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Exclusive Look at the New York Film Festival’s Annual Showcase of Innovative Film, Projections

The New York Film Festival’s Projections lineup has been announced and we have the complete list that includes films by Sky Hopinka, Lawrence Abu Hamdan, and others.

<em>The Grand Bizarre</em> (2018), (image credit Jodie Mack)
The Grand Bizarre (2018), (image credit Jodie Mack)

On September 28, the 56th annual New York Film Festival launches. The festival will take place from September 28–October 14, with Projections, the annual showcase of innovative and experimental work taking place form October 4–7.

Hyperallergic has exclusive details on Projections, including the lineup, comprising of 36 short and feature films, with four world premieres, nine North American premieres, and 14 US premieres.

This year, Projections will open with the US premiere of Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino at the Walter Reade Theater (165 West 65th Street), with all other films screening at the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center Amphitheater (144 West 65th Street).

“This year’s Projections lineup brings together established artists, both from the cinema and from the gallery, and emerging talents working in fields that range from narrative fiction to ethnographic documentary,” said Dennis Lim, FSLC Director of Programing and one of the curators of Projections, in an email announcement to Hyperallergic. “Radicalism and innovation come in many guises, and the most vital contemporary artists continue to find a wide array of new possibilities for the moving image.”

Dennis Lim and Aily Nash curated Projections, with Shelby Shaw and Dan Sullivan as program Assistants. Tickets for Projections will be available for purchase here beginning on September 9.

The Projections lineup is below, as announced in an email to Hyperallergic:

Segunda Vez (2018) (image by Dora García)
Segunda Vez (2018) (image by Dora García)

Features

Opening Night

Diamantino (2018) by Daniel Schmidt and Gabriel Abrantes
US Premiere, 9Portugal/France/Brzil, 2 minutes
Fútbol star Diamantino (Carlota Cotta) hides himself from the public eye after he misses a big goal. Soon, he begins a new journey that involves cloning, the CIA, a Syrian refugee, and his twin sisters, as he’s unable to conjure the giant fluffy puppies that brought him to fame.

11×14 (1977) by James Benning (82m)
USA, 35 mm, 82 minutes
James Benning’s first feature-length film includes 65 shots of provincial life and suburban domesticity in the Midwestern United States. This film brought forth “a radical new voice” in American avant-garde cinema. It has been restored by the Austrian Film Museum in collaboration with Arsenal — Institute for Film and Video Art.

Classical Period (2018) by Ted Fendt
North American Premiere, USA, 16 mm, 62 minutes
Frendt’s second feature-film portrays a group of young intellectuals and their academic debates, offering a “treatise on language, literature, and theology.”

The Grand Bizarre (2018) by Jodie Mack
US Premiere, USA, 16 mm, 61 minutes
Jodie Mack’s first feature was filmed over five years in five countries and is a travelogue to find textiles and printed designs in places like Mexico, Morocco, and India. Mack looks at fabric production and consumption to create a “color-coordinated, rhythmically tuned fantasia for the senses.”

Roi Soleil (2018) by Albert Serra
North American Premiere, Spain/Portugal, 62 minutes
Albert Serra takes us on a forensic investigation of Louis XIV’s death, following his first film, The Death of Louis XIV. This time, though, the film stars Lluís Serrat in a filmed performance of a 2017 installation.

Second Time Around / Segunda Vez (2018) by Dora García
North American Premiere, Belgium/Norway, 94 minutes
Spanish contemporary artist Dora García explores the intersection of politics, psychoanalysis, and performance in the 1960s and ’70s through reconstructions of Oscar Masotta’s “happenings,” along with vignettes based on Macedonio Fernández and Julio Cortázar’s writings.

Your Face (2018) by Tsai Ming-liang
North American Premiere, Taiwan, 76 minutes
Featuring portrait shots of mostly anonymous people, this film “deemphasizes language while reducing context to a bare minimum.” We see the imperfections of each face as they speak, stare, and sleep, and “the camera quietly registers the weight of personal history and accumulated experience writ beautifully across every last pore and crevasse.”

Quantification Trilogy, Quickeners (2014) (image courtesy of the artist and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin)
Quantification Trilogy, Quickeners (2014) (image courtesy of the artist and KÖNIG GALERIE, Berlin)

Shorts

Ericka Beckman Program:

Cinderella (1986, USA, 16 mm, 27 minutes)
You the Better (1983, USA, 16 mm, 31 minutes)
Ericka Beckman’s films incorporate theater, dance, and performative fantasy to illustrate the trajectory of Pop Art and American avant-garde. Beckman covers themes of self-image, gender, and female sexuality. The films have been restored by the Academy Film Archive and BB Optics.

Quantification Trilogy by Jeremy Shaw:

US Premiere
Quickeners (2014, Germany, 37 minutes)
Liminals (2017, Germany, 31 minutes)
I Can See Forever (2018, Germany, 43 minutes)
In this dystopian society, marginalized societies fight against extinction. The characters in this story seek out desire and faith, two concepts that no longer exist in their world.

Program 1: Place Revisited

A Return (2018) by James Edmonds
Germany, 16 mm, 6 minutes
Berlin and a village in the South of England are compared through their coasts and landscapes with visual juxtapositions in a 16 mm montage.

Valeria Street (2018) by Janie Geiser
North American Premiere, USA, 11 minutes
This collage film explores the American industrial ecosystem through a personal and political narrative.

