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25th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz

Exprmntl.cz is a competition survey of the latest Czech experimental films that touch upon reality and never cease in their search for new ways of expressing reality through classical and digital film.

film database

Alter
A digitally animated floating eye searches a prehistoric cave that represents a tunnel into the past. Time sings a mysterious siren song. Dušek draws attention to the societal barriers and roadblocks that prevent us from tuning into the wave of this melody and letting ourselves be carried to the roots of our identity.„The melody resonates, I don't know where it came from. It heals, protects. Then there is no need to ask who I am."

Alter

Martin Dušek
Czech Republic / 2021 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
And What If?

And What If?

Gabriela Palijová
Czech Republic / 2021 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
As the Crow Flies
The short experimental film made by Kryštof Pešek composes a geometric mosaic of everyday snapshots from a well-known environment giving a specific and abstract, dynamic and static impression. The divided picture, depictions of various textures and mundane moments are captured on a raw black-white material creating a feeling of time-lessness and almost palpable irascibility.

As the Crow Flies

Kryštof Pešek
Czech Republic / 2021 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Beautiful Solution
The film poem about pesticides reflects on the return to the natural food chain, in which insect pest serve as food for the higher order. The harmonic cycle of life and death, the temple that is the wildflower field resounding with the inebriating sound of crickets chirping and wheat spikes rustling in the wind, is invaded by the human, the ultimate consumer with no natural predator. „Do we need pesticides, if we have flower strips?“

Beautiful Solution

Eliška Cílková
Czech Republic / 2021 / 8 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Botanical
An experimental film which combines the artificial with the living, live action with animation, and explores the peculiar world of planet Botanical where pigs and camels grow from people's ears, cacti grow from people's teeth and violets from their nails. It's a creation of childish imagination which takes the form of a magic mountain landscape. It presents a space of liberty where you can escape from the dull and limited reality that resembles a greenhouse in a botanical garden. "We rested in a plant refuge before the ascent but the night turned out to be an exhausting one as an old cactus was snoring incredibly loudly."

Botanical

Anežka Horová
Czech Republic / 2021 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
Czech Premiere
Courier’s rig
The authors of the short, animated film chose an unconventional use of 3D computer modelling. It serves them to explore the shapes and textures of various objects in a virtual reality environment where the eye of the observer can view the object from any angle. The art of postmodern sculpture thus presents its creations in various constellations, whether broken down into parts or in undesirable weather conditions. „A certain destruction of older works is a common and independent theme in artwork, but we are getting used to the process of absolute dismantling of the work.”

Courier’s rig

Alex Selmeci, Tomáš Kocka Jusko
Slovakia, Czech Republic / 2021 / 7 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
Czech Premiere
Garden
This film is an imprint on the film strip, an imprint in the mind just like a memory of my father’s garden where a child is playing; an imprint of the father on the garden as a reflection of his character; an imprint of the garden on the father; an imprint of him on a person. As if the seeds were falling from his beard, skin, or hair and become the garden, roots, sprouting and growing, just like a child.

Garden

Klára Nováková
Czech Republic / 2021 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Global Illumination
During the coronavirus pandemic, our homes were transformed into an experimental space. In the same way, an art studio becomes a mind laboratory, where the artist forms and deforms materials into abstract crystal-like shapes and amorphic structures. Margot named his thesis after the algorithm standing behind the realistic lighting of the 3D space in the gaming platform Unreal Engine 4 that he worked with. “Even though there are common references to virtuality and spaces of an invisible architecture, which are an environment that we can experience only through technological tools, I am always influenced by public space in my work; its specific, deterministic creation, layers and density, signs of recognition and communication.”

Global Illumination

Artur Magrot
Czech Republic / 2020 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
History of Shrouded Screen
A chapter from the cycle of experimental films called If I Ever Lose My Eyes follows representatives of the Movement of Linen Film. Ladislav Valeš sees the film media as the Shroud of Turin which imprints not only the surface, but also what extends beyond us. In the same way, the author of the film imprints Valeš’s face and figure into the black-white countryside surrounding Klapý. The shapes of the bridge and gravestones represent the architectonic morphology of human mind, which merges reality and fiction, consciousness and subconsciousness. „The film media isn’t sufficient, it is just a surface. We started to think whether it is possible to go deeper, further. Film should mainly represent a development.“

History of Shrouded Screen

Lea Petříková
Czech Republic / 2021 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Chemobrionics
Chemobrionics represent a new multidisciplinary field of science dealing with the properties of inorganic substances on the basis of their similarity to the behaviour of living systems. The video shows the beauty of a simple experiment called "chemical gardening", where a metal salt crystal is placed in a glass of water. The viewer follows the multitude of colors and the hypnotic slow growth of tubular structures that resemble plants or fungi. The visual poem combines art with science and makes the viewer contemplate what a wonderful view nature offers of something inanimate that looks alive.   „If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." (Cicero). Just as the gardens of the ancient Romans were used to contemplate, philosophize, and think about life, so do chemical gardens open the door to philosophical questions such as what life is and how it came to be, or how we can actually differentiate biological systems from their chemical counterparts.

