10th SEASON — Show 2 — To BREATHE DIVINE
curated by Lili White
TRT: 49.15 minutes
RESPIRATION; Sasha Waters Freyer; USA; 16MM to digi; 4:30
An experimental, feminist collage of river naiads and backyard deities; nothing noticed is lonely. From inspiration to expiration, breathing is the only work to be enacted now.
CONQUERING PLACE; Kimberly Collmer; Sound: Jeff McGrory; GERMANY; 5:50
Between 1950–2000 West Germany hosted over 10,000,000 US military personnel and their family members. Conquering Place serves as a dream capsule marking the end of this era. Metaphors such as music, square dancing, and architecture suggest ambiguous structures and their impact on interpersonal and physical relationships. An intimate viewpoint is presented in contrast to the male-dominated world of the military by the artist, herself a female family member stationed in Germany in the 80s.
SO MANY VOICES IN SILENCE NOW; Christiana Miranda; BRAZIL; 11.50
Two texts set up this film: A letter from a slave, and a quote taken from the diary of a resident from Brazil’s slums:
Letter from September 6, 1770:
I am a slaved of V.S. of the administration of the Cap. M. Ant. Vieira de Couto, hunted. Since Cap. took me out of the cotton farm, where I was with my husband,
to cook their game, where
I feel miserable.
The first there are thumps of blows
on my Son, a small baby
coming blood through his mouth, on me I cannot explain
I am a shock mattress, falling once from the Sobrado
for God compassion I escaped.
The second I am myself and my partners
waiting three years to confess
and my child to baptize.
For what I beg You and Your Valim
to put your eyes on me buy saying to Procurador
to send me back to the Fram from where He took me away
and where I can live with my husband and baptize
From your slave,
I have been reviewing the annoyances I have had these days…
I endure the contingencies of resolute life. I could not store to live. I decided to store patience.
I never hurt anyone. I have a lot of sense! I do not want to have lawsuits.
My general registration is: 8459: Carolina Maria de Jesus, from her diary, The Dumping Room (published in English as Child of the Dark), 1960
A chorus of feminine voices, a deep murmur of subterranean waters, written and dreamed words, laughter, the ecstasy of rediscovered memory, enlightenment.
# 7 COLLECTIVE FORCE – ARMY; Lili White; USA; 9.55
#7 is a hexagram from the ancient oracle, the I CHING or Chinese book of Changes. The I CHING sets humans between the earth and sky — all are interlocked together, influencing each other. It depicts #7 as two forces: earth on top of water; with water represents emotion, given the name “abysmal”, whose character is dangerous. #7 presents a situation where the “emotion” of water is grounded and stored beneath the earth’s field; containing it to be used productively; just as soil stores water to sustain plant growth in the material world. #7 advises to use a discipline and strategy like that of a soldier, to corral deep feeling or beliefs, to then use that energy for productive change.
WABI SABI; Shan Xu; USA; 2.50
The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete.” I tried to draw and recombine some views that I shot during the Japanese trip. It is the conversion and connection between the future and the past. The different forms and shapes constructing this motion, which roles in the scene, are imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete. This motion is my further understanding of Wabi-Sabi.
THE DIVINE WAY; Ilaria Di Carlo; music: Demetrio Castellucci; director of photography: Jan Klein; film editor: Sofia Angelina Machado; director assistant: Melina Pafundi; location manager: Rosa Grunicke; costume designer: Gesine Kaufmann; sound designer: Demetrio Castellucci; foley artist & re-recording mixer: Ricardo Murga; GERMANY; 15.00
Loosely based on Dante’s Divine Comedy, The Divine Way takes us along on the protagonist’s epic descent through an endless labyrinth of staircases. As the woman journeys deeper, the staircases mutate and she is trapped and pulled into their dangerous landscape, conducting us through more than fifty magnificent locations.
Lili White’s comments for the live streaming show.
Our live screenings, are usually shown at ANTHOLOGY Film ARCHIVES. But, thanks to our sponsor, NEW FILMMAKERS NY, AXW’s show, will go live stream on FB here:
The experimental films from AXW, are like poems, except that, they’re not based in words. Their auto-visuals, convey ideas and feelings, while, simultaneously, leaving a space for your own thoughts to enter.
Today’s show, TO BREATHE DIVINE, is structured around the concept of “family.” It starts with personal images, and then expands to include the individual and their relationship in the “collective family”
The first film, RESPIRATION, by Sasha Waters Freyer, shows her own family. It was originally shot on 16MM film, so it has that beautiful quality, that only B & W film stock holds.
This is followed by CONQUERING PLACE, made by Kimberly Collmer.
Her footage was shot between 1950 to the year 2000, when 10 million US service members & their families, were stationed in West Germany. Kim was a member of one of these families, and so, this is her dream capsule, marking the end of that era, when America occupied Germany.
The next film, SO MANY VOICES IN SILENCE NOW, made by Cristiana Miranda. begins with 2 excerpts, taken from letters written in BRAZIL, and follows these texts, with dreamy imagery of women. The first letter, from 1770, is from a slave, Esperança Garcia, who wrote to the local authorities, complaining about how her slave owner abused her. The second text, is from a diary of a black woman, Carolina Maria de Jesus. She lived in the first slums of Brazil, and wrote about the daily life of her community in 20 old notebooks, that she found in the trash. These journals were published, becoming a best seller in Brazil.
I made the next film, #7 COLLECTIVE FORCE, based on a hexagram from THE I CHING, an ancient oracle, that describes 64 different, yet typical situations, found in life. #7 COLLECTIVE FORCE, uses a metaphor of earth over of water, which means to “ground your emotions”. This will promote the sort of discipline a soldier has, which will lead you to achieve a productive result.
The 2 films that follow, show the individual, placed inside larger frames of the collective.
Shan Xu’s film, WABI- SABI, was inspired by ASIAN philosophy, which states that life is “transitory and fleeting.” It is an animation, using drawings she made, that have a Surreal, graphic, quality. The film’s title, WABI- SABI, is a term from traditional Japanese aesthetics, which describes beauty as “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete”.
The last film, THE DIVINE WAY, by Ilaria di Carlo, has screened in 60 film festivals and won prizes in almost every one…It was inspired, by Dante’s Divine Comedy, a religious allegory, published during the Italian Renaissance. Its protagonist is led to visit hell, purgatory and heaven, to finally arrive, at an understanding of LOVE. In this film, Ilaria’s character descends and rises, through an endless landscape, of 50 staircases, both inside and outdoors in Europe.
THANKS for watching!
check out AXW’s free shows here :
you can see a list of all the shows AXW has done for the past 10 years here:
all the program notes about the films are filed under the year it screened.
And some of these pages have a Q&A with a filmmaker.
FOR EXAMPLE, Su Friedrich is featured here: