WANDERLUST — May 2021 Labocine Issue #58

‘WANDERLUST’ reflects on travel memories in the first person. The human being is sedentary to survive and nomadic to reinvent itself. Where are we moving to? How do we tell? What do we feel when we look at the unknown? The May issue will connect the desire to know the world with the particular and unique look of the filmmaker.

Wherever You Go, There We Are

In this experimental travelogue, efforts to sound human and look natural instead become artificial. The scenery is provided through photo-chromed vintage postcards, displaying not only scenic North American landscapes but also the rise of infrastructure and industry. Aspiring to look more realistic by adding color to a black and white image, the postcards (already a vulnerable method of correspondence caught between private and public) are instead documents of the fantastic. The road trip is narrated by an automated correspondent (all dialogue is taken from spam emails) who is both seductive and mercurial, his entreaties becoming increasingly foreboding and obtuse, in a relentless effort to capture our attentions.

Wherever You Go, There We Are

Wheel Music

In 2018 in Sendagi, an old town in Tokyo under urban development toward the Olympic Games. The present scenery might soon disappear. I went out by bicycle with my video camera. This is a “life road-movie documentary.”

Wheel Music

I TRAVEL BECAUSE I HAVE TO, I COME BACK BECAUSE I LOVE YOU

José Renato, a 35 year old geologist, is sent on a fieldtrip to the scrublands of the Sertão, a semi-arid isolated region in the Northeast of Brazil. The goal of his survey is to assess possible routes for a water canal from the region’s only voluminous river. As the fieldtrip progresses, we sense that José Renato has something in common with the places he visits: emptiness, a sense of abandonment and isolation. But he presses ahead, continuing the trip in hope that the crossing can somehow transmute his feelings.

I TRAVEL BECAUSE I HAVE TO, I COME BACK BECAUSE I LOVE YOU

No soy valiente (I’m not brave enough)

Cristóbal leaves Costa Rica to Chile in hopes of living a love affair with a girl he met on the internet through his cousin. Obviously this love fails and Cristóbal is faced with the solitude of a town he barely knows. What starts out like a love story gone wrong becomes a search for identity in the midst of travels, other love encounters, and this film.

No soy valiente (I’m not brave enough)

Pulang ke Indonesia (Going Home to Indonesia/ Ir a Casa)

An Indonesian girl who was born in France going back to Indonesia when she is 4 years old. Despite being in a trip to her homeland, Indonesia is a foreign land for the girl as she never been there before. The girl recalled the memory of her fist time living in Indonesia as a bizzare and unforgettable experience.

Pulang ke Indonesia (Going Home to Indonesia/ Ir a Casa)

Finding Farley

In this feature documentary, husband-and-wife team Karsten Heuer and Leanne Allison (), along with their 2-year-old son and dog, retrace the literary footsteps of Canadian writer Farley Mowat. They canoe east from Calgary towards the Prairies (the geography of Farley’s and ) and then traverse the same paths that Mowat took more than 60 years earlier in and . Their epic 5,000 km journey — trekking, sailing, portaging and paddling — ends in the Maritimes, at Mowat’s Nova Scotia summer home.

Finding Farley

Diario ruso (Russian Diary)

The intimate journal of a voyage to Moscow and Saint Petersburg in Russia. An observant eye that reveals Jorge Tur Molto’s talent is overlaid with an account of the filmmaker’s relationship with his girlfriend, which coming to its end. A film that takes up the issue of distance, it is brilliant, full of humour and ends in a deliciously exceptional romantic finale.

(Catalogue of Visions du Réel, Nyon, Switzerland)

A Russian travelogue between Moscow and Saint Petersburg. While the camera takes in the life in the streets of the capital, it also probes into the filmmaker’s dying relationship with his girlfriend, capturing their everyday intimacy. Jorge Tur Moltó goes beyond impressionism, finding images that seem to make the past reappear between the cracks of a seemingly trivial present. A troop of soldiers marching against the background of expensive cars. Lenin and Stalin chatting as they wait for the tourists. In Saint Petersburg, where his partner is no longer with him, the film becomes elegiac. Birds swim, dance on the half frozen river to the sound of the bells from an orthodox church. Without dialogue, rhythmed by a few insert titles, Diario ruso unpretentiously unfolds its somewhat novelistic narrative. Combining both the particular and the universal, Jorge Tur Moltó uses the diary genre to express the power of cinema when it melts the subject into the sorrounding world, when the Self dissolves into the Other.
(Carlo Chatrian)