Chemobrionics

Jitka Čejková
Czech Republic / 2021 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
In Praise of Dialectics
The film, which was made for an exhibition in San Sebastian, is a loose adaptation of Bertolt Brecht’s Stories of Mr. Keuner. The individual stories are presented as a series of experimental jokes, which are at the same time an allegory of society. Lying on the border between analogue and digital processes, simplicity and complexity, light and shadow, and humor and an unpleasant shudder, the film is a report about communication problems, the unjust distribution of power, and violence. “This video film seeks a path to reality through metaphoric symbols. The analogue images that are used become inconsequential three-dimensional markers of peculiar narratives.”

In Praise of Dialectics

Zbyněk Baladrán
Czech Republic, Spain / 2021 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
iris spelunca
The warmth and stillness inside a rainbow cave where flames are fading are the antipole of the winter landscape and the forest that we see in the distance. Against this landscape, a tree trunk stands out, and a black shadow is wandering through the snow. The mouth of the cave becomes a lens transforming our perception of stillness and movement, cavity and hole, the eye and the image, the observer and the observed. "stillness beneath the root ad fallen leaves reqb qb q b re- iris inside the animal eye the cave animal cavity eye"

iris spelunca

Katarina Kadijević
Czech Republic / 2021 / 3 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Modern Times
The new adaptation of Chaplin’s Modern Times stresses the absurd scale of technological progress. Due to the progress, humankind does not develop, it becomes atrophied. Hoverboards are a clear evidence of this phenomenon as they free us from the need to walk; and with the prosthetic chassis we are transforming into semi-machines. The identical interpretation key about serial and monotone character of our modern world can be seen in the aerial pictures of identical turnkey houses. The machine-structured reality enslaves us. „Modern times have changed dramatically since Charlie Chaplin. Today, given his soulful reflection on the world, Chaplin would probably be dependent on Xanax.”

Modern Times

Vladimír Turner
Czech Republic, France / 2020 / 18 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
No one can see us here
The sense of threat when moving and functioning in public space linked to the experience of Afab* (assigned female at birth) bodies, and the subsequent long-term involuntary persistence in survival mode, triggering a parasitic urge to become an invisible entity. An entity determined to shape its own system, from which it too is able to profit.

No one can see us here

Marie-Anna Šulc
Czech Republic / 2021 / 4 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Observatory.01
The elaborate audiovisual installation is a kind of imaginary "trialogue" between cosmic bodies in our solar system, specifically Mars, Mercury, and Venus. The supreme sound and visual rendering defined by technology contrast with the poetic diction pervading interplanetary communication. The universe may be a desolate place, but it's the proverbial human touch that gives it so much more. „Although I work with video, it’s primarily image, not film. What’s essential is always radiance“

Observatory.01

Pavel Mrkus
Czech Republic / 2021 / 10 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Silent Killer
A pseudo-documentary children’s dystopia and home movie in one. Hansel and Gretel went into the woods with their dad, but he hid from them so he could film them with a hidden camera. In the meantime, the entire adult population in the whole world (including their father) died from an unknown illness. The only thing that remained of him was several reels of exposed film. The children were left alone in the world. With no future, no faith, no hope... A self-therapeutic film from a beautiful era when most people disappeared behind the walls of their homes and were afraid to come out.

Silent Killer

Jan Ježek, Marie Ježková, Martin Ježek
Czech Republic / 2021 / 25 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Svídna
Svídna is a former medieval village located just west of Slaný, Czech Republic and was first discovered in 1966. Periwinkle-covered walls in the middle of a forest and a chapel juxtaposed in a snowy wasteland portray the protagonist of a poetic experiment that delves into the history of a forgotten place in four chapters. The rustling of celluloid strips and the forces of the elements awaken magic rituals dating as far back as the beginning of mankind and leading up to the advent of motion pictures.

Svídna

Martin Klusák
Czech Republic / 2021 / 20 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
European Premiere
Technology of the Self-Touching of the Eye
The film made by the artistic duo of Lucie Rosenfeldová and Matěj Pavlík deals with the phenomenon of phosphene - the phenomenon when variously coloured lights appear in our vision when pressure is applied to our eyes. Based on this remarkable phenomenon, often called inner sight, which has fascinated philosophers, physicians and scientists since antiquity, in their black-and-white imaginative film, the authors reveal how much human perception is influenced by social, cultural and ideological factors. "If we look at our eyes in a mirror - eyes which were showing light flashes behind the closed eyelids just a moment ago - we find out that the theories about an inner sight are false. If we draw the locations of the lights in a protocol, we create laboratory conditions for our own imagination."

Technology of the Self-Touching of the Eye

Lucie Rosenfeldová, Matěj Pavlík
Czech Republic / 2021 / 5 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
Ultramarine
The audio-visual poem tells the story of the Scottish mythological figure - the selkie - driven from the depths of the ocean to land, from which she longs to return and merge once again with the sea. The juxtaposition of simple 2D animation, a digitally generated 3D world, an ambient soundtrack, and a mysterious voice-over creates an oppressive experience with a philosophical overlay dealing with the loss of identity and the impossibility of returning to nature. „The waves here always whisper like they have a story to tell.“

Ultramarine

Marina Hendrychová
Czech Republic / 2021 / 6 min.
section: Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz
World Premiere
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