Film Festival Reports

Our coverage on the latest film fests.

TIFF 2017: WAVELENGTHS 2017. TA PEAU SI LISSE BY DENIS CÔTÉ

By Aldo Padilla

How are the standards of male beauty defined? Surely, there are several preconceptions in the collective mind about this point, although with a certain tendency, firmness is one of the common factors. Bodybuilding takes to the extreme this idea, the art of sculpting every muscle, muscles that the ordinary man barely looks at, highlighting those proportions by means of a strange wrapper-like shine. Pale skin does not shine, that is why the evident tanning of these characters in search for the right color happens: an artificial skin, hydrophobic and smooth as if it were a new car.

TIFF 2017: WAVELENGTHS. BROWN AND CLEAR, BY KEVIN JEROME EVERSON

By Mónica Delgado

In Brown and Clear (2017), Kevin Jerome Everson turns again to a minimalistic style, a register that finds a support in grain and closeness as an ideal way to deepen in the details of the quotidian. Little by little, from actions that could be seen as laughable from simple sight, constructs complex significates about the workplace and the social, looking to achieve, from simplicity of resources, a whole mechanism to auscultate a hidden America.

MELBOURNE INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL 2017: PIONEERING WOMEN AND GETTING THE HELL OUT OF THERE

By Tara Judah

At this year’s Melbourne International Film Festival, the programme that first caught my eye, and that continues to win me over with its intelligent and entertaining questions around gender and identity, is Pioneering Women. Presented in association with the National Film and Sound Archive and co-curated by critic and broadcaster Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, the programme’s intent was to shine a light on, “amazing and sometimes under-seen Australian should-be classics directed by women and made in the 1980s and early 1990s.

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.