Main Articles

Featured pieces on different film subjects.

PANORAMA: MESCALINE BY CLARISSE HAHN

By Jose Sarmiento Hinojosa

Clarisse Hahn is no alien to foreign territories. For years, she was personally involved in documenting the phenomena of migration, identity and post-colonialism. Hahn’s bodies are an element of intrusion, a physical manifestation of resistance against the apparatus of power. In her documentaries, the skin is explicitly symbolic: deprived of every right, the last human resource lies in what is intrinsically theirs, what can’t be stripped off, the biological equivalent of a shield, or a banner. In this exploration of the flesh, the organic is a particular vessel for sexual manifestation, or political struggle.

PANORAMA: SONGS OF REVOLUTION BY BILL MOUSOULIS

By Mónica Delgado

The new film by Australian-Greek filmmaker Bill Mousolis is an unusual experience. It’s not a conventional documentary on music, and it’s not a musical that looks to materialize songs of anger and deception. Mousolis goes beyond and proposes an eclectic mise-en-scène which oscillates between the uncertainty of being or not in front of fictionalized moments in film of documentary spirit.

FAIRY TALES FOR THE CYNICS: ADOLFO ARRIETA’S BELLE DORMANT

By José Sarmiento-Hinojosa

For someone who is not aware of Ado Arrieta’s career, which spans over 50 years and has produced some outstanding avant-garde films such as The Adventures of Sylvia Couski (which is basically a mixture of Mekas’ Walden and Smith’s Flaming Creatures), the ease of manner with which he handles this adaptation of the tale of Sleeping Beauty can be confused with a naive exercise on story-telling, an innocuous practice on futility of a story which could be handled on its many political undertones, breaking apart its narratives to approach the social conflicts that underline his film.

PHANTOM THREAD: THE INDISSOLUBLE RELATION BETWEEN LOVE AND FOOD

By Mónica Delgado

In Phantom Thread, Paul Thomas Anderson builds a game of correspondences through an elemental figure, food as a life drive. In its first minutes, the act of eating becomes a situation which defines sensibilities, attentions, rites and goodbyes. But this series of acts surrounding food (which draw the character of designer Reynolds Woodcock and his relationship with his new lover) is not completely explicit, but carefully inserted with an ingenious subtlety inside the first frivolous layer of fashion’s world.

CINEMA AND LITERATURE IN SEARCH OF THE BALKAN SOUL

By Pamela Biénzobas

Could the spark born from the life-long romance between literature and cinema create a privileged light under which to see the soul of a region? If so, what would the complex Balkans look like? Through eleven films inspired on stories and novels from Albania, Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia and Montenegro, Turkey and ex Yugoslavia (Croatia, Serbia and Slovenia), the tribute From Words to Images within the Balkan Survey section of the 2017 Thessaloniki International Film Festival (November 2 to 12) sought to seize a kind of particular soul as conveyed by the cinema of the past six decades – from 1961 (Boštjan Hladnik’s Dance in the Rain) to 2015 (Grant Gee’s Innocence of Memories), though mostly from before the mid-seventies.

PANORAMA: PHANTOM ISLANDS BY ROUZBEH RASHIDI

By Mónica Delgado

If there’s an intention to elaborate a discourse towards this indissoluble dialectic between documentary registry and fiction, through the mise en scene of some dispositives (handheld cameras, subjective points of view, naturalistic shots, presence of the community), Rashidi lets himself get carried by a poetic pretention that ultimately draws upon this confluence of “realities” presented to the camera. The phantom island remains too “materialized” in its intentions and fears.

NEWS FROM AFAR – SKETCHES ON IIMURA TAKAHIKO

by Claudia Siefen

Iimura Takahiko started his filmmaking in the 1970s, concentrating on questions of time and speech of pictures and sounds. Mainly focusing on the rhythms of language and its theories, his means of expression investigated and developed the semiology of video art, and connected to that, the performing arts. As a non-native speaker, he is still interested in the use of the English language, observing the evaluation or even interaction of his own artwork. What happens to the way of your artistic expression, when your rhythm of language changes, how does this impact your personal way of expression?

MIT ANDEREN MITTELN – BY OTHER MEANS BY HARUN FAROCKI

By Elisa Arca

The retrospective Mit anderen Mitteln – By Other Means by Harun Farocki at the Neuer Berliner Kunstverein (n.b.k.) is part of a series of events organized in Berlin that, four years after the death of the director, cover the different aspects of his work : his installations (in the case of nbk), his complete filmography (in a program at Arsenal Cinema), the influence of his body of work on academic circuits dedicated to image thinking, among many other events, including the release of his unpublished autobiography (as part of a first volume of his writings by Walther König publishing house).

PANORAMA: PARTHENON BY FRANK MOSLEY, JYOTI AND JOYMOTI BY MEHDI JAHAN

By José Sarmiento-Hinojosa

Among my first views of 2018, I was given the opportunity to take a glance into two relatively new filmmakers’ work: Frank Mosley’s Parthenon and Mehdi Jahan’s Jyoti and Joymoti. While basically two very different works from two filmmakers of different nationalities (Mosley is American, Jahan from India), there’s a sentiment that I assume is common for these two works, and also common of our times: this sense of tragedy, of impending doom, of isolation; working as a mechanism of memory or pure human alienation. The personal and the political resound strongly in these two short films.

TEN REFLECTIONS ON KENNETH BRANAGH’S MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS

By Victor Bruno

However, as I pointed in elsewhere, the Branaghian cinema—if such exists—is marked by a gracious prudence that is becoming of a film like Murder. In Cinderella, he dealt with a fairy-tale world, and this world does not exist except in our dreams and in the imaginative people. The fairy-tale world—not unlike the detective world mentioned above—is a make-believe world, a world of correctness and balance and where the slightest injustice will meet its comeuppance in transcendent fashion (that is, the fairy-tale is a world of perfect natural justice).

PANORAMA: SCAFFOLD BY KAZIK RADWANSKI

By Mónica Delgado

In Scaffold, Kazik Radwanski affirms himself as a filmmaker interested in working with detail the out of field, relating it to a social radiography. Shots of fragments are taken, to give testimony about the situation of migrant workers in a Canadian suburb, where beyond the empathy between the outsiders and the people of the inside, an assembly of a dispositive of close ups of hands and actions is proposed, to avoid faces and gestures.

AGNÈS VARDA’S QUEST FOR ‘ULYSSE’: NAMING THE GUILTY THROUGH IMAGES, MEMORIES AND TIME

By Andrea Aramburú

Put yet another way, in Ulysse, Varda sets out on quest to construct a film caption for ‘Ulysse’, and she does so by meditating on her own process of creative production through a recollection of images, represented by the photographic stills; memories, her own and those of her models; and, finally, temporalities, by placing her image within a historical lapse.