Breath of Life — September 2019 Labocine Issue

35 films from the Science New Wave

Breathing: an act that is for most of us perpetual, essential, and completely thoughtless. Our constant exchange of interior and exterior, oxygen for carbon dioxide (or, if we happen to be plants, the opposite) goes largely unnoticed, even if the average adult human lungs hold six liters and are emptied and filled twelve to twenty times every minute. We notice respiration most when things go wrong — when airways are blocked, when maintaining breath requires medical intervention, or when the atmosphere becomes toxic following disaster or slow degradation of air quality in some murky but worrisomely plausible future. Or we may choose to notice, focusing on our breathing in meditation and psychological exercise. Meanwhile there are those who, instead, deny breath, pushing their physiological limits. And all around us, gas exchange occurs on larger scales: nitrogen into the soil, carbon into the ocean, the entire planet taking its own essential breaths.

Coronation Park

Coronation Park is constructed from shots of bare maple and oak trees in winter. The images are paired with the single word breathe. Inspired by the many languages spoken in the city of Toronto where the film was shot, the words rhythmically appear then disappear, each time in a different language. This pairing of text and image suggests a plea for the trees to “breathe”, to come back to life, to transform themselves from bare branches to the green leaves of spring. The winter leafless trees also resemble human body parts, limbs and veins, thus this plea is also for the humans — the living city. Occasionally automobiles blur and stutter past the trees both revealing the location of Coronation Park as a busy urban island and presenting an urban paradox: the traffic produces copious amounts of carbon dioxide, while the trees absorb it, releasing oxygen back into the air — ultimately, trees “breathe” for our city.

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Coronation Park

Deforest

Deforest is an art/science project that combines environmental critique with material enquiry. In this project, sulphuric acid — a highly corrosive acid that burns to the touch — is used to dissolve photographs of old growth rainforest from subtropical Queensland.

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Deforest

Resuscitation

Help them live more!

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Resuscitation

Sniff

How do we breathe? How do we smell? Using supercomputer simulations, scientists can recreate a rapid and short inhalation, a ‘sniff’. Using pure data visualizations, this short documentary allows us to see the stunning beauty of this process.

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Sniff

2042

The Mayas predicted the unavoidable-global warming. The future of the world depends on the people returning to the basics and uniting for survival. A divine cycle of death and rebirth.

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2042

The Breath

Deep underground the action force is preparing for the imminent case of emergency. Surveillance cameras are tracking the descent. The head is burning. Constriction puts pressure on the chest. In the vacuum of depth delusion is pulsating.

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The Breath

Our Curse

The film is a personal statement of the director and his wife, who have to deal with a very rare and incurable disease of their newborn child — the Ondine’s Curse (also known as CCHS, congenital central hypoventilation syndrome). People affected with this disease stop breathing during sleep and require lifetime mechanical ventilation on a ventilator. The film shows the first few months of living together after the diagnosis. At the beginning, the child is still in hospital, but soon he comes home, with all his medical equipment. The film shows the process of taming the fear by the parents and gradually adapting to the new situation.

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Our Curse

Process: Breathe

Chemical and cognitive dissonance. A love story between oxygen and nitrogen.

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Process: Breathe

Twenty-One Percent

In this small formation history of atmospheric chemistry, flying and thinking beings emerge as the result of high levels of oxygen in the air which is owed to earth’s forest and plant cover. In the midst of the oxygenic forest, a science-fictional performer manipulates a multitude of ingredients–minerals, forest fruits, liquids and substances–some of which are recognized as potential human foods, others not. Ranging in scale from the cosmos to the kitchen, the video undertakes an empirical inquiry into the capacity of chemical elements.

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Twenty-One Percent

Smog

In the near future,

Factories filled the planet and intoxicated the Air, Humans started living in the deserted waste where Smog covers the skies and hides the Sun.

Lithops, a 12 year old girl, lives an empty dull life in this deserted world with her older sister Miasma. Imprisoned behind her gas mask and thick cloths, Lithops grows the need to break out of this prison to feel the sunlight and breathe clean air.

So we follow her in her quest for freedom, and finding her true human identity in an industrial world deprived from all natural elements.

