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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

Where Shapes Come From
A description of non-randomness in the processes by which atoms join to form matter, accompanied by images from a museum laboratory. Subtle alterations to the real image are Formulas with scenes of a mineralogist’s work. Chemical equations and virtual bodies and shapes give form to the invisible processes involved in the creation of substances. “We spent an intensive three months as artists in residence in the Mineral Sciences Laboratory at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History; this is the work that came out. The green workshop has since been redecorated and is no longer home to all these amazing curiosities.” R. Jarman, J. Gerhardt

Where Shapes Come From

SEMICONDUCTOR
United Kingdom, United States / 2016 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
Some Exercise in Complex Seeing is Needed
The static footage shows just one thing: a person continuously swimming against the current. Despite swimming at a regular pace, the person stays in place. This image is accompanied by a recitation of a list of the filmmaker’s personal decisions and a description her micro-world, with references to her previous films and curatorial work. “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution,” we hear the words of American writer and feminist Emma Goldman, who promoted freedom of expression and the need for joy even amidst revolutionary struggle.

Some Exercise in Complex Seeing is Needed

Carola Dertnig
Austria / 2012 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
Dead End, rewind reversal
This inventive experiment with a stereo 3D image follows a train track ending at a ruined bridge and then back again through the forest. The focus is on the spatial perception of diverse depictions of the journey laid side by side, captured with a film camera and confusing the eye of the viewer with various overlays and inversions of time levels. “Stereo3D films shall be done such a kind that they make no – or another – sense if they where only in mono2D. What we know from flat filmmaking is no help. So filmmakers have to start from scratch again and spectators too.”

Dead End, rewind reversal

Björn Speidel
Germany / 2016 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
45 7 Broadway
A portrait of New York’s Times Square shot on black-and-white film using a red, yellow and blue filter and subsequently copied onto colour stock. The simple destruction of the image is contrasted with the overabundance of digital advertising and billboards while at the same time emphasizing the silent rhythm of the everyday bustle on the street. Bicyclists and pedestrians seem to emerge from the image, to step out of the screen, followed by their spirits, visible trajectories of their deeds and decisions.

45 7 Broadway

Tomonari Nishikawa
United States / 2013 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
The Image that Spits, the Eye that Accumulates
The color of skin and of film become the center of discourse: The filmmaker’s mixed-race background is reflected in imprints of the landscape and ruptures within it, but also in the color of the faded Kodachrome film, whose typical visual characteristics have dissolved in time. Hues are barely visible and only with difficulty capture the image of a body that does not fall into any clear categories.  "Where does film fail or resist us? Working on celluloid I make images which affirm mixed race culture and the cultural in between." R. Storr  

The Image that Spits, the Eye that Accumulates

Rhea Storr
United Kingdom / 2018 / 11 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Spectator
The filmmaker’s father walks wordlessly around his home. He sits in a chair, reading the newspaper. The image, veiled in dust that reflects the afternoon sun, shows only parts of the reader before eventually revealing the entire person, while the director is a silent observer of events. “Suzuki: In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.” M. Hoolboom

Spectator

Mike Hoolboom
Canada / 2017 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
Concrete Cinema
Working with the principle of concrete music, the filmmaker layers and meticulously overlays images into such a mightiness that it creates abstract compositions of memories, thus exploring how they progressively change thanks to the selective nature of memory and the possible resolution of the digital medium. The work of Japanese filmmaker and programmer Makino Takashi (1978) is influenced by London’s Brothers Quay, and is marked by an eclectic approach that makes use of video art and a diverse range of cinematic techniques. Takashi sees the image and musical soundtrack as equal components in his work. His film Generator (2012) won the Tiger Award at the Rotterdam International Film Festival.“The challenge was to start from the concrete, go to the abstract, and then use the abstract to create a concrete abstractness.”

Concrete Cinema

Makino Takashi
Japan, Netherlands / 2015 / 24 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
The Moons of Palaver
Images originally from the tests of spotlights are inserted into models where they evoke the phases of the Moon and in regular intervals combine to hint at a harmonic line of bright reflections. A fleeting arrangement of the traces of humans and machines forever trapped in the depths of the night.  "The Moons of Palaver had to be short, quiet, with soft light, gently mechanical, edited late in the night, a paradox and a mystery. It had to be a poem that I couldn’t possibly write." E. Gaucher  

The Moons of Palaver

Eric Gaucher
Canada / 2018 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Places With Meaning
Microsoft created the Webdings font in 1997 as a successor to Wingdings, around which controversy had developed when it was discovered that certain sequences of characters possessed unwanted connotations. The film was made in Microsoft Word and transferred onto 16mm film.

Places With Meaning

Scott Fitzpatrick
Canada / 2012 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
#57
A visualization of the workings of the high-frequency oscillators once used to test military sonars and medical ultrasound devices is juxtaposed with abstract illustrations of a Chinese mathematician’s differential equations, and their visualization through analogue computer processes shows the subtle exactness of changing textures.  "Technology is a deforming mirror that shows us what humans think and do. For that reason I make my work in a dialogue with machines that I develop myself, trying to learn from what they tell us." J. Rekveld

#57

Joost Rekveld
Netherlands / 2018 / 14 min.
section: Fascinations
Central European Premiere
Morphology of a Dream
A visual composition based on a study of the rhythm of sleep cycles during REM sleep. The flowing images melt into overlapping splotches of color to create shapes of fleeting sleep images at various speeds, thus reflecting the impossibility of capturing any concrete motifs.   "Connecting my observation with an intuitive way of filming, I document phenomena in the natural world to reveal evocative visual rhythms through the ecstatic clash of color and form." M. Szlam  

Morphology of a Dream

Malena Szlam
United States, Canada / 2018 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Mold
The image of a city broken down into a series of planes of view rolls towards us, its echoes enabling us to fill in the imaginary whole. This urban symphony of minimalism builds up a panoramic view into the distance while calling into question reality by visualizing the overcrowding of the urban environment.  "Life is surprisingly simple. Because all human beings are in a moment of repetition of the irreversible destiny of nature. Everything is only a trace and disappears." M. Yi

Mold

Myun Yi
South Korea / 2018 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
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