Flaherty on the Road
Program 2: Figure-Ground
Flaherty on the Road is a traveling film series featuring innovative, provocative, and hard-to-see works from the most recent Flaherty Seminar, “History is What’s Happening”. Programmed by Pablo de Ocampo, it examined both the frame and subject of history in cinema to understand how the social and political conditions of the past are inextricably linked to the present.
ÇA VA, ÇA VA (it’s ok, it’s ok, we go on)
dir. Mathieu Kleyebe Abonnenc, 2012-13, 31 min.
Abonnenc’s film is a study of memory, amnesia, and the complications of representation in narratives of trauma and revolution. The film begins with a rehearsal for a production of the play A Corda (The Rope), by white Angolan writer Pepetela—a play that was authored during his time as a member of the Peoples’ Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) and which was used as a tool for disseminating the work of the MPLA around the country. What follows is a series of scenes which highlight the complications implicit in encountering, representing, and remembering history.
Movement in Squares
dir. Jean-Paul Kelly, 2013, 13 min.
A two-channel video work configured here for a single-screen presentation, Jean-Paul Kelly’s Movement in Squares is composed of three elements: video appropriated from a Florida-based foreclosure broker who documents the condition of repossessed homes; the artist paging through a catalogue of paintings by the British Op Art pioneer Bridget Riley; and voice-over narration from a 1979 documentary about Riley. In conversation on the screen, these elements put forth questions about representation, ethics, and perception in how we look at images.
dir. Jean-Paul Kelly, 2013, 5 min.
Figure-ground combines animation with appropriated images depicting tragedies which relate, directly and indirectly, to the 2008 global financial crisis, including the suicide of Bernie Madoff’s son and the murder of Trayvon Martin. The film alternates between images Kelly sourced from Internet searches and handdrawn interpretations of the sites where these deaths took place. Hand-drawn colored cells replace the location of the body in the landscape.
dir. Deborah Stratman, 2012, 7 min.
At the center of Deborah Stratman’s reworking of Humphrey Jennings’s 1943 film The Silent Village is the use of sound as a mode of social control. In the film, Welsh coal miners engage in a reenactment of the Nazi invasion of a Czech mining village.