New York Film Festival 2018: Home to Experimental Works with Star Performances – 2018纽约电影节:明星表演实验作品之家

The Projections sidebar of the 2018 New York Film Festival – home of a variety of works grouped together under the experimental/avant-garde banner – is perhaps not the first place that one would go in search of star performances in the traditional sense, but then this year’s opening night film, Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt’s Diamantino (2018) is nothing if not an outlier. A populist underground film doing blockbuster scale on a budget, it gives Carloto Cotta, in the title role, as good a comic role as any actor has had this year. He plays a dull-minded, chisel-chested Portuguese footballer with a Cristiano Ronaldo-esque sartorial sensewhose grinning guilelessness makes him an easy manipulated mark for a right-wing junta bent on pulling off a mad science scheme that will lead to the country’s exit from the EU.    


New York Film Festival 2018: Home to Experimental Works with Star Performances - 2018纽约电影节:明星表演实验作品之家

Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, Diamantino, 2018, film still. Courtesy: NYFF

A regular in the films of Miguel Gomes – he played the ardent, dashing young lover with the pencil-thin matinee idol moustache in in Gomes’s Tabu (2012) – Cotta here is the eponymous numbskull, driven into his first ever fit of introspection by a blown World Cup penalty kick and a chance encounter with a raft of refugees, which inspires him to take an orphaned immigrant into his palatial home. But not all is as it seems: The beamish immigrant boy is in fact a female undercover agent (Cleo Tavares), Diamantino’s towering twin sisters are in fact bilking him for all he’s worth, and the clinician he’s visiting is in fact upsetting his hormonal balance while slowly killing him in order to create a Portugal national football team populated by clones. Diamantino alone has no ulterior motive, desiring only to coddle his ever-dandled pet kitten and stuff his young charge with waffles and Bongo Juice. Led by the nose through personal crisis and crypto-racist commercial shoots, he grows in cup size if not in brains, a 21st century Candide whose idiot optimism survives undimmed, still brimming with empty-headed cheer as conveyed without an ounce of malice by Cotta. The tone of affectionate wiseassery that marks the film may be a take-it-or-leave-it proposition, though how any skeptic can hold out past the moment where Diamantino blows a kiss, then proceeds to ‘juggle’ it on his body is quite beyond me. 

Ted Fendt’s short feature Classical Period (2018) might likewise be characterized as a ‘performance-driven’ film, though its performances are of a very different kind. Fendt, a projectionist, writer and translator who edited the Austrian Film Museum’s 2016 volume on Danièle Huillet and Jean-Marie Straub, in the last few years has built a small but utterly idiosyncratic body of film work, with his latest coming on the heels of 2016’s Short StayClassical Period, like its predecessor, runs around an hour, is set in Philadelphia, and shot with minimally treated natural light on 16mm. And here again, Fendt employs nonprofessional actors who are so nondescript as to be remarkable in their unremarkability, seen in largely one-sided conversations in a succession long-take medium shots and the occasional Quattrocento-style profile close-up. 


New York Film Festival 2018: Home to Experimental Works with Star Performances - 2018纽约电影节:明星表演实验作品之家

Dora García, Second Time Around, 2018, film still. Courtesy: NYFF

The reference is not random, as the subjects of the film are a group of amateur Dante scholars who communicate almost entirely through exegesis or meaningful exchanges of cultural capital, with characters taking turns holding court on the architecture of Society Hill’s Georgian Powel House, the 17th century poetry of Philip Massinger, Beethoven’s role as a transitional figure between the Classical and Romantic periods and sundry other such impeccably civilized topics. Overt conflict is at a bare minimum here, though one of the group, played by Evelyn Emile, does refer to an ongoing struggle with insomnia that may indicate deeper troubles – an overall air of mild depression hangs over the film – and at one point she lashes out at the nearest thing the movie has to a central character (Calvin Engime), effectively accusing him of canting through his cantos. (That the two resolutely fail to transition from the Classical to the Romantic in the course of the film is perhaps not irrelevant.) Like Straub and Huillet, Fendt is evidently fascinated by the peculiars of his performers’s oratorial cadence, stumbles and all, and with what we may broadly call ‘cultural heritage’, but he is very far from an imitator transposing their peculiar style into an American vernacular. His films are the work of a genuine original, incredibly self-assured, possessed of an uninflected melancholy and at this early stage practically ready for their own adjective.     

