Experimental Film Club: Landscapes on film
Thursday May 19th, 19h
Irish Film Institute, 6 Eustace Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Landscapes on Film is a selection of films that explore diverse investigations of landscape on film and video. This programme includes works by Eve Heller, Chris Kennedy, Miriam de Burca, Ariane Michel, Matthew Buckingham & Joachim Koester. These works alternate between lyrical exploration, particularly apparent in Heller's abstract landscape poem shot on residency in Ontario, and the more overtly political. Kennedy's film deconstructs idealised landscapes with reference to classical landscape painting paradigms. The works of De Búrca and the Koester & Buckingham collaboration hover between fiction and fact, disclosing hidden subtexts in Belfast and Christiania, Denmark. Ariane Michel explores an uninhabited landscape abandoning a human viewpoint for that of an animal protagonist. Each of these filmmakers adopts a strong individual position in order to articulate contested and appropriated landscapes.
- Behind the Soft Eclipse (Eve Heller, 2004, 10mins, B&W, screening on 16mm)
A crossing of paths behind the seen, a labor of love in the wake of one who was just here.
I was imagining a collaboration of parallel worlds or a kind of doubled consciousness, a sense of the corporeal and the riddle of absence. The film is structured along a line of contrasting elements in the form of negative and positive imagery, day and night shots, under and above water elements, presence and disappearance. Light and motion, jarring and gentle, weave the hand-processed elements. #Eclipse# is an elegy for Marion McMahon who co-founded the Film Farm (Independent Imaging Retreat) in Southern Ontario, where it was produced. (Eve Heller)
- Tamalpais (Chris Kennedy, 2009, 14mins, Colour, screening on 16mm)
Shot on Mount Tamalpais, a spatial matrix replaces temporal causality with contiguous space. A view of landscape is taken apart, to be reconstituted through memory. The grid, a reference to the “veil of threads” invented by Albrecht Dürer as an aid for perspective drawing--to transfer vision to a sheet of paper--is used for an opposite effect--to disperse a landscape across time. The viewer is asked to remember the space as it passes and reconstitute it from memory, actively connecting the image across space and time. (Lightcone)
- My Home is His Castle (Miriam de Búrca, 2011, 7min, Colour, Video)
After spending several years living in an urban environment, de Búrca has moved to an old, remotely situated colonial estate. Her subject matter has changed but the underlying questions have not. She continues to explore territory and its impact on one’s sense of identity and belonging. Living on the estate, she considers herself to be part of an historical process of decolonisation, undermining the old power structures by her very presence. (Miriam de Búrca)
- Stealing Weeds (Miriam de Búrca, 2006, 3mins, Colour, Video)
A contradiction in terms, it would seem, ‘stealing weeds’. How can it be stealing if they are only weeds? And, if they are considered to be of no worth, why would one feel the need to go to such lengths? After all, they grow abundantly and thrive wherever the ground offers the minimum requirements for light, nutrition and drainage. They are considered a nuisance; they spring up where they are not wanted. Yet here they are being specially selected, uprooted, and taken away. Should anyone have objected to it? (Miriam de Búrca)
Three Dots & Sandra of the Tulip House or How to Live in a Free State, Joachim Koester & Matthew Buckingham, 2001, 19min, Colour /Video.
Past and present life in the anarchistic "free city" of Christiania, in Copenhagen, Denmark, is the subject of "Sandra of the Tuliphouse Or How to Live in a Free State". In"Sandra of the Tuliphouse or How to Live in Free State" Christiania is approached at face-value, as a self-described laboratory of freedom, an environment that provides an almost unparalleled opportunity to unravel a very particular history of markedly contrasting power relations and vivid social forces.. The situation at Christiania in 2001 is compared with its distant past as a military base, its more recent utopian regeneration, and its possible future. The viewer engages with the work by following the shifting and unstable voices, sounds, and images as they relate the experiences of a fictional character named Sandra, who is temporarily staying in Christiania. (Matthew Buckingham)
- Aprés les Pluies (Ariane Michel, 2003, 8min, Colour, Video)
In an uncertain night, a wandering wolf-hound, and the athmosphere of the “after”. South of France, after the 2002 ?oods. When a single moment has turned familiar places into sets of fantasy. When the dog becomes a beast, the only one left of all the ones that lived there before. The animal becomes the aesthetic motif of the film as well as being the reactor or mechanism of movement. The dog/wolf wanders through two waters, between day and night, passing and re-passing. The dog /wolf creates a game of the codes of perception, plunging a lost body into the regard of it’s own image. (Ariane Michel)