La Movida Científica — February 2021 Labocine Issue #55

La Movida was a countercultural movement that took place mainly in Madrid during the Spanish transition after post-Franco’s death in 1975. Here we explore science films that emerged in this period inspired by this the movement that coincided with economic growth and scientific progress. The issue celebrates the emergence of a Spanish-speaking identities and shakes up conventions in scientific cinema and reinvent the art and science en español.

Protoparticles

The experiment has ben a succes: protomatter exists.

Protoparticles

Tramuntana

The film transports us to a Catalonian fishing village (north of Spain) to discuss the wind with its inhabitants and explore the land’s complex geology. The film features a blend of ethereal expositional footage and surrealist imagery, the result of which is part documentary, part surrealist manifest.

Tramuntana

Ciudad Maya

In the city of Merida, Mexico, a group of young urban Maya operate mysterious technological instruments to carry out a kind of archaeological survey of a ruined site. The film prowls the outer limits of science fiction and documentary to deconstruct the imaginary around Mayan culture and identity today.

Ciudad Maya

Einstein-Rosen

Summer of 1982. Teo claims he has found a wormhole. His brother Óscar does not believe him — at least not for now.

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Short Director Olga Osorio

Screenplay Olga Osorio

Producer Juan Galiñanes, Olga Osorio

Produced by: Miss Movies

Music: Sergio Moure de Oteyza

Cinematography: Suso Bello (A.E.C.)

Art Direction: Beatriz Gayoso Prieto

Android’s Dream

In 2052, a man wanders through a semi-constructed high rise in pursuit of hidden targets, in a minimalist rethinking of Blade Runner.

Android’s Dream

Metatrón

Confronted with the evidence that the Earth is not eternal, Ernesto is inspired by the Metatron´s shape to design his own alternative universe. Obsessed by how he and his project will be recorded, he has the certainty that only the ideas and not the creator should transcend.

Metatrón

Santa Ana

This devilish horror art-doc elucidates the mysterious link between evil and the infamous Santa Ana Winds through a collection of visual allegories and testimonials from denizens of the deserts. The “Red Wind” originates inland and blows through the coastal Southern California. Legend has it that these extremely dry down-slope hot airs cause drastic mood swings among Angelenos, sparking tensions and uneasy wrathful human behaviors.

Santa Ana

Altiplano

Filmed in the Andean Mountains in the traditional lands of the Atacameño, Aymara, and Calchaquí-Diaguita in Northern Chile and Northwest Argentina, ALTIPLANO takes place within a geological universe of ancestral salt flats, volcanic deserts, and coloured lakes. Fusing earth with sky, day with night, heartbeat with mountain, and mineral with iridescent cloud, ALTIPLANO reveals a vibrating landscape in which a bright blue sun forever threatens to eclipse a blood-red moon.

Coupled with a soundscape generated from infrasound recordings of volcanoes, geysers, Chilean blue whales, and more, ALTIPLANO makes use of in-camera editing to create evocative visual rhythms through the clash of color and form. Landscapes pulse and stutter, transformed through complex 16mm pixelation and superimposition techniques into spaces that exist in a multitude of times simultaneously. Located at the heart of a natural ecosystem threatened by a century of saltpeter and nitrate mining practices, and recent geothermic exploitation, ALTIPLANO reveals an ancient land standing witness to all that is, was, and will be.

Altiplano

El Proyecto (The Project)

We are roaming around a futuristic, geometric construction whose structure emerges in a milky white. But a matter eroded by time is what now appears, lit up by torchlight, like the remains of a lost civilisation that these men dressed in yellow suits are collecting, beneath the gaze of a child concealed behind the vegetation. It is down to the “citrus tristeza virus” — a disease leading to the decline of trees — which struck the families living in this region of Cuba, who survive, now, in the virtual ruins of a former agronomy school inhabited by “New Men” familiar with the latest orange-growing techniques.

A filmmaker is banned from filming at an old school turned into dwellings. Over the years, he decides to remake The Project. Exploring into his memory, he puts together a movie about
denial, the image impossibility and the breakup of a social, artistic and personal project.

El Proyecto (The Project)

Homo botanicus

Botanist Julio Betancur and his disciple, young Cristian Castro, return to Colombia’s tropical forests to explore once again their passion for nature. Through the lens of Director Guillermo Quintero, former student of Julio, we will travel in the middle of a delirious expedition that will lead us to understand the strength of their friendship and the importance of their legacy. In the diverse and almost infinite world of the tropics we will get lost next to them in the time of the jungle. Homo botanicus, what is the meaning of collecting plants forever?

Homo botanicus

Gravedad (Gravity)

Some days are light and some days are heavy.

Gravedad (Gravity)

Exilio

Exploration between the characters and the filmmaker. A quest into a universal existential problem, how to inhabit the world. Members of a family leave their home and in the middle of the Cuban Sierra Maestra struggle to find a new one. During this process, they inhabit scenes of routine life in the middle of nature, outside of a closed space between four walls, place and concept they long and project. It concludes with the departure of the patriarch and the already palpable absence of a father with a dark gaze who dreams of going far away from his country in the pursuit of something different, becomes a reality. Contemplative meditation of internal torment.

