From: Steve Polta (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jan 21 2009 - 14:41:59 PST
Regarding this thread, it just struck me that San Francisco Cinematheque presented a program in June 2007, curated by me, very much on this very theme, which was titled "Films from the End of the World." The "feature" of the program was Sergei Loznitsa's BLOCKADE, which added seemingly-synchronous sound to originally-silent newsreel-type footage of the Seige of Leningrad, to extremely uncanny effect. The rest of the program were short films which suggested, to varying degrees, apocalypse, entropy, and/or an empty world.
My brief program description read as follows:
“Death advances, and life falls away. That happens gradually and unnoticeably for us; we gradually immerse ourselves in the nightmare of a completely absurd existence.” (Sergei Loznitsa). A monumental work of sound design and archival research, Sergei Loznitsa’s BLOCKADE brings the devastation of the 900-day Siege of Leningrad—a WWII battle considered to one of the most lethal in world history, in which nearly one million people died of starvation, disease, and cold—crashing solidly into the present day. Through the addition of seemingly synchronous sound to brutal and beautiful actuality footage held in archive of the St. Petersburg Studio of Documentary Films, the harrowing historical events become uncannily real and alive. Also screening: Brian Frye’s post-apocalypse psycho-melodrama THE ANATOMY OF MELANCHOLY; Stephanie Barber’s lonely late-night laundry-scape TOTAL POWER DEAD DEAD DEAD Vanessa Renwick’s PORTRAIT #2: TROJAN, an
ambivalently beautiful ode to destruction; and Michael Robinson’s End Times elegy, THE GENERAL RETURNS FROM ONE PLACE TO ANOTHER.
The Program Note for the screening, which contains film descriptions and information can be downloaded from:
Speaking of Robinson, his VICTORY OVER THE SUN, which depicts abandoned World's Fair location and suggests a peacefully overgrown, once-great civilization (a la LOGAN'S RUN), would also possibly be worth your consideration.
--- On Tue, 1/20/09, Margaret Jamieson <email suppressed> wrote:
> From: Margaret Jamieson <email suppressed>
> Subject: Apocalypse films
> To: email suppressed
> Date: Tuesday, January 20, 2009, 3:35 AM
> Hi List:
> I'm teaching a class on apocalypse films and would
> welcome any suggestions, especially: shorter films,
> experimental films, non-fiction, international films, and
> other platforms, like games or installations. The premise of
> the course is to follow the anxieties of culture through
> apocalypse films, and the readings go from Boccaccio to
> Wheeler Winston Dixon, and the films from Birth of a Nation
> to Bruce Connor (with, rest assured, lots of aliens in
> between), so I'm very open to ideas.
> Thank you for your generosity, as always--MJ
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
> <email suppressed>.
For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.