ALTERNATIVE FILM FESTIVAL 2012
15:00 Mala sala / Small Hall
Program: Alternative Narrative (revised)
On the heels of last year’s successful debut, the special non-competition program Alternative Narrative returns in 2012 with another international selection of films and videos that blur the boundary between narrative formats and avant-garde tendencies. The works presented in this sidebar straddle that border in an alternative manner that defies classification, resulting in some very exciting discoveries. Once again, this selection collates a dynamic cross-section of modern works from countries and regions often existing beyond the limits of mainstream festival outposts, such as Malaysia, Georgia, Ukraine, and others.
The program kicks off with Graeme Cole’s entertaining low-fi genre parody A Flea Orchestra in Your Ear, in which an adventuring scientist in search of new technological means of recording and reproducing sounds finds himself in Romania under the spell of a mysterious femme fatale. The genre explorations continue with Sid & Barry by Quek Shio Chuan, in which a young boy travels to a strange expressionist netherworld with the guidance of his uncle. In Handsome Devil by Rubin Stein, we are brought inside the subjective point of view of one of the most notorious villains in human history. This latter work evokes video games and the genre of first-person shooter escapades, which have spawned a new generation of everyday devils (handsome or otherwise) that make no discrimination in their terrorizing of victims. A free-form first-person visual style – though less video game aesthetic and more meditative – is also on display in the film Away by Anna Sarukhanova.
The sexualized female as muse makes an appearance in Found Objects by Dawn Westlake. An alluring woman also resides at the center of Bruno by Álvaro San José. In both of these works women function as something like objets d’art – literally in the first case, metaphorically in the second – and negotiate the terms of the male gaze with dubious consequences. Woman as object of lust, and subject of violent actions, resurfaces in Disarray by Chandradeep Das. The obsessive relationship with a woman transforms into mental breakdown in this video – a precarious state of disarray for the protagonist that is directly evoked in the title of the work.
Many of the films and videos presented in Alternative Narrative take the form of a fever dream. This sort of free association of the mind mirrors the content of the program: semi-rational stories that evade the rules of classical construction while embracing an avant-garde aesthetic. The aforementioned description can serve as our working definition of Alternative Narrative and a guide for traveling through its wondrous paths.
Greg de Cuir, Jr