I’d not seen a film carried along so completely by textual analysis as is Classical Period since 2013’s The Joycean Society, a riveting-against-all-odds document detailing the meetings, in a remote Swiss location, of a group involved in an ongoing collective close-read of Finnegan’s Wake. And as it happens, that film’s director, the Belgium-based, Spanish-born multihyphenate artist Dora García, was at Projections with a new feature, Second Time Around (2018), this one again explicitly concerned with interpretive interactivity. Here the texts being put under the microscope, and the individuals discussing them, are a rather more diverse and less specialized bunch. Three performance pieces staged in 1966 and ‘67 by the Argentinian artist and important Lacanian analyst Oscar Masotta are here re-enacted for the camera and an audience, who then talk amongst themselves about what they’ve just seen. Others exchange observations on writings including the eponymous work by Julio Cortázar in the library of the University of Louvain, overseen by silent observers. It’s a rough-edged and rather oblique movie, though once viewed you feel you have absorbed something crucial and almost tactile about the character of Masotta, the artistic and political climate in Argentina in the years before the Dirty War, the occlusion of history through the distance of years and miles and the dreary, quotidian aspects of authoritarian rule, something that couldn’t be conveyed in a whole heap of fact-driven information-dump documentaries. 


New York Film Festival 2018: Home to Experimental Works with Star Performances - 2018纽约电影节:明星表演实验作品之家

Jodie Mack, The Grand Bizzare, 2018, film still. Courtesy: NYFF

Whereas Fendt and García’s films are propelled in no small part by the spoken word, Jodie Mack’s The Grand Bizarre (2018) communicates in a very different language – a scintillating chromatic flurry of discourse, kept up at a glittering, flittering pace for an effervescent hour. Through stop motion photography, Mack presents us with an onrush of patterned fabrics and textiles, tablecloths and tea towels and other scraps, sometimes filling the screen, sometimes capering in patterns that recall Oskar Fishinger’s visual music films, sometimes alternating or appearing to dance on outdoor backdrops both moving and still. Though location changes are not indicated on-screen, Mack’s movie sets a far-reaching itinerary indicated by sailing plane ticket paper airplanes, flashes of maps, and the recurring image of spinning globes, stitching together material shot in Turkey, Mexico, Greece, China, Indonesia and other points far afield, circling the earth like a roving trader with her Bolex in hand.  

The Grand Bizarre has a trilling, thrilling cadence. At times the movie vibrates with a pure elation that’s close to Marnie Stern’s glissando guitar runs, but this is no mere dance of the seven-thousand veils, and Mack’s virtuoso performance combines visual delight with conceptual rigour. In Mack’s previous feature, 2013’s Dusty Stacks of Mom, she created a Busby Berkeley-style revue spectacle with the overstock of her mother’s shuttered Florida-based mail-order poster shop, and similarly The Grand Bizarre, with its images of teeming ports and markets, situates its whirl of colourful wares within the larger international market of commodity exchange and consumer capitalism. The pure pleasure of watching Mack’s movie runs in contrast to the evidently labour-intensive and preparation-heavy aspect of her stop-motion process, sensed if not seen, and likewise the dizzying plenitude that she spreads before us nurtures a subconscious understanding of all that has gone into bringing that plenitude into being. There is, finally, a sense of work behind every cut, as behind every thread. As Diamantino smuggles pungent satire of right-wing nationalism in the form of a blissy, gender-bending, stupid-smart comedy, so Mack’s round-the-world whirl invites a viewer to contemplate the human cost of product and the interrelation of the synthetic and the natural – and should it come as any surprise that two of the most intelligent films in recent memory are also among the most joyous? 

The 56th New York Film Festival, 2018, ran from 28 September to 14 October at The Film Society of Lincoln Center. 

Main image: Gabriel Abrantes and Daniel Schmidt, Diamantino, 2018, film still. Courtesy: NYFF

Nick Pinkerton

Nick Pinkerton lives in New York, USA. His writes regularly for Artforum, Film Comment, Sight & Sound and Little White Lies.

