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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

Latency Contemplation 3
The disappearance of flowing textures of fluid and rocky landscapes alternates with patterns set in a grid of homogenous horizontals in a simple lyricism of hypnotic image and sound compositions and views of unexpected rhythms in flowing montages. "My ongoing questioning of the oscillations between my internal visions and the outer world comes with its own intrinsic intuition and metamorphoses my perceptions." S. Cho  

Latency Contemplation 3

Seoungho Cho
United States, South Korea / 2018 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations
East European Premiere
Twenty Nine Minutes at Sea
Other possibilities of the sea. Digital impressionism, expressed through a patient deconstruction of the image into moving colours, set to the subtle sound of a never-ceasing wind. The rocking motion, further emphasized by contemplating slowness, evokes a sense of the permanently changing waves. “It is a long and deep inner journey in our relationship with violence and memory. Digital moving images are made to maintain information stable. But we can break it. ” J. Perconte

Twenty Nine Minutes at Sea

Jacques Perconte
France / 2016 / 30 min.
section: Fascinations
World Premiere
Boat People
As essayistic meditation on mass movements of people since the Second World War, including today’s mass flight from war, the possibility of death and environmental catastrophe. Images of the natural elements and scenes taken from the films of, among others, Humphrey Jennings or Derek Jarman explore the relationship between the representation of movements and ideas. “Notes from a country gripped by sudden political insularity: Boat People explores the meaning of welcome and the age-old possibilities of hospitality.” S. Wood

Boat People

Sarah Wood
United Kingdom / 2016 / 22 min.
section: Fascinations
East European 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
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
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
Non-Places: Beyond the Infinite
This essayist collage visually develops French anthropologist Marc Augé’s concept of nonplace (ephemeral places characterized by anonymity or blurred identity) and turns images of highways and rest stops upside down, thus emphasizing the difficult-to-grasp images of these worlds “Marc Augé’s essay (Non-Places: Introduction to an Anthropology of Supermodernity) meets with Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey in some Hungarian highway rest areas.”

Non-Places: Beyond the Infinite

Péter Lichter
Hungary / 2016 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations
European 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
ONE-1-2
An algorithmic composition of 531,441 photographs taken over the course of three decades since 1985 place personal and societal events into various contexts to create a minimalist study of informational value, comprehensibility and memory of events. “After all: what is the nature of these moments/events : 9/11, Hiroshima, Buchenwald, political/economic conditions, art, family, coffee, tea, being here/there. After 531,441 pictures 1985–2015 a sum.” T. Mohr T. Mohr

ONE-1-2

Thomas Mohr
Netherlands / 2017 / 16 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
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
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
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