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Smog

Grassroots

A story about farmers, the soils they work and a piece of powerful knowledge that nearly slipped through their fingers. Grassroots follows Guy Webb and his friends, unlikely heroes on a quest to bring a genuine climate change solution to the world.

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Grassroots

The Act of Breathing

The concept of the film is based on the physical and emotional behaviour of breathing. This vital living function is manifested in an artificial and yet organic material, plastic, as well as in a human body. The film questions physical existence and movements as dance on screen, through the metamorphosis of a body.

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The Act of Breathing

The Air of the Earth in Your Lungs

Drones and GoPros survey the land while users roam digital forests, oceans, and lakes. Those clouds look compressed. That tree looks pixelated. A landscape film for the 21st century.

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The Air of the Earth in Your Lungs

Expire

The Smog blanketed the planet forcing people to live confined. But when you are 15 like Juliette, real life truly begins outside.

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Expire

Breathe

Breath is a film about the poetic journey of air that surrounds us and flows through us continuously. We breathe the ethereal force of life through our bodies. Every creature inspire and transform the air and add some of their own entity in the mixture before it is passed on. We all share each other’s breath.

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Breathe

Bad Boy Breathing

Breath is a film about the poetic journey of air that surrounds us and flows through us continuously. We breathe the ethereal force of life through our bodies. Every creature inspire and transform the air and add some of their own entity in the mixture before it is passed on. We all share each other’s breath. Breath reveals the invisible connection that forms the essence of life and binds everything living into an inseparable network. The breath leads the way through the ever changing journey — invisible but present, moving and reshaping, rhythmic and regular, a part of you but only for a fleeting moment before it enters another human, an animal, a plant or transforms itself into a cloud. Air that has travelled over continents, imbibed birds and animals, rustled in leaves, billowed through pipes and flowed through earth and ocean. Inspiration and spiritual connections are exhaled by the carefully selected voices of philosopher and writer David Abram, physicist and systems thinker Fritjof Capra, physicist and activist Vandana Shiva, biologist and lecturer Stephan Harding and yogi Sudhir Tiwari resonating throughout the film.

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Bad Boy Breathing

I am Breathing

Within one year, Neil Platt becomes paralysed from the neck down. As his body fails,he tries to make sense of his life in order to communicate who he is in a letter to his one year old son.

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I am Breathing

Days of Eva

In this world, air is no longer breathable. Eva survives off of her last oxygen reserves, but her time has run out. She only has a day left, and all hope for a better world has now disappeared.

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Days of Eva

Aire

Life is between the first and last breath. If respiration is a vital condition, Aleix Segura seem to contradict logic. He is world champion of static apnea in 2016 with 9´23´´in a swimming pool.That not breathing is what keeps the beat of his heart beating and his blood pulsating. He is also Guinness World Record with 24 minutes and 3 seconds without taking in air (previous respiration with pure oxygen) . A body lying on the water of a pool, an instant between birth and death. A meditation about the fragility of human existence.

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Aire

Atmospheres

A boy worried about his future faces an important job interview and gets the job. Meanwhile, his fiancée leaves him via videochat, but he is so happy he got the job that he almost does not care about it, until an unexpected and unexplainable environmental catastrophe changes his destiny forever.

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Atmospheres

Fear of Dying in Transit

A hypnotic journey through the landscape at an underground construction site. Shot down the opening of the Gotthard Base Tunnel in Switzerland. Facts dissolve within the realm of phobias and science fiction.

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Fear of Dying in Transit

The Ocean Takes a Deep Breath

The Labrador Sea in the North Atlantic is one of the few places on the planet where water sinks deep into the ocean, carrying gases like oxygen and carbon dioxide to depths where they can be used by critters or sequestered for decades to centuries. Ventilations Interactions and Transports Across the Labrador Sea (VITALS) is a concerted research effort that combines new observations and modelling to determine what controls the exchange of these gases and how they are linked to and interact with the climate system. This short animation shows just how the ocean connects with the atmosphere and the role of this deep breathing in regulating climate, and the innovative tools scientists use to understand this complex physical phenomenon in the Labrador Sea.

