Short Film: IN THE HOUSE OF MANTEGNA, 6min., Italy, Dance

First scene: Conflicts

In her Notebooks, Simone Weil wrote that “Each true statement is an error if its opposite is not thought of at the same time, and it cannot be thought of at the same time”. The mediation of contradictions is only an altered image of the irreconcilable polarities that, instead, make up reality. But thinking about the unthinkable leads us to a place that reason has never managed to penetrate. To be exact, it leads us to atopy, to “that absence of a place” that offers us a different measurement of the world. A trajectory towards overcoming the idea of harmony that, even before Weil, had been undertaken by Dostoyevsky in all its highest metaphysical tension. A reality that always reveals itself as a contradiction, dismemberment, a place in which contraries coexist and interweave in an arabesque where everything is present and nothing is excluded. From the fragment by Heraclitus where “War is the father and king of all” to Plato’s Socratic drama where we are challenged to think like “Knights on an open field” and to Nietzsche’s precept to “Do philosophy with a hammer” or Heidegger’s Kampf. Like an underground river, the line of belligerence crosses the whole of Western thought. This is because the thing itself is fundamentally polemical, as well as the truth that is referred to: the conflict existed before the participators in it.

Second scene: A Border

A limit, a boundary.
A prison, an earthy and opaque shell. This is the body Plato talks about in Phaedo, inaugurating philosophy as an act that ought to put the body itself to death by blocking the “barbaric mud” of the passions enclosed in it.
But do there exist borders that are not, as Melville said, porous or frayed? Does there exist a final border that we cannot cross? In an essay dating from 1935 and titled De l’évasion, Emmanuel Lévinas reminds us how contemporary literature too has tried to evade the imperative of this cumbersome presence. There then appear to us the images of Kafka’s bodies that collide and torment; of Gabriele D’Annunzio’s orgies as an attempt to raise ourselves above the limits of the body; of Georges Battaille’s lacerated bodies. The protagonist of Abraham Yehoshua’s The Return from India is, with surgical passion, the destroyer of borders. His obsession is with the endless body of the Mother, the opposite of the body politic, of her hierarchy and her primacy as a parent, which is the image and metaphor for the State and its organization about which Foucault was to argue at length. But the checkmate on that body happens at its borders. Once it has established a boundary this, rather than excluding, generates mixtures: a boundary is the place where there converge, beat, and swash the waves from outside and inside. In his essay Die Verneinung Freud wrote, “this is the outside and I want to incorporate it; this is the inside and I want to spit it out”. But, with a stroke of genius, it was to be Friedrich Nietzsche who found an opening, the beginning of a possible path, by defining the body as a plurality with a single sense: “… a war and peace; a flock and a shepherd”. A gap where the body and its reasons are both a limit and an overflow, a boundary and indefiniteness.

Third scene: Extremes

Perhaps it was Novalis who first thought of an atopic knowledge, of a knowledge that does not dwell in any defined place. Due to this he had to hypothesise a limit that was not a boundary between the things of the world but was inside the things themselves: “… to fluctuate between extremes that it is necessary to unite and divide. From this point of view, every situation is sparked off by this fluctuation…”. For him, everything is contained in it: both object and subject. When translating Sophocles’ Antigone he was to identify himself with the internal tensions of tragic thought, where he was to discover that “… there are many boundless things, but nothing is more boundless than mankind…”. Tragedy is excess, tragedy is the dissolution of boundaries. For tragic thought male and female, the divine and the human, eros and thanatos are all elements of an antinomy in which being and non-being are opposed. But it is the very dissolution of those boundaries that opens an endless horizon within things, thus transforming every possibility into reality: of the self and the other which never are but that can become. Hölderlin wrote that possibilities can come about in the place of reality’s greatest instability: “reality everywhere”.

Fourth scene: Vertigo

Man is the being who knows about his own death. He carries it within himself like a bud or like a vice. Eros, Thanatos, and the body. Perhaps this is the vertiginous odour that the embraced bodies feel in the depths of their respiration. Bodies waiting for the end, as though the present were a limit that has in itself the pestilential topicality of death. This is, as Simmel has written, the “power of the formal fascination of boundaries”; this is the intoxication of the modern “impatient time” that assailed Aragon on his journey to Paris. The fascination of a boundary is the fascination “of a beginning that is at the same time an end; the fascination of novelty and, at the same time, of fragility”. At the boundary every form is the same thing and, at the same time, the cessation of each thing. This is also the place where life intersects with death. The space in which the fragment by Heraclitus flashes, resounding within ancient tragedy, and that has once again begun to launch tenuous rays from the words of Rilke and Proust. But it is also the place where, perhaps, it is possible to overcome the inexpressibility of the body which, according to Heidegger, checkmated his own philosophy, the inexpressibility of the body which, as Lévinas has written, has checkmated all Western philosophy.

