Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau & Natalia Escobar, Aribada (2022), film still. Courtesy the artist.


Anthology Film Archives
32 Second Avenue
New York, NY 10003


17 May 2023


7:30 PM – 9:30 PM

AFA Screening: MFJ 77 "RIFTS"

Program Notes.

MFJ No. 77 “RIFTS” covers a swath of current artists’ moving image territory, including eight reviews of recent works, a dossier by MFJ editors and advisory board members focused on the 2022 New York Film Festival’s Currents sidebar, Cathy Rogers’ unique Artist Pages, a trio of full length articles on major international artists’ films and videos, and a tribute to Michael Snow by Amy Taubin on the making of “Wavelength.

For the Anthology program we have selected a diverse variety of works addressing major issues, but invariably obliquely—as is to be expected in our constantly changing field.

Selected and presented by Millennium Film Journal senior editor Grahame Weinbren and editor-at-large Jonathan Ellis.

Jacques Perconte Avant l’effondrement du Mont Blanc (Before the Collapse of Mont Blanc) [2021 digital  16′ 08]

Through an attraction towards light as an elemental medium, and drawing from his formal training in painting, Perconte’s moving-image model finds its basis in the synthesis of four of the main visual elements: motion, texture, form, and color. Perconte distorts the notion of a pixel through a visual bleeding of its movement into and within a perceptual representation of the natural landscape. [. . .] Perconte’s approach relies on a two-fold conception of processual phenomena—natural and technological. This approach is most prominent in Avant l’effondrement du Mont Blanc., which sheds light upon the Earth’s rising temperatures, the rapid melting of glaciers, and ponders the possibility of whether we may be the last generation to see Mont Blanc’s summit.

Megan Phipps “Circuit-Bending Psychedelic Transcendentalism


Eva Giolo The Demands of Ordinary Devotion (2022) [16mm -> Digital, 12’ 03]

. . . the words “circular,” “close-up,” and “hands” may give a sense of the film’s gambit—these elements are the building blocks of the majority of the film, cyclically cutting between the coin flip, a mother, a carpenter, and a filmmaker, all engaged in their respective processes. The film strings together isolated moments and gestures from each of these milieux with an insistent musical editing style that finds rhythm in repetition and variation, using visual rhymes to draw parallels among different forms of labor and love. Despite the repetition and carefully framed shots, the film is far from clinical. Giolo keeps things playful with clever visual puns and Freudian double entendres, in the images, the sounds, and their juxtaposition. The omnipresence of 16mm film, both in the texture of the images and the diegetic appearance of the Bolex, demonstrate Giolo’s commitment to the particularly tactile process of analog filmmaking. Beautifully filmed, impeccably edited, the work vibrates with the substance of life, labor, joy, and uncertainty.

Vincent Warne, “Currents Program 7: Ordinary Devotion


Simon(e) Jaikiriuma Paetau and Natalia Escobar Aribada [2022 digital 30′ 31]

Aribada follows Las Traviesas, a group of indigenous trans women from the Emberá people in Colombia. The film crackles with the noise of the forest—cicadas, branches cracking, leaves rustling. The women discuss how their indigenous communities are generally not welcoming to trans women. The importance of finding a pathway towards acceptance on their own terms is clear: “Daughter, do not leave our culture behind, we can still fight for our own identity.” The titular Aribada, a half-jaguar, half-human beast, is posited as the key link. While originally intimidatingly shown with deep shadows and through flashing lights, it eventually joins the women in a dance—a connection which leads the women to bathe in the river alongside each other: a cathartic release and a new dawn.

Camila Galaz “Currents Program 1: Field Trips


Riccardo Giacconi in collaboration w Andrea Morbio Diteggiatura (Fingerpicking) [2021 digital 17’]

To reference action figures in a program of experimental and artists’ moving image is inevitably to suggest a reconceptualization of the term. The rippling muscles of Hollywood action figures are unsurprisingly eschewed here, for a more complex and inclusive depiction of what figures as action. The title refers most obviously to Riccardo Giacconi’s Diteggiatura (Fingerpicking) (2021), where the figures of action are the hand-crafted marionettes of the Compagnia Marionettistica Carlo Colla e Figli in Milan, one of the oldest puppet theatres in the world. Detailing the intricate gestures of the artists that fabricate and then those that animate these figures, the film builds a tactile depiction of raw materials being shaped into unique characters, each with its own expressive features. Each face tells a story, imbued with history and the experience of previous performances.

Kim Knowles “Currents Program 3: Action Figures


Andre Demirjian We Send Our Signal [2021 digital 2′ 03]

Nunnery Gallery comprises a screening room connected to an arched hallway no bigger than 20’ x 8’. Any indication that this was once the site of Christian rituals has been stripped, its walls painted pure white in gallery tradition. I slowly made my way down the passage, taking in each monitor as one would observe the stations of the cross. Each featured artist signaled a message of their own. At the end of the passage, projected high above the other artworks, was Signal, appearing in a space once occupied by Christ on the cross, but Demirjian’s futuristic documentary projected a newer, more pressing kind of premonition. My eyes could see the ghostly outline of the crucifix superimposed over the diving tower. Or was it the other way around? This all felt like a cultural persistence of vision. Coupled with my Catholic-Mormon upbringing, the history of the nunnery was the lens through which I witnessed Signal. The films placement in the nunnery was uncanny.

Elizabeth Lowe “Signal


All excerpts from Millennium Film Journal No. 77 “RIFTS”.

Total running time: ca. 79 min.

Anthology Film Archive Film Notes

The Millennium Film Journal is affiliated with Millennium Film Workshop, Inc.
Copyright © 2023 by Millennium Film Workshop, Inc. ISSN 1064-5586
Distributed internationally by Central Books.

This program is partially funded by NYSCA through the Millennium Film Workshop, publisher of the Millennium Film Journal.

The Millennium Film Workshop gratefully acknowledges support for the Millennium Film Journal by the following individuals and organizations:
• Deborah and Dan Duane
• Walter and Karla Goldschmidt Foundation
• Anonymous Donors
• Our advertisers
MFA Photo Video and Related Media, School of Visual Arts
• The MFJ staff