Cat / Esp / Eng
Esteu aquí: Inici Magazine The Film of Tomorrow

The Film of Tomorrow

One year ago, I spent the evening of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, at the Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi preparing the presentation of the short feature Ámár. The auditorium is 200 metres from Baghat Singh Market, where the person I loved and on whose memories the film is based had grown up. When I left the screening it was night time and the street was filled with a mist that smelt of the powder of the fireworks used to celebrate the festival. Amidst the confusion and mist I felt I could see Brahma, the creator god, who like Miquel Barceló’s Gran Elefandret was balancing on the water tank that crowns number 37 in Baghat Singh Market. Brahma was pointing to where the beginning and end of this story converged, Ámár’s house.

One year ago, I spent the evening of Diwali, the Festival of Lights, at the Instituto Cervantes in New Delhi preparing the presentation of the short feature Ámár. The auditorium is 200 metres from Baghat Singh Market, where the person I loved and on whose memories the film is based had grown up. When I left the screening it was night time and the street was filled with a mist that smelt of the powder of the fireworks used to celebrate the festival. Amidst the confusion and mist I felt I could see Brahma, the creator god, who like Miquel Barceló’s Gran Elefandret was balancing on the water tank that crowns number 37 in Baghat Singh Market. Brahma was pointing to where the beginning and end of this story converged, Ámár’s house.

I walked the few metres that separated one place from another and repeated what I had done six years before, during my first visit to New Delhi. I entered Ámár’s building and I looked for his name on the turquoise-coloured post-boxes. I went up the three floors and stopped in front of his door. I recall the garland of marigolds and the electricity cable that poked out of the hole where the switch was hanging. I rang the bell and dared to do what a few years earlier I could not: wait for it to open.

“Let it be, let it go” Jonas Mekas would say when asked about his work. Where does life start and end? Where is fiction? What is the procedure, the order we have to follow to construct the work?

 

In the artist’s studio there is always a door, a mirror that enables us to enter and exit from fiction to reality. The development of the idea happens with the naturalness of any process exposed to the maturity bestowed by the passage of time. In the initial phase, memories and the impression of the present are sent off in all directions. On this chaotic and unpredictable path they find nooks and crannies to filter through until reaching the central element, the emotion around which a story is built. Developing an idea based on a personal experience lends credibility to the story as we know the gesture and intimate reasons that make the narrative coherent in detail. The most difficult thing is to understand where the core of the story is concealed and have the courage or desire to tell it.

Eric Patrick, the creator of Ablution (2000) and Stark Film (1994), among others, says that independent animation is a genre close to ritual; what we finally see on the screen is no more than the essence of the time that has elapsed from the moment we began until we finish animating the first and last frame. A time machine fuelled by both the evocation of the past and the moment it happens.

The video-artist Sadie Benning works in this continuous play of appropriation and transformation of reality into fiction, of the personal into the universal, of time past into present. She is a pioneer in using domestic video to speak in the first person and from the intimacy of her space of genre and sexuality. In her first works, created within the walls of her bedroom, the artist uses objects she has at hand to articulate a narrative around the fear and anguish she feels over the bullying of her schoolmates. In Girl Power (1992) she says: “The world on the other side of my bedroom window is heartless and in need of affection.” The dialogue the artist establishes with the camera offers the possibility of transforming the pain of rejection into the capacity to explore oneself. The first shots show the geography of an ear, a mouth, while each small muscle and pore activated with the grimace suggests the confines of a common anatomy. Sadie Benning provokes our complicity by showing the ambiguity of genre and the limitations to which we subject our sense of morality openly and as if it were an autopsy of the accidents of nature.

How much belongs to personal experience, how much to what we hear and experience through others? This is neither known nor really matters; in the end we become attached to what we like and make it our own. Sooner or later it is shared and forms a common good. The objective is to feel that the continuity of the experience proposed by the filmmaker in the work occurs outside the image screened, in the darkness of the auditorium, among us, the audience.

A few years ago, I discovered on a table in a gallery a postcard advertising an exhibition of Ana Mendieta. It showed the naked body of a woman among rocks, partially covered by daisies and weeds. “My body as an extension of nature and nature as an extension of my body,” said the artist. In this case, the artistic object, her own body, was the battlefield in which the pain of the displacement and her condition as a woman were reflected.

This postcard is among the things that accompany me in a project I have just started, along with a book with red covers entitled Sultana’s Dream, a sound recorder, a camera, paper and inks and many films to learn from. I do not know what will survive from this noisy and disordered collage that today is only intuition and desire, but I think about the words of François Truffaut and know that everything will turn out fine. “The film of tomorrow appears to me as even more personal than an individual and autobiographical novel, like a confession or a diary. The young filmmakers will express themselves in the first person and will relate what has happened to them. It may be the story of their first love or their most recent; of their political awakening; the story of a trip, a sickness, their military service, their marriage, their last vacation… and it will be enjoyable because it will be true, and new... The film of tomorrow will be an act of love.”

Isabel Herguera


Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
YouTube
Vimeo
La Paeria - Ajuntament de Lleida

Subscriu-te a la NEWSLETTER ANIMAC!

Contacta

info@animac.cat
Tel/Fax: +34 973 700 325