Diario ruso (Russian Diary)

Nescafé — Dakar

Available online

Nescafé — Dakar

La ciudad de los signos (City of signs)

Synopsis ENG

In March 1980, César Alarcón traveled to Pompeii on an ambitious project: to collect ‘psychophonies’ — electronic voice phenomena — from Vesuvius’s great eruption that destroyed the city. After listening to all of his recordings, he finds that none contain sounds from the year 79 AD. However, one of the tapes caught a much more recent and peculiar bit of conversation that César had heard somewhere before. City of Signs is a journey through the films of Italian director Roberto Rossellini. His movies were a stiletto opening the breach through which all modern film would later pass. The spaces he used as locations in his films still conserve signs from the shooting, signs that form part of an immense city constructed behind both the living and the dead.

Sinopsis ESP

En marzo de 1980, César Alarcón viajó a Pompeya para llevar a cabo un ambicioso proyecto: Recoger psicofonías de la gran erupción del Vesubio que acabó con la ciudad. Tras revisar todas las grabaciones, ninguna de ellas parece contener sonidos procedentes del año 79 d.C. Inesperadamente, en una de las cintas quedó registrada una extraña frase mucho más reciente y que César ya había escuchado en alguna parte.
La ciudad los signos es un viaje a través de la filmografía del cineasta italiano Roberto Rossellini. Su cine fue un estilete que abrió la brecha por la que todo el cine moderno pasaría después. Los espacios que utilizó como localizaciones para sus película aún conservan señales del rodaje. Signos que forman parte de una inmensa ciudad construida a espaldas de los vivos y los muertos.

La ciudad de los signos (City of signs)

The India Trip

This documentary is a portrait of modern-day Pondicherry, an ancient city near the southern tip of India. For several centuries an outpost of France, the city is now home to Auroville, a spiritual community growing on its periphery. There, European and North American devotees of Sri Aurobindo, a Bengali poet and mystic, come to live the contemplative life. Their guru is a 94-year-old woman from France. This mecca of sorts is seen through the eyes of Albert Jordan, a professor from Concordia University, in Montreal, who spent a year there with his family in 1971.

The India Trip

NYC sync

NYC sync is a diary film shot during the summer of 2007 in New York City, with a Super 8 camera. Using the frame by frame technique; the film records a set of paths through the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn, franticallly. These shorts series of accelerated images is accompanied by a falsely synchronized sound that emphasizes the visual impressions in order to prove its construction.

NYC sync

Travel Log

This short, experimental road movie is a study in mystery and atmosphere. Juxtaposing photographs on the screen with a woman’s words, the film tells the story of a couple who drifts apart, of a journey with no return. Introspective and haunting, this mood piece is a travel album about intimacy and dispossession.

Travel Log

Guardiola — Diola

The distance from Casamance, Africa to el Penedés, Catalonia, Europe, is measured by a videocamera. A cut. A change of camera perspective. What is what? Where are we? What ever happened to the songs we used to sing while we worked? Where is the group, the community, the tribe? A film about work and workers, farms and farmhands, animals dead and alive, something dying, something being born. Wild ethnography with a camera that questions us: Is that distance really there? Are we the same? Have we changed so much?

Guardiola — Diola

Amanar Tamasheq

Amanar Tamasheq focuses on the encounter between the filmmaker and the Tuareg rebels. He is asked to record their history, even if he does not understand what he is documenting. Which is a strong statement for the concept of cinema as an art that has an expressive intelligence of its own. Senses of Cinema, Dana Linssen

Amanar Tamasheq

Hitting my Head on the World

I visit several cities and I hit my head on different surfaces. A microphone, which is mounted on my head, records the sound of these head-beats. A camera, located off to the side, records each action. In this way, all is made visible: the action, the sound recording, the surface upon which I hit my head, and the urban ambiance of the location. I make one episode for each city that I visit. The titles consist of the names of the cities and the word “hit”. For example, “Vienna-Hit” or “Berlin Hit”. For each episode a music piece is composed from the head-beats. The music is also used to structure the video editing. Each episode is around 2 minutes long. Hitting one´s head upon a wall is a worldwide known gesture. Desperate people who do not know what to do next might hit their heads against walls. This is not always literal. It is more often a metaphor for not knowing how to get around a strong sense of frustration. But if we observe this movement as an instrument, a hopeless action begins to transform into an absurd repetition. In the compositions, my head is played as instrument in multiple contradictory locations and creates an audiovisual urban “landscape” of the world.

