This transcendental program is a tribute to the fragility and grace of the human condition. Between reality and representation, tragedy of the body and freedom of the spirit, the films address the life-affirming possibilities of communal artistic activity and sensorial encounters, inviting us to participate in a visual record of mourning substantiated in celluloid.
BEFORE WE GO
Directed by Jorge León
(2014, 82 min, digital) In English and French with English subtitles.
A woman and two men share a weighty piece of knowledge: their death is imminent. Before immobility becomes inevitable, they choose to move again, feel again, share again. At La Monnaie opera house in Brussels, backstage or on the sumptuous stage, in a place dedicated to art and to the transcendence of pain, this woman and those men meet musicians, choreographers, dancers, and with them they move, listen, and try to delicately seize the day, however fleeting it might be. It is a dance of death only the other way around: indeed, the still-living, assisted and reinforced by art, earn their dignity by facing not death but the terror it entails. Art and our finiteness have rarely been connected in such a finely observed, modest and moving way. (Jean-Pierre Rehm)
Directed by Eric Stewart
(2014, 8 min, 35mm-to-16mm)
Wake is a dirge in celluloid. It is a celebration of my father’s life, a meditation on his body and a visual record of mourning. When my father died, there was never a chance to see his body after life had left it. This film was made by placing his ashes directly on 35mm film in a dark room and moving the film a frame at a time. What we see in this process of photograming is not the object in the photographic sense, but instead a representation of the space surrounding an object. The photogram is a shadow charting the distance between things.