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wave 3

Friday, May 5
@ DCTV Firehouse Cinema


(Takashi Makino, 16 min)

1:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

One of the few artists still earnestly committed to an ideal of grand spectacle, Takashi Makino crafts all-over abstractions that are uniquely overwhelming. Here, color provides the shape, tracing an arc through oscillating fields of mottled not-objective imagery as they modulate steadily from cool blues, purples, and greens into hotter and drier reds, pinks, oranges, and browns, and then back to the initial shades. The score, a deep and unnerving arrangement of processed field recordings by Lasse Marhaug and the great Lawrence English, seems to confirm that the sense of climate catastrophe which emerges isn’t incidental. - Phil Coldiron


Night Walk

(Sogn Koo-yong, 65 min)

1:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

There is an incredible depth to Sohn Koo-young’s images—levels of both contrast and detail that would seem antithetical. They are so close to stills, if it weren’t for the movement. Night Walk’s compositions evoke a point-and-click PC game; the shots are locked off precisely and the details beckon to you. The fragments of text and poetry that provide narration, similarly, feel like an interactive text game—the tender grass aids my (your?) footsteps, the firefly lights my (your?) path. The night is dyed in a shade of indigo that I want to discover for myself, like Rohmer’s Green Ray. A bottling of a simple, yet perhaps impossible, experience.

- Mackenzie Lukenbill

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Speech for a Melting Statue

(Collectif Faire-part, 10 min)

3:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]


In June 2020, thousands of people took to the streets in Brussels to make a fist against police brutality and institutional racism in solidarity with Black Lives Matter. For a moment, it seemed that some demonstrators would take down the statue of colonial king Leopold II in a nearby square. For now the sculpture is still standing, but an optimistic poet already prepares her speech for the day it will be removed. —Collectif Faire-part


Private Footage

(Janaína Nagata, 91 min)

3:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

After purchasing a seemingly innocuous home movie from South Africa online, the filmmaker begins peeling back its layers to uncover a strange and violent history of Apartheid in this riveting desktop thriller. Seeing Nagata’s mind at work as she isolates and expands details frame-by-frame is a masterclass in active viewing. —Inney Prakash

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Lotus-Eyed Girl

(Rajee Samarasinghe, 6 min)

5:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

Loosely based on the erotic poem “Caurapañcasika” by Bilhana, which was written in prison upon discovery of the poet’s clandestine affair with Princess Yaminipurnatilaka. The verses were written while awaiting judgment, not knowing if he was to be executed or exiled—his fate is unknown. “Lotus-Eyed Girl” ruminates on the curious and fractured intersections of death, desire, and class. Fading family photographs (from an uncle’s funeral to my mother on her wedding day), pomegranate arils, pulsating floral mandalas, and horror atmospherics culminate into an ecstatic collision of death and longing—echoing devastations of the past. Through principles of psychogeography, the systems of power that shape identity and desire, in the way that colonialism has altered human perception, are examined in an undulating and capricious form. –Rajee Samarasinghe



(John Gianvito, 15 min)

5:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

A man hikes through late-winter woods. Russia invades Ukraine. It’s difficult to reconcile the scales of action described by those sentences, but this difficulty is what John Gianvito dwells on in his new video. It may simply be that this is a diary, movingly plain and provisional in construction, which recounts what its author did for a few months last year: he watched a war on the internet and went outside. Even if that’s true, such a description makes Gianvito’s images seem less strange than they are. - Phil Coldiron

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(Collectif Faire-part, 14 min)

5:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

Filmmakers Paul Shemisi and Nizar Saleh travel from the Democratic Republic of Congo to Germany for the screening of their new film. During a layover in Angola, they're stopped at the airport because the airline doesn't trust their documents to be real. While Paul and Nizar think they are being led to a hotel, where they would stay until their flight back home , they are actually being taken to an illegal detention center.

—Collectif Faire-part

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A Movement Against the Transparency of the Stars of the Seas

(Esy Casey, 30 min)

5:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

“I split in two,” the narrator of Esy Casey’s two-channel film says, as she crosses the Pacific, “one of flesh, one made of pixels.” The pixels, via texts and video messages, travel back home to the Philippines while the flesh remains confined to a house in California where she works as a cleaner, “erasing traces” of existence rather than being allowed to embody it. Casey frames this portrait of migration with dual histories of imports and exports, the value of silver and a statue of Christ brought by Magellan measured against the present-day lives of women who leave en masse to work as domestic laborers around the globe. Dance, free movement, is put in dialogue with the practiced work happening in the American household’s ascetic interior. - Mackenzie Lukenbill

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Promised Lands

(Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa, 20 min)

5:00pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

*In Memoriam* Emma Wolukau-Wanambwa (1976-2023)

Promised Lands centers a landscape descending into sunset as its main protagonist, accompanied by the often dissenting voices of narrator and subtitles. These voices struggle over possible meanings and derivative stories that stream out like estuaries from the obstinate trees and mountains. Their struggle to 'tell the story' echoes the struggles borne from the ghosts of colonialism, or the project to gain narrative power over a land and its peoples. Amongst swirls of Western art historical references, political polemics, and neo-romanticism, Wolukau-Wanambwa inserts tender moments of resolve that nestle in the sounds of nature, or in a nearly inaudible conversation recorded between Emma and an Elder; what speaks truest is most silent. As Wolukau-Wanambwa suggests towards the end of the film, to be promised is not so much a blessing, but rather the condition of being spoken for. —Andros Zins-Browne

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three sparks

(Naomi Uman, 95 min) Followed by a Q&A

7:15pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

Esteemed avant-garde filmmaker Naomi Uman takes a residency in rural Albania as the starting point for this poignant, profoundly personal first-person feminist documentary on village life, gender roles, solidarity and creativity. Split into three parts, the film begins by establishing the filmmaker’s place in the community and builds to a collaborative video project that playfully unpacks the acts of seeing and being seen, bridging the experiences of Uman and the women and girls of the village. Each image delights in splendid detail; the whole is a stirring symphony of perception. —Inney Prakash


Life on the CAPS

(Meriem Bennani, 75 min) Followed by a Q&A

9:30pm @ DCTV Firehouse [tickets]

Welcome to the CAPS, a fictional island in the mid-Atlantic created as a result of teleportation gone awry. Our guide to this low-fi, sci-fi world built on Moroccan YouTube and amateur hip hop is a neon green CG crocodile with an implacable accent (she is voiced by Crotchet Fiona, a Spanish rapper originally from Equatorial Guinea) who cheerfully assures us that “CAPS” stands for “capsule,” not “capital.” The latter, however, undoubtedly applies. The CAPS series was shot in Morocco, and it makes no attempt to conceal this setting beyond digital effects that depict teleportation-related side effects like “mega ear” and “plastic face syndrome.” The colonial presence, meanwhile, is everywhere: in ads for a used car company called Atlantic Cars and the mostly offscreen menace of American troopers. Some CAPS residents collaborate with these occupiers, while others plot insurrection with tactics like cutting the fiber optic cables laid deep in the ocean. At one point it’s suggested that this gives rise to CAPS literature — hacked lines of code. The result is a delirious, frayed, and endlessly energetic scramble of digital signals. - Genevieve Yue

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