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23rd 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

Double 8
Christiana Perschon shot her meeting with the artist Linda Christanell, a representative of Austria’s feminist avant-garde of the 1970s, on double 8mm fi lm without cutting. When shown, the fi lm’s split image shows footage of the two women fi lming one another to create a dialogue on seeing and being seen. “Every interaction with an image searches for its own form.  Approaching someone with my camera is not a one-way encounter but an act of getting to know each other: I see you seeing me instead of looking at you.” C. Perschon

Double 8

Christiana Perschon
Austria / 2016 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
We Still Have to Close Our Eyes
A compilation of behind-the-scenes footage shot while filming various Filipino films, including those of Lav Diaz and Erik Matti, creates a sense of quiet tension. In the style of slow narrations and in-depth observation, the film builds a dystopian sci-fi narrative of human avatars controlled by applications but is also a commentary on the various forms of contemporary Filipino cinema.    “They say once a filmmaker becomes a parent, that person stops making films. The Remote Daddy Framework is a way for me to go out of the house to document in spurts of three hours to repurpose and make" J. Torres
personal program

We Still Have to Close Our Eyes

John Torres
Philippines / 2019 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Becoming American
The barcode from Form N-400 – the application for U.S. citizenship – is “naturalized” (a reference to “naturalization,” the term for becoming a U.S. citizen into the image, which is thus transformed into an abstract portrait of the applicant. At the same time, it is converted into sound by reading the visual code with an optical sound reader. Christina Nguyen (1988) hails from Los Angeles and studied visual art and media and molecular biology at the University of California in San Diego. She also received an MFA in film/video from the California Institute of the Arts. Edgar Jorge Baralt (1988) was born in Venezuela and studied film production at the University of Central Florida and at the California Institute of the Arts near Los Angeles, where he currently lives and works. His films explore the subjects of memory, time, and the changing nature of human identity.“The electronic version of the N-400 application form generates a barcode as personal information is entered. We take this conversion of identity into data further by turning this barcode into an audiovisual experience.”

Becoming American

Christina Nguyen, Edgar Jorge-Baralt
United States / 2016 / 1 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
WHERE DO WE GO
Images recorded on a Lomography Supersampler, which photographs four immediately sequential moments on one frame of 35mm film, multiply the illusion of rhythmic movement and create a visual melody that hurtles forward, while the imprint of the moment remains fixed in place. The drum performance emphasizes the minimalist sharpness of the patterns. "Where do we go, in a time where borders are going to be closed again? The feeling of freedom has gone. I try to break down visual borders to rebuild a base for the spirit of freedom again." S. A. Fruhauf  

WHERE DO WE GO

Siegfried Alexander Fruhauf
Austria / 2018 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations
International 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
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
Colombia, Brazil, Nigeria / 2019 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
International Premiere
JEAN LUC NANCY
A miniature inspired by the leading contemporary French philosopher. The fragility of examining the possibilities of uniqueness and subordination in relation to something different. Objects here do not function as symbols; a crystal pendulum and anonymous figures highlight the multitude of loopholes and fundamental non-discursiveness of expressing delicate subjectivities. "The film is about the duality of one’s search for their own individuality versus the desire to belong." A. Zwirchmayr  

JEAN LUC NANCY

Antoinette Zwirchmayr
Austria / 2018 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Some Clouds Float Distant
A visual illustration of the process of remembering, when the mind associates the image of an object with similar images based on the person’s mental organization. These are more a reflection of his identity than an imprint of real things and events. “I’m interested in creating works that exist as experience themselves. I consider it necessary to implement the sensitive, the sensual, the experiential into the artwork: to appeal to an erotic of artwork.” G. E. Veloso

Some Clouds Float Distant

Gonzalo E. Veloso
Spain / 2017 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Garden Exercises
A tour of botanical gardens in Bilbao, Toronto and Quito, filmed on a haptic camera as part of a project for developing a camera that will record the things its owner touches. The filmmakers explore the diversity of visual identities at a time dominated by the combination of sight and sound. “The video is a part of the collaborative ‘Haptic/Visual Identities’ project investigating ‘haptic visuality’ through film via a digital DIY prototype. The work presents ‘macro images’ of a garden in a former colonial paradise.” A. Mergler

Garden Exercises

Cristian Villavicencio, Agata Mergler
Ecuador / 2017 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Extrastellar Evaluations III : Entropy : 25800
The melancholic atmosphere of wandering a landscape scarred by kitschy disco rainbows and colorful illustrations opens up the possibility of an extra-planetary consciousness sending a message in which references to the laws of thermodynamics and Mayan symbolism encounter critical interpretations of an expected confrontation between humanity and the cosmos.   "‘IT‘ knows." Yin-Ju Chen

Extrastellar Evaluations III : Entropy : 25800

Yin-Ju Chen
Taiwan / 2018 / 17 min.
section: Fascinations
Central 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
Filipiniana
An ironic collage offers a reflection on lords and leaders, their gestures, attributes, characteristics, and deeds. The images, which oscillate between the credibility of archival footage and the artificiality of costume dramas on cardboard stage sets, become hyperboles of the typical attributes of power and engage in, are a radically rebellious play with punk expression. Khavn de la Cruz (1973) is a Philippine filmmaker, musician, and writer, a leading figure of the younger generation of Philippine cinema. He has helped produce 47 feature-length and 112 short films, and founded MOV, an international film, music, and literary festival in Quezon City. In addition to a number of feature-length films (Kamias: Memory of Forgetting, 1999, 2006 Jihlava IDFF; Manila in the Fangs of Darkness, 2008, 2008 Jihlava IDFF), a crosssection of his short films were presented at the 2006 Jihlava IDFF in the Translucent Beings section.“To reimage, rewrite, and reread my country’s bastard history, using dismembered icons and scenographies that both affirm and negate remembered mythology.”

Filipiniana

Khavn De La Cruz
Philippines / 2015 / 13 min.
section: Fascinations
European Premiere
Ministerstvo kultury
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