SESSION 105, ILLEGAL_CINEMA
Screening of 開高健の モンゴル大紀行, proposed by Ander Amuriza, followed by a discussion.
I don’t want to provide a synopsis of the film here, as I want it to be something found, without any instruction manual. My initial reason for screening this film was because when it’s shown, it allows life itself to come in, not a representation of life. Life as what appears, dismantling what is constructed.
When thinking about screening the film, the first problem I came up against was how it would be received, whether people would want to hang in there, because if we take it to be a film, it can be hard to keep paying attention. The solution to this problem is what I find interesting about what this session proposes.
What keeps coming to mind is the simile of fishing as a strategy. Fishing is a way of being with what’s in front of you, the river. I’m proposing this film as an hour and a half of going fishing.
With a conventional film with a storyline that develops… you can’t go fishing, you have to pay all your attention to what’s happening in the film. Normally you enjoy a film when you “immerse” yourself in the plot. You forget that you’re there in front of the screen.
That’s why I’m proposing the opposite. What I’m providing is an opportunity to watch a film by coexisting with it, like the river when we’re fishing, which is there making a noise, but it’s part of the situation and not something to “immerse” oneself in. Accepting that it’s an element that shapes the space, like people or furniture. I’m displaying a river whose only promise is to keep changing. Since the change is steady, it won’t hold our attention all of the time.
The film’s soundtrack is also changeable, but recognizable in its change, like grey noise. The advantage of the language on the soundtrack – Japanese – is that since it has no recognizable meaning for us, it’ll become the noise of our river, like the sound of the wind and the wolves.
If you have never gone fishing, you should know that in order to fish in a river, you don’t need to give it your full attention; it’s enough to keep one eye on the river while relaxing on your seat. Nor is there any promise that a fish will bite. Put briefly, it depends on the fishing rod, the river and luck.
So, good luck then!
Ander Amuriza (Areatza, 1999) is currently directing a cowboy film.