MFJ 68 Screening • Anthology Film Archives • November 14th 2018

All the works in this program are discussed in the current issue of the Millennium Film Journal.

Running Time approx. 75 min.
The descriptions below are extracts from texts in MFJ 68.


• Ivan Ladislav Galeta PiRâMidas 12.5 1972-84 Croatia
PiRâMidas” depicts an uninterrupted train ride, in which the camera changes its angle by 90º in specific intervals to form a rectangular spiral. Each segment reduces length by one frame (from 120 frames counting down to zero). The turning point, frame no. 7261 is where the system switches direction, running in reverse. This midpoint, the absolute center in time, corresponds to the vanishing point of the train tracks as the absolute center in space.     Caspar Stracke


• Tessa Garland Here East 6′ 2017 UK
A pink sky frames silhouetted figures staring out of a threatening modernist building, while leaves shudder on dark trees. A crime scene? “Here East” is the name of a recent London business development owned and financed by international conglomerates, a glass geometry dedicated to technology startups. Shirts hang in windows like omens as darkness is falling —permanent darkness? Where are we? Why are we here? What has gone wrong?


• Dustin Grella Prayers for Peace 8′ 2009 USA
Grella’s remembers coming upon yellow ribbons hanging from a fence around Marble Collegiate Church)on 5th Ave. Recognizing an alphabetical order, Grella eventually found the name of his brother, Devin Grella, who was killed in Iraq at 21. Hand-drawn animations of a walk in Madison Square Park and images from the war, a thoughtful and personal voiceover and finally, the last recording of his brother’s voice, add up to a story that is hard to tell.         Rachel Stevens


• Julia Kater Pitch Black 4 2016 Brazil
Pitch Black consists of deliberately composed images rhythmically edited, a narrator insisting that it must be done perfectly without revealing what “it” is. The Shadow of Death hangs over the proceedings. A dark film, at its center an undisclosed subject, clearly painfully significant to the filmmaker but not revealed to the viewer.


• Aglaia Konrad Il Cretto 11′ 2018 Belgium
This film is set in the hilly Sicilian landscape near Gibellina, a little town that was completely destroyed by an earthquake in 1968. In the 1980s, Italian artist Alberto Burri poured concrete over the entire site.Known as The Great Cretto (or Cretto di Gibellina), Burri’s site-specific work pays homage to the victims of the disaster in the form of a constellation of white concrete fractures on the ground.     Steven Jacobs


• Vladimir Morozov A Very Long Play Vinyl 10 2015 Russia
The music is vaguely familiar classical Pops, each piece matched by a scene set in pastoral Russia. The subject of this film is neither stereo technology, the musical excerpts, nor the tiny narratives of each segment, but another indescribable, uniquely cinematic expressivity that emerges from the combination.
• Diane Nerwen Sight Unseen 7′ 2016 USA
Clouds of steam billowing from iconic red and white striped chimneys, softened lights of Times Square, shadows of passersby against shop windows, all with gorgeous bokeh, encourage the viewer to project his or her own desires and fantasies onto the screen, drifting into a semi-dream state, no penalty for not paying attention . . . Sight Unseen, appropriately titled, is a liberation from the demands of following a narrative or extracting a meaning.


• Marko Ubovic Valley of the Shadow of Death 7′ 2017 Serbia
Just two shots. One shows a scruffy young man tenderly holding a lamb, a very white lamb, in his arms. An extended low register moan escapes from the creature’s mouth. It is a dreadful sound. [. . ]
At last the boy/lamb image is replaced by a slow zoom into a photograph, once again a long stare at a single image that triggers the viewer’s memory. It is an icon of photographic history, the controversial 1855 photograph taken by Roger Fenton during the Crimean War.
• Maarit Suomi-Väänänen Minispectacles as Nice as Pies 5′ 2017 Finland
Minispectacles . . . documents a program to teach recent African refugees to prepare regional foods, at once welcoming them, passing on a skill appropriate for their new home, and beginning to integrate them into a foreign culture. One has to read the end credits diligently to get what is at stake in this apparently simple, elegant film.