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24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Action, Almost Unable to Think
Action, Almost Unable to Think
Action, Almost Unable to Think
Action, Almost Unable to Think

Action, Almost Unable to Think

director: Haonan Mao
original title: Action, Almost Unable to Think
country: China
year: 2018
running time: 11 min.

synopsis

A visually ingenious portrayal of a life story and inner world of a soldier killed in an explosion is told through hypnotically visualized allegoric scenes and objects during an imaginary encounter of views by a scientist searching for a relation to reality, a filmmaker reflecting on a role of time in art and a refugee stripped of the possibility to live in his hometown.

“The film was originated from the real story that a solder was killed by bomb while greeting to a civilian. It tries to recapture that moment of contradictories and fragilities.” H. Mao     

biography

Chinese experimental filmmaker Mao Haonan (1990) studied visual arts in Shanghai and Nantes, France, and mingling various cultures is also characteristic of his work. He combines 3D animated simulations with photography and painting, creating fragile and mysterious images of transience. The director also finds inspiration in works by major European artists like Michelangelo Antonioni or Stefan Zweig.

more about film

director: Haonan Mao
producer: Haonan Mao

other films in the section

Beyond the Mirror Rim
A collage of reflections on various artificial and natural surfaces forms fleeting, concrete and variable abstract visual compositions, with a voiceover meditation on forms of perception related to the acquisition and deepening of knowledge, from Antiquity to today’s technical and social influences on how we perceive the world. German director, photographer, cinematographer, and university lecturer Thomas Kutschker (1963) experiments with sound, mixing recordings from social networks from around the world with excerpts from old films to explore human fear and the yearning for knowledge. The Jihlava IDFF previously showed his films Shadow Worlds (2008), Me, Myself and I in the Age of Download (2010), and Financial Locations (Global Mash Up) (2015).“Words, sounds and pictures seem to be independent, disconnected as the appearance of light, shadow and reflexion themselves... But they are woven into each other and connected following their own logical construction.”

Beyond the Mirror Rim

Thomas Kutschker
Germany / 2016 / 14 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
The Bed and the Street
Protests against austerity measures, read as an expression of resistance to the state, are intermingled with an expression of intimate consonance. A demonstration of connection, this essayistic collage blurs the boundaries between private and public as it reflects on the politics of co-existence. "What if the revolution started at home, in the micro-politics of hand to hand, of our kitchen life, our bedroom life? If we said no to the old models of family, could we bring together bed and street?" M. Hoolboom, H. Frise  

The Bed and the Street

Mike Hoolboom, Heather Frise
Canada / 2018 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Dushanbe
Through the use of animation, the backlit photographs blend with the director’s aunt’s memories of the mountains, the local views, and the inside of the home from which she was forced into exile. The fragments of memory offer insight into life in the diaspora through architectural projects by which the aunt has recreated her native Tajikistan in her new home in Darmstadt.   "Film is grounded in found footage through the photographic, constructing an assemblage from fragments of exile. I focused on colour, texture, and materiality in both image and sound, resuturing diasporic time and space through the slowed-down gesture of animation." K. Friesen  

Dushanbe

Kandis Friesen
Canada, United States / 2018 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Distance
The filmmaker returns to a Hungarian village for her last visit to her grandmother. The blurring images emphasize the mental distance resulting from physical distance, but also the time that has passed since the childhood memories remembered in her quiet voiceover, which make up for the disappearing memories of the aging body. “The film grew out from a personal life situation when my grandmother got dementia at the age of 85. While she was losing her memories I tried to keep them even stronger than ever.” D. Zurbó

Distance

Dorottya Zurbo
Hungary / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
The Philosophy of Horror (Part I): Etymology
The first part of a seven-part adaptation of the influential 1990 book of the same name by American philosopher and art theorist Noël Carroll. In the spirit of cinematic philosophy (filmosophy), Lichter explores various aspects of the horror genre – in this part, primarily the position of the characters, the human bodies, and the types of gazes to which they are subjects – by directly manipulating the body of the film. “The Philosophy of Horror: A Symphony of Film Theory is an immersive meditation on genre theory, which aims to demonstrate the eternal beauty of Art Philosophy and Pop Culture’s interconnectedness.” B. Máté, P. Lichter    
personal program

