News · 11 | 08 | 2019
Each of the films in this session deal with an extremely varied and captivating universe in terms of aesthetics as well as emotions, showing in a completely different way the richness of a contemporary cinema that is diverse but also inventive and sensitive. All are also influenced by the representation of a recollection or a memory, sometimes collective, evoked by their characters, the time of an introspective journey shared with the audience.
Father by I. Lamberti explores the reunion of a father and son and the memory of their past relationship. Throughout the film, the dignified and sensitive portrait of a man emerges, surreptitiously, like a watermark, evoking the pain as well as the difficulty of the social and racial context he has gone through. From the vastness of an empty beach to the confinement of a hotel room, the director films sets that seem to directly influence the emotions of the characters as well as those of the audience.
In In Vitro by L. Sansour and S. Lind, a dialogue between different generations is also being constructed. Palestinian fictional scientists exchange in a futuristic universe and an imaginary ecological disaster but outline a very real colonial and political context, which is reflected both in the past and in our present. As L. Sansour explains about this film and her work: "Inherited trauma, exile and collective memory are central themes." The directors masterfully combine historical archives with digital special effects and split-screen images, creating an absolutely captivating aesthetic universe.
D. Vidrascu's new short film, Volcano: What does a lake dream? takes place on one of the islands of a very special region which it is at the meeting point of three tectonic plates: the Azores, a Portuguese archipelago located in the Atlantic Ocean, 1450km west of Lisbon. In this film too, the transmission of stories and memories told by researchers helps to reconstruct the past. This refers to the natural disaster that occurred 60 years ago: a volcanic eruption which caused the flight and death of the island population. The narrative of these tragic events is overtaken by an exceptionally imaginative sound and kinetic framework: the colouring of the shots as well as the forms of superimposition, flicker and inlay make up Diana Vidrascu's movie, thus transporting the viewer into a world that is then detached from any scientific fact.
At the pool by C. Frauenfelder and S. Lauper is the Swiss film of the session. This time, through a fleeting fantasmagorical memory or rather a teenage daydream, the film is set around a swimming pool and real or fantasized love stories of two young women observed by a third who seems to invite the audience to immerse themselves in her imagination. The filmmakers create an original visual and sound choice since the character's mobile phone becomes a central element of the story: sometimes the frame of the image, sometimes the audio or musical element, everything seems to revolve around it. In the middle of August, the movie, itself immersed in the torpor of summer, will not leave the viewer indifferent.
White Afro by A. A. Owusu is made up of a series of video works created by the artist about hairdressing and race. Again, it is a form of generational transmission that the filmmaker uses, since she records with her own voice her mother's story about her work in white-owned hair salons, which appropriated and stole hairdressing techniques from the black population, in order to apply them to a white clientele. Through the memory of this history and the evocation of Toni Morrison's words, the contours of a collective memory of the black population about racial violence, which is obviously still present today, are once again revealed. A. A. Owusu manages to turn archives originally used for advertising and corporate purposes from these hair salons in order to make them a potentially subversive force, both by the political weight of the movie's narrative and by the formal personalization of the archives that she colours, modifies and alters by manually working the film.
These short films will not leave any viewer unmoved by their aesthetic and sensitive power. And who knows, may even leave an unforgettable memory.