A week-long online film program that explores the analogue in contemporary filmmaking, 24–30 August 2020.
Imagine a future marked by emulsion splotches, VHS fizz and the warped hues of old film stock. Analogue media can inspire nostalgia, but can ‘outdated’ technologies also help us look forward? Future analogue interrupts the HD surface of your screen with five works by leading moving image artists. Streaming on Together In Art for one week only, the series presents speculative visions from Kuwait to outback Australia, Brazil to the Azores.
Why are contemporary filmmakers drawn to analogue? For Caroline Monnet (Anishinaabe/France) and Pia Borg (Malta/Australia), it’s because old cinema channels and preserves utopian yearnings and dystopic fears. The future has already been filmed and the archive is available for remix. For Monira Al Qadiri (Kuwait), it’s because imminent realities are never wholly new. Global forces and Gulf culture, the high-tech and the age-old collide in her day-glo VHS camel race. And for Jorge Jácome (Portugal) and Fern Silva (USA/Portugal) it’s because celluloid’s grain and flicker, its soft edges and light flares, can hypnotise and transport us still.
(dir Caroline Monnet, 2015, 16mm, 3 min, Canada)
Mobilize is a whiplash remix of 16mm archival footage propelled by the guttural gasps of Inuit throat singer Tanya Tagaq. From a master paddler in the far north of Canada, to Mohawk ironworkers in the urban south, the film ricochets between scenes of First Nations creativity and innovation. In Monnet’s words: ‘Indigenous people are very well alive, moving forward, anchored in today’s reality, vibrant and contemporary’.
dir. Pia Borg, 2017, 35mm and CGI, 23 min, Australia
A location scout arrives in Coober Pedy searching for sets for an adaptation of The Martian chronicles (1950), Ray Bradbury’s classic fable of humans colonising Mars. Amidst the lunar hillocks of the opal mining fields, she discovers rocket ships and car wrecks from Mad Max. As gorgeous 35mm landscape photography merges with CGI, Silica surveys fake gems and staged futures.
(dir Jorge Jácome, 2017, 16mm, 26 min, Portugal)
The apocalypse is here, and it’s botanical. In Portuguese director Jorge Jácome’s award-winning short, a plague of hydrangeas has invaded the Azores archipelago. Shot on 16mm, Flores unfolds as a romance between two soldiers who patrol the islands, evoking the erotics of Claire Denis’ Beau travail through a lilac lens.
(dir Monira Al Qadiri, 2014, digital, 2 min, Kuwait)
Iridescent camels equipped with robot jockeys and remote-controlled whips gallop toward the finish line as their owners follow in SUVs. In Travel prayer, acclaimed Kuwaiti artist Monira Al Qadiri reworks taped TV footage, adding a fuchsia filter and a prayer dedicated to safe travel. Muybridge meets Gulf futurism.
In the absence of light, darkness prevails
(dir Fern Silva, 2010, 16mm, 13 min, USA/Brazil)
Hatchling turtles crawl to the sea. Revellers surge on the streets of Salvador in celebration of Iemanjá, the Candomblé goddess of the ocean. Hotel California blares from a boombox. Mercury transits. Combining field recordings and sonic samples gathered from across the globe, Silva’s ecstatic film offers a parade of flourishing life.