INSERT SONG + FAT TO ASHES + PACIFIC CLUB + NOTHING RUNS LIKE A DEERE
Kamil Dossar / Denmark / 2023 / 11 min / World Premiere
A single-note score indicates the open and horizontal structure of Kamil Dossar’s abstract audiovisual arrangement of image, sound, objects and bodies.
Every film festival should have an award for the most abstract love film of the year (for what is more abstract than love itsefl?) and if we had one, it would go to Kamil Dossar for ‘Insert Song’ – an elliptical and very beautiful video work that starts on stage in an empty concert hall and, through its disembodied cinematography, floats through a photo lab and on to a lush park where a young couple is kissing by the water. ‘Insert Song’ is an arrangement. A juxtaposition of images, sound and objects with performative interventions that shift one’s expectations of the subjects we witness with simple, but profound gestures. A singer dressed in white, singing a ballad with a voice that is not his. A troll in full war uniform. Heart-shaped balloons. A single-note score indicates the horizontality of the open, non-linear structure that Dossar nonetheless pursues with precision.
Fat to Ashes
Pauline Curnier Jardin / United Kingdom / 2023 / 21 min / World Premiere
Transcendence and hedonism are two of the inner contradictions we experience in new conceptual constellations in a work dedicated to collective rituals in Europe’s public spaces.
The border between exalted religious ecstasy and frivolous folklore is porous. The collective body is boundless, transcending all other boundaries – imaginary as well as real – during the festivals, carnivals and other rituals around the world where people celebrate themselves and each other in the shared public space. Visual artist Pauline Curnier Jardin explores the inner contradictions of ecstasy in brand new conceptual constellations across Europe, from the Sicilian St Agatha festival to the carnival in Cologne. The public arena represents an ambiguous motif in any idea of European civilisation: a place where democratic triumphs are celebrated, but at the same time a brutal site for violent, spectacular acts from fights to slaughters. ‘Fat to Ashes’ is a immersive journey into the crowd of bodies, laughter, song and prayer. A work that itself celebrates the boundlessness and magic of the collective dissolution of all hierarchies and authority.
Valentin Noujaïm / France, Qatar / 2023 / 16 min / World Premiere
In the 1980s, a nightclub in a futuristic Paris suburb became a haven for the city’s Arab youth. The forgotten story of the Pacific Club is brought to life in Valentin Noujaïm’s beautiful, elliptical film.
In 1979, Pacific Club opened in a basement in La Défense, the newly built business district that, with its own futuristic triumphal arch, sits in line from the Champs Élysées and is still as ’80s as a white Lamborghini. The Pacific Club was the first nightclub for Arabs from the Paris suburbs. A parallel world of dance, sweat, young lovers and one-night romances. Azedine was one of them, and he tells the forgotten story of the club and of a generation that dreamed of integrating into France but instead came face to face with racism, AIDS and a heroin epidemic. The club since closed, but in the meantime nightclubs have once again become laboratories for political and social ideas that are tested on the dance floor but resonate in the world outside. Valentin Noujaïm’s beautiful, elliptical film evokes the story of the Pacific Club in the romantic darkness of the night, so you can feel both the pulsing bass and the promise of freedom.
Nothing Runs Like a Deere
Max Göran / Sweden / 2023 / 17 min / World Premiere
Gonzo-anthropological field study in Swedish ‘raggar’ culture, where teenagers in remote provinces meet in parking lots and hang out in their souped-up Volvos.
Over the course of a hot summer evening, teenagers in a remote, provincial Swedish town meet in parking lots to hang out in their cars. We recognize the mythical scene from ‘Rebel Without a Cause’ and the thread to 1950s hotrod and rockabilly culture. But in Sweden’s enduring ‘raggar’ culture, people drive Volvos, and preferably ones they’ve built themselves into rolling discos in areas where youth clubs are far apart. Artist Max Göran revisits the culture in a documentary video work that starts as a piece of gonzo-anthropology and mutates into magical realism. The cars are tuned down to tractor speeds of 20 mph in case the police show up, but with the push of a secret button, the young drivers of ages down to 16 can transform their vehicles into real cars – an object with its own contradictory, symbolic and subcultural history from James Dean to the present day.