Artists' Television Access


Reality and Truth: Spanish Documentary films

Thursday, January 1, 1970, 12:00 am

como anochece

el cerco

texas sunrise

In collaboration with international institutions, organizations and filmmakers, Artists’ Television Access presents Global Undergrounds, a film and video series that fosters awareness and appreciation of the issues and aesthetics of our global diversity.

As part of an ongoing cinematic and cultural exchange between ATA and the independent cinema La Enana Marron in Madrid, Spain and sponsored and co-presented by the General Consulate of Spain in San Francisco, ATA hosts two nights of Documentary film from Spain. David Reznak, filmmaker and founder of La Enana Marron will be here in person to present the series.

This program includes films like “The Siege” and “As it gets dark, it’s dawn”, that articulate a language from an elaborated formal process and play with the texture of the image and the decontextualization of the sound to create poetic moments, that oppose another two films, “Texas Sunrise” and ” Story of Juan”, that use improvisation and a seemingly invisible film crew with which, sometimes, the spectator can wonder how these two films were made and come to the conclusion that the script was written with the camera and the film was finished in the editing room. Both have bet on exceptional characters that don’t need to be embellished by an elaborated cinematographic language.

These four films represent a free cinema that prove that documentary film is a vehicle for the dramatic construction of the filmed reality, and that a preliminary script is the worst curse of a type of cinema.

Nacho Martín y Ricardo Íscar
12 min. 35mm, color, 2005
Each year, thousands of tuna fish enter the Mediterranean Sea. Man’s hands harass them in a blood and death ritual. It’s the classic war between man and animals. But it is an unequal fight.

David Reznak.
10 min, 16mm, 1996
A travel log through the Dominican Republic.

Luis Escartin
17min, Video, 2002
Texas Sunrise consists of an incredibly lucid monologue narrated by Johnston Frisco, a North American homeless person reflecting on the role of freedom in the current Western society. Issues such as governmental aid and control over citizens by democracies, the desire of private property and need to feel safe are some of the points insisted on. The close ups of this film show are images structured in a group of mostly static shots that represent the solitude of the West Coast scenarios, followed by Johnston Frisco riding a bike.

The city of Las Vegas and its surroundings landscape are the images that accompany Frisco’s words. Postmodern architecture, lonely roads, abandoned cars, pedestrians, restaurant signs and panoramic views of the desert appear throughout the film, in which the face of the protagonist is never revealed.

It is easy to find an iconographic resemblance between One Way Boogie Woogie by James Benning and Texas Sunrise – the best work of Lluis Escartín – but here Johnston’s words show such veracity and vital consequence that they end up being the protagonist of the 17 minutes, leaving the succession of frames in the background.

Fernando Borrero
38 min. DV, 2002
Juan Medina, former convict, infected with HIV, and with a past plagued by drugs and crime, is the protagonist of this documentary film.

His reflections on politics, religion, sexuality and freedom describe a dense and rich personal universe, where humor tinged with irony softens the harshness of the story.

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