RHYTHMS OF THE VISUAL
Melody, sound, and silence. When humans and visuals sometimes fail to communicate, rhythm and silence lead our expression. This programme celebrates films that achieve more than usual visual storytelling. Where the sound magicians behind a film surpass cinema traditions and create works less about what is seen and more about what is heard.
This exciting night is specially catered to cinema for the ears, where the visuals compliment the sonic vibrations in these films rather than vice-versa. And no, these are not music videos… but rather music visuals underscoring the symphonic marriage between film and sound. The program is curated by Aileen Ye.
Allegreto — Oskar Fischinger
1936-43, US, 2’30 min., no dialogue
“Allegretto is considered Fischinger’s greatest achievement in musical visualisation, in the sense of the total transcription of symphonic textures into a visual mode. Here, for the first time, he uses the transparent cells of traditional animation. These cells allowed him to make four or five layers of action for each image. — William Moritz (Film Historian)
Lucumi el Rumbero de Cuba — Tony Gatlif
1995, Cuba, 26 min., English/Spanish with English subtitles
A beautiful film by Tony Gatlif with Cuban legends Tata Guines and Pancho Quinto, with young Michael Herrera Duarte (Lucumi) as the centerpiece of the story.
Lucumi is 10 and lives in Havana’s black district. Brought up to the beat of drums, he dreams of becoming a great rumbero. With other kids on his block, he improvises rumbas on old cans and pots and pans. On one special day, he joins up with the great rumberos to tell his story as they rumba to honour the memory of Chano Pozo, known as "the drum of Cuba". (Terranoa)
Four Women — Julie Dash
1975, US, 7’, no dialogue
Set to Nina Simone’s stunning ballad of the same name, this imaginatively choreographed dance interpretation explores four common stereotypes of Black women. (Black Film Archives)
Filmmaker Julie Dash, notably known for ‘Daughters of the Dust’ and setting inspiration for many iconic modern music videos including Beyonce’s visual album Lemonade, was one of the graduates and filmmakers known as the LA Rebellion. The LA Rebellion refers to the first African and African-American students who studied film at UCLA.
Green Vinyl — Kleber Mendonça Filho
2004, Brazil, 16’, Brazilian Portuguese with English subtitles
Part horror, part comedy, this film is set in the apartment of a middle-class family in Recife (Brazil). A mother gives her daughter a box of old records with children’s music. She can listen to anything apart from the green record. If she does, it will have tragic consequences…
Green Vinyl is an adaptation of a Russian folk story and is told using an original montage of photographic stills and voice-over. (IFFR)
[sounds of subtitles] — Seo Hye Lee
2021, UK, 2’, no dialogue, English subtitles
[sound of subtitles] is a silent moving image piece by multidisciplinary artist Seo Hye Lee. The film explores the unique connection between language and sound. Using archival footage depicting the forming and shaping of clay, the film seeks to use this visual representation to demonstrate the subtle nuances found within the movement, gesture, and feeling of communication.
Seo Hye Lee is a UK-based South Korean artist utilising a multidisciplinary approach to creating new forms of narrative. Drawing on her experience of hearing loss and of being a cochlear implant user, Seo Hye explores the world both with and without hearing through the mediums of drawing, moving image and installation.
Hidden — Jafar Panahi
2020, Iran, 18’, Farsi with Eng subtitles
Jafar Panahi’s short follows him, his daughter and her theater-producer friend to a remote Kurdish village to visit a woman, a preternaturally gifted singer, whose traditional family refuses to allow her to perform publicly. What they find is a secret to be kept hidden but yearning to break free. (MUBI)
Panahi, known as a being part of the Iranian New Wave film movement and a contemporary to Abbas Kiarostami, has been imprisoned and banned from filmmaking numerous times by Iranian authorities yet continues to create ground-breaking critical work despite these circumstances. As of February 2023, he was finally released again from prison after going on hunger strike.
Aileen Ye is an award-winning Irish-Chinese filmmaker, visual artist, and programmer from Dublin. Currently, she is based between the Netherlands and UK. Her works reveal entangled narratives and the complex social structures within Asian diasporas, memories, and heritage. Ye graduated with an MSc in Sociology from Erasmus University Rotterdam, with a focus on decolonising visual aesthetics and autoethnographic filmmaking.