Lands and Locality
Representing a specific locale has been a long and ongoing project of cinema: capturing what makes it “here” as opposed to “there” or elsewhere. The portrait can be fixed or transient, sketched in intimacy or in contrast to the vast beyond. The question, however, always seems to emerge: how can real place be accurately transcribed to film?
Portrait of Greece
1927 (France/Greece), 30’, HD File
Directed by André Sauvage
In the 1920s, André Sauvage toured Greece, documenting both well-known sites and random locales he passed along the way (including Hermoupolis!), creating an ethnographic portrait of the country. As fate would have it, all of the original negatives comprising the final cut of the film were lost, leaving only the footage that had not originally made the cut. The present film is a posthumous recreation of his original film using the excess footage; while unintentional, the film affords a sin- gular view of a lost Greece, and a window into the very process of making the film.
Musician Mike Cooper will perform a live accompaniment to the film.
Special thanks to Carlotta Films, who have created an amazing DVD that includes the present film and other works of André Sauvage.
2001 (Greece), 23’, HD File
Directed by Eva Stefani
The film explores the significance of Greece’s national symbol, the Acropolis, in the creation of national identity and collec- tive memory. Likening the “sacred rock” to the female body the film makes a comment on the timeless exploitation of the monu- ment while exploring its representation in relation to the history of pornography.
2014 (USA/Malta), 24’, HD File
Directed by Ben Russell
“We Utopians are happy / this will last forever.”
Loosely framed by Plato’s invocation of the lost continent of Atlantis in 360 BC and its re-re-resurrection via a 1970s science fiction pulp novel, Atlantis is a documentary portrait of Utopia – an island that has never / forever existed beneath our too-mortal feet. Herein is folk song and pagan rite, religious march and reflected temple, the sea that surrounds us all. Even as we are slowly sinking, we are all happy and content.
2001 (USA), 23’, 16mm
Directed by Bill Brown
A hauntingly beautiful chronicle of the American Midwest as a no-man’s land of dying towns and hobbling industry.
1967 (Germany/Greee), 13’, HD File
Directed by Werner Herzog
The story of the last man to leave the aban- doned island of Spinalonga – a tiny strip off the mainland that was previously a leper colony. After being forced from the island, he became one of Crete’s most famous lyre players. The man refuses to speak, so the movie fills in his words for him.
Return to Aeolou Street
2013 (Greece), 14, 16mm
Directed by Maria Kourkouta
Insignificant fragments, reworked, reassembled, slowed down, put in loops, of Greek popular movies of the 50s and 60s. These fragments are accompanied by short extracts of texts by Greek authors and by Manos Hadjidakis’ music. Comprised of found footage, this collage-film evokes a return journey to contemporary Greece, in the center of Athens.
1957 (USA), 15’, 16mm
Directed by Francis Thompson
“In this very strange and beautiful picture we see the city of New York as it appears when photographed through multiplying prisms, or reflected in the backs of spoons, polished hub caps, spherical and parabolic mirrors. We still recognize houses, people, shop fronts, taxicabs, but recognize them as elements in one of those living geometries which are so characteristic of the visionary experience.” (Aldous Huxley, Heaven and Hell)
Christ Church – Saint James
2011 (Canada), 7’, 16mm
Directed by Stephen Broomer
In the spring of 1998, Christ Church – Saint James, a historic black church in Toronto’s Little Italy, was destroyed by arson. All that remained were walls and a pit, and over subsequent years the site was overtaken with graffiti. This film has taken on the layered form of the site itself: the space and its surfaces becoming tangled and multiple, the grid of a stone-filled window giving geometric form to simultaneously occurring images of concrete, nature, waste, paint and sky.
1972 (UK), 8’, 16mm
Directed by Chris Welsby
The camera was pointed at right angles across a busy park pathway. Many people move through the picture both on and off the pathway. One frame was taken each time a person on the pathway passed into the picture and again as they passed out. This procedure was carried out over a period of three days.
1967 (Greece), 20’, 35mm
Directed by Stavros Tornes and Kostas Sfikas
A radically different take on Santorini, far from the images adorning our postcards of the island… Without the usual splashes of color offered by sea and sky, we are offered a naturalistic representation of the place, populated by people, and struggle. The film’s depiction of the island is perhaps more beautiful than the aesthetics that are classically employed to capture this Cycladic island.
1929 (France), 10’, 35mm
Directed by Eugêne Deslaw
A euphoric ode to Paris of the 20s, where images and shadows glide and give chase.
1974 (Portugal), 34’, 16mm
Directed by António Reis
An exploration of the intertwined myth of genius/madness, of being “touched” in two senses, all the while anchored in the land- scape that gives birth to such an enigma. A portrait of Jaime Fernandes, a recently deceased patient at an insane asylum, whose stirring art gives voice to the deep mystery of his place in the world. The play of the asylum in the landscape points to the sense of constraint and oppression of artists in the 70s in Portugal, under the auspices of a dictatorial regime.
Sound of a Million Insects, Light of a Thousand Stars
2014 (Japan), 2’, 35mm
Directed by Tomonari Nishikawa
“I buried a 100-foot (about 30 meters) 35mm negative film under fallen leaves alongside a country road, which was about 25 km away from the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Station, for about 6 hours, from the sunset of June 24, 2014, to the sunrise of the following day. The night was beautiful with a starry sky and numerous summer insects were singing loud. The area was once an evacuation zone, but now people live there after the removal of the contaminated soil. This film was exposed to the possible remaining of the radioactive materials.” (Director’s statement)
Moana with Sound
1980, restored 2014 (USA), 98’, DCP
Directed by Robert J. Flaherty & Frances Hubbard Flaherty, and Monica Flaherty
Set in the village of Safune on Savai’i Island, Western Samoa, during the period May 1923 – December 1924, the film records in documentary fashion the fictionalized daily life of the protagonist, Moana.
Film curator Bruce Posner and filmmaker Sami van Ingen, great-grandson of filmmakers Robert J. Flaherty and Frances Hubbard Flaherty (Nanook of the North, Man of Aran, Louisiana Story) collaborated with the world’s most prestigious film archives and film labs to digitally restore a unique 35mm nitrate print of the classic Moana (1926), as part of the larger preservation venture to complete Monica Flaherty’s forty-year effort to realize an authentic synchronized sound version known since 1980 as Moana with Sound.