We eagerly divide up our lives into past, present, future (and history), and act as if the riddle of time, this most perplexing mystery, had been solved. Yet, a few scientists, philosophers, artists, poets, filmmakers and other mystics keep venturing outside these ready-made formulas.
Sokurov is such an explorer, such a pioneer: a student of Tarkovsky (“Tarkovski is for me the greatest, the man who discovered a new language, true to the nature of film as mirror of life, life as a dream.” — Bergman), Sokurov is not afraid of getting his audience lost.
A regular at Cannes, and the winner of a Golden Lion in Venice, Sokurov has produced two memorable films, Mother and Son and Russian Ark which, like the latest one shown here, Francofonia, are in Tarkovsky’s lineage, digging into the forces of nature and its various embodiments.
Through a rich mixture of documentary and fiction footage, composed like the free verse reflections of a visual archeologist – the film plays with our tired eyes: will it be able to jolt us out of our endless complacency and arrogance?
Sokurov is what cinema can be at its greatest. His films have a visual power and moral depth that create an unforgettable emotional experience. I hope this great filmmaker finds the audience in America that his work deserves. – Susan Sontag
BREAK THE SURFACE
To ride the unbalance* between:
1. excellence and a kind, singular and porous identity that contains some of the scruples, humor, humility, musicality & the beauty of a harsh and confusing, yet benign and rich reality - away from distractions.
2. the stupidity and blindness of complacency, violence, injustice, pretense, egos, short-term... wishful... and group "thinking," and empty talk - in all of their surprising embodiments. And the false sense of fullness all of this provides.
An appeal for a world NOT so caught up in anthropo/ego/euro/ethno/oculo/esthetico -CENTRISM.
1. Beware of those who claim to be strong - they are often dangerous.
2. Unmask the hoax of "centrality" - ask an "EX-centric" for assistance?
3. Perceive the arrogance of normalcy: everybody, in one way or another, is handicapped... which brings us back to 1.
*Not unrelated to "There is beauty and there are the humiliated. Whatever difficulties the enterprise may present, I should like never to be unfaithful either to the second or the first." --- Albert Camus
___________________Screens Reveal AND Conceal
Presently the Unlearning Specialist at the School of No-Media, Pier Marton is a speaker/writer/artist/educator and film consultant. He was born and raised in Paris and moved to the U.S. in the early seventies to live and teach in Los Angeles, Chicago, Minneapolis, Pittsburgh, San Diego, San Francisco and, more recently, St. Louis. In parallel to teaching media at major universities, his many video-art activities have included video installations, performances and documentaries (with works in prominent museums like MoMA and Beaubourg).
Both as an artist and as a teacher much of his work has focused on our consumption of images which, because of his family history, has taken him into questioning the representation of the Shoah. After spending most of his life around the avant-garde of media (i.e., video art), now that new media offers more and more a form of pseudo-challenge to the status quo, Marton wonders whether it is “no-media” that needs to be considered the next frontier; can we look beyond media and most concepts, however "practical" those may appear to be?
He is available for presentations and workshops on:
Non-Images & No-Media - Slow Cinema - Shoah and Film- Experimental Cinema and Video Art - Film Painting in Sound/Movement - Non-Violent Media - Imperfection in Film - Unclassifiable Music/Arts - Blinded by Sight - The Shoah in 1,000 Years - A Porous Reality - Secular Jews (Broken Tablets and Broken Noses) - Taking it the Hard Way - Exhilarating Creativity - and anything else that may be ignored by society at large.
Remnants from recent presentations: Images of the Other (at the School of Visual Arts Alguonquin Annual Conference), Resistance (at an annual St. Louis Yom HaShoah/Holocaust Commemoration).