25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival
Fascinations is a large factory for experimental filmmaking that takes films based on reality and strips them of all that weighs them down, thus significantly expanding the possibilities of filmic expression.
Documentary footage, Hollywood cinema and video games collide, overlap and submerge into each other in a Dadaist collage inspired by the poetry of Hungarian poet Mário Z. Nemes. The hypermedia nature of the present is emphasised by fragments that are free of a clear narrative backbone.
Baroque Femina (Nr.7-11)
Hungary / 2020 / 16 min.
A film tribute to the second wave of feminism and to the women who fought for the right to their own bodies in the 1960s and 1970s. The unique historical footage from the Italian Audiovisual Archive of the Workers’ and Democratic Movement finds a dialectical counterpoint within itself, as well as in the instrumental and electronic music used. "We wanted to explore the boundaries between documentary image and experimental filmmaking. In the film, sound and image long for a balance that is never fully reached, leaving tensions unsolved" A. Laudante, S. Biagioni Q&A with Silvia Biagioni, Andrea Laudante:
Silvia Biagioni, Andrea Laudante
Italy / 2020 / 10 min.
Dedicated to the eponymous Mont Blanc massif, the film is accompanied by the director Jacques Perconte’s burning question of whether we happen to be the very last people who will ever have the chance to see Mont Blanc’s summit. It’s all in response to the earth’s rising temperatures, which is causing glaciers to melt at a rapid pace. Perconte's work is unique in the sense that in revealing the inner strength and pulsation of what is seen on screen, he combines a plasticity that follows on the pictorial tradition inherited from painting and experimental film, with documentary film rooted in a specific space. "In his works, Percote achieves a synthesis in which he finds a response to dialectical tension between the modern concept of techne and physis. These digits of the algorithm are part of the artistic environment, which is tense but also balanced at the same time." J. Sarmiento HinojosaThis film is not a part of the competition.Q&A with the director Jacques Perconté:
Before the Collapse of Mont Blanc
France / 2020 / 16 min.
A visitor from outer space travels to Earth where he takes on the form of a Vietnamese boy. He witnesses the construction of a large temple and meets various different characters who, like him, are all looking for a place they can call home. This peculiar film benefits from the mysterious atmosphere of authentic Vietnamese locations. Q&A with Ostin Fam:
Vietnam, South Korea, Thailand, Singapore / 2020 / 22 min.
This minimalistic, computer-animated film tells a story of love and betrayal between man and technology, acting as a metaphor for the terrifying infiltration of smart machines in our increasingly digitised society. Dark visuals, ambient noises, and an alienated narrative give the impression of a cyberpunk aesthetic. "When smashing the computer into pieces, I struggled with my conscience; ‘Am I a brutal murderer?’ The bizarre sensation I had experienced led me to make this film." Y. Nishimura Q&A with director Yoshiki Nishimura:
Japan / 2020 / 10 min.
Rather than the much desired rest he longed for, the film director’s vacation in Spain in 2019 brought images of immigrants being pulled from the sea and protests held by Catalan separatists in Barcelona. In his film, presented in the form of a painful memory, he layers home video shots and found footage.
HOLIDAY IN THE SEA OF SUPREMACY
Germany / 2020 / 4 min.
In this film, the filmmaker uses the movements of his own body, interweaving them into abstract shapes that gradually pervade the entire frame while simultaneously contrasting with the white canvas background. The video is enhanced by a distinctive sonic backdrop that gradually intensifies along with the image.
Antonin De Bemels
Belgium / 2020 / 7 min.
This experimental film follows several non-linear trajectories that are constantly evolving into various different dimensions and revealing new transitional spaces. Elements such as water, birds, and trains accompany the viewer on a dreamlike journey between the painterly compositions of an oceanic landscape and outer space.
United States / 2019 / 11 min.
Los Ingrávidos is a Mexican art movement made up of independent audiovisual artists and formed in 2011 in response to the mysterious disappearance of 43 students in Iguala. In their new film that is self-aware of the legacy of ancient myths, the creators show us what it would look like if the moon knew how to dance. With the help of various colour filters and a dynamic musical undertone, the moon is personified as a skilled dancer in the dark. ""Coyolxauhqui", the lunar deity in Aztec cosmology, is a cinematic trance between mythology and political landscape. This film is under spell of historical violence against women in Mexico." Colectivo Ingrávidos
Colectivo Los ingrávidos
Mexico / 2020 / 9 min.
A prosaic record of a trip to the beach presented as a series of captivating, abstract scenes reminiscent of moving impressionist paintings. The camera is not being used to represent reality, but rather to reimagine it. Shots of people sunbathing and horses galloping along the coast reveal a picturesque quality of everyday life not seen very often, if at all.
On the way to Syracuse
France / 2020 / 5 min.