Hitting my Head on the World

Pawel and Wawel

Pawel and Wawel gathers unique images and sounds from a journey through Iceland that position themselves between documentary gesture and performative strategy. The starting point and anchor of this trans-genre diary film, road movie, documentary film project, is the film festival initiated by Krzystof Kaczmarek “What`s the difference between Pawel and Wawel,” which more or less unsuccessfully tours the island with Polish classics.

Clamped together with a sound arrangement of opera songs, heavy metal, singing Carmelite nuns, beat boxers, the howling dog-man duet of the Museum for Bones, Sticks, and Stones, as well as variations of an obscure Synth-leitmotif, Kaczmarek arranges recordings of the impressions that he gathered like a diary. Focus here is on the scurrile and absurd aspects of the encounters, while also thematized are the constructive relations of landscape and identity and the touristic gaze itself. People, cities, and endless car drives through archaic landscapes meet with atmospheric dream sequences. The issue of the conditions and possibilities for a festival are present: film quotes, references, and reenactments of the screened film program laconically refer to the failure of the individual stations of his project. Forming precisely is a self-ironic perspective of the staged scenes in the real. In the collisions of image, sound, text, and artifact, which make the manufacture of meaning uncertain in this in between space, narration and logic topple nearly every scene and thus torpedo the film images’ emotional, poetically romantic dimension. At the same time, nothing seems more obvious in this unruly cinematic language than the sharp perspective on the film image itself.

Pawel and Wawel

Traveller´s Tales

Traveller´’s Tales does not only pursue these movements thematically but demonstrates the transition in the form of complex acts of montage. Traveller´’s Tales weaves a dense discursive net around the connections between images, travel, migration and nomadism starting out from found footage loose ends. The latter consist of a total of one and a half minutes of “waste” from a German-language documentary production probably from around the year 1970 with the working title . From these out-takes, Sharp has extracted individual motifs, mainly static shots of simple events or poses, looped and rearranged them. Just this extraction and re-working alone makes the constructive character of documentary reality visible – for example, when a veiled Tuareg (or the person representing him) repeatedly loads his rifle or when another poses with his weapon endlessly, as if time and the history of moving images had been completely suspended. This vivisection of ethnographic raw material is supplemented by a constructed soundtrack which scatters traces of exotic sound and shreds of music around whilst framing beginning and end with a clock ticking or striking. Finally, over the whole there is a essay-like commentary in the off which is autobiographical and includes especially memories of journeys made by the first person narrator and his father, enriched by short asides on famous travellers in the Orient (Marco Polo, Ibn Battuta) and nomadism. The principle of criss-crossing narratives reveals – and this is something that applies to Traveller’´s Tales as a whole – the complex rasters that are always at work in the representation of foreign, nomadic reality.

Traveller´s Tales

handbikemovie

handbikemovie is an autobiographical visual account of a chapter in my life and in this respect it is the logical sequel of my book of photographs (crash-landings). For five years now have I ridden my handbike every day and in all weathers. So far I have already travelled and experienced 1600 kilometres amongst vehicles whose drivers and passengers remain incognito as they hardly can be made out behind the reflecting windows.
As a traveller who is slower than the rest, especially when the road is rising, but is almost as fast as the cars when it leads downward, I have been experiencing the road with its ups and downs in silence, loneliness, and isolation — but not without amusement. The perspective when riding a
handbike, sitting in the open air, — riders of a convertible do have a similar sensation, without a
need for making a great effort however — is unusual, but as far as I am concerned it´s the ordinary thing.
My slow motion (5–1O km/h) amidst the roaring traffic; the actual danger everyone can see who is passing me by: I myself cannot see it; it is something that happens behind my back. My freedom to ride anywhere I want, in “complete” autonomy and as a matter of course (despite considerable dependence on the ones that surround me, for example only in order to get onto the street in the first place).
Riding through the city on a handbike — what an adventure, not only because of the wheelchair.
Speeding down steep mountain roads: thrilling, and, what a view!
To meet people, dialog
To watch — to be involved

handbikemovie

39/81 Which way to CA?

