Saturday, December 9, 2017, 7:00 pm

If It Makes You Happy/Restless Views

La Habana International Festival of New Latin American Cinema


Curated specifically for La Habana International Festival of New Latin American Cinema, the works on this program represent CROSSROADS 2017, with echoed commentary from CROSSROADS 2014–16. This program amplifies silenced voices of resistance which speak across rising tides and howling winds as the spectre of capitalism rises. Solids melt; liquids become gas; molten forms congeal as all approaches the data state, organized yet ephemeral. Do resilient speculative futures emerge from this dystopian present?

Program is curated by San Francisco Cinematheque’s Steve Polta. Gratitude is extended to Dominic Angerame, Alberto Ramos, Diana Sanchez and all filmmakers.

Many Thousands Gone (2014) by Ephraim Asili (U.S.); digital video, color, sound, 9 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
Filmed on location in Salvador, Brazil (the last city in the Western Hemisphere to outlaw slavery) and Harlem, New York (an international stronghold of the African Diaspora), Many Thousands Gone draws parallels between a summer afternoon on the streets of the two cities. A silent version of the film was given to jazz multi-instrumentalist Joe McPhee to use an interpretive score. The final film is the combination of the images and McPhee’s real time “sight reading” of the score. (Ephraim Asili)
Screened CROSSROADS 2016

About something that concerns us all/Sobre aquilo que nos diz respeito (2016) by Cristiana Miranda (Brazil); digital video, color, sound, 9 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
The Roman statues of the Hanging Garden of Valongo hide histories of blood and death. A garden seven meters up from the ground, with long stairways that border the Hill of Conceição, from where they stand guard over the bends of Guanabara Bay, that the city insists on occupying. A monument for a city of slaves.

About something that concerns us all brings the memory of the slave markets, which took place there before the construction of the Garden, before the landfill of the Valongo Port. We cover the Roman statues with straw of Omulú, an originally African God, to question the symbolic narratives of the so many oppressions that constitute us, the daily violence of worshipping distant and imposed symbols. (Cristiana Miranda)
Screened CROSSROADS 2017

Conjectures (2013) by Pablo Mazzolo (Argentina); digital video, b&w, sound, 4 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
Conjectures about the animal that bumps into itself, aims for big things, and gets sick of it all. (Pablo Mazzolo)
Screened CROSSROADS 2015

Sun Song (2014) by Joel Wanek (U.S.); digital video, color, silent, 15 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
“A poetic journey from the darkness of early dawn into the brightness of the midday sun in the American South. Filmed entirely on the number 16 bus route in Durham, North Carolina over the course of six months, Sun Song is a celebration of light and a meditation on leaving.” (Joel Wanek)

“The effect of the editing’s unification of multiple trips creates a tenor of these people never getting on or off the bus, indeed being sealed or trapped in its journey, and thus its somewhat dreamy vision of busing average people and of being unable to leave called to both Luis Buñuel’s Illusion Travels by Streetcar and The Exterminating Angel. There is no end to the trip in Sun Song, but the light’s role does eventually have a hand in the conclusion, coming first flickering and then laying upon the seats and a final passenger like a passing revelation of an unspoken blessing.” (Daniel Kasman: “Rotterdam 2014. Deep Breaths.” MUBI Notebook, February 2014)
Screened CROSSROADS 2014

Night Watch (2014) by Danaya Chulphuthiphong (Thailand); digital video, color, sound, 9 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
Watching through an ordinary night, under the “situation normal,” during the coup d’etat.
An ordinary night during the coup d’état. The 2014 Thai coup d’état on May 22, which was declared after months of anti-government protests, is warmly welcomed by the middle class in Bangkok but seriously reduces the rights and the freedom of expression. (Danaya Chulphuthiphong)
Screened CROSSROADS 2017

Playing Possum (2013) by Jamilah Sabur (U.S.); digital video, black and white, sound, 12 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
A love letter to death. “Elijah” by Mahalia Jackson was playing in the studio and I slipped into a trance, the only goal was “becoming.” When a possum is under threat, it plays dead to avoid death. The space in the studio became a world I felt close to—I was underwater on the moon. In composing the video during the editing process, I composed a score for the first two-thirds but used American composer Jon Forshee’s score Sinew as the structure to edit the video. I wanted to create an atmosphere in the video that appears to be like the changes in ambient pressure, like what happens to a body that slips into the cold airless void, when the human body is suddenly exposed to the vacuum of space or deep water—sudden depressurization. (Jamilah Sabur)
Screened CROSSROADS 2017

Return to Forms (2016) by Zachary Epcar (U.S.); digital video, color, sound, 10 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
A constellation of objects, each emerging into the soft peach-light void of an indeterminate condominium space. (Zachary Epcar)
Screened CROSSROADS 2017

You Don’t Own Me (2014) by Christina C. Nguyen (U.S.); digital video, color, sound, 6 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
An obsession with Lesley Gore’s T.A.M.I. Show performance of “You Don’t Own Me.” (Christina C Nguyen)
Screened CROSSROADS 2017

Ode to Seekers 2012 (2016) by Andrew Norman Wilson (U.S.); digital video, color, sound, 9 minutes, exhibition file from the maker
Ode to Seekers 2012 is an infinite loop that celebrates the existence of mosquitoes, syringes and oil derricks via a translation of the formal techniques of John Keats’ Ode on a Grecian Urn from printed text to video. (Andrew Norman Wilson)
Screened CROSSROADS 2017

Pictured above: Conjectures (2013) by Pablo Mazzolo

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