Close Up

9 September 2022: Configurations

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Configurations
James Edmonds, 2021, 8 min

An abstract diary film, the camera in continuous movement – searching for motifs and patterns in the reflections of the light, the swirling waters, the shadows between the trees, in interior and exterior spaces, amongst humans and animals. “The little personal myths and structures we set up to aid the survival of the psyche in times of low harvest. Finding subtle points of reference in subject and camera movement, in the landscape, its details and the traditions of the season, I attempt to connect the outside with the embodied camera and the inward gesture of the brush.” – James Edmonds

Through a Shimmering Prism, We Made a Way 
Rhea Storr, 2021, 18 min

“Three sisters move through public/political space – a square, bridge, garden and hill – in this exploration of Black diaspora. (The title takes inspiration from Dionne Brand's “A Map to the Door of No Return”). Taking as its starting point empty carnival and parade routes in London, United Kingdom and Nassau, Bahamas, the film reflects on progress, the architectural histories of colonialism, and the female body in public space. Glass, mirror and stone are imaged in Super 8mm film, where texture and surface are used as a strategic way of moving through these four spaces. […] Gathering these disparate sources together is a worlding device which I have used to articulate the privileges as well as the difficulties of living in diaspora.” – Rhea Storr

Baltimore 
Margaret Rorison, 2021, 22 min

This personal observational study of the city of Baltimore allows the filmmaker Margaret Rorison to present an elegy to this post-industrial urban landscape. There is a richness of architectural styles documented here, with Rorison’s 16mm images focusing on specific typologies are set against an experimental score by musician Bonnie Jones. Filmed in the golden light, the cityscape is mainly devoid of people. Instead, the focus is upon the textures of abandoned warehouses – elegant tiling, peeling paint, rich red brick. Wider shots reveal the grandness of Baltimore’s past in this quiet and valuable act of cataloguing the city. Rorison began filming material for the project in 2016, and since then many of the buildings have been dismantled. This film stands to act as both tribute and memory to the city of Baltimore.

The Demands of Ordinary Devotion 
Eva Giolo, 2022, 12 min  

An associative montage, guided by shape, colour and sound, of images that suggest motherhood and making: a breast pump expressing milk, a wicker artisan, a pregnant belly, a young woman winding a Bolex camera. As often in Eva Giolo’s work, the tactility of working with 16mm film is emphasized by recurrent close-up shots of hands and manual labour. Luscious fruit, cooling fountains, and flagrant flowers contribute to construct a sensual universe of touch, taste and feel.  

Come on Pilgrim 
Marcy Saude, 2022, 27 min, 16mm  

English settler genocide and the British colonial project are revealed in this film from American filmmaker Marcy Saude. Part essay film, part experimental landscape film, Saude works with local artists and activists to challenge official histories as presented on the city's monuments and plaques. Saude found herself living in Plymouth in a flat overlooking the Mayflower Steps as preparations commenced for the 400-year commemoration of the founding fathers’ inaugural trip to the Americas, reframed here as the first step in an act of genocide. Plymouth is central to the film, as a key site implicated in the slave trade and other Imperialist projects, and the simmering background of the Brexit campaign allows these latent histories to emerge further. Brexit protestors, wizards, and Anglo-Saxon battle re-enactors present a series of staged interventions to introduce counter narratives and problematise the historical placemaking of Plymouth.

Followed by a Q&A with the filmmakers


Screening as part of the Open City Documentary Film Festival

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Configurations Friday 09.09.22 6:00 pm Book