Utopian impulses, geological time and remote landscapes run through this programme of short films, each marked by senses of documentary and science fiction. Whether using diegetic or appropriated sounds or voiceovers from the future, these films mobilise sound to construct physical and expressive landscapes.
Laida Lertxundi’s 025 Sunset Red fuses personal memory and immediacy, drawing in mementos from a communist upbringing in the Basque Country and portraits of friends set against the backdrop of rural California’s mountainous landscape. Featuring red-tinged rock formations and menstrual blood paintings, the domestic, corporeal and political merge in a near-psychedelic way.
Shambhavi Kaul’s Night Noon pairs shots of eroding rock formations, windy sand dunes, a shimmering sea shore and a desert night sky with faux natural sounds taken from relaxation CDs. Filmed in Death Valley and the border region between the USA and Mexico, the film depicts surreal landscapes untouched by human activity. Within this vast lifeless landscape two non-human actors, a dog and a parrot, encounter each other’s presence.
Ben Rivers’ Slow Action is a science fiction film combining ethnographic, documentary and fictional elements. Filmed in various volcanic landscapes and islands, the film portrays a post-apocalyptic future where rising sea levels have transformed the planet into a hostile landscape of architectural ruins inhabited by isolated micro-societies. Imitating biological studies of island ecosystems, Slow Action documents the utopian potential of cast-away species and collectives.
Laida Lertxundi, 025 Sunset Red 2016, 16mm, colour, sound, 14 min
Shambhavi Kaul, Night Noon 2014, digital video, colour, sound, 12 min
Ben Rivers, Slow Action 2010, 16mm transferred to digital video, black and white and colour, sound, 40 min
Discussion with Shambhavi Kaul and Ben Rivers, moderated by Andréa Picard, Lead Programmer, TIFF Wavelengths and contributor, Cinema Scope magazine