Para recordar a Pablo Marin . . .
Saturday, Feb. 21 at Anthology Film Archives: I attended the program, Ventana al Sur: An Evening of Argentine Experimental Films, curated by Mark Steet and Lynne Sachs. This was a highly anticipated show, especially because blogger, Pablo Marin of LA REGIÓN CENTRAL, was sending his super 8 films to be projected on the big screen. From Buenos Aires to New York, we are one big family!
Pablo, your show sold out! I was only able to get in, because Bradley Eros was working the door. He permitted some of us to sit on the staircase! Being in the avant-garde does have its perks. :) Here is a photo of the crowded lobby inside Anthology:
Once inside, I took a quick photo of the audience. Gorgeous people, all of you . . .
Our wonderful hostess and host, Lynne Sachs and Mark Street . . . They introduced the show by speaking about each of the film/video artists they had met while in Argentina.
As the program began, we were mesmerized with new poetic landscapes, cityscapes, and dreamscapes. It was thrilling to know that these super 8, 16mm, 35mm, and video works had been transported directly from Argentina by a kind traveler who carried the films through airports, from Buenos Aires to New York!
"Bajo Tierra" by Pablo Marin teased us as the images were hidden between sequences of scratched emulsion, eventually revealing a secret of the experimental cinema trade . . . burying the film in dirt!
The super 8 trippy slo-mo architectural flicker of "Sin titulo (Focus)" was a delight to behold! Pablo, how did you create this effect?
I was also mesmerized by "Espectro" by Sergio Subero, the colors floated across the black expanse, etching their way across my retina and into my heart . . .
"For You/Para Usted" by Liliana Porter was very clever, playful, and iconic! Her animal vignettes prompted little eruptions of laughter throughout the night.
At the end of the evening, the artist Liliana Porter, spoke about the program, mentioning that all of the works screened that night touched upon the concept of memory. I sense that we experienced the dreams and the unconscious of Argentina, new documents and metaphors traveling across continents at the speed of light!
". . . this program will take us to the land where summer is winter and winter is summer and renders our souls topsy-turvy a bit too." - Lynne Sachs & Mark Street
"Los Angeles" (5 min., 16mm on DVD, 1976) by Leandro Katz
Portrait of a small community living by the railroad tracks in the banana plantation region of Quiriguá, Guatemala. Originally a single take, this film is composed of alternating equal number of moving frames and frozen frames as the camera tracks alongside the train station.
"Workshop" (10 min.,16mm on DVD, 1977) by Narcisa Hirsch
A structuralist vision as conceived by one of South America's most beloved experimentalists, Narcisa Hirsch. One wall of the filmmaker's studio as seen through a fixed camera. We see photos she's stuck on the wall, then there is a dialogue with a male friend to whom she is describing the rest of the walls that you don't see. A "one upmanship" of a similar film by Michael Snow where he describes a wall of his studio- workshop, by describing what one CAN see.
"Aleph" (1 min., 16mm, 2005) by Narcisa Hirsh
In the blink of the eye – 1440 frames in one minute – the rituals of childhood and adolescence give a magical and haunting rhythm to daily life.
"El Eroticismo del Tiempo" (1 min., video, 2005) by Narcisa Hirsch
Like the curves of the body, an hour glass can both seduce and repel us.
"Bajo Tierra" (4 1/2 min., Super 8, silent, 2007) by Pablo Marin
A portrait of filmmaker Claudio Caldini.
"Sin título(Focus)" (4 min., Super 8, b&w, silent, 2008,) by Pablo Marin
Shot on a rooftop in Buenos Aires, this film truncates space in ever inviting ways using a dizzying array of formal tropes.
"Equivale a mentir" (3 min., Super 8 to video, 2001) by Macarena Gagliardi
A mediation on the four elements, and various aspects of fusion – a sensual evocation of the process of change.
"Espectro" (6 min. Super 8 with separate sound on CD, 2008) by Sergio Subero
Abstract images shimmer on the screen. We are invited to look within as we enter an unfamiliar and unpredictable realm.
"Montevideo" (4 minutes, Super 8, silent, 2008) by Leandro Listorti
The capital of Uruguay reveals its characteristic of a Doppelgänger City: a single place cut in two spaces where two pairs of creatures explore the limits of the travelogue.
"Stock" (5 minutes, 2007, DVD ) by Ruben Guzman
A boy from La Cruz walks to school to read aloud the stock market report from the newspaper. We are witness to the last day of capitalism.
"El Guardian" (5 min., video, 2008) by Ruben Guzman
A fantasmic guardian coddles and keeps the images of the world.
"Nunca Fuimos Allah Luna" (7 min., 35mm, 2008) by Ernesto Baca
Two characters on split screens collide, converse and argue as the city unspools kinetically behind them.
"For You/Para Usted" (16 minutes, video, 1999) by Liliana Porter
A witty and wry comparison of linguistic and visual modes of expression through a series of pithy and provocative animated vignettes.