Kosmopolis 23. Oceanic cinema

Xcèntric Archive

On the occasion of the 12th Kosmopolis literature festival (CCCB, 25-29 October 2023) dedicated to oceanic literature, we propose an aquatic journey by means of five films from the Xcèntric Archive. 

Baltazar, Claudio Caldini, Argentina, 1975, 3'.

By manipulating cinematic time, what at first appears to be a home movie, namely a little boy playing on the beach, becomes a poem that attempts to capture the ineffable aspects of both memories and the sea.

Sea Rhythms, Jim Davis, United States, 1971, 9'.

Jim Davis immerses his mobile sculptures in water and the interplay between the coloured plastic, water and light creates abstract forms that twist and undulate according to the whims of the water.

At Land, Maya Deren, United States, 1944, 16'.

The sea’s waves roll back to reveal the body of a woman, played by Maya Deren herself. The woman crawls along the beach up to the roots of a fallen tree and is then transported to the table of a dinner party. The film and Deren's character alternate between these two places, terra firma and the sea, as if in a lucid dream.

When It Was Blue, Jennifer Reeves, United States, 2008, 68'.

This was conceived as a double projection piece, making two films and two worlds interact within the same frame. On the one hand, images of landscapes and ecosystems from various places on the planet (Iceland, New Zealand, United States...). On the other, the photochemical film itself, hand-painted and manipulated by the filmmaker. The "blue" of the title can therefore refer both to the seascapes prevalent in these landscapes and to the tonality of the painted film. A dialogue between the fragility of the nature represented and the fragility of the film itself as a medium.

Fforest Bay II, Chris Welsby, United Kingdom, 1973, 6'.

The camera, placed in the middle of a beach in Wales, rotates at a 360° angle, recording frames every 45°. Chris Welsby allows the movement of the tides and the earth’s rotation to create the film. Nature not as something to be observed and represented but as a combination of creative forces involved in constructing the piece.

A playlist by Adrián Loureiro.

You can view the works of this playlist in the Xcèntric Archive.