Anthem. Courtesy of FIDMarseille International Film Festival
The screenings take place throughout the weekend, highlights include:
Saturday, November 23, 2:00 p.m
Anthem / Outlandish: Strange Foreign Bodies / Even the Sun Has Spot
Thailand. Dir. Apichatpong Weerasethakul. 2006, 5 mins. 35mm. Two women chat by a stretch of water. They talk about music coming from a ghetto blaster. One of them says the music has been sanctified and will bring good luck to the cinema in which it is played. We then see a gymnasium: people are dancing, playing badminton, and arranging beautiful tables as if to prepare a show. This brief hymn was conceived to purify cinemas.
Cheap Outlandish: Strange Foreign Bodies
U.K. Dir. Philippe Warnell. 2009, 20 mins. Digital projection. Philip Warnell’s film involves two actors: philosopher Jean-Luc Nancy and an octopus. Sitting at his desk, Nancy tells us about the body and its strangeness. The octopus moves its eight limbs along the panes of an aquarium on the deck of a crewless ship that it seems to be piloting. Between these scenes, we see the process of an organ transplant. Two dances echo each other: one is the dance of language, of ongoing thought incarnated in a body; and the other is the dance of a mute animal moving about like some code’s figures, trapped in a transparent prison.
Even the Sun Has Spots (Hasta el Sol Tiene Manchas)
Mexico/Guatemala. Dir. Julio Hernández Cordón. 2011, 62 mins. Digital projection. In Hernandez-Cordon’s portrayal of the world of adolescents, comedy is overlaid with pathos, and a documentary viewpoint organizes a deliberately open fiction. The film’s lost souls are implicit allegories of Guatemala’s destiny; the fable-like film is stamped with Brechtian artifice, filmed in a studio with 2-D sets and actors in masks. Two characters stand out: Pepe Moco, a mentally handicapped boy who makes an ad for a presidential candidate; and Beto, a rascal who threatens people passing by.
Mambo Cool. Courtesy of FIDMarseillies International Film Festival.
Sunday, November 24, 4:30 p.m
The Skywalk Is Gone / Mambo Cool
Taiwan/France. Dir. Tsai Ming-liang. 2002, 22 mins. 35mm. Taipei, the ultra-modern bustling capital of Taiwan. A disorientated young woman wandering around in search of a bridge over a busy road comes upon a young man who is going to the casting session for a pornographic film. Their link? There is none, except chance. In this epilogue to And what time is it over there? (2001) Tsai Ming-liang captures in sequential shots the bodies lost in a maze-like town, filming its smooth surface, its distractions and reflections.
Colombia. Dir. Chris Gude. 2013, 62 mins. Digital projection. White powder, dealers, and female poseurs in a shady city barely glimpsed. A man who introduces himself as a warrior talks to spirits. In this highly skillful first film, meager plots are collected in bare settings, marked out by fixed frames with straight lines and pure colors. An amazing, almost threatening quietness prevails, reinforced by serene voices and stylized action that gives each meeting and each line of dialogue the weight of necessity. In the nooks and crannies of a claustrophobic city, whose hustle and bustle can be heard from afar, an unexpected body trade is taking place, with a 32-year-old prostitute claiming to be a virgin, with alleged clients simply offering massages, and the story of a friendship between a man and a gorilla. We know nothing for sure, except that this world goes by the melancholic and nagging rhythm of mambo.
UnionDocs on Friday Nov 22/ Three Shorts from FIDMarseille