INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION: Heaven Knows What
Wednesday, 20 January 2021
MY GALACTIC TWIN GALACTION, dir. Sasha Svirsky
Intergalactic warfare, break ups, conjoined twins and erratic dreams: these short filmmakers reckon with how we try to make sense of, and meaning from, a disorganised world.
In Beny Wagner and Sasha Litvintseva’s lyrical documentary, libraries and archives become a space for visual and linguistic metamorphosis, whilst Jenny Brady navigates D/deaf history through an assemblage of phone calls, heated exchanges and interrogations.
Featuring new wry work from Russian animator Sasha Svirsky (9 Ways to Draw a Person) and experimental biography from Taiwanese artist Hsu Che-yu (Re-rupture).
Programmed by Tom Grimshaw and the international selection committee. 79'
This programme contains flashing images.
Beny Wagner, Sasha Litvintseva
A poetic exploration of how taxonomies of monsters in early European science organised our ideas of the natural world. The film picks up on these themes by tracing the boundaries of sight and the metamorphosis of form.
“The first in Sasha Litvintseva and Beny Wagner’s series of collaborations, ‘Conjuring the Perceptible Unknown’, A Demonstration announces their examination on the similarities between scientific inquiry and the moving image. An essayistic work interested in the human interpretation of the natural world, the film delves into our inclination towards taxonomies and modes of understating. It seeks to engage with a historical perspective alien to modern viewers. Visually and aurally complex, this is a film brimming with ideas that makes for visceral, beguiling viewing.”
— Ben Nicholson
MY GALACTIC TWIN GALACTION
Good and evil, utopia and dystopia, narrative and post narrative collide in a mortal battle to entertain the audience.
“One of the greatest pleasures of Sacha Svirsky’s latest animation is to be found in its joyous approach to instability. In seven short minutes, Svirsky’s flight of creative inspiration effortlessly draws together melancholic introspection, intergalactic war, postmodernity, Russian Futurism and a full-blown musical number. Svirsky manages to bypass the threat of contrivance by rooting his sci-fi opus in the erring timbre of his own voice and confused, comedic beat of his voiceover; one that’s both awed and puzzled by the wonder of his own creation.”
— Tom Grimshaw
A heady and multi-layered assemblage of Deaf history, drawing on research into The Milan Conference of 1880 which led to a ban on teaching sign language in schools for the deaf.
“Jenny Brady uses D/deaf history to frame the various complementary strands of its examination into the ways in which we communicate. Adopting multiple forms – from the audio of a crosswire telephone call, to documentary footage of student protest, to interrogative discussion and re-enactment – Brady converses in a multiplicity of methods that echoes the various types of dialogue at the crux of her subject matter. In doing so, Receiver probes at the politics of how we speak and listen, and who is granted the freedom to do one or the other, with incision and style.”
— Ben Nicholson
WHERE I DON'T MEET YOU
Through the formal and psychological association of figurative cinematography and textual sequence, a filmic atmosphere unfolds in a "non-place" recalling a moment lost between two time-spaces.
“As suggested by its title, Where I Don’t Meet You is a film about space - or more accurately, negative space; the void between things and people, process and meaning, images and sound. Shot on Super 8, its first half uses scratched and scuffed film leader to get at this absence, twitching away to an analogue drone. Midway, a pair of hands emerge, held apart in plea or indecision, and as the soundtrack bursts into scuzzy euphoria and melancholic diaristic text, the film takes on a deeper emotional resonance, where materiality and meaning have merged as one.”
— Tom Grimshaw
Kawo a.k.a. Sushijojo
I have this dream about driving an uncontrollable vehicle for three and a half years. Each time it changes a little, I want to capture these emotions, in order to read the message behind it.
“Frenetic and panic-stricken, Sushijojo’s Flamingo operates as an animated rendering of the David Bowie classic Always Crashing In the Same Car, a manic and curiously resolute expression of history repeating itself. Crafted in scruffily vibrant felt tip pen, this barrage of unfiltered, unprocessed anxiety probes the dichotomy of finding both repression and liberation within the absence of free will.”
— Tom Grimshaw
Filmed by Taipei-based contemporary artist Hsu Che-Yu, Single Copy contemplates the relationship between the body, memory and doubling from the perspective of the surviving brother.
"Through experimental biopic, artist Hsu Che-Yu recreates (literally, through fibreglass cast and 3D scanning) the life story of one of the first conjoined twins to be separated in then-occupied Taiwan. As the softly-spoken, now adult Chang recalls anecdotes of his deceased brother and details about their televised surgery, the psychology of sharing an identity and part-ownership of memory becomes metaphor: unpicking a lived simulacrum and probing the concession of selfhood to unity and expectation."
— Jenna Roberts