Sunday, June 3, 2007

Films from the End of the World

Yerba Buena Center for the Arts

“Death advances, and life falls away. That happens gradually and unnoticeably for us; we gradually immerse ourselves in the nightmare of a completely absurd existence.” -Sergei Loznitsa. A monumental work of sound design and archival research, Sergei Loznitsa’s Blockade brings the devastation of the 900-day Siege of Leningrad—a WWII battle considered to one of the most lethal in world history, in which nearly one million people died of starvation, disease, and cold—crashing solidly into the present day. Through the addition of seemingly synchronous sound to brutal and beautiful actuality footage held in archive of the St. Petersburg Studio of Documentary Films, the harrowing historical events become uncannily real and alive. Also screening: Brian Frye’s post-apocalypse psycho-melodrama The Anatomy of Melancholy; Stephanie Barber’s lonely late-night laundry-scape total power dead dead dead; Vanessa Renwick’s Portrait #2: Trojan, an ambivalently beautiful ode to destruction; and Michael Robinson’s End Times elegy, The General Returns from One Place to Another. (Steve Polta)

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