SATURDAY 1 MAY
12:30 – 14:00 BST
Five examinations of heritability, bloodlines, intergenerational experience.
Content warning: flashing imagery; discussion of death, terminal illness, queerphobia; depiction of guns, knives, gambling.
by Jonathan Ali
The past is forever present, bloodlines running through us, those from whom we descend at once both near and far away. This programme meditates on family bonds, the love and the trauma situated therein, exposing both the potentials and the limitations of the moving image to capture intergenerational experience in its myriad forms.
In Miglė Križinauskaitė-Bernotienė’s The Bearers of Memories, what the filmmaker remembers of her late grandmother is being slowly eroded by time, the starting point to a contemplative search of rural landscapes, an old photograph, an abandoned dwelling, and the faces of others, all strikingly captured on 16mm and enhanced by an intricate acoustic score.
Similarly, in Just Like the Films, Sara N. Santos seeks to conjure the elusive memory of her deceased grandfather, piecing an intimate detective story out of clips from classic noir films, their sound attentively re-edited, the end result a monochrome act of filial and cinematic devotion.
Personal archive forms the basis of the family dynamic constructed in Hogan Seidel’s emotionally layered The Backside of God, in which chemical abstraction and digital glitch powerfully enact the tensions between the filmmaker’s queerness and that of their late Uncle Doug, an identity the devout Christian pastor rejected and strove to suppress.
Meanwhile, the scratched and faded – and at times almost abstracted – home movies that pass through the projector in Tetsuya Maruyama’s Shashin no Ma simultaneously welcome and resist nostalgia, in what is both a meditation on the physical nature of the analogue film strip and the ghosts that reside within it as well as a poignant tribute by an artist-filmmaker son to his amateur-filmmaker father.
And in My Grandmother Sits in the Garden, Jack Guariento delightfully employs a VHS tape format to mimic the feel of old home movies, in a warm and wise essayistic rumination on the relative nature of time, the cosmic interrelatedness of people, places and things, and the making of pasta sauce.
THE BEARERS OF MEMORIES
Miglė Križinauskaitė-Bernotienė – 13’17 – Lithuania – 2020
JUST LIKE THE FILMS
Sara N. Santos – 10′ – Portugal – 2020
THE BACKSIDE OF GOD
Hogan Seidel – 24’13 – USA – 2020
SHASHIN NO MA
Tetsuya Maruyama – 6’23 – Brazil – 2020
MY GRANDMOTHER SITS IN THE GARDEN
Jack Guariento – 3’26 – Scotland – 2019