19 Aug 2018
☼☼☼☼☼☼(☼) out of 10☼
Dreams of idle talk. Dreams of witch stories. Dreams of information overload. Dreams of traditional festivities. Dreams of driving in the rain. Dreams of fooling around with your closest friends. Dreams of a lovely, raven-haired maiden dressed in blue... Dreams of a huge ambition.
In his feature-length debut composed of works made between 2015 and 2018, Mexican-born literary student Sebastián Jiménez Galindo takes an essayistic approach to amalgamate collage and literature-based films with experimental documentaries and impromptu self portraits, trying to dissolve reality without losing touch with it.
There are many moments of sheer poetical beauty sprinkled throughout this 'anthology' whose greatest strength is also, paradoxically, its most glaring weakness. The over-reliance on (spoken) words, especially when they don't seem to carry much meaning, simultaneously serves and cripples the (daring) author in conveying the ideas of 'the impossibility of being invisible, of our intimacy as fiction and the newly-discovered truth that the Earth is flat once again', as the official synopsis notes.
On the other hand, Galindo makes the most of the lo-fi visuals, utilizing color filters, archive footage, glitch effects, dreamy superimpositions, topsy-turvy images, as well as various formats and aspect-ratios to put the viewer in a sort of a trance or rather, disoriented state further enhanced by occasional linguistic barriers (untranslated bits), cultural specificities, and the deliberate incongruity between the wild imagery and oft-deadpan voice-overs.
Intriguingly titled, his film carries some of the DNA of Rouzbeh Rashidi's early shorts, Splendor Solis by Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais, Still the Earth Moves by Pablo Chavarría Gutiérrez, and the Dailies from the Dumpland series by Michael Woods, yet it comes off as less refined in comparison to the said contemporaries. However, one must not dismiss the passion of the young helmer who might surprise us in the years to come.
17 Aug 2018
Recently, I put Mythological Reveries on hold and started working on a series of (equally dada-esque) collages with the two main characters portrayed by the filmmakers Daniel Fawcett and Clara Pais who also provided me with the photographs of themselves. Hereafter, I reveal the synopsis and the cover of a planned 'picture book'.
While searching for the mythical artifact known only as The Grain of Ultimate Silence, a couple of über-celestial entities, C and D, find themselves lost in a labyrinthine realm on the verge of hypnagogic collapse. Their short, transformative adventure plays out as a self-referential, weirdly irrational, slightly tongue-in-cheek phantasy, with each ‘étape’ posing as a poster for a fictive experimental film.
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14 Aug 2018
☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼☼ out of 10☼
A great companion piece to František Vláčil's debut feature Holubice (White Dove, 1960), Paskutinė atostogų diena (lit. Last Day of Summer Vacation) enchants the viewer with its highly poetical simplicity. Set in an unspecified coastal area of the Lithuanian south, this mesmerizingly beautiful (family) drama evokes the sense of a 'paradise' we lose after transitioning to adulthood.
Draped in bittersweet nostalgia, and colored with childlike innocence 'guarded' by a seagull and a dolphin, the film revolves around a young girl, Vika (the endearing first-timer Lina Braknyté), and her short-lived friendship with a new kid in town, Romas (Valerijus Zubarevas), before his betrayal and her departure back home.
She is in perfect tune with nature, whereas he rejects the harmony over a group of local rascals, because, well, boys will be boys. Once they go separate ways, there's no turning back, and Žebriūnas awakens his inner feminist to console the little heroine, without ever resorting to sentimentality. 'Arming' her with a little horn, he turns her into a siren of sorts - a herald of liberty and immaculate dreams. All the while, the sea rustles quietly and the rocks that oft-appear as petrified mystics answer in secret codes, but only to those who know how to catch the echo. The sun-bathed black and white cinematography (many kudos to Jonas Gricius) most lovingly captures both the craggy colossi and the children's playfulness, turning the mundane into a miraculous reverie.
No, they don't make them like this anymore...
10 Aug 2018
In the ninth mythological reverie, spidery characters from the Japanese and West African myths and folktales meet under the drab skies of a disenchanted post-apocalyptic world.
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8 Aug 2018
One collage a day keeps despair at bay. The latest three artworks of mine focus on female figures from Slavic and Japanese myths, in a kind of an 'apples and oranges' situation...
Vila Yearning for a Hero
Morana Invokes Czernobog in an Awkward Moment
During the Summer Solstice
Amaterasu Delights in a Landscape Film
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