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An Evening with Auguste Orts #10

An Evening with Auguste Orts #10:

SCREENING: Faces. Landscapes. Close ups. Wide angles. Micro. Macro. 1971. 2014. Analog. Digital. Then. Now. Here. Elsewhere. On the horizon. The spiral of time.

With works by Chloë Delanghe, Jonathan Van Essche, Hollis Frampton, Phil Niblock, Tomonari Nishikawa, Michael Snow, Christina Stuhlberger, Joel Wanek.

Terrace of Unintelligibility by Phill Niblock (shot on VHS video, shown from Blu-ray, 20 minutes, 1985)

The late musician/composer Arthur Russell filmed by composer/multimedia artist Phill Niblock in his New York loft in 1985. Russell is playing cello and singing a cyclical raga-like composition, parts of which appear in excerpted form on his 1986 album World of Echo. Niblock only cuts once or twice over the course of 19 minutes and moves the camera extremely slowly, keeping it trained on the performer’s mouth, hands, and the bridge of his cello: the exact points in space responsible for the sound. We have a front-row seat witnessing this music at the precise moment it enters the world. The video reflects the fragility of Russell’s music. The close-ups are so extreme that the screen is always a hair’s breadth from total blackness. When Russell reaches down a few inches to bow a note, his shoulder blocks the light source, wiping out the picture completely. But there’s also an underlying strength. No matter what we see or don’t see on the screen, the music, which was already playing when we entered the room, continues. No reason to think it couldn’t keep going forever. (Mark Richardson)

Lemon by Hollis Frampton (shot on and projected in 16mm, silent, 7 minutes, 1969)

As a voluptuous lemon is devoured by the same light that reveals it, its image passes from the spatial rhetoric of illusion into the spatial grammar of the graphic arts. (Hollis Frampton)

Sun Song by Joel Wanek (shot on HD video, digital projection, silent, 15 minutes, 2013)

A journey from the darkness of early dawn into the brightness of the midday sun in the American South. Shot entirely on the number 16 bus route in Durham, North Carolina over the course of six months, riding in the morning on the east-bound route and in the evenings while headed west, so that the bus was always driving directly into the light, Sun Song offers a radiant meditation on leaving.
Winner of the Grand Prize at the Hamburg Short Film Award 2014.

On Difference As Such by Christina Stuhlberger & Chloë Delanghe (shot on 16mm and Super8 transferred to HD video, digital projection, 13 minutes, 2014)

Two filmmakers attempt to portray each other: a mutual gaze to lessen the gap that divides two people. An act of love. Like love, portrayal hinges on an exchange that is mutual but not equal. As the viewer follows the two women through nature and buildings, a letter is being read to us describing the experience of creating the images we see. The film was shot three months after the two directors met for the first time. They had an instant connection that would grow exponentially in the weeks to follow. This experience fueled their desire to explore the connecting force inherent to all human relationships.
Winner of the VAF Filmlab Wildcard 2015.

sound of a million insects, light of a thousand stars by Tomonari Nishikawa (shot on 35mm, digitally transferred and projected, Japan, 2 minutes, 2014)

The filmmaker buried a 100-feet (about 30 meters) 35mm negative film under fallen leaves alongside a country road, which was about 25 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, for about 6 hours, from the sunset of June 24, 2014, to the sunrise of the following day. The night was beautiful with a starry sky, and numerous summer insects were singing loud. The area was once an evacuation zone, but now people live there after the removal of the contaminated soil. This film was exposed to the possible remaining of the radioactive materials.

The Second Of August by Jonathan van Essche (shot on HD video, digital projection, 19 minutes, 2014)

Two boys and a girl drive to a forest, where they build a camp and spend the night. A simple undertaking. Just for the sake of it. This wordless ode to slowness, tranquility and intimacy reads as a page from a diary about a lost day that could’ve taken place anywhere, anytime. The film itself could have been shot last August or the year before, or maybe next summer.
Winner of the Lichter Art Award at the International Film Festival Frankfurt, 2015.

La Région Centrale by Michael Snow (shot on and projected in 16mm, 180 minutes, 1971)

Tout a commencé avec Michael Snow et son film La Région Centrale . Ensemble Chantal et moi avons passé une journée mémorable à voir le film de plus de trois heures qui passa en continu. Le film est défini par un déplacement à vitesse variable de la camera qui décrit tous les points d’une sphère. L’image est celle d’un paysage dans le grand nord canadien, paysage sans présence humaine et sans arbres. On ne voit que le paysage aride, sans voix. On passe brusquement d’un plan jour avec ciel et terre à un plan où on ne voit que la lune qui tourne sur fond de nuit noire. La rotation continue provoque un effet de transe pour le spectateur qui accepte de se laisser hypnotiser par la vitesse imprévisible d’un mouvement , quelque fois lent et soudai nûment accéléré ou abruptement interrompu ou repartant en sens contraire. Ses sautes de continuité qui sont totalement imprévisibles nous fascinent. Il ne s’agit que de regarder, mais le regard ne peut être fixe et est entraîné par le mouvement sans merçi de la caméra. Le spectateur se sent libéré de toute contrainte de compréhension. La bande-son, une série de beeps, contribue à l’effet hypnotique par un timbre bref et répétitif. Plus tard, j’ai appris que le son était ce qui permettait de guider les mouvements de la caméra à distance. Chantal et moi et plusieurs de nos amis étions la à regarder de midi à minuit le film projeté en boucle. La salle était pleine et les gens sortaient pour aller fumer mais rentraient vite pour subir la séduction de la découverte d’une nouvelle perception. Chantal et moi pensions que c’était le plus beau film que l’on avait jamais vu. Nous avons passé douze heures à regarder et à nous imprégner de cette grande aventure. Et l’idée nous est venue, quelques jours plus tard, de faire un film. (Babette Mangolte)

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An Evening with Auguste Orts #10 is dedicated to Cedric Willemen, film student, cinephile.