A combined programme including recent films by Alexandra Cuesta, Ute Aurand, Maria Anastassiou and Rebecca Jane Arthur.
Notes, Imprints (on Love): Parts I & II
Alexandra Cuesta | 2020 | Ecuador, USA | 25’ | digital
Two opening instalments of a six-part series that meditates on love and the act of making, Notes, Imprints (on Love) is crafted from autobiographical footage shot in Upstate New York, Chile, Japan, Los Angeles, the California Desert, Miami and Mexico City. “I wanted to approach filmmaking as a ritual of the everyday, using 16mm film to record objects, spaces, light; without hierarchy and without thinking of an end product. I had wanted to capture all the things. Everything and nothing at the same time: the sun falling on my kitchen plant, dilapidating factories in this American city, my husband’s back as he sleeps, the snow on the deck. What began as a spontaneous collection of images, in time became a documentation of my private realm, and this practice of daily filming continued for three years (2015-18), in various cities.” (Alexandra Cuesta)
Glimpses from a Visit to Orkney in Summer 1995
Ute Aurand | 2020 | Germany, UK | 4’ | digital
After twenty-five years, Ute Aurand revisits 16mm footage shot whilst visiting the late filmmaker Margaret Tait. Orkney landscapes, roses in a garden, domestic rituals – Aurand’s images sketch out Tait’s filmic vocabulary as the blurriness of time and memory is accentuated by the use of abstract colour images. Commissioned for the “Margaret Tait 100” centenary project.
Maria Anastassiou | 2021 | UK | 8’ | digital
A short portrait of the filmmaker’s mother at home in Nicosia. Now retired, she devotes herself to learning new skills including drawing, playing piano, painting Greek Orthodox icons and taking university classes in history and ancient Greek mythology. Anastassiou’s camera focuses on her mother’s hand gestures as she draws, speaks, plays, and describes various modes of note-taking – and we think of the daughter’s hands holding the Bolex camera.
Liberty: An Ephemeral Statute
Rebecca Jane Arthur | 2020 | Belgium, UK | 37’ | digital
Liberty: an ephemeral statute begins at sea. We soon glimpse the Statue of Liberty, the Manhattan skyline presumed rather than seen through the mist and clouds. Blue sky and blue sea meet, the ghostlike city functions as the horizon line that delineates one blue from the other. Liberty is the retelling of a personal story of migration, that of the filmmaker’s mother, who left behind the certainties (and constraints) of a life that had been written out for her in Scotland in order to embrace the possibilities of an imagined one in America. Though her American Dream had been partly triggered by representations of a “domestic utopia”, this bold move took place in the early 1970s, in the aftermath of the post-1968 women’s liberation movements.
THIS PROGRAMME IS PART OF Open City Documentary Festival 2021.
Followed by a conversation between filmmakers Maria Anastassiou and Rebecca Jane Arthur, moderated by Lucy Reynolds.