Courtisane festival, notes on cinema, 23nd edition, 27 - 31 March 2024
Defying gravity, a game of levitation becomes at once the possibility of magic; or a translation of an irrepressible desire for mastery.
Rainbow Diary, by the autistic artist Ivor Cantrill, is an intricate hand-drawn animation of continually changing patterns of coloured lines and textures. The film is executed on clear 16mm film with fine overhead projection pens, and Melbourne composer Chris Knowles supplies a vibrant electronic music accompaniment. (Scott MacKenzie & Janine Marchessault)
13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
13 Ways of Looking at a Blackbird takes its title from the homonymous poem by Wallace Stevens, which also gives the film its structure. It was developed in collaboration with high school students Vera Amaral and Mário Neto over the course of a year, in the context of a workshop that deconstructed the process of making a film. We hear the students reading and interpreting the text, debating the project with the filmmaker, interrogating what cinema can be. “The film is a song you can see,” they write, opening up a reflection on the gaze; a central concern in the work of Ana Vaz.
Portuguese spoken, English subtitles
O Mundo de Lygia Clark
"O Mundo de Lygia Clark (The World of Lygia Clark) is a documentary about Lygia Clark's ideas, propositions and sensory objects. It mixes testimonies with images of several of her psychophysical experiments."
Pseudosphynx is the scientific name of the fire-caterpillars soon to become butterflies, or as they’re commonly (and auspiciously) called: witches. These butterfly-witches are associated with several myths, one of which narrates that, during the Inquisition in the Middle Ages, it was believed that “witches turned into butterflies, a sort of transformism of living beings — real or imagined”. Pseudosphynx, thus, is at the same time sphinx, meaning inhuman chthonic monstrosity that spells charades; and pseudo, as in artificial, insincere, deceptive, unreal, illusive, mimetic. Pseudosphynx keeps its meaning veiled, like a secret kept by those who save in their retinas the haptic impression of their fight. (Ana Vaz)