Freedom of (a) Movement. Premieres: Distant Planet: The Six Chapters of Simona, Artificial Things, Trapped in the City of a Thousand Mountains

Garage Screen: Beat Film Festival
10 June 2019
21:30–23:00

DESCRIPTION

Freedom of (a) Movement brings together movies about the freedom offered by movement (as in dancing) and movements (as in subcultures). It includes films on acid house and Italo disco produced by contemporary artists commissioned by Frieze for its Second Summer of Love; an integrated dance piece featuring performers with disabilities; and a documentary about the rap scene in a Chinese city where hip hop is banned. Each work in the program is an experiment, pushing the boundaries of documentary filmmaking and rethinking music and rhythm in terms of art and politics.


Distant Planet: The Six Chapters of Simona

A nostalgic phantasmagoria about Italo disco.

The age of Italo disco with its sweet synths and athletic beauties in shiny leggings was short-lived, and the genre itself was something of a mirage, a fake. Producers picked their singers from among models, who would invent for themselves a foreign name and biography and give interviews in bad English. However, the movement reflected an important aspect of its time: the overpowering aspiration for a beautiful life, following on from the tough times of the 1970s and reflecting naive dreams of a better future with flying cars, something which seemed to be right around the corner.

This is the story of Italo disco as presented by artist and filmmaker Josh Blaaberg in his short for Frieze’s Second Summer of Love. Blaaberg takes three former Italo stars, including singer Simona Zanini, into a strange labyrinth of of archive footage, real memories, and polished fantasies. Campari fountains that should be installed across the country by presidential decree, old music videos with cheap computer effects, and a hike to Mount Etna with a robot make a strange, kitsch, and captivating story that reflects on childhood, unfulfilled hopes, and life as ephemeral as the success of an Italo hit.  

Distant Planet: The Six Chapters of Simona
Director: Josh Blaaberg
UK, 2018, 29 min. 18+


Artificial Things

An atmospheric dance experiment exploring the beauty and emotions of the unusual body.

Lucy Bennett is a pioneering British choreographer working in inclusive or integrated dance. Emotionally charged performances by her Stopgap Dance Company are not exactly shows as we know them, but experiments in which dancers challenge convention using their unique bodies to show that a different physique can be a resource and not necessarily a limitation. Artificial Things is presented by five performers, including a man with Down syndrome, a disabled lady, and a dancer with no legs. Turning the space of an abandoned shopping mall into a stage, the thirty-minute piece sees performers support each other through the dance, creating a unique energy and dynamics. Delicate camerawork and unusual angles chosen by filmmaker Sophie Fiennes (director from the artistic Fiennes family who previously worked with Peter Greenway) show moving bodies and relationships that we have not previously seen on stage or on screen. Filming performers with empathy and tact matching Wim Wenders as he filmed the students of Pina Bausch, Fiennes shows that inclusion means openness to the unusual and freedom from bias.

Artificial Things
Director: Sophie Fiennes
UK, 2018. 25 min. 18+


Trapped in the City of a Thousand Mountains

The adventures of rap musicians in a totalitarian world of the future.

The Chinese hip hop boom did not pass unnoticed by the country’s authorities. The Communist Party issued a series of decrees that forced local rappers underground. Nobody knows what exactly is banned, and that is the main problem: in a culture where laws are unclear but strictly obeyed, people start censoring themselves. Many rappers have decided to quit to be on the safe side.

Dutch filmmaker David Verbeek’s short follows a group of rappers in Chongqing—one of the country’s biggest cities—a futuristic world constantly under surveillance via thousands of CCTV cameras. Lil Ya, Master Da, and Ghostism can no longer play gigs, but they rap, shoot videos, go to illegal parties, get tattoos, and talk about being trapped in “the city of a thousand mountains” that used to inspire poets. In Chongqing, hip hop culture thrives at night, and during the day it gives way to an Orwellian world of slogans like “Let us lead the path to an ecological civilization of production and wellbeing.” The contrast is frightening, but, like his protagonists, Verbeek wants to be optimistic: China might not be a society of freedom, but hip hop could be a game changer.

Trapped in the City of a Thousand Mountains
Director David Verbeek
Netherlands/China, 2018, 23 min. 18+

ABOUT BEAT FILM FESTIVAL

Beat Film Festival is an international festival of documentaries with a focus on modern culture, founded in 2010. since it began, it has turned into an event of metropolitan scale, which acquaints the audience with the most relevant trends in the world of music, contemporary art, media, street culture, fashion, sport, and innovative technologies.

Its program includes Russian premiers of the most prominent films selected for major international film festivals, parties and special events with directors, musicians, and other representatives of contemporary culture. In 2017, the festival attracted over 21,000 people.

tickets

Standard: 450 RUB

 Garage Members: 225 RUB.

BUY TICKETS

Concessions for pensioners, veterans, large families, under 18s, and visitors with disabilities (with one carer): 225 RUB**

To book members’ tickets, call +7 (499) 345-10-00 or email members@garagemca.org. Booked tickets must be paid for no later than 30 minutes before the screening.

The film is in original language with Russian subtitles.
The event is accessible to deaf and hard of hearing visitors.

* For students of 18 to 25 years old with student ID
** Please bring proof of eligibility

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