Close Up

3 December 2016: Close to Home

Bringing together three early 16mm films by Nina Danino – related to Gibraltar both as a real place, and as an imagined geography and history – this programme moves from the fading, half-formed fragments of personal memory, through the melancholic collective memory of a history some would seek to forget, to culminate an unnervingly authentic approximation of religious and sexual ecstasy.

First Memory

Nina Danino
1981 | 20 min | Colour | 16mm

The interior of a house. Outside, the sun parches the landscape. A woman’s voice tells a story.

"Danino’s soundtracks give prominence to a narrative voice and it is her own voice that she uses, deliberately, measuring each intonation. Her narratives offer up fragments of what is said, but equally important are the pauses and intakes of breath that lie between. They have their visual equivalents in terms of pace, rhythm and pitch. First Memory (1981), originally a two-screen, tape-slide piece, is characterised by its lack of images, its blank spaces. It reveals confined and confining space, glimpses of décor picked out of the darkness as it by torchlight, while at similar intervals, the slightly hesitant narrator releases discrete memories."  – Jo Comino
Close to Home
Nina Danino
1982-85 | 28 min | B/W | 16mm

"In the first part, the camera travels around (West) Berlin like a tourist picking out touristic monuments and describing them in terms of their significance to military history….the commentary charts the bleak history of blockade and the cutting of transport links. The filmmaker reads aloud a letter. She is reading it privately to herself but it is the sound of her reading that makes the connection with the viewer. In the second half (in which the commentary also charts the escalation of land frontier sea and air restrictions), a ferry leaves a quayside and sails into the open Strait, it is an image of freedom but also a melancholy image of parting." – Helen De Witt

"Now I am yours"
Nina Danino
1992 | 32 min | B/W & Colour | 16mm

“With the central image of the statue of St. Teresa in Rome, together with glimpses of colour-saturated flower gardens, the Crucifixion and Baroque plasterwork, we listen to the gulping and frenetically clipped voice of the "saint" pouring out her rapturous lament in “Now I am yours” in which Nina Danino leads us through an unnervingly authentic "extreme state of religious and sexual ecstasy"." – Cordelia Swan