Which Way to CA? reflects a tourist´s view, which is perhaps the view anyone of European descent have of California, having arrived here only recently (10 minutes, 200 years) from somewhere else. The film begins with freeways and cemeteries under freeways. Someone with a camera in one hand checks his watch — an allusion to Kren´s systemic timing techniques, absent here. Then come generic baby pictures; bouncing baby, baby mugging for the camera, changing after shitting, Santa Claus. Japanese tourists are frozen forever, anonymous and calm under the Golden Gate Bridge, the ultimate Camera Culture. Other unidentified monuments. The film is laced with surrogate self-portraits, involving a ´68 Chevy Bel Air: Chevy with Seagull, Chevy at the Beach, at Valley Ford Market, at Jensen´s Oyster Bar. See the USA in your Chevrolet. There are some places one just can´t get to on public transportation.
These images are combined in ways that cause us to question their value as representation. How is different from or ? Within the reconstituted frame, these subjects are reduced to generalized signs. The process is ironic in that the original intention of these images was to specific events and individuals. Through what processes do they lose their identity? What new significance do they acquire?

Before I go

In bed, looking up at a cracked ceiling. Voices are heard. A few shadowy figures gather, but the wind in the trees outside the window is distracting. This may be the last chance to take a look around. An elegy to textures, memories, details and organic matter from the point of view of a soul on its way out.

Before I go

Transatlantique

Documentary essay, filmed during an Atlantic crossing aboard a cargo ship. A film about immensity and faith, about the uninterrupted movements of the waves and their power. And finally, perhaps most importantly, about the men aboard, witnesses and actors in this life between two shores, isolated in the middle of infinity. Transatlantic tells the story of the journey and daily life aboard and reveals the ship as a microcosm and a metaphor : a human island in the heart of a great elsewhere.

Transatlantique

Retour

This return passing through two continents is a request of time and memory. Train represents the form of photography. Thousands of images create the movement from right to left, which presents the perspective of the painting on Chinese handscroll.

Retour

Free World Pens

Free World Pens is a film about family and solitary confinement. The film takes shape through letters from a man incarcerated in Texas, whose words echo in the mind of his sister as she walks freely through Montreal.

Free World Pens

Last Year When the Train Passed By

“What were you doing while I took this photo when the train passed through your house last year? ”

Last Year When the Train Passed By

ICI, LA-BAS ET LISBOA

An experimental documentary, a visual poem about an encounter with a city that will not be seen but present through its sounds and the thermal prints of one of its inhabitants’ mapped body.

ICI, LA-BAS ET LISBOA

En contrebas

A mysterious journey takes place in the darkness of Paris underground: tunnels, galleries, sewers. Led by a desire for archiving and confronting the depth, a young man equipped with a rope crosses organs, arteries and abandoned limbs of the capital.

En contrebas

Mapa (Map)

A young Spanish director gets fired from his job at a broadcaster. Recovering his dream to make movies he travels to India in “search” of his first feature film, only to discover that his real search isn’t in India but back home: actually, he was escaping… Back in Madrid however things don’t exactly work out as expected…

Mapa (Map)

BEAUTY, COURAGE AND STRENGTH IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK

West Bank, Palestine. Inside the Occupied territories by the Israeli military forces, the Palestinian inhabitants suffer on a daily basis from basic human rights violations. The occupation control the access to their territory, the natural resources and the freedom of movement.

Ahmad Nasser, Samiha Jihad and Hashem Azzeh are examples of courage, beauty and struggle inside an unthinkable reality.

Their stories testify the suffering they have experimented for years and that in many cases have a tragic ending.

In spite of this, these people manage to show an optimistic warm strength and an unbreakable love for their land.

BEAUTY, COURAGE AND STRENGTH IN THE OCCUPIED WEST BANK

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