INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: On Body And Soul
Monday, 18 January 2021
INFLORESCENCE [SLOWLOOP-06], dir. Nicolaas Schmidt
These short works lean into the expressions of love, vulnerability and solidarity that galvanise and nourish us in the face of isolation.
Whether it’s a politically persecuted gay man in Tunisia forging community, a tender yet unsentimental depiction of a mother’s love, or a flower caught in a thunderstorm, these films act as a tonic for the trials and tribulations of an eventful year.
Featuring the concluding three chapters of Meriem Bennani and Orian Barki's 2 Lizards, and Sylvia Schedelbauer's lushly stereoscopic expression of the nowness and newness of love.
Programmed by Tom Grimshaw and the international selection committee. 84'
The programme contains distressing imagery, references to homophobia and transphobia, and flashing images.
Please note, the film Ecorce can only be accessed by UK audiences at the request of the filmmaker.
Samuel Patthey, Silvain Monney
Time seems to have stopped around the Villa when suddenly a silhouette passes. Inside the building, we discover weakened bodies, auxiliary nurses and a black cat as the minutes go by, slowly, repetitively.
“After a year of not being able to hold our elders close, though more precious and vulnerable than ever, Ecorce resonates all the more acutely as a hand-drawn chronicle of old age and communal living. In dancing pencil, chalks and watercolour, its animator-documentarians create a technically magnificent living sketchbook - capturing both the infectious bustle and vitality of community, and the idiosyncrasies of its residents with the delicacy of a line.”
— Jenna Roberts
What began as a way for its filmmaker to escape his family situation turned into a method of confronting the realities at home. Photographed and filmed over a period of ten years, it is a search for meaning and closure.
“A deeply revelatory audiovisual essay on photographer Sohrab Hura’s relationship with his mother since her diagnosis of acute paranoid schizophrenia. A series of otherworldly still images document their daily lives with care and solemnity, focussing on memory and perception as imbued with a sense of unfamiliarity despite many of these moments feeling universal or relatable. The work expresses profound love through a striking and unshakeable commitment to documenting the best and worst of everyday life.”
— Laura K. Jacobs
Autumn again on planet Earth. A couple of rose petals in eternal solidarity enduring the great trouble of a heavy thunderstorm.
“When it premiered at the Berlinale last February, little did anyone know that it was being received on the cusp of global catastrophe. Now, after a cataclysmic year in lockdown, Nicolas Schmidt’s Inflorescence reads as strikingly prescient - a summation, both poetic and mundane, of the emotional turmoil that’s become the underpinning of our lives. Though achingly tender, to describe it in any specificity would strip it of its most beautiful attribute, that its purity and simplicity generously offers itself as a personal vessel, one eager to absorb all of our individual hopes, dreams and fears.”
— Tom Grimshaw
THIS DAY WON'T LAST
Mouaad el Salem
A day that could also be a life. An end that could also lead to a new beginning. Both a self documentation and collective portrait from Tunisia borne of both the necessity and fear to make a film.
“Mouaad el Salem’s elemental debut reorients the pursuit of liberation onto the body. Assembling a personal archive of disposable camera photographs and video ephemera shot on his phone, This Day Won’t Last aches of the spectral fear and lucent hope that mark his reality as a queer person in Tunisia. Tender, arresting and boundlessly generous, this autobiographical diary is a yearning love letter to a better future — an arm outstretched in the darkness.”
— Maria Paradinas
LABOR OF LOVE
An expanding feeling, unfolding new inflections — forever different, forever changing.
“As with Schedelbauer’s previous work, this stereoscopic piece is forged on the rhythmic pulse of a flicker, one that is loaded with bio- and neurological allusions - a heartbeat, a steady breath, a firing synapse, the twitch of a central nervous system, all evoking the ‘biophysical chemistry one experiences when falling in love.’ This is a film of deep fathomless feeling, where the intellectual and rational fade under the weight of impulse and an evolving cascade of sensorial images guides us through a journey that's joyously ecstatic with love’s myriad possibilities”
— Tom Grimshaw