TIFF 2018: WAVELENGTHS. THE GLASS NOTE & WORDS BY MARY HELENA CLARK, PLANETS BY LAIDA LERTXUNDI

This entry was posted on August 21st, 2018

Words, Planets (Laida Lertxundi, 2018)

By José Sarmiento Hinojosa

The crushing of lemons, a welcome parallel (an imagined parallel, to be honest) to the manipulation of the possibilities of cinema. Laida Lertxundi, as many other filmmakers in her camp without a proper formation in cinema, has achieved the freedom of a person who manipulates an object the first time it sees it without knowing what it is. This possibility, this immense advantage for the eye, has gave her particular brand of cinema a certain liminality between the discourse and the image, the object and the subject matter.

Namely inspired in Raul Ruiz’ essay “For a Shamanic Cinema”, where it “applies the six principles for composition delineated in ‘Opinions on Painting by the Monk of the Green Pumpkin’, written by the eighteenth-century Chinese painter Shih-T’ao”, Words, Planets works heavily in its representation of its own universe and the weight of the performative actions happening inside. As a manifestation of intention, the intervention of celluloid and the apparition of the phenomena of phantasmagoria in Lertxundi’s film speaks of the rituals where environment, action and cross discourse meet each other in a configuration which is both challenging and exciting, which defies definition and which unveils the event of the cinematic.

Words, Planets, deals with a different vocabulary, deals with words but also with presences (bodies), it refers to its own inception and the beings behind it with a metalanguage that carries away the drapes of cinema and hosts its essence, like a womb. This might be Lertxundi’s most personal work to date.

The Glass Note (Mary Helena Clark, 2018)

On the other hand, Mary Helena Clark’s The Glass Note is a deeply corporeal experience. It seems that Clark has understood that the anatomy of beings (inert, living) carries a particular anima that manifests itself differently in each event in the space- time continuum, a voice that cracks in the interstices of the ether, something that we, as a species try to locate via biology, the binary, in our own natural artifacts or the artifacts we build to unravel the hidden. Like Lertxundi, Clark also serves from the narrative of text to give an impulse to the urgency of her images, from singing stones that offer music while being hammered in different rhythms, to a strange 3D designed “acoustic throne”, all manifestations of “cinema’s inherent ventriloquism” as the filmmaker mentions.

Small laser dots scan the body. A scanner slides its light beneath an ocean rock. A small door is opened to us for the ocean. These small discoveries, these reaches of an invisible hand to try to capture the mere vibration of the bodies they refer are deeply engraved behind a hidden truth. The Glass Note isn’t the Rosetta stone, but maybe a fragment, a shard of a more complex creature that will deal with whatever cinema is hiding from us.

Lertxundi and Clark’s works both dialogue properly in their intention of being a guide of interpretation for the cuneiform inscriptions deeply engraved in the ever decaying material of filmmaking.

WAVELENGHTS 2: Another Brick In The Wall
Words, Planets

Director: Laida Lertxundi
2018,
11 min

WAVELENGHTS 2: Another Brick In The Wall
The Glass Note

Director: Mary Helena Clark
USA
2018
9 min