• FRACTAL CINEMAS •
An eye under lens is a mirror to dreams
Bruno Galindo and Érico Oliveira
The act of arranging this section points to two main paths brought by two questions: what and how are (thought, made, received and structured) the so-called "festival films"? This is a question that may propose discussions that are somewhat more public and familiar within a certain community of thought about filmmaking.
The importance of the first question arises, in fact, when asking the second one: how can a festival and a curatorial team spread their ranges of circulation of ideas about filmmaking to the edges of an image-production system that may have surpassed the next cinema in its time?
This is because filmmaking is also a productive form of time and period. The dominant form of filmmaking arises indeed from aesthetic and formal premises, but they become insufficient as analytical thinking when one understands that means of production and modes of production are determining forces in this same creative circuit.
So we see a section that similarly reveals a desire to elevate a previous discussion that circulates our conversations and, at the same time, highlights developments that arose from and through the movies, the contact with the movies, the relationship of the individuals chosen for curatorship, this regime of circumstantial certainties and intuitive strategies, creating a section that does not intend to be a discourse to make a truth about the state of cinema official, but to use the act as a way of extrapolating the understanding of what is happening now, before our eyes, and to build and crumble with the very definitions of these images.
We see a section driven by the double process of positioning of the shots produced in the great era of image, in a century in which the means of image production have been at least distributed in the process of execution, which is greatly influenced by cinema, but may also be exhausted with it and seeking something else. Or also movies that, in the opposite direction, seek shots outside the system of traditional representations to formulate their own understanding about cinema and film shots. It is more than indicating what is cinema and what is not. Perhaps, the provocative act of this section is suggesting the possibility of existence of filmmaking as a fluid form of manipulation, a mirror-crossing logic, taking as possibility of transformation of ideas the fact that filmmaking is necessarily a controlled reduction of a broader (and often more incomplete) relationship with film shots, with shooting and with filmmaking as an aesthetic and productive model that wishes to relate and benefit from the world outside, with the overcoming of the mirroring limits as a way of preparing filming spells that, it is worth emphasizing, are not only understandings of form and aesthetics as self-sufficient traits, since much of what is seen here are films willing to accept the challenge of diving into factual reality, crossing the mirror and coming out the other side carrying something from a fractal filmmaking. Fractual filmmaking, perhaps.
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These movies may make way in cinema for the unpredictable, and this is a force that may deserve our attention – allowed precisely by this more experimental look in the arrangements that we venture. It is as if each act of writing, operated by the short films, is a certain type of improvisation in its own way. When I im-pro-vise, I deny the capacity of pre-dict. Vision is an adventure in which one embarks. Among more controlled short films in their arrangements and others that evidence their drift, some kind of material that was taken thereof as if by smuggling seem to be subjected to improvisation to open the denial of prediction.
By these unique pathways, each short film retraces a kind of eye story, plotted from its epistemic wingspans (There are quite a few issues for the knowing, as each issue is launched by an image – like a new animal that is discovered by an image, such as by a new animal discovered by a shot) to its powerful layers of desire – an eye story is an operation of transgression, as we all know. Between the disembodied eyes of the surveillance images and the eyes that want to touch, Thomas' lesson has already transmuted: if, beyond seeing, he needs to touch, perhaps at this point, we are a few feet ahead – images make us want to lick as well.
Films that improvise turn each unforeseen event on screen into an opportunity for words: here and there, a trace of disjunction; here and there, a downturn that evidences accessories to the crimes; here and there, the same word – letter – that is handled with a seen-unforeseen status. With a variety of resources, we learned a little about the participation of shots in historical, sociotechnical, philosophical, subjective and group plots. Whether in the face of family mourning or when facing the tragedies of a country, the act of scrutinize a shot allows the emergence of necessary links between seeing, reviewing and elaborating. If a drone sets up a game of responsibility between those who operate it and the murders of a war, another bond, of vitality, is also possible by mediating the visual, as if by counterpoint: to go through the mourning processes, to insist in an image that may unveil lacunar comprehensions of the past and promises of the present.
Between distance and proximity, between contact and as far away as possible, the stories of the eyes become the very here and now of the visual's uses and reuses. Machines connected to the war or devices associated to historical reparations and call for reallocations of cities: the multiple visual devices are handlings – with the hands, the eyes vibrate before what has not yet been (re)seen. Each hand that opens the optical device allows the delirium, the improvisation, the imagination of the unforeseen.
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The curatorial discourse established here, thus going through the selection of national and international films as a process of affiliation and rupture between the films, that moves places much more than it creates a convinced horizon, is not only an imposed curatorial narrative, but an experience on their own states and limits, a transfer to the public sphere of the festival, of conversations that arose in the process of building the festival itself.
Above all, the questions have covered the clarifications on what we, as a curatorial body, seemed and still seem to unfold beyond the experience of contact, selection and programming the films, as a way of thinking about the very sense of organization of these relationships that are also revealed as films, as a constant exercise of tensioning the regimes produced by the very eyes chosen to constitute a curatorship, in this infinite insufficiency that does not mean exhaustion, but on the contrary, it ensures a perennial circuit of ideas and visions that essentially call on the public sphere for a selfless share of the authority tactics. This is also because the films that make up this section are invented from their very distrust about a definitive way of making films, proposing the idea that the lens may even be a mirror, but knowing that the lens is a broken mirror and, therefore, it reveals much more versions of the world than an intact and undamaged mirror. Knowing, after all, that the eyes under the lens are mirrors to dreams.