Garage Screen presents a program of films about being on the road, composed of four pictures that premiered at this year’s big film festivals. Each film in the selection offers a different perspective on the ever-popular subject, helping the viewer create their own unique ‘roadmap’ of the world.
The New Road Movie program consists of four films where journeys prompt incisive observations on the contemporary world or poetic meditations about life a death we encounter at every point of our life. Today, like centuries ago, stories of journeys read as a metaphor for spiritual search, and the image of a traveller is firmly associated with the idea of looking for truth, or faith, or one’s place in the world. In Greek myths as in road movies, characters discovering new territory are the ones who learn to accept themselves as they are, and those who are on the road are undergoing a transformation.
Sexy Durga by Indian director Sanal Kumar Sasidharan (awarded the Hivos Tiger Award at the Rotterdam festival in 2017) blends road movie aesthetics with horror and ethnographic documentary, plunging the viewer into the whirlpool of fear and violence in contemporary India.
The Column (2013) by Albanian artist Adrian Paci is a short visual essay that follows a block of marble crossing the Indian Ocean on a Chinese vessel and explores the role of art in a globalized world.
El Mar la Mar, shot by American filmmaker and anthropologist from the Sensory Ethnography Lab J.P. Sniadecki in collaboration with independent filmmaker Joshua Bonnetta, tells the story of a seven-day trip across the desert. Even if they succeed and make it from Mexico to the USA, illegal migrants traveling north are doomed to never settle down.
The closing film in the program, Michael Glawogger’s Untitled is perhaps best described as a documentary filmmaker’s diary. The film was also Glawogger’s last work, and was finished and released by his editor Monika Willi, after the filmmaker died from malaria in Liberia.