Opinion /

New York Film Festival
Nick Pinkerton
Jodie Mack
Gabriel Abrantes
Miguel Gomes
Dora García

2018年纽约电影节的《放映》侧栏——各种作品汇集在一起,打着实验/前卫的旗号——也许不是人们在传统意义上寻找明星表演的第一站,但是今年的首个夜场却开始了。M,Gabriel Abrantes和Daniel Schmidt的Diamantino Diamantino(2018)不是孤立点。这是一部在预算上制作大片的民粹主义地下电影,它让卡洛托·科塔在片名中扮演了与今年任何演员一样好的喜剧角色。他饰演一位头脑迟钝、胸膛尖刻的葡萄牙足球运动员,有着克里斯蒂亚诺·罗纳尔多式的裁缝感,露齿而笑的朴实无华使他成为右翼军政府容易操纵的标志,而右翼军政府一心想搞出一个疯狂的科学计划,导致葡萄牙退出欧盟。迪亚曼蒂诺,jpg,New York Film Festival 2018: Home to Experimental Works with Star Performances - 2018纽约电影节:明星表演实验作品之家,Gabriel Abrantes和Daniel Schmidt,Diaantino,2018,胶卷。礼貌:米格尔·戈麦斯电影中的常客——他在戈麦斯的《Tabu》(2012)中饰演了热情奔放的年轻情人,戴着铅笔般薄的日场偶像小胡子——科塔就是这个同名的麻木脑袋,被一个被吹得面目全非的Worl驱使他第一次进行自我反省。d杯点球和一次与一群难民相遇的机会,激励他带一个孤儿移民到他的宫殿里。但并非所有的事情都像看起来的那样:这个丑陋的移民男孩实际上是一个女卧底特工(克利奥·塔瓦雷斯),戴安蒂诺高大的双胞胎姐妹们事实上为了他的价值欺骗了他,而他所拜访的临床医生正在扰乱他的荷尔蒙平衡,同时慢慢地杀死了他。创造一个由克隆人组成的葡萄牙国家足球队。只有迪亚曼蒂诺没有别有用心的,他只想宠爱他那只一直摇摆不定的小猫,用华夫饼干和邦果汁喂养他年轻的主管。牵着鼻子走通过个人危机和隐种族主义商业拍摄,他生长在杯子的大小,如果没有大脑,二十一世纪的一个老实人的生存没有白痴的乐观,还是强忍着没头脑的欢呼表达没有恶意一盎司的Cotta。深情的wiseassery色调,标志着电影可能采取它或离开它的命题,尽管怀疑论者可以撑过去,Diamantino打击一个吻的那一刻,然后继续“玩弄”它在他身上我完全不懂。 泰德芬特的短片 古典时期 (2018)同样可以被称为“性能驱动”的电影,虽然它的表演是一个非常不同的类型。芬特,放映员、作家和翻译家,他编辑了奥地利电影博物馆的2016卷在达尼è乐休伊利特和Jean Marie Straub,在过去的几年里已经建立了一个小但完全异质体的电影作品,他最新的基于2016的 短暂停留之后。 经典P像它的前身一样,埃里奥德在费城运行了大约一个小时,在16mm的光线下拍摄自然光线。在这里,芬特采用了非专业演员很不起眼的是他们unremarkability显著,出现在演替中主要是单方面的谈话长采取中景和偶尔的十五风格的形象 second_time_around_image_credi特写。t_dora_garcia_segunda_vez_2018_2.jpg New York Film Festival 2018: Home to Experimental Works with Star Performances - 2018纽约电影节:明星表演实验作品之家多拉加西亚í, 二次左右,2018年,电影仍然。礼貌:nyff参考不是随机的,作为影片的主题是一群业余但丁学者交流几乎完全通过文化资本的注释或有意义的交流,人物轮流拿着法院对社会的结构仿真我的格鲁吉亚鲍威尔故居,17世纪诗歌的Philip Massinger,贝多芬的角色是古典和浪漫主义时期和其他这样的无可挑剔的文明主题之间的过渡人物。公开的冲突在这里最低,虽然群之一,由Evelyn Emile饰演,是指失眠可能表明更深的麻烦–轻度抑郁症的整体气氛笼罩着电影–和她一度抨击最电影h进行斗争至于一个中心人物(Calvin Engime),有效地指责他通过他的漫画。