presentation by: César Ustarroz, editor of Found Footage Magazine
Found Footage Magazine is an independent and printed film journal distributed worldwide. It offers theoretical, analytical and informative content that hinges on the use of archival images in media production practices.
Requiem for Survivors: Restoring Memory Through Found Footage Filmmaking (120 min) short films selection by César Ustarroz
By salvaging archival footage, the films included in this program restore the memories of those who have been forgotten by the “official” historical account and, in some way or another, have been marginalized by the dominant culture. Excluded and denigrated people gain a renewed voice in re-assembled stories of forced displacements, unjust punishments and everlasting segregation. These found footage works offer a sense of restitution.
Within the selection, the following films will be presented:
The Highwater Trilogy (Bill Morrison, 2006) 35mm transferred to HD video | 31min. | B&W | sound
An environmental meditation told in three parts, using distressed archival images from 1920s newsreels, and set to music by David Lang and Michael Gordon. Ancient newsreel footage of storms, floods and icebergs produce a combination of anxiety and awe when viewed in the wake of recent meteorological disasters.
Dark Matter (Karel Doing, 2014) 35mm transferred to HD video | 20min. | color and B&W | sound
A personal archive of family portraits and landscape photographs is used together with material experiments on film emulsion. With the II World War as a backdrop, the film follows the trail of the filmmaker’s father through industrial structures, moody forests, and surreal half desert alongside abstract, highly detailed, and fast moving images. The film material itself tells a compelling story in form, color and rhythm. A variety of chemical, bio-chemical and mechanical techniques were used for the creation of these animated “direct” images.
An Ecstatic Experience (Ja’Tovia Gary, 2015) 16mm transferred to HD video | 6min. | color and B&W | sound
An experimental manipulation of documentary footage illustrating African-American oppression and their resistance. “An Ecstatic Experience” offers a way to investigate and work through the oppression that stereotypical images in the media can cast upon people of color.
Eût-elle été criminelle… (Jean-Gabriel Périot, 2006) 35mm transferred to HD video | 10min. | color and B&W | sound
In a montage of documentary footage, Jean-Gabriel Périot investigates the public punishment and humiliation of French women accused of having relationships with German men during the Second World War. To the alienated melody of the Marseillaise, the film runs through in fast motion the chronology of events from the turn of the last century to the liberation of France in the summer of 1944 and the retreat of the Germans, followed by rejoicing. The joyous spell is abruptly broken by acts of retribution, however, culminating in a public stigmatization of the women that recalls the persecution of people during the Third Reich.
Mass for the Dakota Sioux (Bruce Baillie, 1964) 16mm transferred to SD video | 20min. | color and B&W | sound Courtesy of Canyon Cinema
An experimental film dedicated to the Dakota Sioux, which follows the form of the Christian Mass. “Mass for the Dakota Sioux” introduces a series of images of contemporary America interwoven with the ritual spiriting away of a dead Indian.