Film Festival Reports

Our coverage on the latest film fests.

LOCARNO 2017: DEFYING THE ARCHETYPAL MOTHER

by Andreea Patru

Some films from this year’s Locarno Film Festival deal with motherhood on different levels, like an adjustment to a new lifestyle as it happens in Milla (d. Valerie Massadian), or as the condition of being a mother seems to have sucked the life out of a woman as in Scary Mother (d. Ana Urushadze) and Freiheit (d. Jan Speckenbach). All the three films have in common a feminist approach that questions the Victorian ideas of motherhood as the heart of a balanced domestic life, nurturing their families without concern for their own needs or desires.

MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL 2017: ALEXANDRE LAROSE, CAULEEN SMITH

By José Sarmiento-Hinojosa

This technical feature in black and white, color and sepia transcends the mechanical feats which in themselves are remarkable. The narrative of space-time, allows for a different perception of the experimental narrative, where the displacement of space is fundamental for recreating this “time of concentration” where the shifts and the placement of the image are something that one is completely aware of. In some way, Larose’s work teaches how to watch again.

MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL 2017: CAMILO RESTREPO, HELENA GIRÓN AND MANUEL DELGADO, ANA VAZ

By Aldo Padilla

“I came to Comala because I was told that my father lived here, someone named Pedro Páramo”. That’s the start of the Juan Rulfo novel, which is a search of a ghostly figure in a town which seems to be a strange representation of limbo. Meanwhile, the questions about the land where the dying live arises, and also the question if the land itself is dying, a land whose blood circulates in form of lava, that from time to time needs to depurate some wounds through volcanos.

MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL: ESTHER URLUS, TERRA LONG, MANUELA DE LABORDE

By Ivonne Sheen

The Sea: organic millenary presence, reckless, that constantly roars under the Moon’s spell. Place of combats, and great escapes. Sunken Universe which evokes the immensity of its nature. Unavoidable poetic image that transcends the human simplicity. As part of the Media City Film Festivals 2017 ’s International Competition, two films approach the sea from the cinematic experience to evoke new aesthetic relations with it.

LOCARNO 2017: 9 DOIGTS BY F.J. OSSANG

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

Always punk, always noir, F.J. Ossang’s post-apocalypse has no survivors. Everyone’s a victim of other people’s bullets, of their own bullets, of the condemnation of their past. 9 Doigts makes a perfect “black triptych of the apocalypse” with Treasure of the Bitch Islands (1990) and Dharma Guns (2010), both masterpieces of industrial atmospheres, where nuclear waste is a representation of the tragic ambitions of men.

MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL 2017: KEVIN J. EVERSON & CLAUDRENA N. HAROLD, EPHRAIM ASILI

By Morella Moret

Ephrain’s Asili’s Fluid Frontiers brings together elements of his intimate relationship with African American struggle, freedom and resistance to tell us the story of the people of Detroit. Through metaphors, poems and sensations, he exemplifies different moments of the long journey of the city and the African-American struggle that lead us to this day.

MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL 2017: FUGUE, A LIGHT’S TRAVELOGUE BY ELS VAN RIEL

By Mónica Delgado

As in Gradual Speed, of of his latest works, the artist and filmmaker Els van Riel explores the diverse mechanisms of light as a physical and optical effect, in its specificity and materiality. In her Fugue, a Light’s Travelogue (Belgium, 2017), presented in Media City Film Festival, she elaborates a proposal of a story of light from its reverse, the phantasmagoric effect of shadows, light games and ghosts that surge from the darkness.

MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL 2017: JENNIFER SAPARZADEH, KEVIN JEROME EVERSON, SAUL LEVINE

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

It’s difficult not to feel shaken by the images of red flowers fenced by metal barb wires in Jennifer Saparzadeh’s last film Nu Dem. The transient feel of communities fleeing home through the Balkan Route is an image cinema has not been unaware of, but the nakedness of everyday coexistence, of a mass of humanity trying to reach Western Europe to survive, unaware if freedom or rejection awaits them, it’s specially disturbing in this kind of diary-film.

MEDIA CITY FILM FESTIVAL 2017: DAÏCHI SAÏTO, ANA VAZ, PABLO MAZZOLO, FRIEDL KUBELKA

by José Sarmiento-Hinojosa

Proof of the outstanding reach of the Media City Film Festival in Detroit, is the remarkable variety of styles in contemporary experimental cinema, a feat that is possible via the efforts of an outstanding team, headed by Oona Mosna, which has attempted and achieved a fine selection in this edition of 2017. Following are a group of texts devoted to share a glimpse of what expanded cinema has to offer today in the 22th edition of the MC. 

MUTA 2017: POTAMKIN BY STEPHEN BROOMER

By Ivonne Sheen

In Potamkin, a mass of spectators react and turn their heads from side to side. They appear as a reminder of the past of those images we are watching and of their purpose. Thinking of film as a device of social change, set questions about the rol of the spectators, the filmmakers and the film critics.

MUTA 2017: DALIBOR BARIC FOCUS

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

Dalibor Baric’s experimental animation cinema Works as a specters’ compartment: faceless creatures at the margin of the representation of reality, figures recreated by the process of découpé (or decollage, as mentioned by Antoni Pinent in his visit to Lima), manifestations of this “fetishization” of the uncanny valley1. Since Spectres of Veronica (2011) to The Horror of Dracula (2010), these characters make the visual interpretation restless; displace the comfort of the habitual to transform themselves in new meanings, new readings, new points of departure.