filmstrip is also a physical interaction. The light hits the strip in a free and fluid way; it changes direction, distance and angle; occupies the whole strip or just a part; comes from above or the side. Light becomes malleable. When the light hits the filmstrip, the critical meets the poetic. North American premiere

Merapi
Malena Szlam. Indonesia, Canada. 2021, 8 mins. 16mm-to-DCP. “A circumlocutory study of Mount Merapi, Indonesia. Shifting back and forth around the volcano, MERAPI is marked by the silent presence of its rumble and lava. Almost always at the centre, the volcano often slips away behind the clouds, a ghost. The work is silently structured around the rippling impression of the volcano on its surrounds: smoke through trees, the breaking of rain against its slopes and the rich fertility of its soils. A work as sensitive to the shift in light through swirls of 16mm grain and atmosphere as it is to what it is like to live within the horizon of the volcano, located near the densely populated Yogyakarta.” New York premiere

William
Nathaniel Dorsky. United States. 2020, 12.5 mins. 16mm. “William Brown, the son of my dear friend, Owsley Brown, is majoring in acting at the University of Southern California. During the lock down we ventured out three times together to Golden Gate Park to enjoy playing movies, so to speak. We decided on the loose framework of depicting a day on LSD, lost in a forest of noir-ish lighting, and inspired by our mutual love of Nicholas Musuraca and John Alton, two very great directors of both low budget and more mainstream cinematography.” World premiere

Includes admission to Persistent Visions Program 1.

Tickets: $15 / $11 senior and students / $9 youth (ages 3–17) / free for MoMI members ($11 Classic members). Order online. Please pick up tickets at the admission desk upon arrival. All seating is general admission. Review safety protocols before your visit.

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