A film poem in which human consciousness intertwines with the element of water. The leitmotif flowing through the entire work is memory, the eternal clash between the urge to look back and the awareness of space and time ahead. The river flooding the film not only gives it a temporythmic structure but is also a reminder of the eternal natural order. "I made this film to reconcile with myself in the past who couldn't fully like myself for a long time. I would like to dedicate this film to all who have the same experience." Ji-Yoon Park
Once Upon a Time
South Korea, United Kingdom / 2020 / 5 min.
The word 間 (ma) in Japanese expresses the awareness of interval / space, not in the traditional notion of a closed three-dimensional entity, but rather as form and non-form mediated by amplified senses. These are confronted by an experimental film that explores the notion that a film’s content is the cinematic equivalent of reality. "SHASHIN NO MA, literally means MA(間) of photograph. It is an homage to my father, all the fathers who film their children and history of amateur cinema." T. MaruyamaQ&A with the director Tetsuya Maruyama:
SHASHIN NO MA
Brazil, Japan, United States / 2020 / 6 min.
A collage of fragmented shots of an apartment captured on 16mm film might seem mundane at first glance, but in the urgent density of light, material, and movement, it evokes a special emotional rhythm, which is underscored by David M. Shuh's spherical sound pattern that evaporates from the space but will never be lost. "The realization of the analog film SHIMMER was driven by my focus on materiality, the play with light and darkness and my passion to observe things that are not noticeable at a first glance." B. Blitz Q&A with Betty Blitz:
Austria / 2019 / 4 min.
A portrait film of two female contemporary Hong Kong artists shot over ice and smoke, in which these two substances reflect the real-life, turbulent events currently playing out in the ill-fated Special Administrative Region of the PRC. The poetry of words and introspection overlap here in several different layers with the throbbing, relentless prose of documented reality. "An abstraction on a real event pushes further imagination and emotion in a different time and space for further introspection." E. Wendi
Stay If You Can / Go If You Must
Hong Kong SAR China / 2019 / 12 min.
Guli Silberstein turned the anxiety experienced during the first months of the covid pandemic into a three-act film experiment. He found the ideal means to express fear and paranoia in the colored version of the zombie horror movie Night of the Living Dead, which he transformed into an associative stream of abstract images. "The processed hybrid form of film, video and digital, became a stream of consciousness acting directly on the senses, echoing the Coronavirus pandemic impact, channelling fear, paranoia and suspicion." G. Silberstein Discussion with the author Guli Silberstein and other directors from Fascinations Section:
The Devil Had Other Plans (Act II)
United Kingdom / 2020 / 13 min.
At first calm, even dreamy, the film takes the viewer into the quiet of the seaside and undersea landscape somewhere in Italy. They are soon shaken awake from these blissful images by footage of traces of today's global industrial world, as an increasing part of the sea is polluted by wastewater from factories, destroying the natural beauty. "By chance I discovered this place, which holds an incomprehensible paradox. As if the beauty of the place blinds everyone, no one can see the obvious pollution of it. Or was it just a dream?" S. Mez
The White Beach
Germany / 2020 / 15 min.
In the film TOUCH Memory (VIETNAM), two lines depicting Vietnam become blurred. The first such line focuses on young Europeans living in contemporary Vietnam while the second captures memories of the country after the war. Both lines are connected by voice overs, which help amplify the story. One of Canada's most prominent experimental filmmakers continues to develop the cinematography of layered images, reinforced by commentary and overlapping texts, in which full visuality and verbal associations are always of political importance.
TOUCH Memory (VIETNAM)
Mike Hoolboom, Joséphine Berthou
Canada / 2020 / 14 min.
An experimental film that combines black-and-white shots of a road with shots of bicycles, manipulated into abstract collages, supplemented by a musical backdrop that is as dynamic as video-tracks of the ride. By combining both, it creates an intense physicality that acts on the viewer’s senses. "With the very first sound, I decided where the video should go - to the limits of acceleration, the centrifugal force that is geometrically enclosed after a first release, unleashed and unlimited." S. Cho
United States, South Korea / 2020 / 4 min.
Points of light, volatile images of a computer screen and motherboard, faces hidden behind virtual reality goggles, voices chopped into fragments that bring Cuba's past, colonisation, and revolution to the fore… all these elements help paint a picture of the virtual reality game, Utopia 360. Two young Cuban gamers test out this VR experience where, through a series of flashes and snippets, the spectator becomes the architect who controls the overall course of the game.
Violena Ampudia Rodriguez
Cuba / 2020 / 6 min.
An unknown entity wanders through a constructed reality to the brink of nothingness - a town in the fog. The film evokes the shadows of a grainy black-and-white dystopian landscape, from which, however, we can see mere fragments, intertwined with shots of the details of male hands. Ramir’s films are characterized by his unique style, achieved through the use of special lens filters. “We Are Without is a visual response to life, death and self-deception.” S.J. Ramir
We Are Without
Australia, New Zealand / 2020 / 3 min.