Exilio

Os Olhos na mata e o gosto na água (The Eyes in the Woods and the Taste in the Water)

In Brazil, the inhabitants of Teewald, a German colony founded at the end of the 19th century, are still proud of their Germanic roots. Starting with the text of German-Turkish researcher Ilhami Paker, which uses irony to analyse different migratory movements, the film questions the complex process of constructing a national identity.

Os Olhos na mata e o gosto na água (The Eyes in the Woods and the Taste in the Water)

Out of here (Salir de Aquí)

An old man tries to return to the homeland of his childhood torn by war. A young man tries to reach the moon. Both impossible paths intertwine to remind us that the journey has no end. Where are we when we travel? That time doesn?t exist.

Out of here (Salir de Aquí)

Capsule — Extintor (Fire Extinguisher)

Milagros is obliged to install a fire extinguisher in her chapel. But first she will have to ask someone’s permission…

Capsule — Extintor (Fire Extinguisher)

Sanctuary

SANCTUARY is the story of a scientific, political and media campaign dedicated to preserving the last virgin expanse on the planet. The arrival of the 21st century has brought with it a constant barrage of media. Social networks and the Internet have forever changed the way we communicate.

Greenpeace has always based its campaigning on raising public awareness about the dangers facing the planet, but now, this environmental message must compete to make its voice heard.

This is the story of a campaign to create the world’s largest marine sanctuary in the Antarctic Ocean. It follows the journey of brothers Javier and Carlos Bardem who, as spokespersons for the Antarctic Sanctuary campaign, are using the tools at their disposal to achieve mass awareness and support for this initiative. Gaining every inch of ground in this fight to save the eco-system of the last untouched wilderness on the planet is no easy task. We will accompany our protagonists on their voyage aboard the Arctic Sunrise and see first-hand how science, politics and social media have brought together almost 3 million people in support of this initiative that ultimately rests in the hands of an international governing body.

Sanctuary

Amundsen’s Dogs ( Los perros de Amundsen)

A broken narrative, a cinematic translation from the Acephale Trilogy by José Luis Serrano, where the dogs of the explorer Amundsen, a Cuban poet inspector who investigates industrial accidents and H.P. Lovecraft cross their paths.

Amundsen’s Dogs ( Los perros de Amundsen)

Morfología de un sueño (Morphology of a Dream)

Morphology of a Dream is a visual study of the rhythms of sleep cycles during the phase of rapid eye movement. Filmed in the forest in Colorado, Morphology explores an oneiric world that expresses place and memory in a fleeting succession of colors and sensations hovering between the “real” and abstract worlds.

Morfología de un sueño (Morphology of a Dream)

Gloria Victoria

Recycling elements of surrealism and cubism, this animated short by Theodore Ushev focuses on the relationship between art and war. Propelled by the exalting “invasion” theme from Shostakovich’s Leningrad Symphony (№7), the film presents imagery of combat fronts and massacres, leading us from Dresden to Guernica, from the Spanish Civil War to Star Wars. It is at once a symphony that serves the war machine, that stirs the masses, and art that mourns the dead, voices its outrage and calls for peace.

Gloria Victoria

Murmurations

In winter, starlings join in flocks of thousands of individuals to try to confuse the hawks that attack them, doing a mesmerizing dance.
This film it’s part of the Ornitographies photographic project. This project focuses on birds in order to capture in a single time frame, the shapes that generates when flying, making visible the invisible.

Murmurations

La muerte del maestro

Maestro is dead. Devoted to taking care of the garden, he didn’t feel the earthquake that shook the coasts of the country. Hidden and protected from the outside world by the garden, the forces unleashed arrive like distant echoes. The days of the maestro, ordered until then by the routine of his work, start to unravel in the violence and strangeness of the natural surroundings, a portentous, brutal force that ends up overcoming him.

La muerte del maestro

Madrid 2120

Madrid 2120. Life in the big city has become a class struggle: up or down, that is now the difference. Nitrogreen, a highly unstable liquid capable of generating instant vegetation, is the most valuable contraband merchandise. In a failed distribution of the liquid a taxi driver is involved in the most important decision of his life.

Madrid 2120

Pajeú

Maristela is being tormented by a constant dream: a creature emerging from the waters of Pajeú Creek. The strangeness and insistence of the nightmare start to disturb the sleep and the daily life of Maristela who, looking for a solution to her problem, starts a research about the creek, its history and its disappearance. The nightmares don’t stop. Dream and reality mix. People close to Maristela start to disappear, just as Pajeú disappeared. Her anguish increases along with the fear of vanishing herself.

Pajeú

Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon)

To their faithful inhabitants, Peru’s mountains are a sacred space full of mystery. Nature is the focus, from juicy greenery to shiny mud, from biting winds to silent mist. In their midst, a healer who recommends not letting unimportant, worthless things distract you.