Mahogany Too (2018) by Akosua Adoma Owusu
USA/Ghana, 3 minutes
Inspired by the 1975 film Mahogany, Owusu’s film “features actress Esosa E vogueing through the city streets under the sign of Diana Ross’s iconic fashionista Tracy Chambers.”

Between Relating and Use (2018) by Nazli Dinçel
Argentina/USA, 16 mm, 9 minutes
An “ethical examination of ethnographic art,” this film looks at unconscious fantasy and cultural appropriation.

Trees Down Here (2018) by Ben Rivers
US Premiere, UK, 35 mm, 14 minutes
In an architectural study, Ben Rivers examines the buildings and grounds of Cowan’s Court at Churchill College.

Eye of a Needle (2018) by Katherin McInnis
World Premiere, USA, 5 minutes
McInnis offers photographic montage of the Great Depression through a series of archival stills.

Wishing Well (2018) by Sylvia Schedelbauer
Germany, 13 minutes
This film is a “hypnotic trip” that traces a “path across disparate temporalities” in full color and HD imagery.

Program 2: Strategies for Renewal 

Key, washer, coin (2018) by Alan Segal
World Premiere, Argentina, 14 minutes
This film looks at the language of advertisements and the capitalist infrastructure of our economy.

Words, Planets (2018) by Laida Lertxundi
US Premiere, USA/Spain, 10 minutes
In a diary film, Lertxundi showcases scenes from rural towns and “offers a gentle reminder of (mother) Earth’s boundless gifts.”

Life After Love (2018) by Zachary Epcar
North American Premiere, USA, 8 minutes
In this “study of lost love and natural light,” emotional renewal is created through the sanctuary of parked cars in public spaces.

I Hope I’m Loud When I’m Dead (2018)
US Premiere, UK, 20 minutes
Gibson creates a “snapshot of worldwide social calamities” and a “document of practical resistance” in this short film.

The Air of the Earth in Your Lungs (2018) by Ross Meckfessel
US Premiere, USA/Japan, 16 mm, 11 minutes
Space becomes “immaterial” through these “digital-modulated” stream of landscape photography, video game interfaces, and drone-conducted land surveys.

<em>The Labyrinth</em> (2018) © Laura Huertas Millán
The Labyrinth (2018) © Laura Huertas Millán

Program 3: Trips to the Interior

Fainting Spells (2018) by Sky Hopinka
World Premiere, USA, 11 minutes
This film tells the legend of the Xąwįska, or Indian Pipe Plant, a root used by the Ho-Chunk tribe to revive people who have fainted.

Chooka (2018) by Parastoo Anoushahpour, Faraz Anoushahpour, and Ryan Ferko
US Premiere, Iran/Canada, 21 minutes
Chooka looks at Iran’s 1970s industrial expansion through recollections of those who lived through that time.

Ada Kaleh (2018) by Helena Wittman
Through a “warmly rendered feat of formalist filmmaking,” Wittman explores the imagined futures of a group of anonymous young adults.

The Labyrinth / El Laberinto (2018) by Laura Huertas Millán
US Premiere, Colombia/France, 21 minutes
A drug lord and a replica of the villa from 1980s soap opera Dynasty come together to form an ethnographic study of “an uncanny pop-historical divide.”

Program 4: Form and Function

Mixed Signals (2018) by Courtney Stephens
North American Premiere, USA, 16 mm, 8 minutes
A narrator with an undisclosed illness draws parallels between “the darkened hulls of an industrial ocean liner” and a “disorienting mental state.”

Luminous Shadow / Sombra Luminosa (2018) by Mariana Caló and Francisco Queimadela
North American Premiere, Portugal, 22 minutes
This archeological study looks at images of statues, photos, sketches, and news clippings from Portugal’s Jose de Guimarães International Arts Centre.

The Glass Note (2018) by Mary Helena Clark
US Premiere, USA, 9 minutes
In this “audiovisual diary,” we are faced with a series of contradictions that create “a utopian and universal ideal of filmic language.”

Walled, Unwalled (2018) by Lawrence Abu Hamdan
US Premiere, Germany, 21 minutes
Through a series of court cases, a narrator recites witness testimonies while projected text and images are superimposed on screen to illustrate the “abstractions of seeing and listening.”

Program 5: Persistent Analogues

Kodak (2018) by Andrew Norman Wilson
World Premiere, USA, 29 minutes
In a semi-biographical fiction, this film imagines a dialogue between a blind, mentally unstable former film technician and George Eastman, as recordings play over photographs, home videos, vintage Kodak ads, and animations.

What Weakens the Flesh Is the Flesh Itself (2017) by Steve Reinke and James Richards
US Premiere, Wales/Germany/USA/Canada, 40 minutes
This film looks at the autoerotic photography of Albrecht Becker, an artist imprisoned by Nazis for homosexual behavior.

Amphitheater

From Its Mouth Came a River of High-End Residential Appliances (2018) by Jon Wang
US Premiere, USA, 13 minutes
Over three trips, a narrator discusses feng shui architecture, ideological resistance, and queer identity in Hong Kong.

Gropius Memory Palace (2018) by Ben Thorp Brown
North American Premiere, USA, 20 minutes
This film features an observational study of Walter Gropius’s shoe warehouse, The Fagus Factory.

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