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Curated by Berlin-based researcher and writer Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein, the New Beginnings, We Hope selection will be at Kundura Cinema as of October 23. The selection, which is designed as a cinema exhibition consisting of four short films, will be presented to the audience in a cyclical screening format.
Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein's selection, which touches the various feelings that we long for in this difficult period when we are subject to radical changes due to the effects of the pandemic, also includes questions about the dualities that shape our way of thinking.
We listen to the inspiration behind the New Beginnings, We Hope program, which will bring the audience together with a viewing experience that leads to emotional stimulation, the films that make up the selection, and the flow of the films from the curator herself:
“This expanded cinema program emerges from the desire to again feel the pleasure of touch, movement, and nearness without denying the continued struggles and violence we are faced with. The five films were selected both for their aesthetic merits as well as the way they challenge binaries of life/death, violence/pleasure, and human/non-human. It is designed to shock viewers a bit, as well as move them; a sort of pleasant poke out of apathy and isolation.
We begin with Coyolxauhqui by the indigenous film collective Los Ingrávidos. The short film is bold and aggressive in its approach, featuring shaking percussion and trance-like images of the desert. Over the course of the film, we realize that something is not quite right in the landscape, with remnants of violence dotting it. The film is in reference to the Aztec story of the rape of the moon goddess Coyolxauhqui, and is also meant to reflect on the prevelance of femicide in Mexico.
From this painful departure, we move to Pauline Curnier Jardin's short film Explosion Ma' Baby. This film documents the annual procession in honor of Saint Sebastian in which fireworks and confetti boom as babies are lifted up to be blessed, their soft and fragile bodies juxtaposed with a fanfare of fatherhood; men crushing in against one another as the camera deliriously spins through the crowd.
Maya Deren's The Very Eye of Night offers viewers a short respite from the strong and rhythmic sounds of the first two pieces. Deren's last completed film and one of her most ambitious, The Very Eye of Night was made in collaboration with choreographer Antony Tudor. It reflects Deren's continued interest in filming dance, as well as her desire, later in life, to completely untether her filmmaking from the constraints of plot and place.
The program ends with Lisa Jackson's Lichen. Shot in macro 3D, the film treats lichen with tender deference, celebrating it as a subjective organism with its own distinct life cycle and means of collective survival. The film serves to remind us of the vast timeline and interspecies company in which we exist.”
About the Curator
Pia Chakraverti-Wuerthwein is a curator, researcher, and writer living and working in Berlin. Her work has been featured at SAVVY Contemporary, Sinema Transtopia, and Kundura Sinema, among others. Presently, she is working with Slavs and Tatars and Haverford College on the interdisciplinary project Contest of the Fruits and with Udo Kittelmann and Fondazione Prada on the exhibition Human Brains. piacw.com/
Director: Colectivo Los Ingrávidos
Mexico / 2017 / 10’ /16mm / Colour/ Sound
Festivals: Cine de Morelia FF, Media City FF (2018), London Short Film Festival (2021)
COYOLXAUHQUI recasts the mythical dismemberment of the Aztec Moon goddess Coyolxauhqui by her brother Huitzilopochtli, the deity of war, the Sun and human sacrifice. The film is a poem of perception, one that unveils how contemporary Mexican femicide is linked to a patriarchal history with roots in deeper cultural constructs.
Explosion Ma Baby
Director: Pauline Curnier Jardin
Holland-Italy-France / 2017 / 9’ /Super 8 HD / Color / Mixed media installation
Festivals: IFFR, Amsterdam International Documentary FF, 25 FPS Festival (2017)
Now, come back here. Imagine how badly I fell in love with this. I despera- tely want to be part of it. To be there. I wanted to belong. But I know that I can’t. And so I try to capture it on film. I go there and film it every year, over and over, again and again. One day I will tell the story of a poor and sterile man who wants to replace San Sebastian. But more summers will have to pass before our hero will appear.
The Very Eye of Night
Director: Maya Deren
USA / 1959 / 15’ /16mm / B&W / sound
Known for her production in experimental and avant-garde cinema, Maya Deren's last completed film, The Very Eye of Night, carries Deren's aesthetic, freed from the bonds of time and space. It was made from 1952 to 1955 in collaboration with choreographer Antony Tudor, but it was not released until 1959 when the musical score by Teiji Ito was added. The entire film is projected as photographed in the negative. ~ David Lewis, All Movie Guide
Director: Lisa Jackson
Canada / 2019 / 12’ / 3D Macro / Color / English
Festivals: Toronto Images Festival (2019), Sundance (2020)
This stunning otherworldly short film takes a deep dive into lichen, a species that confounds scientists to this day. Shot in macro 3D, Lichen offers us a look at this remarkable life form and asks what we might learn from it. Ancient and diverse, both an individual and a community, lichens can live in the most extreme environments, including outer space. This meditative film bridges science and philosophy, and the words of lichenologist Trevor Goward illuminate the terrain in poetic and thought-provoking ways.