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Filament: Soft Power Film Series
August 15 @ 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Filament is a moving image series at TAM conceived in dialogue with the exhibition Soft Power – a cinematic response to and reflection on the multivalent themes, both latent and tangible, in the textile-based artwork.

Thursday, August 15, 6pm

Return to Form: films by Helena Wittmann, Mike Hoolboom, Gariné Torossian, Julie Murray, Miko Revereza, and Morgan Quaintance
various artists, 1994-2021, 16mm and digital formats, 85 minutes

Notions of home – real and imagined, past and the future, are explored through sound and image in these six films, with a focus on the paths of individuals shaped by their diasporic experience.

Filament: TAM Cinema screening "Return to Form" short film program

Ada Kaleh (2018, HD, 14 min, Germany) by Helena Wittmann
An indeterminate location, summer. The inhabitants of a shared apartment ask themselves where they might live. They imagine countries, communities and places. Time passes and nothing can change that, neither human action nor objects and their states. At some point, they all drift into a deep sleep.

Ada Kaleh is akin to watching a farewell. Named after the former Turkish island and enclave that was submerged in the Danube, its setting, which is surrounded by a city never named, itself resembles some other-worldly realm from the past. It’s impossible not to think of Plato’s cave-dwellers and the shadows of the outside world cast on the walls of the cavern that make up their life. Yet the film consciously unfolds in photography and movement, that is, in space. It’s only interested in a context-giving world as a reflection on glass and rock. There is no judgment, no interpretation, just seeing and collecting. For Ada Kaleh is itself a form of cave-dweller. And for that reason, pure cinema.” (Birgit Glombitza)

Filament: TAM Cinema screening "Return to Form" short film program 1

23 Thoughts About My Mother (2021, HD, 31 min, Canada) by Mike Hoolboom
In a series of 23 vignettes, the artist offers up memories of his mother who died in March 2020. If offers a mix of analog snaps and diary footage (brain surgery, nursing homes), along with archival material from her former Indonesian home, including the camp she was dispatched to during the Second World War. Slowly a portrait emerges of a quietly determined activist and second wave feminist, community volunteer and family maven, marked like so many others by a war that never quite ended.

Filament: TAM Cinema screening "Return to Form" short film program 2

Girl From Moush (1994, 16mm, 5 min, Canada) by Gariné Torossian
At the age of 23, without ever having been there herself, Canadian filmmaker Gariné Torossian makes use of myths, oral traditions and illustrated books to imagine her spiritual home of Armenia, the land of her parents. She impressively deconstructs images of remote village churches, farmers working the land or Mount Ararat, Armenia’s national symbol, in order to reassemble them in an experimental cubist collage and interweave them with the textures of Super 8 and 16mm film and the sounds of traditional folk songs. A sensitive cinematographic mixture of cultural icons of both historical and timeless significance.

Inspired by the film Sayat Nova (The Color of Pomegranates, 1969) by the great Armenian director Sergei Parajanov, whose face can be detected in many of this film’s dissolves, Torossian creates a sensuously surreal realm of images about a sense of diaspora and of longing for one’s cultural roots. (Berlinale, 2019)

Filament: TAM Cinema screening "Return to Form" short film program 3

Distance (2010, 16mm, 12 min, Ireland / USA) by Julie Murray
Distance, the film, shows time spent at two shores, one thinly populated, the other a wasteland, joined by the interluency of various paths taken, each bit real enough, though exact measures being obscurely indicated. Notions of home and its ache are, to borrow a phrase, “not capable of being told unless by far-off hints and adumbrations”.-JM

Filament: TAM Cinema screening "Return to Form" short film program 4

DROGA! (2014, HD, 8 min, Philippines / USA) by Miko Revereza
A personal look at Los Angeles and its symbols of American popular culture seen through the eyes of a Filipino immigrant. –MR

Filament: TAM Cinema screening "Return to Form" short film program 5

Early Years (2019, HD, 15 min, UK) by Morgan Quaintance
Early Years is a portrait of Jamaican-born artistic polymath Barbara Samuels. It features an account of her first generation, diasporic experience in London, and her discovery of the liberatory possibilities for self-actualisation offered by an early entry into creative life.

Upcoming Programming:


Free or by donation.

Filament: TAM Cinema is curated by David Dinnell and Jay Kuehner.
Soft Power curated by Ellen Ito.