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The Ocean Takes a Deep Breath

Breathe

In Breathe, filmmaker Anna Sagatov seeks a solution to her anxiety and lack of focus. A qEEG (quantitative electroencephalogram) brain scan measures what is happening inside her brain based on brain wave activity. Anna examines the science of the qEEG scan and tries a meditation practice to see if it will change how her brain is working.

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Breathe

Grow

In a not-too-distant future the air we breathe is owned and distributed by a mega-corporation. Anyone who poses a threat is hunted down with drones and exterminated. Oxygen dealer Winston Willis faces off with a mysterious buyer who seems to know Winston’s darkest secret.

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Grow

Breaths

In this evocative short documentary, Inuk singer-songwriter and humanitarian Susan Aglukark weaves together stories of artistry, family, and belonging as she explores the complex cultural shifts of the last 50 years of Inuit life. Turning her lens on the turbulence of colonial transition, director Nyla Innuksuk examines the forces that shaped Aglukark’s voice and how that voice is now being translated for a new generation of Inuit artists.

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Breaths

Dortoka Uhartea (Turtle Island)

A creature from outer space comes to earth, landing next to an island that looks something like a petrified tortoise. Her name is Ainhoa, a nine-year-old girl who suffers from chronic asthma and who has taken on the personal challenge of spending a night alone on the island pretending she is an extraterrestrial who has discovered it for the first time.

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Dortoka Uhartea (Turtle Island)

Voice Over

A conflicted narrator leads the viewer through three extreme situations that are actually the same…Will you survive?

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Voice Over

Plastic Child

PLASTIC CHILD is about a journey of a child who lives in a contaminated plastic world. Being the heir of a single living plant gives him the air to breath and eventually delivers hope for human mankind. PLASTIC CHILD is part of the trilogy EMERALD GREEN, which is about a dystopian world, where nature has been rendered extinct, breathable air has gotten scarce and the sun has vanished due to exploitation of natural resources and human error.

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Plastic Child

(OO)

The happenings of someone’s nostrils.

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(OO)

Breathing House

A breathing fantasy inspired by ‘Seiza sha’, a house which really exists in Kyoto.’Seiza’ means the mind and body healing method initiated by Torajiro Okada in 1910.

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Breathing House

Breath Text: Love Poem

Breath Text is a powerfully simple performance in which VALIE EXPORT creates tension by breathing compulsively.

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Breath Text: Love Poem

Notes on Noise 01 Hoffmann’s Hymn

What looks like a beefy sea cucumber sunk in a toaster without casing is actually a computer-controlled organ of speech. From a YouTube clip of the singing latex mouth montaged after and next to itself, Norbert Pfaffenbichler generates an unconventional collage of images.

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Notes on Noise 01 Hoffmann’s Hymn

Water Once Ruled

Collaging appropriated footage with original imagery, Water once ruled collapses the past, present and future into a single repeating loop. Linking the introduction of satellite imagery with the colonization of our own as well as other planets, the video considers water — and the lack there of — as the distressed resource connecting Mars’ history with Earth’s present and future.

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Water Once Ruled

Architecture of the Breath

Entering the magical world of web builders….in which we work and breathe with them as they unreel a complex harmonious world…we follow.

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Architecture of the Breath

Sélection naturelle

In the darkness, a man is suffocating. He must renew his oxygen as soon as possible

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Sélection naturelle

Labocine is an Imagine Science Films initiative to extend our film programming to a broader and more diverse audience. We have over 3,000 film titles from 200 countries for all ages brought to you by artists, scientists, filmmakers and educators.

By experimenting with cinematic form and style, we are committed to provoking scientific intrigue and understanding, always ensuring compelling and well-founded narratives. Periodically, we release Spotlights online. On the first Tuesday of every month, enjoy our issue selections which complement newsworthy science by proposing a surgically curated online festival. From documentary to fiction to lab footage, we hope to always challenge the way you understand, interpret and appreciate scientific ideas and perspectives.

Submissions: If you would like to submit a film or propose a program for Spotlights, write to us at film@labocine.com

Stay tuned and email us for more information at info@labocine.com.

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