(这两坚决不能在影片中从古典到浪漫的转变也许不是无关紧要的。)像施特劳和Huillet,芬特是他表演的演说的节奏奇特显然着迷,蹒跚着,与我们广泛的电话“文化遗产”,但他远非模仿者把他们独特的风格转变成美国白话。他的电影都是一个真正的原创工作,非常自信,具有不变的忧郁,在这个早期阶段,对自己的形容词几乎准备好了。     我没有看过电影,完全由携带的文本分析是 古典时期 年以来的 T他相关的社会,一个铆排除万难文档详细介绍了会议,在一个偏远的瑞士的位置,一组参与正在进行的集体关闭读 芬尼根醒来。碰巧的是,这部影片的导演,比利时的,西班牙出生的艺术家 加西亚í朵拉”multihyphenate,是在一个新的特征的预测, 二次 (2018),这一次明确关注解释的互动。这里的文本被放在显微镜下,和个人的讨论,是一个更加多样化和不专业的束。三的演出曲目上演在1966和67的阿根廷艺术家和重要的拉康的分析师Oscar Masotta在这里重新制定的摄像机和观众,谁再说说自己关于他们所看到的。别人交流观察作品包括在鲁汶大学图书馆的 胡里奥科特á扎尔同名作品,沉默的观察员监督。这是一个粗糙的边缘,而斜的电影,虽然曾经被你吸收了一些至关重要的东西,关于Masotta的角色几乎触觉,艺术和政治气候的阿根廷在多年的肮脏的战争之前,通过多年的距离历史的闭塞英里和沉闷,独裁统治的日常方面的东西,不能在一大堆事实驱动的信息转储纪录片传达。 the_grand_bizarre_image_credit_jodie_mack_3.jpg New York Film Festival 2018: Home to Experimental Works with Star Performances - 2018纽约电影节:明星表演实验作品之家 Jodie Mack, 大比扎尔,2018岁,电影仍然。礼貌:nyff而芬特和 加西亚í一片都推在不小的一部分,用言语,Jodie Mack的 宏伟奇异的 (2018)将在一个非常不同的语言–闪烁色系列的话语,一直在闪闪发光,闪动的速度为一个泡腾的时刻。通过定格摄影,Mack给我们呈现了图案的织物和纺织品的突进,桌布和毛巾等废料,有时填充屏幕,有时跳跃模式,召回Oskar Fishinger的视觉音乐电影,有时交替或出现丹CE在户外背景下移动和静止。虽然位置变化不显示在屏幕上,Mack的电影设置一个深远的路线航行的飞机票纸飞机表明,闪烁的地图,和经常性的图像旋转的地球仪,在土耳其材料拼接在一起,拍摄墨西哥,希腊,中国,印度尼西亚和其他宝交远,绕地球像一个流动商人与她的宝在手。  宏伟奇异的 有高兴、激动人心的节奏。有时电影震动与纯得意的接近Marnie Stern的滑音吉他跑,但这不仅仅是七千纱舞,和Mack的表演结合概念严谨的视觉快感。在Mack之前,2013年的 Dusty Stacks的妈妈,她创造了一个伯克利式的滑稽场面巴斯比的积压母亲关闭了佛罗里达州的邮购海报店,同样 大离奇,其拥挤的港口和市场形象,将其旋转大宗商品交易所和消费资本主义国际市场中的五彩缤纷商品。看麦克的电影纯粹的乐趣运行对比明显的劳动密集型和准备她停止运动过程重方面,意识到如果没有看到,同样令人眼花缭乱,她充分扩散之前我们培育所有已经进入潜意识的认识带来了这种充实。最后,每个切割背后都有一种工作感,就像每个线程后面一样。作为 迪亚曼蒂努 走私刺鼻的blissy,右翼民族主义的形式讽刺性别弯曲,愚蠢的聪明的喜剧,所以Mack的环球旋风邀请观众思考产品的人力成本和人工与自然的相互关系,它应该是– 让人惊讶的是,最近记忆中最聪明的两部电影也是最快乐的电影之一。 第五十六纽约电影节,从9月28日到10月14日的2018,就在沃尔特·里德剧院。 主要形象:Gabriel Abrantes,Daniel Schmidt,迪亚曼蒂努,2018,电影仍然。礼貌:nyff尼克平克顿尼克平克顿住在纽约,USA. His经常写为Artforum,电影评论,视线&;声和Little White的谎言。看电影的纽约电影节尼克平克顿朱迪加布里埃尔历史米格尔戈麦斯多拉加西亚í意见


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