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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

When You Awake
A scary yet funny tale about the journey to collective unconsciousness via experiments with hypnosis through a collage of found footage from instructional, documentary, and fictional films, layered with themes of personal experiences and frustrations, reflections on social stereotypes and desires, and images of wild or strange animate and inanimate nature. Jay Rosenblatt (1955), American independent filmmaker and trained psychotherapist, is the creator of over thirty films in which he examines the nature and limits of the human psyche and emotions. He has received over a hundred various awards for his work. In addition to teaching, he also organizes the San Francisco Jewish Film Festival. His films I Just Wanted To Be Somebody (2006), Four Questions for a Rabbi (2008), and I Used to Be a Filmmaker (2003) have been screened at the Jihlava IDFF.“When You Awake was a pleasure to create, and hopefully that will come across to the audience. It was a nice departure for me since it is more playful than many of my films.”

When You Awake

Jay Rosenblatt
United States / 2016 / 12 min.
section: Fascinations
Czech Premiere
La Mesa
Genre conventions cleverly broken down with animations, breaking through the scenery of rural Mexico, where in the area surrounding the director’s family farm, symbols of stories of physical desire conceal a layer of idyllic childhood memories and come into conflict with the traditional concept of masculinity and identity expression.   "By centering queer desire within the story of my Mexican-American family, I validate my own lived experience as well as challenge popular representation of masculinity, power and vulnerability." A. G. Gomez  

La Mesa

Adrian Garcia Gomez
United States / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
Domus
This portrait of architect Carlo Mollino looks at the vision of organizing space, buildings or sculptures. Contours and surfaces, as well as the absence present in crossed-out notes, crumpled sketches and the shapes and textures of material and scratched patters of houses, construct a rhythmic collage of expressions to the landscape. “By way of story, C. Mollino pledged himself to his craft and foreshadowed a brilliant lifetime of architecture. In telling this story, Domus configures its author’s own intentions, transposed from architecture and housed within cinema.” R. Vermette

Domus

Rhayne Vermette
Canada / 2017 / 15 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
below
A surface rhythmised by reappearing image segments of a forest, gets projects during a walk, brought about also by the sound, into a space in which black-and-white and colour footage reveals monochromatic parts. These build up to create an effect of the third dimension, pulling our view into the depth and turning the ingenious schedule of the whole into a cognitive game using 3D representation."Below is not so much about borne suffering or the history of a memorial place. It tells more about the relation of depth-time and space-duration being interwoven in every moment of an image. " B. Spiegel
personal program

below

Björn Speidel
Germany / 2019 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Inside
Fragments of a body chiseled from darkness carve out a study of a nude female figure, sensual at specific moments, and in places disappearing into digital darkness. A lyrical treatise on intimacy and secrecy and an implicit polemic with a voyeuristic gaze create a longing for constrained completeness. "I dissect the perception and the mental state that arise while being watched, penetrated and examined and the experience of the viewer, involuntary being forced to follow the gaze of the camera." T. Kjellmark  

Inside

Tove Kjellmark
Sweden / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
Elements 1,2,3
Tree, water, house. An exploration of particles of visual depiction and musical passages composed into impressions and unambiguities with the characteristics of movement, contrast and stylistic attributes that form the foundations in a study of the fragility and solidity of visual depiction. “Celluloid must go on!” T. Burlin

Elements 1,2,3

Tomaž Burlin
France / 2017 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
La Notte Salva
Tiny animals of different kinds were filmed by night and then magnified under semi-transparent spherical glasses. The activity of constantly moving organisms subjected to magnification results in unexpected images of unrest, changeability, migration and creativity in altering shapes. „La notte salva is a path of sensations that attempts to gather around its nature without revealing it, without opening itself to any human language.“ G. Boccassini
personal program

La Notte Salva

Giuseppe Boccassini
Germany, Italy / 2019 / 12 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
The Pit
Contemporary and archival footage of the Berkeley Pit, an open pit copper mine in Montana – today filled with contaminated water – is chemically altered using poisonous substances from this water containing copper, arsenic, cadmium, zinc, and sulfuric acid in order to call attention to the destructive consequences of mining. “The film shows the destructive consequences of mine waste through a variety of photochemical processes using the same contaminants found in the water of the pit.“ J. Gerlach
personal program

The Pit

Jona Gerlach
United States / 2019 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
European 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
Obatala Film
An anthology of rituals, masks, skin paintings, and other decorations, captured from up close in Ile-Ife, the legendary holy city of the Yoruba, who live primarily in southwestern Nigeria but also in some parts of Latin America and who consider the god Obatala to be the creator of Earth and of human bodies.  "I understand my cinematic practice as an inquiry into modes of experience and as a gesture of channeling. One of them could be the state of devotion and possession by spiritual and cosmic forces. " S. Wiedemann  
personal program

Obatala Film

Sebastian Wiedemann
Nigeria, Brazil, Colombia / 2019 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
The Escape Agents
A re-construction of the illegal smuggling of a family across the border from East to West Berlin in 1988. Told in photographs, the film shows a chilling story of escape in the trunk of a car and an encounter with agents of the East German secret police. The images’ unknown origin adds a sense of the universal and calls into question the course of events.  "While researching my first feature, I stumbled across these photos in the Stasi archives and decided to try to make a story around them. I was shocked when I found out the true identity of the people " S. Calonico  

The Escape Agents

Scott Calonico
United Kingdom, German Democratic Republic, Germany / 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
Ministerstvo kultury
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