Phenomena
BLOC PROJECTS, Sheffield
Saturday 15th June 2013

For Sheffield Fringe , Annexinema presented an evening of films offering a broad historical and contemporary perspective on how artists and experimental filmmakers have responded to the documentary form. Amongst the selection can be found deconstructed narratives, fictions presented as documentary, video essays, reworkings of existing or found footage, silent film, text-based works and reconstructions.

See Phenomena at the Sheffield Fringe website for more information.

ADR Alia Pathan UK 2009 2’ DV
In ADR (Automatic Dialogue Replacement) a blind woman sitting in a cinema describes the making of a film. Attention is drawn to the means of producing audio-described films for the partially sighted and ambiguity lingers over the authority of the participants: artist, cast and audio descriptor.

Anthony Katy Woods UK 2011 6’ DV silent
Anthony is part of Woods’ ongoing series of films that focus on young people with a talent or innate natural ability that is recognised and grown into a professional career. The film looks at the experiences of a successful Astrophysicist, a gifted but unusual child who had a difficult adolescence.

The Unfortunates BS Johnson UK 1969 15’ Video
Experimental novelist BS Johnson’s short film about the conception and writing of his loose-leaf novel of the same name. The Unfortunates sees Johnson travelling to a city to report on a football match, only to find his memories are stirred having regularly visited a close friend there who had recently died. Johnson’s favoured actor William Hoyland provides an aggressive reading of extracts from the novel which becomes a furious rant against the cruel randomness of cancer.

Walk (in progress) Emily Wilczek UK 2007 2’ Super-8/DV
The film documents four people on a walk in the French countryside, shot on out-of-date black and white filmstock with the audio captured separately. Control of the camera is shared between the walkers. The sound and image are edited in sync, with periods of black when the camera isn’t running. Depending on the proximity of the camera operator to “the filmmaker” the mechanised whirr of the camera may be audible.

Unsere Afrikareise Peter Kubelka Austria 1966 12’ 16mm
“In 1961 Peter Kubelka was asked to make a documentary about a group of Europeans on an African hunting trip. He accompanied them, recorded many hours of film and sound, and then spent five years editing this material into a most unconventional film. The result, Unsere Afrikareise, is one of the most densely packed 12½ minutes in film history, and makes truly extraordinary use of the creative possibilities of sound. […]
Kubelka's almost musical form establishes a grand relation between virtually every image and sound and every other across the entire film. The resulting multitude of connections is expressive of many, rather than a few, possibilities. The viewer is ultimately led out of time, to contemplate these connections in memory, and to regard the film as if it were a monument erected as a record of civilization, not as a statement on it but as a kind of totem for it.” Fred Camper

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Valtos Or The Veil Patrick Keiller UK 1987 11’ 16mm

Valtos is a story told from thirty years hence, in the last moments of its narrator, who awoke one day in 1987 'with the knowledge that I had been duplicated during the night, and that I was an inferior replica of myself'. There follows a relentless, epic, pursuit of an absconding phantom - his 'original' - which ends in catastrophe at Valtos, a place at once ethereal and terrifying.

Field Trip Ian Nesbitt UK 2010 1’ DV
An afternoon study of a remote meadow in the Highlands. Combining shots from five positions circumnavigating a ruined croft, the film creates a new vantage point between the existing images.

Particulate Matter Yelena Popova UK 2012 8’ HD
Yelena Popova’s video-essays are concerned with creating perceptibility for underlying concepts which govern our understanding of history and influence the way we organize our present society. The video reflects on our industrial past and the uneasy interrelationship between both East and West and Capitalism and Communism in today’s global economy. Past, present and improbable future come together, raising complex moral questions about the lack of independent trade unions in China, the nature of progress and environmental issues linked to climate change and economic expansion.

The New Golden Bridge V (One Way) Huw Andrews UK 2012 6’ HD
Audio track recorded live from a ferry cabin’s radio, a single take concluding with a separate sea recording. Visuals open to green algae in China, continue with a migrant couple’s journey (artist included) and close with woman divers in Korea. Combined with the rumbling ferry and variation of broadcasts, plus a mixture of optimistic and impassive visuals, the video feels like it should build to a point but it simply captures a journey.

I Was Once Involved In A Shit Show George Barber UK 2003 8’ Video

A comic monologue, I Was Once In A Shit Show is a recollection of an imaginary art event that tallies with what most artists experience when they are involved in putting on an unfunded group show.