A girl holds a sword in her hands. Attentive to a mystery that attracts her, but that she cannot understand, she contemplates with curious innocence the metallic blade, in which she can see its slightly distorted reflection. Her eyes run through the metal from one side to the other, not looking for explanations, exploring the unknown. The image, which is part of Laguna negra (2020), work of the young Peruvian director Felipe Esparza, condenses the formal and thematic proposal of his short film. His work carefully observes the strength of the landscape that nests in the Andes, enters a sensitive experience where nature is presented as a sacred space that challenges our being and ausculpates the complexity of syncretism where shamans and healers invoke God in the Andean mist. Esparza’s eye is meticulous in presenting the space that the characters inhabit and walk through. His care for the sound of nature and the power of the word complement his respect for this sacred environment, where celebrations and rituals are not something exotic, but extremely close and sensitive.
Review: Juan Pablo Franky

https://vimeo.com/339941338

Laguna Negra (Black Lagoon)

Lursaguak (Lursaguak. Scenes from Life)

As Hélène Cixous said, we live in a time when millions of voles of an unknown species are undermining the conceptual basis of an age-old culture.

Lursaguak (Lursaguak. Scenes from Life)

El ruido solar (Solar Noise)

A collection of stories about people who had a fleeting vision of the future after an inexplicable cosmic event.

El ruido solar (Solar Noise)

Ínsula

A young couple is working on a documentary about the hunter-gatherer lifestyle of a Wichí community in the North of Argentina. She is an anthropology student and her boyfriend studies film. As they edit the footage, troubles arise regarding the conceptual framework and significance of the documentary. How should they portray this community for their urban audience? Should they cut out certain scenes, to satisfy their own aesthetic prejudice and symbolic interpretation of the depicted actions and situations? These issues come to light in a wide range of circumstances, from the most common clichés of intellectual correctness to humorous contradictions sprung from the methods of social analysis and meta-narratives of cinematographic devices. During these quarrels, both sides remain unable to escape their own contradictions, leading to conceptual loops or multiple possible answers. From their encounter with the community emerges a triangulation of universes that is characterized by as much isolation as proximity, representing their desire to understand and identify with the other, while still feeling that deep isolation.

Ínsula

Las facultades (The Faculties)

Students of different careers prepare to take final exams. Botany, anatomy, sociology, medieval philosophy, criminal law, morphology, theoretical physics and piano. Each one uses their own abilities to cope with the situation of oral exposure, the most common evaluative practice in the National Universities of Argentina

Throughout the waiting moments in the halls, between the drama and the absurdity of each exam, the subjects begin to find unexpected relationships.

Las facultades (The Faculties)

La película infinita (The Endless Film)

Based on remains of Argentine films that were never completed, The Endless Film is a parallel history of cinema. A journey in negative throughout creation and loneliness. A history about what was not. A film created on fragments from other films that never existed. As a cinematic Frankenstein, coming back to life in front of our eyes.

La película infinita (The Endless Film)

Verdecruz or the last Lazar houses ( Verdecruz o Los últimos lazaretos)

This is an encounter with resilience: through the use of the verbatim techniques of theater, we created a search expedition through the last relics of a device of social control under which the sick of leprosy saw their freedom and their dignity restricted during almost a hundred years. It is an effort to put together the puzzle of lazar houses, before their ruins are lost under the fog of time and oblivion.

We could follow these traces thanks to the testimonies of some people sick with leprosy who survived the experience, and to the generosity of scholars and researchers of life in these centers of isolation and reclusion — they showed us how, in spite of the adversities, people are capable of building a sense for their lives.

Our expedition has coincided with the overwhelming presence of a pandemic seriously threatening world population to the point of never going back to the lives we once knew.

We the expeditionaries looked into the almost-extinct world of lazar houses, and we have been forced, although for reasons very different from those sick with leprosy, to isolate at home. This unprecedented situation lead us to modify our point of view, to consider and reflect about the dangers involved in isolation policies, discrimination and social control for which these confinement camps were an appalling example.

Verdecruz or the last Lazar houses ( Verdecruz o Los últimos lazaretos)

Roman’s Circuit (Circuito de Roman)

When a prominent researcher in the field of human memory returns home, he stumbles upon the fact that a man’s past, as he remembers and tells it, is often nothing but fiction.

Roman’s Circuit (Circuito de Roman)

Oh mariposa ¿qué sueñas cuando agitas tus alas? (Oh butterfly what do you dream of when you flap your wings?)

Taxonomists have the delightful task of naming and describing all the species of plants and animals discovered on the planet. Through five experimental sequences we will immerse ourselves in the discovery of the flashes of beauty, narratives and sensations hidden in the work of these biologists, experiencing a way of appreciating the world within a way of understanding it.

Oh mariposa ¿qué sueñas cuando agitas tus alas? (Oh butterfly what do you dream of when you flap your wings?)

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