Hugo Santiago – Invasión (1969)

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nvasion is the legend of a city, real or imagined, under attack by powerful enemies and defended by a handful of men who may not be heroes. They will carry on their struggle to the finish, unaware that the battle is endless.

“Two analogous experiences, distant from each other, now live in my memory. The oldest has been with me since 1923: I’m referring to that afternoon when I held in my hands the first copy of my first book. The other, the recent one, is the emotion I felt when I saw Invasion on the screen. A printed book is not so different from a manuscript; a film is a visible projection, detailed, heard, enriched, and magical os something dreamed, barely descried. As I am one of the authors, I cannot allow myself to priase it. I would like to leave in writing, however, that Invasion es loke no other film, and it might well be the first of a new fantastic genre” –Jorge Luis Borges, Buenos Aires, April 1969 Continue reading Hugo Santiago – Invasión (1969)

James Clayden – Hamlet X (2004)


James Clayden, described by Adrian Martin at this year’s Rotterdam Film Festival as ‘one of Australia’s best kept artistic secrets’, returns to MIFF following the screening of his highly acclaimed Ghost Paintings series in 2003. His latest audiovisual collage is a meditation in image and sound on Shakespeare’s Hamlet. Employing a symphonic structure, this latest UFO (Unidentified Filmed Object) from Clayden is a haunting and atmospheric work. Continue reading James Clayden – Hamlet X (2004)

James Benning – Measuring Change (2016)


Measuring Change consists of two shots, which run for about 30 minutes each. The camera is completely still and its placement seems to be exactly the same for both. The film revisits Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty, his landmark 1970 sculptural work on the northeast shore of the Great Salt Lake, which the director had already interacted with in Casting a Glance (2007). The filmmaker seemingly repeats the vantage point of one of the shots he made ten years before, allowing the jetty to spiral towards the center of the frame. Yet, there are two major differences. While Casting a Glance was shot on 16mm, and dealt with the durational limitations of the film reel, Measuring Change is shot on digital, which allows one to watch Smithson’s work through Benning’s camera for a much longer period of time (in the Q&A after the screening, he mentioned that he actually prefers the digital image over film – something one doesn’t hear often coming from filmmakers). The other difference is that this time the lake has receded so far back that the Smithson’s piece is completely surrounded by land, while the shore gets lost in the horizon. Continue reading James Benning – Measuring Change (2016)

Maria Helene Bertino & Dario Castelli & Alessandro Gagliardo – Un mito antropologico televisivo AKA An Anthropological Television Myth (2012)


An Anthropological Television Myth is an excuse to introduce television anthropology into the culture debate, reading the history of a country and its people through the archives of hundreds of private TV stations scattered throughout Italy.

MUBI’s take wrote:
A great example of how seemingly mundane footage can be reused to create a work of social importance, this exercise in visual history-telling uses a medium representative of popular culture as a tool for the reading of social movements and citizen engagement in a Sicilian city. Continue reading Maria Helene Bertino & Dario Castelli & Alessandro Gagliardo – Un mito antropologico televisivo AKA An Anthropological Television Myth (2012)

Marin Karmitz – Nuit noire, Calcutta (1964)


Nuit Noire, Calcutta is the story of a writer, Jean (Maurice Garrel), who has come to the coast to complete a novel about the french vice consul in Calcutta. He does not find his task an easy one, and he struggles throughout to find adequate words for his story. Convinced, as he puts it, that the words do exist somewhere, he is shown repeatedly working on his manuscript, deleting sentences, or tearing pages in frustration. In the process he empties several bottles of whisky (hence the connection with the theme of alcoholism). As he writes, there is a story unfolding in the outside world that seems to parallel the one he is inventing, although it is not clear which of these is mirroring the other. The two series of events refuse to converge; but this enables the film to explore the ironical,metaphorical relationship between the imagenery, speculative world of Callcutta and the dunes and mudflats of the Seine estuary at Ouistreham. Continue reading Marin Karmitz – Nuit noire, Calcutta (1964)

Christophe Honoré – Métamorphoses (2014)


One of France’s most unpredictable writer-directors, Christophe Honoré (Dans Paris, Love Songs) offers an audacious, erotically upfront re-reading of Ovid’s Metamorphoses, enacted by a fearless cast of (largely unknown) young actors in contemporary French settings. Kicking off with a startling take on the story of Diana and Actaeon, Honoré’s film follows the wanderings of Europa (Akili), a high-school student who encounters a marauding truck driver – none other than Jupiter (Hirel), father of the gods. Streams of stories within stories bring the old transformation myths a modern-day slant – Narcissus as an arrogant teenage heart-throb, Orpheus as a charismatic housing-estate preacher – and add a multi-racial, polysexual perspective, teasing out the perversity, violence and rapture of classical legend. You may detect shades of Borowczyk, Pasolini, Rohmer and Derek Jarman’s Sebastiane, but this savage, rhapsodic, moving film is something entirely its own. A fabulous soundtrack completes the wayward beauty –BFI Continue reading Christophe Honoré – Métamorphoses (2014)