2020, Thu, Jul 23

Stadt in Flammen | Balikbayan #1 - Memories of Overdevelopment Redux VI

D: Schmelzdahin, 1984, 5 min, OV no dialogue | D: Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines 2015, 160 min, OV with English subtitles

Stadt in Flammen

D: Schmelzdahin, 1984, 5 min, OV no dialogue

The basis of this film by Jochen Müller, Jochen Lempert and Jürgen Reble is found footage from the French-Canadian feature film Ville en flamme. Before the pictures and soundtrack were reworked, the original footage was buried in the garden, deliberately exposed to bacteria and microbes, and copied when the emulsion began to liquefy. The visible decomposition of the layer of film bearing the pictures provides a visual equivalent to the disaster that forms the subject of the original film. The broad outline of the plot is still recognizable – it clearly involves a relationship between a man and a woman, for example – but the action is reduced to fragments of images and patches of colour that blend organically with one another on the course-grained film. (Medienkunstnetz, abridged)

Balikbayan #1 – Memories of Overdevelopment Redux III

D: Kidlat Tahimik, Philippines 2015, 160 min, OV with English subtitles

Enrique is the slave of Ferdinand Magellan, who circumnavigated the globe. Shot in 1980 and now showing their age, the images tell the story of the circumnavigation. Magellan died shortly before the journey was completed, but had authorized that Enrique, now by default the first true circumnavigator, was to become a free man. Balikbayan #1 weaves together the official story with that of Enrique, as well as with the director’s cut of what Tahimik started filming 35 years ago in order to find out the truth and continued in a village in the province of Ifugao in 2013. The actors are no longer the same, and Tahimik, who himself played Enrique in 1980, has grown older, just as children have been born. A home movie, a flamboyant epic, a study of colonialism, a historical corrective and an homage to what Tahimik calls ‘Indio Genius’. (Stefanie Schulte Strathaus, abridged)