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wave 2

Thursday, May 4

Where is this street? or With No Before and After

(João Pedro Rodrigues, João Rui Guerra da Mata, 88 min)

5:00pm @ BAM [tickets]

Departing from Paulo Rocha’s The Green Years, the inaugural moment of the Portuguese Cinema Novo, João Pedro Rodrigues and João Rui Guerra da Mata drift through a locked-down Lisbon in search of subtle signs of life. Along the way, bitterly comic examples of the class character of pandemic responses butt up against strange moments of serenity. Their camera moves with a disoriented attention, equally curious and apprehensive of what it might find in this new world. As in life, history returns in strange and unexpected ways, though here that return occurs in mercifully gentle register. - Phil Coldiron



(Kimi Takesue, 72 min) Followed by a Q&A

7:00pm @ BAM [tickets]

In the introduction to his famous dialogues with Hitchcock, Francois Truffaut attempts to describe the essence of tension in a cinematic scene through an example of a dinner party’s cross-directional dance of gazes— a matter of who’s looking at whom, and with what hidden motivations. Kimi Takesue’s Onlookers then, despite its placid veneer and languid pace amid the sightseeing landmarks of Laos, is loaded with the tension borne of ocular entanglement between subjects in their daily environments, ogling tourists, Takesue’s own camera and subject position as traveler, and our apparently fixed positionality as witnesses to the scenes she captures. The result is as complex and open-ended as the social co-existence it reveals. Through a series of expertly framed static takes (with meticulous sound design), we’re free to let our senses wander between the sometimes humorous, sometimes off-putting, and always porous borders between seen and seer—and might just take pause to consider who could be observing us as we do. - Inney Prakash


Keeping Time

(Darol Olu Kae, 32 min) Followed by a Q&A

9:00pm @ BAM [tickets]

Darol Olu Kae’s homage to the Pan Afrikan Peoples Arkestra (Ark), an LA-based avant-garde jazz ensemble, moves the spotlight from the stage to the labor which makes a gig happen. With polyphonic structure, Keeping Time mirrors the fluid and multigenerational composition of the band, as members leave, pass through or die, and follows new bandleader Mekala Session’s earnest attempts to honor past legacies while forging anew. In a skillful kaleidoscopic assemblage, the film weaves together archival footage and audio with the present, restless energy that seeps from every corner of Session’s house.

- Chrystel Oloukoi

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Sol in the Dark

(Mawena Yehouessi, 51 min)

9:00pm @ BAM [tickets]

Sol sees Afrofuturism as a link between past and present, and as a rebuttal to a world in which “we are all commodities within a same architecture of violence”. Diffracting their observations, dreams, beliefs, and poetry through an ambiguous, collectively imagined figure named “Lascar” — an antiquated term referring to Southeast Asian sailors on European ships, a present pejorative for diasporic, suburban French teens, and any other number of definitions depending— Yehouessi assembles a team of incisive young collaborators whose multiplicitous views yield a fluid and aesthetically bombastic imagining of Blackness along the space-time continuum. These ideas, sounds and images may be individually familiar, but as the film obliquely states, “The difference? Is (precisely) in the plural.” —Inney Prakash 

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