I didnít take yesterday off from the festival. I did go to the International Shorts programme, which was about narrative and memory. So many images are about memory - how to remember, how one never entirely remembers - how true events become fiction due to the passing of time and the processes of narration. All very true, and then what? I went to an International shorts programme tonight about landscape as a verb. To landscape. The ingrained and the possible alternative ways of landscaping. Landscape referring not only to relatively unmediated nature but also to mores and customs and politics.
Also included in this programme (Blurring the Terrain of Landscape as a Verb) was Nocturne (lampedusa-fort Europe), by the Belgian artist Pieter Geenen. Lampedusa is an Italian island which is the closest European point to Northern Africa. It is therefore a site for African, Asian, and Middle Eastern asylum seekers, who make their moves by means of small boats. This completely silent film looks out at the flickering lights of Lampedusa. Sometimes there are only a few lights and sometimes many more. There appears to be perhaps nightlife across the bay, but for considerable stretches this appears to be an almost completely dark film characterized by minimal light phenomena. If I had not read the programme notes after the screening, I would have thought the work to be totally abstract and formalist. But the stillness of the film and its camera position does create suspense or tension - duration-related tension. And every shifting of legs or seating positions became so amplified in the Workman theatre. It was a pretty intense twenty-eight minutes.

1 response:
Shannon the Movie Moxie // Apr 9, 2008 at 2:49 pm

The silent film truly was intense. I thought it was lovely though. Who knew the chairs would be so creaky?