Ancient and Imagined Worlds
Oddball Films and guest curator Hannah Airriess present Ancient and Imagined Worlds. This program features films concerning worlds beyond what we occupy; worlds that have been lost to time and worlds that are products of fantastic imagination. The short documentary The Inner World of Jorge Luis Borges (1972)acts as a foundation for this program. Borges masterfully creates worlds and civilizations spanning all of history in his short stories and essays, and through interviews filmed in his native Buenos Aires he explains his relationship to mythology, time, and space. In a clip fromThe Lost World (1925), we see a prehistoric world that has continued to exist into the present, and the disaster that emerges when explorers try to make contact, illustrated in early stop motion animation. The animator Philip Stapp beautifully renders the ancient agricultural rituals of Mayan and Aztec cultures in First Americans: And their Gods (1969 - Part I), detailing pre-Columbian history with dizzying animation techniques and an experimental audio track. Moving into the imagined realm, Flatland (1965) takes place in a world that only has two dimensions and a strict social code; when a three dimensional sphere enters the picture, the laws of the universe begin to fall apart. Back on earth, Our World in Review: Arctic Exploration (1936) features explorers encountering new landscapes and frontiers, with the aid of a pack of snow dogs. Georges Méliès’s Dreams of Baron Munchausen (1911) concludes the show, showcasing the beautiful and frightening dream world of a man who had too much to drink.