3 items from 2017
Untitled. © Lotus-FilmA pretty amazing aspect of the Berlinale is that a lot of the festival venues are multiplexes usually devoted to blockbusters, meaning that smaller films from the sidebars are often screened in theaters with gigantic screens and state-of-the-art sound systems. It’s in one such cinema that I got to experience the chromesthetic delirium of Ulysses in the Subway by Marc Downie, Paul Kaiser, Flo Jacobs and Ken Jacobs. And, let me tell you, it was mind-blowing. Describing the film is about as difficult as describing a drug trip—indeed, watching Ulysses in the Subway is what it might be like if you were to drop acid and ride around the New York subway with your eyes closed. With the intention of visualizing sound, the four artists took an audio recording Ken Jacobs made of a long subway ride home (Jacobs used the same recording in live performances of »
The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) kicks off its 16th annual Doc Fortnight on Thursday, a 10-day festival that includes 20 feature-length non-fiction films and 10 documentary shorts. This year’s lineup includes four world premieres and a number of North American and U.S. premieres.
The festival is far from the only major North American showcase for non-fiction cinema. Festivals ranging from Hot Docs to True/False have played key roles in the expanding documentary festival circuit. However, Doc Fortnight has maintained its own niche on the scene, by aiming to expose undiscovered stories and filmmakers, screening a range of documentaries from around the world and capturing the ways in which artists are pushing the boundaries of non-fiction filmmaking.
“It’s not an industry festival, there aren’t awards, and distributors aren’t all coming looking to buy, »
- Chris O'Falt and Graham Winfrey
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Lav Diaz's Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution (2011) is playing January 12 - February 10, 2017. Lav Diaz’s Elegy to the Visitor from the Revolution is a unique example of how texts inform each other. In the film, elements of the past inform and comprise those of the present, while exposition ultimately informs images of the present. As a viewer, one can reasonably make a case that this was Diaz’s intention given the film’s story and structure: While its premise is relatively simple—a mysterious woman appears in various places in a 20th century city—Diaz tells it primarily with wordless storytelling, mostly images and extended takes. While the viewer gathers that the woman is the titular ‘visitor from the revolution,’ implying that she is from the late 1890s (the Philippine Revolution), it is only late »
3 items from 2017
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