In Rati Chakravyuh, filmmaker Ashish Avikunthak presents several conceits. A single take of 102 minutes in a 105-minute film, screened as a very large projection at Chatterjee & Lal, has Rati, the Goddess of Love in Hindu mythology explored as the notion of desire through the ages, and Chakravyuh (a military formation mentioned in the Hindu epic Mahabharata that consists of a labyrinth of concentric circles) used as a defense mechanism. It’s a gauntlet that Avikunthak throws down from the sta... [more]
When I think of Midnight Movies I timeslip to the early 90s and all-nighters at the Scala in London's Kings Cross. The imagery is that of The Trip, Eraserhead, Vanishing Point, and Blue Sunshine. The aroma is of popcorn and hashish, the taste—cheap stimulants and vodka. I think of a motley crew of film geeks and freaks who have stumbled out of the pub at closing, dashed to the off license, and now gather inside the crumbling flea pit for an all night fix of kitsch, action, and high weirdn... [more]
Li Zhenhua began our conversation with a gentle correction: he had three exhibitions opening in one month, not three exhibitions opening over as many months. I was reminded of these words as Li’s disembodied voice greeted me at Chronus Art Center in Shanghai last week during the opening of a satellite exhibition for “Pandamonium: Media Art from Shanghai,” an exhibition co-curated with David Elliott in Berlin. Unable to attend the show’s simultaneous openings in Berlin and Shanghai, Li introduced “Pand... [more]
The first three weeks of April in Toronto are host to the 27th incarnation of the Images Festival, which bills itself as the largest festival in North America for "experimental and independent moving image culture." It offers a much needed and relieving, counter to the Toronto International Film Festival. The Images Festival focuses primarily on video art, far too often only seen in the rarefied spaces of contemporary art galleries, and smaller independent films that would perhaps not be showcased... [more]
The movie camera – that bastard son of a thousand alchemists, illusionists, inventors, and old showmen – could have been purpose built for the Dadaists and the Surrealists. If it had slipped into obscurity or been written off as gimmick after they had made use of it, its journey into existence could have been said to be worthwhile. It's as if their paths were always destined to cross.
In the Hans Richter show Encounters – "From Dada till today" at Martin-Gropius-Bau you can se... [more]
Los Angeles, Mar. 2014: Allison Schulnik’s second New York solo exhibition at ZieherSmith, Eager, included a startling array of painting, sculpture, drawing, and film, creating a beautiful, yet haunting world. Her work is currently on view in a solo exhibition at the Wadsworth Atheneum Museum of Art in Hartford, Connecticut. Schulnik talks with Bradley Rubenstein about her new show, her dance background, the difference between working in New York and Los Angeles, and, of course, cats.
Allison Schulnik, Blue Dancer #3... [more]
In the first of seven films in a series dealing with love between men and women (started in 2009 and proposed to end in 2019), a man sits down on a bus in Bucharest, Romania and telephones his wife or girlfriend. He becomes increasingly threatening and verbally violent, compulsively repeating the same questions and accusations over and over in a sort of trance-like loop. Troleibuzul 92 (Bus number 92) (2009) depicts a very private and intimate conversation that is played out in the public space,... [more]
Moving Image: Film’s Emotional Metalanguage at the KW by Guy Parker Chantal Akerman, Ed Atkins, Sue de Beer, Harry Dodge, Loretta Fahrenholz, Christian Jankowski, Jesper Just, Stanya Kahn, Simon Martin, Peter Roehr, Roee Rosen, John Smith, Mark Wallinger at KW Institute for Contemporary Art
February 23rd - April 27th
During an early investigation into the language of film it was Christian Metz who observed that “film is difficult to explain because it is so easy to understand.” According to Metz, in film—in contrast to written text or the spoken word—the distance between sign and meaning was too narrow to withstand established codes of semiotic analysis.
That distance, whatever its breadth, is central to themes explored in the exhibition Real Emotions: Thinking in Film, currently at K... [more]
Like a great pop song or a poem, Nina Yuen’s work enchants, making you feel like she’s speaking to you alone. Her performative films, which are currently on view at de Appel arts centre, bind the universal with the ultrapersonal. They fill the second floor of the Prins Hendrikkade space in an exhibition consisting mainly of these short, fantastical films of approximately six or seven minutes each, plus some prints titled as studies for her films Andoe and Lea.
Although it is nice to see Yuen’s work in other m... [more]
The man who heroicized contenders for the title “Filthiest Person Alive” in his 1972 underground classic Pink Flamingos might have smirked a knowing smirk had he watched the line of punters push, shove, queue jump, and bicker as they endured the bottlenecked Schlange that led into his current Berlin exhibition, Bad Director’s Chair, at Sprüth Magers. For John Waters, the push and shove of narcissistic, jealous rivalry was far filthier than any of The Filthiest People Aliv... [more]
Stan Douglas’s mesmerizing, deceptively simple Luanda-Kinshasa floats somewhere between music video, installation art, and historical reenactment. The square-format video is projected at movie theater dimensions in one cavernous, blacked-out gallery of David Zwirner. In the video, cameras pan around a recording studio full of musicians in the middle of a jam session. They are conjuring the African-infused funk-jazz of the 1970s, full of hand drums, guitar scrapes, electric piano, and strong... [more]
To commemorate the 50th anniversary of his death, La Cinématheque Française is holding a retrospective of Jean Cocteau's cinematographic work, exploring the enormous impact of the works and life of this preeminent figure both retrospectively and today. Cocteau was a keen advocate of the Seventh Art, and played a huge role in establishing the prestige of the Cannes Film Festival. Upon his death, Cocteau donated the proportion of his filmography collection to Henri Langlois, a co-fo... [more]
What is it about?
Inspired by the words of Nelson Mandela and a personal story, my upcoming film, In Search of America, Inshallah, explores the meaning of freedom.
The film’s protagonist, Shaheen Ilyas, is a young Pakistani woman who arrives in Los Angeles to search for her husband, Ali Ilyas. Five years prior, right after their marriage, Ali had left his wife and homeland to pursue better earnings and a better life. While Ali has been absent and living the American dream, Shaheen... [more]
With Hans Op de Beeck it’s all about feelings. The Flemish artist’s main aim in life is to evoke a smile, a tear, relief, elation, anger, anything but emotional dullness. In his construction of mood-inducing stages, his chosen medium, he knows almost no restrictions, except for his own perfectionism. His eye for detail and love for craftsmanship are just as present in his small black-and-white watercolors as in the eighty square-meter installation Merry-go-round (2005), which features a... [more]
This is a personal selection by Paul BOCHE who stars as the Bohemian-born German language poet Rainer Maria Rilke in René: This Film Is Not Fiction.
The text is an excerpt from a letter that Rilke wrote to his wife Clara – a former student of Auguste Rodin – on January 1, 1907:
Wir wollen glaubenWir wollen glauben an ein langes Jahr,das uns gegeben ist, neu, unberührt,voll nie gewesener Dinge, voll nie getaner Arbeit,voll Aufgabe, Anspruch, Zumutung.Wir wollen sehen,... [more]