By Ivonne Sheen
A friend becomes like a ghost was the 8th program of the past Crossroads 2019 edition, which took place in San Francisco, California. The amazingness of this event is found in the subtlety of the curatorial work in it, paints and invokes the powerful expansive states of experimental filmmaking under mystical and poetical premises. A friend becomes like a ghost is an encounter with light, with film, with ourselves as light and shadow, as life and death.
A film from any time, people from any time, a celluloid from anytime. Timeless scenery, or maybe under-time, underneath time, the desire of a friend to give a post-mortem homage to a love one, subtracts the rite essence of filmic constitution, to transform it into a allegoric film of life and death. In a mysterious wilderness and a textured black and white, which comes from black to gray and white, as multiple layers of ghostly presences, invokes a wild forest of soul encounters. Mont Tesprateep believes in life after death and death in-between life, and in the filmic medium as a capable one to encapsulate and at the same time reveal those multiple layers of eros and thanatos in the wilderness of our existence.
When It Is Still
Blue shapes, blue light, blue movements, night lights, light particles, white horses in a light blue mist. A silent voyage into a cold blue body of light, wandering along a poetical limbo. When It is Still (2018) is a film in response to And By the Night (2017) by the same artist, Anna Kipervaser. A diptych of light and darkness, of life and death, as complement, as a circular flux of experience. Kipervaser percibes light beyond sight, she feels it with the camera, and gives us the privilege to feel it along with her and from inside of her. She approaches death, as a spiritual reality, that involves a deep turn into ourselves, a diving, in this occasion as a silent light full diving into our inner sacred ephemeral essence. Colors are this optical stimulation which suspends our rational ideas and make us float as if our only weight was our spirit’s.
Everyday we are expecting and avoiding death. Everyday being alive. Rajee Samarasinghe’s film is an expecting experience, a transit through human condition and through cosmos sceneries, therefore through our absolute ecosystem, which implies also our metaphysical dimensions. A human androgynous suffering face, in an unknown context, in darkness, a low key aesthetic with a wide anamorphic image that builds an spherical sensation of a closeness between the microcosmos and the macrocosmos.
Light and shadow involved in a cameraless photographical process, means the inscriptions of these objects or bodies which must be in between the photosensitive material and the source of light. Erica Sheu portraits an attempt to the perpetual, as an impulse of desire that arises to grasp life and love in a condensed light phenomena. With a subtle approach to the process of cyanotype, in which we wait along someone, along Erica, who invites us to join her in her intimate experience of trying to transform her desire in a concrete and visually recognizible blue shadow, another other dimension of light, as our hidden desires. Chinese calligraphy in a deep blue celluloid as ancient calligraphy, as a mean of preservation. Sheu’s film is a rite of an intimate timeless preservation of love, driven by desire, taking light as the key element for her transcendental purposes. The Film is dedicated to Shuji Terayama’s Shadow Film: A Woman with Two Heads (Nito-onna: Kage No Eiga) (1977).
Is a spectral homage film to Roy DeCarava’s Face out of focus. The lack of figurative image, but the persistence of movement and vitality, opens a different relationship to the meaning of being alive, of being a being. A phantasmagorical shape of a face opens a sensation of alienation to the recognition of someone, and confronts us with our condition, as materiality such, as particles of lights. A film with a certain melancholy, looking at someone or just looking at everyone, a face, faces, in their ephemeral nature.
How old are you? how old were you?
Cherlyn Hsing-Hsin Liu wanders through personal memories of herself and her mother, which have been apart, recreating this situation with a camera obscura, a photographic technique which resembles the enclosure of a womb with a newborn who is going to go out into the punctual source of light. Light is analogue to life, but also to uprooting, to becoming someone.The meaning of light is also the meaning of time, of the years apart. The film sentences that Mathematics cannot explain everything but could be a reference of a complex context. How old are you? how old were you? is an empathetic encounter between mother and daughter, with a eclectic mise-en-scène of delivering a baby, and deeply, more of a confrontation with the existence of someone and the complex situation of being the one who creates that condition. The author addresses her relationship with her mother, from the beginning, their original relationship: the vital one, the incarnation of her body coming from her mother’s.
Song X (2017)
by Pathompon Mont Tesperateep (Thailand); digital video, b&w, sound, 20 minutes
When It Is Still (2018)
by Anna Kipervaser (Ukraine/US); 16mm, color, silent, 10 minutes
everyday star (2018)
by Rajee Samarasinghe (Sri Lanka/US); digital video, color, silent, 9 minutes
by Erica Sheu (Taiwan/US); 35mm screened as digital video, color, silent, 3 minutes
After DeCarava (2018)
by Paige Taul (US); digital video, b&w, silent, 2 minutes
How Old Are You? How Old Were You? (2017)
by Cherlyn Hsing-Hsin Liu (Taiwan/US); 16mm, color, sound, 16 minutes