The Philosophy of Horror (Part I): Etymology

Bori Máté, Péter Lichter
Hungary / 2019 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
Cry Havoc
A mass of protestors in remediated scenes, a becomes an expression of the strength and passion of the crowd, while dynamic abstractions and visual shifts show changing interpretations of people´s expressions within a crowd and of their reasons and objectives for protesting, all in a lightning-fast onslaught of media images. “Cry Havoc is part of a long-term research project in which video works process images of violence and protest from TV and online news media, studying the complex nature and impact of these images, and looking for new aesthetic forms.” G. Silberstein

Cry Havoc

Guli Silberstein
United Kingdom / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
rack-pinion (wired-glass No.4)
As the film comes undone from the projector, the perforated edges become visible and reveal the illuminated image as an imprint of light. Splotches of colour with vague meanings enter into the picture frame. “In the early 19th century, watches had a rack and pinion lever escapement. No longer used, I still find it endearing and try to create a similar beauty in my own way.” H. Kawaguchi

rack-pinion (wired-glass No.4)

Hajime Kawaguchi
Japan / 2017 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
1/8
The film’s title refers to the sharpness of human vision when compared to that of a hawk. The deformations and blurriness of the image, dependent on the density of photoreceptors, hide concreteness. The allusion to the myth of Icarus addresses questions of distance and clarity, while the meticulous rhythm of the narrative develops the themes of point of view and falling from great heights.“This film focuses on the world that exists outside of stories. By destroying the main story of man, I wanted to discover all that has been erased from him or that is trapped outside of him.” R. Hayama

1/8

Rei Hayama
Japan / 2017 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
In This Valley of Respite, My Last Breath...
Wandering on the edge of darkness, the camera records grainy objects and pulls hesitant signs of the searched-for refuge from the darkness. By carefully working with light, the filmmaker sketches a unique place bathed in silence and uncertainty, on the back of specific depictions of buildings and landscapes. “The theme explored in my work is that of ‘journeys’ – both physical and metaphysical; alluding to isolation of the individual and isolation of place.” SJ. Ramir

In This Valley of Respite, My Last Breath...

SJ. Ramir
Australia, New Zealand / 2017 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Home
A Cuban home as a non-place reflected in artefacts accessed through recollections, materials and textures. A delicate film poem is a collection of aberrations of the utmost intimate memory with scenes and activities referring to building, deconstruction, places and events that create associative reflections on the meaning of the term “home”.  “Starting from the portrait as a support and exploring its expressive possibilities, I enter into the reconstruction of beings and spaces that I have never known or visited.“ A. Alonso Estrella
personal program

Home

Alejandro Alonso Estrella
Cuba / 2019 / 12 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Matters Of Time
A matrix of experiences and reflections from the author’s journeys between Berlin and Hiroshima was constructed by gushing together systems containing from 4 (or 2 times 2) to 625 (25x25) artist’s Facebook statuses in 7 identically long intervals of time. A suggestive accumulation of images evokes oversaturation in which the meaning and uniqueness of individual moments get lost. "There is a tension between past en presence I like to explore. Contemplating the riddles of cause and effect, may be. No text, no word, experience. Nothing logical within a conceptual framework." T. Mohr     
personal program

Matters Of Time

Thomas Mohr
Netherlands / 2019 / 12 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Biblion
A visual study of the book as a medium and cultural artefact. Parallel images analyse books from the point of view of appearance and material with the film plunging into the depths of their microscopic fabric while, at the opposite end of the spectrum, the variety of their surfaces, textures, fonts and shapes blossoms into structured volumes ordered on a bookshelf. “Born from observing the phenomena of quietly vanishing old book stores, our work first became an exploration of the medium of the book itself, and then grew in to something more haunting.” E. Tammi, S. Ekström  
personal program

Biblion

Saara Ekström, Eero Tammi
Finland / 2019 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Evropská unie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Česká televize
Český rozhlas
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