Punto de Vista has already selected some of the films that will be screened at the Festival’s 8th edition. The section The Central Region will include two films by regulars Thom Andersen and Stephen Dwoskin – <i>Reconversão</i> and <i>Age Is…</i>
Andersen’s Reconversão was a production of the Curtas Vila do Conde film festival in Portugal, on the occasion of its 20th anniversary. It goes over 17 of Eduardo Souto de Moura’s projects and buildings as reflected in the Portuguese architect’s notes and Andersen’s lens.
On a technical level, Reconversão combines the rawness of proto-cinema with the hyperrealism of digital movies. Capturing one or two frames per second and then animating the images, in the footsteps of pioneer photographer Eadweard Muybridge, Andersen adds resolution but not necessarily realism.
As to Age Is…, it is an ode to texture, beauty and the singularity of ageing faces and bodies; a hypnotic text with lengthy observations of minor details – a gesture, a pause, a look, a moment; a portrait of old age and the sunset of life where intimacy plays a key role, since all the faces belong to Dwoskin’s friends and relatives, and he himself appears in the film – his last work.
Thom Andersen has lived in Los Angeles most of his life. In the 1960s, he shot short films like Melting (1965) or Olivia’s Place (1966). In 1974, he directed Eadweard Muybridge, Zoopraxographer, a film on Muybridge’s photographic work. In 1995, he made Red Hollywood with Noël Burch, a film exploring the work of the victims of the Hollywood blacklist. Eight years later, he came up with Los Angeles Plays Itself, a video essay exploring the way Los Angeles has been represented in movies. The film, which got many awards, was part of The Thinking Form retrospective at Punto de Vista de 2007. In 2011, Punto de Vista premiered his latest film, Get Out of the Car, in Spain. Since 1987, Andersen has been a faculty member of the Programme in Film and Video in CalArts.
Age is… is the last film shot by Stephen Dwoskin, who died in London on 28 June 2012. Born in New York City, Dwoskin contracted polio when he was 9. The disease progressively restricted his mobility and he eventually became a wheelchair user. This fact was reflected several times in his films. In 1964, Dwoskin moved to the UK on a Fulbright scholarship, founding and leading the London Filmmakers Co-op workshop. For a time, he worked on subjective and experimental films, and then he moved on to make documentaries about artists. He also shot fiction films, including an adaptation of Frank Wedeskind's Tod und Teufel, and films focusing on his experience with disability, like Behindert and Outside In (on the disruption caused by disability in a standardised society, with comical results). His feature film The Sun and the Moon was screened at The Central Region in Punto de Vista 2008.