Fifth scene: Silences

Appearance does not hide the essence but reveals it in its very finiteness. A face chooses a mask, not to hide itself, but to reveal itself. At a certain point the truth of a mask meets the truth of the face over which it is placed, over the nakedness that the face could not bear. It is on that mask that my silent gaze rests, and the other at once becomes an object of my universe. The body’s being is paradoxical because it is the obstacle that I have to overcome in order to be in the world, but at the same time it is the tool for overcoming this obstacle. It is through this very paradox that I can recognise that I exist as a being known by others as an example of the body, and what defines me is that continuous “outside” my “inside”.

Sixth scene: Nudity

Albrecht Dürer, in a 1505 drawing, revealed absolute nudity: only a light hat keeps his hair above his wide-open eyes in this excessive vision without precedents. Rembrandt exposed his opaque face on which is reflected only the shadow of death. Egon Schiele pushed himself to a nudity that borders on flaying, almost as though only the lacerated body could have a meaningful relationship with the world. However, not all nudity is shameful and the bringer of scandal. It is so when in it there is an ostentation of our being, of our final intimacy.
Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness was to go far further. Shame emerges when our intimacy, our self, becomes the object of someone else’s gaze, a gaze that is also revealed in the presence of the objects that surround us, in the sound of a door opening, in the echo of steps that are coming near. In that moment I am not the one who possesses the world through the gaze I project on it. I am looked at, I am possessed by another gaze that reaches me, my intimacy, my being myself, through my inexorably exposed body. But it was to be Charles Baudelaire who defined a cognitive possibility linked to shame and nudity in My Heart Laid Bare. There not even a loving relationship can open up communications with the other, there, where not even complicity can arrive, a resolution can be arrived at with the display of oneself. This is my naked body, this is my denuded heart. On my flesh can be read the wounds and scars that contact with the world, of which I cannot talk, has inscribed on me, like the needles of the monstrous machine in Kafka’s In the Penal Colony.

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Dance Film: MIRAGE, 6min., USA, Dance

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In a life inundated with boundaries, the most difficult to overcome is the confinement of the mind.

The film Mirage follows Dancer as she battles the conditions that keep her bound.

Dancer is sometimes victorious and creates moments of freedom.

These bursts of exuberance contribute to her growing anguish. As each scene develops, she finds herself in a more constricting state than before.

-Mirage

  • Film Type:
    Experimental, Music Video, Short
  • Genres:
    Dance, narrative
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 28, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    10,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16.9
  • Film Color:
    Color

Short Film: OF SILENCE, 6min., Belgium, Dance

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A short dance film about the contrast between intimacy and vastness, conflict and freedom—and the individual yearning for a past long gone, in the face of a bleak collective future.

  • Film Type:
    Experimental, Short, Other
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 46 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 30, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United Kingdom
  • Country of Filming:
    United Kingdom
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color

Music Video: COOK – EL MANIJAZO, 6min., Argentina, Music Video

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Music Video of the Argentinian band “El Manijazo”. The narrative is about a cook of a fishing vessel who doesn’t want to be a sailor neither a captain.

  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Cocinero – El Manijazo
  • Film Type:
    Music Video, Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 15 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    December 14, 2017
  • Production Budget:
    990 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Argentina
  • Country of Filming:
    Argentina
  • Film Language:
    Spanish
  • Shooting Format:
    Digital 25fps
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16:9
  • Film Color:
    Color

 

Music Video: KCPK – THE END, 6min., France, Music Video

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The cinematic video is capturing a teenage girl’s worst nightmare through adolescent angst, bathed in underlying sexual tension, and depicts the inevitable end of youth and purity.

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Short Film: THEY TOLD ME, 6min., Russia, Experimental

Moscow. Coffee-to- go. A young woman runs into a man – he stands behind a glass
window on the street. As soon as he notices her watching him, he is trying to disappear.
She follows him, getting closer and closer, but loses his tracks in the city park. They
look like a couple that broke up – one has already moved on, and the other one is still in
pain. Sudden flashback makes her remember, where to go further to find him. She
enters the apartment he lives in to face a mystery, hoping to find a key to solve it. The
film reminds of so-called “silent scene studies”, so there are no words and no names.
That supports the main idea of certain unification: the loss is always a little death, no
matter who left. And no matter who he or she is.
The movie is based on a contemporary poem by Feodor Svarovsky «They told me that
you still love me». Poetic voiceover answers all the unspoken questions of the film.
Young musician and composer from Saint-Petersburg Grisha Levchenko and director of
photography Ksenia Sereda became fool-blooded co-authors of the film in the process
of work. At the time of shooting Ksenia was still a final year student of Gerasimov State
University of Cinematography.

  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Mne skazali
  • Film Type:
    Experimental, Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Romance
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 27 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    January 1, 2018
  • Production Budget:
    2,000 USD
  • Country of Origin:
    Russian Federation
  • Country of Filming:
    Russian Federation
  • Film Language:
    Russian
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    16%9
  • Film Color:
    Color

Short Film: GLENDALE, 6min, USA, Dance

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A portrait of Detroit and the passion its people share. The same passion fueled by love and joy can be flipped to motivate crime and destruction.

  • Film Type:
    Music Video
  • Runtime:
    6 minutes 17 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    September 17, 2017
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Film Language:
    English
  • Shooting Format:
    RED
  • Aspect Ratio:
    1.85:1
  • Film Color:
    Color