KNOTTED FIELDS : PART II
With an introduction by Sharna Pax.
8pm 4 August 2016 - FilmStationen, Copenhagen
When behind each shape more than the past lays hidden, when that which lay before us was not the future. - Rainer Maria Rilke
Sharna Pax presents Knotted Fields, a series of film screenings concerned with shifting material and industrial landscapes, and the relationship between land and those passing through it.
Salt for Svanetia
1930 | Soviet Union | 52min | 35mm on video
Salt for Svanetia is an ethnographic treasure that documents the harsh conditions of life in the mountain village of Ushgul. Often compared to Buñuel's Land Without Bread, Salt begins as a starkly rendered homage to the resourcefulness and determination of the Svan. But as the focus shifts to the tribe's barbaric religious customs, Mikhail Kalatozov's film transforms itself into a work of Communist propaganda, holding up these grotesque, near-pagan ceremonies (which many Svanetians later denied the authenticity of) as an example of religion's corruptive influence. The film is ostensibly about man's triumph over nature and the emancipation of a backward corner of the world by the Soviet government. Trapped by glaciers and mountain ranges, Svanetia was an underdeveloped and isolated region that was modernized during Stalin's first Five Year Plan. The film begins diligently enough with Lenin's pronouncement that "the Soviet Union is a country so big and diverse that every kind of social and economic way of life can be found within it." Salt for Svanetia is arguably the most visually liberated film of the silent Soviet era, introducing many of the camera techniques that would win director Mikhail Kalatozov acclaim in his Palme d'Or winner The Cranes are Flying.
Origin of the Species
2008 | UK | 16min | 16mm on video
A film begun as a portrait of S, a 75 year old man living in a remote part of Inverness-shire. S has been obsessed with Darwin's works for much of his life. Since a child he has wondered at life on Earth and, though he never became an academic, found in Darwin many answers to his questions. The film images concentrate on the mysterious geography of his world; his garden - from the microcosmic to the grand; the contraptions and inventions he's made; his isolated patch of land where he has built his house after a life of travelling and working around the world. The soundtrack has S heard discussing his take on life on Earth and humans place upon it. The film attempts to span from the beginnings of the world up to an uncertain future.
This screening has free entry. There will be homemade pizza served during the evening. Please donate to support Sharna Pax and a new screen for FilmStationen.
Kindly supported by Snabslanten.