This entry was posted on September 8th, 2017

Heart of a Mountain (Parastoo Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko and Faraz Anoushahpour, 2017)

By Ivonne Sheen

In the  Wavelengths 3: figures in the landscapes, section at TIFF one can find two shortfalls which portrays a sort of Inner Landscape. This is to say, subjective experiences that find their appearances in the evocative power of a landscape. (100) ft by Minjung Kim and Heart of a Mountain by Parastoo Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko and Faraz Anoushahpour, are cinematic Inner Landscapes that go deeper into images’ nature, instead of going wider. A exploration that comes from the inside and returns to it.

In (100) ft we experience exactly 100 ft of film, a 3-minute running time. A static landscape, with two people walking through it. One of them is left behind, even though none of them has stopped moving. A difference that lets us feel the essence of desire. Time gets condensed in this process, in this broken walk. The stillness of the landscape represents the movement of human desire as something that happens in the inner world, in this subjective area that could only move body and mind. The encounter remarks an ending, that’s how the film finishes when the one in the front reaches a point and stops, as the one behind approaches. We don’t have the chance to see the encounter. This film dialogues with performance art by remarking a static space time in which something is represented by someone. But it also reveals the nature of moving image as a experience that is drawn also by the spectator, as someone that waits for something and envisions. And when this group of film frames stop moving, there’s a reaching point out of this experience that no only finishes when the lights turn on. A beautiful haiku about desire and the cinematic experience.

On the other side, Heart of a Mountain is built as an essay that takes different perspectives of visual experience. We see people seeing, we hear a voice that thinks about the act of seeing “you see, so you saw”. Moving images that we can’t reach entirely, we build them meanwhile we watch them. The film happens in China, and it works as an exploration into a spirit of a culture, a deeper act of seeing the world. Tao is a way of reaching the essence of the universe, which is manifested in elements of the nature, elements that can be named. But this essence can’t be reached by language. In this way, the question about images as a deeper connection with the Inner Landscape of the human experience in this world, arises. The three directors explore language as something invisible, but as the first medium -technology- for reaching our world experience, for getting us closer to its sense, but not its essence. Three foreigners in Taiwan, building a sort of visual meditation of this Landscape where they find themselves. Meditation steps aside of thoughts, and travels through a deepest sensation of a specific moment itself that becomes one with the universe. The films work as a dialogue between these two mind states: one closer to language and the other further, but closer to image. Throughout the film we don’t get absolute legible images, except the ones that involve the presence of language. A sensation of a vast sea, indefinite, is the heart of a mystical experience in this world, a continued movement that can’t be delimited by our mind. Heart of a Mountain goes deeper into the mystical vitality of a  Chinese landscape.

Wavelengths 3: figures in the landscapes 

Director: Minjung Kim
Country: South Korea
3 minutes

Heart of a Mountain
Directors: Parastoo Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko, Faraz Anoushahpour
Cinematography: Lucy Parker
Edition: Parastoo Anoushahpour, Ryan Ferko, Faraz Anoushahpour
Country: Taiwan, Canada
15 minutes